Power plant security
Thermal cameras are not only used to safeguard property and people but also to protect mission-critical equipment. At manufacturing plants, maintenance teams want to aggregate data to continually evaluate an asset’s health and know if it is about to fail. Production managers are keen to catch process anomalies that result in faulty products or packaging before these products leave the production line. Safety managers need to detect excessive heat build-up on fuel, hazardous material, and...
Eagle Eye Networks, the pioneer in cloud video surveillance, has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to continue its growth and expand its technology leadership. Eagle Eye is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) on its true cloud platform to dramatically reshape video surveillance and improve safety, security, operations, and customer service for businesses around the world. Video surveillance systems have multiple security features, such as motion detectio...
The increasing cyber security threat and COVID-19 are causing challenges everywhere, including in the energy sector. The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS), the Association of European Distribution System Operators (E.DSO), and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), hosted the first of two webinars to discuss some of these challenges. ‘Cybersecurity: Data Sharing’ webinar Renowned cyber security experts from the grid operator commun...
Dycon Power Solutions, the Welsh-based developer and manufacturer of advanced technology power solutions for the security, fire, communications and Building Management Systems sectors, has seen an increasing global demand for security and monitoring equipment to be used in external locations. This has meant installers and specifiers now need to consider how best to power these devices locally and safely and to satisfy this demand, Dycon Power Solutions has created its IP-W Series, an extensive...
An innovative streamlined perimeter security system, capable of stopping a 7,200 kg vehicle travelling at 50 mph, is now available to protect Critical National Infrastructure sites from vehicle ramming attacks and forced entry attempts. The StronGuard Beam is the latest development in impact-tested perimeter security from ATG Access, the world’s designer and manufacturer of road blockers, bollards and vehicle barriers. Impact and forced entry tested The new s...
When talking about inclusive design, many people immediately think of those with a disability or specific, specialist requirements. While inclusive design encompasses the needs of these people, its key objective is to make a site inclusive for all, no matter what. In fact, despite public perception and the wheelchair being the symbol for accessibility, less than 8 per cent of disabilities require the use of a wheelchair. Whether it’s the elderly, disabled or children, everyone should be a...
ProWire Unified Power Systems, the highest level of integration between a power system and an access control solution, has expanded its family of products with the introduction of ProWire XPRESS, a new value line of single-voltage power systems featuring prewired controller terminal strips for rapid, reliable setup and in-the-field savings. ProWire XPRESS models come prewired for system power, faults, communication and tamper switch. Models are currently available for Mercury Security controllers in four-door (FPV4-E2M/T4X) or 12-door (FPV102-D8PE2M1/T12X; FPV104-D8PE2M1/T12X) configurations at 12 or 24VDC. ProWire XPRESS carries a joint Mercury/LSP UL, ULC certification and CE listing (EU). Pre-wired integrated access solutions ProWire XPRESS provides faster, more consistent installations, helping overcome manpower challenges by freeing the technician from tedious enclosure wiring to quickly move on to other tasks. The solution comes in LifeSafety Power’s spacious E2 enclosures measuring 20 inches high, 16 inches wide and 4.5 inches deep with lock and tamper switch, as well as lifetime warranty. ProWire XPRESS also provides a lower-cost opportunity for installation consistency Part of the ProWire pre-wired integrated access solutions, ProWire XPRESS also provides a lower-cost opportunity for installation consistency and standardisation by eliminating guesswork and site variability. “There’s a large sector of the security integrator market looking for an inexpensive, yet professional way to expand their access control projects,” said Matt Virga, Vice President of Sales, North America, LifeSafety Power. Intelligent networking power solutions “ProWire XPRESS checks all the boxes, with the ability to save precious time and labour costs. With the addition of ProWire XPRESS, LifeSafety Power now has a product to meet every job, vertical market and price point.” LifeSafety Power is a consummate innovator and specialist in physical security and access control, creating a new category of intelligent networking power solutions that monitor and manage system connectivity across the enterprise. Embracing technology collaboration with some of the most recognisable companies in the industry, LifeSafety Power has carved a unique niche and along the way received numerous awards for its innovation, including Security Industry Association New Product of the Year; Secure Campus Award for Networked Power; and many others. LifeSafety Power is an ASSA ABLOY company.
The adoption of commercial smart lighting systems has grown significantly as organisations strive to improve energy efficiency and operational costs in buildings. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is rising in popularity for these systems, providing a reliable and easy-to-install solution that manages power and data over a single Ethernet cable. To support larger and more efficient lighting systems, Microchip Technology Inc., via its Microsemi subsidiary, announces a cost-effective eight-port PoE switch that provides guaranteed power of 60 watts (W) per port for all eight ports simultaneously. Ideal for digital ceiling installations, the IEEE 802.3bt-compliant PDS-408G PoE switch runs noise-free with a fanless design. Remote power management Designed for enterprise connected lighting applications, the PDS-408G connects separate systems such as lighting, sensors, HVAC and Wi-Fi® access points over a single switch. The switch has eight PoE ports – the optimal amount for connected lighting – and offers end applications additional cost-savings from energy savings and lower operating expenses. In compliance with IEEE 802.3bt, the PDS-408G provides a total of 480 W, including up to 90 W for any individual port or 60 W for eight ports simultaneously. The PDS-408G is plenum rated and can be installed in any air handling space The PDS-408G is plenum rated and can be installed in any air handling space, making it ideal for digital ceiling installations. Its fanless design provides the features needed for buildings that require noise-free and reliable operation, such as offices, hospitals and hotels. The PDS-408G also provides other proven advantages of PoE, including safe power, simple installation, flexible deployment and remote power management. Connected lighting systems “Demand for Power over Ethernet in connected lighting systems has accelerated, and our new PoE switch is designed specifically for the needs of these applications,” said Rich Simoncic, senior vice president of Microchip’s Analogue, Discrete and Power business unit. “The PDS-408G continues Microchip’s leadership in PoE technology, providing an IEEE 802.3bt-compliant solution that provides almost six times the amount of power than the original PoE standard.” The PDS-408G joins Microchip’s portfolio of end-to-end PoE solutions. Developers can use the PDS-408G switch alongside the company’s extensive portfolio of 8- and 32-bit PIC® and AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) at the end node. Microchip offers an array of easy-to-use hardware and software tools to accelerate PoE designs, including the PIC18 PoE Main Board, which features a PIC18 MCU, ATECC608A secure element and MIC28512 buck regulator.
Antaira Technologies is a 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-0500G-bt series. Antaira Technologies fulfils the need for low port count PoE gigabit connectivity solutions for industrial applications, with the new LNP-0500G-bt and LNP-0500G-bt-24 series. The LNP-0500G-bt Ethernet switch is rugged and reliable and perfect for applications that require up to 90 Watts of PoE power. Unmanaged Ethernet switches When working in automation and transportation the LNP-0500G-bt-24 is an even better fit, providing the same high power PoE with a wider range of input voltage powering the switch. Both LNP-0500G-bt and LNP-0500G-bt-24 series are 5-port industrial 802.3.bt PoE, gigabit unmanaged Ethernet switches, with 48 to 55VDC high voltage power input (LNP-0500G-bt) and a 12 to 55VDC wide voltage power input (LNP-0500G-bt-24). Each unit is designed with five gigabit Ethernet ports that are IEEE 802.3af/at/bt compliant on four of the ports (data and power output maximum 90W/port). The series supports MDI/MDI-X functions and 10Kbytes jumbo frames. This makes it ideal for applications with high power requirements using Power over Ethernet. This product series provides high EFT, surge (2,000 VDC), and ESD (6,000VDC) protection to prevent any unregulated voltage and can support the power redundancy feature using a dual-power input design with reverse polarity protection. There is also a built-in relay warning function to alert maintainers when power failures occur.
MAXIMUS MBX is a communication box designed to integrate seamlessly with one or more IP or analogue cameras from the Videotec MAXIMUS range. This device can connect a 24Vac-powered PTZ and its washing kit, or two fixed cameras equipped with washing kits. MAXIMUS MBX provides the devices that it connects to with a low-voltage local power supply. It also offers a Fast Ethernet connection thanks to the integrated Ethernet switch that is equipped with 3 RJ45 ports and an SFP port for fibre optic connection. Making connection effortless The SFP module can be chosen according to the requirements of the installation. It has been designed so that the inside gives easy access to cables, making connection effortless. The internal circuitry also makes it possible to bypass analogue video signals and all input/output connections available across the Videotec MAXIMUS range. The robust AISI 316L stainless steel construction means maximum anti-corrosion properties for use in industrial and marine environments. Thanks to the integrated filter, any products connected to MBX comply with Lloyd’s Register Marine Type Approval standards for electromagnetic (EMC) compatibility. MAXIMUS MBX is the complete and competitive solution for professional installation of Videotec’s MAXIMUS explosion-proof products.
The AES Corporation has announced reporting financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019. "In 2019, we achieved our strategic and financial goals, laying the foundation for strong growth in the coming decade," said Andrés Gluski, AES Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Innovative green energy solutions Gluski adds, "We are leading the global energy transition by completing 2.2 GW of new projects, adding 2.8 GW to our backlog, and expanding our LNG infrastructure in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Vietnam. At the same time, we are delivering innovative energy solutions through Fluence, Uplight, and a strategic partnership with Google. As a result, they are announcing that they are accelerating their decarbonisation goals for the company and will aim to reduce our coal-fired generation to below 30% of total MWh by year-end 2020 and to less than 10% by 2030." We are leading the global energy transition by completing 2.2 GW of new projects" "I am very pleased with our strong financial performance in 2019: delivering once again on all key metrics, while attaining an investment grade rating for the first time in our history," said Gustavo Pimenta, AES Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). "With our 2019 results, we are confident in reaffirming our expected 7% to 9% average annual growth in Adjusted EPS and Parent Free Cash Flow through 2022." Full year 2019 financial results Full year 2019 Diluted Earnings Per Share from continuing operations (Diluted EPS) was $0.45, a decrease of $1.03 compared to full year 2018, primarily reflecting lower net gains on asset sales of $1.15, particularly at Masinloc in the Philippines, partially offset by lower tax expense related to the impact of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Full year 2019 Adjusted Earnings Per Share (Adjusted EPS, a non-GAAP financial measure) was $1.36, an increase of $0.12, or 10%, primarily reflecting contributions from new businesses, including US renewables and AES Colon in Panama, and a lower effective tax rate, which was partially offset by the impact of asset sales. Transitioning to clean, sustainable energy solutions AES Corporation is leading the industry's transition to clean energy by investing in sustainable solution AES Corporation is leading the industry's transition to clean enesrgy by investing in sustainable growth and innovative solutions, while delivering superior results. The company is taking advantage of favourable trends in clean power generation, transmission and distribution, and LNG infrastructure to grow the profitability of its business. Sustainable Growth: Through its presence in key growth markets, AES is well-positioned to benefit from the global transition toward a more sustainable power generation mix. In 2019, AES Corporation signed 2,798 MW of renewables under long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA): 1,130 MW of solar and solar plus storage in the U.S., including: 665 MW at sPower 365 MW at AES Distributed Energy 884 MW of wind and solar at AES Gener in Chile and Colombia 434 MW of wind and solar in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Panama 331 MW of wind and solar at AES Tiete in Brazil As of December 31, 2019, the company's backlog of 6,144 MW includes: 3,008 MW under construction and expected on-line through 2021 3,136 MW of renewables signed under long-term PPAs In 2019, the company completed construction of 2,181 MW of new projects, including: 1,320 MW OPGC 2 plant in India 555 MW of solar and energy storage globally 306 MW Mesa La Paz wind project in Mexico In the third quarter of 2019, the company finalised a joint venture in the Dominican Republic to increase its LNG storage capacity by 50 TBTU, in order to meet the demand from new take-or-pay contracts In the third quarter of 2019, the company received approval from the Government of Vietnam to develop the 2.2 GW Son My 2 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant, which will be co-located with 480 TBTU of previously approved LNG storage The company has announced that it will participate in the proposed $500 million equity raise at AES Gener, by investing $335 million AES Gener has signed contracts for 2.5 GW of renewables under its Green Blend and Extend strategy, which will diversify its portfolio and largely offset the roll-off of legacy contracts through 2024 AES Gener will utilise the equity raised to fund the 1.6 GW of new capacity needed to meet the demand under these Green Blend and Extend contracts Innovative Solutions: AES is developing and deploying innovative solutions such as battery-based energy storage, digital customer interfaces and energy management. The company's joint venture with Siemens, globally renowned tech firm in the fast-growing energy storage market, is expected to increase energy supplies by 15 to 20 GW annually Fluence has been awarded or delivered 1.7 GW of projects, including 961 MW awarded in 2019 In the third quarter of 2019, the company announced the merger of Simple Energy into Uplight, globally renowned in providing cloud-based digital solutions to 100 million households in the U.S. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the company formed a 10-year strategic alliance with Google to develop and implement solutions to enable broad adoption of clean energy Superior Results: By investing in sustainable growth and offering innovative solutions to customers, AES is transforming its business mix to deliver superior results. In the fourth quarter of 2019, following the company's efforts to strengthen its balance sheet, its credit rating was upgraded to investment grade (BBB-) by Fitch and its BB+ credit rating was raised to Positive outlook by S&P. The company is executing on $100 million in annual run rate cost savings from digital initiatives, including utilising data and technology for maintenance, outage prevention, inspection and procurement, to be fully realised by 2022. AES also announced a target to reduce its coal-fired generation below 30% of total generation volume by year-end 2020 and to less than 10% by year-end 2030. AES is initiating 2020 Guidance for Adjusted EPS of $1.40 to $1.48, compared to 2019 Adjusted EPS of $1.36 2020 Guidance for Adjusted EPS AES is initiating 2020 Guidance for Adjusted EPS of $1.40 to $1.48, compared to 2019 Adjusted EPS of $1.36. The company also expects 2020 Parent Free Cash Flow of $725 to $775 million, compared to 2019 Parent Free Cash Flow of $726 million. AES is also reaffirming its average annual growth rate target of 7% to 9% through 2022 for both Adjusted EPS and Parent Free Cash Flow, from a 2018 base. Adjusted EPS and Parent Free Cash Flow are non-GAAP financial measures. The company is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent or reconciliation for its Adjusted EPS guidance or its Parent Free Cash Flow expectation without unreasonable effort. From a base of 2018 Adjusted EPS of $1.24 and 2018 Parent Free Cash Flow of $689 million. The company's 2020 guidance, expectations and growth rate target through 2022 are based on foreign currency and commodity forward curves as of December 31, 2019. Conference Call Information - AES will host a conference call on Friday, February 28, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Antaira Technologies is 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 10 Gigabit family with the introduction of the LMP-1002G-10G-SFP, LMP-1002G-10-SFP-24, and LMX-1002G-10G-SFP. Antaira Technologies’ LMP-1002G-10G-SFP, LMP-1002G-10G-SFP-24, and LMX-1002G-10G-SFP are industrial-grade equipment that is Ethernet ready to fulfil various markets’ edge-level networking applications in manufacturing automation, security surveillance, power/utility, water wastewater treatment plants, oil/gas/mining, and transportation. High-density Ethernet port connectivity These devices support high-density Ethernet port connectivity, the widest bandwidth with 10 gig fibre ports, long distance data transmission, and an exceptional reliability factor. For intelligent transportation systems the LMX-1002G-10G-SFP is ideal. Often times there may be 1000mbps fibre links in place that need more modern 10 gig speed links. The LMX-1002G-10G-SFP devices can support the existing link with 1000mbps SFPs installed and will run at 1000mbps speeds when faster SFPs are placed at both ends of the fibre. The link can be upgraded to 10Gbps speeds. This makes migrating from a gigabit speed fibre back bone to 10Gbps possible by not changing out all the switches at one time. Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP will provide up to 30W per port and two SFP+ slots If one’s application requires PoE, Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP will provide up to 30W per port and two SFP+ slots with speeds of 1000Mbps or 10Gbps, depending on the SFP used. One can mount the switch by DIN-Rail or wall mount, wall mounting plates included. If one is looking for a PoE switch, which uses low voltage input as a power source, Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP-24 will be the best choice with a voltage input range of 12~55VDC. Light Layer 3 capabilities Fibre interfaces give the ability to extend a network out past traditional buildings, across campuses, and even from town to town. For long distances, the fibre interfaces can make it difficult to manage switches that are remote. Managed switches are critical in controlling and predicting failures on the network as well as determining when and where issues reside. These new 10 gigabit Antaira switches are fully managed with Light Layer 3 capabilities. The management software can allow for redundancy which can be built into the network using Spanning Tree, Ethernet ring technologies or other available redundant features.
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.
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 and long-term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, operates the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and educates, trains and certifies industry personnel. Normal everyday operations of the system are the responsibility of utility owners and operators. Protecting critical infrastructure An attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal could inflict significant damage Currently, a significant reliability threat to the U.S. grid is associated with squirrels and balloons, and not religiously inspired terrorists. However – and more applicable to grid operators – we have recently seen noteworthy interest in disabling or destroying critical infrastructure. Coordinated attacks can target the grid, and an attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal stumbling across a “soft target,” could inflict significant damage. With an interconnected grid of over 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines (100 kV and higher) and over 55,000 substations (100 kV and larger), the targets of opportunity are endless. Data capture form to appear here! According to the Department of Energy, the number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year in lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and damage to grid infrastructure. The number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year Large power transformers A large power transformer (LPT) is an enormous, custom-built piece of equipment tailored to customers’ specifications. They usually are not interchangeable with each other, and they are not produced for spare-part inventories; so if one blows, a lot of companies and homes could be without power for more than six months. They are not cheap, either. According to EEP (Electrical Engineering Portal), $10 million is a fairly average cost, but that doesn’t include transporting the gargantuan piece of equipment or installing it, which usually adds an additional 35 percent to the bill. 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. According to EEP, $10 million is a fairly average cost for a large power transformer NERC/CIP guidelines The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines address security needs of electrical substations. 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. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities The U.S. power grid is divided into three sections: The Eastern Interconnection for states east of the Rocky Mountains, The Western Interconnection for states from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, and the smallest—the Texas Interconnected system—covering most of Texas. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities and they distribute power to homes and businesses, to millions of personal devices, lights, refrigeration, computers, and to other “loads,” that tap it. Inherited challenges According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the nation’s electric infrastructure is “nothing but a patchwork system” that has evolved wildly since the first substation was erected by Thomas Edison in 1882, on New York City’s Pearl Street. Contributing to the challenges of securing the grid are the crazily disparate ages and capacities of the grid’s equipment. There are many possible targets, too. Approximately 300 control centres around the country monitor voltage and watch the data from SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, which are placed at transformers, generators and other critical areas. Ideally, this allows engineers to monitor the data for signs of trouble and then communicate with each other to deal with whatever is happening to the grid, but SCADA has cybersecurity issues.
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 agencies and personnel to protect assets and the public. Radio-wave signals Radar works as a deterrent by sending out a radio-wave signal using a transmitter antenna, and a small portion of that signal reflects off objects in its path and returns to a receiver antenna. The highest performing radars use an antenna technology called Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA), which enables all-electronic reconfiguration of the antennas. When an AESA radar detects an object, it can ‘focus’ its antennas to track the object, in much the same way as the zoom on a camera does. Multiple objects can be tracked while continuing to scan. Kirkland, Washington-based Echodyne offers a radar product that brings these ESA capabilities to non-military security applications at commercial price points. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array Echodyne’s ESA radar Echodyne says they are reinventing radar price-performance for security applications in the ground (people, vehicles) or air (counter-UAS) domains. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array (ESA) radar that is affordable for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental customers. The company is backed by high profile investors, including Bill Gates, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, NEA, and Lux Capital. “Radar is a sensor,” says Leo McCloskey, Echodyne VP Marketing. “It is most applicable when security professionals can both understand its capabilities and define risk assessment and deployment requirements that call for those capabilities. Our customers are primarily security system integrators and consultancies, which integrate the performance of radar into a sensor array that meets mission requirements.” Radar technology for border surveillance Echodyne was selected by the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to demonstrate the performance of its radar technology for border surveillance applications. The radar was deployed both in fixed remote surveillance towers and as a lightweight rapid deployment kit for field agents. Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities. “We set out to build the world’s best compact, solid-state ESA radar sensor, and we are demonstrating that we’ve reached that objective,” says McCloskey. “We’re excited to introduce these capabilities for other security applications.” Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities MESA technology Echodyne’s proprietary technology provides a small true electronically scanning array (ESA) radar. Unlike expensive Active ESA (AESA) phased array radars, MESA requires no physical phase shifters, thus reducing the cost, size, weight, and power by several orders of magnitude while maintaining all the benefits of fast ESA radar. Echodyne combines its MESA technology with an intelligent software suite, Acuity, to produce a configurable, software-defined radar for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental security applications. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications “Technology seems to make everything more available to more people over time,” says McCloskey. “What is a retail product today will be a purchased self-assembly kit tomorrow and an improvised self-made drone the following day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is diligently at work on creating rules for safe UAV operation, though any final rules remain some distance off. As drone volumes increase, delineating friend from foe in the airspace requires clear legal and regulatory frameworks, which are nascent but would help distinguish the threat of nuisance flyers from illegal overflight.” Radar sensor for security applications “Detecting and tracking airspace objects of interest is imperative for airports, chemical plants, oil and gas installations, refineries, water and energy utilities, stadiums and other public spaces”, says McCloskey. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications. “As with any product, our applicability will depend on variables like location, terrain, risk assessment, and existing security technologies,” says McCloskey. “Our mission is to deliver the very best radar sensor for security applications.”
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]
Verkada, the provider in cloud-managed enterprise building security, announced the release of its environmental sensor product line and its initial product, the SV11. The announcement comes on the heels of Verkada’s recent Series C funding and successful launch of its access control line, further establishing the company as the provider of the operating system for modern, integrated buildings. Monitoring “Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.” The SV11 is a simple-to-deploy, powerful sensing device that provides enhanced visibility into what is happening in a physical space. The cloud-managed device seamlessly integrates with Verkada’s enterprise video security solution, allowing organisations to review context and quickly associate sensor events with relevant video footage. Real-time insights and proactive alerts The interface delivers real-time insights and makes it easy to respond to proactive alerts or conduct investigations into past incidents. Customers across a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and hospitality, have already deployed the SV11 to monitor: Air quality: Protect one's environment from invisible threats like gas and chemical leaks, or detect illicit activities like vaping and smoking. Temperature and humidity: Monitor changes in temperature and humidity that may damage expensive infrastructure, materials, or food and medical supplies. Motion and occupancy: Detect motion or occupancy in bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private areas where cameras are not appropriate. Noise levels: Detect activity or disturbances without violating privacy. Receive and manage alert notifications remotely “The ability to deploy Verkada's sensor in our network closets has provided us with complete visibility into what’s happening in those rooms,” said Rick Palandro, Security and Facilities Operations Engineer at Fox Rothschild LLP. “With Verkada, I'm now able to receive and manage alert notifications remotely the moment temperature rises above a specific threshold. I can instantly mobilise the team to respond to HVAC issues. We’ve shifted from a reactive approach that often resulted in damaged equipment to a proactive one that ensures our equipment is always operating properly.” Monitoring preventative and predictive maintenance Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing" “Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing that helps us stay ahead of the curve on environmental improvements across our plant facility,” said Frank McKinney, COO and Plant Manager of Carolina Ingredients. “By pinpointing where we can set up both preventative and predictive maintenance, we can closely monitor and optimise air quality, efficiency of our HVAC units, and behaviours in the plant, which enables us to more effectively manage the business and deliver quality ingredients and superior blending services that support our customers.” Integration with video monitoring solution "We installed the environmental sensor across campuses in areas like bathrooms that are difficult to properly monitor and are therefore likely places for inappropriate activity such as vaping," said Marty Oliver, Director of Technology at Godley Independent School District. "Paired with Verkada's video monitoring solution, the SV11 provides a new level of visibility into what's happening in those spaces without infringing on students' privacy, giving principals, superintendents, and office administrators a more holistic understanding of student activity in school." Environmental sensor The introduction of the environmental sensor follows accelerated business growth in Q2 2020, highlighted by: Sixty-five percent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth (compared to Q1 2020), including new deployments with Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Rubrik, NextGen America International expansion with new Sales operations in Sydney and Latin America and deployments with Heinemann Australia, Lifeview Residential Care, and Transportes Canales A projection to double headcount by year-end 2020 (compared to year-end 2019) Expansion of its global channel partner program to more than 1,500 resellers The launch of its Access Control solution, which oversold in the first quarter of general availability and surpassed projected sales by more than 400 percent The release of the Bullet Series of hybrid cloud cameras as well as new features as part of a COVID-19 Response Suite, including People Heatmaps, Person of Interest Notifications, and Crowd Notifications Smart buildings The launch of the SV11 is the next step towards Verkada delivering on its vision to power the modern, integrated building. With security cameras at its core, Verkada is expanding its product offering with new applications such as access control and sensors to deliver the infrastructure that runs safer, smarter buildings.
Loughborough University has selected the ASSA CLIQ® Remote system from the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group to help secure its plant control rooms. With more than 18,000 students at Loughborough University for 2018-19, the award-winning ASSA CLIQ® Remote technology has been used across the site for a range of different applications, including teaching laboratories and offices. Its success as a security and access control solution has led to it being extended to cover the university’s plant control rooms too. Providing an easy-to-use electromechanical locking system, the ASSA CLIQ® Remote solution uses high-end micro-electronics and programmable keys and cylinders to offer flexible control over access rights. ASSA CLIQ® Remote solution Loughborough University can programme and update each key remotely, removing or granting access privileges for the key holder in real-time. This allows only those with the necessary authority at the university to enter a plant control room. Furthermore, the system removes the security risks associated with lost or stolen keys, eliminating the time and cost spent on replacing a mechanical lock. For staff that have access to these areas and then leave the university, their access rights can be easily be removed by using the system’s simple, web-based interface, ensuring ex-employees and contractors never pose a security risk. ASSA CLIQ® Remote also provides a full audit trail for assured peace of mind around who has accessed the plant control rooms and - because the locks are powered by a battery inside the programmable ASSA CLIQ® Remote key - no extra wiring is required when installing the system. Wireless electronics locks Phil Sheppard, Senior Clerk of Works at Loughborough University, said: “For us, a big advantage to ASSA CLIQ® Remote is that its electronics effectively extend the patent of the key indefinitely. The system cannot be copied, which means ASSA CLIQ® Remote provides a long-lasting access control solution.” “The audit capabilities of the system are also really useful, ensuring we know exactly who accessed a plant control room, and when. The system can be extended really easily as well, which has been another key reason why we continue to use ASSA CLIQ® Remote to meet our access control needs across the university.” “Ultimately, by working with a trusted manufacturer such as ASSA ABLOY, we can be safe in the knowledge that only authorised individuals can access the university’s plant control rooms.” Secure access control solution Sean Falkinder, National Sales Manager for ASSA CLIQ® Remote, adds: “We have provided a range of solutions for Loughborough University over the years, and the use of ASSA CLIQ® Remote for the university’s plant control rooms is just the latest success story. We’re delighted that the technology is able to provide such a safe and secure access control solution for the site.”
Multiple electrical substations in the Mid-West United States are operated by a large electric power holding company. Due to the high price of copper, the customer faced the growing issue of theft and damage at multiple sites. The large amount of copper theft at the electrical substations site was causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, repairs, and down time, while creating unsafe grounding conditions for the electrical equipment. Countering copper theft at site Changing site conditions, large perimeters and the inability to trench, along with remote location of the substations were all challenges that needed to be addressed when deciding on an appropriate security solution to counter the rise in cases of copper theft. An integrator was selected who then teamed up with Optex to create a reliable, effective security solution. The team decided on protecting multiple areas on the properties by taking a layered security approach. The solution would meet the customer's needs by protecting the sites from copper theft, while also eliminating the chance and liability of injury or death from trespassers. SL-350QFRi photoelectric detectors installed The battery-powered perimeter beam system allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them At the first area of intrusion, both the existing perimeter fence and automatic gate systems were reinforced using pairs of the SL-350QFRi, a battery-powered, wireless 350ft. point-to-point photoelectric detector. The battery-powered perimeter beam system allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them, eliminating the need to trench or run cables. SIP series and HX series passive infrared detectors For the interior locations on the electrical substations site, mid-range SIP series and short range HX series passive infrared detectors were installed to offer the customer a stable back-up to the perimeter system. Because the customer operated their own central monitoring station, all detectors on the property were set up to trigger PTZ cameras that were fixed within the sensor's area of detection. This allowed the monitoring station to capture and record any intrusions on the property and take the necessary action before any theft or vandalism occurred. Enhanced perimeter protection solution The end user now maintains a secure perimeter and site that detects intruders and helps to prevent possible injury. With the system in place, the customer has multiple levels of protection and can respond with quick efficiency to catch criminal activity.
Combining radio detection and ranging (RADAR) with thermal imaging technologies produces unparalleled monitoring coverage and perimeter protection for power plants and electrical substations. By integrating SpotterRF Compact Surveillance Radars (CSR) with FLIR PT-Series cameras, end users gain exceptional situational awareness, both inside the substation and beyond the fence line. This cost-effective solution requires substantially less infrastructure than other fence line detection systems and yields higher accuracy. Video surveillance of electrical substations There are over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States. These substations, along with power plants and transmission lines, provide power for millions of people. It is imperative that these locations remain secure from intrusion and sabotage. If just a handful of these substations were rendered inoperable, the U.S. could face a serious blackout. The 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, which knocked out several transformers and totaled over US$ 15 million in damages, was considered to be a catalyst for the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) establishing new security standards for utilities. Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP014) One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP014). This statute requires utilities to identify ‘mission critical’ facilities and assets, conduct a security inspection to identify threat, and implement a security system to address those risks. In response to security incidents such as Metcalf and other FERC activities, a large electrical utility with hundreds of substations across the country, looked to expand security beyond its fence line. Enhanced perimeter protection solutions The end user wanted to enhance and possibly replace traditional fence protection systems, including fibre optics, microwave barriers, and video analytics as these systems all proved to be costly, as well as time and labour intensive. In the end, the utility company relied on VTI Security for a recommendation. VTI Security, based in Burnsville, Minnesota, is an industry-renowned integrator that has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility and oil and gas sectors for over 35 years. To determine the best system for its end user, VTI reviewed six different technologies, including some with multiple vendors of various solutions. Cost-effective total surveillance solution VTI also tested systems in in field deployments and conducted a cost analysis. The integrator concluded that SpotterRF’s product was superior to all others and selected it as its sole radar standard for perimeter solutions. “Our findings were that SpotterRF not only provided the most comprehensive detection in a substation environment, but SpotterRF was also by far the most cost-effective total solution based on the ability to mount equipment on existing structures,” said Jerry Klapak, Senior Account Manager for VTI Security. SpotterRF Compact Surveillance Radar system CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100% coverage, 24/7, in all weather conditions SpotterRF, based in Orem-Utah, provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems, which provide up to 300 acres of radar tracking power in a hand held, four-pound device. The CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100 percent coverage, 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. They are designed to detect threats up to 3300 feet beyond the fence line and provide early warnings to staff before situations escalate. FLIR PT-Series cameras Upon selecting a radar system, VTI needed a video manufacturer to supply cameras to deploy with the radar. In 2015, the integrator approached the globally renowned thermal imaging and perimeter security solutions expert, FLIR Systems, for a solution. FLIR’s PT-Series was selected for the project. “The ability for FLIR’s products to perform beyond published performance specifications was a surprise we don’t often see,” said Klapak, added “Each product exceeded published performance metrics on our field testing and actual deployments.” The PT-Series is FLIR’s offering of high performance, multi-sensor pan/tilt dual cameras that feature both thermal and visible-light imaging. The system is known for providing the highest precision. The pan/tilt mechanism gives end users accurate pointing control, while providing fully programmable scan patterns, as well as radar slew-to-cue and slew-to-alarm functions. Seamless integration With the radar and thermal technologies selected, VTI worked to ensure seamless integration and performance between the systems. “We worked with each company’s support and development teams as well as the VMS manufacturer to ensure the technologies not only worked with one another, but also met the client’s needs for bandwidth consumption and VMS interface and display,” said Klapak. Maximum coverage and perimeter security SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars and FLIR PT-Series cameras deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection Together, SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars and FLIR PT-Series cameras deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection. “The FLIR PT-Series, when deployed with SpotterRF, can cover a wide area of substation footprint. It is a cost-effective solution for substations needing to monitor the perimeter as well as inside the yard,” said Michael Chaffee, Director of Business Development at FLIR Systems, adding “The speed at which the FLIR PT-Series slews to the cue of the SpotterRF detection is impressive.” Effective intrusion detection solution When someone walks into the field of view of SpotterRF’s C20 or C40 radar, the radio waves bounce off the person and back to the radar, which then calculates the precise GPS location of the target and target size. The radars then tell the FLIR PT-Series camera to zoom to that location. The camera automatically stays on the target, moving with and tracking it. Because the radars control the cameras, the cameras only move upon detection, which significantly extends the shelf life of the cameras and allows them to last for years without replacement. Technology impact This FLIR and SpotterRF solution addresses an important pain point for the perimeter security and intrusion detection market. “In the past, utilities tried to use video analytics to find targets. Because these systems were outdoors, a number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather, lighting and moving trees,” said Logan Harris, CEO of SpotterRF, adding “However, by combining our radar with FLIR’s pan tilt thermal cameras, you will be able to solve this problem.” Radar technology and thermal imaging integration Logan adds, “Together, SpotterRF’s radar technology and FLIR’s thermal imaging are able to locate a person in a 15 or 100 acre space, see hundreds of yards beyond the fence line, cue the camera, and alert the personnel all without the help of an operator.” In the past, only military organisations could access this level of advanced technology. Now, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution makes this security capability accessible and affordable for critical infrastructure, power distribution and commercial applications. High-level security for critical sites Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites" “Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites. One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses.” said Klapak. He adds, “They now use the radars to activate security lighting based on motion within and outside the fences. This provides not only a green approach to security by lowering energy costs but also improves customer relations by reducing light pollution in residential neighbourhoods.” Minimal installation time The entire team was also impressed by the solution’s minimal installation time. Unlike deploying fibre optic cables on fence lines, which requires months for digging trenches, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution allows one to mount the radars and cameras on control shacks and lattice poles. This process only requires a week for installation. “The deployment occurred 4x faster than was anticipated,” said Harris, adding “VTI installed the systems at 25-30 sites in just three months.” Phased deployment VTI began installation in 2016 with plans to roll out the solution in a phased approach as part of a multi-year plan. Approximately 50- 75 sites will deploy the solution. On average, each substation has two FLIR PT-Series cameras and four SpotterRF radars (two per camera). Some of VTI’s other clients are also expected to deploy the same solution at 10-20 sites over the next few years based on the success VTI has proven in the utility environment.
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.
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?