The Open University, which is based in London, has been bombarded by 1,191,312 malicious email attacks over the past nine months, from January 2020 to September 2020. This is according to official data obtained by a Parliament Street think tank via a Freedom of Information act request. Fortunately, all malicious messages, which included spam, malware and phishing attacks, were blocked by the University’s servers. Distance learning courses In its response to Parliament Street researchers,...
Vanderbilt, a renowned provider of state-of-the-art video, access control and intrusion security systems, announced the introduction of Vanderbilt Mobile ACT ID, featuring zero-touch, cloud-issued credentials for seamless integration into its access control solutions. The result is the ability to easily issue new credentials, as well as instantly grant and restrict access for office buildings, government facilities, healthcare institutions, schools, residences and a growing variety of enterprise...
With LocoMobi World’s WorldStream Dispatch on-site, on-demand parking management system, there is no longer a need for expensive on-site personnel. LocoMobi World provides coverage only when required through automated on-demand requests, manual on-demand requests or scheduled patrols. Using the WorldStream Cloud Portal, owners, property managers, and concierges can view the status of a request in real-time and track the location of activity on the system map. Tailored flexibility The s...
Dahua Technology, a globally renowned video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, made new breakthroughs in the field of AI technology recently. Various indicators of its Gait Recognition Technology have once again broken the record of CASIA-B gait dataset: the average accuracy of Rank1 for NM (normal walking), BG (with a bag) and CL (in a coat) reached 97.4%, 94.0%, and 87.0% respectively, hitting another historical heights and maintaining its pioneering position. Gait recognit...
Renowned temperature monitoring expert, AMETEK Land, has launched a new human body temperature screening system to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Developed over 10 years by AMETEK Land experts, the VIRALERT 3 provides real-time infrared thermal imaging from a safe social distance, scanning for elevated temperatures that could indicate infection. The VIRALERT 3 is the first of its kind, providing a camera and a temperature-controlled reference source on a single mo...
The world has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many new challenges and regulations. MOBOTIX’s intelligent video technology can support companies, institutions, public as well as private facilities during the crisis and in the restart after the lockdown. MOBOTIX has bundled the available "back-on-track video technology solutions" for its partners and customers to help get them up and running quickly and effectively. This makes it easier for industries and sectors such as retai...
Paige DataCom Solutions, the developer of the GameChanger Cable, a cable designed to significantly exceed the reach of traditional category cable, announced a new version of the cable to support the special requirements of hazardous locations. These locations are defined in Article 500 of the National Electrical Code (NEC), where explosive or ignitable gases or vapours are present under normal operating conditions. "This brings a new, important and much more affordable option to installations typically requiring very expensive solutions," said David Coleman, VP of Business Development for Paige. Explosion-proof cameras “For those applications classified as Hazardous, this really is a game changer. With the CI/D1 rating this armoured cable allows installers to skip the expensive and time consuming installation of rigid pipe, and with a reach that goes well over two times traditional cable, this can save a significant amount of time and money." This version of GameChanger is ordered cut by the foot and can even be factory terminated Additionally, this version of GameChanger is ordered cut by the foot and can even be factory terminated, eliminating the potential need to purchase a standard cable length that is far lengthier than the installation requires. Paige’s GameChanger cable delivers 1Gb/s Ethernet and PoE+ up to 656 feet (200 metres) and 10Mb/s Ethernet and PoE+ up to 850 feet making it an ideal pairing for explosion-proof cameras, WAPs and other edge devices. Performance testing solutions This cable eliminates intermediate IDF requirements and the need to install repeaters, power supplies and other equipment, which are costly and introduce additional points of failure. This new GameChanger cable for Hazardous locations can support a broad range of industrial applications, including petroleum refineries, aircraft hangers with fuel servicing, gasoline storage and dispensing areas, paint shops and facilities, utility gas plants, chemical plants, and alcohol/cannabis production facilities. An independent performance evaluation completed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) evaluated GameChanger cable technology and verified that it delivers 1 Gbps performance and PoE+ over 200 metres. GameChanger cable is also supported by the field performance testing solutions of renowned vendors, including AEM, Fluke, Ideal, Netscout, Softing and Viavi.
Body temperature measurement, detection of face masks and the counting of visitor flows - Geutebrück has expanded its portfolio to enable the retail trade, public authorities and operators of public transport and industry to adjust their protective measures to the current situation. Without having to resort to biometric data, the intelligent and highly available video security systems process images in real time. This way, both customers and personnel are being protected, and compliance with official regulations or prescribed hygiene measures is being controlled and documented. Contactless measurement of body temperature When measuring body temperature people are automatically screened. Fields of application are where many people come together, e.g. in companies, manufacturing plants, train stations, at airports, in public or private institutions. The automated face mask detection verifies compliance with such precautions and can - when connected to an access control system - allow or block entry to a building. Suitable for any facility with public access. Visitor management for restricting number of visitors Visitor counting and routing is of particular interest to shop owners, who need to ensure that the number of customers in their premises is kept below the maximum. As with all Geutebrück solutions, the most recent developments are GDPR-compliant and protect the privacy and personal rights of all those involved. "Our clients are facing unknown challenges in the current situation. Our solutions can help in many fields to overcome such challenges by means of visualisation and automatisation - yet without reaching capacity limits", says Christine Heger-Essig, Chief Technology Officer.
Videonetics, an international provider of AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform development company, has announced a distribution partnership with Spectra Innovations Pte Ltd, Singapore, to offer their complete array of products and solutions across the South East Asia and ASEAN region. Headquartered in Singapore, Spectra Innovations Pte Ltd has an established network of certified channel partners, system integrators, training and support specialists in South East Asia and ASEAN countries. Through this partnership, Spectra is all set to offer Videonetics AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform encompasses Intelligent VMS, Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning Video Analytics, Intelligent Traffic Management System and Facial Recognition Software. Video Analytics solutions We are pleased to enter into this value-added distribution relationship with Spectra" On the appointment, Avinash Trivedi, VP – Business Development, Videonetics expressed, “We are pleased to enter into this value-added distribution relationship with Spectra and introduce our indigenous offerings in the ever-growing markets of SEA and ASEAN region. As ranked amongst the top 5 VMS providers in Asia, Videonetics continues to increase focus and investment globally." "I am assured that Spectra’s remarkable management capabilities and extensive partner network, combined with Videonetics’s state-of-the-art solutions will cater to growing demand for truly unified solutions in different verticals such as safe & smart city, aviation, transportation, critical infrastructures, heavy engineering, healthcare, education and retail to name a few.” Affordable and deployable “Spectra is pleased to be appointed as a Regional Distributor of Videonetics. With the adoption of CCTV gaining acceptance beyond just surveillance into sectors such as garbage management under Smart City initiative, loss prevention applications in retail, logistics and warehouses, productivity improvements in factories to name a few, the need for VMS and Video Analytics solutions are becoming affordable and deployable in mass scale today” said Kanwal Sahney, Managing Director, Spectra Innovations Pte Ltd.
Check Point announced that its SecureAcademy education initiative reached a major milestone with the 100th academic institution joining the program to provide a comprehensive cyber security curriculum to students. SecureAcademy offers an in-depth academic program to higher learning institutions worldwide, promoting educational and career opportunities in cyber security for students. SecureAcademy courses are now available at 100 universities in 40 countries, helping to shape the cyber-experts of the future and narrowing the cyber skills gap. Recent research shows the number of unfilled cyber security roles now stands at 4.07 million professionals globally, up from 2.93 million last year. Identifying and resolving security threats Check Point works with recognised national and international universities, colleges and accredited higher education institutions to deliver the SecureAcademy program’s courses. These introduce students to cyber security concepts such as identifying and resolving security threats, and give hands-on experience with security solutions. Completing the course gives students industry-recognised certifications in cyber security skills. Check Point offers the SecureAcademy instructor training courseware, instructor certification, software licenses and marketing support completely free of charge. Students who pass the certification exam upon completion will be extended an interview opportunity for employment at Check Point global offices or its network of more than 5000 affiliate organisations. Cybersecurity skills gap We can give students a deeper understanding of the sector, and a fast-track route to employment" “This milestone clearly shows the value that both students and leading education institutions place on the SecureAcademy program, which is helping to equip the next generation of cyber-warriors with the skills they need to succeed in the industry,” said Shay Solomon, director for education services, Check Point Software Technologies. “The cybersecurity skills gap is large and still growing, so initiatives such as SecureAcademy and our innovative Knowledge Programs will be key to attracting and engaging students to help bridge that gap. By offering range of opportunities for formal learning and professional development, we can give students a deeper understanding of the sector, and a fast-track route to employment.” IoT security As part of Check Point’s commitment to develop the next generation of cyber security professionals, it is also offering a new, free 4.5 hour online technical training course via Cybrary.it, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider which delivers IT and cyber security training to anyone, anywhere, and every skill level. The Check Point course covers cyber security threats and security management. Further, free training modules will be available in 2020 covering cloud security, IoT security, mobile security and threat prevention. Check Point also offers CloudGuard Cyber-Range training. These courses deliver immersive cyber security training in simulated environments via the flexible Cyber Range cloud platform, offering an engaging, gamified learning environment. Training is fully adaptive to users’ needs with built-in debriefing and progression tracking.
Aeroturn LLC, a turnstile manufacturer that offers 100% Made In The USA turnstiles, announced that the company is currently manufacturing multiple types of turnstile lanes - all ADA compliant- for five different GSA sites on the northeast, west and east coasts. Businesses, non-profit organisations, and educational institutions can obtain a GSA Schedule Contract to sell products and services to government customers and helps streamline the process. Aeroturn is currently a national preferred manufacturer and installer of turnstiles for multiple federal and state agencies due to past & current performance as well as the company’s long-term success with many integrators, contractors and end users. The government sector is a huge focus for Aeroturn with turnstiles installed at government sites nationwide dating back to October 2004. Physical and cyber security The current GSA projects will be completed by the successful long-term teamwork of eVigilant & Aeroturn With turnstiles still in operation daily with no preventative maintenance program or service required; government agencies can rely on Aeroturn for all their perimeter protection needs. eVigilant Security, a nationwide security provider that specialises in physical and cyber security for Government clients, chose Aeroturn products for the GSA sites due to their past relationship dating all the way back to 2008. Both companies joined forces to implement turnstiles for several Presidential Transition office locations and knew that it was a powerful partnership. Federal protection services security forces Aeroturn was able to design and deploy fixed units via modules that can be placed in each location "4 years" apart and stored at various locations under the USSS guidance. “eVigilant was instrumental in the GSA process due to their relationship and corporate structure with several of the federal protection services security forces,” states Michael Stoll, Aeroturn’s VP of Technical Sales & Marketing. “Once we were able to present our products and past performance with the USSS Technical Services Division; it was an easy decision for the DOJ leased professional space decision makers to choose Aeroturn.” The company works with integrators and end user building security personnel nationwide" The current GSA projects will be completed by the successful long-term teamwork of eVigilant & Aeroturn. “Working with Aeroturn over the past decade has proven to be a powerful collaboration,” states David Einsig, VP of Sales at eVigilant. “We look forward to continuing our combined efforts to help keep government facilities safe and secure.” High level of security required As part of the bid process, Aeroturn provided drawings and renderings prior to being awarded the GSA contracts. Each GSA location has its very own unique security safety requirements and needed a manufacturer who could adhere to the strict compliance guidelines. Aeroturn has performed recent site evaluations and investigations regarding infrastructure at the multiple GSA sites and will also assist with future security plans. All work at each location must be performed during off-hours or weekends due to the high level of security required to secure each lobby/door. Aeroturn is extremely flexible and continues to outperform its peers in the industry by staying on time and on budget upon project completion. There are many options out there for turnstiles, but none can compete with Aeroturn’s process of product-layout-finish, approvals/PO issuance, site preparedness, and delivery & installation. The company works with integrators and end user building security personnel nationwide to ensure sites are 100% ready for the arrival of product, thus minimising costs and disruptions.
Allegion, a provider of security products and solutions, and CBORD, a provider of campus card technology solutions, announced a new integration that strengthens perimeter security across colleges and universities in the U.S. Allegion’s Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM) options will now extend the impact of CBORD’s card software system for greater control of secondary doors over perimeter access. The integration improves perimeter security by providing electronic override of mechanical dogging so lockdown can occur from the CBORD interface. To ensure peace of mind, remote monitoring capabilities are also available through the integration. Security issue on campus Colleges need to be able to lock down immediately if there is a security issue on campus" This integration also makes Allegion and CBORD one of the first to bring this solution to higher education campuses for access control at this scale. Higher education campuses face a unique challenge when it comes to security – they are larger, open by design, and tend to have more buildings than other learning institutions, making security a demanding task for facility personnel. “This is one of the most critical security hurdles universities face,” said Robert Lydic, Vice President of PACs OEM business at Allegion. “Due to the required circulation between buildings, colleges need to be able to lock down immediately if there is a security issue on campus.” Electronic access control system Yong Lacy, category leader of openings at Allegion, added, “It is not feasible for universities to leave perimeter doors locked during operating hours because students, faculty and visitors constantly need to move across campus buildings with ease. Remote undogging and monitoring can enhance security to avoid putting the college community at risk in emergency situations.” Many secondary doors are not connected to a campus’ electronic access control system, exposing universities to potential security breaches, especially during emergency lockdowns. The Von Duprin RU and RM options, coupled with CBORD’s software, are designed to extend the benefits of electronic access control to these openings. This integration provides higher education customers a wide range of affordable solutions to meet their perimeter electronic access control needs, seamlessly integrating with security systems like Schlage’s electronic locks, readers and credentials. Access control software The RM option is the sensor-only configuration for exit-only or fire-rated doors that require monitoring" “CBORD has been a provider of campus technology for more than forty years and works with partners like Allegion to design innovative solutions as security risks continue to evolve,” said Jim Hoefflin, CBORD president. “We’ve taken a best-of-breed in security solutions and integrated it with our industry-leading access control software for a smart integration that responds to the market’s increasing need for improved campus perimeter security.” The Von Duprin RU option is a retrofit kit for exit devices that enables remote undogging for centralised lock down and door status monitoring with integrated request to exit (RX), latch bolt (LX) and door position switch (DPS) signaling capabilities. The RU option connects wirelessly via BLE to the ENGAGE Gateway, providing real-time, bi-directional communication to the Open Options DNA Fusion software via IP network connection directly to the Gateway. Advanced access control adoption The RU option is a modular battery powered kit that can be added on to existing Von Duprin 98/99 and 33A/35A series devices. The RM option is the sensor-only configuration for exit-only or fire-rated doors that require monitoring. It provides visibility to door status with the same RX, LX and DPS signals as the RU option, without the centralised lockdown component. This integration is part of the next wave in Allegion’s quest to work with the leading players in the industry to spearhead advanced access control adoption, making seamless security the new standard at higher education institutions.
There’s only so much a corporation can do to counteract the threat of a major incident. You can ask everyone to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious, but you cannot stop someone intent on deliberately starting a fire, threatening a work colleague with a knife or something much worse. And of course, most businesses recognise that even routine events – such as burst pipes, IT system failures, extreme weather event or power outages – can have significant consequences unless they are quickly brought under control. Training security officers Governments and organisations across the world are increasingly encouraging businesses to re-assess risks and to plan for and conduct drills for major emergencies. This is driving different agencies and companies to invest in new skills, resources and systems, and encouraging businesses to routinely re-evaluate their emergency response strategies. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents For example: UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents, as part of the UK government’s Action Counter Terrorism programme. And organisations including the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) and Higher Education Business Continuity Network (HEBCoN) are developing customised training for their members to improve their own response and business continuity plans. Mass notifications systems Whether an organisation is facing a terrorist attack or a severe weather event, follow up reports consistently identify that the same types of challenges are common to all crisis situations, with similar errors often occurring again and again. Typically, these are centred on three key areas: poor communications, fractured command and control structures, and delayed deployment of resources. Communications skills and technologies clearly play a pivotal role in how effective an organisation is in responding to major incidents, particularly when it comes to assessing the situation and its implications, moving people towards safety and providing updates as an incident unfolds. However, when an organisation is considering its technology options, emergency response and mass notification systems (MNS) are often touted as the ideal platform to deliver all the required critical communications and ongoing updates. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents Emergency notification system All the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform But, if an organisation does not know exactly where all its staff or students are, and it cannot see the location and availability of its first responders and other emergency coordinators relative to them and the incident, then how useful is it to send a top-down alert to everyone? And what about fast moving or multi-centre incidents, where previously agreed evacuation procedures, recommended actions or mustering points may need to change if an incident takes an unexpected turn? Many organisations may have been lulled into believing that an emergency notification system will allow them to confidently handle all the communications aspects of virtually any crisis. In reality, too many businesses are still unaware that there are now much more sophisticated and proven technologies where all the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform. Using live map tracking The benefit of using these advanced and more integrated approaches – often categorised as mobile distributed command and control systems – is that they enable faster and better decision making in a crisis using real-time feedback and two-way dialogue with those closest to the emergency. And they avoid the risks of any potential delays, miscommunications or mistakes that can happen when an organisation is under pressure to respond and often switching between multiple systems. Leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response These next generation emergency management platforms have been specifically designed to enable real-time mapping of an organisation’s security assets and its users on a single screen and to fully integrate it with a highly targeted geo-fenced notification capability. The mass notification aspect of the system can then be used to advise specific groups on the best actions to take at their location as an incident develops. The use of live map tracking enables real time mapping of an organisation's security assets Segmented messaging Many leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using these new mobile/web-enabled platforms to plan, manage and improve their incident response, leading to 50% faster reactions and more positive outcomes.During a crisis, users can receive push notifications so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly The systems have been widely adopted within the higher-education sector, but they are equally applicable to any large company with multiple international sites or those situated in research or corporate campuses where the bulk of assets and people are based in one or more key locations. Typically, systems provide users with a smartphone app that they can use to call for immediate emergency or first aid support when at work, or to report something suspicious which could prevent an apparently minor incident from escalating into a full-scale emergency. During a crisis, users can receive push notifications, SMS and E-mails asking them to open the app if they are not already logged in, so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly. Supporting dispersed mustering Now that communications can be more nimble, responsive and flexible this can support the increasing numbers of planners are recognising the advantages of dispersed mustering. This is a strategy that has been developed to reduce the risk of secondary attacks on unprotected people complying with instructions to evacuate from premises and gather in what are, effectively, exposed locations. It is now acknowledged that evacuees waiting outside for any length of time are more vulnerable to targeted attacks or to injury, from flying glass for example. With dispersed mustering – a strategy made more effective by these new mobile distributed command and control systems - a building’s occupants can be advised not to go outside, but to move to known safe internal locations. People in each specific area can then be kept regularly updated. Many corporations are now using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response Coordination between response agencies The software platforms can be integrated with an organisation’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information First responders are permanently logged in, so the emergency operations centre can see their exact locations in real-time and can advise what actions to take in mustering people or in setting up and protecting security cordons. Bringing everything together on one platform, with real-time feedback and in a fully integrated system also removes what is often seen as the weakest communication link in managing any major incident: the need to rely on conventional two-way radio as the sole means of communication between the command and control centre and its first responders and other team members on the ground. The software platforms can be integrated with an organisation’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information to a new level for improved collaboration, coordination and communications between users, the incident management team and external agencies. Improving emergency response strategies One of the most powerful features of some of these new systems is the ability to record and view all alerts, responses and the detailed conversations between first responders, emergency coordinators and other parties. This allows the systems to be used to simulate major incidents involving inputs from the emergency services and other key agencies and to ensure the organisation’s crisis management plans have been fully tested against a range of possible incident scenarios.
As we approach National Safe Schools Week (October 21-27), it is appropriate for a conversation to begin regarding establishing standards for K12 school security. Currently no standards exist for assisting schools navigate the complexity of understanding what they need, how much it will cost and how they will secure their learning environments. Security industry experts The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is one of the organisations at the forefront of establishing security standards for schools. In 2014, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) formed PASS, which brought together a cross functional group of members including school officials, safe schools’ consultants, law enforcement and security industry experts to collaborate and develop a coordinated approach to protecting K-12 students and staff. School administrators are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products PASS has provided valuable insights regarding an ‘All Hazards’ approach to school safety and security. In fact, PASS suggests that school administrators are challenged with two decisions: Determining what they need to do How to prioritise Safe school environment School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education. However, most are not security experts and do not understand the complexity of implementing a comprehensive physical security and safety program across their districts. Still, they are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products. School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education, but most are not security experts Some of these organisations recognise their products are just pieces of a safe school environment puzzle and how they fit in, whereas others focus on specific applications and do not understand how their specific solutions may affect life safety codes and Americans with Disabilities Act law. (Note: Many ‘barricade devices’ fall into this latter category and actually introduce liability concerns with the unintended consequences of their use.)Schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis Even for experts, the plethora of options and disparate systems required to integrate a safety and security approach at schools is daunting. The ongoing challenge is integrating access control, video, mass notification, and/or visitor management products into a single, effective, and appropriate system the owner can understand, utilise, and afford and that meet local codes and ADA laws. In the absence of standards, schools are likely to amass a collection of devices that do not constitute a comprehensive solution. Lack of consensus In years past, the our industry and commercial buildings adhered to legacy codes – like Building Officials and Code Administrators International Inc. (BOCA), Uniform Building Code (UBC), Southern Building Code Congress International Inc. (SBBCI), and International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) – which have traditionally been revised every three years, while local jurisdictions decided what versions to adopt and enforce. Currently, however, there is a move toward the International Building Code (IBC), which is published by the International Code Council (ICC) and includes standards and guidance for commercial buildings on doors, windows, and other openings.A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan, and begins with developing a trend analysis Still, despite this migration of codes from a patchwork of local decisions to global guidelines, there remains a lack of consensus around school security. The current fragmented approach causes confusion regarding how new schools are designed and how to retrofit existing school buildings, whose average age is 45+ years. Right protection equipment One can point to the fact that there hasn’t been one student lost in a school fire in over 50 years as testament to standards like NFPA 80 and NFPA 101 being referenced in model building codes. Additionally, schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis. It’s not just having the right protection equipment in the building, it’s also having a procedural layer in place to make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of fire. The stress of the actual event can limit ones’ ability to think clearly. Practice makes perfect. Why would we approach school security any differently? School security is a team effort, and it is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves School security is a team effort. It is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves. PASS suggests starting with a basic team consisting of: Security Director Local Law Enforcement School Administrator Integrator Door and Hardware Consultant IT Director Comprehensive security plan Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan. This often begins with conducting a trend analysis requiring the collection of data from a variety of public and private sources. The challenge is to pull these pieces into a usable and easily understood format that provides a guide for current and future risk concerns. Risk assessment and mitigation can never eliminate risk. Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators. Data from the following sources can help measure risk: Campus: Review incident report trends for at least the past 36 months. Area and city: Review crime data from local law enforcement for the surrounding neighborhood and city. Screening procedures: How is hiring conducted? Anonymous tip reporting systems: Enabling students, staff members, parents and the community to anonymously alert administrators to perceived and actual threats. Social media monitoring: such monitoring can provide important information that can be used to identify risks. Monitoring social media could help measure risk for school safety Delay adversarial behaviors These assessments can then be incorporated into the best practice approach of Layered Security. Layered security combines best practice components within each layer that effectively deter, detect and delay adversarial behaviors. Layered security works from the outside in. As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection. The asset being protected is at the center of the layers – students, staff and authorised visitors. PASS defines five layers of Security:As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection District Wide Property Perimeter Parking Lot Perimeter Building Perimeter Classroom/Interior Perimeter Appropriate Tier target Each layer can be broken down into Tier levels with Tier 1 being basic and Tier 4 being the highest level of security (Figure 1) . It is important to understand that the demographics of individual school buildings varies, even within the same district. Security experts will quickly point out that ‘if you’ve seen one school, you’ve seen one school’. The assessments will determine the appropriate Tier target. Figure 1 Each layer includes essential protective elements, or components, of security. Every layer does not necessarily include all seven of these common components, and a layer may include additional components unique to that particular layer. Safety and security components Policies & Procedures People (roles & training) Architectural Communication Access Control Video Surveillance Detection and Alarms While components are not listed in a priority order, three components included in all layers are policies and procedures, the roles and training of people, and communication. These components often perform a function in every layer and every tier in each layer. Three tools come together in the PASS approach as outlined in the new 4th Edition of the PASS Guidelines (Figure 2) - the Layers are established and defined, a Checklist/Assessment breaks down each layer into tiered best practices which then tie into the guidelines where a narrative explains each best practice in more detail. Figure 2 Schools need not reinvent the wheel when it comes to school security planning. Following the best practices of Risk Assessments and Layered Security will ensure that every school building in a district will have a unique and comprehensive plan that is tailored to their individual needs.
Video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) is not just for commercial organisations. Federal, state and local governments can also realise benefits from the technology—and use it to deliver an integrated video surveillance system that addresses some of their unique security needs. Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) What is VSaaS? Simply stated, it’s a cloud-based video surveillance solution that is packaged and delivered as a service over the internet. The price varies depending on the features of your plan (i.e. number of cameras, amount of storage, software features, etc.), and you pay a monthly subscription price to use it. How does it work? Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are installed at site locations, and the video is captured and streamed to a service provider’s data center via an internet connection. The video management software (VMS) runs on backend infrastructure provided by the service provider’s cloud. All video processing is done in the cloud, and all that is required to view the footage is an internet-connected device and a web browser. Retail, health care, education, and transportation all benefit from the flexibility and architecture of VSaas Growing VSaaS providers Solution providers such as Axis Communications, Genetec, and G4S among many others offer VSaaS solutions, and the market is growing. According to IHS Markit, the market is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2021. VSaaS is a solution with cross-industry appeal. Retail, health care, education, and transportation all benefit from the flexibility and architecture of the solution. But how does VSaaS address the surveillance needs of government institutions? Geographic coverage and access To protect cities and towns, law enforcement must watch over widespread geographic areas. Their work involves monitoring and policing many different neighborhoods, buildings, garages, parks, and walking paths—basically anywhere there is property or people to protect. They rely on video surveillance to help them keep these environments safe. But it’s more than local law enforcement officers who use video footage. From local city officials to federal and state law enforcement agencies, many other people, at times, need access to video footage captured by city surveillance cameras. Centralised remote monitoring How does VSaaS help? VSaaS enables the installation of cameras throughout cities and communities and stream footage to a central location via the Internet. Because the system is centralised, it eliminates the need to manage a lot of different standalone DVRs or NVRs, which enables organisations to monitor a large area from a remote command center. VSaaS enables the installation of cameras throughout cities and communities and stream footage to a central location via the Internet Plus, anyone with proper credentials can access the footage from an Internet-connected device—whether that be a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. That makes it easier for multiple agencies to work together, which in turn can improve communication and response time to incidents. Budget concerns and flexibility Tight budgets are normal in government. As a result, it’s often a challenge to procure capital for new technology purchases—and that sometimes leads to underfunded projects and difficulty upgrading old technology. VSaaS changes the expense model. It allows you to shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model, where large capital funding is required to purchase equipment, to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model, where the costs of the solution become an operating expense. Since the cameras, installation, storage, and software are packaged into a service, you don’t need a large capital outlay up front—you simply pay a predictable expense every month. VSaaS provides the capability for you to increase storage capacity when you need it Feature and storage capacity upgrade features VSaaS also makes it easier to upgrade old technology. When new technology becomes available, you can upgrade to it as part of the service. You no longer have to stick with old technology because of capital budget restrictions. Instead, you can upgrade to better cameras and management software features as they become available. The same is true for storage capacity. As camera resolution increases, the amount of data captured also increases. In addition, with the evolution of smart city technology and big data analytics, video data has become more valuable. As a result, there is a need not only to store more data but also to keep that data accessible for a longer period of time. VSaaS provides the capability for you to increase storage capacity when you need it. You can scale to accommodate growth, and since the storage is delivered as part of the service, you can leverage the “pay for use” model to manage your costs. On-premise storage or hybrid Where should surveillance video be stored? It’s an important question. After all, government entities must always comply with data privacy laws and handle data properly to ensure it can be used as evidence if needed. As a result, officials may prefer to be selective about where they store video data. In fact, the concern over regulatory requirements and security and privacy issues, according to Gartner, will lead governments to implement private cloud at twice the rate of public cloud through 2021. The provider’s ability to store large amounts of data cost-effectively makes VSaaS possible That’s not necessarily a show-stopper when it comes to video surveillance. Some VSaaS providers offer hybrid options. Plus, one of the things that makes VSaaS possible is the provider’s ability to store large amounts of data cost-effectively. Because service providers can manage their storage infrastructures economically, they can offer their service at an attractive price. Multi-tier storage infrastructure In a way, government institutions (as well as commercial organisations) can do the same thing. If a government entity—for example, a small municipality—wanted to store their data on-premise or implement a hybrid configuration, they could solve some of their video storage challenges by implementing a multi-tier storage infrastructure similar to what a VSaaS provider might use to provide the actual service. A multi-tier storage infrastructure uses different storage media—disk, object storage, tape, and cloud—and combines them to deliver the total capacity needed while balancing performance and cost. The diagram below is an illustration of a multi-tier infrastructure: As the diagram shows, storage capacity grows using lower cost forms of media as volume and long-term retention requirements change. Files are moved between tiers based on user-defined policies. When the policies are met, the files are moved to a lower cost tier. Some file systems allow for multiple copies be written at ingest which not only minimises the traffic of moving files across the network, but also provides much needed data protection through a second copy on a lower-cost tier. This scenario enables you to optimise the amount of high-performance media in your infrastructure and lower the long-term cost of retaining files. VSaaS offers many benefits for government institutions and commercial organisations alike Choice of implementations VSaaS offers many benefits for government institutions and commercial organisations alike. But not every implementation has the same needs or requirements. The good news is, when it comes to video surveillance solutions, you have options. You can leverage the benefits of VSaaS, in either a public cloud or hybrid scenario, depending on the service provider. Or if your needs dictate, you can achieve some of the same capacity and cost-saving benefits you would get from a VSaaS solution by implementing an on-premise solution based on a centralised VMS system and multi-tier storage. The choice is yours.
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilised in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalisation is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, travelling over existing networks, empowering a more centralised security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Multiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ cameras Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-light capability It’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darkness Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
Inaugurated in 2012, the government of West Bengal had taken an initiative to build a Cultural & Research Institute to commemorate the birth anniversary of Bengal’s polymath, known as the Bard of Bengal, globally. Spread over an area of 4.89 acres, the institute is in the heart of New Town with facilities including an auditorium, art gallery, exhibition hall, mini cinema hall and music room. Every year, thousands of guest tour exhibits, attend cultural programmes, enjoy movies, and view artifacts. Incident management While the Cultural & Research Institute had delegated personnel to keep a watch on the premises, manning the expansive property proved to be time-consuming and inefficient. For security team, round-the-clock security preparedness at the location was crucial and ensuring the safety and security of the guests was quite a challenge. The management wanted to build a unified solution, aiming to not only deliver 24x7 surveillance but also empower the on-ground team to manage incidents proactively. Specially, they were facing the conflicting dilemma of keeping priceless objects safe yet allowing millions of visitors a chance to see them. Intelligent VMS After analysing the requirements, the Videonetics team conducted a detailed survey of the property along with the system integrator for the project, Prakash Electricals, to draw out a comprehensive plan for the campus. The state-of-the-art Videonetics unified solution combining Intelligent VMS and Intelligent Video Analytics coupled with IP cameras were chosen to address the unique needs of specific areas. Videonetics Intelligent VMS helps in recording and viewing 25+ cameras throughout the property including gated entrance, open-air pavilion, fountain park, art gallery, auditorium, passages, server room to name a few. The institute wanted a video analytics solution that could help with protecting valuable artifacts in the art gallery. The art gallery is secured with a virtual and invisible protective barrier called Artifact Protection. If an individual breaches this perimeter, in an attempt to touch or steal an artwork/paintings, an alarm is triggered and immediately received both in the centralised location as well as by the security personnel on their mobile devices, allowing them to react and take action quickly. During the survey, some of the vulnerable areas were identified where Videonetics deployed Zone Monitoring as part of the unified solution. The zone monitoring was required at the entrance, operators’ room, art gallery, park space, to detect when a person stays beyond a certain duration in a user-marked zone. Monitored facility The Cultural & Research Institute has been very successful in promoting an open and secured environment where guests and staff could move freely throughout the premises while keeping an eye on strategic locations and limiting access to more sensitive areas such as management offices, cash handling office and crossing barrier near to precious artifacts. Today, incidents are rare at the institute; but if something happens, the team is ready. The security team is alerted in real-time to any irregularities within the site, including tampering with the exhibits and entry into the restricted access zones. From the start of the tour, visitors become aware that they are in a secured and monitored facility. “As we looked to address a variety of surveillance challenges, we were assured to have Videonetics on board to exceed customer’s expectations, in terms of intuitive functionalities, open architecture and accuracy. With Videonetics team, we have successfully provided a right balance between securing the people and protecting assets, to the institute,” expressed, Ujjwal Kumar Dey, Partner, Prakash Electricals.
ZeroEyes, a renowned provider of artificial intelligence weapons detection solution, announced that it will provide its technology to the South Side Area School District in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. ZeroEyes’ platform is purpose-built to detect visible weapons in real-time, identifying guns before any violent threats can occur. ZeroEyes’ software integrates with an organisation’s existing camera systems and video analytics to detect weapons in real time. As soon as a visible weapon is detected, an alert with the image of the weapon goes to the ZeroEyes monitoring team. Once confirmed, an alert is sent to a local emergency dispatch, onsite security staff, police and school administrators via mobile and desktop. South Side Area School District operates three schools: an elementary school, middle school, and high school, with approximately 980 students. Weapons detection solution The school has invested in a number of different technologies focused on keeping staff, students and visitors safe, taking a pioneering stance in prioritising school safety. ZeroEyes is the first weapons detection solution installed on premises. ZeroEyes’ AI weapons detection platform allows security personnel to quickly enact security protocols “As a rural public school district, it’s absolutely crucial for us to take the steps needed to ensure the safety of everyone who sets foot on campus,” said Alan Fritz, Superintendent at South Side Area School District. “ZeroEyes has consistently demonstrated their steadfast focus and commitment to public safety, and we believe that their weapons detection solution will play a critical component in our overall security approach.” Active shooter threats ZeroEyes partners with its customers as well as local first responders to ensure that organisations - including schools, commercial and government buildings - have an additional layer of security to identify and stop threats. ZeroEyes’ AI weapons detection platform allows security personnel to quickly enact security protocols, or direct first responders to a threat. “ZeroEyes was founded with the core focus to help mitigate school shootings, and we’re excited to partner with a school district that is taking proactive measures against active shooter threats,” said Dustin Brooks, Vice President of K-12 Education at ZeroEyes. “We look forward to the partnership with the South Side Area School District and forging a strong relationship built upon deeply caring about protecting students and faculty.” Prevent mass shootings Founded by former Navy SEALs and military veterans with over 50 years of collective military experience, ZeroEyes’ mission is to detect weapons before shots are fired, enable faster response times for first responders and security personnel, and ultimately prevent mass shootings.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936, as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work in Mumbai. It is the first graduate school of social work in India. It has subsequently influenced the direction of social work, education and social research in India. Later in 1944, it was renamed as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Managing time-attendance Tata Institute of Social Sciences wanted to manage time-attendance of more than 2,000 students and 300 employees at their Mumbai location. Initially, they were using traditional methods for attendance marking. As a result, they were facing many problems in maintaining records for the same. Hence, they required an efficient system for maintaining and recording accurate attendance data of students and staff. They needed biometric hardware solution with battery backup along with software compatibility. They wanted a solution that would mark in punch and out punch of students in every lecture and an automated system that would send data to the server. Additionally, TISS also wanted a solution, which can be integrated with third party payroll system for timely salary payment of their staff. Fingerprint plus RFID card based terminals Matrix has installed 54 fingerprint plus RFID Card based terminals with battery backup at the Mumbai campusAfter having a detailed discussion with the TISS team, Matrix offered a comprehensive Time-Attendance solution for students and staff members. Matrix has installed 54 fingerprint plus RFID Card based terminals with battery backup (COSEC VEGA BBU) at the Mumbai campus. All these devices are connected via LAN with the COSEC CENTRA server installed at TISS, Mumbai. HR/Admin can track attendance of all the employees and generate different reports for timely salary payment. Similarly, all the faculty members can generate monthly and semester-wise attendance reports of the students. Results after the installation Efficient Time-Attendance Management Fraudulent Time Keeping Eliminated Accurate Time-Attendance Data of Students SMS Notification to Parents Timely and Accurate Salary of Employees Increased Productivity Customised Reports as per Requirement Products installed at TISS COSEC VEGA FAX - Optical Fingerprint and Card based Time-Attendance Terminal COSEC VEGA BBU - Battery Backup for VEGA Series Door Controller COSEC LE CENTRA – Application Server for 1000 Users COSEC LE TAM - Time-Attendance and Leave Management Module
One of the fastest growing districts in the upper Midwest of the United States, Harrisburg in South Dakota educates almost 4000 students across eight schools. Gallagher Command Centre was selected as the only solution that could meet the district’s security requirements, and in October 2015, these security measures were put to the test when the local high school was the target of a shooting. The incident resulted in one staff member being injured but was prevented from escalating further due to Gallagher’s central management platform, Command Centre, being activated by staff. Logs from the incident confirm that from the time the emergency button was pressed, it took just four seconds for Command Centre to lock all outside doors, notify district authorities, and limit building access to emergency responders only. Physical barriers for students’ security Gallagher Command Centre was involved with placing physical barriers between an active gunman and high school students"James Straatmeyer, Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Technology & Security, partnered with Gallagher for the installation of Harrisburg districts security solution. James says, “Gallagher Command Centre was directly involved with placing physical barriers between an active gunman and hundreds of high school students filling 37 classrooms. As far as I’m aware, there’s no other product on the market that has the capabilities and integration solutions for protecting students and staff to the extent of Gallagher Command Centre.” This type of security alert is of increasing concern for many educational institutions, prompting renewed focus on daily security protocols. Integrated and scalable security system Essential to providing an optimum learning environment for students is ensuring their safety and security – a responsibility the district of Harrisburg takes extremely seriously. Key to this was partnering with a security solutions provider that understood the specific needs of educational institutions, with the flexibility to employ customised features that could be tailored to Harrisburg’s particular requirements. The system needed to be fully integrated, scalable and expandable, digitally based, user-friendly The system needed to be fully integrated, scalable and expandable, digitally based, user-friendly and crucially, to assist and not replace, existing manual security procedures. Gallagher and South Dakota based Integrated Technology & Security completed the initial installation within three weeks. Since its introduction, the system has been under continual expansion. Features of updated security solution The access control system originally installed in 2013, fulfilled the region’s initial security requirements; however, a period of growth prompted the need for an enhanced system that could protect the increasing number of students. Some of the features of Harrisburg’s upgraded security solution included: Outlook calendar integration, to enable scheduling of access for special events Intercom / phone integration, to control doors from a desktop icon or smartphone Strobe light control to provide lockdown notifications in hearing impaired areas such as deaf education, shops and the gym Intercom integration for lockdown announcements Command Centre provides enterprise level lockdown controls which limit access to buildings, control fire doors, and send notifications, while providing an audit trail and video alerts. Lockdown access to all staff members An understanding of the benefits of an advanced, interactive security network is essential, and in some cases, lifesavingUsability is a highlight of Command Centre, offering access for all levels of personnel. Initially, only office and administrative staff were trained in the use of lockdown systems, but as the Command Centre’s lockdown features have developed, all staff members can now control access in individual school buildings. Once a lockdown has been activated, a notification is automatically issued to district authorities, immediately alerting emergency services if required. The security incident in 2015 strongly supported Harrisburg district’s decision to install a sophisticated access control system to protect its faculty, staff and students. At a time when concern over campus security is rising, an understanding of the benefits of an advanced, interactive security network is essential, and in some cases, lifesaving. Gallagher’s security solution offers educational institutions around the world a combination of enhanced operational efficiency and cost savings. Command Centre’s software provides a powerful and versatile feature set, enabling system operators to configure, monitor and control their unique security system.
When a leading English university sought electronic locks for its newest student accommodation block, it turned to Aperio to extend its installed Gallagher Command Centre access control system. The University of East Anglia (UEA) has relied on Gallagher access control for a decade. To extend their Gallagher Command Centre system to Crome Court—a student residence with 231 en suite rooms separated into flats for between 8 and 13 postgraduates—they needed the right wireless solution. Wireless locking technology Aperio wireless locks are battery powered, and so use much less energyUEA’s needs included more than just security, stylish component design and affordability. Crome Court was specifically designed to minimise environmental impact, including CO2 emissions. Any access control system was expected to contribute to that goal. The university chose Aperio wireless locking technology from ASSA ABLOY. Aperio wireless locks are battery powered, and so use much less energy than wired magnetic security locks. They only “wake up” when a credential is presented to the reader. On campus training “We decided to offer Aperio to upgrade and extend our system at UEA because of its outstanding reputation within the security industry,” explains Jason Boyce, sales manager at Gallagher. “Having worked with us for 6 years, Gallagher knew we would deliver,” adds David Hodgkiss, national sales manager at ASSA ABLOY UK. Installation was quick and easy, aided by training delivered on campus by specialist ASSA ABLOY technicians. “We found ASSA ABLOY’s service faultless,” says Wayne Dyble, installation and support manager at Check Your Security, UEA’s service provider. Environmentally advanced profile There’s no need for expensive and time-consuming work changing the locks Crome Court’s secure doors are fitted with Aperio E100 online escutcheons. Students open them with programmable RFID smart cards, instead of cumbersome mechanical keys. If a keycard is lost, it is straightforward for UEA facilities staff to cancel it and issue a replacement—using a simple web-based interface or mobile phone. There’s no need for expensive and time-consuming work changing the locks. UEA also aimed to build Crome Court with an environmentally advanced profile. Here, too, Aperio delivered. Wireless locks are battery-operated and emit much less CO2 than wired magnetic locks. In fact, in carbon terms, Aperio locks emit 0.16 percent of the total emissions produced by standard wired locks. Flexibility is another Aperio asset: additional doors can be brought into the same integrated Gallagher system whenever needed. “We hope to roll out Aperio across all new and existing residential estate,” says Christine Beveridge, head of campus services at UEA.
The University of Birmingham educates over 30,000 students, with more than 6,000 doors providing access to student accommodation. Gallagher’s integrated access control solution is responsible for providing operational continuity and creating a safe and secure environment for students. Access management system The University recently completed its new state-of-the-art student accommodation development, Chamberlain, which consists of a 19-storey tower and three low-rise blocks. An essential requirement was an integrated access control system, reducing the need for keys. Timothy Owen, General Manager of Student Accommodation at the University says, “We wanted to move away from using keys as students are prone to losing them and trying to manage thousands of locks and associated keys was a constant administration and financial drain.” We need to maintain control over access to our buildings, while ensuring a duty of care to our residents and staff" In order to minimise the complexity of managing a new system, the University required a solution that integrated with, or was an extension of, their existing campus access control and accommodation management systems. “We need to maintain control over access to our buildings, while ensuring a duty of care to our residents and staff so that they can go about their business as required,” says Timothy. “Fundamentally, we needed a system that gives both us and our resident’s confidence in the security of the accommodation.” Adaptable access solutions A large and complex estate with buildings of different construction and age, the University needed a solution that was flexible enough to accommodate their unique requirements. Gallagher Command Centre, together with the Aperio® wireless locking technology by ASSA ABLOY Access Control, was selected as the University’s preferred choice, meeting their security needs in a cost-effective way while still delivering to the overall specification. Timothy says, “The completion of our new state of the art Chamberlain development was extremely close to the date of the first student arrival, so the team had to be dedicated and work flexibly to ensure it was ready in time – which it was.” Improved student experience The Gallagher Command Centre integration allows for the access key and student ID to be combined in to one card, offering a number of benefits to both students and staff. The student ID and accommodation key is encoded on to one card, so it can be posted out in advance and access to the room automatically granted" Previously the accommodation arrival process required students to arrive at the University with their contracts and queue up so that a member of staff could sign them in manually and hand them the keys to their accommodation. From there students could head to their room. “Arrivals is always a busy time but with the help of the Gallagher solution we’ve not only improved the student experience but also the administration process,” says Timothy. “Now the student ID and accommodation key is encoded on to one card, so it can be posted out in advance and access to the room automatically granted via the accommodation management system. Students no longer need to queue for keys, can get to their rooms instantly, and spend more time enjoying their arrival experience.” Monitoring access cards The simple act of swiping an access card automatically checks the student in and a report can be generated to show who has arrived and who hasn’t, allowing staff to follow up accordingly. If the room is no longer required it can be quickly and easily re-allocated to another student, resulting in improved occupancy rates. Using Gallagher Command Centre together with the University’s accommodation management system allows staff to check on the well-being of students by monitoring the use of their access card. The University also houses students under the age of 18, and one of the safeguarding requirements is that the University can monitor their whereabouts on a daily basis. Timothy adds, “This can be difficult to achieve with many students to track, but Gallagher Command Centre can easily confirm the time and location of our resident’s last door access, providing peace of mind that students who may be uncontactable are in fact on site.” Replacing keys with a combined access and student ID card has reduced our operational costs" Creating business value University staff are also seeing positive improvements since the installation of the new system – particularly at the start of the year. The arrivals process is now less congested and more relaxed. The team have far fewer issues than with physical keys, enabling them to spend more time on the overall student experience. Since the installation of the first 800 bedrooms at Chamberlain, the University has already extended the system by a further 900 at Mason, with plans in place for an additional 1500 bedrooms this summer. Enduring partnerships “Replacing keys with a combined access and student ID card has reduced our operational costs as we now have far fewer keys to purchase and store,” explains Timothy. “The student experience has improved, and staff are now free to deal with urgent matters and offer a more personal service. We can easily create reports to help us audit access and have generally provided a much more modern and secure place to live and work.” “The University has worked with 2020 Vision Systems for some time on CCTV and access control systems, so when they won the tender to provide and install the Gallagher and Aperio® systems we had every confidence that they would be able to deliver. The completion of our new state of the art Chamberlain development was extremely close to the date of the first student occupation and so the team had to be dedicated and work flexibly to ensure it was ready in time – which it was.”
Round table discussion
The concept of how security systems can contribute to the broader business goals of a company is not new. It seems we have been talking about benefits of security systems beyond “just” security for more than a decade. Given the expanding role of technologies in the market, including video and access control, at what point is the term “security” too restrictive to accurately describe what our industry does? We asked the Expert Panel Roundtable for their responses to this premise: Is the description “security technology” too narrow given the broader application possibilities of today’s systems? Why?
Video cameras are everywhere, and hundreds more are installed every day. Our society appears to be reaching a point of perpetual surveillance. It certainly feels as if we are always being watched even though it is not yet the case. But as cameras are becoming more common than ever, we are also entering a new era of privacy concerns and sensitivities, as evidenced by GDPR and other such initiatives. We presented this quandary to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Surveillance cameras can go anywhere, right? Where is it “not OK?”