To help support the Fire Door Safety Week 2021 campaign, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland has announced the launch of a new best practice guide - ‘Fire Doorsets’ guide, on how to specify, install, maintain and inspect fire-certified doorsets in residential and commercial buildings. ‘Fire Doorsets’ guide The ‘Fire Doorsets’ best practice guide has been compiled, based on the knowledge and expertise of ASSA ABLOY’s FDIS-trained inspectors, a...
To mark the start of Fire Door Safety Week 2021, Abloy UK calls for greater awareness and education of fire door compliance, highlighting the additional challenges that the adoption of flexible working has placed on managing access control and occupant life-safety in commercial buildings. Pat Jefferies, Commercial Director at Abloy UK, explains: “The commercial working environment has changed drastically over the last year, with many organisations adopting a more flexible way of working w...
PSA, the systems integrator consortium, announces the hiring of Allen Riggs as its new Chief Financial Officer. Riggs comes to PSA with over 20 years’ executive and management experience and most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of The Synergy Company, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements. “Allen is an excellent addition to PSA’s leadership team and has already made an impact in the short time he has been here,” said Matt Barnette, CEO of PSA. “He im...
The Security Industry Association (SIA) names Gabrielle Shea – Public Policy Manager, government relations and public policy at NEC Corporation of America – as the 2021 recipient of the SIA Industry Advocate Award, which recognises leadership in public policy. Shea will be presented with the award on September 21 at Part 3 of the 2021 SIA GovSummit, SIA’s annual public policy and government security technology conference. The SIA Industry Advocate Award – formerly the SI...
LENSEC is proud to announce the integration of their Perspective Video Management Software (PVMS)® with Bosch’s Intrusion Control Panels (B and G Series). This new partnership allows security operators to manage intrusion, fire, and access control systems while monitoring video surveillance cameras from behind one pane of glass. Through the integration, operators can view events issued by the panel, such as gas, fire, and burglar alarms, and send commands to the connected device. Supp...
As the industry welcomed back The Security Event, founding partner Comelit UK successfully inspired customers, presenting the latest smart solutions in stylish door entry, intruder, home automation, fire and CCTV. On stand 3a/B10, Comelit introduced its new Logifire addressable panel, which has been designed to offer a simple to install, richly featured fire safety solution that is compliant to latest standards Well received was Comelit’s latest alarm management software, Horus, presentin...
Altronix, the provider of power and data transmission solutions for the professional security industry, introduces the latest additions to its extensive line of NAC power extenders with a unique rack solution. These new units are ideal for installations where wall space is limited or not an option, providing system designers flexibility when specifying fire alarm systems. Streamlining system design “This rack mount solution streamlines system design and provides installers with a versatile option to deploy fire signalling power, vertically – saving valuable space,” said Ronnie Pennington, Director of Sales, Americas for Altronix Corporation. Both provide 24VDC at 10A and interface with virtually any Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) “The units’ extendable drawer simplifies installation and service - increasing total cost of ownership.” R1002ULADA offers 2-Class A or 4-Class B outputs and model R1042ULADA offers 4-Class A or 4-Class B outputs. Both provide 24VDC at 10A and interface with virtually any Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP). Outputs can be independently programmed for steady, temporal code 3 or strobe synchronisation, as well as repeating a specific signal utilising input to output follower Mode. Audible notification appliances These units synchronise with Potter/Amseco®, Gentex®, System Sensor® and CooperWheelock® notification appliances. Built-in battery charging provides system backup when coupled with RE2R, rack mount battery (red) enclosure which accommodates four 12VDC/7AH batteries. Special features include a horn/strobe sync mode that allows audible notification appliances and visual notification appliances to be silenced at the same time, signal circuit trouble memory to help identify intermittent loop problems, and common trouble input and output for external trouble signals. The Altronix R1002ULADA and R1042ULADA NAC power extenders are NDAA and TAA compliant and carry a lifetime warranty.
As part of a unique growth strategy, Comelit has expanded its team, with the appointment of a dedicated UK Sales Director, Simon Green. In a career spanning more than 25 years in the security industry and with 15 years in senior leadership positions, Simon Green has embraced roles with global companies, including Prosegur, Bosch Security & Safety Systems and Genie CCTV Ltd (Genie). Develop channels and relationships Now, responsible for the development of Comelit’s sales team on a day-to-day basis, Simon Green will strategically coordinate plans to move forward and develop channels, and relationships, in line with an ever-growing smart service and product portfolio. I am joining Comelit, at a very exciting stage, in its journey towards growth" Simon Green said, “I am joining Comelit, at a very exciting stage, in its journey towards growth. As a company renowned for its customer-centric approach, it holds a respected reputation for manufacturing high-quality stylish products, covering both smart security and fire safety. The range and service capability really appealed, all being created to constantly meet customer demand.” Development of sales team Simon Green adds, “This position is a great opportunity for me to join an established, dedicated and highly motivated team. Comelit’s products are highly regarded within the industry and I relish the opportunity to help develop the team even further. I look forward to the exciting challenges ahead and taking the company to the next level.” Francesca Boeris, the Managing Director Comelit UK, said “We are very excited to announce Simon’s appointment to coordinate and develop our well established sales network. Simon brings a wealth of product, market and industry knowledge with him, which will be invaluable to our team and our customers alike.” Strengthening market position in security and fire markets Francesca Boeris adds, “Our decision to invest in additional resources and expertise, to support our sales network, provides a great opportunity for us all to work closer together and further strengthen our market position, not only with each new smart product design, but also from a security and fire safety perspective, and also as a whole company proposition.”
Security is the need of the hour in all the places inclusive of residential places. Adaptable to such circumstances, Matrix Comsec presents simple, easy to configure physical access control solutions suitable for residential buildings and societies. Equipped with all-in-one biometric and mobile authorisation technology along with next-generation networking IP technology and PoE+, Matrix COSEC range of access control solutions are scalable, flexible and highly secured. With systems allowing instant SMS, email notifications and integration with video surveillance, fire alarms, etc, Matrix COSEC access control solution simplifies household security to a click. Access control features Key features of Matrix COSEC access control solution are as follows: Secure sensitive areas such as a playground, electric supply point with advanced access control features. Flexible connectivity, reliable working, and scalable operations. Multi-credential support. Integration with fire alarm, door devices, and other such devices. Centralised power and UPS.
New dates for the 4th edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia have been confirmed, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s largest trade fair for security, safety and fire protection, now scheduled to take place from September 13 to September 15, 2022, at the Riyadh Exhibition Center, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Intersec Saudi Arabia 2022 The annual three-day event is organised by Saudi-based Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE Exhibitions) Group, under licence from UAE-headquartered Messe Frankfurt Middle East, which organises Intersec, the world’s renowned exhibition for security, safety, and fire protection. Alexandria Robinson, Intersec Saudi Arabia’s Show Director at Messe Franfurt, said “We’re pleased to lock in the dates for Intersec Saudi Arabia 2022 at the Riyadh Exhibition Center, and can now look forward to a successful edition with our government partners and international exhibitors." She adds, "Planning is already underway and we’re expecting a sell-out show, with plenty of new updates and business connections, in the Middle East’s largest and fastest growing market for security, safety, and fire protection.” Support from key government entites More than 120 exhibitors from 20 countries are expected to participate next year Intersec Saudi Arabia is supported by key government entities, including the Saudi Ministry of Interior, Saudi Civil Defense, and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), together with the industry at large. More than 120 exhibitors from 20 countries are expected to participate next year, while the customary wide range of value-added conferences covering much-needed discussions and topics will also return. Saudi Arabia's security market to grow exponentially According to analysts - 6WResearch, Saudi Arabia’s market for video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection, along with fire safety equipment, is estimated to be worth US$ 906 million in 2021, a seven percent increase over the previous year (US$ 846.6 million). The market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3 percent, over the next five years, and is estimated to reach up to US$ 1.2 billion in 2026.
The Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) announces an extension of its free job listings for Electronic Security Association (ESA) and Security Industry Association members in an effort to aid in the industry’s economic recovery and workforce development efforts following challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. ESA and SIA members will now be able to list jobs on the FAST Jobs Board for free through August 31, 2022. SIA and ESA members can post jobs for free by taking these steps: Unlock a 100% discount code available through ESA or SIA Visit the post a job page and click through to ‘buy’ a 30- or 60-day job posting Log in (if an existing user) or create an account (if a new user) Complete the post/create a job form and enter the promo code Physical security technology There is no limit to the number of jobs one can post using this discount code. If any company is interested in posting a high volume of job openings, contact FAST about the options for integrating data from the talent management systems. FAST connects passionate, innovative professionals with new opportunities in electronic security FAST is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation promoting careers in the physical security technology and life safety industry. Created in September 2020 through a partnership of ESA and SIA – the pioneering associations – FAST connects passionate, innovative professionals with new opportunities in electronic security and life safety. The foundation brings awareness to the career advancement opportunities within the fast-paced technology industry that serves to keep people, places, and property safe. Cutting-edge technology The FAST website offers job seekers information about the security industry’s growth and unique position at the convergence of cutting-edge technology and a mission that matters, the types of roles available in the industry, what employers are looking for, certifications in physical security, and cybersecurity and a jobs board featuring immediate opportunities in security technology and life safety. The FAST Jobs Board allows job seekers to search by keyword, job title, and location and features thousands of jobs from over 800 companies, and the site’s jobs have earned over 400,000 impressions in 2021. “FAST is proud to offer SIA and ESA members the opportunity to leverage the FAST Jobs Board for free as the security industry turns toward the bright future of the 2020s,” said Paul Hevesy, Chair of the FAST Board of Directors and Vice President of organisational effectiveness at Stanley Black & Decker. Life safety companies Workforce development is one of the top challenges facing the industry" “Workforce development is one of the top challenges facing the industry, and we look forward to partnering with security and life safety companies to boost workforce development through research, education, promotion, and more.” FAST’s key efforts include outreach to schools, colleges, and universities to increase awareness of the exciting and rewarding careers available in security; research on the industry’s workforce development needs and possible solutions; and continuing education resources to help those already in the industry stay current with rapidly emerging and evolving technologies. FAST’s school and outreach programs, research, and resources are funded by individual and organisational donations.
HID Global, a worldwide pioneer in trusted identity solutions launched an enterprise-grade service that enables users to verify the date and time of their electronically or digitally signed documents, code, and other files. The service embeds an irrefutable date and time thereby binding the signer’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) digital certificate to the date and time of their signature. IETF standards HID Global has met the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards RFC 3161 requirements for operating as a Timestamping Authority (TSA). The company is also one of the world’s pioneering CAs and providers of digital certificate products. Cloud-based platform The HID IdenTrust Timestamping-as-a-Service offers a high-availability cloud-based platform for enterprises to embed timestamps to any software application, documents, or digital files by creating and embedding a trusted timestamp date and seal. Manipulation of the file breaks this seal and alerts the user that the file is no longer in its original state. Digital identities PKI digital certificates are strengthened through IETF X.509 verification using a trusted CA signature PKI digital certificates are used to create trusted digital identities for many use cases. They are strengthened through industry-standard IETF X.509 verification using a trusted CA signature. The IETF’s PKI Time-Stamp Protocol (TSP) goes further to establish the signature’s “proof of existence” at an instant in time. Trusted timestamps combat digital certificate forgery, prevent unauthorised use of revoked certificates, simplify time-based compliance record-keeping, strengthen legal claims, and prove long-term signature validity. Application examples include securing antivirus software updates with timestamped signatures. Fingerprint with timestamp Users connect to HID’s always-available Timestamping-as-a-Service to begin the process of creating their file’s unique identifying “fingerprint” and combining it with a trusted timestamp. The resulting timestamp token is sent to the client application and recorded with the file’s digital signature(s). HID’s digital certificate and PKIaaS offerings HID’s offerings are critical for securing information and digital assets inside or outside the firewall HID’s offerings are critical for securing information and digital assets inside or outside the firewall. They enable users to conduct e-commerce, authenticate to regulate and government websites, and secure communications between machines, network endpoints, mobile devices, secure virtual servers, and IoT devices. Availability The HID IdenTrust Timestamping-as-a-Service is available at a low-cost subscription fee with a contractually guaranteed enterprise-grade Service Level Agreement (SLA).
In the past decade, we’ve seen an unfortunate increase in gun-related incidents on school campuses, making security and policy efforts a top priority for educational facilities nationwide. While the causes for this increase are hotly debated in and around the education community, the facts remain that specific steps can be taken to mitigate risks. To tackle this issue, officials from campus stakeholders, law enforcement officials, architects, and security personnel, have met to find solutions for protecting educational facilities. Further complicating matters, educational campuses are again tasked with mitigating health risks associated with COVID-19, as we head into the third pandemic school year. Video communication tools To safely reopen, new technologies and policies in many K-12 and higher education institutions have been released, with many searching for a way to leverage existing security infrastructure. Achieving both health safety and physical security requires an integrated approach—from all-around best practices, to video communication tools and enhanced security infrastructure. The simple intercom has been a security staple in the education market for many years A holistic approach is best to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors. The simple intercom has been a security staple in the education market for many years, but now in a pandemic-centric world, these devices provide a new set of required capabilities. Intercoms, once thought to be a basic security tool, can now be combined with video, offering users the ability to solve multiple pain points associated with COVID-19. Controlled access points In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices for educational decision-makers, as well as how video intercoms can enhance overall security architecture. A school’s first opportunity to mitigate threats lies in its ability to deter threats entering in the first place. This begins with ensuring policies, procedures, and equipment are all up to standard. Most campus shootings and other violent acts occur once the individual has made it through the front door of a building; putting the emphasis on controlled access points at key entries to add an extra barrier of safety between threats and students. While written policies help staff understand how visitors are approved for entry, they should also be informed of more simple items, such as why doors can’t be left propped open, when to lockdown, or how to evacuate during an emergency. Physical security solutions The security industry has also created effective physical security solutions for protecting a campus Another best practice would be training staff to spot signs of distressed and potentially violent students, while providing ways to get help for them. When it comes to campus security, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why security integrators should also be included in planning processes to tailor a custom solution for each campus to address its unique security needs. While best practices, including mental health screenings, stricter discipline codes, and faster law enforcement responses are all crucial to campus safety, the security industry has also created effective physical security solutions for protecting a campus—which includes enhanced two-way video and audio/visual communication solutions such as a video intercom. For years educational facilities have utilised intercoms to manage access, but now, it’s more important than ever to ensure the safety of students and staff by thoroughly vetting all those who enter a building. Providing visual verification Long gone are the days of asking visitors to check in manually using a sign-in book, or simply walking into a school. Best practices now require the presence of a visitor management system (VMS), which is a more accurate and seamless way to manage access. Using a VMS, a campus could add its own custom watch list, which when properly implemented, can provide protection from abuse orders, custodial issues, and offer names and pictures of disgruntled former employees and students. Using a VMS, a campus could add its own custom watch list, which when properly implemented As security technology has become more sophisticated, so have intercom capabilities—extending far beyond what they used to be. Going further than a simple button and speaker system, when used in conjunction with an IP video system, intercoms provide visual verification that the person requesting access into a school building does indeed belong there. Contact tracing solutions Whether it’s a student, parent, or staff member, verifying a person’s identity and ensuring that the individual has proper credentials is key. Pairing an intercom with a camera allows for this important, real-time visual and audio communication between the front office and those requesting access. Additionally, intercoms can be used as contact tracing solutions by leveraging an audit trail in case of an outbreak. For example, if a number of students at a college or university all use a mobile app to gain access to a dormitory through an intercom system, in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19, they are able to contact all students, staff, or visitors who frequent that building. IP video intercoms can assist in pandemic related and security use cases by limiting unnecessary human-to-human interaction and replacing that with remote management capabilities. Remote monitoring station Remote monitoring allows for eyes on a facility while personnel are not physically present There is increased flexibility when working from a mobile app, or remote monitoring station, especially for security directors or officers on educational campuses. For example, if a campus is not able to staff a lobby of a building or a dormitory, they can remotely manage access from a mobile device. This enables security personnel to access video feeds and directly communicate with students or staff requesting access into a building. Remote monitoring allows for eyes on a facility while personnel are not physically present, thus increasing overall security. It can also give the appearance of the building being occupied at all times, even when it’s not. Another way an educational facility can leverage their video intercom system is to shift to mobile applications that offer a touchless way to gain access. Mobile application credential A mobile application removes the need for a physical key card and eliminates the potential of loss or theft of that access credential. It also allows for easy updating to credential status. For example, if a student, staff member or visitor is added to an ‘access denied’ list, security personnel can simply revoke a mobile application credential, versus having to track down a physical key and run the risk of copies or other issues. The importance of visual confirmation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to educational campuses The importance of visual confirmation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to educational campuses. Not only for security purposes to visually confirm identity, or screen for suspicious behaviours or other anomalies, simply having the ability to have a conversation with someone requesting access is vital. Better audio feedback There’s been a shift in recent years, in some cases spurred by the pandemic, to focus on how existing technologies can meet the unique needs of students, staff and visitors. For example, intercoms allow for two-way video which is crucial for an individual who is deaf, or hearing impaired, who needs to communicate using sign language. Additionally, intercoms can be integrated with t-coil features, to allow for better audio feedback for those with hearing aids. The past few years have taught us that while best practices, attention to the mental wellbeing of students, enhanced security at main entry points, and exits are all important focuses, educational security needs to be holistic and comprehensive. From physical security risks, to potential pandemic-related outbreaks, to the regular day-to-day communication needs of all individuals, decision-makers recognise intercom systems easily address each unique need.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centres have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterised by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services. Data centres classed as CNI As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). As land continues to surge in value, data centre operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites. Complex security needs One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex. On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localising security devices to operate independently of the main data centre. Face value How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders. The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial. So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously? Security comes first These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks. Checkpoints Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD). Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern. High maintenance Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance. Importance of testing physical security parameters Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security. They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away. Accessibility When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted. The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency. Volume control Data centres don’t generally make the best neighbours. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents. Secure and soundproof perimeter As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities. As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility. For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through. A fair façade A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance. Better protected The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications. Countering varied security threats Data centres are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC. By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.
The last year revolutionised the way people work. When offices transitioned to work-from-home and worksites implemented social distancing, the security industry saw an overnight shift in what technologies our customers wanted. Now that businesses are bringing employees back to work in-person, management has broadened their focus to include healthy access in their security plans. Healthy access is a modern security concept that uses the latest technologies to blend employee and visitor health with automated security and digital transformation. This year, more leaders than ever are concerned with the health of their people – for good reason. Touchless Solutions Touchless solutions are at the forefront of security conversations because, suddenly, no one wants to touch anything in public. As a result, biometric solutions using face recognition have adapted to deliver a powerful and highly effective trifecta of solutions for physical security, health and workforce management. Face recognition is now considered to be the most accurate non-invasive method to identify and authenticate individuals Face recognition is now considered to be the most accurate non-invasive method to identify and authenticate individuals. Ongoing improvements like smarter algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to improve face recognition’s performance. Well-known enhancements like faster processing and better camera functionality are quality-of-life improvements for traditional face recognition applications. Other advancements – like mask detection, face recognition while wearing a mask, mobile enrolment and more – are unique additions to this technology that effectively answer the needs of today without adding complex workflows. Biometric Face Recognition for Physical Security Even as pandemic mask restrictions lift, many businesses still require people to wear face masks to enter their facilities – a policy that will be with us for years to come. The sudden requirement for face masks in public stimulated the rapid development of a new face recognition application where security systems need to authenticate people with half their face covered. The ability to use a person’s biometrics to gain access eliminates the need for PINs or cards that can be forgotten, shared or stolen, so businesses familiar with the high security of biometrics cannot turn to less-secure means of authentication, and fingerprint is not a feasible option because that technology involves touching shared surfaces. Face recognition while wearing a mask is a highly relevant, timely advancement for businesses that need high security at their entry doors without compromising on mask mandates or personal comfort levels with illness avoidance. Biometric Face Recognition for Health Face recognition is touchless by nature and took centre stage during the pandemic Face recognition is touchless by nature and took centre stage during the pandemic as buildings migrated to contactless security to limit the spread of surface-borne illnesses. As more businesses reopen and bring office staff back, the demand for this fast, easy-to-use and touchless technology will continue to surge. Additionally, advanced face recognition solutions can be enhanced with thermographic cameras for elevated body temperature detection, which enables businesses to limit access to only people with healthy temperatures and prove that they are protecting healthy staff. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, businesses can take advantage of our society’s affinity for mobile apps. Remote enrolment is a feature of high-end face recognition solutions where people can enrol their faces using their phones – limiting the amount of time spent waiting in line, standing in front of a device or interacting with other people. Some solutions are also integrated with attestation questionnaires that allow people to self-declare symptoms or exposure to illnesses, which can help businesses make informed decisions to protect the health of their staff. The more your solution can accomplish, the more confidence your personnel can have that they are healthy at your building. Biometric Face Recognition for Workforce Management Returning to work is now a monumental undertaking. One of the biggest challenges for business owners is balancing hybrid work-from-home schedules and socially distanced in-person shifts. Every business will have a unique approach to what work in a post-pandemic world looks like. Touchless, mask-inclusive technology and attestation are user-friendly solutions that help businesses protect staff health This adds a new layer of complexity to shift scheduling that management must address to maintain the simplicity of shift changes and accuracy of time tracking. Touchless, mask-inclusive technology and attestation are user-friendly solutions that help businesses follow mask rules, ensure high security, protect staff health and keep shift changes fast and easy. Advancements in face recognition align with the timing of getting employees back to work because of work done by proactive security leaders. The “face” of biometrics has forever changed. This industry is no longer represented by antiquated fingerprint technology. Instead, we are represented by modern, accessible face recognition with room to grow for physical security, health and workforce management – the trifecta of healthy buildings.
Convergint Technologies’ rapid growth has come through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions — they have acquired 35 companies since 2014. Growth has been a focus since day one when the founders started the systems integration company with 10 colleagues in a basement. Today, the diverse company includes more than 5,000 employees globally. As technology has advanced and business practices have evolved, Convergint’s core values and beliefs have guided their path forward. Customer-centric approach Convergint’s culture is a critical aspect of the company, from the executive level to frontline colleagues. “It is essential that the companies we look to acquire and develop partnerships with directly align with our people-first, customer-centric, inclusive culture centered on colleagues and customers,” says Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies. “This approach has allowed us to maintain and grow our number of colleagues across our acquisitions and enables us to continue being our customers’ best service provider.” Integration practices Many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition A simple but important consideration as Convergint grows through acquisitions is: No two companies are the same. While some integration practices can be standardised across the company, many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition, says Mathes. “Our objective is not to come in and immediately implement change. We want to build on what has already been successful within the local market and share our learned experiences. There is plenty we can learn from each other and create a much better organisation.” Mathes says that Convergint’s view of a successful acquisition is that 1+1=3. “The end result is always much more impactful than what we anticipated,” he says. “Every acquisition brings with it an experienced leadership team, dedicated and skilled colleagues, vertical market and technological expertise. Most acquisitions are in geographies where we do not already operate, so with every acquisition, we increase our capability to serve our customers much better.” Also, the network of Global Convergint Technology Centres (CTCs) helps expand clientele, and the Convergint Development Centre (CDC) offers new support capabilities allowing acquisitions to grow at a very high rate. Expanding service Are there more acquisitions to come? Mathes says Convergint is always open to further expanding its footprint across the globe, improving its ability to service customers, deepening their technical expertise, and continuing to expand service offerings across the current and new vertical markets. However, the current focus remains on several key factors: service to colleagues, customers, and communities. “While obviously, acquisitions fuel our growth, the addition of these organisations to Convergint has really improved our ability to service clients on a global basis,” says Mathes. Acquiring ICD Security Solutions in Asia, for example, made Convergint a pioneer in that market for U.S.-based multi-national companies. Meeting customers demand “Convergint does not weigh market conditions when making an acquisition decision,” says Mathes. Rather, they are primarily focused on meeting or exceeding their customer’s needs on a local to a global level. They see acquisitions as a potential way to extend their geographic reach so they can be closer to customers. An acquisition might also expand technological or vertical market expertise. “The end goal is for us to enhance our service capabilities by attracting and retaining talented colleagues and leaders to better service our customers,” says Mathes. Enhancing and expanding services Convergint identifies how to leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options “Economies of scale” have not been a consideration. They have never sought to acquire companies and restructure them in the process, for example. Rather, each company brings forth a unique skillset, is carefully vetted by the executive team, and provides purpose in the company's mission and vision for the future.” “Frontline colleagues are Convergint’s most valuable assets,” says Mathes. Rather than restructuring and eliminating skilled, knowledgeable colleagues, Convergint identifies how they can leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options for customers. “Our colleagues and their skill sets are our competitive advantage—they remain an essential element to our success,” says Mathes. Demand for integrator services “We continue to experience a growing demand for innovative solutions across electronic security, fire alarm, and life safety,” says Mathes. “As companies innovate further and rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, and cloud solutions, we expect to see an increased demand for integrator services. Our customers demand a local service provider who is responsive and can meet their needs, which is why Convergint aims to be its customers’ best service provider.” This year, Convergint is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 2021, they will continue to focus on the same critical components that have dominated since day one taking care of colleagues, customers, and the communities where they operate.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a double challenge to physical security systems integrators. For one thing, they have had to adapt their own businesses to survive and thrive during the pandemic. On the other hand, they have also been faced with new challenges to serve their customer’s changing needs. Global pandemic effects One integrator company, North American Video (NAV) took the now-familiar steps most companies confronted to adapt their business model to operations in a global pandemic – they suspended all non-essential travel and face-to-face meetings. At one point, NAV had a single employee in the New Jersey headquarters and another one in the Las Vegas office. The rest worked from home, with other offices opening as needed over the following weeks. Another integrator, Convergint Technologies, was able to adapt its approach to the pandemic, location by location, across the United States. The integrator benefitted from its leadership structure, with local managers in various regions who are autonomous and could react to what was happening in each region. Virtual workforce “We saw a dip in April and May, but since then, we have seen business pick back up,” said Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies. The Business of Integration virtual conference sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA) “We already had tools and infrastructure deployed to support a virtual workforce. We had the software and the right equipment, and that has allowed us some flexibility to approach the repopulation of our offices in a gradual way.” The impact of COVID-19 on integrators and their customers was the main topic of discussion at a session on The Business of Integration at the Securing New Ground virtual conference sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA). Remote monitoring North American Video also benefitted from having technical personnel spread across the United States. By assigning work duties on the basis of geography, they could travel by car with less risk than air travel. They also increased their use of remote monitoring and support to avoid extra visits to customer sites. With 80% of the business in the gaming industry, North American Video saw a profound impact on their customers with the almost complete shutdown of casinos during the early days of the pandemic. Even though gaming was impacted particularly badly by the virus, NAV stayed engaged working on four or five large casino construction projects that continued throughout the shutdown. Revenue shortfalls State legislatures will approve more casinos to help plug the holes in their budgets Other casinos took advantage of empty facilities to make needed upgrades without worrying about disrupting casino operations. “A lot of our strong, long-term clients have sought to perform upgrades during the downtime, including needed service and maintenance,” said Jason Oakley, President and CEO, North American Video (NAV). “When gaming was closed, you were allowed in the facilities to work.” Oakley also sees long-term optimism for the casino business, which will offer a means for state and local governments to make up revenue shortfalls. “State legislatures will approve more casinos to help plug the holes in their budgets,” Oakley predicted. Demands for technology Oakley and NAV have seen an evolution in customer demands for technology in light of the pandemic. The trick is to differentiate between demand that is an immediate reaction versus technology trends that have more staying power. Although customers were keen on purchasing thermal cameras, for example, NAV did the research and recommended against the use of the technology to some of their customers. Artificial Intelligence for social distancing The use of artificial intelligence (AI) for a variety of applications seems to have more staying power. “One area of interest at a high level is modification and repurposing of AI for face mask detection, social distancing and people tracing, including integration into existing cameras,” said Oakley. “If the hospitality industry comes to terms with the new normal with smaller restaurant capacities, there may be an opportunity to use AI for social distancing.” Contact tracing and visitor management technology Mathes of Convergint sees a massive change as customers move toward managed services, accelerating the change with new use cases. We have an entire group that focuses on new solutions and what customers are looking for" As offices seek to repopulate when the pandemic subsides, customers are looking for new uses of existing technologies, added Mathes. “We have an entire group that focuses on new solutions and what customers are looking for,” he said. “They need to understand who is in the building and where they go in the building. If we know someone was only in the cafeteria from 10 to 11 a.m., we can know who was in the cafeteria at that time.” Opportunity for vertical markets to move forward He predicts technologies for contact tracing and visitor management tracking who’s in the building and where will be around for a long time to come. "Various customers and vertical markets are looking at the slowdown differently," said Mathes. "For example, while airlines have slowed down, the view from the airport market is more long-term." “They have 15-year plans, and [the slowdown] is an opportunity to move forward. In the technology space, data centres are expanding. “We try to focus our resources on areas where the money is being spent,” said Mathes. “Our K-12 group has seen an 80% growth over 2019. The money is tied to bonds, so there hasn’t been a slowdown relative to revenue.” He said Convergint is cautiously optimist about 2021.”
The drive for learning doesn’t diminish, even in times of a global pandemic. To accommodate the demands of social distancing, more training today happens online. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organisations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a U.K. training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Expert security training Topics such as CCTV, Access Control, Intruder and Fire Tavcom Training, part of the Linx International Group, provides technical security training delivered by expert tutors on topics such as CCTV, Access Control, Intruder and Fire and also CCTV Control Room and Security Management. Given the practical nature of the courses, the majority have historically been delivered in a state-of-the-art training centre through interactive workshops. However, in order to best protect their staff and learners, and following government guidelines, Tavcom have closed their training centre for the time being. Learners are still able to book into classroom courses for later in the year with a choice of two learning centres now being offered: Hampshire or the recently established training centre in Shipley. For those who prefer to learn online, Tavcom delivers accredited online security training. “Given the situation we are all in at the moment, our online courses have seen an 86% increase in demand over the last several months,” says Alfandari. All online courses offer the same level of support as the classroom courses, with many accredited to BTEC level 3 and 5, catering to professionals of varying skill levels and experience. Improve your professional development “Our online courses remain as accessible as ever, with huge numbers of security systems engineers and professionals seeking to use this [quarantine] time to improve their professional development,” Alfandari says. “We encourage all people to consider the benefits of eLearning and, if they need any advice, to reach out to the Tavcom training team.” It’s more important now than ever before that learners are able to access Tavcom’s online learning programmes and continue in their professional development, he says. To help facilitate learning, the company has discounted 25% off the portfolio of eLearning courses, many of which are BTEC accredited and come with expert tutor support. We are also introducing new interactive ways of teaching traditionally classroom-based courses" “We are also introducing new interactive ways of teaching traditionally classroom-based courses with the aid of Zoom virtual classroom courses, led by our tutors,” says Alfandari. “From the learner’s own home, they will be able to undertake their chosen training course and return to the training centre later in the year to complete the practical assessment.” Skillsets remain in demand Even the most well-prepared organisations with extensive contingency plans have been stunned by the scale and speed of the current situation. Alfandari says: “We are finding especially our Intruder Alarms courses for repair and maintenance engineers have been exceptionally popular; those skill sets remain as in demand as ever in these troubled times.” A sister company, PerpetuityARC Training, offers Security Management BTEC Level 4 and Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management BTEC Level 4 courses that are purposely designed to help businesses and those responsible for security learn how to identify threats, risks and vulnerabilities, and create a comprehensive plan that will enable practical measures to be applied to mitigate the impact. Both courses run via two media: classroom or online and are tutor-supported so learners have a choice according to what best suits their needs and requirements. An online Essential Security Practices course is comprised of 12 modules designed to introduce the essentials of corporate security. Modules can be bought individually or as a whole course and will establish fundamental knowledge of best security practice. “It’s a great starting place if you’re new to security or want to brush up on your expertise,” says Alfandari. Maintaining a security presence is a challenge during a global pandemic. “With people following guidelines by staying at home, we’ve been working hard to drive the message that learning doesn’t stop just because you can’t go out,” says Alfandari. “People may think that because they can’t get to the training centre then they can’t train, but that’s just not the case.” Learning in these unprecedented times Our training centres may be closed for now, but our courses are still very much running" Between Tavcom Training and PerpetuityARC Training, there are more than 20 distance learning courses including ASIS International and The Security Institute, all of which can be accessed at home, at a learner’s own pace. “It’s important that people understand that we’re still here, still available and that we haven’t ‘gone away’,” says Alfandari. “Our training centres may be closed for now, but our courses are still very much running. “ “These are, without doubt, extremely difficult times,” he adds. “We are here for our learners. Our team are working hard behind the scenes to facilitate the best possible learning experience during this time, and we encourage all potential learners to really use this and make the most of it. Whether you want a refresher in security basics or finally to start on that qualification you’ve been putting off, we are here to help you in your professional development.” Rhiannon Limbert, Marketing Coordinator for Linx International Group, contributed to this content.
The UK Government is consulting on plans to introduce a new law requiring operators of public spaces to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take proportionate and reasonable measures to prepare for and protect the public from such an attack. Under the proposals outlined in the consultation document, those responsible for a publicly accessible location will have a ‘protect duty.’ The protect duty would apply to certain publicly accessible locations, widely defined as ‘any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission.’ Publicly accessible locations Publicly accessible locations include a wide variety of everyday locations such as: Sports stadiums, festivals and music venues, hotels, public houses, clubs, bars, casinos, high streets, retail stores, shopping centres, markets, schools, universities, medical centres, hospitals, places of worship, government offices, job centres, transport hubs, parks, beaches, public squares, other open spaces. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does demonstrate the diverse nature of publicly accessible locations. To manage these challenges, some organisations are relying on guarding and manual solutions or processes Organisations responsible for publicly accessible locations have many challenges they need to overcome while at the same time ensuring that safety and security is visible, yet non-intrusive. To manage these challenges, some organisations are relying on guarding and manual solutions or processes, whereas other organisations have invested heavily in diverse security technologies: CCTV, access control, intruder alarms, fire detection, intercoms and more. Managing public safety Effectively managing public safety and security is difficult and can be costly. Potential liabilities are something to seriously consider, based on forthcoming regulation and prevailing public expectations. When a critical event unfolds public reactions can be difficult to safely manage, however this is now a must do. Public space operators need to get the right information to the right people at the right time to protect all people, including every single member of the public. Their work with public and private sector clients around the world has enabled them to understand ‘protecting the public’ challenges and offer solutions that meet the specific requirements. Public space operators and organisations must keep track of all emerging threats and assess the potential impacts of when, not if, they will experience a critical event. Unpredictable threat environment Security executives have the challenge of protecting people, facilities and assets With an increasingly complex and unpredictable threat environment, it has never been more imperative to act faster. With more complete intelligence, organisations can increase their speed and decisiveness to assess risks and prevent those risks from harming people or disrupting operations. Leisure and entertainment is a prominent UK industry, that is also one of the most vulnerable to safety and security threats. Security executives have the challenge of protecting people, facilities and assets, while also maintaining friendly and welcoming services to visitors. Public venues and retailers must provide non-intrusive client safety and security. For the would-be criminal, safety and security provision should be a visible deterrent. Balancing these needs is where Everbridge can help organisations. Everbridge provides the critical event management platform to help organisations manage the full lifecycle of a crisis. Facilitating device activation Their platform correlates events from disparate safety and security systems into a common operating picture to focus people’s attention on what really matters. The platform provides users with actionable alerts, next step actions, and automated reporting to better manage risks, ensure compliance with operating procedures and support the business continuity. Automated workflows ensure rapid, consistent responses, reducing the risk of human error Automated workflows ensure rapid, consistent responses, reducing the risk of human error. It also facilitates device activation to ensure they are always in operational control and protecting the people. Dynamic reports and dashboards provide real-time actionable insights for the operations teams and senior executives. Benefits include: Real-time situational awareness. Reduces risk. Accelerates response times. Avoids technology lock-ins. Prevents information overload. Keeps stakeholders informed. With Everbridge, the organisation can deliver the public protect duty. Now and in the future.
Founded in 1982, CNOOC is the third-largest national oil company in the People’s Republic of China, with revenues over $19 billion. CNOOC and its subsidiary, China Oilfield Services (COSL), selected the Xerafy Xplorer as the world's first UHF RFID tags, ATEX-certified, designed for use in downhole drilling operations. The deployment of 100,000 Xerafy Xplorer tags will align with the 10 percent year-over-year growth rate of oil output targeted by CNOOC. Asset management For CNOOC, the Xplorer tags will improve the company’s ability to track drill pipes' identity, integrity, and lifecycle, how long the asset has been in service, and what maintenance/repair work has been conducted. With improved maintenance, the drill strings will have a longer lifecycle Traditionally, this information has been tracked manually by oil and gas producers using paper forms. By automatically tracking the complete asset lifecycle, CNOOC can anticipate when parts will need replacement in advance of a failure, which can significantly improve safety on the deep offshore and onshore well drilling platforms. With improved maintenance, the drill strings will also have a longer lifecycle. This will reduce both the need for additional inventory and equipment and maintenance/repair costs. Real-time drill pipe tracking “The deployment of Xerafy’s RFID technology is an extension of CNOOC’s focus on technology-driven innovation and efficiency enhancements,” said Michel Gillmann, Director Product & Marketing at Xerafy. “By enabling real-time drill pipe tracking, they can improve and ensure the safety at their offshore platforms as they expand production around the world.”
iland, a leading VMware-based provider for application hosting, data protection, and disaster recovery services delivered on the iland Secure Cloud Platform announced that Trinity Fire & Security Systems has been using iland Secure Cloud and iland Secure Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to host and protect the company’s workloads, marking a transition away from on-premises data centres as a means to enable future growth. Trinity Fire & Security Systems is a provider of fire detection, fire safety, life safety, and security systems based in the UK. For over 20 years, Trinity has helped businesses ensure the safety of their people, property, and operations by offering quality design, installation, commission, and aftercare tailor-made for each client. With customer support teams operating from five regional offices and long-standing partnerships with leading fire and security technology manufacturers, the company can deliver the highest level of technical expertise on the market today. Moving towards cloud As Trinity’s business grew, delivering more contracts across a wider spectrum of industry types and sizes, Lee Angell, IT director, noted a snowball effect taking place; more customers meant more data, which in turn meant more resources needed to support the company’s data centres. From there, Angell had two options: invest even more funding and resources into expanding Trinity’s current data centre infrastructure or investigate new opportunities and technologies, particularly hosted cloud providers that could offer the business greater flexibility. He chose the latter. “Our current data centre was becoming more and more expensive to maintain and we were responsible for training and managing our own team,” said Angell. “As part of the business case, we factored in the staff effort required to maintain the data centre, whereas that isn’t a concern for us now. We've been given more flexibility. We have a small team and therefore the added agility was a benefit for us.” Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution Iland’s IaaS is designed to meet each customer where they are by addressing the most common challenges Before choosing iland, Trinity also considered larger hyper-scale cloud providers, but they ultimately didn’t provide the agility and flexibility Angell and his team needed. Most cloud providers attempt to offer complete solutions, but the reality is, every customer is at a different point in their cloud journey with different requirements for success. Iland’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is designed to meet each customer where they are by addressing the most common challenges associated with cloud adoption, while also eliminating the compromises found with other providers. Flexible and scalable opportunities “We researched other providers, looking in terms of their flexibility for change. We were coming across obstacles, for example, it could take up to five days to implement a change. That really didn’t suit the flexibility we required. We can take on contracts very fast in this organisation and we needed to have the ability to scale up very quickly,” said Angell. “We concluded that iland was the best fit for the business. With iland, we’ve found unmatched visibility into and control over our environment, especially with the engagement of the account manager. We can reduce or add as the business flexes with the current pandemic and with growth and opportunities.” Migrating critical applications No two organisations are the same, which means no two cloud journeys are the same" “No two organisations are the same, which means no two cloud journeys are the same. Our IaaS solution is designed with this at heart,” said Sam Woodcock, iland senior director of cloud strategy, based in EMEA. “As with Trinity Fire & Security Systems, we work tirelessly to remove the common obstacles involved with migrating critical applications and workloads to the cloud, while also retaining the flexibility and agility that gets lost with large hyperscalers.” Secure Cloud Console When the coronavirus pandemic hit early last year, Trinity already had its workloads migrated onto iland’s Secure Cloud infrastructure. All things considered, this made for a relatively comfortable experience, according to Angell. With increased visibility via the award-winning iland Secure Cloud Console, which offers the ability to monitor and manage a variety of workloads over a single pane of glass, and a majority of employees already equipped to work remotely, business was able to proceed uninterrupted. "We already knew what the iland solution could deliver in terms of home working capability,” said Angell. “There wasn't a concern or a rush to move to or set up a solution because we already had iland Secure Cloud in place. We were very comfortable in that regard and very lucky to have had the solution already." Ransomware protection Opting for the iland Secure Cloud offered Trinity with added protection from ransomware with iland Secure DRaaS Opting for the iland Secure Cloud offered Trinity several other ancillary benefits, including added protection from cyberthreats like ransomware with iland Secure DRaaS. Although Angell said the fear of ransomware didn’t factor into the company’s decision to move to the cloud, he admitted the added protection provides even more peace of mind. Angell also noted that iland’s dedicated compliance team and certifications were an important part of his team’s pre-qualifying process. “We do feel comfortable using iland Secure Cloud and being protected from ransomware and all the rest of it. It's added layer of security on top of the security we already had,” said Angell. He concluded, "I'd say iland Secure Cloud is flexible, agile, and secure. I'd recommend partnering with iland because it's a company that seems to listen to its customers and delivers on their requirements."
Reliable contactless attendance control with accurate and fast recognition to avoid delay in punching during peak hours. Proactively engaging with clients to get their exact requirements as well as understand their expectations to replace the whole existing solution with Anviz devices and software along with customisation of the software within a limited period. Time attendance solution Existing software only supported limited options for time attendance solutions and hence the most important part of this project was to personalise the time attendance reports and arrange training on how to use the CrossChex system. Anviz won the project for three very important aspects: Facial algorithm, product design and product quality Harness of connections with the possibility of integration to their fire system User-friendly software and solutions free of cost
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.”
In the spring of 2021, the Vernadsky Research Base, a Ukrainian Antarctic Station, was equipped with an Ajax security system featuring FireProtect and FireProtect Plus fire detectors. The Ajax equipment was delivered at a distance of 16 thousand kilometers that protects the scientific base in Antarctica. From this article, one will learn how to install a fire alarm system at a facility if that facility is a polar station. Presence of previous fire alarm There was, but no one upgraded it for 36 years (since 1985). For the first 10 years, the base was used by British polar explorers. At the time, the base was called “Faraday” and belonged to the United Kingdom. Since then, it changed its name, flag, and country, but not its fire detection equipment. The old system malfunctioned and caused false alarms. Some detectors were inoperable. But finding spare parts for them (and bringing them to Antarctica) was becoming more difficult. What happens if there is a fire? Antarctica is the windiest place on earth, where hurricane-force winds blow most of the time. Even a tiny flame can quickly turn into a large blaze. A fire alarm is chosen based on its communication reliability, maintenance, fire alert, and climate impact Most of the buildings at Antarctic stations were built decades ago. These are often small wooden houses with metal panels insulated with foam. When the foam burns, it releases the deadly phosgene gas. In 2020, there was a short circuit at the Russian “Mirny” station. The fire burned down laboratories, the radio room, and other buildings. Criteria to choose an alarm system A polar station is an unusual facility. The following is considered while choosing an alarm system: Communication reliability: The station is a complex of buildings, so it is important to cover them with one system. For this, the most reliable radio communication with a long-range is required. Maintenance: One can’t invite a professional installer to a station in Antarctica; the station engineers maintain the system themselves. It mustn’t require a lot of attention. Devices must operate from batteries for years, and instantly alert if something goes wrong. For example, if a detector loses connection or if batteries need to be replaced in a couple of months. Fire alert: There is a person at the station who monitors the system. You need a system with a handy alarm-monitoring app for PCs as well as loud sirens to alert people to danger. Сlimate impact: During the cold season, the temperature outside drops to -27°C. In residential premises, it is kept at +16-18°C, and in non-residential ones, it is kept with a slight “plus”. The specifications of the detectors must correspond to these conditions. Why Ajax? “The policy of the Antarctic Center is to buy Ukrainian. And only buy the best you can’t economize on Antarctica. The price of failure is very high, and shipping costs a lot of money. A marker was triggered: if a security system then Ajax. And we were not mistaken with the choice,” said Viacheslav Marchenko, Deputy Director of the National Antarctic Scientific Center (NASC) In addition to the hub (the security system control panel) and two sirens, ten Ajax fire detectors were delivered to Galindez Island in West Antarctica. They protect against fire, detect smoke and rapid temperature swings, and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Secure radio protocol When connected to the Ajax security system via the secure Jeweller radio protocol, the detectors can operate at distances of up to 1,300 meters from the hub. Works without internet Ajax fire detectors will do the job even if the station loses access to the Internet or there is no one to monitor alarms. The devices can operate independently from the system control panel. Even if there will be no connection with the hub, detectors will recognize the threat, and the built-in sirens will alert the danger. The siren volume is 85 dB to wake up even those who fast asleep. Works at varying temperatures Ajax will also handle it when the temperature in the station premises drops to +11-12°C (happens when there are strong winds). The detector’s operating temperature ranges from 0°C to +65°C. Operation period Finally, there is no need to worry about how frequently one has to send new batteries to the station. The autonomous operation period of the detectors is up to 4 years. Bring equipment to Antarctica All Ajax devices were bought in Ukraine. It took three planes, one ship, and about seven days to get them to Antarctica. Five of those were spent traveling by ship, which crossed the stormiest place on the planet, the Drake Passage. Each polar explorer brings three bags: two with their own stuff and one shared. Ajax was delivered in such a bag. Installation and setup Ajax devices work out of the box; they connect to a hub in one tap in the apps and mount in a few minutes Ajax devices work out of the box; the battery is already pre-installed, and the detectors don’t need to be disassembled. They connect to a hub in one tap in the apps and mount in a few minutes on a SmartBracket. Any questions can always be resolved by contacting the Ajax support team, which is available 24/7 and helps users from all over the world in six languages. Working of station alarm monitoring The station uses the computer with the PRO Desktop app installed. A screen with all the indicators is placed in the lobby of the main building. Another computer in the on-duty person’s office is used as an alarm monitoring station. To manage the system on the go, station engineers have Ajax apps on their smartphones. The station has Internet, but it became unlimited only this spring after installing a satellite antenna. During the two months of operation, there were two alarms at the station: in the kitchen, when the polar explorers were grilling steaks, and in the carpentry shop, where welding work was taking place. In both cases, the equipment responded to the smoke. Further plans The plan is to install 20 more fire detectors at the station as well as to supplement the Ajax system with the ReX radio signal range extender. The polar station consists of 12 buildings (including living quarters, a carpentry workshop, and a boathouse), located at a distance from each other. The buildings are covered with profiled iron, which can interfere with the radio signal. The range extender will increase the reach of the devices and become a reliable link between the detectors and the hub.
Round table discussion
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?
Security systems are vital to any company. Nowadays, however, they can also provide additional benefits to any enterprise beyond protecting people, assets and facilities. Specifically, systems that were previously focused on security can now be leveraged in new ways to benefit the broader enterprise. When this happens, the security department transitions from a ‘cost centre’ to a repository of data that can benefit the whole company, and even contribute to the bottom line. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can ‘security’ systems benefit the larger mission of an enterprise?
As an industry, we often speak in buzzwords. In addition to being catchy and easy to remember, these new and trendy industry terms can also reflect the state of the security market’s technology. In short, the latest buzzwords provide a kind of shorthand description of where the industry is - and where it’s going. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword(s) rose to prominence in the security industry in 2020? (And how do they reflect industry trends?)
Fire Safety: Manufacturers & Suppliers
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