Power plant security
DITEK, the provider of surge protection solutions is featuring state-of-the-art technology at ISC West 2021, July 19-21 in Las Vegas. DITEK surge protectors are the first line of defence against power surges and spikes caused by lightning or other sources. DITEK solutions protect critical electrical systems—from fire alarms to video surveillance—by safely diverting excess voltage to the ground, avoiding costly repairs and downtime. DITEK’s vast array of solutions gives system...
In daily work and life, various locks have always played the role of protecting asset safety. In different usage scenarios, the most appropriate lock must be selected to maximise benefits. In the past applications, the difficulties encountered by managers are as follows. Unlocking authority is difficult to control, unclear access records, emergency unlocking, and troublesome upgrade and installation. Through the following points, how the key-centric access management system solves such problems...
Active Witness Corp., a provider of artificially intelligent, cloud-based visitor management solutions introduces its SIMA multi-factor access control system that stops unauthorised access and redefines how access control is deployed. Conventional facial recognition systems require a person to present his/her face, then search a database and present the closest match and identity. That process is slow and can lead to incorrect identity authorisation and privacy concerns. Quick identity identif...
ProdataKey (PDK), the manufacturer of the cloud access control platform built for mobile, announces the release of its new Red 2 Controller, Red Readers, and Red High-Security Credentials, all components of its new high-security, line of hardware called PDK Red. The Red lineup represents a new class of OSDP-compliant, multi-technology readers, controllers, and credentialing options appropriate for both daily installs and the most demanding security applications. Red 2 and the Red Readers are po...
Interphone, the security systems and building technology integrator, is embracing the latest iris and facial recognition technology to meet the growing demand for touchless door entry and access control. The company has launched a range of advanced and affordable solutions available for any new build or retrofit building requirement in the commercial residential marketplace. Significance of touchless technologies “The COVID pandemic has placed hygiene, infection control, and risk mitigat...
Userful Corporation, the provider of the software-defined AV-over-IP platform for the enterprise, announces the appointment of Reza Razavi as the company’s new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Prior to his promotion, Razavi was one of the key architects of Userful’s innovative visual networking platform solution, and he was the force behind Userful’s groundbreaking streaming technology. As CTO, Razavi will lead the development of the next-gen architecture for Userful’s aw...
The ISEE & CEFE Powered by INTERSCHUTZ, co-hosted by Beijing Safever Science & Technology Innovation Center, China National Machinery Industry International Co., Ltd. (SINOMACHINT), and Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai Ltd. will be held at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center on December 8 – 10, 2021. The exhibition area is expected to be 30,000 square metres, with an estimated 400 exhibitors and 20,000 trade visits. ISEE & CEFE Powered by INTERSCHUTZ This expo is a combination of the International Safety & Emergency Expo (ISEE), organised by Beijing Safever Science & Technology Innovation Center and the China (Shanghai) International Emergency & Fire Safety Expo (CEFE), co-sponsored by SINOMACHINT and Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai Ltd. Themed with ‘Integrate International Resources and Serve the Innovative Applications of China's Security (Emergency) Industry’, the expo focuses on three sectors of work safety, disaster prevention, reduction and relief, and emergency rescue. It is designed as a platform for exchanging and promoting appropriate equipment, key technologies, management concepts, and professional services. PPE, explosion protection and incident response solutions The Expo has nine exhibition areas, including PPE, explosion protection, work safety and incident response The Expo has nine exhibition areas, including intelligent emergency response, PPE, explosion protection, work safety and incident response, disaster prevention, mitigation and relief, emergency supplies, public health and medical response. Besides, there will be more than ten professional seminars and seven concurrent activities. For the first time, this event integrates ISEE's academic and technical strength with SINOMACHINT's influence among large state-owned enterprises and in machinery industry, and introduces INTERSCHUTZ's advantages in global connections, specifically the world's latest technology in fire safety, disaster relief, occupational health and safety, communications and control platforms, and personal protection. Innovation-driven development strategy It is believed that the expo will greatly promote the innovation and development of China's safety and emergency industry. 2021 marks the beginning of China's 14th Five-Year Plan. It is also a critical year for implementing China's ‘Three-year Action Plan for National Work Safety Rectification’. This expo, aimed at serving China's emergency management undertaking, will adhere to the ‘innovation-driven development strategy’, make use of the market mechanism, give full play to the effect of international exhibition platform, promote the safety (emergency) industry, and cultivate an emergency culture. Beijing Safever Science & Technology Innovation Center Beijing Safever Science & Technology Innovation Center is a globally renowned service provider of conferences, exhibitions, management consulting, and technical equipment promotion for industries, including emergency management, OHS, and energy. The mission of Safever is to help the business develop in a safe, healthy, and sustainable way by building a mutual platform that brings together gathers international resources. Safever and CNOOC STS partnership Safever was established in 2001 by International Exchange and Cooperation Center (IECC) Safever was established in 2001 by International Exchange and Cooperation Center (IECC), State Administration of Work Safety of P.R. China. In 2007, CNOOC Safety & Technology Services Co., Ltd joined in as a strategic partner and second shareholder. After the institutional reform of the State Council in 2018, it is now affiliated to IECC, Ministry of Emergency Management of P.R. China. It is based in Beijing, and now has established a Nanjing office. Complete exhibition business system China National Machinery Industry International Co., Ltd. (SINOMACHINT) is a holding subsidiary of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), a large state-owned business conglomerate and a Fortune Global 500 company. SINOMACHINT, as a central enterprise, has already progressed into the largest and most comprehensive Chinese exhibition giant. Commercial exhibition is the core business of SINOMACHINT with over 60 years of experience in exhibition organising and a professional organisation team. SINOMACHINT has established a complete exhibition business system that integrates independent organisation of domestic and international exhibitions. Promoting the Chinese exhibition and convention industry Each year, SINOMACHINT hosts over 40 quality exhibitions in more than 30 large and medium cities in China, over the exhibition area totaling nearly 3 million square metres. Each year, SINOMACHINT attracts 500,000 visits to its exhibitions paid by professional buyers, and it boasts an extensive high-quality clientele. Adhering to its core value of ‘Responsibility, Innovation, Coordination and Sharing’ , SINOMACHINT is committed to leading the development of the exhibition and convention industry in China, promoting the progress of China' s manufacturing industry and accelerating the globalisation of China's equipment companies. With the integration of world economy, SINOMACHINT will strengthen cooperation with all sectors of society to make contributions to the economic prosperity of China and the world at large.
FLIR Systems, Inc. announces the launch of the upgraded FLIR identiFINDER® R440, the next-generation of its field-trusted premium handheld radiation detection system. The new identiFINDER R440 delivers dramatically improved resolution and sensitivity, so operators can identify and respond to radiological threats faster and with greater accuracy. The R440 now includes two powerful detector options. A high-resolution Lanthanum Bromide (LaBr) variant delivers up to two-and-a-half times the resolution of the earlier R400 model, while an exotic, new material called ‘CLLBC’ enables up to six times the neutron sensitivity and higher gamma performance than standard Sodium Iodide (NaI). Public safety agencies A new spectroscopic algorithm, flexible power management, and pioneering communication options on the R440 will enable operators to safely locate and measure radioactive sources with confidence. “The newly advanced identiFINDER R440 provides uniquely accurate radiological performance for customers’ most demanding missions,” said Dr. David Cullin, vice president in the Sensor Systems business at FLIR. “The rugged R440 builds on the R400’s legacy. Combined with new power upgrades, the system will allow users from the military, homeland security, public safety agencies, and commercial entities to operate in harsh environments for longer periods.” Remote data viewing When threat detection occurs, rapidly communicating results is critical “With more than 40,000 devices deployed worldwide, users have come to trust the precision and reliability of FLIR identiFINDER handheld devices as a powerful tool in combating deadly threats,” Cullin added. When threat detection occurs, rapidly communicating results is critical. Remote data viewing, operation, and reach-back is made possible on the R440 through communication features including the FLIR RAD Mobile App, the company’s trusted web interface, and a universal API that enables integration with user-deployed networks such as the Mobile Field Kit, ATAK, Sigma Edge, Safe Environment Gateway, and more. Enhanced drop protection The identiFINDER R440 also has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS technology. Single-hand operation via three-button control is a familiar interface for existing identiFINDER users, simplifying deployment and training requirements. The R440 features improved ruggedisation, including enhanced drop protection in accordance with ANSI 42.34 standards, as well as dust and water ingress protection at the IP-67 level. With hot-swappable 7-hour lithium-ion batteries and AA-battery power option, the system can operate continuously for even the longest missions. FLIR unveiled the identiFINDER R440 at the CBRNE Convergence virtual trade show and conference. The new FLIR identiFINDER R440 is available for order now and is shipping immediately.
BIRD Aerosystems, globally renowned developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Patrol Solutions (ASIO), will launch and present its new ASIO Protection of Critical National Infrastructure solution, which utilises state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies, and is uniquely designed for protection of critical infrastructures, such as oil, gas, electricity and utilities, at the IDEX (The International Defence Exhibition & Conference) event in Abu Dhabi. ASIO Critical National Infrastructure solution The ASIO Critical National Infrastructure solution, BIRD's newest and most advanced configuration of the ASIO solution, enables customers to patrol and survey their strategic assets and Critical Infrastructure in any weather or lighting condition. When a threat is detected by the ASIO Special Mission Aircraft mission operator, the detection location, live video, and operational data are immediately relayed to other ASIO fixed-wing aircraft and ASIO Special Mission Helicopters for further tracking. In parallel, target data and live airborne video is sent to headquarters and ASIO ground vehicles for effective event management and interception of the suspected targets on the ground. Protecting strategic assets and sensitive infrastructure Operationally deployed by several customers worldwide, the ASIO Critical National Infrastructure solution provides a multi-layered approach, effectively preventing persons or items from illegally accessing ground assets and sensitive infrastructure and effecting the availability, integrity, or delivery of essential services in the country. We have tailored ASIO Mission Task Force to fit specifically for Protection of Critical Infrastructure in light of this need" Ronen Factor, Co-CEO (Co-Chief Executive Officer) and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems, said “The need to effectively protect strategic assets such as oil and gas fields is significant in almost every country and area, certainly in UAE and the region. We have tailored BIRD's renowned ASIO Mission Task Force to fit specifically for Protection of Critical Infrastructure in light of this need.” Ronen adds, “Our ASIO Solution for Protection of Critical National Infrastructure is handling the protection and security of vital assets and infrastructure and ensures that critical facilities are secure from potential threats, possible disruption and imminent destruction. I invite all to meet us during the IDEX exhibition and learn more about our unique solutions.” IDEX 2021 exhibition At the IDEX 2021 exhibition, BIRD Aerosystems will also present its Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) range of solutions, including the patented MACS sensor and SPREOS DIRCM: MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) performs unique confirmation of suspected incoming missile threats detected by the main electro-optical passive sensors and ensures zero false alarms, thereby ensuring that only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon. SPREOS (Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System) DIRCM combines a Semi-Active Dual Band Radar and Directional IR Countermeasure. Queued by the Missile Warning Sensors, SPREOS points towards the suspected threat, performs a Doppler based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat, and extract its key parameters. In addition, SPREOS precisely tracks and points an advanced 5th generation solid-state Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) towards the threat for the most effective jamming of the missile while continually assessing the jamming effectiveness. AeroShield POD on display BIRD Aerosystems is also slated to display its AeroShield POD, an all-in-one Pod solution that supports the installation of BIRD’s Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) on narrow and wide-body aircraft. Easily installed, the AeroShield POD can simply be transferred between different platforms.
The greatest challenge that the energy sector faces in modern times is how to meet the continuously changing risk factors and addressing all of the necessary security aspects. Considering their unique infrastructure, expensive and sensitive materials onboard, and sometimes even classified national assets, energy facilities and critical infrastructures will always be subject to varied security threats. With hundreds of oil refineries, nuclear power plants, research reactors and fuel cycle facilities in operation worldwide, preventing certain materials from falling into the hands of adversaries or threat elements who seeks to steal or even harm the station operators is the top priority of the corporations’ security teams. Use of explosive devices in energy sector attacks The overwhelming majority of attacks (74%) on energy targets, between 2010 and 2014, were carried out by the use of explosive devices, while facility and infrastructure attacks, including arson and sabotage tactics, were the second most common (CEI Security Stakeholder Group Manifest). In April 2013, terrorists used high-powered rifles to destroy several transformers at a transmission substation in California in an incident that incurred more than US$ 15 million in damages and required nearly a month to restore. Robust layer-upon-layer security network Energy plants are among North America’s most protected private sector facilities Still, energy plants are among North America’s most protected private sector facilities. They are extremely robust structures that, by design and construction, are very challenging to penetrate. These structures, a well-trained security force and strict access controls for operators and visitors provide a robust layer-upon-layer comprehensive security network. The security level increases as one gets closer to the ‘owner-controlled area’, which is fenced and secured by advanced systems and well-armed security officers. This security ring typically shields the reactor, the control room, the used fuel pool and the central security alarm stations. The systems provide: High-quality scanned images, Smart compare capabilities for the inspection of recurring vehicles, Fraud prevention tools backed by a unique vehicle ID, Full integration to barriers, bollards and access control systems, Automatic detection of illicit materials or unauthorised access on the first pass, COVID-19 compatible: Driver and passenger fever detection capabilities. Helios UVIS by UVeye Access to the owner-controlled area should be limited and protected by an automated access control system that integrates with the alarmed security doors and response system connected to federal or local law enforcement agencies, which can assist in the event of an attack. Helios UVIS by UVeye helps ensure that all measures are taken to control vehicles’ access to sensitive energy facilities and protect them from such risks. Helios UVIS is designed to detect illicit materials being smuggled in, prevent theft, and thwart unauthorised access or other malicious acts in and around the secured facility. UV Inspect, advanced vehicle pass solution UV Inspect can be used for vehicles that have not been previously scanned by a system Offering single- or multi-lane units, as well as stationary or mobile units, UVeye’s advanced deep learning algorithms were developed through training with millions of vehicles and allow UVeye to offer its first pass solution, UV Inspect. Built on a truly intimate understanding of what a wide range of vehicles are supposed to look like in various environmental conditions, UV Inspect can be used for vehicles that have not been previously scanned by a system. UVeye is the only under-vehicle inspection system (UVIS or UVSS) vendor to offer a verified first-pass solution that significantly increases security teams’ effectiveness. UV Compare, license plate or fingerprint ID recognition Another key feature from Helios is called UV Compare, which enables it to recognise previously scanned vehicles by their license plate or unique undercarriage fingerprint ID, and compare it to previous scans. Individuals who are granted access to the facility or protected area, whether they are employees, contractors or visitors, become part of this database. This feature can also help detect tiny objects such as paper bags, phones, miniature hard disks and other contraband. Securing confidential materials Due to their complex environment and sensitive information, energy sites are a target for technology and data theft scenarios. The physical protection of energy plants and associated facilities must include vehicle access point inspection to ensure these security systems’ effectiveness against defined risk factors by UVeye’s tailored security level, answering a wide range of security requirements. Given the industry’s unique work conditions and the varied types of vehicles accessing these facilities, Helios can withstand up to 40,000 pounds (20 tons) per axle, meaning that it will survive being driven over by even massive vehicles like trucks or SUVs. Durable with built-in thermal sensor Helios is also designed to respond to weather variation, such as daily changes in temperature Helios is also designed to respond to weather variation, such as daily changes in temperature, storms and weather hazards. It is fully operational at temperatures between 68°F and 104°F (20° and 40° Celsius) and is IP 68/54 compliant, meaning it offers full protection against sand, dust and rain. UVeye’s built-in thermal sensor can detect the body temperatures of the passengers in vehicles entering the site’s access roads, assuring the safety and security of everyone in and around the facility. Multi-layer access control security UVeye fully supports third-party integration and provides multiple layers of security for any facility. Integrations available and made in the past include: ALPR System Face Detection/Recognition Arm Barriers/Bollards VMS (Video Management System) Centralised data management system Centralised management system allows the client to access multiple systems and manage historical data Integrating to the centralised server provides the capability of connecting multiple systems or lanes across different sites, while also enabling central management and control via one screen. The centralised management system allows the client to access multiple systems and manage the other users and historical data. The undercarriage is one of the most critical parts of the vehicle to inspect and one of the most challenging areas to examine. Helios is the perfect solution to prevent any weapons or other illegal and dangerous items from entering energy facilities. Enhanced data security Integrating it with additional security and access control systems can provide a multi-layered approach to tighten the entry and exit points to any sensitive site while keeping personnel and data safe.
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 electrical components before combustion occurs and a fire breaks out. By deploying thermal cameras for condition monitoring, process control, and fire prevention applications, plant managers ensure maximum uptime and avoid catastrophic events. Why thermal cameras? Because temperature changes can be an early indicator of equipment deterioration, non-uniform temperature profiles on products, or a hotspot area, thermal automation cameras are a premier choice for plant managers. Radiometric thermal cameras yield a temperature value for every pixel in an image and clearly visualise the temperature differences of a surveyed area. Upon exceeding a specific temperature threshold, a thermal automation camera sends an alarm, or, if integrated with other control processes, triggers an action to de-escalate the situation. FLIR automation cameras in action FLIR offers an array of radiometric thermal cameras that are highly effective automation solutions. Here are three examples of how FLIR automation cameras made a difference for critical facilities in the industrial sector. Steel Mill: Few equipment failures are as dangerous and damaging as a steel breakout at a steel mill, where a ladle or torpedo enclosure ruptures and pours out hundreds of tons of 1400°C (2552°F) molten iron onto the plant floor. Because hotspots can occur on this machinery in less than a minute, engineer service company ANT Automation provides its steel mill customers with a Continuous Infrared Analysis (CIRA) platform. Condition Monitoring: The cornerstone of the CIRA solution is reliable thermal imaging from a FLIR automation camera, which monitors the entire surface of ladles and torpedoes; provides historical temperature data to distinguish between typical splashes and hotspots, and sends an alarm to personnel to act upon true hotspot detection. As a result, ANT Automation customers experience heightened equipment protection, cheaper insurance premiums, and greater peace of mind. Paper Mill: At paper mills, calendaring or the process of putting paper webs through hard pressure rollers to smooth the paper is important. However, excess moisture can occur on the paper web between the rollers, damaging roll covers and causing downtime. One North America paper manufacturer experienced an average of 30 moisture events annually where each event equated to $100,000 in losses. Process Control: To remedy the situation, the manufacturer turned to Eigen, an AI-enabled vision solution provider. Eigen provided a platform that featured FLIR automation cameras, an edge computing device, and analytics software. The FLIR cameras continuously monitor the paper web prior to it entering the calendar machine and upon detection of cold streaks, trigger an unload alarm so that calendar stacks are opened and roll covers are cleaned. Eigen estimates its automation solution will result in 300 unloads for a total savings of $1.2 million. Waste facility and fire prevention Based in the town of Legnago in Northern Italy, Ecologica Tredi operates an 11,000 square metre facility that specialises in the recovery and treatment of special, hazardous, and non-hazardous waste. Should material combust and cause a fire at the plant, the consequences include unwanted pollutants released into the environment, damaged equipment, and lengthy business interruptions. Thermostick Elettrotecnica provides a comprehensive monitoring control and alarm system based on FLIR automation cameras To enhance workplace safety and meet regulation compliance, Ecologica Tredi partnered with Thermostick Elettrotecnica, who specialises in unconventional fire detection systems. Thermostick Elettrotecnica provided a comprehensive monitoring control and alarm system based on FLIR automation cameras. These FLIR cameras monitor work and storage areas and upon specified alarm events, can activate sprinklers or cannons. FLIR AX8 camera Thermostick Elettrotecnica also deployed a FLIR AX8 camera to survey material on the conveyor belt coming out of a shredder. Upon identifying abnormally high temperatures, the belt stops. After completing its audit of the facility, the Ministry of Interior said Ecologica Tredi was one of the most equipped for fire prevention. These are just a few deployments that demonstrate how automation solutions, like the FLIR A400/A700 Smart Thermal Sensor camera, can be used to avoid unplanned outages, production line shutdowns, fires, and other surprise events that cause substantial disruptions and financial loss. Deployment recommendation When evaluating how to implement thermal cameras for one's automation application, there are several factors to consider. Here are a few recommendations to get one started. Select an Accurate Camera: For automation, accurate radiometric thermal images are key. Select a high-resolution radiometric thermal camera that yields sharp images and rich image detail. FLIR offers two optimal thermal detector arrays, 320x240 or 640x480, which provide up to ±2°C accuracy within temperature ranges of -40°C to 2000°C. Choose an Analytics Software: Easily integrate FLIR automation cameras with one's preferred analytics software. Some of the software that FLIR cameras currently integrate with include Cognex Designer Pro, NI Software, Pleora Ebus, Teledyne, and Spinaker SDK. Determine Regions of Interest and Alarm Settings: Define what critical areas need to be surveyed for hotspots or temperature variances. When deploying FLIR cameras, one can select up to 10 regions of interest. Simply use the web-based configuration window on one's mobile device or computer to select spots, draw boxes, or create custom areas. Create one's alarm parameters as well as the desired response by defining the data acquisition output type. Integrate with Control Processes: For improved intervention, integrate thermal automation cameras with other control processes. To do this, ensure one's automation camera is compliant with communication protocols such as GigE Vision, RTSP, MQTT, RESTful API, MODBUS TCP & Master, Ethernet IP, and FTP.
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 detection and standard analytics. However, these systems require either monotonous monitoring or a meticulous manual review after each triggered event to extract useful information. Cloud video surveillance Similarly, business operations analytics are still in early development. “There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage AI and alter the very nature of video surveillance,” said Dean Drako, Founder and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. “Eagle Eye Networks now has the means and the technology to enable cloud video surveillance to transform how companies manage security and business operations, in the same way self-driving/electric cars are transforming transportation.” Smart cloud video surveillance with privacy and cybersecurity protections will make the world much safer" “Ultimately, smart cloud video surveillance with appropriate privacy and cybersecurity protections will make the world much safer, for example: detecting dangers such as weapons, erratic driving, active robberies, and traffic accidents. Furthermore,” continued Drako, “It will help businesses provide better service by reducing wait lines, ensuring displays are organised and stores clean, and assuring product quality.” Deploying new analytics Sameer Gandhi, Partner at Accel added, “Eagle Eye Networks pioneered the video surveillance industry’s move to the cloud, and AI applications will drive the industry’s next transformation. Eagle Eye is in the pole position to make this happen. Its true cloud technology puts Eagle Eye in a unique position to instantly deploy new analytics breakthroughs. Dean Drako’s track record, proven with Eagle Eye and previously as founder of Barracuda Networks, speaks for itself.” The Eagle Eye Cloud Video Management System (VMS) is a simply smarter cloud video surveillance solution, purpose-built to help businesses improve safety, security, operations, and customer service. Tens of thousands of companies in more than 90 countries around the globe have moved their video surveillance to the cloud with Eagle Eye VMS. Comprehensive central management Customers choose Eagle Eye Cloud VMS for its comprehensive central management, cloud reliability and redundancy Customers, including multi-family residences, smart cities, schools, hospitals, hotels, logistics, restaurants, and retail shops trust Eagle Eye for actionable business intelligence and proactive security. Customers choose Eagle Eye Cloud VMS for its comprehensive central management, cloud reliability and redundancy, cost savings, and its open API video platform that provides a vast number of third-party integrations. Customers appreciate Eagle Eye’s inherent cyber secure design and extensive video encryption to protect their data and privacy. The Eagle Eye Cloud VMS works with thousands of industry cameras and does not require customers to ‘rip and replace’ their existing infrastructure. Eagle Eye Networks, together with its partner Brivo, provide a seamless solution for cloud video surveillance and facility access control. Brivo is a pioneer in cloud facility access control. Cloud video security The Eagle Eye API allows for seamless integration with partners like Brivo and others making Eagle Eye Cloud VMS the only platform robust enough to power the future of video surveillance. Eagle Eye Networks has grown rapidly in EMEA both organically and through the 2017 acquisition of Camera Manager whose founders, Rishi Lodhia and Tijmen Vos launched the first true cloud video security offering in 2004 and continue to drive the company's European growth and innovative product development. The Eagle Eye Networks European headquarters in Amsterdam, provides an attractive mix of elements crucial for success, including innovative technology founders who share Drako’s bold vision, drive and demonstrated leadership. “We were the first to introduce cloud video surveillance to the market and this step is fast tracking our growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Rishi Lodhia, Eagle Eye Networks Managing Director for EMEA. Video surveillance industry The adoption of true cloud video surveillance and powerful AI is driving an acceleration of the business globally" “The adoption of true cloud video surveillance and powerful AI is driving an acceleration of the business globally, but especially in EMEA. It gives us the ability to help give businesses the intelligence they need and protect people’s privacy without compromising safety and security.” The company expects to add roles across Europe to support the growth and customer success with the adoption of the cloud and AI powered video surveillance. “In more than two decades in the video surveillance industry, I have heard people talk about revolutionising the market and taking it to the next level, but only Eagle Eye Networks has truly delivered on that promise,” added John E. Mack III, Executive Vice President, Co-Head of Investment Banking at Imperial Capital. “While Eagle Eye Networks’ vision as the first cloud native solution was compelling previously, the changes 2020 brought about through business disruption related to COVID-19 make Eagle Eye’s products and services even more desirable. Eagle Eye’s focus on the customer and commitment to innovation create a foundation that makes its cloud and AI enhanced offerings for video surveillance a focus for security specific executives and the C-suite alike.”
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?
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