Home Security Systems
Vector Flow 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 programs with integrated identity governance and improved compliance across their entire cyber-physical security infrastructure. Identity management “Vector Flow has completed require...
With The Security Event 2021, organised by Nineteen Group, less than two months away, the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is putting in place preparations, to make its exhibition stand at the renowned security event, considered a key destination for the UK commercial and residential security installer/integrator community. The Security Event 2021 The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is delighted to be an official event partner at The Security Event 2021 The National Security Inspecto...
NAPCO Security Technologies, Inc., one of the renowned manufacturers and designers of high-tech electronic security devices, wireless recurring communication services for intrusion and fire alarm systems, as well as a global provider of school safety solutions, has announced that it will be showcasing new products at the ISC West 2021 trade show, which is slated to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from July 19 to July 21, 2021, at the Sands Expo Center. During the ISC West show, NAPCO will be s...
Designed to visually scan large areas for moisture issues, air leaks, electrical problems, and more, the FLIR MR265 Moisture Meter and Thermal Imager with MSX empowers professionals to quickly identify and locate water leaks and other moisture issues at the source. This dual thermal imager and measurement tool combine a 160x120 resolution Lepton® thermal camera, visual camera, laser pointer, and both pin and pinless moisture detection for faster leak identification and measurement, plus off...
SnapAV, a globally renowned source of professional audio and video, surveillance, control, networking, and remote management solutions, has announced that it has become Snap One. According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Heyman, the new name reflects the company’s goal to be the top provider of solutions, services, and platforms for custom installation integrators, whose businesses have grown well beyond AV products. Rebranding strategy The name ‘SnapAV&r...
Dedrone®, the provider of smart airspace security, is the most trusted global counter-drone company, surpassing 1,000 sensors sold, and continues to rapidly expand the global Dedrone footprint exceeding 250% revenue growth year-over-year. Dedrone detects, identifies, and locates nearly 250 different drone types and can provide mitigation when authorised for use. Dedrone’s extensive drone library leverages a machine-learning and AI validation process to deliver maximum detection of var...
Senseware has announced the release of IAQ-I, a groundbreaking, first-to-market, real-time solution, to measure the effectiveness of bipolar ionisation and air health. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the public uproar around air safety, many air purification methods rose in popularity, with Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) taking the lead. Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization NBPI systems claim to safely clean indoor air by leveraging an electronic charge to create a high concentration of positive and negative ions. These ions are purported to travel through the air, continuously seeking out and attaching to potentially harmful contaminant particles for removal from the air. With the growing demand for clean air solutions, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) released the following statement, “Consumers should request testing data that quantitatively demonstrates a clear protective benefit and occupant safety under conditions consistent with the intended use.” IAQ-I, wireless ion sensing solution IAQ-I allows facilities to validate the effectiveness of their ionisation systems, with robust real-time data Senseware's first-to-market wireless ion sensing solution, IAQ-I allows facilities to validate the effectiveness of their ionisation systems, with robust real-time data. Developed in response to customer demand, Senseware's groundbreaking IAQ-I enables ionisation users to gain valuable measurement data, in order to assess the efficacy of their ionisation system, all through a small 4 x 8 inch non-obtrusive unit. IAQ-I represents the latest advancement in Senseware's market-renowned IAQ technology portfolio, measuring a wide range of air quality conditions, including particulate natter (PM 0.3-1.0, 2.5, 10), VOCs, CO2, temperature, and humidity. Visualisation of ion concentrations in air Air quality measures are displayed on an easy to use private or public dashboard, reflective of real-time environmental conditions. Senseware's, one-of-a-kind IAQ-I technology allows for visualisation of the ion concentrations in the air, and critically enables assessment of the effectiveness of an ionisation system, and most importantly the overall health of the air. Senseware's Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Julien Stamatakis said, “As a scientist, I believe in the power of data to guide business decisions. It's crucial that IAQ-I not only measure ions, but also PM and VOC for a complete air health check.” Improving air quality Without the endorsement of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ASHRAE or other monitoring groups, many have been left wondering, if their investment in ionisation systems has had the intended clean air impact. Senseware's IAQ-I allows these questions to be answered for the first time ever.
Intelligent Security Systems, a provider of intelligent VMS and native analytics globally announced an expansion of the company’s presence in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, into a larger workspace. The new office is located at Jumeirah Lake Towers, a large development consisting of 80 towers built along a scenic waterway. The ISS office in Dubai provides sales, technical support, and maintenance services, along with local development and software customisations and integration. New appointment ISS also supports customers in the region with its presence in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The company recently hired Raheel Ahmed Jalili as the new Technical Sales Manager for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Raheel manages ISS’ sales strategy, alignment of verticals, channel expansion, and technology partnerships. “Saudi Arabia is a great market within our industry, with plenty of opportunities for which our solutions are perfectly matched. Since our establishment in the country, ISS has witnessed impressive growth, which has propelled our market share to the next level,” Jalili said. SecurMiddleEast symposium As a sponsor of the SecurMiddleEast symposium, ISS is underscoring its commitment to the Middle East market. This event in Dubai is taking place on June 17th, 2021. Qatar and Saudi events are scheduled for September. The event will focus on innovation and best practices in enterprise security. Key themes among the speakers and delegates at the symposiums will be city surveillance, critical infrastructure security, and intelligent traffic solutions — all solutions in which ISS specialises.
The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Virtual Experience, presented by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), has announced the lineup for OpenXchange – The Changing Competitive Landscape. ESX Virtual Experience 2021 This main stage presentation, to be held during the ESX Virtual Experience 2021, on Tuesday, June 15, will be an interactive panel discussion on unique go-to-market strategies and the opportunities, and challenges likely to impact dealers, integrators, and monitoring companies, in the years to come. This year, ESX welcomes visionary leaders to the OpenXchange session, including Aaron Emigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Brilliant, Michael Martin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RapidSOS and Mark Zimmerman, the CEO of RSPNDR. OpenXchange forum This forum will provide the audience an opportunity to hear unique perspectives and business experiences Moderated by George De Marco, ESX Chairman and Managing Partner for Deco Ventures LLC, this forum will provide the audience an opportunity to hear unique perspectives and business experiences, and offer key insights on finding new ways to adapt and evolve in the fast-changing and competitive landscape of the electronic security and life safety industry. Aaron Emigh is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of Brilliant, a highly regarded smart home and smart apartment company. He is an accomplished Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and investor, who served as the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Shopkick. Aaron is an inventor on more than 100 issued patents and has been recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Technology and safety experts speak Michael Martin is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RapidSOS. Michael’s own challenges around emergency communication led him to start RapidSOS in 2013. RapidSOS manages 150 million emergency calls annually with major technology companies, including, Apple, Google, Uber and Microsoft. Michael is a major voice on public safety, personal security and technology innovation, and has presented to federal agencies and industry events, as well as been published in top media outlets, including the Washington Post, TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal. End-to-end security software platform Mark Zimmerman is the Chief Executive Officer of RSPNDR, a renowned end-to-end security software platform for alarm response. In his role, Mark leads a team that is reimagining the alarm response side of the security business. Zimmerman has also held senior sales, marketing, solutions development and innovation roles at Bell and AT&T as well as CIO and CTO roles at MaRS and T4G Ltd. “We are excited to have these visionary leaders speak at ESX this month,” said George De Marco, ESX Chairman, adding “The wealth of business experience on the Main Stage, will give ESX attendees an opportunity to hear about the latest cutting-edge trends from leading innovators and business leaders as they share their perspective on what will impact our businesses and industry.”
Human Layer Security company Tessian announces that it has raised $65 million in Series C venture capital funding to accelerate its mission of quantifying and preventing human risk in global enterprises, and empowering people to do their best work without security getting in the way. The round is led by March Capital, a venture-growth firm which has previously invested in cybersecurity unicorns such as CrowdStrike and KnowBe4. Existing Tessian investors Accel, Balderton Capital, Latitude and Sequoia Capital also participated in the Series C funding round, along with new investor Schroder Adveq, bringing Tessian’s total funding to-date over $120 million. The deal values Tessian at $500 million. Tessian is pioneering a new approach to cybersecurity and defining a new category of security software called Human Layer Security. Today, 90% of today’s data breaches are caused by some form of human error because, for decades, cybersecurity software has focused on the machine layer of an organisation and not the most vulnerable asset: the people. Behavioural Intelligence Models While organisations have traditionally relied on training programs or restricting people’s access to data and systems to overcome the so-called “people problem” in security, Tessian uses machine learning to stop data breaches and security threats caused by human error - without disrupting employee workflow. It builds Behavioural Intelligence Models, tailored to every employee, by analysing individuals’ communication patterns and behaviours online. Tessian uses the models to automatically detect security threats and prevents them from turning into breaches by notifying the employee of the risk in the moment. Over time, these alerts help employees improve their security behaviours. Tessian uses the models to automatically detect security threats and prevents them from turning into breaches Today, Tessian secures people on email - where they spend over 40% of their time at work - and automatically prevents threats such as phishing, business email compromise, data exfiltration and accidental data loss. After deploying Tessian, enterprises see, on average, an 84% reduction in data exfiltration and phishing simulation click-through rates drop to less than 1%. Human-activated security risks The need for greater visibility of human-activated security risks, and mitigations of these threats, was brought into sharp focus last year following the shift to remote work. Research revealed that employees were less likely to follow safe data practices when working from home, while the number of phishing attacks doubled in 2020. In fact, in the last year, Tessian tripled its Fortune 500-level customer base as enterprises required a solution that could protect them against human layer security threats. Tessian now has approximately 350 global customers across the legal, financial services, healthcare and technology sectors including Affirm, Investec and RealPage. One customer, Tim Fitzgerald, CISO at Arm said, “The security of our operations and data is paramount to the success of Arm, and we’re committed to empowering our people to make sound security decisions while doing their jobs effectively. The concept of human layer security is becoming a critical part of doing business today.” “Tessian enables us to reduce risk across the organisation by providing valuable tools and knowledge to not only stop threats like advanced phishing attacks and accidental data loss, but also continually improve the security behaviours of our teams as the threat landscape evolves.” Data loss prevention solutions With the new funding, Tessian will expand its platform’s capabilities, helping companies replace their secure email gateways and legacy data loss prevention solutions, and will soon expand beyond email to secure other interfaces like messaging, web and collaboration platforms. Tessian will also use the funding to triple its rapidly growing employee base, with a particular focus on growing its sales team in North America. Human activity, whether inadvertent or malicious, is the leading cause of data breaches" Jamie Montgomery, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at March Capital said, “Human activity, whether inadvertent or malicious, is the leading cause of data breaches. In Tessian, we found a best-in-class solution that automatically stops threats in real-time, without disrupting the normal flow of business. It is rare to hear such overwhelmingly positive feedback from CISOs and business users alike. We came to the same conclusion; Tessian is rapidly emerging as the leader in human layer security for the enterprise.” Series C Tim Sadler, Co-Founder and CEO at Tessian said, “In the same way we have firewalls to secure networks, and endpoint detection and response platforms to secure devices, enterprises now need advanced security technology to secure their people.” “People make 35,000 decisions every day; it just takes one wrong decision or one instance of human error for an employee to cause a catastrophic security breach. We’re tackling the biggest threat to enterprise security, and are thrilled to partner with March Capital on our Series C and have them join our mission to secure the human layer.” Tessian’s funding announcement closely follows the news that Ramin Sayer, CEO and President of Sumo Logic, has joined Tessian’s Board of Directors.
Johnson Controls, a global pioneer in smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings and architect of the Open Blue digital platforms, has released the latest version of Tyco American Dynamics victor and VideoEdge video management systems, offering accelerated deployment, more powerful analytics and optimised video management and control. Robust cybersecurity The powerful victor and Video Edge 5.7 solutions deliver on Johnson Controls' commitment to empowering customers with technology to maintain safe building environments, healthy business operations, and seamless occupant experiences. Offering more powerful camera features, enhanced analytic capabilities, and new configuration tools and workflows for faster deployment and reduced operator fatigue, the victor and VideoEdge 5.7 offer more intuitive camera management, simplified site management, and more robust cybersecurity features in a modernised interface. Victor and VideoEdge 5.7 offer intuitive camera management, simplified site management, and robust cybersecurity Improved video management “Enterprise customers need powerful and purpose-built video management that can be customised to meet the changing dynamics of today’s workplaces, regardless of industry or vertical market,” said Jammy DeSousa, director of Product Management, Video Solutions, Johnson Controls. “This latest version of the victor and VideoEdge platform enhances our current tools for improved user experience and further strengthens our existing cyber resiliency measures that are core to our offerings at Johnson Controls.” Powerful camera support More robust support for powerful camera features, including enhanced object and person detection and H.265+ compression, enable victor and VideoEdge users to leverage additional processing power from the cameras, resulting in deeper analytics with Illustra cameras. Cyber resiliency is also enhanced with encrypted video streaming from Illustra cameras directly into VideoEdge and Illustra Auto Configuration, which automatically configures Illustra camera security settings and adds the settings into the VideoEdge NVRs. Deeper analytics To support health and safety protocols, temperature readings from the Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST (elevated skin temperature) cameras can be stored and displayed within victor. If an elevated skin temperature is not detected, a face detection feature will ensure adherence with face-covering policies, triggering a mask missing alarm if no mask is detected. Intuitive controls and a host of productivity enhancements provide operators with simplified and optimised site management tools in victor and/ VideoEdge. With enhanced timeline control, operators can adjust playback speeds and scrub through video playback to more easily find specific sections of recorded video. Deployment times and the operator learning curve is reduced with intuitive wizards and workflows that provide better control of key video operational areas. Key highlights Victor and VideoEdge 5.7 also offer the following features: “Shake n Dry” – allows operators to literally shake off excess water or debris from PTZ cameras Configurable sensitivity settings for Intelligent Search for people on a per camera basis Support for new Illustra Pro Gen 4 cameras
ASSA ABLOY has acquired Sure-Loc, a supplier of residential locks and associated hardware in the US. "I am very pleased to welcome Sure-Loc into the ASSA ABLOY Group. This acquisition delivers on our strategy to strengthen our position in the mature markets through adding complementary products and solutions to our core business,” says Nico Delvaux, President, and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. To grow the residential business "The acquisition of Sure-Loc complements our mechanical hardware portfolio, supporting our ambitions to grow our residential business in the US," says Lucas Boselli, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY and Head of the Americas Division. “Sure-Loc’s reputation for quality products and excellent customer service reflect our values and I’m excited for them to become part of ASSA ABLOY.”
When we talk about security, people are often quick to jump to conclusions and picture bouncers, heavy steel doors and alarms that go off as soon as a door is opened. Access control is in fact one of the most common and least invasive methods of adding extra security to a home, communal or business premises – controlling who is able to enter a space based on the use of entry codes, key fobs, and/or access cards. Communal flats and office blocks are where access control is often an important factor in keeping the building secure, though private residences also have their own lowkey methods of access control with burglar alarms and personalised codes. With that said, what is it that makes access codes so effective across so many spaces – and why are they so important in today’s society? Benefits of access control Every time you visit an office space, enter a block of flats, or drive into a gated community, you will likely be faced with restricted access and a code pad – plus a button to ring through if you are a visitor. This is a prime example of access control, whereby the owner of the premises has installed a gate or security door which requires a code to enter from the outside. Pressing the request button puts you through to a controller who can then either grant access or deny access. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure Some of these code pads have cameras so that the controller can see the visitor – some just have a microphone and speaker. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure – only visited by those who are granted access. This restriction helps to keep residents and property safe, not only deterring burglars but ensuring that they are unable to gain entry without permission. Access control panels Some of the examples of access control panels in use include: Private car parks, granting access to employees or residents or paying guests based on the location. Communal buildings and flat entranceways, granting access to residents. These kinds of access control panels will have multiple buttons, one for each flat so that guests can buzz and speak to their contacts. Offices, granting access to employees and their guests. Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked, and data can be used for anything from tracking the use of a building, to understanding and logging when individuals have entered and left the premises. For those who have ever watched a Detective drama, you will know how crucial this kind of data can be to determining alibis! Replacing lost keys Inhouse, this can also be useful in identifying who is around when an incident occurs, and in ascertaining how many people are in the premises in the event of a fire or emergency situation. On top of knowing when individuals are accessing certain spaces, access controls can also be used to restrict access to spaces during certain time periods – for example at the end of a shift, or overnight. This is most often found in commercial spaces and car parks, as private residences will grant access at all hours to residents. Access control plays an important role in security and can impact everything from your insurance bills and insurance cover to the amount you spend on replacing lost keys. By keeping certain spaces restricted, only granting access to those who are supposed to be there for work or through their private residence, you are able to keep individuals safe and protect them from the effect of theft. Preventing unlawful access Access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur In a workspace, access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur, as well as making the life of your team much easier in allowing them to move between spaces without security personnel and site managers present. It can also reduce the outgoings of a business by reducing the need for security individuals to be hired and paid to remain on site. For a private homeowner or flat owner, access control is what grants you the privacy and security that you deserve in your own space. Whether the control is placed on the outside of a bin store, car parks, communal entrance way or your own personal flat, creating barriers to prevent unlawful access can make a private residence more appealing to tenants or homeowners, and can also provide information and data about who has entered a building and when. Vacant property security The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget, your requirements, and the way that you intend to use access control across your site or inside space. For the most part, access control is considered to be a cost effective way of increasing security, cutting back on personnel while ensuring that access is only granted to those who are supposed to be a specific space. The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget According to construction site and vacant property security company Sicuro, access control systems with a built in camera are becoming increasingly popular, particularly on the exterior of a building when it comes to granting access to visitors – as those inside can see who is asking to be let in. Managing access control Meanwhile, across inside workspaces and sites, access control managed by pin numbers or fingerprints is often sufficient. Access control is an important part of modern security, ensuring that everywhere from office spaces to private residences are protected from unwanted or unlawful visitors. For the most part, access control is managed automatically, tracking and storing data on who has entered and exited a specific space and at what time – though some examples are tracked and managed manually (for example in a school reception or private residence).
Whenever you say the word “security” in today’s world of digitalisation and technology, minds immediately jump to online security. Encryption, passwords, and website security are all common areas of concern for today’s security teams – so much so that we often pass over physical security installations entirely. But we shouldn’t, because contrary to popular belief, security doors aren’t just for banks and safes. High-security doors are deployed and used across everything from home spaces to offices, venues, communal entrances, and more – offering an extra level of safety designed to keep unwanted guests out and keep the people inside safe. In this blog, we will be uncovering some of the benefits of installing high-security doors besides the obvious – offering a high level of security. Benefits of high-security doors When you start telling someone about high-security doors, they often immediately think of thick steel doors with unbreakable locks. But modern security doors are nothing like that, with the marketplace filled with different options including ventilated louvre doors, reinforced hammer glass doors, and classic metal doors. And with each style comes a different set of benefits. 1) High-security doors keep businesses and properties safe If anything is going to put burglars off and keep your inside space safe, it’s high-security doors. High-security doors not only help keep burglars away but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive home security systems With such a wide array of options on the market, from double or triple glazing through to top-level security doors for industrial properties and homes, customers can choose the weight of their door and its finish – meaning that they have a choice between making their high-security decision obvious or concealing it for the benefit of aesthetics. This not only helps keep burglars away from your home or office space and reduces the crime rate, but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive alarms and home security systems. 2) Dual purpose benefits from top-level manufacturers Modern high-security doors from retailers like Premier SSL not only provide industrial-strength but are also classed as fire doors – meaning that they keep people inside safe on two accounts. On top of that, high-security doors no longer look like the entrance to a bank – in fact, most manufacturers now work with materials that deliver an aesthetically pleasing finish that can complement your building or inside space. This means you can benefit from everything from a wood effect finish to a decorative trim and more. 3) Cut costs in Winter and Summer Managing bills at home often mean juggling the art of keeping the house cool enough in summer and warm enough in winter. On one hand, with high-security doors which are effective fire doors and are made to measure and tailored to your home, the heat and warm air inside your home are trapped inside during the winter to keep your home cozy. This helps to cut the cost of heating and ensures your family is protected during the winter months. Mesh layered security Meanwhile, for those who opt for the mesh layered security doors or Louvre doors, in summer you can keep your home or inside space cool and filled with fresh air even while the doors are closed and secured. This ensures adequate ventilation and is a popular choice with homeowners today as it cuts the cost of bills and expensive air conditioning and helps prevent issues like mould which can occur in damp spaces with little airflow. Louvre security doors also help to retain the same level of privacy as a solid door but with a high level of airflow – making them ideal for communal areas and spaces with a high footfall. 4) Keep pets and children safe A security door is enough to deter a burglar to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house A security door is enough to deter a burglar – so is certainly more than sufficient to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house. Preventing access to dangerous situations such as being outdoors on their own and entering the kitchen on their own is a benefit that many families revel in – with a range of options including the mesh-covered security doors to retain ventilation and natural light and create more of a homely feel. 5) Feeling safe and secure in your own space This one may seem obvious but it’s one of the biggest benefits – feeling safe even when on your own. Security doors mean that you can rest easy in your own space, in complete control of the locking mechanism and the entry of anyone besides yourself. Most of the security doors recognised by modern standards can withstand ballistics and crowbar tampering – even those with ventilation breaks. On top of that, they have a certain degree of water tightness and resistance to wind, meaning that they also keep you safe from home or building damage. 6) Versatility The vast array of security doors on the market right now means that versatility is possible – in the way that doors are locked, the way that they look, and the additional features they provide. Many of the high-security doors we and other retailers offer also provide complete sound ventilation and are ideally suited to everything from a modern new build to something more traditional in its feel and aesthetics. Uses of security doors High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues As previously touched on, security doors are no longer just for banks and high-security institutes. High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues. The versatility presented by the locking mechanism and access tools means that users can select everything from an entry fob to a code and a traditional key as a means of getting inside. The Takeaway High-security doors are an increasingly popular solution for nurturing safety both in commercial spaces and private homes. With options from solid steel doors to louver doors, triple and double glazed doors, and fire doors available on the market for every space and with made to measure manufacturing options, it has never been easier to equip your home against intruders and keep your family or work team safe and comfortable. Best of all for the modern homeowner, high-security doors no longer create an eyesore – instead, reflecting the same design aesthetic focus as you might expect from an interior company.
The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and centre on people’s minds again. Hacking communication protocol The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol. This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many. An explosion of network devices What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices. IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers. Bridging the cybersecurity gap In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike. IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads. End-user awareness One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing. It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely. Physical security network Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem. It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices. Proactive maintenance By intelligently utilising system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralised location for asset and alert management. Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles. Sensitive data leakage Since the lockdown came into effect, organisations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organisations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession. One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever. Good cybersecurity hygiene Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more" With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Work-life balance In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and travelling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working. Video conferencing platforms Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question. The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office. Online training courses Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organisations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Virtual trade show ‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasising both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry. In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself “In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.” Cloud-based platform As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
Zigbee is a familiar name in the smart home arena, and the Zigbee Alliance is expanding its technology approach to address the challenges of the Internet of Things. As the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved, the need has become obvious for stronger unity among brands and ecosystems to enable products within smart environments to work together more easily. Working to serve that need is the Zigbee Alliance, which seeks to promote collaboration in the Internet of Things by creating, evolving, and promoting universal open standards that enable all objects to connect and interact. Shifting the smart home market Their IoT effort took off when Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance announced an industry working group in December 2019 to take the ‘best of market’ technologies from smart home standards, portfolios and ecosystems and to develop a ‘super spec’ that will be open, inclusive and a significant industry shift in the smart home market. Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability" “Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability, which has led us to the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), which is looking to unify the environment, under one technology, one certification program and one logo,” says Chris LaPré, Zigbee Alliance’s IoT Solutions Architect. “It really does fuel IoT possibilities, whether in security or any other sectors.” Project CHIP is a royalty-free connectivity standard that unifies brands and ecosystems into a single smart home automation system that operates any other technology based on Internet Protocol (IP). Simplifying product development The intent is to simplify product development for device manufacturers, broaden consumer choice, and to ensure easy discoverability, deployment and engagement to fuel connected living. “We have noticed that, as the IoT has evolved, there is a stronger need for unity, which is why we are developing Project Connected Home over IP,” says Jon Harros, Zigbee Alliance’s Director of Certification and Testing Programs. “It fits with the Zigbee Alliance’s goal to unify systems, and to focus on everyone using the same application at the top. It unifies that environment, whether you are integrating your system with Amazon Echo devices or connecting to Google Home.” Participating in development of Project CHIP are 125 companies of various types from around the world working together with more than 1,100 of their experts serving across sub-committees to formulate specifications and fine-tune the project. Home system technologies The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes Although the technology is being developed for the home market, the specifications have been formulated with an eye toward expanding into the commercial market in the future. Development of open, interoperable systems provides greater freedom for consumers to choose among the many technology choices on the market, without being tied to a single brand or ecosystem. Zigbee Alliance certifications and memberships span the globe, with roughly a third in Europe, a third in North America and a third in Asia. Involvement in Europe is slightly higher than the other regions. Alliance members represent manufacturing sites all over the world. Project CHIP is a newer initiative of the Zigbee Alliance, which previously developed Zigbee Pro to enable home system technologies to operate using IEEE 802.15.4 wireless signals on the 2.4GHz radio band over a self-healing true mesh network. The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes. Certification transfer programme Among the strengths of the Zigbee Alliance are years of experience certifying products, which includes testing them and confirming that they comply with the promoted specifications and functionality. The specifications are open standards that are developed in cooperation with all the companies that are Zigbee Alliance members. Another route is the certification transfer programme, in which a company chooses a certified white-label product, becomes a member of the Alliance, and then rebrands the product while retaining the certification. “It helps them get products on the market quickly while they build their own knowledge base,” says Harros. “All our work is focused on standardising the behaviour and functionality of products and making sure everyone is following the same standard to get interoperability,” says Harros. “Members all contribute to the standards.”
J.D. Power is a well-known name when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction, and they have been measuring satisfaction in the home security industry since 2016. Changes affecting the marketplace – both in terms of disruptors and technology – make this a unique time. For example, in 2019, J.D. Power expanded the Home Security Satisfaction Study to not only measure the traditional pro-install/pro-monitor companies, but to separately evaluate self-install/pro-monitor brands. “At J.D. Power our rankings are meant to support an industry in two key ways,” says Christina Cooley, J.D. Power's Director, @Home Intelligence. “First, we provide consumers who are shopping for products and services with a ‘report card’ of who provides customers with high levels of customer satisfaction. Second, we provide companies with actionable insights to help them prioritise their initiatives to improve and maintain high levels of customers satisfaction that drive loyalty and growth.” Differentiating between companies The traditional Pro-Install/Pro-Monitor companies are challenged to differentiate from one another In home security, J.D. Power is in a unique position to report on the changes taking place in the evolving industry. The 2019 rankings show that the traditional Pro-Install/Pro-Monitor companies are challenged to differentiate from one another, as each have their individual strengths and opportunities, but overall the score range is relatively tight. On the do-it-yourself (DIY) side, there is more differentiation. A set of brands has been able to challenge the traditional industry by achieving extremely high customer satisfaction levels. Price is always an important factor that impacts customer satisfaction, whether for security or another market J.D. Power serves. The equation is simple, says Cooley: does the price paid equal the value the customer feels they have received from the product or service? “For Home Security, we didn’t specifically look at price until this year,” says Cooley. “With the changes that have occurred in the market, price can be a differentiator as we’ve seen with the emergence of DIY-installed systems. However, lower pricing does not have a direct relationship to quality of service.” The price factor For example, there are some higher-priced pro-installed brands that perform lower on customer satisfaction than lower-priced competitors. And DIY-installed systems as a whole are less expensive, and price is the customer satisfaction driver in which the DIY segment most outperforms the pro segment. Price is the customer satisfaction driver in which the DIY segment most outperforms the pro segment The equation is: performance minus Expectations equals Customer Satisfaction. “Obviously, price point will be a factor in the purchase decision and the expectations the customer has about the product and service,” says Cooley. “Any pro or DIY system has the opportunity to differentiate the customer experience regardless of price point.” There are clear differences in the pro vs. DIY experience, which is why J.D. Power evaluates the brands in separate rankings. However, Cooley says the drivers of satisfaction are consistent across both groups. The key to each group goes back to the equation above. Evaluating the purchase process For the both pro and DIY companies, J.D. Power evaluates the purchase process the same. Though the customer may take a different path to purchase based on the offering they seek, the drivers are still the same: Usefulness of information provided Reasonableness of contract terms Professionalism of sales representative Ease of purchasing home security system. For installation, there are clear differences. DIY systems are evaluated based on: Ease of completing installation Quality of installation instructions provided Timeliness of receiving home security system. Pro systems are evaluated based on: Professionalism of technician Timeliness of completing installation Quality of work performed. Interestingly, purchase and installation are the customer satisfaction driver where both pro and DIY providers (as a whole) are most closely aligned on performance. Customer loyalty The price a customer is paying must align with the quality of the system they receive What drives a customer to purchase a home security system initially will often be very different than what will keep them as a loyal customer, Cooley notes. The price a customer is paying must align with the quality of the system they receive, and the service provided through the professional monitoring and customer service. “With the expansion of home security offerings, it’s more important than ever for home security companies to understand the motivations, intentions, and usage patterns across different customer segments to ensure that regardless of the decision to go pro or DIY-install, they are able to meet their customers’ needs and differentiate in the very competitive market. The J.D. Power Home Security Study provides these actionable insights.” The study is focused on the companies/brands that comprise the top two-thirds of market share in each segment, pro and DIY installed. A number of the brands included may work with local dealers or retailers for sales and install, but the customer is essentially evaluating those services as part of the system purchased. It is one and the same from the customer’s perspective, and the sales/install process can either delight or frustrate a customer from the beginning, which can then set the foundation for the entire experience moving forward. Reasons for shopping for a security system tend to differ between pro and DIY shoppers: Both sets are most focused on wanting a newer, more up-to-date system Between the two, pro customers are more often moving into a new home or wanting to take advantage of a discount or bundling opportunity with other products For DIY customers, they are shopping for a system to give them more peace of mind and to protect their property. Reasons for selecting the provider also vary: A pro company is often selected based on brand reputation or a special offer/promo A DIY company is primarily chosen based on price or a positive review. In terms of brand image, we see that customers see both pro and DIY providers similarly in terms of reliability. However, when it comes to being customer-driven, DIY providers receive higher image ratings compared to pro-installed companies.
Harris County, Texas, the third most populous county in the U.S., is deploying a new, next-generation security system in its buildings that will help make them more efficient and easier to operate. The new Honeywell system replaces multiple, disparate systems by integrating access control, security cameras, alarms and monitoring across the county's nearly 150 buildings situated over 1,777 square miles in Houston and the surrounding areas. Streamlined security platform Texas-based security integrator, ESI Fire and Security Protection, worked with Harris County to identify its needs and implement a streamlined security platform, using Honeywell's Pro-Watch Intelligent Command security management system to network video recorders, video cameras, thermal readers and thermal cameras. The new system provides detailed, real-time information about alarm events, access and safety across the county The new system provides detailed, real-time information about alarm events, access and safety across the county. “The security and well-being of the Harris County employees, visitors and residents is always a top priority.” said Retired Major Gen. Rick Noriega, Interim Executive Director, Harris County Universal Services. Pro-Watch Intelligent Command system Rick adds, “This project allowed us to improve our systems and gain better insights into the county's buildings to provide a safer environment. The solutions provided by Honeywell and ESI also better set the county up for the future – we can test and actively add technologies to address new needs with this flexible but scalable system.” Before Honeywell's Pro-Watch Intelligent Command system, each county building used different security products that didn't talk to one another, creating an overly complicated network and increased work for employees. Immediate benefits for Harris County will include: Saving taxpayer dollars through better analytics that reduce false alarms and help first responders. Monitoring from a single central control station for improved situational awareness. Creating healthier building environments by leveraging people-counting technologies and analytics to manage health and safety compliance, such as social distancing. Streamlining systems to create operational efficiencies and save the county resources that can be redirected to other critical infrastructure or services. IDEMIA biometrics solutions Harris County Universal Services is looking into deploying next-level biometrics solutions from IDEMIA to enhance access control at the courthouse. Using facial recognition, a camera mounted on the entrance turnstiles will recognise employees and frequent visitors, such as judges and lawyers, using data stored in the ProWatch system without the need to physically scan a badge or remove facial coverings. This frictionless access system will allow employees and visitors to enter the building in an efficient and secure manner. This system can also alert a precinct when a public park is reaching capacity and monitor building occupancy levels to comply with local health regulations. Harris County is actively testing and implementing new features that will add additional capabilities countywide. The upgrades are designed to proactively manage situations and respond faster when required. Enhancing intelligence and transparency Harris County lacked a holistic, real-time view into its various facilities with its previous systems" “Harris County lacked a holistic, real-time view into its various facilities with its previous systems,” said James Humbert, Business Development Manager at ESI Fire and Security Protection. James adds, “We've partnered with the county and Honeywell to create positive change in just about every way the county operates by improving intelligence and transparency, reducing response times and helping to save taxpayers' dollars. We look forward to continuing to work with Harris County and Honeywell in creating an efficient and safe environment for residents and employees that is ready for the future.” Fully customised solution “Through a collaborative effort with the county and ESI teams, we created a more efficient and safer environment for people who work and visit Harris County public buildings,” said Rick Koscinski, General Manager, North America, Honeywell Commercial Security. Rick adds, “With a county as large as Harris County, it was no surprise that they had multiple, disconnected systems put in place over the years which limited efficiency and connectedness. Now, the county has a fully customised solution that is built to evolve with its needs that will not only help increase safety and awareness but also create an improved building experience for its employees and building visitors.” With a population of nearly five million people, Harris County employs more than 15,000 workers to support its residents with services including public safety, jails, law enforcement, courts, library services and licencing facilities. Harris County Universal Services Harris County Universal Services is the solutions centre for the departments and offices of Harris County. It designs, implements and maintains high-quality, innovative and cost-effective technology products and services for its customers. It provides comprehensive support through eight consumer divisions: Business Applications, Business Operations, Customer Service, Cyber Security, Fleet Services, Information Technology Infrastructure, Program Delivery & Analytics and Public Safety Technology.
An intelligent network of 20 Axis EN fire panels from fire and life safety systems manufacturer, Advanced, have been installed at HaDo Centrosa Garden in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. HaDo Centrosa Garden is a 70,000 sq. m development of eight 30-storey luxury residential towers and 115 townhouses, located in the heart of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The upscale condominium complex’s facilities will include a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, fitness centre, rooftop gardens, a park, school, library and commercial centre. System with high-speed networking capabilities Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed A key requirement for this large-scale complex was a system with high-speed networking capabilities, to enable instantaneous sharing of communications between panels. To meet this need, fire protection companies Vietsafe and KP Technology chose 20 Advanced Axis EN fire alarm control panels, alongside 3,000 addressable devices, for installation in the eight residential towers. With many successful installations of Advanced products undertaken by both companies, Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed, while its ease of installation, testing, commissioning and operation would ensure minimal issues once the panels were on site. Axis EN fire alarm control panels installed Le Manh Dung, Director of Vietsafe, said “An Axis EN fire system was the clear choice for a project of this nature. Advanced is well respected in the fire industry, and its solutions are straightforward in terms of installation and operation, thanks to features such as built-in isolators for sequence addressing, which considerably reduces installation time.” Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved and its panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed, multi-loop networks of up to 200 nodes covering huge areas. Advanced’s reputation for ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range make its products customisable to almost any application. False alarm management and reduction Pham Thanh Phong, Director of KP Technology, said “As a key partner to KP Technology, Advanced is a fire system supplier we can trust, to deliver high-performing, high-quality solutions that are easy to install and to use. Features such as Axis EN’s false alarm management and reduction capabilities are extremely useful in high-rise residential sites, such as HaDo Centrosa Garden.” Pham Thanh Phong adds, “Repeated false alarms are not only intrusive, they can also lead to complacency and delayed reactions to real fire alarms. Having the ability to refine and configure protection so specifically, and according to the requirements of specific areas within a building, helps to keep unwanted alarms to a minimum and reduces disruption and risk for residents.” AlarmCalm software and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system, taking advantage of Advanced’s high-speed robust panels and networks to offer a best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined precisely and to take account of occupants’ needs and area usage. It also includes the optional AlarmCalm button, a loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Axis EN fire system Tin Le Than, Advanced’s Sales and Business Development Manager for South East Asia, said “As a modern, vibrant complex for thousands of people living and working in the centre of Ho Chi Minh, the fire protection for the HaDo Centrosa Garden development is a key priority.” Tin Le Than adds, “As an industry-renowned solution, the Axis EN fire system will deliver complete peace of mind to the building owners and residents of the complex. I am pleased to have been able to support our fantastic partners at Vietsafe and KP Technology with the equipment needed to fulfill their requirements.” Global projects Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, protects a wide range of sites across South East Asia including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, University of Macau and Hong Kong Central Library. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.
Essence SmartCare, part of IoT solutions provider Essence Group announced that ADT Security Australia, provider of security monitoring services, has selected its Care@Home Enhanced Telecare Services Platform to expand ADT’s health and wellness services offering in Australia. ADT Security Australia is part of Johnson Controls, the company in smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings. This partnership was facilitated in conjunction with HSC Technology Group. It will enable ADT to enhance its senior care offerings in Australia by providing a new range of assistive services through Essence’s Care@Home solution, under the banner of ADT Home Assure. The rollout of Essence’s technologies will allow ADT Security Australia to offer breakthrough telecare services to seniors using state-of-the-art technology and utilising the LTE network. This announcement comes as the senior population is set to grow rapidly in Australia with the proportion of seniors who are over the age of 75 to grow from 33 percent to 55 percent in the next 30 years, and annual revenue for home-based care and services of around $4.5 billion AUD. Seamless health monitoring The unified telehealth and care platform enables monitoring at any level and through any type of caring device “We are honoured to be joining forces with ADT Security Australia, one of the largest security and safety solutions providers, to enable them to provide the best care and protection to Australian seniors,” said Barak Katz, general manager for Essence SmartCare. "Our unified telehealth and care platform enables monitoring at any level and through any type of caring device for a wide range of health conditions, both at home or on-the-go – all through one connected Care@Home smart platform.” Essence SmartCare’s award-winning Care@Home platform is an aging-in-place product suite, providing seamless health monitoring solutions that enable seniors to live independent lives while providing their families with peace of mind. Leveraging a variety of advanced technologies, including deep AI capabilities, to ensure the safety of seniors, the platform comprises an integrated suite of services, including continuous monitoring of daily activities, advanced fall detection, and voice-activated alerts to facilitate real-time communication with caregivers and emergency services providers. "At ADT Asia Pacific, our mission is to protect the lives of our customers and their assets across the region by providing the highest quality solutions and services leveraging best-in-class partners," said David Kirubi, Vice President, ADT Asia Pacific. "Essence’s Care@Home solution presents a substantive and unique industry value proposition in enabling this mission, for the benefit of our customers while ensuring peace of mind for their loved ones and carers."
Genetec Inc., a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced how commercial real estate provider, Westminster Property Ventures has made innovative use of a range of Genetec solutions to make each of its premises safe from COVID-19 virus spread for staff, tenants and visitors. Westminster Property Ventures’ buildings house critical businesses, such as international banks, law firms and consultancies who can be assured that amidst a global pandemic their offices remain highly secure and equipped for their return. Genetec Mission Control The newly introduced processes and technologies make smart use of Westminster Property Ventures’ existing video and access control infrastructure. For example, using the Genetec Mission Control collaborative decision management system, Westminster Property Ventures is collecting and qualifying data from thousands of sensors and security devices, before guiding security operators in their response to routine and unanticipated situations. Among other current and critical capabilities, this helps ensure the seamless transition of out-of-hours monitoring between Westminster PV’s in-house security team and security provider, Wilson James’ monitoring centre, ensuring comprehensive levels of security at all times. “Our clientele continue to expect the highest level of security and service from us whether or not they are currently choosing to work inside our buildings,” said Andrew Forbes-Jones, Facilities Manager, Westminster Property Ventures, adding “We’re grateful to Genetec and Wilson James for keeping us at the forefront of innovation and compliance in all aspects of our security and operations.” Security Center Synergis access control system COVID-19 has created new challenges for Westminster Property Ventures’ security and operations teams in maintaining a secure and safe environment for both home and remote workers, as well as those still working inside the facilities. Using the Genetec Security Center Synergis access control system, Westminster Property Ventures is taking advantage of many COVID-19 specific features, developed over the last year, to help them directly address the challenges of the global pandemic. Synergis Proximity Report Westminster Property Ventures has deployed the Genetec’s ‘Synergis Proximity Report’ Along with the system’s new occupancy management capability, Westminster Property Ventures has deployed Genetec’s ‘Synergis Proximity Report’, first deployed at McCormick Place in Chicago, North America’s largest convention center that was repurposed as a COVID-19 field hospital in spring of 2020. Drawing data from the Synergis access control system, the solution allows Westminster Property Ventures to quickly identify individuals visiting one of their buildings, who may have come in contact with someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. Efficient protection against COVID-19 virus “I’m constantly impressed by the ability of our partners and end users to adapt quickly to changing requirements and bring the latest innovative solutions online to address them,” said Paul Dodds, Country Manager UK at Genetec, Inc. Paul adds, “Westminster Property Ventures’ rapid response to the challenges of the pandemic mirrors our own and validates our investments in technologies that can help make our workplaces safer, healthier and more secure.”
Located in the heart of west London, Ealing Council serves the residents and businesses of the UK capital's fourth largest borough. With a vast housing portfolio and a commitment to keeping residents as safe and secure as possible, Ealing Council benefits from the use of PAC’s innovative cloud-based access control solution, PAC Residential Cloud. The London Borough of Ealing comprises seven major towns, Ealing, Acton, Greenford, Hanwell, Northolt, Perivale and Southall. Ealing Council’s task is to provide a diverse range of services to the 350,000 residents residing across the area. It is committed to improving its performance, while ensuring value for money and serving a key part of this is the provision of good quality housing that meets the highest possible standards. Ensuring safety and security of residents In addition to carrying out property allocation, repairs, rent collection, homelessness services and estate management, Ealing Council is responsible for ensuring the security and safety of the tenants living in its 300+ housing blocks. As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system" Daljit Gill, an Electrical Services Manager at Ealing Council commented, “When it comes to administering our multi-site housing portfolio, Ealing Council recognises the advantages that access control technology brings in terms of our ability to effectively access information, issue and configure key fobs and check occupancy status.” He adds, “As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system, which currently comprises around 1,100 doors and 500 controllers.” PAC Residential Cloud Over the last few years the cloud has proven to be a game changer in the way access control technology is designed, configured and used. The PAC Residential Cloud leads the way in allowing organisations to remotely manage and monitor their access control systems. Meanwhile, the PAC controllers, which are being used as part of the Ealing Council’s access control system, utilise the general packet radio service (GPRS) platform, which is a faster and cost-effective means of connecting remote sites via a mobile network. Key fob management and remote diagnostics Sam Flowers, Regional Sales Manager at PAC GDX, explains “Daljit and his team can address technical issues, deal with key fob management, examine diagnostics, view system status, set and unset a system, and gain access to event logs and reports, all from a remote location.” Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals" Sam adds, “Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals, which is obviously restrictive and can lead to a delayed response. We provide a full online training programme to help customers get the best out of their systems and also offer full technical support.” Asked on how the PAC Residential Cloud makes his day to day working life easier, Ealing Council’s Daljit Gill responded by stating, “I can address connection issues, manage the system and troubleshoot from wherever I happen to be, using my PC, tablet or smartphone. Not only is this convenient, it also saves me a huge amount of time, as I don’t have to go into the office to log-in.” Fully auditable system He adds, “Two of my colleagues also have permission to use the system remotely, although we could share access with up to 15 administrators if required, with each person only given access to information that relates directly to their role.” Daljit further said, “One of the main features of the system is that it is fully auditable, meaning that any activity can be monitored in real time and traced directly back to a specific user via their unique password.” Adherence to GDPR and strong data protection policy Ealing Council strictly adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has implemented a strong data protection policy. PAC Residential Cloud is hosted with The Bunker, a trusted PAC partner, whose UK data centres are located in former nuclear bunkers and certified to the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob" PAC Residential Cloud also offers Ealing Council some less obvious benefits. Sam Flowers comments, “The data collected by the access control system can be used to issue an alert if a resident’s key fob hasn't been used during a specific period, identify patterns of behaviour that could suggest illegal activity, flag-up if someone is subletting a property or even detect if a tenant is using a cloned key fob.” Sam adds, “If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob. Furthermore, the PAC Residential Cloud has also helped Ealing Council adopt a business as usual approach during the coronavirus pandemic by limiting physical interaction, while still enabling a prompt and effective response.” Fully IP-based access control system As well as enjoying the operational advantages of the PAC Residential Cloud, Ealing Council is also planning to advance its transition to a fully internet protocol (IP) based access control system by upgrading to PAC’s 512DCi digital networkable access controllers. Daljit Gill concludes by stating, “Installing the PAC 512DCi’s will allow us to maximise operational effectiveness through our investment in the PAC Residential Cloud. We will also be able to utilise PAC’s high frequency OPS MIFARE DESFire EV1 readers, which have been tested to meet Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128 bit compliance. This will further reduce the risk of key fob cloning and ensure that our tenants benefit from improved levels of security.”
Hicking Building RTM Company Ltd has teamed up with Videx Security and Joes UK Limited to solve a major door entry issue for a large residential complex. The Hicking Building Ltd. is a Nottingham-based development comprising 329 self-contained flats, managed by property agents Walton and Allen. Many residents were struggling with a call issue because the existing intercom system developed a fault which meant residents weren’t receiving calls from the system panels. Because of this, tenants were missing visitors and deliveries with people thinking they weren’t home. Videx GSM 4812 intercom system Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system that would also work in conjunction with the existing access control system, where the fob entry element of this was working normally. Joe, who owns and manages Joes UK Ltd., said “The system installed is a very old system and we were struggling to source the repair parts needed to fix the calling issue tenants were experiencing. To fix the problem and reduce the risk of the issue happening again, I recommended the installation of a digital audio GSM 4812 intercom system by Videx that could work concurrently with the fob entry function of the existing solution.” He adds, “With the Videx GSM 4812, when someone calls a specific apartment the call is automatically directed to a registered phone number of the tenant’s, which is usually their smartphone. They now will never miss that important visitor or delivery and are made aware of who has visited even when they are not there and can authorise entry if they wish, while away from their home.” Parallel operations with software-based fob entry solution The Videx system works alongside the existing software-based fob entry solution that residents have used for many years. Mobile phones are now the handset of choice for the majority of people and as they are enabled with Wi-Fi calling, there’s no need to worry about poor mobile signal. If the existing fob system also developed a fault and stopped working, the Videx GSM system includes a preinstalled fob reader so it would be easy to switch this over to the GSM solution. Mark Gibbon, Sales Manager at Videx Security, said “The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security too. There’s no infrastructure or wiring involved; it’s very easy to set up and use.” The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security Mark adds, “It’s a win-win situation for both the resident and management company because it means residents won’t have to stay home waiting for a delivery, or miss a visitor, as they can answer the call to their apartment from anywhere in the world. For management companies, our GSM solution offers a fixed cost and minimises the risk of call outs because there’s no handset maintenance involved.” Remote event log with online access A really useful feature of the GSM system is that it also carries a new remote event log that can be accessed online, allowing events to be viewed in real time, on the move via a phone, tablet/laptop. It’s a great security feature because it’s where a record is kept of calls, gate/door openings and much more. What’s also useful is that alerts can be programmed where an email will be sent should that alert be triggered. For example, if the gate or door is opened out of normal hours or if the registered number for a flat or property is changed too frequently - any unusual activity is flagged.
Round table discussion
Perimeter security is the first line of defence against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?
When technology performs a required task effectively, there is little reason to upgrade to the ‘next big thing’. In this regard, the physical security market is notoriously slow to change. Much of yesterday’s most robust and dependable equipment is still in place at thousands of customer sites, still performing as well as the day it was installed. However, there comes a point when any technology becomes outdated. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies are becoming outdated or obsolete?