Power plant security
The mission of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk power system (BPS). While electric utility companies are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the electric grid, regulators such as NERC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are charged with the overall responsibility of ensuring reliability and security. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards, annually assesses seasonal...
One of the high security perimeter protection integrators has struck a partnership agreement to better access growth markets in oil, gas and military in the Middle East. British-headquartered perimeter protection Zaun Group partners with the Rimal Global Group in Oman. Rimal Global group focuses on engineering, procurement, contracting and construction for renewable energy development, oil & gas field development, power generation projects, roads development and promoter of Niche global tec...
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, present a range of threats, from the careless and clueless to the criminal. While many incidents may seem harmless, the threat to any location at any time depends on a range of factors. Drones are inexpensive for criminals to buy or make, and there are continuously improving battery, airspeed, and payload capabilities. UAVs can also fly without an RF signal to jam or hack. Fortunately, sensor technologies including radar are available for security ag...
Johnson Controls introduces the Tyco 360° Radar Detection, a low-cost, early threat detection family of radar sensors that can be easily integrated into existing video management systems for a more complete surveillance solution. Tyco Radar 360° Detection solution An ideal answer for advanced perimeter security needs, Tyco Radar 360° Detection offers long-range protection, which means quicker detection of breaches for areas seeking upgraded perimeter safety, such as power plants, t...
Leading lock specialist Pickersgill-Kaye (Kaye), a brand under ASSA ABLOY’s High Security & Safety Group, is encouraging those responsible for critical infrastructure sites to consider servicing contracts to help minimise the risk of costly breaches of security. Perimeter protection With terrorism posing a serious threat to the UK’s interests, perimeter fencing, doors and their locks are the first line of defence against potential intruders at installations such as chemical and...
Building on the recent announcement of offering greater sales, support, and inventory in EMEA, Middle Atlantic Products, a brand of Legrand AV, will display its latest AV innovations that are expertly engineered to meet the needs of regional installations at the Legrand AV stand 2-C50 at ISE 2019. Making its EU debut is Middle Atlantic's High Power DC Power Distribution series that features higher, up to 300W, power capacity, and the stylish, slim-profile C3 Series Credenza. "As part of our com...
Antaira Technologies a global developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking infrastructure family with the introduction of the LNP-1600G, -1802G-SFP, and -2004G-SFP series. As PoE technology has become increasingly popular in many industrial markets including automation manufacturing, security surveillance, power/utility, water wastewater treatment plants, oil/gas/mining, and transportation industries have adopted PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) ready devices; such as, cameras, VoIP phones, wireless radios, and access controllers into their production networks. Works in harsh environments Antaira’s LNP series work well in harsh or outdoor environments that require rugged power sourcing equipment (PSE) with high-density Ethernet port connectivity, wide bandwidth, long-distance data transmission, and reliability. Antaira Technologies’ LNP-1600G, -1802G-SFP, and -2004G-SFP series are the latest industrial Gigabit unmanaged Ethernet switch series that offer high density for sixteen full gigabit Ethernet ports (-1600G, -1802G-SFP, and -2004G-SFP) with each port supporting PSE maximum of 30W and have two or four SFP gigabit fibre slots (-1802G-SFP and -2004G-SFP) for long distance connectivity. These product series have an IP30 rated metal casing design that can support DIN-Rail and wall mountable orientations. Overload current and reverse polarity prevention The devices provide a dual redundant power input range of 48 to 55VDC with an overload current and reverse polarity prevention. The series also has a high EFT, surge protection (2,000VDC), and ESD (6,000VDC) protection. Additionally, there is a built-in relay warning function to alert maintainers when power failures occur. Each unit is built to withstand industrial networking hazards like shock, drop, vibration, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and temperature extremes. Wide operating temperature version options include a standard (-10° ~ 65°C) model or an extended (-40° ~ 75°C) model. The units conform to the following dimensions of 67mm (W) x 99mm (D) x 142mm (H) and a unit weight of 2.69 pounds (LNP-1600G and LNP-1802G-SFP) or 2.75 pounds (LNP-2004G-SFP).
Two giant video surveillance companies have responded to a United States government ban on use of their products included in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Both Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company are mentioned by name in a section buried in the giant military reauthorisation bill. A ban on use of their products will take effect “not later than one year after” the law is enacted. Response from the manufacturers Hikvision’s statement expresses disappointment with the version of the 2019 NDAA passed by both chambers of the U.S. Congress Hikvision’s statement expresses disappointment with the version of the 2019 NDAA passed by both chambers of the U.S. Congress. “This legislation was quickly drafted without sufficient evidence, review, or investigation to warrant the video surveillance technology restrictions outlined in section 889,” says Hikvision. “The process resulted in an ambiguous provision with potentially far-reaching implications for American business and represents a rejection of the U.S. government’s commitment to use a standards-based approach when evaluating security risks in federal procurement.” Dahua was less direct and did not specifically mention the ban in its statement. “Although local laws and regulations may present challenges, we never lose sight of our goals — to provide top-tier products and services for the North American market,” says the statement from Zhejiang Dahua Technology Ltd. The rest of the statement centres on Dahua’s ongoing commitment to the video surveillance market and addresses possible motivations for the ban (see below). Impact on contractor business Dahua’s statement expressed its ongoing commitment to the video surveillance market Hikvision also cited a recent article published in The Hill that quoted Chris Nickelson, a Missouri-based contractor, who argued that a ban on Hikvision products would actually harm small American businesses like his. According to the article, Nickelson said allegations against Hikvision have hurt his business, and he decried a lack of evidence supporting the allegations. “Somebody still needs to show me that there’s any real meat and potatoes behind any accusations that have been made towards Hikvision,” Nickelson is quoted in The Hill. The rest of Hikvision’s statement: “Hikvision is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations and has made efforts to ensure the security of its products go beyond what is mandated by the U.S. government, including certification under the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 and opening our Source Code Transparency Center (SCTC), which makes the company’s source code available for review by law enforcement authorities and government agencies in the U.S. and Canada.”We understand that in today’s security industry, cybersecurity is the biggest challenge" Company statement on the NDAA Here is more of Dahua’s statement on the National Defense Authorization Act: “Dahua Technology is a global leading IoT video surveillance solution provider operating in 37 countries and dedicated to bringing our customers innovative solutions. Dahua Technology has been publicly traded on Shenzhen stock exchange market since 2008 and is not a government-owned entity. We understand that in today’s security industry, cybersecurity is the biggest challenge. We have provided remedies to correct those issues with our customers. We take cybersecurity very seriously by implementing a seven-module cybersecurity baseline into our product design. Meanwhile, we continue to work with 3rd party partners like DBAPP Security and Synopsys Technology, to rigorously test our products to combat against current cybersecurity vulnerabilities."To personalise our interaction with customers at this event, Hikvision will not have a booth on the GSX show floor" Dahua’s statement continues: “With over 6,000 R&D Dahua professionals, we strive to provide secure products and solutions to our valued customers to secure what they care about. Although local laws and regulations may present challenges, we never lose sight of our goals — to provide top-tier products and services for the North American market. We will continue to invest in resources and employees to ensure our customers and partners retain the highest quality of services to support future growth in this market. "We will continue to invest in resources and employees to ensure our customers and partners retain the highest quality of services to support future growth in this market.” Hikvision comments on GSX presence Hikvision has also issued a statement about its downsized presence at the upcoming GSX trade show (formerly ASIS) in Las Vegas. A Hikvision spokesperson confirmed that the decision to abandon Hikvision’s large booth presence was made earlier this summer and was not a result of the ban. Here is Hikvision’s statement about GSX: “As in previous years, Hikvision will be well represented at the GSX show in September in Las Vegas. To personalise our interaction with customers at this event, Hikvision will not have a booth on the GSX show floor. Instead, a contingency of Hikvision professionals will attend the conference and host partner meetings and product demonstrations in meeting facilities throughout the trade show. "As a total solution provider, Hikvision looks forward to meeting with end users, A&E consultants, integrators and other partners to discuss how Hikvision's full suite of products can help address the challenges facing security directors and the broader C-Suite.”
Hikvision, the premier global supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, has released a new Thermal Bi-spectrum bullet camera, which will bring enhanced capabilities to perimeter security, including advanced fire detection technology. The new camera (DS-2TD2615-7/10) is very cost-effective and will prove useful on a ‘short distance’ perimeter in the fight against damage and property loss. The camera uses deep learning algorithms in its powerful behaviour analysis, delivering smart alarms, like line crossing, region entrance/exit and intrusion, among others. Thermal Imaging The camera’s image processing technology combines several image processing and improving technologies to create the best thermal outcome. It also uses NETD (Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference) less than 50mK (millikelvin), a measurement of how well a thermal imaging detector can distinguish between small differences. This means the lower the temperature difference sensed by the camera, the smaller the value and thus the better the image. This camera also boasts a reliable temperature exception alarm function. It has the function to pre-set a temperature alarm threshold, which will trigger an alarm once the temperature goes higher than the pre-set limit. The camera can detect bad weather or more extreme environments and auto-calibrate to compensate Bi-spectrum image fusion Bi-spectrum image fusion gives the users a picture-in-picture preview. Clearer image details with optical details overlaid onto thermal images come in handy for capturing proof when necessary. The preview will also reduce bandwidth, and there’s no need to switch from thermal to optical or vice versa. Other features include: - High sensitivity, 160 × 120 resolution sensor (output resolution 320 × 240), supports contrast adjustment - Mirror image, digital zoom ×2, ×4, ×8, and local output - Strong environmental adaptability, so the camera can detect bad weather or more extreme environments and auto-calibrate to compensate Perimeter security and fire prevention This camera is a boon to any perimeter security and fire prevention solution, specifically in critical infrastructures like airports, railways, prisons and power stations. On top of this, the camera is designed with installers in mind, too. Its small size and neat, stable design makes it convenient to install, either by wall, ceiling or stand mounting. “Our Thermal Bi-spectral Bullet camera is not only about seeing what’s happening on a perimeter, for example. It’s also about giving pre-alarms even before a fire starts, protecting property, and even – essentially – keeping people from harm”, says Franck Carette, Thermal Product Manager Europe.
Greenpeace have posted footage on their Facebook page of them flying a drone into a French nuclear facility. The group have claimed the stunt was performed to highlight security issues around the facility. The facility was reportedly "at no time worried about the drone or attempted to intercept it". It was crashed into the tower in Bugey, a town around 30km away from the major city of Lyon. With the use of drones growing exponentially, now is the time to act against the potential negative threats that drones pose. Investing in drone detection technology Drone detection experts COPTRZ believe the crash seriously highlights the need for these major facilities to invest heavily in drone detection technology. The technology is there and readily available, so there is no excuse for incidents like this to happen again. This isn't the first stunt Greenpeace have performed at French nuclear facilities. It would, therefore, suggest they are vulnerable to attack if action isn't taken in the immediate future. Can these incidents be prevented with drone detection? Drone detection systems would have allowed the facility to not only be warned about the drone, but also the location of the drone and its pilot Incident prevention What's the solution to prevent incidents from happening again? The answer to that question is quite a simple one, drone detection. A lot of major facilities and businesses in the UK have begun to take ownership of this technology. It can help prevent these kinds of incidents and protect companies’ important assets from being accessed. Drone detection systems would have allowed the facility to not only be warned about the drone, but also the location of the drone and its pilot. It also collects data such as the altitude, speed, the location of take-off, the direction the drone is heading in. This data can allow facilities to quickly act in the event of a drone attack. If it's caught early enough, it can prevent similar incidents from happening, and this is what Greenpeace is clearly trying to show. Preparing against potential threats Steve Coulson, Managing Director and Founder of COPTRZ commented on the incident saying: "This incident further highlights just how important drone detection is. The Greenpeace incident has hopefully helped to show the facilities just how crucial it is to be wary of the potential negative threat that drones can have on their facilities. The time to act is now to ensure that these incidents don't occur outside of a controlled environment. Drone detection is going to play a key part moving forward, so it's important for businesses to get ahead of the game."
The Duke Energy Corporation, one of the largest utilities in the word, has hired Brian Harrell as Managing Director, Enterprise Protective Services. Harrell is widely seen as an industry expert on critical infrastructure protection, with a specific focus on power grid security. He is the former Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection Programs and Director of Operations for the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) while at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). He was recently recognised as one of Security Magazine's Most Influential People in Security and he currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University. Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and serves approximately 7.5 million retail electric customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company which provides energy services to approximately 24 million people.
Control room, video wall and audio-visual experts, eyevis UK, have launched a new London demonstration venue to cope with increased demand for its technology. The move will allow a wide range of sectors, including CCTV, security and traffic control to see state-of-the-art products which can help them. Growing demand for product demonstrations The venue, at Woburn Place, a short walk from Euston Station, is operated on an appointment basis and clients can provide details of the issues they face in advance so eyevis UK can demonstrate how their technology can help. The newly-launched venue has both an equipment room and a display room" eyevis UK managing director, Steve Murphy said the new venue was in response to growing demand for the Burnley-based company’s products, including the ground-breaking eyeUNIFY professional wall management software. He said: “Our previous venue in London was providing too small to cater for demand. The newly-launched venue has both an equipment room and a display room, is much bigger and more accessible, providing us with the opportunity to really showcase our products to clients.” Showcased products: eyeUNIFY, the only open-source video wall management application available today. It is fully code transparent, making it the most secure video wall management software on the planet. Additionally, it can be adapted to specialist wishes and customer needs. Netpix video wall controllers offer the very latest in control room video wall technology. The new INFINITY network distributed display wall feature with IP streamed sources delivered to displays via the network whilst retaining all the unique eyevis control software functionality eyevis UK industrial LCD display technology including ultra-narrow bezel LCD and QHD Touch screen displays eyevis LED illuminated rear projection technology eyevis’ unique omniSHAPE display technology for creating exciting and flexible display configurations including concave and convex display formats. Our new demonstration venue provides the opportunity to see eyevis technology in action" Control rooms and video walls eyevis UK managing director, Steve Murphy added: “Control rooms and video walls are used in a wide variety of applications, such as traffic control, transportation, energy plants, aerospace, airports, water and sewage plants, public utilities, emergency services and data centres. Our new demonstration venue provides the opportunity to see eyevis technology in action and learn how it can help make any operation in any sector more efficient and provide operational staff with a real-time overview. Large-screen systems used on a management level can also help to provide vital information at a glance, which helps in finding quick and efficient decisions.” eyevis UK provides video wall displays and audio-visual solutions to a range of clients across the UK.
It had been a particularly slow night. The plant security guard had just made his rounds on this Sunday evening shift. As soon as he passed the weighing scales, he could enter the guard shack and get off his feet. Challenging a curious incident However, on this night, he noticed the waste vendor’s truck sitting half on and half off the scale. He stopped dead in his tracks to see if the truck would back up and completely sit on the scale. It never did. The observant guard walked up to the truck and challenged the driver who seemed surprised. “Hey, you’re not weighing your truck properly.” The driver fumbled for a response before replying, “Sorry, I was on the phone with a friend. I didn’t notice it.” But this security guard had the presence of mind to demand the driver’s phone. The driver was caught off guard and surrendered the phone. The guard then pulled up the most recent incoming/outgoing calls and saw no calls during the last 30 minutes. “I don’t think so.” “You don’t think so what?” The security guard was frank, “You haven’t used this phone in over half an hour.” The truck driver sheepishly acknowledged the fact. It was decided to install CCTV covering the weighing area and scales – no easy feat due to poor lighting Preventing crime as it happens Knowing the driver was lying, the security guard ordered the truck back on the scale for a correct weighing and advised the driver that he would report the incident. The security guard wrote up his report and handed it off to his supervisor who, in turn, contacted the local corporate investigator. This investigator was soon on the phone with his boss at corporate headquarters on the other side of the world. Together with Security, they decided to install CCTV covering the weighing area and scales – no easy feat due to poor lighting. However, once completed, they waited. They would not have to wait long. For the next two months, the waste vendor trucks, filled to the brim with production waste, black-and-white paper and other waste products from the plant, would stop on the scale only for a moment and then drive the front half of the truck off the scale for weighing. It was obvious that the vendor was cheating the company by only paying for half the waste. After two months, it was decided to catch the next cheating driver “en flagrante.” Sure enough, the next truck went half on and half off the scale and was weighed. Security then asked the unsuspecting driver to park his truck and invited him inside the building to talk to a supervisor. The driver signed an incriminating statement about the scheme and his role therein. They sent him on his way asking him to keep it quiet Waiting for the driver in a large office was the local investigator and his close friend, the Head of Security. After a difficult interview, the driver admitted to cheating on the scales over a two-year period—he claimed that some of the scale cheating was done at the direction of the vendor’s management, while some of it he did himself by “ripping off” the vendor—which he acknowledged was dangerous. Working with authorities The driver signed an incriminating statement about the scheme and his role therein. They sent him on his way asking him to keep it quiet—they would see what they could do for him later on. In the meantime, Corporate Investigations had received a due diligence report on the vendor company which contained disturbing news—the company and its managers were associated with a countrywide waste management mafia. The report suggested that the vendor had a reputation for thefts and involvement in numerous lawsuits regarding thefts and embezzlement. Shockingly, no prior due diligence had ever been conducted on the vendor. Fortunately, the plant’s finance and audit team had maintained good records over the past 5 years and were able to re-construct the amount of waste going out the plant door and the amounts being claimed and paid for by the vendor. The discrepancy and loss stood at a multi-million dollar figure. After consulting with the local police authorities and company lawyers, it was decided to pursue a civil case against the vendor. Pursuing legal action The regional lawyer, the Head of Investigations, the Head of Security and the CFO invited the vendor to discuss the problem. Some of the evidence was shown to the vendor’s CEO who became indignant and, in order to save face, promised to fire the truck drivers and to repay any losses for the last two months. Inter-dependent entities - security, investigations, finance/audit and legal - combined their resources and agendas to form a unified front That was not enough for the company and a protracted legal battle ensued which lasted several years and resulted in the vendor’s paying almost the entire amount in instalments. The vendor was dropped from the contract and internal controls strengthened—the only plant employee dealing with the waste issue left the company and was replaced by two individuals. The plant also began paying more attention to the waste process and less to the production side. Several “lessons learned” come to mind. First, the tripwire came in the person of an astute and well-trained security guard who exhibited some of the best characteristics you want to see from men and women in that profession. The Security Department was also adept at installing the CCTV and capturing the fraud live on videotape. But a far greater lesson was learned—of what can happen when inter-dependent entities (security, investigations, finance/audit and legal) within a company combine their resources and agendas to form a unified front. The results speak for themselves.
With the ever-growing availability of video data thanks to the low cost of high-resolution video cameras and storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning analytics now have become a necessity for the physical security industry, including access control and intrusion detection. Minimising human error and false positives are the key motivations for applying AI technologies in the security industry. What is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to learn from experience using a multi-layer neural network, which mimics the human brain, in order to recognise items and patterns and make decisions without human interference. The human brain is estimated to have 86 billion neurons; in comparison, the newest Nvidia GPU Volta has 21 billion transistors (the equivalence of a neuron), which offers the performance of hundreds of CPUs for deep learning.AI can learn continuously 24 hours per day every day, constantly acquiring, retaining and improving its knowledge In addition, unlike humans, AI can learn continuously 24 hours per day every day, constantly acquiring, retaining and improving its knowledge. With such enormous processing power, machines using Nvidia GPU and similar chips can now distinguish faces, animals, vehicles, languages, parts of speech, etc. Depending on the required complexity, level of details, acceptable error margin, and learning data quality, AI can learn new objects within as fast as a few seconds using Spiking Neural Network (SNN) to a few weeks using Convolution Neural Network (CNN). While both SNN and CNN offer advantages and drawbacks, they outperform tradition security systems without AI in terms of efficiency and accuracy. According to the research reports of MarketsandMarkets, the market size of perimeter intrusion detection systems is projected to increase from 4.12 billion USD in 2016 to 5.82 billion USD in 2021 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.1%. Meanwhile, the predicted market of AI in security (both cyber security and physical security) will grow from 3.92 billion USD in 2017 to 34.81 billion USD by 2025, i.e., with an impressive CAGR of 31.38%. Legacy perimeter intrusion detection systems Legacy perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDSs) are typically set up with the following considerations: Geographical conditions: landscape, flora, fauna, climate (sunrise, sunset, weather conditions, etc.), whether there are undulations in the terrain that would block the field of view of cameras Presence or lack of other layers of physical protection or barriers Integration with other systems in the security network: camera, storage, other defensive lines (door, lock, alarm, etc.) Types of alarm triggers and responses System complexity: intrusion detection with various types of sensors, e.g., microwave sensors, radar sensors, vibration sensors, acoustic sensors, etc. Length of deployment Local regulations: privacy protection, whether the cameras/sensors must be visible/hidden/buried, etc., electromagnetic interferences that may affect other systems such as oil rigs or power plants Human involvement: on-site personnel arrangement, human monitoring, human action in response to alarms AI object detection can easily distinguish different types of people and objects Pain points and benefits of AI The conditions listed above correspond to certain requirements of an intrusion detection systems: minimal false alarm, easy setup and maintenance, easy integration, and stable performance.AI by nature is designed to learn, adapt itself and evolve to work in multiple conditions: it should be integrated with existing video recording systems Minimal false alarms: False alarms lead to increased cost and inefficiency but are the main problem of PIDSs without AI technology, where animals, trees, shadows, and weather conditions may trigger the sensors. AI object detection can easily distinguish different types of people and objects, e.g., in a region set up to detect people, a car driving by, a cat walking by, or a person’s shadow will not trigger the alarm. Therefore, the amount of false alarms can be reduced by 70% to orders of magnitude. Easy setup and maintenance: Legacy PIDSs without AI must account for terrain, line of sight of cameras, sensor locations; any changes to the system would require manual effort to recalculate such factors and may disturb other components in the system. In contrast, AI PIDSs enable the system administrator to access the entire system or individual cameras from the control room, configure the region and object of interest in the field of view of cameras within minutes, and adjust with ease as often as necessary. Computing knowledge and even specific security training are not required to set up a secured PIDS with AI because AI PIDS is designed to relieve humans from knowing the inner working of machines. Easy integration with complementary technologies: Legacy PIDS without AI relies on physical technology, which are often proprietary and require complete overhaul of systems to function smoothly. On the other hand, AI by nature is designed to learn, adapt itself and evolve to work in multiple conditions, so AI PIDS is easily integrated with existing video recording (camera) and storage (NVR) systems. AI also eliminates the need for physical wireless or fiber-based sensors; instead, it functions based on the videos captured by cameras. Furthermore, AI enables easy and instantaneous combinations of multiple layers of defense, e.g., automatic triggering of door lock, camera movement focusing and access control as soon as a specified object is detected in the region of interest, all set up with a click of a button. Stable performance and durability: Legacy PIDSs without AI requires complicated setup with multiple components in order to increase detection accuracy. More components mean a higher probability of malfunction in the system, including exposure to damages (e.g., sensors can be destroyed) and delay in detection, while human monitoring is inconsistent due to human fatigue (studies have shown that a person can concentrate in mundane tasks for only up to 20 minutes, and the attention span decreases even more rapidly when humans are faced with multiple items at once, e.g., multiple camera monitoring screens). AI significantly reduces, if not completely eliminates the need for human involvement in the intrusion detection system once it is set up. In addition, AI reduces the risk of system malfunction by simplifying the hardware sensors needed. Minimising human error and false positives are the key motivations for applying AI technologies in the security industry Additional benefits of AI in intrusion detection Artificial Intelligence is undeniably reshaping every business and weaving into every aspect of daily lifeMaximal detection capability: The most advanced AI intrusion detection system today provides an all-in-one solution to distinguish any combination of alarm-triggering criteria beyond perimeter protection. Using AI, the system administrator can configure as many zones with different settings and object of interests as necessary, which include detections for specific colors or attributes (e.g., person not wearing the required uniform or carrying food/drink), numbers and dwell time (e.g., group of more than 5 people loitering), or movements (e.g., cars moving faster than the speed limit). In addition, AI can accurately pinpoint the location of event occurrence by displaying the camera that records the event in near real time, i.e., with few-second delays. Lower security operation cost: By minimising the number of false positives and human involvement while maximising ease of use and stability, AI intrusion detection systems significantly decrease the total cost of ownership. Companies can reduce the large security personnel overhead and cost of complicated and expensive legacy PIDSs systems. McKinsey Global report in June 2017 shows that proactive AI adopters can realize up to 15% increase in profit margin across various industries. Artificial Intelligence is undeniably reshaping every business and weaving into every aspect of daily life. In security, legacy systems are giving way to AI-based systems, and the first enterprises to adopt AI-based systems will soon, if not immediately, benefit from such investment. By Paul Sun, CEO of IronYun, and Mai Truong, Marketing Manager of IronYun
Throughout the UK there are many examples of smart city transformation, with key industries including transport, energy, water and waste becoming increasingly ‘smart’. A smart city is a one that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and resident welfare. Smart access is an important step forward in providing technologically advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities and their respectively smart industries. Explaining smart access If we used the standard definition of smart, it would be to use technology to monitor, control and manage access, but the technology must be adapted to both the physical and management characteristics of smart cities. Smart access is an important step forward in providing advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities For example, it would not make sense to install an iris biometric sensor at an isolated water storage tank, which is out in the open and may not even have electrical power. Nor would a permissions management system work, one that does not let you update permissions simply and easily and cannot be customised. With high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of the city, it is important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by business owners or managers for audits, improvements or compliance. When initiating a new access control system it is important that the supplier and customer work together to understand: Who can enter a secure area Where in the building each individual has access to When an individual can enter a secure area How an individual will gain access to a secure area This information can be crucial in the event of a security breach, enabling investigators to find out who was the last known key holder in the building and what their movements were whilst there. Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information Modernising locks and keys Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information, which means that it can be installed on any door as you would a mechanical lock without maintenance requirements. Permissions are stored within an intelligent key. If you have authorisation for that lock, it will open. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed to enter and all of the activity carried out by the key will be recorded. You can update permissions from a computer or using an app on a mobile phone at the time of access, which will update the key's permissions via Bluetooth. This allows shortened validity periods, constrains movements to be in line with company access policy and removes travel and fixed authoriser costs. This then delivers increased flexibility and higher levels of security. Remote access control utilities Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key. It also provides notification of lost keys, joint management of access schedules, protection of isolated workers and much more. Combined with new technological solutions, an app allows contextual information to be sent, such as on-site presence, duration of an operation, authorisations and reporting of anomalies. Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion, for example to repair a failure. Access can be restricted to enable entry only during working hours, for example. Permissions can be granted for the amount of time required, which means that if permission is requested to access a site using a mobile app, the company should be able to access it, for example, in the next five minutes. Once this time has passed, the permission expires and, if a key is lost or it is stolen, they will not be able to access the site. The rules for granting permissions are infinite and easily customisable, and the system is very efficient when they are applied; as a result, the system is flexible and adapted to suit company processes and infrastructures. Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key Finding applications to create solutions In many cases, companies themselves find new applications for the solution, such as the need to obtain access using two different keys simultaneously to prevent a lone worker from accessing a dangerous area. The software that manages access makes it smart. It can be used from a web-based access manager or through personalised software that is integrated within a company's existing software solution, to automatically include information, such as the employee's contractual status, occupational risk prevention and the existence of work orders. In some companies, the access management system will help to further improve service levels by integrating it with the customer information system, allowing to link it for instance with alarms managers, intrusion managers or HR processes. With over one million access points currently secured worldwide, this simple and flexible solution will play a strategic role in the future of security.
ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, reflecting a healthy physical security industry with an overall upbeat outlook on the future. Driving the optimism is a pending new wave of product innovation, propelled largely by developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Some of that new wave is evident at ISC West, but much of the talk still centres on what’s to come. Attendees flocked to the first day of the show to check out the newest technologies, and they were rewarded with a wide range of innovations. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems. Cybersecurity standards for physical security At least one news announcement is related to cybersecurity at the show: Johnson Controls is the first company to achieve UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification 2900-2-3 for cybersecurity of life safety and security products and systems for their VideoEdge network video recording platform from American Dynamics. The UL brand ensures that the certification involves a standards-based and scientific approach to evaluating cybersecurity, and that JCI’s certified products meet the requirements. “We were able to be first because we understand issues of cybersecurity, and the UL standard matches very closely to what we have been doing in cybersecurity,” says Will Brown, Senior Engineering Manager, Cyber Protection at Johnson Controls. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems Neil Lakomiak, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Underwriters Laboratories, says relatively few companies have invested sufficiently in cybersecurity, and much of UL’s work in the physical security market is to help manufacturers develop a roadmap to meet cybersecurity goals. “A lot of companies have not invested, but Johnson Controls has,” said Lakomiak. He speculated that it could be some time before another security company achieves the certification; there certainly won’t be a rush of additional companies to do so in the near term, based on the progress he has seen to date, says Lakomiak. “Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level,” says Lakomiak. “They are definitely inquiring about it and trying to understand what their posture should be. The leadership teams of companies will be asking a lot of questions.” In terms of cyber-consciousness among the integrator community, Brown estimates about 10 percent are “on board” with the issue. Among the manufacturing community, more than half of the companies are pursuing cybersecurity goals, although the levels of those efforts run a full gamut, says Lakomiak. Vertical markets that are especially cyber-aware are enterprise, government, and critical infrastructure. Financial and retail companies are also coming on board, as well as companies — even small companies — in regulated industries such as utilities Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level Cybersecurity in the cloud Another company emphasising cybersecurity at ISC West is access control company Isonas. “What’s really new at the show for us is that we are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform and our IP network hardware,” says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. “The levels of complexity we are putting into our cybersecurity, including the fact that we host our software on Amazon web services, ensures a really high level of security. We are taking painstaking efforts to subject ourselves to third-party penetration testing to give us the visibility of what is going on with our cybersecurity — are we actually as cybersecure as we believe?” The answer: “They have come back to us to say we have an amazing strategy for cybersecurity; the surface that is attackable is minuscule, and the complex layers underneath really prevent anybody from hacking the product.”We are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform" Lydic says he sees higher levels of awareness about cybersecurity at the show, especially among end users. Several other exhibitors agree. Because edge devices have often been targeted in cybersecurity attacks, they are especially an area of concern. “We’re raising that conversation, saying we are a cloud service provider that uses edge devices, and it is core to us to make sure we have a great cybersecurity profile, so the customer can be assured we are doing what we say we are doing and delivering on those promises,” says Lydic. Awareness is filtering through channel: Isonas is seeing many customers who want to have that cybersecurity conversation at the show. “We have had probably 20 or 30 conversations with end users at the show who want to understand what it means to be in the cloud, to understand how the level of communication is encrypted between devices,” says Lydic. Many end users at ISC West want to understand what it means to be in the cloud Ambitions for growth Successful companies often increase their ISC West booth size as a reflection of their ambition to grow as a company and their success in sales so far. One such company is Paxton Access Inc., which has increased its booth size from a 20x40-foot booth last year to a 30x50-foot space this year. Beyond the show, another reflection of Paxton’s growth is addition of personnel to cover 11 U.S. sales territories that have been newly restructured. New regional sales managers will work with dealers locally. At the show, Paxton is introducing its Net2 Entry Premium monitor, the latest addition to the company’s Net2 Entry line of door entry products. “The show is definitely a great way to promote who we are and what we offer,” says Linda Soriano, Paxton Marketing Communications Coordinator. “It’s great to meet new customers and interact with existing customers, to build new relationships. It’s an opportunity to promote the new things we have going on.” Paxton measures success at ISC West in terms of how many people they interact with at the show. In addition to welcoming booth visitors, the company is signing up attendance at free training through a show promotion. Anyone who signs up for training at the show is entered into a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card and a $1,000 discount off MSRP of Paxton products. Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, one of the larger exhibitors, says the company is emphasising solutions at ISC West, just one element of the successful international business model they are bringing to the United States.With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions" Another topic for Dahua is artificial intelligence. “With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions,” he says. Dahua sponsored a keynote address Wednesday on AI, including a presentation from Intel about AI trends. “AI is the future, but what can we use it for now?” asks Shen. “We need to give a very clear strategy of what we think about AI.” Dahua will bring AI cameras and an AI network video recorder to the U.S. market in the second quarter; in effect, they will be testing the water to see how well the AI concept is embraced here. Other new products from Dahua include multi-image and thermal cameras. In the thermal category, Dahua has developed their own chipset to help bring the price down and provide affordable thermal cameras to the U.S. market. Another focus will be e-POE (extended Power over Ethernet), which Dahua sees as a big differentiator. [Main photo credit: Abbey Masciarotte | Larry Anderson]
Protecting power grids is essential to deliver electricity that serves millions of consumers. Transmission substations are a component of the power infrastructure that presents unique security challenges. These important facilities often sit out in the open, in remote locations, and were historically protected by little more than cameras or chain-link fences. Much of the current concern about securing electrical substations in the United States originated in response to a 2013 sniper attack, using military-style weapons, on Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Metcalf Transmission Substation in Coyote, Calif., near San Jose. Gunmen fired on 17 electrical transformers, resulting in more than $15 million in damage. The crime is still unsolved. Security critical infrastructure The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines emerged in the aftermath of the attack, triggering growth in security spending to protect utilities. The latest NERC/CIP Version 6 standards were issued in January 2016, with deadlines of various phases falling in July 2016, April 2017, and the final phase to be completed in September 2018. The earlier deadlines were for high- and medium-risk facilities, and the future deadline covers lower-risk areas. The standards target four areas of concern securing utility sites: security awareness, physical security, remote access connections, and incident response. Although medium- and high-impact facilities tend to be more critical, the connected nature of utility infrastructure means that security is only as strong as the weakest link. Perimeter security requirements Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements. The geography surrounding sites – Is it an urban area or rural? Does the surrounding elevation provide additional lines of sight? – also impacts the types of systems they require. A lack of similar incidents since the 2013 Metcalf attack could fuel debate on whether the extra security was necessary, and could even lead to a sense of complacency. “A lot of money has been spent on fancy systems at the top tier,” says Greg Hendrix, Sales Lead at Tyco Integrated Security. “But nothing has happened since Metcalf. The concern is that we could lull ourselves into a sense of everything’s OK. We need to find a balance between what’s appropriate and what isn’t, and it’s a moving target. There is no silver bullet.” With 35 years in the physical security industry, Hendrix manages a specialised team of 12 pre-sale field engineers that focus on designing electronic security solutions for complex needs as part of Johnson Controls’ Centers of Excellence network. Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements Cameras and access control for high-security facilities Hendrix assisted one utility industry customer as a primary design engineer for nine high-impact sites. The sites were high- to medium-tier sites that are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Thermal cameras with analytics were positioned to detect intrusions and discern between wildlife and human intruders. Avoiding false alarms is crucial if, for instance, 300 cameras are monitored at a single site. The analytics systems were augmented with pan-tilt-zoom cameras that could be directed to view intruders. Analytics zones were used to trigger large LED light panels to flood various zones with light in case of an intruder. If an intruder gets even closer, it would trigger a recorded voice to tell them to leave. Metal fences that were 12 feet high and even concrete were used to protect lines of sight to provide a ballistics barrier against gunshots. Mountainous or hilly areas presented additional challenges, as someone could position themselves above the fence line. In some cases, automated gates use multi-factor access control readers (cards and PINs) to allow vehicles to pass and then to close behind them. In other instances, pedestrian-only gates are used, requiring vehicles to remain parked outside the perimeter. Video surveillance watches entrances and exits. Compliance with NERC/CIP regulations Connecting IP cameras into a utility’s IT system, or even using a laptop to programme a video system, can introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The idea is not to contribute to the cybersecurity challenges utilities already face to protect the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring systems and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used in daily operations. “The physical threat is evident, but the cybersecurity threat is not so obvious,” says Hendrix. “To focus on one without the other doesn’t make a lot of sense. The physical security folks focus on how we can physically detect and deter, and promote visibility. But we have to remind ourselves that the security of the cyber connection is critical. Security awareness applies to us as integrators as much as customers. We have to find an IT guru within the organisation and make sure we are working together.” Failure to adhere to NERC/CIP requirements, which are enforced using audits, trigger fines that could put the profitability of private utility companies at risk. “There is an opportunity for integrators to partner with customers and identify how to appropriately meet the requirements within budget and get these projects done,” says Hendrix. Among the audit requirements is a log showing who comes and goes at a facility; access control systems collect that information and provide the needed documentation. Employees are issued cards, and contractors and other visitors are required to be escorted by approved personnel into and out of a site. For frequent visitors and contractors, a credential can be issued. Promoting awareness of such policies and requirements is another factor in CIP compliance.
Has there ever been a better time for a security trade show in Europe? Shifting threats such as terrorism and a volatile political climate serve as reminders every day of the importance of security in our lives, and even the role of technology. IFSEC opened in London on Tuesday at the ExCeL centre, covering every aspect of security, from access control and video surveillance to home automation and perimeter security. Amid sweltering heat, attendees came to find the latest-and-greatest innovations to meet changing security challenges. Substance over style Many of the technology announcements were "repurposed" news previously unveiled in the United States at the spring ISC West show in Las Vegas. Even so, there was plenty to see, although foot traffic seemed a little slow on the first day. Several people commented on how IFSEC is different from ISC West. The US market, exemplified by ISC West, tends to emphasise superlatives and flashy market claims, while the European market is more about substance. That observation comes from Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify, who said he has a larger share of conversations at IFSEC about how a solution can address specific needs. "Europe isn't one single market," he reminds us. "There are more different kinds of customers and different approaches, while the US market has a more unified way of thinking." Safe and secure cities applications (and "smart cities") are more prominent in Europe. While in the US, utility applications are higher profile, driven by a need to conform to NERC/FERC standards. The European market has more different kinds of customers and different approaches "The competition in Europe is more varied, with more smaller players, depending on which product and market," adds Kim Loy, Director of Marketing for Vanderbilt. "It makes it a more dynamic landscape." One variable Loy points to is how advanced each European market is from a technology perspective. For example, the Nordic countries -- Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland -- tend to embrace technology, and Vanderbilt is already seeing success there with its cloud-based products, the ACT365 cloud access control and video system and SBC Connect for cloud-managed intrusion detection. Current events in Europe add an air of urgency to the show. Several recent terrorist attacks have highlighted the need for more and better security. In emergency situations, often the security industry's contributions come after the fact, notes Shabtai. It took police in Brussels, Belgium, five days to find a suspect in the 2016 terrorist attack there. However, technologies such as Qognify's Suspect Search can now sift through databases to find video clips relevant to an investigation within minutes. More analysis of disparate information can in some cases provide predictive capabilities, or at least help direct investigations aimed at preventing such events. Adapting to vertical markets Many exhibits at IFSEC reflect the trend we are seeing of companies expanding their product selection beyond what was previously their core competency. Several video companies, in particular, are displaying an expanding array of products. It's a continuation of the familiar trend of video companies like Genetec, Avigilon, Hikvision and others expanding into access control systems. At IFSEC, Genetec says they are focusing on outcomes rather than technology, highlighting systems designed for specific use cases and vertical markets. Importantly, Genetec's systems provide flexibility to adapt to a variety of issues in various markets, whether a specific vertical or in the United States, Europe, or anywhere in the world. Privacy and cybersecurity are especially relevant in Europe Privacy and cybersecurity are hot-button issues for Genetec, says Jean-Philippe Deby, EMEA Business Development Director. It's especially relevant in Europe, where the European Union has embraced general data protection regulations (GDPR) that require compliance by May 2018 (The UK has committed to compliance despite the Brexit vote.) It's another element in the industry's growing focus on cybersecurity and systems highlighting "privacy by design." But global business trends are eliminating some of the differences in the security industry around the world, says Dr. Peter Kim, Senior Director of IDIS. Globalisation trumps regional phasing "Perhaps the biggest difference at IFSEC this year is the realisation that there is less of a difference than ever before between the US and European markets," he says. "Globalisation increasingly means access in Europe to brands and their product offerings is more equal than ever before—something you see here at this and all of the major security shows around the world. New technologies are increasingly rolled out globally either at the same time or close together, as opposed to regional phasing." Europe and America have different drivers and priorities at different times, including those influenced by geopolitics and recent crises, which can drive demand for technology to meet specific security requirements, Kim notes. One thing both markets have in common right now is geopolitical churn in various forms—including the threat of terror and a number of significant elections—which can lead to increased uncertainty. "This is especially relevant for government contracts, as public projects, which can be quite substantial from a security standpoint, often stall in such environments," Kim notes. Avigilon dominates the signage and video displays as visitors enter the ExCeL Centre Avigilon dominates the show Avigilon is one company that is introducing new products at IFSEC (that were not previously viewed at ISC West). They include the Avigilon Presence Detector (APD), a sensor that combines self-learning analytics with impulse radar technology to accurately detect the presence of a person even if they have stopped moving or are hidden. The sensor is designed for indoor locations such as vestibules within banks, pharmacies, retail stores and health care facilities. Avigilon is also highlighting a new Mini Dome Camera Line, and integration of its Access Control Manager (ACM) system with biometrics, among other products. Avigilon is making a big splash at the show. They dominate the signage and video displays as visitors enter the ExCeL Centre. I'm looking forward to seeing more interesting technologies in the remaining two days of the show.
Based in Muscat, Oman, the Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) owns and operates the main electricity transmission network, transferring electricity from generating stations to distribution load centres in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. Asset and public protection Protecting the company’s assets while ensuring the safety of the public is central to ensuring business continuity for OETC and reliable distribution of electricity to over 4.6 million people. With 90 grid stations in remote locations, identifying and responding to unauthorised intrusions in a timely way was challenging. OETC required a robust perimeter security system to deter intruders, manage risk, and protect the public “It can take up to an hour to reach some of our sites after an alarm is triggered. By then it’s too late, the intruder is gone,” says ESC Gulf Project Lead. Members of the public were also entering the sites to have picnics, unwittingly risking injury or even death. After a fatality when someone interfered with an electricity transformer, it was clear the OETC required a robust perimeter security system to deter intruders, manage risk, and protect the public from harm. Monitored pulse fencing solution The Gallagher solution OETC work in partnership with an established local consultant ESC Gulf who provide a wide range of services including design, tender evaluation and project implementation support. During tender submission stages, security contractors Majees Technical Services and Mustafa Sultan Enterprises, proposed a Gallagher Security monitored pulse fencing solution to protect OETC’s remote sites. Upon contract award the certified contractors installed the system, while Gallagher provided support and oversight of the installation and commissioning works. Using Gallagher’s effective and reliable fencing solution, perimeter breach attempts are deterred by an energised pulse, delivering a short but safe shock. The monitored wires detect unauthorised entry or exit and trigger instant alerts. Gallagher Z20 Disturbance Sensor Gallagher Z20 Disturbance Sensor heightens perimeter security by ensuring continuous monitoring and motion detection The Gallagher Z20 Disturbance Sensor in use at the gate heightens perimeter security by ensuring continuous monitoring and detection of vibration or movement of the gate when it is closed, and the system is in an armed state. Gallagher delivers robust perimeter security systems suited to the most rigorous requirements of high security sites. The ability of Gallagher technology to easily integrate with CCTV cameras, automated lighting and a remote monitoring system, further ensures a safe and secure environment. A world class solution, Gallagher perimeter products are designed to comply with international safety and electromagnetic compatibility standards. These standards set out the safety requirements for the design, installation, and operation of pulse fencing and associated equipment. Gallagher perimeter control solutions Saving money while keeping people safe Gallagher perimeter control solutions are now under construction or completed at 70 of the remote grid station sites – including over 25 kilometres of monitored pulse fencing. Unauthorised entry to these sites has been reduced to zero. OETC now has peace of mind that assets at its remote sites are protected, while being secure from unauthorised access – ultimately keeping people safe from harm. Gallagher’s accurate and responsive security monitoring systems have also resulted in significant cost savings and business efficiencies for OETC. “OETC were employing up to six guards on each grid station at a significant cost,” says ESC Gulf Project Lead. “With a fully monitored solution, the number of guards has been reduced and they have been redeployed on other tasks”. Gallagher security solutions are successfully supporting OETC’s mission to transmit and dispatch electricity safely, reliably, securely and economically. ESC’s Gulf Project Lead concludes “Gallagher provides a great amount of support to all stakeholders and both OETC and ESC Gulf are very pleased with the outcome of this project.”
The power grid is a modern engineering marvel, providing us widely available and affordable energy for not only our day to day lives, but also highly critical infrastructure elements for which we rely on personally, and as an economy. However, our reliance on the grid also makes it highly susceptible to adverse events, including physical attacks. All parts of the grid can become victims of malicious events, but substations are particularly vulnerable due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. Power utilities’ security The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans which include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help power utilities address these security concerns, one effective choice is the use of intelligent video. Intelligent video analytics solution Intelligent video, or video analytics, is a popular choice for the protection of critical facilities given its ability to detect, provide instant visual confirmation of the event and subsequent event forensics. The capability of this technology is increasing at a rapid rate, while decreases in hardware cost make such solutions affordable for owners or operators of critical bulk-power system sites. This case study looks at the issue of substation vulnerability and how to best use video to address, keeping in mind requirements of CIP-014. Such a system consists of fixed cameras, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, a deterrence device and data communication capability. Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc. In most cases, substations can benefit from a simple “camera-following” design, which includes surveillance of a potential breach at the fence line, as well as, the ability for early detection for some distance beyond the physical perimeter. Camera-following design In a camera-following design, in addition to its own coverage, each camera is responsible for covering the blind spot of the adjacent camera. That camera is then responsible for covering the blind spot of the next camera, and this pairing continues around the perimeter until the final camera covers the blind spot of the first. This type of coverage design is very effective and affordable for locations with well-defined perimeters, such as substations. Using this layout, the video feed from the fixed cameras are then enabled with video analytics algorithms to alert when predefined conditions are met. This is done by inputting the video signal into a server, edge device or NVR, located at the site, or remote to the location. Intelligent video technology Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria, which in addition to only alarming when a target enters in a specific region, can also discriminate, or classify, by the type of target: human, vehicle, etc. Furthermore, the alarm can be restricted by specific actions taken by the target, such as loitering in an area, dropping or throwing an object, more than one target entering with a valid badge swipe (tailgating) or even the speed at which a target is entering an area. This level of discrimination provides the ability to address very specific vulnerabilities, as well as, avoid nuisance targets, such as wildlife, debris or moving vegetation. Another key feature with significant value to substation protection is the geospatial aspects available with some video analytic solutions. This capability maps each pixel of video to its real-world latitude, longitude and elevation. This results in further assessment of the target, including the actual location, the real size of the target, the real speed and the current track. It also affords the opportunity to provide a real-time display of this information to the security operator through an easy to understand map-based user interface. Autonomous PTZ cameras Geospatial video analytics provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target Another key assessment aspect of this substation protection scheme is the use of autonomous PTZ cameras. These are typically placed at the corners of the perimeter where they can service detections from multiple fixed cameras. As previously mentioned, geospatial video analytics, provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target. Knowing the location of the target is extremely valuable to the security officer, but it is also the basis for a feature known as “slew to cue,” whereby PTZ cameras armed with video intelligence can be automatically steered to the same location for instant confirmation of the target. In most cases, “slew to cue” functionality also includes an “intelligent zoom” feature, which uses the target size information from the alarm, the PTZ camera location and the target location to adjust the zoom level of the PTZ for an instant view of the target that can provide identification details (clothing color, car type, etc) without the need for the operator to further adjust the zoom. Target detection and response Once a target is detected, a security approach leveraging intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response Once a target is detected and confirmed, a security approach leveraging the use of intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response to the event. When video analytics is applied to pan-tilt-zoom cameras, it has the ability to automatically follow a defined target, freeing the operator to take other actions, such as coordinating with law enforcement officials. This feature, referred to as camera auto follow or PTZ following, can be automatically engaged as the result of a detection event, or subsequent to a slew to cue action. The system will continue to follow the target until it reaches a pre-defined system time-out, the operator takes manual control, or the camera can no longer view the target. The system can then provide the resulting PTZ video as a component of the detection alarm, for a more complete understanding of the intrusion for the operator to review. Effective deterrence At this point, the system has detected the target, classified its type and verified it has met alarm conditions. As part of the alarm it has also included dynamic indication of its location on a map, autonomously steered a PTZ to the target to allow for gathering of more detailed target information and a PTZ has locked on and is now following the target without any required user interaction. Total elapsed time to this point in the security response is typically less than 5 seconds. Deterrence is often realised as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates This level of automated response addresses many vulnerabilities typically identified as part of a CIP-014 security assessment, but with minimal extra cost, it can be extended to help with the aspect of deterrence. Deterrence is often realised as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates. These are physical items and should certainly be included in a substation security plan. Intrusion detection However, another form of deterrence, which can be enabled through the use of intelligent video is the idea of audio talk down. This is the use of live or pre-recorded audio, which is activated upon an intrusion to deter the intruder. Different from a general alarm warning audio, audio talk down uses information about the location of the intruder and their actions to select appropriate pre-recorded audio to deter the intruder. Worse case, the understanding that they are being actively monitored may hasten their plan. Video-based security and alarm system A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required. Substations are almost always unmanned, which means the intrusion information must have a means to get communicated back to the main monitoring location. From a design aspect, this is typically the case, but it is important to know that it is not a requirement in order to gain security benefits from a video based system. The system described in this case study has the capability to detect, assess, respond and deter without any communication back to a main command and control. Alarms, events and system actions can be logged and stored remotely for review at a later time. In reality, utilities will want to be notified and react in real time. In these cases, video systems can adjust to the available bandwidth – from a low bandwidth situation where a textual alarm is provided with an image of the detection, to a high bandwidth installation where feeds from multiple cameras can be monitored and controlled in real time. Web-based, mobile access In each case, complete alarm information, including meta data, images and video can be readily available to the security operations center, which can then take action based on their security response plan, including contacting and coordinating this alarm data with local law enforcement through web-based access or mobile phones. This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilising video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. The study outlines how recent technological advances can autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilising video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. Further, the study outlines how recent technological advances allow such a solution to extend beyond the mere detection of events, but can also autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence. Key capabilities of intelligent video include: Advanced Detection – Accurate alarming based on specific targets types and actions Situational Awareness – The ability to quickly convey the critical details of a security event in an easy to understand map-based format. Real-time Target Location – Real-time location information of events and real-time location tracking of potential intruders. Autonomous Sensor Control – Automated steering of cameras to an event location and subsequent hands free video tracking of a suspect. Although each utility and substation may encounter different vulnerabilities, this case study outlines how video can be considered to address NERC guidelines for protecting critical substation assets by providing situational awareness of a potential threat and initiating an appropriate and timely response.
Brazilian infrastructure company Companhia Energética de Pernambuco (CELPE) is the main supplier of electricity in the country’s Northeastern state of Pernambuco. Headquartered in the state capital Recife, one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country, CELPE serves a population of more than 8.8 million inhabitants in the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco. As part of the Brazilian government’s commitment to clean energy, the CELPE grid also contains several hydropower plants at rivers across the state. Providing electricity to private customers and industrial clients in the expansive region requires a 136,762 kilometres distribution network and 4,386 kilometres of transmission lines. As critical parts of the power infrastructure, CELPE operates 240 substations across Pernambuco. But as most of these stations are located in remote areas, the last few years saw an alarming increase of vandalism and theft of expensive power cables. For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management SystemBosch’s Building Integration System Looking to safeguard its vital infrastructure, CELPE needed an integrated security solution that achieved three goals: firstly, keep out criminals and alert police upon security breaches. Secondly, provide seamless access control for the 300 maintenance teams in the field. And thirdly, connect fire alarm, communications, and voice evacuation on an integrated system that allows for remote management from CELPE headquarters. As a one-stop solutions provider, Bosch won the contract for equipping sixteen substations with video security systems, access control, communications, fire alarm and voice evacuation as well as intrusion alarm connected on the Building Integration System (BIS). For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). The fire alarm revolves around smoke and heat detectors, while for voice alarm and evacuation, Plena Mixer Amplifiers are connected to driver loudspeakers. Cameras with built-in video analytics For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities All systems and cameras are monitored by security personnel at the company’s control centre in Recife. For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities. The system also fulfils the key customer requirement for remote management via the management system BIS (Building Integration System), including administration of user credentials and access rights for the 300 maintenance teams serving various substation sites. Successfully installed at sixteen stations in Pernambuco, the Bosch solution has proven to be an asset for CELPE and its personnel. Aside from safeguarding valuable infrastructure against criminals, the system has also streamlined communications among the service teams in the region by including elements such as conferencing and automatic alerts for fires and intrusions through a messenger system. The remote management of user access rights at the substations has enhanced the overall service level and prevented security breaches. Satisfied with the end-to-end solution, CELPE has now commissioned Bosch to equip approximately 240 electrical substations over the next years.
Brazilian infrastructure company Companhia Energética de Pernambuco (CELPE) is the main supplier of electricity in the country’s Northeastern state of Pernambuco. Headquartered in the state capital Recife, one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country, CELPE serves a population of more than 8,8 million inhabitants in the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco. As part of the Brazilian government’s commitment to clean energy, the CELPE grid also contains several hydropower plants at rivers across the state. Detecting and deterring power thefts Providing electricity to private customers and industrial clients in the expansive region requires a 136,762 kilometers distribution network and 4,386 kilometers of transmission lines. As critical parts of the power infrastructure, CELPE operates 240 substations across Pernambuco. But as most of these stations are located in remote areas, the last few years saw an alarming increase of vandalism and theft of expensive power cables. Looking to safeguard its vital infrastructure, CELPE needed an integrated security solution that achieved three goals: firstly, keep out criminals and alert police upon security breaches. Secondly, provide seamless access control for the 300 maintenance teams in the field. And thirdly, connect fire alarm, communications, and voice evacuation on an integrated system that allows for remote management from CELPE headquarters. Bosch video security and intrusion detection systems For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS) As a one-stop solutions provider, Bosch won the contract for equipping sixteen substations with video security systems, access control, communications, fire alarm and voice evacuation as well as intrusion alarm connected on the Building Integration System (BIS). For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). The fire alarm revolves around smoke and heat detectors, while for voice alarm and evacuation, Plena Mixer Amplifiers are connected to driver loudspeakers. All systems and cameras are monitored by security personnel at the company’s control center in Recife. IP cameras with built-in video analytics For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities. The system also fulfills the key customer requirement for remote management via the management system BIS (Building Integration System), including administration of user credentials and access rights for the 300 maintenance teams serving various substation sites. Successfully installed at sixteen stations in Pernambuco, the Bosch solution has proven to be an asset for CELPE and its personnel. Aside from safeguarding valuable infrastructure against criminals, the system has also streamlined communications among the service teams in the region by including elements such as conferencing and automatic alerts for fires and intrusions through a messenger system. The remote management of user access rights at the substations has enhanced the overall service level and prevented security breaches. Satisfied with the end-to-end solution, CELPE has now commissioned Bosch to equip approximately 240 electrical substations over the next years.
Hikvision, a global manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment, is helping to ensure a safe and reliable electricity supply across South Africa, with the deployment of a massive remote surveillance monitoring solution, covering thousands of electricity substations and power transmission lines. Operated by the largest electricity power distributor in South Africa, Eskom, a network of more than 400,000 kilometers of overhead power lines and several thousand electricity substations, provides electricity to the country’s domestic and business customers. In recent years, this critical power infrastructure has become the target for cable theft, metal theft and other infrastructure related crimes, resulting in vastly expensive and disruptive damage and losses to service providers.Eskom enlisted the help of South Africa’s Combined Private Investigations (CPI) Mitigating equipment thefts Organised criminals have increasingly targeted the more remote sections of the supply network, stealing copper cabling, metal and industry grade batteries. Up to 15 incidents per day are currently being reported. If not seriously addressed, it could lead to the interruption of the supply to thousands of domestic customers; commercial operations, hospitals and railway systems. To combat this wide-scale problem, the national electricity provider (Eskom) enlisted the help of South Africa’s leading information driven investigation company, Combined Private Investigations (CPI). CPI was established by a number of experienced law enforcement agents, forensic investigators and corporate security officials, primarily to investigate a high-level cartel for one of the largest parastatals in South Africa. Currently, CPI is the sole supplier of investigations to several parastatals, with an acknowledged record of addressing copper cable and other infrastructure-related crimes successfully, achieving very high recovery levels. CPI arrests between 35 to 85 cable thieves per month and maintains a conviction rate on average of 90%.The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant Preventing power loss As a corporate investigations firm comprising over 900 staff members across 18 locations, CPI specialises in the prevention and investigation of non-ferrous metal theft. The company’s main objective is to support electricity supply companies and railway service providers in their fight against organised crime syndicates targeting electrical networks for illegal gain. “Copper and metal theft targeting the power transmission infrastructure has become a real problem for maintaining the reliable supply of electricity in South Africa,” says Roy Robertson, Principal Director of CPI. “The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant, with loss of power to homes, hospitals, schools, factories and public transport services." Intelligence-driven approach "These incidents can also have a massive detrimental effect on the provision of key support services, as well as to basic health and safety, so it was vital to our client that not only should the perpetrators of these crimes be investigated and brought to justice, but that the theft incident rate should be significantly reduced.” “To do this, and as a priority, we needed to protect the most vulnerable and remote electricity substations, as these sites were being targeted and experiencing the highest percentage of theft and associated service disruption. At CPI we strive to capitalise on the latest technologies to support our intelligence-driven approach. As such, we approached global surveillance leader Hikvision, to provide the latest electronic security solutions to effectively combat the thefts.”Hikvision Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology embedded into the cameras was set-up for intruder detection Smart video analytics Providing a technical team to assess at remote sites, CPI collaborated with Hikvision to assess the most effective technical specification of products to detect and deter thefts. This specification then formed a blueprint to be rolled-out across all of the most vulnerable electricity substations across South Africa. Using their own engineering teams, CPI installed Hikvision DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 and DS-2DE5120W-AE cameras covering the internal and perimeter areas of each remote site. Equipped with 4MP resolution, 120dB Wide Dynamic Range, 3D DNR, EXIR high performance LEDs and 80 metres IR range, the DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 4MP EXIR Network Bullet Camera was the perfect choice to monitor the remote substations, utilising its advanced performance to provide crystal clear images day and night. Additionally, the Hikvision DS-2DE5120W-AE 1.3MP 20X Network PTZ Cameras were used to provide 3D intelligent positioning and 20X Optical Zoom, to deliver instant visual confirmation on any on-site intruder detection – and all in crystal clear 1.3MP resolution. In conjunction with PIR devices covering the sites’ perimeters, Hikvision Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology embedded into the specified cameras was set-up to perform intruder detection utilising line detection, to confirm alarm activations and eliminate false alarms.Hikvision’s advanced iVMS 5200 professional software with video wall driver was used to monitor thousands of remote sites Central monitoring Recorded locally to Hikvision IDS-9632 NXI-1816S Embedded Plug & Play NVRs, specified due to their superior performance and system stability, the NVR’s simple installation reduce engineering installation and set-up time on site, whilst up to 6 megapixel recording resolution and a capacity of up to 4 SATA interfaces ensured the high-quality of local recording needed. Both live and recorded images are transmitted over a wireless LAN, back to CPI’s own control room located at their National Operations Centre in Johannesburg. At the control room, Hikvision’s advanced iVMS 5200 professional software with optional video wall driver was deployed to enable CPI operators to monitor the thousands of remote sites on 24/7 basis, via a ‘monitoring by exception’ basis. Intrusion detection Monitoring the massive Hikvision integrated surveillance system, in the event of an automated intruder alert being activated to indicate unauthorised movement on-site, surveillance operators are able to quickly visually verify the activity in seconds, examining the high-performance camera network’s high-resolution images. During the process, all evidential video is tagged and automatically archived for future identification and prosecution usage. In the event of unauthorised intruders being detected, the CPI control room operators can instigate a host of anti-intrusion measures, including the dispatch of rapid response teams to a specific locationWe no longer need to deploy response personnel to a site when it may be the subject of a false alarm Integrated surveillance "These teams comprise highly trained operatives ready to tackle any situation,” continues Roy. “The Hikvision surveillance system ensures we can respond very rapidly to any intrusion detected at the sites, and our manned guard response teams are equipped to get to sites as quickly as is possible, to catch the perpetrators in the act. "We can even call on our Robinson helicopter R44 Police equipped with infra-red camera that can rapidly deploy personnel to reach the most remote locations in just a matter of minutes.” “We work closely with the police and various local authorities, using the evidential video footage produced by the Hikvision systems to very good effect in prosecution cases. The high-definition quality of the Hikvision camera images have proved critical in detecting and prosecuting offenders of metal theft." "Not only is it reducing these incidents, but it enables us to visually confirm the precise cause of an alarm at any remote site at the touch of a button. This means we no longer need to deploy response personnel to a site when it may be the subject of a false alarm – negating the waste of valuable man hours and costs, and vastly improving the effectiveness of our security operation.”We plan to harness more Hikvision technology to fortify power transmission security in South Africa Drone-assisted surveillance “We have been so impressed with the Hikvision surveillance technology and the support we have received that we are continuing to roll out this Hikvision based security blueprint to many other power substation sites across South Africa,” Roy continues. “To date, over 1,000 electrical substations are protected by Hikvision systems - making a real difference to the provision of a reliable power service to all sections of industry and society across South Africa.” “In future, we plan to harness more Hikvision technology to fortify power transmission security in South Africa. From additional electronic surveillance systems, to the use of camera-equipped Hikvision Quad-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) to protect remote sites and respond to incidents – we’re looking forward to completing more successful projects with the assistance of Hikvision’s highly capable technology solutions.”
The Linth-Limmern Power Stations AG (“KLL”), located in the Swiss Linthal valley, is a partner company of Axpo Power AG. Originally built in 1957-1958, the plant was extended during the seven years “Linthal Project 2015” starting in 2009. This is one of Axpo’s most important expansion projects. A new underground pumped storage facility extracts water from Lake Limmern, pumps it up to Lake Mutt, situated at 630 m higher elevation, and then uses it to generate electricity as needs be. As storage power stations, KLL primarily produce valuable peak load energy, playing a crucial role in maintaining the balance between energy supply and consumption. Inexpensive electricity bought on the European energy market can be used to pump the water that creates the electricity which can then be sold at higher prices. The Linthal Project 2015 increased the facility capacity from approximately 520 MW to 1520 MW, the equivalent of a nuclear power plant. All the power production processes and the entire plant is monitored and managed in the KLL control centre located in Tierfehd. Modern control centre Given the expansion of the pumped storage facility and the corresponding quantum leap in energy output, the KLL decided to build a modern control centre. The mandate was to create a highly dynamic, ergonomic cockpit environment from which the on-duty operators can quickly, safely and efficiently manage the power plant around the clock. This includes monitoring both new and legacy systems which actually run the power station, as well as security technology for buildings, tunnels and construction areas on site.Given the expansion of the pumped storage facility and the corresponding quantum leap in energy output, the KLL decided to build a modern control centre Meteorological systems also had to be integrated as weather conditions are essential to production planning. KLL chose WEY for this challenging project because of the company’s modern yet reliable, system- independent technology and convincing experience with similar reference projects. Bringing extensive experience in the integration of control systems like Rittmeyer to the table, WEY became involved in the early stages in the project and supported KLL from the beginning of the conceptual phase. WEY Distribution Platform WEY’s solution for this demanding work environment is implemented on the WEY Distribution Platform, an IP-based network that connects and switches virtually any system to any workplace or video wall, in real-time and in accordance with user rights. Sources and peripheral systems are remoted to the system room and controlled from a WEY Smart Touch keyboard at both main and backup operator desks. The solution achieves consistent and intuitive control at operator stations with a multitude of peripheral devices, such as monitors, audio devices, a video wall, mouse and keyboard. All the systems and computers have been remoted to a secure and cooled system room. This eliminates bothersome noise emissions at the desk and enhances system security by protecting computers from unauthorized interventions. Operators benefit from a clearly arranged desktop featuring only those devices which are necessary. A single multifunctional WEY Smart Touch keyboard with an integrated 10" touch screen controls all the diverse sources and systems, and affords users a fast, interactive, and intuitive user work experience. Existing systems such as RITOP, the process management system from Rittmeyer for controlling turbines, water pumps, fire protection and lake capacity, are fully integrated in the WEY Distribution Platform and managed from the main operator position. Video wall A fully integrated 2x4 video wall from eyevis consists of eight 60" rear-projection cubes and provides an overview of all systems, sources and closed-circuit TV feeds. The video wall features a multitude of individual pre-sets displaying up to 80 different views. Eyevis rear-projection cubes based upon DLP technology are first and foremost among professional video wall systems. This leading technology offers decisive advantages: for one, it is not prone to the so-called “burn-in” effect whereby the image quality suffers from static content. Further, DLP cubes are practically the only option to realise virtually “seamless” video walls designed for 24/7 applications in control rooms. WEY Smart Control WEY Smart Control enables the operators to manage a comprehensive alarm and event management solution which encompasses a whole host of peripheral systems. For example, a typical KLL access control scenario starts when a visitor or worker buzzes the control room to gain access to any of the entry points (barriers, gates, turnstiles or doors). WEY Smart Control automatically projects the closed-circuit TV images onto the videowall.The new system allows each operator to customise their own workflows and create individual scenarios on the video wall Using the touch screen on the WEY Smart Touch keyboard, the operator takes appropriate action, such as activating voice communications, moving the cameras or opening the door. Building services such as lights are also controlled using WEY Smart Control technology and a multifunctional keyboard. The KLL now benefits from a fully integrated, state-of-the-art control room. All systems can be controlled from a single workplace. Department Head, Mr. Martin Steiner has this to say about the project: “The integration of the systems is a huge benefit and simplifies our working processes significantly.” The well organised workplaces facilitate faster interventions and simplify control of the energy production processes. Processes such as access control have been fully automated. All the facilities are being centrally monitored and controlled. The coordination of interventions using modern team collaboration techniques is assured. Flexible and scalable system According to Mr. Martin Steiner, KLL Department Head, “The flexibility and scalability of the system is something very positive. Further, KLL benefited from WEY Technology’s profound experience in the integration of control systems. The quality is excellent. Budget and the timetable have been respected. We enjoyed individualised consultation services from the very beginning, and our visit to the showroom helped us to conceptualise our project and make our decisions.” KLL employees were involved in the planning phase of the project from the outset. Surveys were conducted, and the corresponding concept was developed together. “The new system has been well received by all the staff. It allows each operator to customise their own workflows and create individual scenarios on the video wall.” Mr. Steiner is very satisfied with the overall project and recommends WEY to all power plant operators who face similar challenges.
Round table discussion
Terrorism is in the headlines all over the world. After any such incident, many of us in the physical security market find ourselves asking: What could we have done to prevent it? Assessing risk and preventing catastrophes before the fact are part of our market’s DNA; and yet, too often the random nature of terrorist attacks and their targeting of public places leave us unsure of anything anyone could have done. How can we translate the benefits of our industry’s products into real-world solutions that can prevent terrorist attacks? We presented the question to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable, and received a variety of interesting responses. Specifically, we asked: How is the recent rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market (e.g., higher demand, different mix of products, etc.)? How should the physical security market respond? What solutions are needed?