International Security Expo is returning to Olympia London, in London, United Kingdom, in September 2021, with a range of pavilions and zones, each dedicated to a particular field of security, in order to help visitors navigate the show with ease. One of the zones, the Disaster & Resilience Zone, will combine the latest innovations in crisis management with a comprehensive education programme. International Security Expo 2021 Attendees will be able to network face-to-face with the zone&rs...
ONVIF, the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, has announced that it will end its support for Profile Q early next year since it contains certain specifications that are no longer consistent with current cyber security best practices. Profile Q Profile Q was developed to provide an easy setup of a conformant device on an IP network. It requires a Profile Q conformant device to allow anonymous access to all ONVIF commands, during the setup process in the f...
Comelit Group, as a founder partner to The Security Event, is excited to return to exhibit with the launch of the latest integrated solutions, comprising an array of smart security and fire safety systems for residential and commercial premises. On stand 3a/B10, Comelit will be presenting its new Logifire addressable panel, which has been designed to offer a simple to install, fire safety solution that is compliant with to latest standards. It is complemented with a new range of detectors, offe...
Integrated security manufacturer TDSi announces its forthcoming appearance at The Security Event, the major UK commercial, enterprise, and domestic security event which takes place from 7th-9th September at the NEC Birmingham. As one of the first major UK security sector events since the pandemic, TDSi will be showcasing its latest products - including the newly enhanced TDSi GARDiS range of hardware and software systems. Benefits of GARDiS range Looking ahead to Th...
Aqua Security, the pure-play cloud-native security solutions company, has announced the availability of its new Aqua Platform, with a unified console to ease the journey from scanning and visibility to workload protection in cloud-native environments. Aqua Platform The new Aqua platform reduces administrative burden and allows security teams to start with scanning and cloud security posture management (CSPM) capabilities, then add in sandboxing capabilities and workload protection as needed. T...
APi Group Corporation (APi Group) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Chubb Fire & Security Business (Chubb) from Carrier Global Corporation for an enterprise value of US$ 3.1 billion, which is comprised of US$ 2.9 billion cash and approximately US$ 200 million of assumed liabilities and other adjustments. Chubb Fire & Security Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Chubb has approximately 13,000 employees globally and a sales and service...
Traka is attending The Security Event 2021, to showcase its latest intelligent solutions in key and equipment management, together with powerful integration capability to improve sector productivity, security and accountability. TrakaWEB software On stand 3a/H50, Traka will be presenting its latest generation TrakaWEB software, offering remote administration with the benefits of faulty item exchange, curfew and fleet management, together with full audit control capability. It can be recorded with instant email notifications linked to specific item movements. Traka will also be highlighting its online access and integration with business systems, to present increased efficiency, resource and significant cost savings, without compromising on safety or security. Smart integration solutions The Security Event is the perfect opportunity to show how our latest solutions can support this objective" Steve Bumphrey, Traka UK Managing Director, stated “Every sector has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and as we continue on the road to recovery, we are now more dependent on technology than ever before. We all must re-evaluate processes and ensure they are the most efficient and effective strategies in place to deliver essential services.” He adds, “The Security Event is the perfect opportunity to show how our latest solutions can support this objective. This is not only to demonstrate how our technical innovations such as TrakaWEB can offer powerful user functionality but also show how our systems with the latest integration can assist with access control. Combined, this offers customers smart solutions to keep control of valuable keys and equipment.” Specialist modular lockers and tablet locker system On the stand at The Security Event 2021, visitors will be able to see live demonstrations of Traka’s latest system offerings, including specialist modular lockers. These modular lockers can be created as bespoke in design, to manage equipment from warehouse devices, to keep operators moving or even provide intelligent access to critical medication in hospital, where it is estimated a nurse spends an hour a day managing keys when he/she could be looking after people. Traka’s dedicated tablet locker system will be used as a part of a dedicated integration zone, showcasing the company’s ability to meet customer needs for a seamless security management system. Traka’s innovative key management portfolio, including scalable L-Touch and S-Touch solutions, offers simple ways to control keys and manage different facilities, including full and compliant audit trail capability of keys and users. The Security Event 2021 Steve Bumphrey said, “The Security Event presents a long awaited chance for Traka to demonstrate its scalable solutions, and show our support for organisations looking to make sure keys and essential equipment are always ready to use by authorised personnel. With assets processed faster and more productively, teams within all sectors can confidently implement new and assured experiences for the people they serve.” For more information on Traka or its product range, please visit stand 3aA/H50 at The Security Event 2021, taking place from September 7 - 9, 2021 at The NEC Birmingham, in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Integrated security manufacturer, TDSi is proud to announce its forthcoming appearance at The Security Event 2021, the major UK commercial, enterprise, and domestic security event, which will take place from September 7 - 9, 2021, at the NEC Birmingham, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. As one of the first major UK security sector events since the pandemic, TDSi will be proudly showcasing its latest products, including the newly enhanced TDSi GARDiS range of hardware and software systems. TDSi GARDiS systems on display Looking ahead to The Security Event 2021, Zara Taylor, the Marketing Manager at TDSi commented, “With the disruptions of 2020, we are particularly excited to be appearing at this year’s event. The key theme on our stand for 2021 is the TDSi GARDiS range, and our expert team will be on hand to demonstrate the various components, integration possibilities, and to discuss the security and practical benefits they deliver.” TDSi will be at Stand: 3a/D40, at The Security Event 2021, which will feature several ‘pods’ showcasing the new GARDiS range, including the GARDiS Web Embedded Controller, GARDiS Software, and GARDiS Bluetooth Low Energy Reader. GARDiS Version 2.2 software TDSi recently unveiled the new Version 2.2 of its powerful GARDiS software TDSi recently unveiled the new Version 2.2 of its powerful GARDiS software, which added a Cause-and-Effect engine to the PRO version, while all versions have gained additional bespoke user records fields for greater detail and flexibility in applications. Additionally, GARDiS now has full integration with Thinking Software’s renowned RotaOne Time & Attendance platform, providing a complete overview of staff movements and the security of facilities – something which is particularly useful in a rapidly changing and evolving world. The Security Event 2021 Zara Taylor stated, “We are debuting a new stand at The Security Event this year which perfectly reflects the exciting new technology that TDSi will be showing. It has been a long time since we have been able to physically meet and interact with visitors at a large UK event, but the NEC is the perfect venue to do this.” She adds, “Geographically central for many parts of the UK (and beyond) in terms of travel, it presents a friendly and well-organised venue for visitors to make the most of what will be on show, with the peace of mind that all safety precautions will be taken to ensure any risks are kept to a minimum. The TDSi team and I are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Stand: 3a/D40 from 7th-9th September!”
CloudSense, the renowned provider of the world's most powerful Configure, Price, Quote, (CPQ) engine, has announced the appointment of Brian McCann as the new Chief Product Officer (CPO). Brian's addition to the team underlines the company's focus on product innovation across end-to-end revenue operations. AI, security and core network expert Brian McCann joins from Nokia Software, where he worked as the Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer Brian McCann joins from Nokia Software, where he worked as the Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), responsible for a wide software product portfolio, including monetisation, AI/analytics, operations, security and core network. Brian has shaped product strategy within market renowned technology companies, such as Oracle, Motorola and Portal Software, for more than 25 years, winning the recognition of industry analysts and commentators within the telecommunications industry. Innovator in product development “CloudSense has a tradition of leading the market in terms of product innovation and we are excited to be bringing Brian on board to extend our product vision further. His experience and leadership will play a critical role in driving business growth in our focus vertical markets and positioning us to enter new segments,” said CloudSense’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jonathan English. Brian McCann, the Chief Product Officer at CloudSense, said “I am proud and excited to join the very talented CloudSense team. Digital Commerce, CPQ, and Order Management are critical, business-enabling capabilities that allow enterprises to drive successful digital transformation strategies and CloudSense has demonstrated that its platform delivers concrete value to customers in the telecommunications, media and utilities industries. Brian adds, “I am now looking forward to working closely with those customers to drive new innovations into the CloudSense portfolio that will give them the competitive edge they need.”
Secure Logiq is joining forces with 360 Vision Technology, AMG Systems, Cortech Developments, Harper Chalice and Suprema, to present a free webinar dedicated to Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) security technologies. CNI security technologies webinar The 1-hour session will take place on Wednesday 28th July at 10am BST (05.00 EDT, 09.00 UTC, 11.00 CEST, 13.00 GST 17.00 SGT) and has been created to offer practical support for those responsible for safety and/or security in the utilities, power, prisons and nuclear CNI sectors, including consultants and installers. The security of Critical National Infrastructure has never been more important or more under threat" “The security of Critical National Infrastructure has never been more important or more under threat,” said Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes, adding “By partnering with these like-minded manufacturers who offer complementing solutions in the CNI space we will use this webinar to deliver a complete system overview. Our hope is to provide an informative and entertaining discussion around the subject with expert insights from across the solutions space.” Covering asset protection and risk management Named CNI Security Technologies - Optimising Risk Management and Asset Protection in the CNI sector, the webinar will cover how effective risk management and mitigation, asset protection, regulatory compliance and cost reduction can be achieved, via the use of innovative technologies. Thanks to the combined expertise of the manufacturers involved, a state-of-the-art, end-to-end solution, which is specifically designed for CNI security applications, will be presented to attendees. Cyber secure optical, thermal and radar camera systems Topics being covered will include cyber secure optical, thermal and radar camera systems, effective and innovative perimeter detection (PIDS), secure network backbone design for large infrastructures, flexible biometric access control with multi-factor and differentiating authentication, and optimised server and storage solutions that can provide a modular and scalable core platform for unrivalled interoperability of third-party security systems, via a centralised single platform hub. “Our aim is for this webinar to be an educational experience for professionals in the CNI sector,” concludes Robin Hughes, adding “We want to create an open discussion around cutting edge technology for Critical National Infrastructure rather than just a dry presentation, and with the additional Q&A session, we want to make this as interactive as possible.”
Vector Flow has announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). Vector Flow’s AI-enabled physical security automation platform interfaces with the OnGuard access control system, to strengthen customers’ security programmes, with integrated identity governance and improved compliance, across their entire cyber-physical security infrastructure. LenelS2 factory certification “Vector Flow has completed required factory testing at LenelS2 to validate the functionality of its interface to the OnGuard system. This interface actively monitors identity provisioning changes, such as on-boarding, off-boarding and location or responsibility changes and triggers Vector Flow to automatically adjust and provision the correct access levels in the OnGuard system,” said John Marchioli, OAAP Product Management at LenelS2, adding “We look forward to their continued involvement in the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program.” “The integration of the Vector Flow advanced physical security platform with the LenelS2 OnGuard system, provides organisations a single source of truth for identity management, while also leveraging the power of AI with data-driven automation to provide significant security and operational benefits,” said Ajay Jain, Founder and CEO of Vector Flow. Vector Flow – LenelS2 partnership Vector Flow empowers organisations to manage all types of identities and their physical access in the OnGuard system Ajay Jain adds, “We are extremely pleased to be working with LenelS2 and look forward to future certifications for new security and business intelligence applications.” Vector Flow empowers organisations with the capability to manage all types of identities and their physical access in the OnGuard system while automating policies for return to work, synchronised on/off-boarding, visitor management, enforcement of access compliance controls, background checks & training pre-requisites, cyber-physical risks, occupancy management, contract tracing and much more. Data-driven physical security platform Vector Flow’s innovative data-driven physical security platform is built on a foundation of advanced AI algorithms capable of processing and analysing vast amounts of data from otherwise disparate security systems and applying automation playbooks to reduce cost and risk. The innovative solution simplifies and improves physical security operations while delivering tangible ROI and lowering TCO, enabling new levels of Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) for physical security. Vector Flow unifies PIAM, surveillance and security systems with alarms, event management and automated ‘playbook’ workflows in real-time, to deliver actionable insights.
Earning the international praise from high-level visitors and exhibitors alike, the first edition of the prestigious defence exhibition, DEFEA 2021 was completed in total success, presenting 315 renowned exhibiting defence industries from 22 countries and visited by 45 official national delegations, represented at political and military level, from 36 countries. From 13th to 15th of July, 2021, Metropolitan Expo, the largest and most advanced exhibition centre in Southeast Europe, hosted highly specialised visitors from 53 countries, representing the most important private and state-owned companies in the world, offering top-tier services and facilitations. DEFEA 2021 event DEFEA 2021 event was globally the first COVID-free defence exhibition that took place in total compliance with all safety measures and health protocols, creating efficiently through excellent organisation and planning a safe environment for networking and cooperation. Inaugurating DEFEA 2021, the Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos underlined that the exhibition ‘is a platform for international contacts, industrial cooperation and exchange of information on modern technological developments’. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said, “There is no doubt that the exhibition will present the most advanced systems that global defence market can provide, proving once again that the evolution of defence systems is a 'driving force' for technology.” Latest technologies and defence systems exhibited The largest and most prominent defence industries around the world participated as exhibitors The largest and most prominent defence industries around the world participated as exhibitors, showcasing their latest technologies and the defence systems that will prevail in the future. Impressive national pavilions with state-of-the-art products and equipment, and private companies with the most advanced solutions in every category of the defence and security sector covered the halls of the exhibition centre, offering to visitors and officials an integrated view of the capabilities of modern military technology. Political and military leaders in attendance The official delegations that visited DEFEA were comprised of political and military leaders of the highest level, invited by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence. The countries that were represented through official presence were: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America. Round-table discussion During the exhibition, leaders of the delegations had important meetings with the Greek hosting Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and the Hellenic military leadership led by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros. A round-table discussion about the European Defence was carried out, in which the Ministers of Defence of Slovenia, Mr. Matej Tonin, of Portugal, Mr. Joao Gomes Cravinho, and of Cyprus, Mr. Charambos Petrides stated their views. The discussion was coordinated by the Executive Director of European Defence Agency (EDA), Mr. Jiri Sedivy, while the Commissioner of Internal Market, Mr. Thierry Breton greeted through video message. Event streamlined live The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defence and the social media The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defence and the social media, with the presence of the Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chiefs of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces. The procurement programme of the Hellenic Navy of 4 new frigates, as well as the parallel solution and the upgrade of in-service frigates was again at the centre of general interest. New frigates purchased by Hellenic Navy Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, referred to the programme, stated “We are going to purchase four frigates that we believe it is necessary some of these ships to be built in Greek shipyards and we must work for that. Not only to have them built in our shipyards, but to have more defence industries that will take part in their construction.” Nikolaos adds, “One of the two shipyards, the ‘Hellenic Shipyards’ of Skaramagas, was acquired by a group of businessmen, led by a Greek shipowner. I think this will give a boost to the domestic shipbuilding industry, beyond the problems of the past.” Airport static display Regarding the development of Greek shipbuilding industry, the Greek Minister of Development and Investments spoke in a related conference in front of an international specialised audience. In parallel with the exhibition, an impressive static display was organised at the nearby international airport of Athens, in a specially designed area. The airport static display was comprised of multi-role aircrafts and helicopters, with highlights an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, a S70 Aegean Hawk naval multi-mission helicopter, a tactical transport NH90 helicopter and an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter for armed reconnaissance. All participants expressed their satisfaction with every detail of the exhibition and they also emphasised on their return to the event in the two years’ time, when it will be held next. The next edition of DEFEA – Defence Exhibition Athens will take place on 9th-11th of May, 2023, at Metropolitan Expo, in Athens, Greece.
James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.
As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behaviour. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behaviour, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organised campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behaviour Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behaviour, particularly when they are the targets of that behaviour. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labour, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditised business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labour-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practice since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.
Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalisation bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organisations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximise the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimising resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimising the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customised and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realise that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognised cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organisations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera AI performance and integration to multi-imager and single-imager IP cameras. Both of these SoCs are manufactured in the ‘5 nm’ manufacturing process, bringing performance improvements and power savings, compared to the previous generation of SoCs manufactured at ‘10nm’. CV5S and CV52S AI-powered SoCs The CV5S, designed for multi-imager cameras, is able to process, encode and perform advanced AI on up to four imagers at 4Kp30 resolution, simultaneously and at less than 5 watts. This enables multi-headed camera designs with up to four 4K imagers looking at different portions of a scene, as well as very high-resolution, single-imager cameras of up to 32 MP resolution and beyond. The CV52S, designed for single-imager cameras with very powerful onboard AI, is the next-generation of the company’s successful CV22S mainstream 4K camera AI chip. This new SoC family quadruples the AI processing performance, while keeping the same low power consumption of less than 3 watts for 4Kp60 encoding with advanced AI processing. Faster and ubiquitous AI capabilities Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions" “Security system designers desire higher resolutions, increasing channel counts, and ever faster and more ubiquitous AI capabilities,” explains John Lorenz, Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Computing, at Yole Développement (Yole), a French market research firm. John Lorenz adds, “Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions for meeting the growing demands of the security IC (integrated circuit) sector, which our latest report forecasts to exceed US$ 4 billion by 2025, with two-thirds of that being chips with AI capabilities.” Edge AI vision processors Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S edge AI vision processors enable new classes of cameras that would not have been possible in the past, with a single SoC architecture. For example, implementing a 4x 4K multi-imager with AI would have traditionally required at least two SoCs (at least one for encoding and one for AI), and the overall power consumption would have made those designs bulky and prohibitively expensive. By reducing the number of required SoCs, the CV5S enables advanced camera designs such as AI-enabled 4x 4K imagers at price points much lower than would have previously been possible. “What we are usually trying to do with our SoCs is to keep the price points similar to the previous generations, given that camera retail prices tend to be fairly fixed,” said Jerome Gigot, Ambarella's Senior Director of Marketing. 4K multi-imager cameras “However, higher-end 4K multi-imager cameras tend to retail for thousands of dollars, and so even though there will be a small premium on the SoC for the 2X improvement in performance, this will not make a significant impact to the final MSRP of the camera,” adds Jerome Gigot. In addition, the overall system cost might go down, Gigot notes, compared to what could be built today because there is no longer a need for external chips to perform AI, or extra components for power dissipation. The new chips will be available in the second half of 2021, and it typically takes about 12 to 18 months for Ambarella’s customers (camera manufacturers) to produce final cameras. Therefore, the first cameras, based on these new SoCs, should hit the market sometime in the second half of 2022. Reference boards for camera manufacturers The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK" As with Ambarella’s previous generations of edge AI vision SoCs for security, the company will make available reference boards to camera manufacturers soon, allowing them to develop their cameras based on the new CV5S and CV52S SoC families. “The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK that is already available on our previous generations SoCs, which makes the transition easy for our customers,” said Jerome Gigot. Better crime detection Detecting criminals in a crowd, using face recognition and/or licence plate recognition, has been a daunting challenge for security, and one the new chips will help to address. “Actually, these applications are one of the main reasons why Ambarella is introducing these two new SoC families,” said Jerome Gigot. Typically, resolutions of 4K and higher have been a smaller portion of the security market, given that they came at a premium price tag for the high-end optics, image sensor and SoC. Also, the cost and extra bandwidth of storing and streaming 4K video were not always worth it for the benefit of just viewing video at higher resolution. 4K AI processing on-camera The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm. By enabling 4K AI processing on-camera, smaller objects at longer distances can now be detected and analysed without having to go to a server, and with much higher detail and accuracy compared to what can be done on a 2 MP or 5 MP cameras. This means that fewer false alarms will be generated, and each camera will now be able to cover a longer distance and wider area, offering more meaningful insights without necessarily having to stream and store that 4K video to a back-end server. “This is valuable, for example, for traffic cameras mounted on top of high poles, which need to be able to see very far out and identify cars and licence plates that are hundreds of meters away,” said Jerome Gigot. The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm Enhanced video analytics and wider coverage “Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S SoCs truly allow the industry to take advantage of higher resolution on-camera for better analytics and wider coverage, but without all the costs typically incurred by having to stream high-quality 4K video out 24/7 to a remote server for offline analytics,” said Jerome Gigot. He adds, “So, next-generation cameras will now be able to identify more criminals, faces and licence plates, at longer distances, for an overall lower cost and with faster response times by doing it all locally on-camera.” Deployment in retail applications Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once Retail applications are another big selling point. Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once (e.g., in a mall), to provide not only security features, but also other business analytics, such as foot traffic and occupancy maps that can be used later to improve product placement. The higher resolution and higher AI performance, enabled by the new Ambarella SoCs, provide a leap forward in addressing those scenarios. In a store setup, a ceiling-mounted camera with four 4K imagers can simultaneously look at the cashier line on one side of the store, sending alerts when a line is getting too long and a new cashier needs to be deployed, while at the same time looking at the entrance on the other side of the store, to count the people coming in and out. This leaves two additional 4K imagers for monitoring specific product aisles and generating real-time business analytics. Use in cashier-less stores Another retail application is a cashier-less store. Here, a CV5S or CV52S-based camera mounted on the ceiling will have enough resolution and AI performance to track goods, while the customer grabs them and puts them in their cart, as well as to automatically track which customer is purchasing which item. In a warehouse scenario, items and boxes moving across the floor could also be followed locally, on a single ceiling-mounted camera that covers a wide area of the warehouse. Additionally, these items and boxes could be tracked across the different imagers in a multi-headed camera setup, without the video having to be sent to a server to perform the tracking. Updating on-camera AI networks Another feature of Ambarella’s SoCs is that their on-camera AI networks can be updated on-the-fly, without having to stop the video recording and without losing any video frames. So, for example in the case of a search for a missing vehicle, the characteristics of that missing vehicle (make, model, colour, licence plate) can be sent to a cluster of cameras in the general area, where the vehicle is thought to be missing, and all those cameras can be automatically updated to run a live search on that specific vehicle. If any of the cameras gets a match, a remote operator can be notified and receive a picture, or even a live video feed of the scene. Efficient traffic management With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself Relating to traffic congestion, most big cities have thousands of intersections that they need to monitor and manage. Trying to do this from one central location is costly and difficult, as there is so much video data to process and analyse, in order to make those traffic decisions (to control the traffic lights, reverse lanes, etc.). With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself. The camera would then take actions autonomously (for example, adjust traffic-light timing) and only report a status update to the main traffic control centre. So now, instead of having one central location trying to manage 1,000 intersections, a city can have 1,000 smart AI cameras, each managing its own location and providing updates and metadata to a central server. Superior privacy Privacy is always a concern with video. In this case, doing AI on-camera is inherently more private than streaming the video to a server for analysis. Less data transmission means fewer points of entry for a hacker trying to access the video. On Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S SoCs, the video can be analysed locally and then discarded, with just a signature or metadata of the face being used to find a match. No actual video needs to be stored or transmitted, which ensures total privacy. In addition, the chips contain a very secure hardware cyber security block, including OTP memory, Arm TrustZones, DRAM scrambling and I/O virtualisation. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to replace the firmware on the camera, providing another level of security and privacy at the system level. Privacy Masking Another privacy feature is the concept of privacy masking. This feature enables portions of the video (say a door or a window) to be blocked out, before being encoded in the video stream. The blocked portions of the scene are not present in the recorded video, thus providing a privacy option for cameras that are facing private areas. “With on-camera AI, each device becomes its own smart endpoint, and can be reconfigured at will to serve the specific physical security needs of its installation,” said Jerome Gigot, adding “The possibilities are endless, and our mission as an SoC maker is really to provide a powerful and easy-to-use platform, complete with computer-vision tools, that enable our customers and their partners to easily deploy their own AI software on-camera.” Physical security in parking lots With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot One example is physical security in a parking lot. A camera today might be used to just record part of the parking lot, so that an operator can go back and look at the video if a car were broken into or some other incident occurred. With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, first of all, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot. Additionally, it will be able to detect the licence plates of all the cars going in and out, to automatically bill the owners. If there is a special event, the camera can be reprogrammed to identify VIP vehicles and automatically redirect them to the VIP portion of the lot, while reporting to the entrance station or sign how many parking spots are available. It can even tell the cars approaching the lot where to go. Advantages of using edge AI vision SoCs Jerome Gigot said, “The possibilities are endless and they span across many verticals. The market is primed to embrace these new capabilities. Recent advances in edge AI vision SoCs have brought about a period of change in the physical security space. Companies that would have, historically, only provided security cameras, are now getting into adjacent verticals such as smart retail, smart cities and smart buildings.” He adds, “These changes are providing a great opportunity for all the camera makers and software providers to really differentiate themselves by providing full systems that offer a new level of insights and efficiencies to, not only the physical security manager, but now also the store owner and the building manager.” He adds, “All of these new applications are extremely healthy for the industry, as they are growing the available market for cameras, while also increasing their value and the economies of scale they can provide. Ambarella is looking forward to seeing all the innovative products that our customers will build with this new generation of SoCs.”
Imagine a world where video cameras are not just watching and reporting for security, but have an even wider positive impact on our lives. Imagine that cameras control street and building lights, as people come and go, that traffic jams are predicted and vehicles are automatically rerouted, and more tills are opened, just before a queue starts to form. Cameras with AI capabilities Cameras in stores can show us how we might look in the latest outfit as we browse. That’s the vision from Panasonic about current and future uses for their cameras that provide artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities at the edge. Panasonic feels that these types of intelligent camera applications are also the basis for automation and introduction of Industry 4.0, in which processes are automated, monitored and controlled by AI-driven systems. 4K network security cameras The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications Panasonic’s 4K network security cameras have built-in AI capabilities suitable for this next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications. The AI engine is directly embedded into the camera, thus reducing costs and Panasonic’s image quality ensures the accuracy of the analytics outcome. FacePRO facial recognition technology Panasonic began advancing AI technology on the server side with FacePRO, the in-house facial recognition application, which uses AI deep learning capabilities. Moving ahead, they transitioned their knowledge of AI from the server side to the edge, introducing i-PRO security cameras with built-in AI capabilities last summer, alongside their own in-house analytics. Moreover, in line with the Panasonic approach to focus more on collaboration with specialist AI software developers, a partnership with Italian software company, A.I. Tech followed in September, with a range of intelligent applications, partially based on deep learning. Additional collaborations are already in place with more than 10 other developers, across the European Union, working on more future applications. i-PRO AI-capable security cameras Open systems are an important part of Panasonic’s current approach. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable cameras are an open platform and designed for third-party application development, therefore, applications can be built or tailored to the needs of an individual customer. Panasonic use to be a company that developed everything in-house, including all the analytics and applications. “However, now we have turned around our strategy by making our i-PRO security cameras open to integrate applications and analytics from third-party companies,” says Gerard Figols, Head of Security Solutions at Panasonic Business Europe. Flexible and adapting to specific customer needs This new approach allows the company to be more flexible and adaptable to customers’ needs. “At the same time, we can be quicker and much more tailored to the market trend,” said Gerard Figols. He adds, “For example, in the retail space, enabling retailers to enhance the customer experience, in smart cities for traffic monitoring and smart parking, and by event organisers and transport hubs to monitor and ensure safety.” Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems Edge-based analytics Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems. On one hand, there are monetary benefits - a cost reduction results from the decreased amount of more powerful hardware required on the server side to process the data, on top of reduction in the infrastructure costs, as not all the full video stream needs to be sent for analysis, we can work solely with the metadata. On the other hand, there are also advantages of flexibility, as well as reliability. Each camera can have its own individual analytic setup and in case of any issue on the communication or server side, the camera can keep running the analysis at the edge, thereby making sure the CCTV system is still fully operational. Most importantly, systems can keep the same high level of accuracy. Explosion of AI camera applications We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications" “We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications,” said Gerard Figols, adding “However, it doesn’t mean the hardware is not important anymore, as I believe it’s more important than ever. Working with poor picture quality or if the hardware is not reliable, and works 24/7, software cannot run or deliver the outcome it has been designed for.” As hardware specialists, Figols believes that Panasonic seeks to focus on what they do best - Building long-lasting, open network cameras, which are capable of capturing the highest quality images that are required for the latest AI applications, while software developers can concentrate on bringing specialist applications to the market. Same as for smartphones, AI applications will proliferate based on market demand and succeed or fail, based on the value that they deliver. Facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line technologies Panasonic has been in the forefront in developing essential AI applications for CCTV, such as facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line. However, with the market developing so rapidly and the potential applications of AI-driven camera systems being so varied and widespread, Panasonic quickly realised that the future of their network cameras was going to be in open systems, which allow specialist developers and their customers to use their sector expertise to develop their own applications for specific vertical market applications, while using i-PRO hardware. Metadata for detection and recognition Regarding privacy, consider that the use of AI in cameras is about generating metadata for the detection and recognition of patterns, rather than identifying individual identities. “However, there are legitimate privacy concerns, but I firmly believe that attitudes will change quickly when people see the incredible benefits that this technology can deliver,” said Gerard Figols, adding “I hope that we will be able to redefine our view of cameras and AI, not just as insurance, but as life advancing and enhancing.” i-PRO AI Privacy Guard One of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard Seeking to understand and appreciate privacy concerns, one of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard that generates data without capturing individual identities, following European privacy regulations that are among the strictest in the world. Gerard Fogils said, “The combination of artificial intelligence and the latest generation open camera technology will change the world’s perceptions from Big Brother to Big Benefits. New applications will emerge as the existing generation of cameras is updated to the new open and intelligent next generation devices, and the existing role of the security camera will also continue.” Future scope of AI and cameras He adds, “Not just relying on the security cameras for evidence when things have gone wrong, end users will increasingly be able to use AI and the cameras with much higher accuracy to prevent false alarms and in a proactive way to prevent incidents." Gerard Figols concludes, “That could be monitoring and alerting when health and safety guidelines are being breached or spotting and flagging patterns of suspicious behaviour before incidents occur.”
Following its recent acquisition, Vidsys will continue to operate, now as an ‘An ARES Security Company’. The Vidsys brand is known worldwide for its PSIM (physical security information management) solution and the acquisition will accelerate the next generation of products that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance their value to Vidsys clients and the overall market. ARES Security Corporation has developed and deployed security and public safety software solutions for the past 20 years, solving complex physical security challenges. Their AVERT security software solution supports the full lifecycle of physical security operations: risk and technology assessment and design, training, and intelligent real-time incident response. AVERT security software AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost. Clients are in many market segments including Corporate, Military, Government, Power, Data Centres, Transportation and Ports. Vidsys’ PSIM will immediately be improved by incorporating AVERT C2 (Command & Control), allowing clients access to expanded capabilities and an advanced technical roadmap. “Over time we will migrate the Vidsys technology to our state-of-the-art, multi-tenant SaaS architecture that includes secure, multi-site data sharing, an updated library of connectors, and integration to the AVERT digital twin, artificial intelligence/machine learning and automation capability,” said Ben Eazzetta, ARES Security Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Technical roadmap for upgrading to AI-PSIM platform “We are a client-centric company, and we will continue to support Vidsys clients,” stated Ben Eazzetta, adding “We will focus initial efforts towards closing any required and promised capability gaps and offer a significantly improved technical roadmap for the platform to be upgraded to AI-PSIM.” Additional AVERT products will be made available to Vidsys clients in a ‘cost-effective way’. They include technology for assessment and design, virtual tabletop and virtual reality training and enhanced AI and robotics capability surrounding the digital twin. A ‘digital twin’ is a digital representation of a physical object. Rapid incident response and robotic sentries interfaces ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation for rapid incident response ARES has a strong market position in several verticals that require a robust and automated next-generation AI-PSIM. The ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation that enable rapid incident response and incorporate advanced features, such as interfaces to robotic sentries. “These capabilities, along with a more automated deployment process, will allow Vidsys to scale their acquisition of customers across key verticals in which ARES is already active. This automated deployment process will also open new opportunities to work with system integrators who have shied away from PSIM projects in recent years,” stated Ben Eazzetta. Optimising security operations ARES believes the physical security market is underserved by technology that optimises operations. Ben Eazzetta adds, “All of our products are designed to optimise security operation, and the acquisition of Vidsys allows us to accelerate the development of the next generation PSIM that is adaptive and intelligent, powered by AVERT’s AI, and Modelling and Simulation system.” Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors, providing an integrated real-time incident response system powered by a rules engine. Together, the AVERT/Vidsys solution seeks to transform the way security operations centres (SOCs) operate and respond to emergencies. Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors Managing security at multiple sites Ben Eazzetta said, “There’s no denying that some in the security industry see PSIM as a four-letter word. But PSIM exists because it meets a need in the security operations centre that cannot be met by either video management or incident management systems. It is critical that PSIM evolves to meet the rapidly changing demands of enterprise clients.” He adds, “Our clients need to manage security at multiple sites, each with different security plans and threats, they need adaptive rules engines to manage complex incidents and emergency responses, and they need automation to seamlessly command and control all security assets, including robotic assets.” Flexible and intelligent software Future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation “The future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation that enables very rapid incident response and incorporates advanced capabilities such as interfaces to robotic sentries,” said Ben Eazzetta. He adds, “To achieve this, we are replacing the brittle, difficult-to-configure rules engine of today’s PSIM with machine learning and AI capabilities that can produce automated/optimised responses or recommendations in near real time.” SaaS-enabled and remotely hosted system The systems will be SaaS-enabled, remotely hosted and easily configurable to reduce the cost and time of deployments for large enterprise implementations and easily supported by end-users, and system integrators. In a post-Covid-19 world, it is critical that enterprise security software solutions be adaptive, intelligent, automated and offer the ability for disparate teams to share information and collaborate in a meaningful way, while responding to incidents and emergencies in real-time. The ARES/Vidsys offering is a lifecycle solution that meets the needs of enterprise security operations. Next-generation of AI-PSIM “ARES has always pushed the needle of what is possible with our AVERT solution, ever since development of our digital twin technology began in 1999 to protect our nation’s nuclear stockpiles,” said Ben Eazzetta, adding “Today, we continue to innovate with the next generation of AI-PSIM.” So what’s ahead for ARES and Vidsys in 2021? “A lot of Zoom calls!” laughs Eazzetta, adding “We are excited to leverage the decades of hard work that both teams have put into our solutions. We all realise the fantastic opportunity we have been given to create a next-generation AI-PSIM and to open new markets for all of our products and solutions.” He adds, “Combining the two companies will lead to improved development/support capability and significantly improved roadmaps for our clients. We will provide immediate ROI for clients by lowering deployment costs and leveraging the entire suite of products to provide more immediate value while continuing to deliver as promised, like ARES always does.”
The nerve centre at Miami International Airport (MIA) is its Airport Operations Center (AOC), which operates around the clock, monitoring activity, responding to safety and security incidents, disseminating information and responding to requests from stakeholders throughout the airport. Incident logging at the AOC An essential daily task for the AOC team is incident logging, with approximately 70 detailed logs being created each day, and that number is set to rise, as a result of internal process changes within the department. Rupen Philloura is the Director of Terminal Operations & AOC at Miami International Airport and he explains, “The MLS logging system was a 25-year-old custom-built application. It was familiar for our operators to use, but it was unwieldy, unreliable, and inefficient. With logging being such a critical and growing aspect of our day-today operations, we needed to upgrade to a state-of-the-art unified platform.” Situator enterprise incident management system The platform chosen by the airport was the renowned enterprise incident management system, Situator, from Qognify The platform chosen by the airport was the renowned enterprise incident management system, Situator, from Qognify, a company whose solutions are trusted by airports around the world. Miami itself was already working with the company, using its NiceVision video management system (VMS) and analytics solutions across its highly distributed video surveillance system. Currently, the AOC has six Situator-powered stations from which operators monitor the airports Honeywell/EBI fire alarm and Matrix access control systems, as well as its extensive surveillance camera network. Dynamic form functionality Rupen Philloura describes the process, stating “When an alert is raised, the operator must follow a strict set of procedures for that specific event, this might simply be resetting an alarm remotely, or the dispatch of maintenance personnel. Incidents and subsequent actions need to be accurately documented for regulatory compliance purposes, but also to help us to learn and improve how we deal with incidents and events.” The need to manually enter all details has been replaced by the dynamic form functionality within Situator. It automatically populates and logs specific information relating to that incident, saving operators valuable time, and ensuring every log is of a consistently high standard. End-to-end accounts and improved logging Rupen Philloura further stated, “Together with the input of the operator, we are assured that the logs we generate and store are comprehensive end-to-end accounts, which can be quickly and reliably searched, retrieved and reviewed.” The improved logging has also had a noticeable impact on business continuity and operational efficiency, as well as providing an additional layer of protection to the airport from a regulatory standpoint. With the AOC operating a three-shift pattern, it is vitally important that change overs can be completed swiftly and nothing is overlooked. Rupen Philloura adds, “When the next shift logs on to Situator they have instant situational awareness, there is no lag in productivity. They can see what has happened and what requires their immediate attention. During their shift they no longer need to repeatedly log into multiple systems to access information. It is all there on the screen at their station.” Reduced response time to incidents The success of Situator within the AOC has led the airport to begin exploiting its strength as a powerful platform Situator has also reduced the response time to incidents, such as door alarms, as well as access requests from tenants and airport employees, by automating the interaction with the Matrix system. With the old MLS system, both use cases needed to be handled manually. The success of Situator within the AOC has led the airport to begin exploiting its strength as a powerful platform, with higher levels of task automation, ad-hoc forms and reporting, as well as integration with airport-specific and non-specific subsystems (made easier by the API driven Situator), such as its access control system and surveillance cameras. Support for facilities management It is also evaluating its ability to support the facilities management team in ensuring the statutory maintenance of its extensive network of elevators and moving walkways. Mike Bryant is Computer Services’ Sr. Manager at Miami-Dade Aviation Department and he has been impressed not only by the reliability that the web-based Situator is providing, (demonstrated by a drop in support calls from the AOC since the implementation), but also its future potential. Enhanced Airport safety and security Mike Bryant said, “With Situator, we have a platform that we can evolve to positively impact the operations, maintenance, compliance, safety and security throughout our airport. It has opened up possibilities to integrate systems, solve problems and make improvements, without needing to make further investments in standalone solutions.” Rupen Philloura concludes, “Every airport needs a robust, reliable and easy to use logging solution and for MIA it is one of the greatest strengths of Situator. It gives us complete situational awareness regarding when and how an event transpired, who responded, how, and the result. This insight improves our decision-making and feeds a continual cycle of improvement.”
Congress Rental Network Partner, Smart Choice Audiovisuais (Smart Choice), has installed a large Dicentis conferencing and interpretation system from Bosch Security Systems GmbH, at the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Portuguese EU Presidency Headquarters, situated in Lisbon, Portugal. A total of 70 Dicentis and 50 Dicentis Wireless Discussion devices with touchscreens provide the main input. Dicentis Wireless Discussion devices The solution can be used to deliver in-person meetings at the venue, as well as remote and hybrid meetings, so as to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The core of the discussion and interpretation system is identical across all three of the rooms – the main plenary hall, a smaller meeting room and a press room – only varying in the number of discussion devices. “One of the requests from the EU presidency was to have the latest interpretation equipment – the latest models and the most up-to-date technology,” explains Patricia Barbosa, from the Marketing Department of Smart Choice. Bosch’s discussion and interpretation system We have always invested a lot in having modern equipment, so we were the best equipped for the job" Patricia adds, “We have always invested a lot in having modern equipment, so we were the best equipped for the job. Added to that, our CEO Manuel Lopes has been involved in all the previous Presidencies that took place in Portugal and Spain and we have a history of delivering big events with complex logistics. We offered quality and trusted service and very good technicians who have the latest Bosch certifications.” The solution also needed to be able to connect to external streaming platforms to allow remote meetings to include participants that were not able to travel to Portugal. The wired units make up the main systems in the three rooms while the wireless solution adds flexibility when required. Dicentis Interpreter desks with video output In addition to this, simultaneous interpretation is catered for by 20 interpretation booths, featuring the ISO 20109 compliant Dicentis Interpreter desks with video output. With the Dicentis System server acting as the brain of the system, remote participants can be connected into the meeting thanks to the Omneo2Dante Gateway. This Dante gateway allows for audio distribution to various streaming platforms, such as Zoom and WebEx, as well as floor distribution between rooms for socially distanced meetings. In addition to the on-site equipment, six remote booths have been created to function as an interpretation hub away from the Presidency HQ. Communications hub Instead of interpreters travelling with delegations to Presidency meetings in different cities, or asking them to use a standard office set up that they could have at home, this hub provides them with high-quality language-feeds, with the Dicentis Interpreter desks located at the Smart Choice office buildings. As such, interpretation can continue for meetings away from the Lisbon HQ as if the translators were there in person.
Rapid aging population, high healthcare costs, and physician shortages are creating an increasing demand for care at home, especially for seniors with long-term health conditions. The GX-Cubic2 Series Smart Care Medical Alarm from Climax Technology Co., Ltd. (Climax), features an LCD display that shows clock time, temperature, GSM signal strength and sensor faults, to keep users fully informed at all times. GX Smart Care Medical Alarm GX Smart Care Medical Alarm is an all-in-one wellness and personal safety medical alarm solution GX Smart Care Medical Alarm is an all-in-one wellness and personal safety medical alarm solution, bridging medical health monitoring and emergency alarm, to keep seniors safe in their own homes. GX is compatible with Bluetooth medical devices, like blood glucose/blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, etc., to track medical data and remote monitoring directly from caregivers/physicians, and also has telecare alarm features, including voice recognition, emergency monitoring, inactivity monitoring, voice control, and home automation capabilities, in order to assist seniors to have a more secure and healthy living. Some of the major features of the GX-Cubic2 Series include: Bluetooth Medical Device Pairing GX is compatible with Bluetooth Medical devices, like blood pressure/blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, thermometers, etc., to track health and medical data, and allow care-givers/physicians to remote monitor and provide treatment as needed. Smart Home Automation ZigBee, Z-Wave, and/or Bluetooth automation devices incorporated into GX creates a smarter and safer home, by auto-turning on hallway lights at night, to decrease the chance of a fall, or auto turn on the heater, if there is a sudden temperature drop. Voice Recognition GX has built-in voice recognition and can activate an emergency all to CMS by preset vocal commands or keywords. Allowing seniors to receive emergency attention even in situations where they are unable to seek help manually. Location Tracking GX can be paired with BRPD-1 Bluetooth pendant, a small wearable panic button that partners with a smartphone application for GPS location reporting and trigger help alarm with one button press, whether the user is at home or out for a walk. Voice Control GX is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice control to control home electronic devices, allowing seniors to use their voice to make their environment more suitable without lifting a finger. Visual Monitoring and Verification GX can integrate Camera PIR Motion Sensors to deliver real-time visual monitoring and verification. When an emergency occurs, alerts are immediately sent to family members and Monitoring Centre to verify the event and sending immediate assistance as required. Pivotell Advance Automatic Pill Dispenser GX is compatible with Pivotell Advance Automatic Pill Dispenser, keeping secure of all pills, remind users to take their medication, keep track of their medicine intake, and allow caregiver/physician to monitor pill taking results/record and keep an eye on user’s needs. Safety & Inactivity Monitoring GX can support wireless sensor devices, allowing users to add in smoke detectors, water leakage sensors, and gas sensors to monitor emergencies, and motion sensors, door contacts, sensor pad transmitters for inactivity monitoring, to build a healthier, safer independent living. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) & DECT GX’s built-in VOIP function allows users to initiate two-way voice calls to contact CMS and family members during alarms and emergency. With the optional add-on of DECT, GX can pair with voice extenders, talking pendants, call points, etc. placed around the home, to create a safety net and peace of mind. Colour Lighting Function GX also has an LED nightlight featuring both multi-colour adjustment and light level button control for a pleasant ambiance.
The responsibilities of the modern facilities manager combine site security with employee health and safety. At Hydreaulys, a French water and waste management utility, a simple switch to programmable key-based access control helped them make improvements on both counts. Complex security and workflow challenges throughout the utilities sector can push static, mechanical master-key systems beyond their limit. To upgrade their mechanical locking system, the Hydreaulys facilities team prioritised access control technology which was already trusted in the sector — and supplied by a manufacturer with deep industry expertise. Electronic access control Quality guidelines laid down by the utility’s Group Risk Manager were stringent: Alongside filtering access, the locking system should ensure only those with clearance can access potentially hazardous materials stored. Safety and security at their sites must go hand in hand. The solution was eCLIQ. Its programmable cylinders and padlocks are wire-free, so swapping existing mechanical locking for eCLIQ electronic access control was quick and easy. The installation did not require any cabling: Power is provided by the battery inside each user key. As a result, security and site safety is improved, because unauthorised staff is kept away from potentially dangerous materials. Secure system management Access control needs flexibility as our organisation and management of the site is evolving" Now, no one can handle risky products without access authorisation, which is programmed on their personal eCLIQ key and changed whenever needed. Secure system management via the web-based CLIQ Web Manager software puts Hydreaulys’ security managers in total control of access rights: They can filter by building, zone, function or time period. “Access control needs flexibility as our organisation and management of the site is evolving, and the reliable eCLIQ system is evolving with us,” says Jean-Pascal Chuzel, Deputy Agency Director at Water France – Paris Seine Ouest. Devices in the eCLIQ range are robust enough for the demanding environment of a wastewater treatment site: Alongside weather and extreme climate, eCLIQ devices are also resistant to chemicals, humidity and reagents. Facilities management team Their durability saves Hydreaulys both the time and cost of replacing locks regularly. With their new eCLIQ electronic access control system, Hydreaulys has total flexibility in issuing access rights. Fine-grained access permissions ensure only accredited staff and visitors enter designated areas of their premises — enhancing safety. And because every interaction between key and lock is recorded and can be checked, thefts have been reduced. When a key does go missing, it is easily blocked by the facilities management team, maintaining the security, health and safety of everyone who works at or visits Hydreaulys.
Hanwha Techwin a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions announced that We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has selected Hanwha cameras for its new state-of-the-art video surveillance system. First established as a bingo-hall style building by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in the early 1990s, the facility received approval to be revamped into a fully-fledged gaming facility in 2017. To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, this also included a new video surveillance system. Quality cameras When it came time to build the new facility, the Tribal Regulatory Agency, having learned from its earlier attempts, knew they had to find a vendor that wouldn’t let them down. Explains Lee Brown, Lead Surveillance Technician for the Fort McDowell Tribal Regulatory Agency, “We were looking for a manufacturer that had a variety of camera offerings to give us what we wanted and that also had a good reputation for quality.” They found what they were looking for with Hanwha Techwin. Camera coverage The cameras available from Hanwha Techwin enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation The number of cameras available from Hanwha Techwin was a key differentiator for the We-Ko-Pa Resort as it enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation. The range of options was especially important when it came time to design camera coverage for the slot floor in the new facility. This area proved to be challenging in part because it was designed to be flexible and modular. The new design allows the Casino to be dynamic in terms of where they place machines. The challenge then was how to ensure coverage of every machine even as they move around daily. Flexible 4k cameras They initially considered attaching cameras to the ‘cloud’ ceiling so that they could be moved as the configuration changed. But, because it floats below a concrete ceiling, this was not possible. The Casino decided instead to use the higher resolution P series 4K cameras and place them strategically throughout the space. Says Brown, “We had to give very careful consideration to where we placed our cameras. We wanted high quality and flexibility to avoid having to reconfigure and reinstall cameras all the time. The image quality with the Hanwha Techwin cameras gave us the edge we needed to work within our ceiling constraints.” WDR technology The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models. According to Brown, their favorite feature is the quality they deliver at low bitrates. He says, “The majority of our cameras face intense and volatile lighting changes against a backdrop of complex scenery with many moving objects. Hanwha Techwin cameras and their advanced WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology can easily be configured to accommodate these conditions without sacrificing quality or producing obnoxious data streams.” Wisenet wave VMS While part of the interest in Hanwha Techwin was based on the build and image quality of the cameras and variety of the offerings, the Casino was also drawn to the Wisenet WAVE VMS (Video Management System). Says Brown, “We were attracted to the WAVE VMS because our virtualised server and client operating systems are 100% Linux based, and the WAVE client and server applications are well supported on Linux. It works exceptionally well with the Hanwha Techwin cameras and other devices, like HDMI encoders and third-party cameras.” Live central monitoring WAVE also helps operators with live monitoring. As part of their daily routines, operators at the Casino have to actively watch a variety of events and occurrences, including deliveries and vendors on site. Says Brown, “The layout system in WAVE makes it easy for us to organise our cameras into groups. So, when an operator follows someone through the Casino, rather than thinking in terms of which camera covers which machine or specific area, they think more in terms of the geography of the location.” Motion detection To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording Every casino must comply with strict retention requirements in part because forensic examination and maintaining a clear chain of custody are extremely important. At the We-Ko-Pa Resort, they have a one-week minimum retention rate with some cameras keeping video for 30 days. Currently, We-Ko-Pa has 500 terabytes (TB) of redundant ZFS-based network storage. To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording. Explains Brown, “We use motion detection to save on storage. If no motion is detected in a frame, the camera is set up to record at very low quality and low frame rate. If the camera detects motion, then the recording automatically shifts to high-quality mode.” Video surveillance system Moving forward, the Casino is excited about future possibilities for their system, including people counting and using their WAVE VMS to make data-driven decisions. The Casino and Tribal Regulatory Agency aren’t the only ones who recognise the outstanding features and functionality of their new Hanwha Techwin system. The Arizona Department of Gaming, which provides specific mandates for gaming operators in the state, is also impressed. According to Brown, “We have even received compliments for our video surveillance system from the state inspector who was quite impressed with the image quality and the smoothness of the recordings.”
London’s renowned landmark skyscraper, 30 St Mary Axe, more famously known as The Gherkin, has selected Forge, powered by Yardi, to provide an enhanced and efficient visitor management solution for the building. The Gherkin, located in London’s primary financial district, welcomes over 2,000 visitors per week, including restaurant-goers who dine at the noted top-floor situated Helix Restaurant, which is managed by Searcy’s. Forge Bluepoint Cloud-based software solution, Forge Bluepoint also provides real-time data on visitors expected To manage the experience of the visitors, The Gherkin will adopt Forge Bluepoint to provide fast check-in and check-out, and the ability to scan access cards or mobile QR codes in speed lanes for secure admission, to their designated meeting floor. Cloud-based software solution, Forge Bluepoint also provides real-time data on visitors expected and allows for seamless integration with other building management technology solutions. Efficient visitor management “30 St Mary Axe has a number of different tenants who require a journey for their visitors that fits their needs and culture,” said Clare Jackaman, the Operations Manager at The Gherkin. Clare Jackaman adds, “The Forge Bluepoint technology will provide our reception and security staff with an efficient solution, to provide the right level of service and ensure people in the building are visiting safely.” Enhanced security of visitors “We’re excited to add The Gherkin to the growing list of Forge Bluepoint buildings across London,” said Paul Speariett, the Regional Director at Yardi, adding “Working in partnership with The Gherkin team, we have built visitor journeys that provide them with the experience, security and efficiency they need.”
Round table discussion
The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why?
Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerised systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure?