James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in e...
The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why?
Active Witness Corp., a provider of artificially intelligent, cloud-based visitor management solutions introduces its SIMA multi-factor access control system that stops unauthorised access and redefines how access control is deployed. Conventional facial recognition systems require a person to present his/her face, then search a database and present the closest match and identity. That process is slow and can lead to incorrect identity authorisation and privacy concerns. Quick identity identif...
Thales announces a new voice biometric solution which is part of Thales Trusted Digital Identity Service Platform for onboarding and authentication. It meets the growing demand from mobile operator call centres to fight identity fraud whilst providing a seamless customer experience. Delivered in partnership with ID R&D, one of the recognised industry leaders in voice biometrics, this new capability further strengthens the Thales Trusted Digital Identity Platform, which already incorporates...
ADI Global Distribution (ADI), a globally renowned wholesale distributor of security, AV and low-voltage products, has announced that it has released a new mobile app, to provide dealers with a fast and easy way to shop at ADI, from their mobile devices. Dealers can use the mobile app to search for products, check pricing and availability, place orders and manage their ADI account on-the-go. ADI App with facial and fingerprint recognition The new ADI App presents a modern design and offers ad...
AEOS, the physical access control system developed by Nedap, now has an extra seal of approval - CPNI certification. CPNI is the UK Government’s national technical authority for physical and personnel protective security. To gain approval, systems must go through detailed CPNI testing to ensure they meet the required test standards. And provide the intrinsic level of protection needed for the UK’s critical national infrastructure. Severe economic damage AEOS software, door control...
Chubb announces the launch of Chubb visiON+ for its customers worldwide, a range of complementary remote fire safety and security services for improved connectivity, responsiveness and overall peace of mind. With visiON+, Chubb is changing how protection is managed, using valuable data analytics to remotely take the right actions at the right time, maintaining full protection. Chubb is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Alarm monitoring capabilities Chubb’s visiON+ builds upon the strength of Chubb’s remote alarm monitoring capabilities across over 20 monitoring centres worldwide and the first services in the range include: Remote maintenance and services: Immediate, proactive support and remote troubleshooting for fire and security systems. Remote alarm monitoring: Monitoring centre operators connect remotely to existing surveillance systems and promptly activate the agreed response procedure when required. Personal safety solution: A mobile app allowing office-based employees, as well as remote workers, to share their exact location and situation directly with Chubb’s monitoring centre response team to summon help. Chubb portal: An online dashboard and mobile app providing customers the ability to remotely monitor and manage their fire safety and security accounts. Chubb cloud: Customer access to Chubb’s cloud, reducing reliance on on-site servers, allowing for increased scale of operations and reduced costs. Physical security systems By combining Chubb’s extensive experience in fire and security with these remote solutions, customers will be able to take advantage of direct, immediate and easy connectivity with Chubb 24/7, along with verification from Chubb’s trusted experts to provide the correct response to any issue they may face in the workplace. The service also provides customers with valuable insights to better tailor future security approaches The service also provides customers with valuable insights to better tailor future security approaches. By connecting their existing physical security systems with Chubb’s remote offering, facilities managers and business leaders will also be able to manage the significant challenges presented by the new hybrid working model. Remote protection services “We are excited to announce the launch of our Chubb visiON+ offering, which builds on our many years of experience as a leading fire and security services provider and reflects our belief that remote services provide the most effective protection against a host of fire and security challenges today,” said Anthony Brennan, President, Chubb. “When combined with Chubb’s extensive expertise, the improved connectivity and responsiveness offered by this range of services will help our customers improve the safety of their buildings and occupants across the globe.” Chubb visiON+ products are available to Chubb customers in Canada, Europe and Asia. Chubb is committed to expanding the range of remote protection services it offers, integrating how they’re used and streamlining customers’ experience even further.
The Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE) Forum has elected Charlotte Rösener, Frequentis expert in the field of mission-critical broadband communication, as Chair of the Industry Committee for the next four years. Charlotte Rösener was also admitted to the four members Board of the Forum. "The election as Chair of the Industry Committee is a great recognition for our expert Charlotte Rösener and her achievements in the field of mission-critical broadband communication. Her appointment underlines Frequentis' positioning as an innovator and leading provider in the field of Public Safety," says Frequentis CEO Norbert Haslacher. Information management systems The PSCE Forum is a non-profit organisation in the field of communication technologies for public authorities and blue-light organisations (police, fire, and rescue). As a European platform, PSCE brings together research, industry, and users to harmonise public safety requirements and promote the development of communication and information management systems. PSCE brings together research, industry, and users to harmonise public safety requirements By networking and bringing together these three key stakeholder groups, the PSCE Forum aims to create awareness of the different needs and to further develop innovative technologies for the European economy. As Chair of the Industry Committee, Charlotte Rösener brings her broad knowledge and development expertise to this, as she has also shown in her involvement in the European H2020 research and investment procurement programme BroadWay. Broadband communication system In the context of the programme, the Frequentis-led consortium ‘BroadPort’ successfully demonstrated a prototype for a pan-European broadband communication system to the technical validation committee in April 2021. Important topics in the work of the PSCE are the end-to-end communication solutions in the future replacement of digital radio by 4G/5G-based, safety-critical broadband communication (MCX). "The skilful use of new technologies supports the paradigm shift in the field of public safety, based on increased digitalisation," says Charlotte Rösener. "The PSCE activities are intended to promote product solutions that become a success story for both providers and users."
Video wall technology expert Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) has announced that its UVS Lucidity video wall controller now integrates with Synectics’ Synergy command and control software platform. The move is part of an ongoing strategic partnership that dates back more than 14 years, with the integrated Lucidity/Synergy solution now being installed across multiple client sites, helping to protect people and assets across the UK. Flexible and user-friendly platform Synectics is a global pioneer in the design, integration, control, and management of advanced surveillance technology, for environments where security is operationally critical. Its Synergy command and control solution is highly flexible and user-friendly, helping to ensure customers can always access the information that counts. Mission-critical data is made manageable, meaningful, and actionable. Video displays and audio solution UVS, based in the Burnley First – Burnley Business Centre, provides video wall displays and audiovisual solutions to a range of clients across the UK and the rest of the world. It is led by four senior colleagues who, between them, have more than 70 years’ combined Audio Visual, Control Room, and Visual Solutions experience. Multiple security control room installations The UVS-Synectics partnership has been involved in multiple security control room installations across the UK The companies’ first project together, utilising Synectics’ Synergy command and control platform, was for Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council’s Urban Traffic and CCTV control room, in 2007. Since then, the UVS-Synectics partnership has been involved in multiple security control room installations across the UK, including high-security prisons, government facilities, council security, and shopping centre security monitoring applications, such as Manchester’s Trafford Centre. These have provided hundreds of thousands of hours of protection for millions of people and multiple assets. Significant display functionality benefits UVS Managing Director Steve Murphy said, “The integration brings the significant display functionality benefits of the Lucidity video wall solution to Synergy users, including the display of multiple data sources such as web browsers, remote workstations, message boxes, RSS feeds, and collaboration devices alongside traditional CCTV images.” “Any data source can be displayed anywhere on the video wall allowing large-scale viewing of data sources during specific incidents.” “Via the integration, Synergy also provides detailed alarm configuration to ensure relevant data is displayed automatically when specific events occur.” Wireless integration The recent Lucidity/Synergy installation includes multiple video walls and provides multiple collaboration device inputs The most recent Lucidity/Synergy installation includes multiple video walls and provides multiple collaboration device inputs, allowing data from mobile devices such as iPads, phones, and tablets, to be instantly displayed on the video walls wirelessly via the integration. Sree Namelil, Product Manager at Synectics, said, “Synergy is designed to make sure control room operatives always have the information they need when, and how, they need it.” “Its ability to integrate with leading third-party technologies is essential to this mission and we are delighted to have partnered with UVS on this latest development.”
Ringway Jacobs, a renowned highway services provider, has become the first UK fleet operation to adopt a video-enabled lone worker service that is designed to better safeguard drivers operating in the field. Ringway Jacobs’ H&S and Fleet departments teamed up with Peoplesafe and SureCam to roll-out the integrated safety solution, by using a mobile phone app that enables the benefits of lone worker protection with those of video telematics. Video-enabled lone worker service David Bonehill, Head of Fleet at Ringway Jacobs said, “Health, wellbeing and safety is at the heart of everything we do, so our aim is to provide a safe working environment for our employees at all times. We are committed to adopting industry best practice technology and processes, which is why we are rolling out the video-enabled lone worker service.” David adds, “This latest initiative, developed with our valued partners at Peoplesafe and SureCam, will not only increase compliance of our lone worker processes, but also extend and enhance the levels of protection we provide to drivers in and out of the vehicle.” Partnership with Peoplesafe and SureCam Ringway Jacobs has been using Peoplesafe’s lone worker protection service since 2016 Ringway Jacobs has been using Peoplesafe’s lone worker protection service since 2016, providing peace of mind to 300 employees that assistance is available, should they need it. The company is now taking advantage of a strategic partnership between Peoplesafe and SureCam, to integrate the service with dual-facing, connected dash cams, fitted on 163 vans and specialist vehicles last year. This will enable footage to be viewed direct from the cameras fitted on the vehicles, in the event of an alarm being raised. Lone worker protection Lone workers will scan a QR code when entering a vehicle, to register a unique ID and confirm exactly who is driving. This will enable controllers at Peoplesafe’s Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) to access audio and video, as well as incident data via its portal, when an incident is reported such as injury, illness or an act of violence. This will include footage from forward-and rear-facing vehicle cameras, providing immediate visual insight into what has happened, so the most appropriate action can be quickly taken. Video evidence for faster response Naz Dossa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peoplesafe commented, “The added understanding provided by the video evidence means our service can act faster and respond better, when an alarm is raised. We are working closely with Ringway Jacobs to support their health and safety strategy, and best protect drivers from the risks they face, when they are working alone, especially in isolated locations or out of hours.” Sam Footer, Strategic Partnership Director at SureCam said, “By bringing together these proven technology solutions, we are offering customers such as Ringway Jacobs an effective way of not only improving safety and reducing fleet risk, but also safeguarding staff when they are in or out of the vehicle.”
Hikvision launches its new cloud-based and fully integrated access and attendance solution for SMB and enterprise users. Built with an intuitive user interface, the new solution provides sophisticated, multi-site access control and time and attendance management that centralise and simplify HR operations, and enhances the employee experience. Cloud-based access and attendance solution Hikvision’s cloud-based access and attendance solution is an integrated HR management and access control system. It is fully scalable and flexible for a variety of access and attendance needs found in different types of businesses. It enables agile working both on-site and remotely, with a mobile check-in facility – this is a great time saver for employers and employees alike. This is particularly ideal for businesses with field employees, promoting easier and more efficient remote workforce management. The cloud-based system also allows administrators and HR managers to remotely assign access permissions The cloud-based system also allows administrators and HR managers to remotely assign access permissions to employees or groups of employees, across multiple sites with Hikvision MinMoe terminals supporting safe access into work premises. Top benefits 1) Streamlined HR administration The solution features streamlined access control and time and attendance management. Notably, it allows employers to create flexible calendars and schedules, and configure annual leaves and assign rotating shifts as needed. Reports on attendance and other KPIs can be generated to provide employers with increased visibility into the total workforce. 2) Increased convenience for employees For employees, they can clock in and clock out at multiple sites, quickly and easily on their mobile phones installed with the Hik-Connect app. The GPS clocking function further allows them to report their attendance even in field locations. In addition, the solution supports a multitude of access authentication methods including fingerprint, smartcard, or face upon employee’s choice. The trending facial recognition provides highly accurate ID authentication with ‘non-contact’ hygiene and is available from all Hikvision MinMoe terminals. 3) The lowest cost of ownership The solution provides unrivalled value for SMBs based on a highly efficient cloud deployment model. With no need for local servers, infrastructure costs are low, and licenses are free for up to 10 employees initially. The solution can also be managed and supported remotely by trusted service providers using Hik-ProConnect The solution can also be managed and supported remotely by trusted service providers using Hik-ProConnect, further helping to increase operational efficiency. 4) Rapid, simple deployment and set-up in the cloud With all business logic needed for access control and attendance management in the cloud, the cloud-based access and attendance solution is extremely fast and easy to deploy, configure, and use. 5) End-to-end security The leading security SLAs (Security License Agreements) of our chosen cloud partner mean that SMB’s HR data is always protected from end to end, ensuring compliance with GDPR and other relevant legislation. New standards for time and attendance The combination of cloud efficiency and advanced, remote HR management features means the solution is setting new standards for access and attendance. Frank Zhang, President of Hikvision’s International Product and Solution Center, says, “The launch of Hikvision’s cloud-based access and attendance solution is a watershed moment for HR management in a variety of businesses ranging from SMBs to enterprises.” “We’ve brought together a rich feature set with cloud agility and efficiency – all in a package that’s fast and easy to deploy, configure, and use – and this is exactly what our customers have been waiting for.”
photonicSENS, a pioneering supplier of single-lens 3D cameras for next-generation depth perception has collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to accelerate the commercialisation of its industry-leading single lens 3D camera technology. Beneficial features With a complete reference design based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platform, smartphone manufacturers can benefit from dramatic enhancements in-depth map resolution for front-facing applications like enhanced face authentication, and rear-facing applications including 3D reconstruction, enhanced bokeh, one-shot macro photography with 3D-reconstruction and printing of small objects and augmented reality (AR). Qualcomm® Platform Solutions Ecosystem Program photonicSENS' single-lens 3D depth sensing solution will be a game-changer for smartphones" PhotonicSENS is part of the Qualcomm® Platform Solutions Ecosystem Program, which enables software and application vendors to pre-integrate and optimise solutions to create a premium user experience and feature differentiation for OEMs. "photonicSENS' single-lens 3D depth sensing solution will be a game-changer for smartphones," said, Ann Whyte, President of photonicSENS. Single-lens apiCAM technology "The 3D depth camera reference designs of this collaboration are based on our single-lens apiCAM technology that with a single device delivers simultaneously an RGB image and depth map to offer smartphone manufacturers the means to differentiate with enhanced photographic features, a 1.4Mpx depth map, the lowest component count, lowest cost and the lowest power dissipation, as well as the best performance in any environment.” “Snapdragon 888 is a clear leader, and we are excited to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to release our cutting-edge 3D sensing solution to market." Availability photonicSENS is presenting the reference design at Mobile World Congress 2021 in Barcelona, Spain from 28th June to 1 July in Hall 3 (3H52MR).
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
This year has brought about changes in virtually every sector. As with other frontline industries, the security sector has been tested more than those able to move entirely to remote working. While the promise of a vaccine means an end is in sight, the post-COVID era will not bring with it a return to the ‘normal’ we knew before the pandemic. Organisations have adapted, becoming more resilient and agile and this will have lasting effects. The coming months will continue to be testing. The tiered system will see the precautions in place fluctuate with the situation. Initial lockdown period At the same time, a gradual return to normal as the vaccine is rolled out will require adaptive measures. The security sector will be at the heart of keeping people safe throughout this process. The initial lockdown period and the first wave of panic buying might seem like a lifetime ago. However, the introduction of the second lockdown in November was accompanied by another wave of stockpiling despite organisations trying to reassure their customers. It is uncertainty that breeds anxiety, and we continue to see this as the restrictions fluctuate across the country. The tier system depends upon a number of factors: case detection rate, how quickly case numbers are rising or falling, positive COVID-19 test numbers in the general population, pressure on the NHS in that region, and local context and exceptional circumstances. Social distancing measures For the sector to meet demand, technology will be needed to work alongside the manned guarding role While travel is allowed in all tiers if necessary for work, government advice still recommends that those able to work from home should do so. This means that throughout the country, many buildings will remain empty or at minimal capacity for some time to come. Security risks vary with the restrictions in each area. Although shops are largely open, tier three still requires the closure of many premises. Vacant premises are more vulnerable to theft and damage, meaning officers and security technology remain in higher demand than usual. As more premises are allowed to open, the need for officers to implement social distancing measures increases, stretching the sector like never before. For the sector to meet demand, technology will be needed to work alongside the manned guarding role. Temperature checking devices It will continue to be important in providing security when officers cannot be present in person through CCTV and sensors. But it will also be integrated into the manned guarding role to streamline processes. We are already seeing the start of this as many officers are using handheld temperature checking devices to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We’ll also see temperature scanners installed into buildings to allow security guards to focus on other priorities. Those businesses that are open will need to continue to adapt to the changing regulations in the coming months. Christmas is a busy period that stretches the retail sector. Unpredictability results in heightened stress levels and makes it more difficult for people to reliably take in and recall information. Security officers are a key first point of contact both to enforce measures and reassure anxious staff and members of the public. Enforcing one-way systems Security staff will need to keep members of the public safe and prevent disruption Some shops are enforcing one-way systems and limiting the number of customers allowed inside. Over Christmas, many more may choose to do so. Security officers will be responsible for ensuring these precautions are followed. With the heightened pressure of the festive period, it can be hard to predict how members of the public will respond to officers enforcing measures. Security staff will need to keep members of the public safe and prevent disruption. Doing so will require tact and empathy in dealing with customers. Within shops, too, officers will be tasked with ensuring social distancing and other measures are followed effectively. Doing so, they must work closely with clients to understand what protocols are in place and how to handle a breach. They must also be able to enact discretion. For example, clients may not take issue with protocols being broken momentarily or accidentally. Extensive government guidance There is extensive government guidance on the precautions that should be taken on various premises. They include the introduction of one-way systems and limiting building capacity. Measures such as one-way systems may be broken by those that don’t notice or don’t care. Officers must be able to judge what responses are appropriate while maintaining a calm and reassuring presence. The security officer role has long been moving toward a more front of house position as, for many visitors to a building, they are the first point of contact. The pandemic has accelerated this trend. Working on the frontline of the pandemic, officers have had to play a more multifaceted role than ever before. Officers still act as deterrents and manage security issues, but they must also use empathy and strong communication skills to inform and reassure customers and staff onsite. Adapting to new technology They will need to be able to learn quickly on the job and adapt to new technology and practices Being able to demonstrate this flexibility and to read a situation and react appropriately will be some of the skills most in demand in the industry in the future. Officers will need to build close working relationships with clients. In addition, many will have new roles, such as taking temperatures with handheld devices. They will need to be able to learn quickly on the job and adapt to new technology and practices. Technology, too, will be more important. If the global pandemic has driven any point home, it is that we cannot always see or sense threats. Data-driven insights Temperature checks and occupancy sensors will be the norm in protecting from COVID, while security technology and data-driven insights will continue to grow in popularity. The security sector specialises in adapting to the unexpected and the threatening. It continues to demonstrate incredible value through the pandemic. While the coming months will undoubtedly be trying, the sector is adapting. Lessons have been learned from the pandemic that will affect business globally. Security specialists are taking these on and creating a stronger and more effective industry.
Indoor positioning is, in many ways, an inside version of the satellite-navigation apps we rely on for outdoor navigation, but with an added twist – it can also be used to help locate people and things. Let’s say you’re at home and misplaced your car keys, or you’re in a grocery store and can’t find your favorite brand of coffee. Or maybe you’re working in a factory and need a particular tool from a storage bin, or you’re a site manager dealing with an emergency and need to make sure everyone’s exited the building. Indoor positioning helps in all these situations, because it can locate items and guide you to where they are. The importance of “where” Knowing where an asset is located in real time is useful in many ways. In industrial settings, it improves item utilisation rates and saves time spent searching for things. It opens the door for a new level of “just in time” efficiency on factory floors, and for inventory management in warehouses and retail environments. Safety is another benefit of accurate location, because knowing where people, automatic guided vehicles, and robots are in real time can help prevent accidents and keep people out of harm’s way. Accurate location in real time also enables contextual decision-making, so your smart house adjusts your stereo automatically as you move from to room or lets you control objects by simply pointing at them. Lets you control objects by simply pointing at them Security authorisations based on location is another possibility. Precise real-time location is something that can be hard to fake, so it can be used to restrict access to an area or used to add protections based on where an asset sits, where a piece of data resides, or the origination point of a communication. Getting the technology right Developing an effective technology for indoor positioning requires several things. To begin with, location readings needs to be very precise, with accuracy down to as small an area as possible. The technology has to be secure, because location often needs to be kept private. The technology has to be reliable, even in harsh environments, and easily scalable, too, so it can address the thousands of people and assets in large venues. It has to be low power and affordable, so it can be embedded in everything from high-end, complex devices like smartphones to low-end, simple devices like asset tags. And, of course, the technology has to have latency low enough that it can track movement in real time. Various wireless technologies, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, are already used for indoor positioning, but they don’t deliver on the full set of requirements, especially in terms of accuracy. A different kind of wireless, called Ultra-Wideband (UWB) checks all the boxes. It has the potential to change the way we do all kinds of everyday tasks. What is UWB? UWB is based on the IEEE standard 802.15.4a/z, which has been optimized for micro-location and secure communication. UWB is highly accurate. It can pinpoint people and things to within just a few centimeters, making it 100 times more accurate than the current implementations of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi. UWB is reliable because it has high immunity to various types of interference, including multipath, which is when a wave from a transmitter traveling to a receiver by two or more paths causes interference. UWB also offers very low latency, with update rates of up to 1000 times per second and readings that are as much as 50 times faster than satellite navigation. UWB is also implemented using mainstream technology, so it’s both affordable and optimised for low power. Lastly, UWB leverages distance-bounding techniques defined by the IEEE to provide a level of security that makes it extremely difficult to hack. Ultra-Wideband (UWB) checks all the boxes How is all this possible? Physics! UWB out-performs other location technology because, unlike Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which transmit narrowband signals and use Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) to determine location, UWB transmits wideband signals (500 MHz) and uses Time-of-Flight to determine location. Already in 40+ verticals UWB is already bringing value to products and services in more than forty verticals covering the consumer, automotive, industrial, and commercial market segments. For example, it brings operational visibility to manufacturing and logistics, helps businesses protect workers, and reduces safety-management costs. UWB also lets robots and drones self-navigate, and enables secure, hands-free access to cars, front doors, and other secure locations. It even helps with contact tracing and social distancing in the fight against COVID-19. Now in smartphones Recent adoption in smartphones means UWB is ready to grow quickly. Developers are using UWB as part of new services, with an eye toward making various everyday activities more convenient and safer. With UWB as part of smartphone apps, purchases will be more secure, accessing your car will be possible without a key fob, and misplaced items won’t stay hidden for long. Retail outlets will use location for targeted marketing, and finding things on store shelves will be easier than ever. Home automation will become seamless, and friends and family will be easy to find even if they’re in a crowd. The question of interoperability Having UWB in smartphones is an important first step Having UWB in smartphones is an important first step toward making UWB an everyday part of life, but interoperability is another key factor, since smartphones have to interact with a wide range of other devices and services. That’s where the FiRa Consortium comes in. Launched just over a year ago, the FiRa Consortium is a member-driven organisation of market leaders from the consumer, mobile, industrial, enterprise, and semiconductor industries. FiRa members work collectively to define the future standards that will make interoperability across UWB products a reality. With FiRa making it possible for developers to use UWB in all kinds of new ways, the future of indoor location is really only limited by the developer’s imagination.
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.
As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com has 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. Helping customers remain connected Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Alarm.com is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged. The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, Alarm.com is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely “Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson. “Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.” Do-It-Together solutions Alarm.com partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson. Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call. Alarm.com’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs. End users can validate the Alarm.com Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app Alarm.com Smart Gateway For example, the Alarm.com Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says. Shift to the cloud Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.” End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Alarm.com Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through Alarm.com’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximise lifetime account value. “We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”
The next step in the journey of digital transformation, the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies (5G) will have an enormous impact on mankind, and on every industry including security. In short, 5G will disrupt the way we live and work. To discuss the changes, we presented our questions to Benoît Jouffrey, VP 5G Expertise at Thales, which is at the forefront of the transformation with an emphasis on trust and security. Following are his responses. Q: In layman's terms, what is the difference between 4G and 5G ecosystems as they relate to opportunity, flexibility and choice in networking tools? Jouffrey: Compared with largely one-size-fits-all 4G services, the 5G ecosystem will provide organisations with much greater choice and flexibility in the way they communicate over mobile networks. The network slicing capabilities of 5G means that business can have their own independent networks, with each one customised to their unique requirements and backed up by service-level agreements (SLA). Another aspect of 5G will be the ability to drive latency between UE (User Equipment) and network down to below a few milliseconds, which will massively boost the performance and scalability of enterprise applications. Q: How can these capabilities drive a company's digital operations? 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently Jouffrey: 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently: they can rely on a higher density of connected devices exchanging more information in a better timeframe. Due to these slicing capabilities, 5G networks allow for much greater personalisation than 4G networks. This means that businesses could benefit from this personalised network, tailored to their portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, and not be necessarily expected to rely on a one-size-fits-all network. By combining the unique capabilities of 5G with the insights derived from analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, enterprises will be in much better stead to run their operations efficiently and securely. Q: How might 5G impact the use of cloud systems? Jouffrey: 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have a small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate. Q: How can one provide trustworthy 5G lifecycle management for IoT devices? Jouffrey: Trustworthy IoT lifecycle management is an end-to-end approach from the secure provisioning of keys within the devices, to the proper identification of the users, from the authentication on the network or the network slice, to the secure handling of the data either at stored or in motion. Resources need to be invested long before this to qualify the business model, in prototyping, as well as prototype testing. Most organisations don’t have the resources to counter all the security challenges of their 5G IoT deployments. Businesses will often end up choosing between navigating a risk-laden 5G environment, with inadequate or incomplete trust mechanisms, or outsourcing these requirements. When looking at outsourcing, companies must choose a provider with expertise in digital security, ensuring 5G IoT deployments have data protection and connectivity credentials built in, together with end-to-end data protection solutions such as encryption – protecting data in the device, network, and cloud at rest and in transit. Q: How can wireless modules address new 5G IoT use cases? Wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular Jouffrey: As IoT considerations are integrated into the 5G ecosystem, wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular. 5G modules support different characteristics to earlier generations – the 5G use cases are much more complex, varied, from high-end use cases requiring high data usage and throughput, such as for industrial routers, to low-throughput, energy consumption optimised devices, as required for some IoT sensors. At the end, compared to the largely one-size-fits-all approach that preceded it, 5G will increase the demand for vertical-tailored wireless modules. Importantly, these wireless modules need to support new data protection and security features that go well beyond conventional compliance to 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. Due to the extent of personalisation within 5G networks, wireless modules must also offer providers and customers greater security as well as agility all along the device lifespan. Q: What are the new data protection challenges posed by 5G, and how can they be addressed? Jouffrey: The 5G era presents exciting opportunities, as well as security challenges. The greatest risks to enterprise data on 5G networks – including eavesdropping, man-in the middle attacks, denial of services, loss or compromisation of data – were already known in 4G. The 5G standards have looked at providing answers to these threats and come with some noticeable improvements, such as the encryption of the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI), otherwise known as the Subscription Permanent Identifier in 5G. But what’s different with 5G is the threat surface area, due notably to the variety of devices that will be used over these 5G networks and the underlying technologies used for the deployment of the networks, such as cloud native virtualisation. On top of this, it’s the first generation of cellular to launch in an era of global cyber-crime, funded by organised crime and states alike. So, whilst enterprises should look to the ecosystem of telecom operators and cloud providers, vendors, and system operators to help understand the opportunities presented by 5G – this same ecosystem needs to guide them in countering any new risks that the 5G architecture may pose. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset using encryption. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset Q: What new roles can the 5G embedded universal integrated circuit card (eSIM) endorse in network authentication? Jouffrey: 5G is the first generation of cellular to launch in a buoyant eSIM market. The eSIM will be key in supporting network slicing authentication and security, enabling enterprises to leverage their credentials to pre-select network slices. However, to support secure authentication for mobile networks that may require the usage of different authentication algorithms over time, these 5G eSIMs must support this flexibility of usage of multiple authentication and authorisation credentials. With this capability built into these eSIMs from the start, mobile operators can remotely swap the authentication algorithm either for a dedicated primary authentication, or in a definitive way, thanks to key rotation management, thus maintaining a trusted environment.
Hanwha Techwin a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions announced that We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has selected Hanwha cameras for its new state-of-the-art video surveillance system. First established as a bingo-hall style building by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in the early 1990s, the facility received approval to be revamped into a fully-fledged gaming facility in 2017. To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, this also included a new video surveillance system. Quality cameras When it came time to build the new facility, the Tribal Regulatory Agency, having learned from its earlier attempts, knew they had to find a vendor that wouldn’t let them down. Explains Lee Brown, Lead Surveillance Technician for the Fort McDowell Tribal Regulatory Agency, “We were looking for a manufacturer that had a variety of camera offerings to give us what we wanted and that also had a good reputation for quality.” They found what they were looking for with Hanwha Techwin. Camera coverage The cameras available from Hanwha Techwin enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation The number of cameras available from Hanwha Techwin was a key differentiator for the We-Ko-Pa Resort as it enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation. The range of options was especially important when it came time to design camera coverage for the slot floor in the new facility. This area proved to be challenging in part because it was designed to be flexible and modular. The new design allows the Casino to be dynamic in terms of where they place machines. The challenge then was how to ensure coverage of every machine even as they move around daily. Flexible 4k cameras They initially considered attaching cameras to the ‘cloud’ ceiling so that they could be moved as the configuration changed. But, because it floats below a concrete ceiling, this was not possible. The Casino decided instead to use the higher resolution P series 4K cameras and place them strategically throughout the space. Says Brown, “We had to give very careful consideration to where we placed our cameras. We wanted high quality and flexibility to avoid having to reconfigure and reinstall cameras all the time. The image quality with the Hanwha Techwin cameras gave us the edge we needed to work within our ceiling constraints.” WDR technology The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models. According to Brown, their favorite feature is the quality they deliver at low bitrates. He says, “The majority of our cameras face intense and volatile lighting changes against a backdrop of complex scenery with many moving objects. Hanwha Techwin cameras and their advanced WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology can easily be configured to accommodate these conditions without sacrificing quality or producing obnoxious data streams.” Wisenet wave VMS While part of the interest in Hanwha Techwin was based on the build and image quality of the cameras and variety of the offerings, the Casino was also drawn to the Wisenet WAVE VMS (Video Management System). Says Brown, “We were attracted to the WAVE VMS because our virtualised server and client operating systems are 100% Linux based, and the WAVE client and server applications are well supported on Linux. It works exceptionally well with the Hanwha Techwin cameras and other devices, like HDMI encoders and third-party cameras.” Live central monitoring WAVE also helps operators with live monitoring. As part of their daily routines, operators at the Casino have to actively watch a variety of events and occurrences, including deliveries and vendors on site. Says Brown, “The layout system in WAVE makes it easy for us to organise our cameras into groups. So, when an operator follows someone through the Casino, rather than thinking in terms of which camera covers which machine or specific area, they think more in terms of the geography of the location.” Motion detection To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording Every casino must comply with strict retention requirements in part because forensic examination and maintaining a clear chain of custody are extremely important. At the We-Ko-Pa Resort, they have a one-week minimum retention rate with some cameras keeping video for 30 days. Currently, We-Ko-Pa has 500 terabytes (TB) of redundant ZFS-based network storage. To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording. Explains Brown, “We use motion detection to save on storage. If no motion is detected in a frame, the camera is set up to record at very low quality and low frame rate. If the camera detects motion, then the recording automatically shifts to high-quality mode.” Video surveillance system Moving forward, the Casino is excited about future possibilities for their system, including people counting and using their WAVE VMS to make data-driven decisions. The Casino and Tribal Regulatory Agency aren’t the only ones who recognise the outstanding features and functionality of their new Hanwha Techwin system. The Arizona Department of Gaming, which provides specific mandates for gaming operators in the state, is also impressed. According to Brown, “We have even received compliments for our video surveillance system from the state inspector who was quite impressed with the image quality and the smoothness of the recordings.”
HID Global, a pioneer in trusted identity solutions announced that the Arcos Bosques Torre 1 (Tower 1) has deployed its access control solutions to heighten security and better manage visitor entry. Located in the Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood of Mexico City, the center is comprised of six buildings. The complex includes two skyscrapers and is home to high-profile law firms, industrial, mining, media, and technology companies, and one of the city’s most recognised shopping centers. HID readers and smart card technologies With the help of system integrator Logen, Arcos Bosques Corporate Center chose HID Mobile Access® solutions as well as HID readers and smart card technologies for tenants and visitors to securely pass through its 16 turnstiles and use the 32 elevators that lead to their offices. The HID solutions also give tenants the choice of using their mobile devices or physical smart cards for entry. Touchless and safe entry HID’s mobile access solution enables administrators to remotely manage credentials by cloud-based infrastructure “Accessing the building by simply presenting a mobile phone makes a lot of sense as we look for ways to eliminate touching things during the global pandemic,” said Santiago Morett, Project Manager at Servicon, facilities manager for Arcos Bosques. “HID Mobile Access has given us touchless entry and safer building security, which is more important than ever for our tenants.” Mobile access solution HID’s mobile access solution also enables administrators to remotely create, issue, manage and revoke credentials through the cloud-based infrastructure. Servicon, the facility management company for Arcos Bosques, now has continuous building access visibility through a unified, up-to-the-minute database of the tower’s tenant names, affiliated companies, and work locations. "Building security today extends not only to who has access but also to how individuals can enter a facility,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. “HID’s access control solutions provide the foundation for optimal oversight and control while also keeping people healthy and safe.”
Corero Network Security plc, a provider of real-time, automatic Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber defense solutions, and Juniper Networks, a pioneer in secure, AI-driven networks, team up to provide Plusnet, an organisation offering communications and network services to 25,000 businesses in Germany, with their joint DDoS Protection Solution to protect its infrastructure, business, and customers within seconds of a DDoS attack. DDoS protection solution Over the past 20+ years, DDoS attacks have always been a part of the threat landscape, but their frequency, magnitude, and sophistication are constantly increasing. Plusnet, which serves 200 cities and regions of Germany, previously relied on an internal data filtering solution to analyse anomalies in traffic patterns. Plusnet needed DDoS mitigation with effective, and dynamic protection to defend its network from attack-driven outages However, this in-house solution required manual intervention, which was neither practical nor effective as attacks mounted and evolved. Plusnet needed to automate DDoS mitigation with effective, dynamic, and scalable protection to defend its national network from attack-driven outages. Impact on network performance “During the testing phase of the Juniper-Corero solution, we could immediately see a manageable stream of DDoS attacks. With the Juniper-Corero solution, Plusnet can further improve network protection without any significant impact on network performance,” said Ralf Weber, Head of Competence Center Network & Security, Plusnet. Solution highlights: The joint solution removes malicious traffic at the network edge, as close to the source as possible, delivering fast and effective protection cost-effectively. Plusnet took an active approach to thwart DDoS attacks with Juniper Networks and Corero Joint DDoS Protection, delivering real-time detection and line-rate mitigation of DDoS attacks, which can identify and block very significant attacks in seconds. Juniper Networks MX Series Universal Routing Platformswork together with Corero SmartWall Threat Defense Director to rapidly identify, precisely detect and automate mitigation of attacks. Analytics and continuous monitoring provide comprehensive visibility of data patterns and anomalies for network security professionals. As DDoS attacks continue to increase, the protection capacity provided by this solution can be expanded to tens of terabits per second. 24/7 protection from threats “More than ever before, providers need to ensure that their infrastructure and business operations are always available to deliver an exceptional user experience. This can only be achieved when security is built into the same network infrastructure that provides connectivity and extended across every point of connection.” Plusnet is a great example that leverages Juniper Connected Security to enable the threat-aware network " “Plusnet is a great example that leverages Juniper Connected Security to enable the threat-aware network, ensuring its operations are comprehensively protected 24/7 against the growing risk of DDoS attacks,” said Samantha Madrid, Vice President, Security Business & Strategy, Juniper Networks. SmartWall TDD solution “We are very pleased to continue partnering with Juniper Networks to provide a superior DDoS solution that is now protecting thousands of customers around the globe.” “The SmartWall TDD solution couples Corero’s surgically accurate, real-time automatic DDoS protection with the high-performance packet filtering of Juniper MX Series routers." "This, along with the comprehensive visibility into attacks, enabled Plusnet to implement a cutting-edge solution that can detect and mitigate DDoS attacks in seconds to protect its network and the ones of its customers,” said Lionel Chmilewsky, Chief Executive Officer at Corero Network Security.
Vision-Box, a world pioneer in biometrics seamless travel, automated border control, and digital identity solutions has announced the launch of a Frontex awarded trial to implement an innovative pilot project at two land borders in Bulgaria, in the context of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES). The EES is a landmark framework set to replace traditional border controls of Third-Country Nationals with interoperable digital data processing and automated biometric data collection in 2022. The Frontex pilot, which went live in June 2021 in Bulgaria in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and the Border Police will be for coaches, cars, and pedestrians at the entry of Kapitan Andreevo BCP from Turkey for phase 1, and exit at Kalotina BCP to Serbia for phase 2. Impact on border crossing points The implementation of the EES will influence the flow of travellers and the technology deployed at the border to collect the required data, to cope with the variety of sites and related complexities. This effect will possibly be more important at the EU land border crossings, which are more constrained environments as compared with airports and ports, as many travellers arrive in their vehicles. Therefore, the introduction of EES will have a significant impact on travellers’ flow at those border crossing points (BCP). Self-Service Enrolment System Self-Service Enrolment System executes real-time intensive queries into the Bulgarian national border control systems The purpose of the pilot project is to deliver a Self-Service Enrolment System to enable travellers to perform a self-service collection of travel document data, biometric data, and other information (e.g., questionnaire on entry conditions). It also executes real-time intensive queries into the Bulgarian national border control systems, in combination with an EU EES backend simulator. After the enrollment, travellers are invited to go to an open corridor and be identified on the move to directly cross the border, or to be redirected to the manual control booth to be verified by a border guard with last generation Coppernic handheld technology. EES Frontex pilot The secured linkage and encrypted communications with the national and EU border control systems, performing border checks on all travellers and EES registration/verification on third-country nationals, are jointly performed by Vision-Box and the respective border agencies. The EES Frontex pilot applies to short-stay visa and visa-exempt third-country nationals as well as EU citizens entering or leaving the European Union. Eliminates manual data collection and verification The pilot ecosystem (enrolment kiosks, biometric corridor, handheld tablets) is powered by Vision-Box’s award-winning Orchestra™ Identity & Border Management Platform. Orchestra™ removes the time-consuming task of manual data collection and verification, meaning that travellers do not need to physically interact with touchpoints or manually exchange travel documents and biometrics at counters. Touchless process The whole process leverages identity and biometrics tokenisation to digitise the operation in a touchless manner. This also reduces long queuing at checkpoints and curtails crowding at clearance hotspots, allowing travellers to navigate the border a lot quicker and safely with biometric recognition technology. Facial recognition & fingerprint sensors Facial recognition biometrics offers the highest level of convenience for traveller identity proofing Facial recognition biometrics offers the highest level of convenience for traveller identity proofing, in compliance with the EU regulations, combined with touchless fingerprint sensors for combined verification against the EU EES biometric backend systems. The solution drives significant improvements over the traditional manual and touch-based identification procedures in terms of hygiene, accuracy, and privacy protections. EU GDPR compliant The powerful Orchestra™ Service Platform is compliant with EU GDPR through its unique Privacy-by-Design certification. It operates under user-centric business rules and is the kernel of the advanced management of Identity proofing and flow monitoring of traveller processes at the border. The platform’s powerful capability allows it to process the full extent of national border passenger volume, thanks to its future-proof scalable design and resilient architecture. Maintaining the pilot For this pilot delivery, Vision-Box has hired the services of PwC Luxembourg, to help sustain the definition of the use cases, their testing, and overall pilot reporting. In addition, Bulgarian system integrator - Global Sat, is supporting Vision-Box in the deployment of the solution on the ground and its maintenance during the overall 6 months’ operation of the two pilot phases at the two different land borders. Exploring Frontex pilot Speaking about the pilot project, Jeff Lennon, Vice President Strategic Sales & Global Partnerships at Vision-Box, said: “We are thrilled to run this Frontex pilot for exploring the future of EES in Bulgaria and Europe, in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and the Border Police as long-time customers, PwC and Global Sat.” Maximises process efficiency “This innovative undertaking will allow all of us to stress-test ground-breaking technology in a very challenging environment, yet at a small scale. It will also help us establish the foundations for expanding the technology at the national level for any type of land border environment, minimising the footprint of the solution at stake while maximising the process efficiency for the border guards and the travellers.” “This is also a great opportunity for understanding the flow of border-crossings at two of the largest EU land border sites, to effectively expand our solutions in the EU context for Smart Borders as we are already doing in Finland since 2019 among other EES projects with additional member states.” Collaborative testing with EES Frontex and Bulgarian's authorities collaborate in testing the European EES at two critical land border control points" Serge Hanssens, Partner at PwC for Smart Borders said: “Frontex and Bulgarian's authorities collaborate in testing the European Entry-Exit System (EES) at two critical land border control points in Europe.” “This is a unique opportunity and milestone to try out these new processes in real conditions. PwC Luxembourg is so pleased to be part of the adventure supporting Frontex and Bulgarian's authorities to make the EES deployment a success; securing the entry and exit to the European Schengen Area of all third-country nationals." Automated border control Tsvetan Mutafchiev, Executive Director at Global Sat said: “We at Global Sat are excited to be part of this very innovative PoC project. EU land border crossings create several new challenges for automated border control due to the specifics introduced by different types of vehicles used by passengers.” System integration “We do believe that the pilot project will successfully prove the concept of the Vision Box‘s platform and will also provide valuable feedback from Bulgarian border police officers. The implementation of self-service enrolment systems, when applied in full scale at the EU's external borders, will facilitate efforts against illegal migration and will contribute to the security of European countries with a full commitment to personal data protection.” “The Global Sat team is proud to be at the forefront of this endeavour. With our experience as a system integrator, we will continue to contribute to its success.” Safe and efficient travel Vision-Box’s technology is proving crucial in guaranteeing safe and efficient travel processes With the industry expected to resume travel as restrictions begin to ease, Vision-Box’s technology is proving crucial in guaranteeing safe and efficient travel processes. Over the past months, Vision-Box has also inaugurated Automated Border Control eGates at Malta International Airport in collaboration with the Malta Police Force, implemented an integrated Biometric experience for Emirates Airline at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, and secured a regional strategic partnership with AirAsia Group, to implement industry-leading, identity management technology across its network of 152 airports.
Remark Holdings, Inc., a global technology company with leading artificial intelligence ("AI") solutions and digital media properties announced that its KanKan AI business has installed its Smart Campus system in more than 200 elementary and secondary schools in China. The system allows for seamless attendance management, epidemic prevention and control, energy management, campus access control, and notification of risky behaviors. Smart Campus system During the ongoing battle with COVID-19 and its variants, the Smart Campus system, with its epidemic prevention and control functionality, has been designed to assist school staff by: Recording body temperature before students enters the campus, thereby allowing staff to begin monitoring health status before students enter classrooms and other buildings. Controlling access to campus using a pre-generated QR code as well as KanKan's computer vision technology to identify whether persons trying to enter campus are authorized and are healthy. Reducing manual tasks by automating student attendance management and health screening of students and staff. Using a mobile app to allow for reservation of and touch-free access into private study rooms, classrooms, laboratories, activity rooms, and other functional areas. Reducing electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Maintenance-oriented monitoring KanKan AI's Smart Campus system is customisable to meet the needs of each school among other criteria "In addition to the practicality of the product, KanKan AI's Smart Campus system is customisable to meet the needs of each school regarding the size of the campus, several students, and building and entrance locations, among other criteria," noted Kai-Shing Tao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Remark Holdings. "Our product engineers followed up throughout the installation process and the after-sales team trained school staff regarding product use, while our operations team conducted ongoing, maintenance-oriented monitoring to ensure data accuracy and provide customers with an outstanding experience." Customer-oriented services The Smart Campus system and its customer-oriented services have quickly taken root in the campus security market. Given the initial success of Smart Campus, KanKan AI will continue its expansion into other provinces. Official media such as the Zhejiang Daily and Hangzhou Daily strongly affirmed the vital role that KanKan AI's Smart Campus system played in the resumption of primary and secondary schools in Xihu District, Hangzhou City, during the epidemic. As a successful model for smart campuses, Hangzhou Arts and Science Primary Schools have been publicly praised by the Education Bureau of Xihu District and have become the learning center for school principals from other provinces and cities. Energy savings "Our system freed teachers and staff from repetitive tasks and allowed them to focus on what they do best: teaching and caring," noted Mr. Tao. "I am also pleased that our dedication to ESG efforts has been rewarded. The energy management function of our Smart Campus system has proven efficient at a few schools with which we worked closely. Though the amount of energy savings might seem minor now, we believe that no effort is too small when we talk about saving Earth's resources.” “As more schools are seeing both the social and economic benefits of our systems, we believe that our continuous dedication to the environment will translate to long-term results for our partners and shareholder value for our investors." Reduction in CO2 and SO2 emissions KanKan calculated the Smart Campus system in a total of 104 classrooms yields a reduction of CO2 & SO2 emissions According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") calculations, the 4.48 kilowatt-hour of electricity saved per day per classroom by KANKAN AI's Smart Campus System, each kilowatt-hour of electricity saved per day per classroom by the Smart Campus system is equivalent to eight miles driven by an average vehicle, or a savings of 0.357 gallons of gasoline consumed, or other activities in the diagram below. Utilising data provided by five partnered schools in the city of Hangzhou, KanKan calculated that the application of its Smart Campus system in a total of 104 classrooms yields an annual reduction of 63.9 tons of CO2 (a greenhouse gas) emissions and 1.9 tons of SO2 (a toxic gas) emissions. At the current rate, 2,556 tons of CO2 emissions and 76 tons of SO2 emissions could be eliminated with KanKan AI's Smart Campus system within partnered schools.
It can be a challenge to find an ideal electronic lock for every opening, and then to manage them all within a single, integrated solution. All too often, security procurement involves difficult compromises: A system that works perfectly for one door or department leaves another where the same solution doesn’t quite meet its needs. Range of access control solutions A newly built commercial premises in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, power-tool manufacturer Makita stocks and distributes batteries, and runs wholesale supply logistics. They searched for a single, intuitive system to control every access point — now and in the future. Yet, as at many other sensitive commercial sites, not every door or opening is the same. Makita needed an access control solution with a comprehensive range of devices — to secure escape doors, entrances, interior doors, and more. “The diversity of access control devices available for the Incedo™ system was a decisive factor,” says Makita’s Richard Cimerman. Device management from a single system Makita Slovakia has a totally flexible, futureproof Incedo access solution designed to grow with their business ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ Incedoä platform connects security software and hardware within a single, seamless ecosystem. The range of Incedo-enabled devices and award-winning door hardware convinced Makita — for this site and for future premises and refurbishments around Slovakia. The new Banská Bystrica facility has an Incedo system controlling access through main entrances, fire doors, and emergency exit doors, as well as interior doors fitted with Aperio® wireless electronic escutcheons. User-friendly Incedo Business software manages and monitors everything together from a single control panel. It filters and restricts employee and visitor access to specific areas of the plant. Secure key credentials The modular, platform-based Incedo solution incorporates wired and wireless door locking devices from across the ASSA ABLOY range; card, token and secure mobile key credentials that can be used interchangeably; and a growing range of third-party security solutions. Should Makita upgrade to Incedo Plus management in the future, their own system could manage CCTV and alarms alongside access and door entry. When security demands change at Makita Banská Bystrica, their Incedo system can adapt. With Incedo software, Makita can switch between local and Cloud managed solutions whenever they choose. System size is scalable up or down, anytime and on-demand, as security needs or space usage change. Makita Slovakia has a totally flexible, futureproof Incedo access solution designed to grow with their business.
Round table discussion
There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions?
In the past few weeks, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel has brightened, providing new levels of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Dare we now consider what life will be like after the pandemic is over? Considering the possible impact on our industry, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies will be most useful in a post-pandemic world?
What is a business, or an industry, but a collection of people and the results of their work? People make all the difference in the destiny of a business or industry. And the people involved in a business reflect the impact of demographic changes – and the passage of time. The security industry has been largely built by Baby Boomers, who are getting older and increasingly stepping aside to make way for younger folks. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is there a “new generation” of employees and managers entering the physical security marketplace, and what will be the impact?