HID Global, a worldwide renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced it has acquired the Invengo Textile Services Business of Invengo Information Technology Co., Ltd. The acquisition adds radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, readers and cloud-based inventory management services for linen and laundry management to HID Global’s industry-renowned RFID portfolio. RFID products portfolio expansion According to MarketsandMarkets, the global market for commercial laundry...
The Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), an industry body comprised of stakeholders from all facets of the security, safety and building automation space, has announced two important developments, as part of its mission to pave the road towards trustworthy and innovative security and safety solutions. New technical specifications First, a new specification is now available to members, which focuses on camera cyber security measures. The Open Security & Safety Alliance has also intro...
Cynet announced a new guide titled "10 CISOs with Small Security Teams Share their Must Dos and Don'ts" which details how to effectively manage small and medium enterprise (SME) security with five or fewer cybersecurity team members. As the challenges of smaller security teams are certainly different than with larger teams, these IT professionals must be more creative and pragmatic than their large enterprise counterparts. In the past several years they have seen a rise in cybersecurity attacks...
Farpointe Data, the access control industry's OEM for RFID credentials and readers, announces that the Security Industry Association's (SIA) approved Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), which was recently made a global standard by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and can be used by any manufacturer, has become a major requested feature on Farpointe's mobile, contactless smart card and proximity readers. OSDP provides interoperability among various companies’ access...
Hanwha Techwin has announced consultants, system designers and system integrators are now able to specify Wisenet Q series and Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs supplied with Seagate hard disk drives (HDDs). High-density HDDs “Seagate’s space-efficient, high-density HDDs (hard disk drives) are able to perfectly meet the data storage demands of video surveillance systems and equally important, they have a reputation for being ultra-reliable,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marke...
Incedo access management from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions is created for businesses on the move, who need a flexible security solution which grows with them. Now security managers managing an Incedo Business solution can work remotely, too — while maintaining complete control over their building’s access points. Incedo connects security software and hardware within a single, seamless platform. To accommodate the restless change and disruption of modern business life, Incedo enables...
STANLEY Security, one of the UK’s pioneer security providers, launches intelligent maintenance, an innovative cloud-based service designed to keep security systems up and running, for maximum effectiveness at a minimum cost. Intelligent Maintenance is a proactive service that STANLEY Security has introduced to enhance the level of service and maintenance of CCTV and Intruder systems. The new service forms a direct connection with CCTV or Intruder systems to automatically and actively monitor their health status providing early notifications of any faults. Problem detection software STANLEY Security designs and installs systems for intrusion detection, fire detection, access control, and video surveillance Intelligent maintenance operates 24/7, collecting data, learning from the systems it monitors and detecting any anomalies in real-time. The advanced problem detection software allows STANLEY Security to alert a customer to any potential failures of their equipment, such as cameras that may be out of action. If and when this occurs, STANLEY Security’s specialist support team is on hand to diagnose and fix the fault where possible. This will be done remotely where applicable, for maximum customer convenience and speed, with an average resolve time of just 17 minutes; where this is not possible an engineer will be dispatched rapidly to the site. STANLEY Security designs and installs a range of systems for intrusion detection, fire detection, access control, and video surveillance. It offers a range of preventative, maintenance, and service plans to minimise downtime and repair costs. Plans can be customised to offer the ideal coverage for equipment costs, labour costs, and service response times for all types of protection systems.
Acronis, a pioneer in cyber protection, and Williams Racing announce the renewal of their technology partnership, extending the areas of cooperation and driving the adoption of award-winning cyber protection technology across the entire Williams Racing IT infrastructure. As part of the Official Cyber Protection partnership, Williams Racing will continue the use of Acronis Cyber Protect across their IT infrastructure. The innovative solution, used by elite sports teams around the world, integrates fast and reliable backup, AI-powered anti-malware and antivirus, and comprehensive endpoint management, all managed from a single interface. Unique cyber protection Unique cyber protection approach eliminates the complexity and makes it simple for teams to manage workloads The unique cyber protection approach eliminates the complexity and makes it simple for teams to manage and monitor workloads, data, applications, and systems across an entire network. “Acronis Cyber Protection encompasses all areas of workload protection, simplifies data management, and prevents cyberattacks. It’s a constantly changing environment. To have a technology partner whose technology meets the modern-day needs and leads the market is critical for our team to regain competitive advantage,” said Graeme Hackland, Williams Racing Chief Information Officer. During the last year, more than 15 new teams partnered with Acronis, pushing the total number of sports teams in the Acronis #CyberFit Sports portfolio to over 50. San Diego Padres, Washington Football Team, Atlético de Madrid, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, Roborace, Airspeeder, and many other teams chose Acronis to protect their edge. Keeping data tamper-free “Acronis technology is designed to address the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) challenges of modern organisations – at the highest levels of business and competitive sport. This design methodology ensures the highest calibre of cyber protection for all workloads, data, applications, and systems, keeping data tamper-free and easily accessible for smooth day-to-day operations. Data is critical in Formula One and we are proud of being part of Williams Racing’s journey,” said Jan-Jaap Jager, Acronis Chief Operating Officer. Acronis is also proud to announce that its #CyberFit Sports programme is now open to managed service providers (MSPs) who are invited to deliver Acronis Cyber Protection solutions to world-class sports properties on behalf of Acronis and enjoy a rich world of sports benefits and brand exposure.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the pandemic everyone is living through, the uptake in touchless access control which was previously gaining in popularity has been accelerated driving digital transformation across many industries and technologies. Among these is the rapid growth of mobile and cloud-based systems that make access control a simple and secure solution for businesses to manage keys, users, and doors across multiple locations, simply and conveniently. SALTO Systems, which has been delivering state-of-the-art wire-free and keyless electronic access control solutions since 2001, is acknowledged as a pioneer in the manufacture of these electronic access control solutions. Access control products But with that convenience can come risk and security vulnerabilities for the unwary which is why it’s important to consider that as access control products – both hardware and software - become increasingly attached to networks and other smart systems via the Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity needs to be front and centre if it is not to provide a pathway for cyber criminals and hackers. Smart devices commonly use wireless transmission of information often referred to as OTA to deliver software Smart devices commonly use wireless transmission of information often referred to as over-the-air (OTA) to deliver software, firmware, or configuration updates. This can include the use and configuration of security devices for use on networks using NFC, BLE, and RFID. To avoid security breaches and unauthorised attempts to access or unlock data, manufacturers should encrypt and authenticate OTA data and updates and deliver them to end-users via a secure protocol. Secure opening procedure When it comes to mobile technology and the use of ‘virtual’ keys sent to smartphones, one way to do this is to use AES 128 bit encryption which helps prevent skimming, eavesdropping, and replay attacks and a secure opening procedure with the key received securely encrypted using SSL. Another is to ensure products are certified to BSI Enhanced Level IoT Kitemark™ standard which demonstrates that a connected product has a higher level of security controls in place than the market standard for its type and is generally suitable for higher value or risk applications. Assessment to this level involves BSI’s most in-depth and exacting testing and analysis. SALTO has always applied the highest security standards to both its hardware and software products which is why its access control solution was among the first from any major security manufacturer to hold both ‘Secured by Design ‘accreditation and IoT Enhanced Kitemark™ status. Eliminating security flaws Its XS4 electronic escutcheon family, as well as its associated gateways, controllers and wall readers, are all Enhanced Level IoT Kitemark™ approved under the scheme as is the NEO electronic cylinder family and its tough new NEOxx electronic padlock product. Some manufacturers do not invest enough in eliminating potential security flaws from their systems" SALTO Systems Limited MD, Ramesh Gurdev says: “New security challenges will confront us as technologies accelerate and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Some manufacturers do not invest enough in eliminating potential security flaws from their systems, and this can be common in many entry level access products imported from Asia and elsewhere. At SALTO we’re driven by continuous improvement and committed to developing the most technologically advanced and flexible electronic locking solutions for any kind of door and user need.” Access control technology “Now we are synonymous with innovative solutions that set new standards in security, manageability, flexibility, and design that bring real-world benefits and this continues to set us apart. More recently, SALTO’s technological expertise has brought us to a leading position in both cloud-based access control technology and mobile access solutions.” “We’re proud that our NEO cylinder family now holds both ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation and Enhanced Level IoT Kitemark™ status as both are increasingly important in the specification of access control systems. Such awards mean we exceed the market standard for a number of security products across our access range which provides SALTO customers with the confidence that they are using some of the most technologically advanced and secure products available on the market today.”
Anomali, the globally renowned company in intelligence-driven cyber security solutions, has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed industry veteran, Ahmed Rubaie as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and as a Board Member, effective from March 1, 2021. Ahmed Rubaie will succeed Hugh Njemanze, who worked closely with the board to help drive this change. Njemanze will remain with the company in the capacity of President and as a member of the Board of Directors. Cyber threat intelligence innovations Njemanze will continue to drive the company’s leadership position as an innovator in the cyber security market Hugh Njemanze became the Chief Executive Officer of Anomali, back in June 2014. Since then, he has led the company to rise as a recognised player in the security market through the introduction of new cyber threat intelligence and threat detection innovations. Njemanze successfully guided the company through the extraordinary circumstances and challenges of the past year, and will now begin the new CEO on-boarding process, with the company well-positioned to continue to grow and drive value. He will continue to drive the company’s leadership position as an innovator in the cyber security market. Global technology leadership expert Ahmed Rubaie, a highly-respected Chief Executive Officer and industry veteran, has more than three decades of global technology leadership experience. In his prior roles, Rubaie has driven strategic expansion and diversification of businesses across markets, industries and customers, steering delivery of leading and differentiated solutions. Rubaie has overseen the successful execution of growth transformation, including at Ariba, where he helped the company emerge from the 2008 recession to become the second most valuable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company by 2012. At Sitecore, a global company in context marketing management software, Rubaie helped them succeed in a rapid growth transformation, while getting the company ready for the public markets. Active in the cyber security space Ahmed Rubaie has also been active in the cyber security space, including in private investments and board work. Rubaie holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Albion College and a J.D. degree from the University of Detroit - Mercy Law School. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business, where he teaches the subject of Contemporary Business Issues. “Together with Hugh Njemanze, the board worked to bring in a new Chief Executive Officer to drive the next phase of growth for the company. Ahmed is a proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development, and a deep knowledge of operational execution. He is very customer centric and quite passionate about our space. He will continue a values-based cultural leadership approach with a focus on growing the Anomali threat intelligence and detection portfolio,” said Anomali Board Member, Dr. Steve Herrod. Driving strategy to expand product portfolio The board is confident that Ahmed will ensure execution of Anomali’s strategy to extend its product leadership position" Dr. Steve Herrod, who also served as the Managing Director of General Catalyst, a venture capital and investment firm, adds “After thoughtful consideration, the board, together with Hugh Njemanze, concluded that now is the right time to make this leadership change and draw on Ahmed’s strategic and operational expertise to lead Anomali through this critical period of transformative growth.” Steve further said, “The board is confident that Ahmed, together with the rest of the leadership team, will ensure execution of Anomali’s strategy to extend its product leadership position and to deliver on new innovations that will make intelligence-driven threat detection an effective part of every organisation’s security strategy.” Innovation in extended detection and response solution “I am thrilled to join and lead Anomali forward at this important time for the company, and our industry,” said Anomali’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ahmed Rubaie, adding “Anomali has been at the forefront of threat intelligence and I look forward to extending this position going forward. I have tremendous admiration for the company’s recent contributions to the global cyber security effort and am particularly excited about our differentiated innovation in the extended detection and response solution space.” Ahmed Rubaie adds, “I believe Anomali has significant potential to continue to reshape the future of threat intelligence and detection and look forward to working with the incredibly talented global team to accelerate innovation and create value for our global customers and partners.” Robust threat intelligence platform firm Under his leadership, Anomali grew from a single product vendor into a robust threat intelligence platform company" “The board and I deeply appreciate Hugh Njemanze for his leadership and significant contributions,” continued Anomali’s Independent Board Member, Tom Reilly, who is also the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ArcSight (Micro Focus) and Cloudera. Tom Reilly adds, “Under his leadership, Anomali grew from a single product vendor into a robust threat intelligence platform company. Hugh has been instrumental in energising the company’s culture to drive better execution of our product roadmap, placing Anomali in a strong strategic and financial position. We thank him for his ongoing guidance as he works with Ahmed and the leadership team to extend our innovative product offerings and market leadership.” Product strategy innovator “I am excited to welcome Ahmed to the Anomali team. We are at a scale and period of growth where his operational skills will bring tremendous value to the company,” said Anomali’s President, Hugh Njemanze. Hugh Njemanze adds, “I am excited to focus on my passion of industry direction, product strategy, and engaging with our valuable customers and partners. We will make a great team.”
Assured Data Protection, the prominent IT managed services provider (MSP) for cloud data protection solutions, announces that it has entered into a global partnership agreement with Confluera, a provider of next-generation detection and response solutions, to provide eXtended Detection and Response (XDR) as part of its established data protection service offering. The agreement enables Assured Data Protection to expand its cloud data management portfolio, drive engagement with new and existing customers, and create new channel opportunities for its MSP partners and other resellers. Traditional endpoint security Assured Data Protection, one of the MSP’s of Rubrik cloud data management service, has added XDR as-a-service to its suite of enterprise-grade data backup and recovery solutions. The new XDR service powered by Confluera, allows customers to address data breaches in real-time. The fully automated process identifies threats upon a point of entry and tracks their progress before neutralising them. Most cyberattacks evade traditional endpoint security measures, resulting in breaches in the data centre It adds another layer of data protection and removes the need for IT teams to manually correlate historical data, saving considerable time and resources. Confluera is expanding its growing partner program to accommodate new MSPs and provide them with advanced detection and response capabilities that accurately track and intercept threats. Most cyberattacks evade traditional endpoint security measures, resulting in breaches in the data centre. White-labelled service Assured Data Protection’s solutions are already embedded inside the data centre and can be easily configured to support the Confluera solution. The incorporated solution can now be delivered by Assured Data Protection and its MSP partners, expanding Confluera’s footprint across global markets. For the XDR service, Assured Data Protection is extending the same level of sales and technical support it already provides to partners that have adopted its backup and recovery solutions. This includes everything from scoping and implementation to full sales and technical enablement. Channel partners distribute and resell Assured Data Protection’s solutions as a service based on a flexible OPEX model, either as a co-branded product or as a white-labelled service. Data management processes The partnership with Confluera has allowed us to enhance our offering at a time" Simon Chappell, CEO of Assured Data Protection, explained: “We’re data protection specialists and we see smart threat detection and response as an extension of our business. We live in the data center so we can add XDR capabilities seamlessly to provide customers with an all-encompassing solution that spans their entire IT and cloud infrastructure.” “The partnership with Confluera has allowed us to enhance our offering at a time when customers are looking to secure their businesses and streamline their data management processes. Our longer-term ambition is to become a hub for XDR services, but right now we have an opportunity to work closely with our MSP partners to create new data protection ecosystems that incorporate XDR.” Next-generation technology “Global demand for modern detection and response solutions has never been higher. We are excited to partner with Assured Data Protection to bring an unparalleled solution to market that combines the next-generation technology with proven service expertise,” said Mukesh Singh, Vice President of Sales at Confluera. The partnership with Assured Data Protection enables us to offer these benefits to our customers in a service footprint" “We took a fresh approach to detection and response, one that is not limited by the error-prone and laborious task of correlating events after the incident has already occurred. Our patented technology builds the storyboard of an attack as it unfolds in real-time, enabling organisations to address the breach before it can do harm. The partnership with Assured Data Protection enables us to offer these benefits to our customers in a service footprint.” Cloud data protection Stuart Harper, Managing Director, Optec IT Solutions, explained: “We work closely with Assured Data Protection. Their structured processes and partner support dovetail nicely with our own operations.” “The specialised training, sales, and technical support they provide have allowed us to ramp up our cloud data protection service offerings and introduce XDR into the mix. We’re able to integrate directly with them on key projects to maintain the highest levels of service delivery and customer support.”
The DIY system, launched by Edinburgh-based Boundary (Boundary Technologies), was designed and created by a team of experts, brought together by Boundary, to solve the problems associated with traditional alarm systems and using cutting-edge technology thinking. Grade 2 UK certification Having passed a programme of rigorous pre-compliance testing, Boundary is currently pending certification (expected to be signed off end Q1) to Grade 2 UK & European alarm testing standards, which not only means that the alarm is robust and performs reliably, but that it is also tamper-proof to would-be burglars. Grade 2 UK & European alarm testing standard certification is also one of the requirements of insurers, as well as the police for an automatic level 1 priority response. Boundary, the DIY system The DIY version (no police, self-monitored) of the alarm system, Boundary Technologies is simple to install The DIY version (no police, self-monitored) of the alarm system, Boundary Technologies is simple to install and can be easily controlled from a smartphone, meaning that the owner has full control over their siren no matter where they are. It can be integrated with existing smart home systems, including Alexa and Google Home. In addition to being fully controllable from a smartphone, the Boundary smart home security system gives protection against all known threats, with intelligent sensors designed to minimise false alarms (including those caused by pets). End-to-end data encryption Users are given a choice of protection levels, in order to give them control, including a key-holder option. Boundary systems use the same end-to-end encryption of data as internet banking applications, with over-the-air security updates ensuring maximum protection. Unlike similar products of its kind in the market, Boundary is built to last, with a lifespan of seven years. What’s more, the system uses advanced algorithms and technology to check the system remotely, including battery life which, in the sensors, should last over a year. Flexibility and connectivity in security alarm systems Boundary is spearheaded by the duo that disrupted the payments markets with successful FinTech business, IPOS. IPOS was sold to iZettle, later acquired by Paypal. After identifying a gap in the market for a smart home security system that offers flexibility and connectivity at a reasonable price, Robin Knox and Paul Walton started to explore how technology could be used to disrupt the market for traditional hard-wired burglar alarms. Boundary smart home security systems Boundary home security systems will become the only truly ‘smart’ alarm system to meet the UK and European alarm standards Boundary home security systems will become the only smart alarm in the United Kingdom that are accurate enough to provide an automatic police response and the only truly ‘smart’ alarm system to meet the UK and European alarm standards. Despite suffering setbacks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Boundary managed to pull a funding round of £ 1.7 million in 2020 and is launching their product in the market against the odds in 2021. Leveraging AI to protect homes Commenting on the launch, Robin Knox, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Boundary Technologies (Boundary) said, “2020 has been a year full of challenges, not least launching a highly regulated consumer hardware product in the middle of pandemic induced supply chain challenges. I’m thankful to our customers, team, investors and suppliers for their hard work and support to Boundary.” Robin Knox adds, “With home improvement still at the top of many people’s priorities, we’re optimistic for 2021 and are already looking forward to the launch of our second product, which will leverage AI (Artificial Intelligence) to proactively protect homes.”
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
Several major players vigorously employ biometric recognition technologies around the globe. Governments use biometrics to control immigration, security, and create national databases of biometric profiles. Being one of the most striking examples, the Indian Aadhaar includes face photos, iris, and fingerprints of about 1.2 billion people. Financial institutions, on their part, make use of biometrics to protect transactions by confirming a client's identity, as well as develop and provide services without clients visiting the office. Besides, biometric technology ensures security and optimises passenger traffic at transport facilities and collects data about customers, and investigates theft and other incidents in retail stores. Widespread use of biometrics Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is an active user of biometric technology Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is another active user of biometric technology. Industries choose biometric systems, as these systems are impossible to trick in terms of security, access control, and data protection. Being in demand in business, these three tasks are also relevant for the industry. However, the use of biometrics at industrial sites is discussed unfairly seldom. Therefore, it is the face identification that is the most convenient there, as workers often use gloves, or their hands may be contaminated, and the palm pattern is distorted by heavy labour. All these features make it difficult to recognise people by fingerprints or veins and significantly reduce identification reliability. Therefore, industries seek facial recognition solutions. Thus, let us demonstrate the application of face recognition technology at different enterprises, regardless of the area. Facial recognition use in incident management Facial biometric products are known to automate and improve the efficiency of security services by enriching any VMS system. These systems provide an opportunity of instantly informing the operator about recognised or unrecognised people, and their list membership, as well as save all the detected images for further security incident investigation. Furthermore, some sophisticated facial biometric systems even provide an opportunity to build a map of the movements of specific people around a site. Besides, it is relevant not only for conducting investigations but also in countering the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Identifying and tracking COVID-19 positive cases Therefore, if an employee or visitor with a positive COVID-19 test enters a facility, the system will help to track his/her movement and identify his/her specific location. It will also help to take the necessary measures for spot sanitary processing. Thus, the introduction of biometric facial recognition at the industrial enterprise can improve and speed up the incidents’ response and investigations without spending hours watching the video archive. Access control system to secure physical assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets, cut personnel costs, and keep employees safe. Facial recognition systems may enrich access control systems of any company by providing more security. As biometric characteristics, by which the system assesses the compliance of a person with the available profiles in the database, cannot be faked or passed. The human factor is also reduced to zero, due to the fact that while identity documents can be changed, the inspector can make a mistake or treat his/her task carelessly, be in collusion with an intruder, the biometric system simply compares a person in front of the camera with the biometric profiles database. Biometric facial identification software For example, RecFaces product Id-Gate, a specialised software product for reliable access control to the site, checks the access rights by using biometric facial identification alone or in conjunction with traditional IDs (electronic passes, access keys, etc.), which means that there is almost a zero probability of passing to the site by someone else's ID. The access control system’s functionality allows one to strictly account the number and time of all the facility’s visitors and also track their movement. When unauthorised access is attempted or a person from the stop list is detected, Id-Gate sends an automatic notification to the access control system and operator. Enhanced data and information security Even despite the division of access to different industrial enterprise areas, the security service needs to provide independent information system security. Employees with the same facility access rights may have different access rights to data. However, in that case, a personal password is not enough, as an employee may forget it, write it down and leave it as a reminder, tell a colleague to do something for him/her during the vacation, or just enter it at another person’s presence. Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure Password-free biometric authentication Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure. Such systems usually provide an option of two-step verification when successful password entry is additionally confirmed by biometric recognition. Hence, it is particularly relevant due to the current lockdown in many countries. To sum up, the application of biometric technologies solves several issues of the industry, such as: Optimises and partially automates the work of the security service, as it provides reliable identification and verification of visitors/employees, reduces the amount of time spent on finding a person on video and making a map of his/her movements, without spending hours on watching video archive in case of investigation. Provides a high level of reliability and protection from unauthorised access to the enterprise and the information system. Provides a two-step verification of the user/visitor (including password and biometric data) and almost eliminates the risk of substitution of user data/ID.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognise a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customisable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimise security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimise security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioural analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioural anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles. Sensitive data leakage Since the lockdown came into effect, organisations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organisations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession. One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever. Good cybersecurity hygiene Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more" With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Work-life balance In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and travelling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working. Video conferencing platforms Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question. The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office. Online training courses Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organisations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Virtual trade show ‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasising both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry. In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself “In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.” Cloud-based platform As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
Consolidation continued in the physical security marketplace in the turbulent year 2020. There were several mega-deals in addition to shuffling among small and medium-sized companies. Here is a sampling of M&A from this year, compiled from our archive of company news. With the changing economic climate, how much more is ahead in 2021? Stay tuned. Wesco merges with Anixter WESCO International, Inc., a provider of business-to-business (B2B) distribution, logistics services and supply chain solutions, announced it completed its merger with Anixter International Inc., creating a premier, global B2B distribution and supply chain solutions company. Anixter becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of WESCO International. ACRE acquires Razberi ACRE acquired Razberi Technologies, Farmers Branch, Texas, and the product line of intelligent video appliances, automated security software and health monitoring software will be added to and sold under the ComNet brand and portfolio of products. ComNet will now be selling Razberi products through its established channels. Motorola acquires IndigoVision Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base Motorola Solutions says the IndigoVision range of products, global presence and customer base are ‘highly complementary’ to Motorola Solutions' existing presence in video security. Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base. Motorola acquires Pelco “Pelco’s track record of innovation, internationally recognised brand, global channel and customer installed base enable us to further expand our global footprint with enterprise and public safety customers,” said Greg Brown, Motorola Solutions’ Chairman and CEO, about the iconic brand. Johnson Controls swallows Qolsys Qolsys Inc., residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. JCI had already owned a majority stake in the company since 2014. ADT and Google Home partnership The partnership will combine Nest’s award-winning hardware and services, powered by Google’s machine learning technology, with ADT’s installation, service and professional monitoring network to create a more helpful smart home and integrated experience for customers across the United States. Upon the closing of Google’s equity investment in ADT, Google will own 6.6% of ADT’s outstanding aggregate common equity. Securitas acquires STANLEY in Five Countries The acquisition is aligned with Securitas’ ambition to double the size of its security solutions Securitas acquired STANLEY Security’s electronic security businesses in Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore and India. The acquisition is aligned with Securitas’ ambition to double the size of its security solutions and electronic security business and expands Securitas’ electronic security footprint and capabilities. Allied Universal to Buy G4S Ending the year on a high note, the boards of directors managing Allied Universal and G4S reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer. The deal brings to a close a six-month bidding war for G4S. The combined business is expected to generate approximately $18 billion in annual revenues with a global workforce of more than 750,000 people in 85 countries. Quantum acquires Western Digital business line Quantum Corporation entered into an agreement with Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp., to acquire its ActiveScale object storage business. The acquisition demonstrates Quantum’s commitment to innovation and growth, extending the company’s leadership role in storing and managing video and unstructured data using a software-defined approach. AVA/Vaion/Jazz Networks Ava, a unified security company, announced the completion of the merger between Jazz Networks, renowned cyber security insider threat detection and response firm; and Vaion, an end-to-end video security solutions provider. Ava is now positioned to deliver unified cyber and physical security solutions to organisations worldwide.
In the latest testing phase for the Emergency Services Network (ESN) project with the Home Office, Frequentis has successfully demonstrated the additional voice and data feature set. The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) is delivering the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) critical communication system, which will replace the current TETRA-based Airwave system with a new LTE-Mission Critical Services (LTE-MCx) 3GPP based radio communication system in Great Britain. Life-saving data ESN will transmit fast, safe and secure voice, video and data across the 4G network and give first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline. Frequentis is working directly with the Home Office on the development of a gateway, which will connect Frequentis multimedia communications platform 3020 LifeX to the new ESN. The gateway will provide an Airwave-comparable feature set, and, once ready, will be installed and tested within the Ambulance Radio Program (ARP), a reference customer of Frequentis' and which is working closely with the Home Office. The two recent successful test demonstrations against ESN have allowed Frequentis to show the Home Office the intermediate progress of the project. Participation took place remotely, allowing the momentum of the project to continue despite the challenges of COVID-19. Frequentis 3020 LifeX We are pleased to be able to adapt LifeX to fit the needs of ESN in order to further support emergency services operators" "Testing this time included group call, private call (in/out), ambient listening, status message, emergency calls, text messages and broadcast, all of which were successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of the teams. In addition, we will be delivering functionality to support interworking between existing Airwave and ESN to provide a smooth transition for our customers as they move to the ESN network, allowing both networks to be used in parallel. We are pleased to be able to adapt LifeX to fit the needs of ESN in order to further support emergency services operators in their challenging role," says Andy Madge, Managing Director Frequentis UK. The Frequentis 3020 LifeX is already being implemented for a number of police and emergency services organisations across Great Britain on Airwave, and worldwide, and will be compatible with ESN in due course. The gateway development, supported by subcontractor, Nemergent, will ensure that control room operators using the Frequentis LifeX platform have access to a fully approved and easy-to-use interface into ESN for all mission-critical communications. LifeX has been designed to allow emergency services operators to maximise the benefits of multimedia communications, and when next-generation 999 (NG999) becomes a standard it will also allow members of the public to share images and videos of incidents that can be analysed in real-time.
Enjoy a bird's eye view of Cologne! Every year, over half a million passengers soar over the Rhine at a height of 30 metres with the Cologne Cable Car – and are rewarded with an unparalleled view of the city and cathedral. For ensuring the safety of the carrying rope construction, Kölner Seilbahn relies on the Panomera® camera technology of Regensburg-based manufacturer Dallmeier. The Cologne Cable Car offers an unrivalled view of the Cologne Old Town and its cathedral. Riding in gondolas at a height of 30 metres above the ground, visitors enjoy a bird's eye view of Cologne, the Old Town, the River Rhine, and the beautiful city environs. Video security technology The Cologne Cable Car has been featured as an established attraction of the city for over 60 years, and every year more than half a million passengers enjoy the 930-metre-long aerial trip over the Rhine. In order to ensure that the 44 cars reach the end stations in Riehl and Deutz safely from spring to autumn, the operators have decided to install video security technology from Dallmeier. The Cologne Cable Car has featured as an established attraction of the city for over 60 years The Cologne Cable Car project is the first undertaking anywhere in the world in which the patented Panomera® camera technology is used to monitor a cable car carrying rope. In order to guarantee the passengers' safety at all times, the operators require rapid visual detection of possible technical problems, particularly in the structure of the carrying cable. Preventing technical problems Carlos Castro, Operations Manager of Kölner Seilbahn, explains: "Besides the approach of the gondolas to the stations, we observe the way they run onto the pylons. 30 metres up in the air, it is quite possible that a good gust of wind can set the cable and the pylons swinging. To enable early detection of incidents that cause the gondolas to approach the sensitive points out of alignment and to prevent technical problems, we decided to introduce video surveillance using the proven, patented Panomera® camera technology." The carrying rope is supported on a total of three pylons over the entire distance of just under one kilometre. The resulting distances between the stations and the pylons range in length from 100 metres up to a considerable span of 480 metres over the Rhine itself. Extremely high quality The operators of the Cologne Cable Car found exactly the right solution in Panomera® technology Consequently, their project partner VTS Video Technik Systeme GmbH, which was responsible for erection operations, only had access to a few installation points, but at the same time, the specification in respect of imaging and resolution quality was extremely high. Simply put, this meant that images must be recorded over very long distances, but at the same time, the image material must still be of extremely high quality. Together with the VTS, the operators of the Cologne Cable Car found exactly the right solution in Panomera® technology. VTS GmbH has been a reliable, capable business partner to Dallmeier for many years, and brings the necessary expertise to the project based on long experience. Multifocal sensor system The Panomera® multifocal sensor system is considered to have revolutionised video surveillance. It was developed specifically to provide full area coverage with video protection for large spaces and long distances. The particular feature of the technology is that multiple sensors having different focal lengths are installed in a single housing and a special software program compiles a total image in high resolution. This technical advantage gave us the decisive edge in view of the specified infrastructure" In this way, huge distances and expanses can be captured with a uniform resolution raster over the entire area of interest in real-time. Jürgen Vahlenkamp, managing director of VTS GmbH explains in more detail: "This technical advantage gave us the decisive edge in view of the specified infrastructure. For video observation with the Panomera®, we managed extremely well with the small number of installation points available.” Potential hazard situations “Thanks to the special lens and sensor concept we do not fall below the specified resolution value even in the more distant image areas. The ideal prerequisite for surveillance over very long distances!” The rollers themselves are also monitored using Dallmeier IR box cameras. The operator has full control over the entire situation over the entire length of the cables between the pylons, live and in high-resolution video images. In potential hazard situations, he can view details in a separate zoom image without losing sight of the overall action. In theory, any number of operators would be able to ‘take a close look’ at a wide range of image areas at the same time. Analysing detailed picture We have succeeded in ensuring that the process of cable car operation is as safe as possible" "The operator has the situation under control at all times! He has access to an uninterrupted total view of the cables and the pylons while analysing a detailed picture of a certain area, at the same time if necessary,” continues Vahlenkamp, "We have succeeded in ensuring that the process of cable car operation is as safe as possible, to the complete satisfaction of our customer." The wind that blows against the masts and cables 30 metres above the ground can cause them to start rocking and poses certain challenges not only for the operation of the gondolas but also for the installation of the cameras. To ensure that the camera systems – each weighing more than ten kilos – are not damaged or themselves become a hazard, the cameras were secured to the pylons using special plates. Real-life implementation The lenses themselves are installed immovably inside the camera housing and are unaffected by any swinging motion. In view of the special requirement of this project, the Dallmeier 3D planning team first simulated a digital twin of the entire surrounding area. With this approach, the manufacturer Dallmeier ensures that planning and real-life implementation match each other as closely as possible, and the customer benefits from the highest certainty regarding both the plan and their investment. The next step in the project execution was to construct and test the finished system The next step in the project execution was to construct and test the finished system, consisting of cameras and a high-performance recording appliance. In Dallmeier's own Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) Centre in Regensburg, the systems were pre-set according to the customer's specification. The ‘FAT test run’ which follows ensures that project partner VTS will be able to install and commission the preconfigured system quickly and without difficulties. Reliable technical monitoring Carlos Castro sums up: "We're delighted. At last, we are in a position to monitor the entire span of 930 metres during operation. The images delivered are of outstanding quality. With this system we now have a good, additional tool which enables the system to be displayed visually, complementing the existing, reliable technical monitoring and control systems." In public areas, data protection and EU GDPR are important topics. Dallmeier's technology is compliant with all required criteria for data protection and data security, including during application in public areas. Roland Deja, Operations Manager Sales Backoffice at Dallmeier: "With the Dallmeier solution, we have given the go-ahead for cable car monitoring projects. The integrated approach adopted in Dallmeier solutions means that both the cameras and software can be upgraded, e.g., with AI-based assistance systems, at a later time as well. Thus, systems will remain viable for many years into the future and guarantee investment security for the Kölner Seilbahn."
Aperio wireless locks from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions now integrate seamlessly with the versatile AEOS access control by Nedap to bring a range of concrete business benefits. Optimising access control with these battery-powered wireless locks can boost convenience for building users and help make better use of spaces. It can increase efficiency by enabling the integration of functions and processes across the organisation. Existing AEOS users can integrate battery powered Aperio devices to extend the reach of their system. Or, by combining Aperio with AEOS, the user can build a cost-efficient, wire-free access control system from scratch. Aperio cylinders, escutcheons and locks with online (or offline) capability can be implemented alongside existing or new wired doors connected to AEOS. This gives security managers more control over additional rooms or other defined areas at their premises. Seamless and secure integration Devices from the Aperio lock range that integrate with AEOS include the award-winning wireless handle (H100), escutcheon (E100), cylinder (C100) and security lock (L100). Aperio devices are available for almost any interior or exterior door, including wooden doors, glass doors and fire doors. Because all Aperio locking devices are wireless, they can be installed quickly, without causing disruption to buildings or work schedules. The locks are connected to AEOS via communication hubs that allow control of up to 16 locks each One recent ASSA ABLOY benchmarking study finds labour costs for installation are over 80% less for wireless locks versus wired locks. There’s also no inconvenience when it comes to identification: site users continue to gain access with the same credentials they were using before the integration. Aperio online integrations can use different interfaces (for example, RS485 or IP). The locks are connected to AEOS via communication hubs that allow control of up to 16 locks each. Improved and efficient management Offline Aperio integration meets the important OSS-SO industry standard for offline access control, so customers have the freedom to choose the best devices to connect to AEOS. Facility managers can connect both online and offline Aperio devices interchangeably. These multiple integration options allow AEOS users to select the most appropriate locks - whether Aperio wireless or wired - for their specific requirements at each door. “ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio wireless locks enable a complete access control solution using wireless technology,” says Christian Nagel, Nedap channel manager. “It enables us to offer a system with a high level of flexibility.” Facility management Staff and visitors open each door for which they’re authorised with their individually programmed MIFARE credential The AEOS control panel provides a powerful set of functions. It displays events for any Aperio device, including door and battery status, as well as tamper detection. The AEOS software enables full control and efficient management and eliminates unproductive tasks, including the need to duplicate data entry. At Ghent’s Hospital Maria Middelares, Aperio locks combine with AEOS to protect staff, visitors, patients and confidential data, as well as medicines and valuable equipment. Around 700 doors are equipped with Aperio offline locks. They are connected to AEOS, which controls every door, credential and user from a one interface, saving facility managers time and money. Staff and visitors open each door for which they’re authorised with their individually programmed MIFARE credential. Electronic security system Similarly, at Rotterdam’s 16,000-capacity Ahoy Arena, offline integration between Aperio and AEOS offered an affordable way to incorporate mechanically locked doors into an existing electronic security system. Facility managers at Ahoy extended access control without having to change card readers or control panels. The Aperio–AEOS integration at InHolland University of Applied Sciences is online, giving security managers real-time control over their multi-site premises. More than 500 Aperio wireless door devices are deployed at 7 separate InHolland campus locations. These battery-powered locks provide tested and trusted protection for the university’s most important areas, including offices and exam storage rooms. “I am very satisfied with the implementation and operation of the Aperio solution,” says Frans Bruggeman, Facility Services Consultant at InHolland.
Rohde & Schwarz has installed Ireland’s first Quick Personnel Security (QPS) scanner at Kerry Airport, Farranfore, Ireland, delivering state-of-the-art technology that enables a high throughput, enhanced security, and increased safety for airport customers and staff. The airport has chosen the latest model, the latest generation R&S QPS201 launched earlier in 2020, becoming the first Rohde & Schwarz security scanner installation in Ireland. R&S QPS201 security scanner The R&S QPS201 security scanner by Rohde & Schwarz features enhanced second-generation algorithms that increase sensitivity to further boost threat detection while minimising false alarms and reducing processing time. In addition to strengthening security, these performance gains reduce post-alarm manual checks and so help avoid physical contact to ensure social distancing. Moreover, a more efficient scanning time with R&S QPS201 balances the effects of incoming new X-ray inspection systems, which scan items inside baggage that previously had to be removed, such as laptops. The security scanner restores parity to baggage- and personnel-scanning times, helping security staff manage throughput at checkpoints and avoid excessive queueing. Rohde & Schwarz QPS scanners The Rohde & Schwarz QPS scanners are highly regarded by the air travel industry worldwide" “The Rohde & Schwarz QPS scanners are highly regarded by the air travel industry worldwide and the latest technology takes performance to an even higher level,” said Gary Walker of Rohde & Schwarz, adding “I am confident that Kerry Airport and its customers will appreciate the enhancements to service, security, and safety, and that others in Ireland will follow their lead.” Tom O’Driscoll, Chief Security Officer of Kerry Airport, commented “Now is the right time for this investment in the future of Kerry Airport, to meet the heightened expectations for safety and security within our industry. Having recently installed explosives detection systems for cabin baggage (EDS CB), we are proud to now also adopt this state-of-the-art technology in Ireland, which will set new standards for service and well-being.” R&S QPS201 was installed and setup at Kerry Airport with minimal disruption to daily activities. The system is designed to be easy to use, with intuitive graphical displays that require minimal training and let operators quickly achieve full proficiency. Integrated with millimeter-wave technology Leveraging Rohde & Schwarz expertise in millimeter-wave technology and utilising machine-trained software algorithms, R&S QPS201 detects all types of potentially dangerous objects whether metal, ceramic, plastic, or liquid. The harmless low-energy millimeter-waves enable personal privacy to be maintained while capturing high-resolution data that enhances threat detection. The system allows an easy, hands-down posture for scanning, which is comfortable while at the same time ensuring effective screening for safety and security.
Located in the heart of west London, Ealing Council serves the residents and businesses of the UK capital's fourth largest borough. With a vast housing portfolio and a commitment to keeping residents as safe and secure as possible, Ealing Council benefits from the use of PAC’s innovative cloud-based access control solution, PAC Residential Cloud. The London Borough of Ealing comprises seven major towns, Ealing, Acton, Greenford, Hanwell, Northolt, Perivale and Southall. Ealing Council’s task is to provide a diverse range of services to the 350,000 residents residing across the area. It is committed to improving its performance, while ensuring value for money and serving a key part of this is the provision of good quality housing that meets the highest possible standards. Ensuring safety and security of residents In addition to carrying out property allocation, repairs, rent collection, homelessness services and estate management, Ealing Council is responsible for ensuring the security and safety of the tenants living in its 300+ housing blocks. As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system" Daljit Gill, an Electrical Services Manager at Ealing Council commented, “When it comes to administering our multi-site housing portfolio, Ealing Council recognises the advantages that access control technology brings in terms of our ability to effectively access information, issue and configure key fobs and check occupancy status.” He adds, “As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system, which currently comprises around 1,100 doors and 500 controllers.” PAC Residential Cloud Over the last few years the cloud has proven to be a game changer in the way access control technology is designed, configured and used. The PAC Residential Cloud leads the way in allowing organisations to remotely manage and monitor their access control systems. Meanwhile, the PAC controllers, which are being used as part of the Ealing Council’s access control system, utilise the general packet radio service (GPRS) platform, which is a faster and cost-effective means of connecting remote sites via a mobile network. Key fob management and remote diagnostics Sam Flowers, Regional Sales Manager at PAC GDX, explains “Daljit and his team can address technical issues, deal with key fob management, examine diagnostics, view system status, set and unset a system, and gain access to event logs and reports, all from a remote location.” Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals" Sam adds, “Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals, which is obviously restrictive and can lead to a delayed response. We provide a full online training programme to help customers get the best out of their systems and also offer full technical support.” Asked on how the PAC Residential Cloud makes his day to day working life easier, Ealing Council’s Daljit Gill responded by stating, “I can address connection issues, manage the system and troubleshoot from wherever I happen to be, using my PC, tablet or smartphone. Not only is this convenient, it also saves me a huge amount of time, as I don’t have to go into the office to log-in.” Fully auditable system He adds, “Two of my colleagues also have permission to use the system remotely, although we could share access with up to 15 administrators if required, with each person only given access to information that relates directly to their role.” Daljit further said, “One of the main features of the system is that it is fully auditable, meaning that any activity can be monitored in real time and traced directly back to a specific user via their unique password.” Adherence to GDPR and strong data protection policy Ealing Council strictly adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has implemented a strong data protection policy. PAC Residential Cloud is hosted with The Bunker, a trusted PAC partner, whose UK data centres are located in former nuclear bunkers and certified to the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob" PAC Residential Cloud also offers Ealing Council some less obvious benefits. Sam Flowers comments, “The data collected by the access control system can be used to issue an alert if a resident’s key fob hasn't been used during a specific period, identify patterns of behaviour that could suggest illegal activity, flag-up if someone is subletting a property or even detect if a tenant is using a cloned key fob.” Sam adds, “If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob. Furthermore, the PAC Residential Cloud has also helped Ealing Council adopt a business as usual approach during the coronavirus pandemic by limiting physical interaction, while still enabling a prompt and effective response.” Fully IP-based access control system As well as enjoying the operational advantages of the PAC Residential Cloud, Ealing Council is also planning to advance its transition to a fully internet protocol (IP) based access control system by upgrading to PAC’s 512DCi digital networkable access controllers. Daljit Gill concludes by stating, “Installing the PAC 512DCi’s will allow us to maximise operational effectiveness through our investment in the PAC Residential Cloud. We will also be able to utilise PAC’s high frequency OPS MIFARE DESFire EV1 readers, which have been tested to meet Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128 bit compliance. This will further reduce the risk of key fob cloning and ensure that our tenants benefit from improved levels of security.”
The Very Group is the UK’s largest integrated digital retailer and financial services provider. It offers 1,900 brands to its four million customers. Due to the company’s growth, it built a new state-of-the-art fulfilment centre - close to one million square feet - to centralise operations and drive efficiency. The Very Group has historically operated from three fulfilment centres in the north of England. Due to the business’ growth, it needed a new, purpose-built and automated facility in a central, well connected location; that could accommodate all one-man fulfilment and returns operations on one site, and that provided room for continued expansion. The space offered by the new site in the East Midlands means that The Very Group can process more orders and use new technology to make the business more responsive, reducing the time it takes to get products to customers. Support business growth The site’s position in the East Midlands, adjacent to the M1 and East Midlands Airport, with its own rail freight terminal, will enable the business to increase its cut-off time for next day delivery to midnight from 7pm, and explore the introduction of same day delivery in the future. A crucial aspect of the new hub was security - with the need to not only secure the site and the stock inside, but implement solutions which would benefit the wider business too. The Very Group required a platform which could provide the business-wide value it was seeking The Very Group required a platform which could unite operations and provide the business-wide value it was seeking. The company approached Grantfen, initially on a consultancy basis, to guide the organisation on the route it should be taking and the technologies that could support its ambition. Grantfen quickly recognised the scope of The Very Group’s ambitions for a platform that was easy-to-use and that could bring together information from hundreds of different sensors and technologies. Incorporating video surveillance It put forward a comprehensive solution built on the Genetec Security Center unified platform. Incorporating video surveillance and analytics, access control, automatic number plate recognition and integration with other key business systems, this allowed The Very Group to deploy best of breed technologies from a range of vendors including HID Global, Axis Communications and SenStar. Perhaps the most important solution needed was tracking who was coming in and out of the building - with such a large workforce, combined with inbound and outbound deliveries, the facility has hundreds of people inside at any one time. Previously, security manually searched people selected at random. However, thanks to the robust Genetec software development kit, and Grantfen’s specialist development expertise, The Very Group has been able to adapt the solution and write its own code in order to use the access control system to implement truly random searches. Number plate recognition This has involved getting permission to hold employee data, but again, thanks to the new system brought together by Security Center, the data is housed safely. Moving from three fulfilment centres into one, consolidated facility meant a change in operations for The Very Group, and security needed to mirror this evolution. Therefore, with the volume of traffic coming in and out of the site increasing, The Very Group implemented automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Heavy goods vehicles could be monitored coming in and out of the site, enabling those in the diary to enter and exit the grounds in an efficient manner. Plus, with timestamps now able to show when vehicles entered or exited the grounds, it helped with yard management and traffic flow, with Security Center able to generate reports on how traffic is moving around the yard. Employees are able to take advantage too - with the ANPR recognising them and seamlessly letting them into the car park. Health and safety standards The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment centre, means a new era for the group" This enhanced integration has benefitted other areas of the business too. The CCTV control room is now able to monitor fulfilment centre flow, looking at movements such as trailers, to help maximise efficiencies and ensure high health and safety standards. Dean Cooper, Head of Security at The Very Group, commented: “The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment centre, means a new era for the group. We are a digitally-led business, and the fact we are now able to enhance operations and yield more value from security functions is going to help us operationally. Genetec and Grantfen have played a huge part in accelerating our sophistication in this area, and I look forward to how we can gain increasing insights from all the technology has to offer.” Deep integration and analytics While the roll-out has been relatively recent, the positive effects are already being felt across the business. This has led to future plans about what else could be introduced - all underpinned by Genetec Security Centre. “Genetec Security Centre is helping to improve inter-departmental collaboration thanks to its reporting functions, alongside benefiting operations and ensuring the security of the facility. We are an ambitious business, and as we grow we need a system that will continue to evolve with our requirements. Genetec enables this, and alongside its deep integration and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over years to come”, concluded Cooper.
Round table discussion
Artificial intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword in the security marketplace. In some cases, smarter computer technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) are helping to transform how security operates. AI is also expanding the industry’s use cases, sometimes even beyond the historic province of the security realm. It turns out that AI is also a timely tool in the middle of a global pandemic. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the security market?
Video storage has been a challenge since the days of VCRs and videotape. Storing images is a central need for any video systems, especially one that is focused on the forensic and investigative aspects of video. Today, digital video is stored on hard drives and even in the cloud. Increasingly, video is considered “data” that drives a variety of video analytics and even artificial intelligence (AI) applications. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in video storage?
Serving customer needs is the goal of most commerce in the physical security market. Understanding those needs requires communication and nuance, and there are sometimes surprises along the way. But in every surprising revelation – and in every customer interaction – there is opportunity to learn something valuable that can help to serve the next customer’s needs more effectively. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what was the best lesson you ever learned from a security end user customer?
Data Security: Manufacturers & Suppliers
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