Private sector security
The role of physical security has expanded and grown rapidly over recent years. Below are some of our observations, particularly throughout the pandemic, and a look towards the changing times ahead. The new era of physical security The role of private security has shifted dramatically over the last decade and beyond. Historically, the focus was on protecting assets such as property and goods, but more frequently now the sector is being asked to play an even bigger role in protecting the...
Acronis, a global provider of cyber protection, announced it was partnering with the World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity to join the efforts of this private-public network to respond to the world’s growing cyber security threats. As the digital economy becomes an ever-increasing driver around the globe, cyber security becomes a primary concern. Engaging leaders from business, government, civil society, academia, and a multitude of sectors, the World Economic Forum Centre for Cyb...
Briefcam, the industry’s renowned provider of Video Content Analytics and Video Synopsis solutions, has announced that its advanced video analytics software platform will serve as the analytics engine for Verizon’s Intelligent Video solution. Intelligent Video solution The comprehensive monitoring service from Verizon helps law enforcement and security teams keep public and private facilities secure with near real-time, actionable data from video content. The combined solution enh...
Based on a comprehensive understanding of most realistic threats faced by homeland and private security professionals, PPSS Group announces an official replacement for their highly acclaimed polycarbonate-based stab resistant body armour. The firm’s product video, featuring the CEO Robert Kaiser being beaten and stabbed wearing the body armour is widely regarded as ‘physical evidence’ of its precise performance level and quality. Forward-thinking solution Kaiser said: &ldquo...
Facial recognition is the latest technology to be targeted because of concerns about privacy. If such concerns cloud the public perception, they can be harmful to technology markets. Whether the concerns are genuine or based on misinformation is often beside the point; the practical damage has already been done. But beyond market demand, what is the impact of privacy concerns on technology innovation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Are privacy concerns stifling innovation in...
Globally renowned access control manufacturer, Inner Range is offering customers the ability to identify close contacts of anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, by generating detailed reports of where the infected person has been and who else has been near them. Contact tracing The contact tracing report can be generated and shared quickly and easily. It can show which doors an infected user has passed through, how much time they spent in each area, what time the...
Genetec Inc. kicks off new podcast series with Privacy by Design Architect and former Ontario Privacy and Information Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian. Engage, the new Genetec podcast, offers thought-provoking perspectives on the impact of security technology from thought leaders and visionaries worldwide. “When we talk about privacy vs. public safety, I can assure you that it is never privacy that wins, nor should it be. But what I reject, is the proposition that privacy must suffer,” insists Dr. Ann Cavoukian in ‘First Principles’, the inaugural episode of Engage, a new podcast series hosted by Genetec Inc. Engage - A Genetec podcast Focused on exploring key industry themes with global thought leaders and spanning multiple disciplines, Engage - A Genetec podcast, will examine a broad spectrum of safety and security topics, from digital transformation in business, city, and government operations, to vital technology topics including privacy, data sovereignty, and more. In ‘First Principles’ episode, Engage hosts Kelly Lawetz and David Chauvin take on the often-controversial topic of privacy. “In the world of privacy, Dr. Ann Cavoukian is a formidable force,” said Andrew Elvish, Vice President of Marketing at Genetec, Inc, adding “While Information and Privacy Commissioner for the province of Ontario, Canada, her work on Privacy by Design sparked a global revolution on how privacy is perceived by putting the onus on providers instead of users.” ‘Privacy by Design’ It is an important perspective that resonates within the practice of physical security" Andrew adds, “Dr. Cavoukian champions a pragmatic, proactive approach, which she feels is especially important in an age when more personal and behavioural information is being used to track and anticipate our activities. It is an important perspective that resonates within the practice of physical security as much as it does in the wider public.” During this interview, Dr. Cavoukian who is now Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University, talks about the importance of adopting a ‘Privacy by Design’ approach to software. She argues that the old ‘check the box’ model for privacy compliance no longer holds up, when considered in light of the type and volume of information being shared. Protecting privacy and upholding physical security When a software solution is designed from the ground up with privacy in mind, organisations don’t have to choose between protecting the privacy of individuals and their physical security, creating a win/win for the individual and the organisation. Dr. Cavoukian believes that there can be a positive-sum between privacy and security. “Get rid of the ‘versus’ and let’s embrace privacy and embed it into the code of information technologies, business practices and networked infrastructure,” she adds.
As employees continue returning to the office, travellers start flying again, fans slowly return to stadiums, technology that focuses on maintaining health and safety in semi-public and private venues remains crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19. In response, FLIR Systems announces the FLIR Elara™ FR-345-EST, a fixed-mount radiometric thermal security camera that measures elevated skin temperature (EST) accurately without contact or the need for a reference temperature source. This system provides a safe and effective environment at high traffic airports, stadiums, commercial buildings, and manufacturing facilities to quickly assess skin temperature at access control points. Broader access control program The Elara FR-345-EST automatically guides to the part of the body that most closely correlates to core body temperature: the inner-canthus—or the inner eye of a human face—without sacrificing accuracy or the ability to maintain social distancing guidelines. The Elara FR-345-EST camera can serve as a stand-alone system without the need for desktop software or as part of a broader access control program designed to improve people flow for elevated skin temperature screening while simultaneously improving the accuracy of finding the inner-canthus, balancing the needs of personal safety and convenience. It also integrates with a variety of third-party video management systems (VMS), including FLIR United VMS, to enable fast integration within the existing security infrastructure to avoid adding risk to network IT security. Convolutional neural network The improved AI capabilities with the on-camera software also improves the screening assessment time Through the use of integrated algorithms and a convolutional neural network (CNN), as individuals pass through the screening process the interactive on-screen prompts assist with eyewear identification, proper pose, positioning, and head orientation. This enables the camera’s on-edge artificial intelligence to automatically locate and measure the temperature at the inner canthus within an accuracy of +/- 0.5° C (+/- 0.9° F). The improved AI capabilities with the on-camera software also improves the screening assessment time to an average of one-second-per-individual after the subject is in a stationary position in front of the camera and once eyewear has been removed, helping to keep lines of workers, spectators, guests, students and patients moving and to eliminate any potential crowding at checkpoints. Seamless user experience The self-screening operation provides instant go/no-go feedback and the adaptive alarm threshold feature can be used to minimise false alarms to account for natural body temperature fluctuations throughout the day. The Elara FR-345-EST reduces setup time and calibration while improving real-time operator decision making with on-edge analytics. Now the user has the ability to simply self-start by connecting the camera to a smart monitor with a web browser to view a live user interface. While the camera removes the need for a dedicated operator specific to EST frontline screening, integrators, customers and their staff can still expect a seamless user experience. The camera can also be customised to meet specific integrator or customer needs. In addition, FLIR offers extended training and support for customers and users to properly setup, operate and maintain the system. The Elara FR-345-EST is available globally through authorised dealers, with shipments expected to begin in Q4.
Navigate360 invites everyone to welcome P3 Global Intel to the Navigate360 team. As they continue to focus on extending value to their customers, P3 brings a wealth of expertise along with state-of-the-art tip acquisition and management technology. The P3 solution is the renowned choice of Crime Stoppers Programs, Law Enforcement Agencies, Campus Safety Programs, and Federal Agency Initiatives in the US. Its proven technology is used in over 35,000 schools and districts across the country, where it has helped school leadership bring mental health needs to light, avert tragedies and save lives. Threat assessment manager “When it comes to safety, solving problems before they arise through thoughtful prevention planning is undoubtedly the best way to keep schools and communities safe,” said JP Guilbault, CEO of Navigate360. “Our engagement with P3 Global represents another milestone for Navigate360 in our earnest and methodical approach to bring a complete set of safety solutions to communities nationwide.” P3 is unique because it allows students and school faculty to report tips and engage in a fully anonymous dialogue through a mobile app, a web browser, or the telephone. On its own, this technology is powerful and the synergy that the company’s customers will realise when paired with solutions such as Behavioral Threat Assessment Manager and BTA Training will be significant. It is a natural and critical extension of the work they are doing to help communities create cultures of safety. Build essential tools Anonymous reporting is especially critical for students who so often witness the struggles of their peers" The small, yet mighty team from P3 is joining the Navigate360 staff and will share their expertise, experience and deep insights. Having decades of combined experience in the public and private sectors, they will serve key roles in the assimilation of tip acquisition and management solutions into their holistic offerings. “Having spent close to 30 years working with the public and private sectors to build essential tools for critical communications, I’ve seen firsthand how a tip from a concerned student or parent can save a life,” said Kevin Anderson, Founder and Creator of P3. Safety solution plans “Anonymous reporting is especially critical for students who so often witness the struggles of their peers but are afraid to come forward. By coming together with Navigate360, we will make schools safer, as well as businesses, by enabling them to integrate our technology into their larger safety solution plans in a seamless, easy to use way.” Safety is a journey, not a destination. Navigate360’s goal is to support their customers’ journey with the tools, resources and expertise necessary to build safer tomorrows. Bringing this important technology to empower people to report concerns and prevent tragedies is another step in the right direction.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has stated that the decision by the City Council of Portland, Oregon, to ban facial recognition technology use by businesses in places of public accommodation, starting January 2021 and to prohibit all city government use of facial recognition technologies are shortsighted decisions that do not consider effective and beneficial applications of facial recognition. Ban on facial recognition tech use The Portland ordinance prohibiting private entities’ use of facial recognition technologies affects any business providing goods, services or other accommodations to the public and will impact businesses’ ability to protect workers, customers, facilities and property, since it effectively targets business use of security systems. “Turning back the clock on technological advancement through a complete ban on private-sector use of technology that clearly keeps our fellow citizens safe is not a rational answer during this period of social unrest in Portland,” stated Security Industry Association (SIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Don Erickson. Educating masses on facial recognition technology It is hardly a model approach to policymaking that any government should adopt" He adds, “It is hardly a model approach to policymaking that any government should adopt. Let’s act together now to thoughtfully educate the public about the legal and effective use of facial recognition technology, while at the same time, being mindful of legitimate questions raised about the impact of this technology on all stakeholders, including communities of colour.” Don further stated, “We continue to invite local leaders across the country to work with us to develop more sensible approaches to the use of facial recognition.” SIA’s Senior Director of Government Relations, Jake Parker, provided his testimony at the Portland City Council hearing on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2020, in opposition to these widespread prohibitions on the use of facial recognition technology. National Institute of Standards and Technology research paper As part of the council’s discussion, Portland City Councilwoman, Jo Ann Hardesty stated prior to the vote that the council would revisit the ban when there is technology that is not racially biased and is tested by independent third parties. SIA notes that such technology is available in the current scenario, and in July, SIA authored and submitted a letter to Portland’s Mayor and City Council, which noted the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s research paper that documented that high-performing algorithms perform equally well across different demographics. The letter stated, “The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the world’s renowned and foremost authority on this technology, found last year that the highest performing technologies had ‘undetectable’ differences across demographic groups, with accuracy rates well above 99% and undetectable false positive differences across demographics, even when tested against galleries of up to 12 million images.” Lawful, ethical and nondiscriminatory use of facial recognition SIA believes all technology products, including facial recognition, must only be used for lawful purposes SIA believes all technology products, including facial recognition, must only be used for purposes that are lawful, ethical and nondiscriminatory, and recently released and committed to a series of principles to be used in the development and deployment of facial recognition, ensuring the technology is used in a transparent and nondiscriminatory way that implements privacy protections and human oversight into its use. SIA welcomes working with cities and government on future facial recognition ordinances and policies to ensure decisions are based upon facts and a complete understanding of current technologies and that such policies consider widespread public support for the benefits of this technology. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels, creating open industry standards that enable integration, advancing industry professionalism through education and training, opening global market opportunities and collaborating with other like-minded organisations.
irTemperature monitoring expert, AMETEK Land, has partnered with sister company, Telguard, to offer the VIRALERT 3 non-contact human body temperature screening system as part of Telguard’s distribution channel to the security sector. The VIRALERT 3 provides a camera, thermal imager, and a temperature-controlled reference source on a single mounting platform. Using automatic face detection, the system ensures a valid reading, and provides a measurement that’s accurate to within 0.5oC/ 0.9oF, it then calculates core body temperatures through a rapid test procedure that lasts less than two seconds. Infrared thermal imaging Developed over 18 years by AMETEK Land experts, the VIRALERT 3 provides real-time infrared thermal imaging from a safe social distance. It is designed to screen visitors for elevated skin temperature at an entry point without slowing the flow of people or the need for person-to-person contact. The VIRALERT 3 is easy to use and can be left to operate automatically, with audible and visual alarms alerting when high temperatures are discovered. To ensure the highest levels of accuracy and reliability, it has a blackbody calibration source fitted on the same platform as the integrated thermal imager/visual camera. This makes for a compact system that won’t get in the way of queueing people and can be easily wall or desk-top mounted. Security sector Justin Smith, AMETEK Land Vice President said, “Partnering with Telguard is a perfect fit. Telguard is a leader in cellular communications devices for security systems, and VIRALERT 3 complements these products, providing the security sector with all the systems they need to open facilities safely, and just as importantly, to stay open.” The VIRALERT 3 builds on AMETEK Land’s proven expertise in temperature technology. The company has been developing high-accuracy infrared measurement instruments since 1947 and has been creating human body temperature screening systems since responding to the SARS outbreak of 2002.
Iris ID, a pioneering provider of biometric iris recognition technology, announced that it was ranked number 2,947 in the 2020 version of the Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Since 1997, Iris ID has developed, produced and sold one of the world’s fastest, convenient and most accurate iris-based biometric solutions for access control, identity verification and time and attendance. Iris ID platforms are used around the world in many markets including transportation, healthcare, immigration, finance and national ID. “We’re honoured to be part of this year’s Inc. 5000,” said Charles Koo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Iris ID. “This highly-respected recognition is a tribute to our team, our products, tremendous revenue growth and the customer and partner satisfaction we’ve achieved. Our identity-based applications are used extensively by many of the world’s most renowned corporations and government agencies.”
Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2018. Looking back at the top articles of the year provides a decent summary of how our industry evolved this year, and even offers clues to where we’re headed in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2018 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. U.S. President Signs Government Ban on Hikvision and Dahua Video Surveillance The ban on government uses, which takes effect ‘not later than one year after … enactment,’ applies not only to future uses of Dahua and Hikvision equipment but also to legacy installations. The bill calls for an assessment of the current presence of the banned technologies and development of a ‘phase-out plan’ to eliminate the equipment from government uses. 2. Motorola Makes a Splash with Avigilon Video Surveillance Acquisition Early clues point to Motorola positioning Avigilon as part of a broader solution, especially in the municipal/safe cities market. The company says the acquisition will enable more safe cities projects and more public-private partnerships between local communities and law enforcement. Motorola sees Avigilon as ‘a natural extension to global public safety and U.S. federal and military’ applications, according to the company. 3. Impact of Data-Driven Smart Cities on Video Surveillance One of the major areas of technology that is going to shift how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). One benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on large crowds at sporting events The IoT already accounts for swaths of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes increasingly critical. Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency 4. CES 2018: Security Technologies Influencing the Consumer Electronics Market Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For example, Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency. Many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security. Are Panasonic’s 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format or Sony’s A8F OLED televisions a preview of the future of security control room monitors? 5. SIA Predicts Top Physical Security Trends for 2018 Traditional security providers will focus more on deepening the customer experience and enhancing convenience and service. The rise of IoT also places an emphasis on cybersecurity, and security dealers will react by seeking manufacturers and technology partners with cyber-hardened network-connected devices. 6. High-Speed Visitor Screening Systems Will Improve Soft Target Security The system is more expensive than a metal detector, but about a third the cost of familiar airport body scanners. Labor reduction (because of faster throughput) can help offset the system costs, but “it’s difficult to quantify the improvement in the visitor experience,” says Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology. 7. How to Prevent ATM Jackpotting with Physical and Cyber Security A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve- how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest 8. Why We Need to Look Beyond Technology for Smart City Security Solutions Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. 9. How New Video Surveillance Technology Boosts Airport Security and Operations Employing airport security solutions is a complex situation with myriad government, state and local rules and regulations that need to be addressed while ensuring the comfort needs of passengers. Airport security is further challenged with improving and increasing operational efficiencies, as budgets are always an issue. As an example, security and operational data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, emergency response and airport operations to drive a more proactive approach across the organisation. 10. The Evolution of Facial Recognition from Body-Cams to Video Surveillance The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve.
There’s only so much a corporation can do to counteract the threat of a major incident. You can ask everyone to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious, but you cannot stop someone intent on deliberately starting a fire, threatening a work colleague with a knife or something much worse. And of course, most businesses recognise that even routine events – such as burst pipes, IT system failures, extreme weather event or power outages – can have significant consequences unless they are quickly brought under control. Training security officers Governments and organisations across the world are increasingly encouraging businesses to re-assess risks and to plan for and conduct drills for major emergencies. This is driving different agencies and companies to invest in new skills, resources and systems, and encouraging businesses to routinely re-evaluate their emergency response strategies. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents For example: UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents, as part of the UK government’s Action Counter Terrorism programme. And organisations including the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) and Higher Education Business Continuity Network (HEBCoN) are developing customised training for their members to improve their own response and business continuity plans. Mass notifications systems Whether an organisation is facing a terrorist attack or a severe weather event, follow up reports consistently identify that the same types of challenges are common to all crisis situations, with similar errors often occurring again and again. Typically, these are centred on three key areas: poor communications, fractured command and control structures, and delayed deployment of resources. Communications skills and technologies clearly play a pivotal role in how effective an organisation is in responding to major incidents, particularly when it comes to assessing the situation and its implications, moving people towards safety and providing updates as an incident unfolds. However, when an organisation is considering its technology options, emergency response and mass notification systems (MNS) are often touted as the ideal platform to deliver all the required critical communications and ongoing updates. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents Emergency notification system All the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform But, if an organisation does not know exactly where all its staff or students are, and it cannot see the location and availability of its first responders and other emergency coordinators relative to them and the incident, then how useful is it to send a top-down alert to everyone? And what about fast moving or multi-centre incidents, where previously agreed evacuation procedures, recommended actions or mustering points may need to change if an incident takes an unexpected turn? Many organisations may have been lulled into believing that an emergency notification system will allow them to confidently handle all the communications aspects of virtually any crisis. In reality, too many businesses are still unaware that there are now much more sophisticated and proven technologies where all the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform. Using live map tracking The benefit of using these advanced and more integrated approaches – often categorised as mobile distributed command and control systems – is that they enable faster and better decision making in a crisis using real-time feedback and two-way dialogue with those closest to the emergency. And they avoid the risks of any potential delays, miscommunications or mistakes that can happen when an organisation is under pressure to respond and often switching between multiple systems. Leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response These next generation emergency management platforms have been specifically designed to enable real-time mapping of an organisation’s security assets and its users on a single screen and to fully integrate it with a highly targeted geo-fenced notification capability. The mass notification aspect of the system can then be used to advise specific groups on the best actions to take at their location as an incident develops. The use of live map tracking enables real time mapping of an organisation's security assets Segmented messaging Many leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using these new mobile/web-enabled platforms to plan, manage and improve their incident response, leading to 50% faster reactions and more positive outcomes.During a crisis, users can receive push notifications so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly The systems have been widely adopted within the higher-education sector, but they are equally applicable to any large company with multiple international sites or those situated in research or corporate campuses where the bulk of assets and people are based in one or more key locations. Typically, systems provide users with a smartphone app that they can use to call for immediate emergency or first aid support when at work, or to report something suspicious which could prevent an apparently minor incident from escalating into a full-scale emergency. During a crisis, users can receive push notifications, SMS and E-mails asking them to open the app if they are not already logged in, so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly. Supporting dispersed mustering Now that communications can be more nimble, responsive and flexible this can support the increasing numbers of planners are recognising the advantages of dispersed mustering. This is a strategy that has been developed to reduce the risk of secondary attacks on unprotected people complying with instructions to evacuate from premises and gather in what are, effectively, exposed locations. It is now acknowledged that evacuees waiting outside for any length of time are more vulnerable to targeted attacks or to injury, from flying glass for example. With dispersed mustering – a strategy made more effective by these new mobile distributed command and control systems - a building’s occupants can be advised not to go outside, but to move to known safe internal locations. People in each specific area can then be kept regularly updated. Many corporations are now using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response Coordination between response agencies The software platforms can be integrated with an organisation’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information First responders are permanently logged in, so the emergency operations centre can see their exact locations in real-time and can advise what actions to take in mustering people or in setting up and protecting security cordons. Bringing everything together on one platform, with real-time feedback and in a fully integrated system also removes what is often seen as the weakest communication link in managing any major incident: the need to rely on conventional two-way radio as the sole means of communication between the command and control centre and its first responders and other team members on the ground. The software platforms can be integrated with an organisation’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information to a new level for improved collaboration, coordination and communications between users, the incident management team and external agencies. Improving emergency response strategies One of the most powerful features of some of these new systems is the ability to record and view all alerts, responses and the detailed conversations between first responders, emergency coordinators and other parties. This allows the systems to be used to simulate major incidents involving inputs from the emergency services and other key agencies and to ensure the organisation’s crisis management plans have been fully tested against a range of possible incident scenarios.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research programme to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 programme and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the programme, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative review team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the programme by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Centre Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating for the security industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organised paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavour to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the programme. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the centre’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilising the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes in the GSA programme Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical access control products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labour SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates to guidance for procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA programme for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorised by the manufacturer. GSA pricing tool Since the GSA utilises a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming challenges for the security community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) programme that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorised under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forwardThe GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernisation is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable tools for vendor training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod programme have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
The general public doesn’t give much thought to the important role of security officers in creating and promoting safer environments. The low-profile work of security officers is vital to protecting people, places and property. During the pandemic, newer aspects to that role have emerged. Security personnel have been called on to perform diverse tasks such as managing queues at the supermarket, safeguarding testing centres and hospitals, ensuring food deliveries, and supporting police patrols. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and two other organisations in the United Kingdom are joining forces to raise awareness of the work of security officers and to recognise the vital importance of the duties they perform. BSIA, a trade association, includes members who are responsible for 70% of privately provided UK security products and services, including security guarding, consultancy services, and distribution and installation of electronic and physical security equipment. BSIA, the Security Institute and the Security Commonwealth Joining BSIA in the awareness campaign are the Security Institute, a professional security membership body; and the Security Commonwealth, which is comprised of 40 organisations from across the security landscape with common objectives to build professionalism, raise standards and share best practices. “The recognition of security officers as key workers is the start of a re-appraisal of what service they provide to the community in keeping the public safe and secure,” says Mike Reddington, BSIA Chief Executive. “As we exit lockdown and have to navigate public spaces again, [security officers] will have a crucial role in supporting public confidence. We are working closely with the Police and all other public bodies to find the best way to achieve this.” Security officers acknowledged as key workers The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider and a key worker that is acknowledged and embedded in daily lives. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and two other organisations in the United Kingdom are joining forces to raise awareness of the work of security officers “Great effort has been invested in the professional standards and capabilities of frontline [security] officers, and they have proven their worth during the coronavirus crisis in the UK,” says Rick Mounfield, Chief Executive, the Security Institute. “They, along with the wider security sector, deserve to be recognized, respected and appreciated for the safety and security they provide across the United Kingdom.” “[We are working to] build professionalism, raise standards and share best practices, and I hope this campaign can make more people recognise the changes we have all made and continue to make,” says Guy Matthias, Chairman of the Security Commonwealth (SyCom). The industry will be reaching out to companies, professionals, and organisations in the sector to participate in the campaign. The hope is that, over the coming weeks as lockdown is eased, the industry can play its part to ensure that the country emerges with confidence to start to recover and build for the future. Private security more important than ever The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider Across the pond in the United States, law enforcement professionals are facing a crisis of confidence during a time of civil unrest as protestors call to “defund the police” and to otherwise undermine and/or recast law enforcement’s role in preserving the peace and ensuring public safety. If an upshot is that public policing is starved of resources, the role of private security to supplement their mission is likely to increase. In short, the role of private security is more important than ever on both sides of the Atlantic. Public recognition of that role is welcome, obviously. In any case, the importance of their role protecting people, places and property has never been greater.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be participating at ISC West in a big way. Representatives of the federal department will be taking part in more education sessions this year, and the DHS tech-scouting team will be on hand to view the latest technologies on display at the show. Exhibitors – and anyone else at the show – are invited to the “DHS Town Hall” on March 19 (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. in meeting room Galileo 1001. The aim is for DHS to engage with the technology community and provide guidance as industry innovation moves forward. In the face of growing operational demands and complex threats, the need for homeland security technology solutions continues to rise. The Department of Homeland (DHS) is seeking new ideas and partners to safeguard public trust, save lives, reduce risks, and protect the flow of commerce and goods for the community. They will share information about the department’s problem sets, capability needs and business opportunities for accelerating technology development to ensure they are keeping pace with the speed of innovation and complex threats. Speaking at ISC West DHS seeks to challenge industry partners to develop technology to enhance security operations across multiple end user missions. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will jointly speak and exhibit at ISC West. Attendees can meet DHS professionals working in cyber security, critical infrastructure, resilience, aviation security, border and port operations, and first responder capabilities. Attendees are invited to visit the DHS exhibit booth #33040 in the Drones and Robotics Zone. The DHS Town Hall on Thursday, titled “Enhancing Security and Doing Business at the Speed of Life,” will be a “call to action” for show participants to help secure the future. DHS seeks to become more agile and to pursue new pathways to do business in a fast-moving world. Through strategic partnerships, DHS is mobilising the innovation community to safeguard the public trust. Security sessions DHS will also be participating in these sessions at ISC West, March 17-20 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, Nev: You Say It’s Going to Change the World? Tues., March 17, 9:45 a.m., Sands 302. Security relies on anticipating what comes next and staying a step ahead. How will 5G increase secure capabilities and reduce threats from bad actors? How will blockchain secure personal and financial identity and when will quantum computing render all encryption obsolete? How is DHS investing in counter-drones? How does AI change the security landscape? The New Federal Security Landscape – Are You Prepared? Wed., March 18, 1 p.m., Sands 302. The federal security landscape is evolving alongside the private sector. What are the new high-risk areas of concern and how are emerging threats (cyber, UAS) changing the way federal facilities are protected? How are these new risks balanced against traditional ones? How is the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) responding? DHS panelists will discuss. CISA Special Guest Speaker at SIA Interopfest. Wed., March 18, 4 p.m., Sands 701. Daryle Hernandez, Chief, Interagency Security Committee, DHS, Infrastructure Security Division, will provide insights to complement the technology interoperability demonstrations. Enhancing Security Through UAS Technology, A DHS Perspective. Thurs., March 19, 11:30 a.m., Venetian Ballroom. What is DHS doing today to prepare for a future of increased visualisation and automation? New questions are emerging around capabilities and vulnerabilities. Emerging technologies like AR, Next Gen Sensors, and UAS, provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with tools to become more responsive and adaptive to new threats.
The UK Government has been working to reduce the risks associated with illegal drone use since a high-profile incident at UK’s Gatwick Airport in December 2018, when a drone sighting triggered a three-day shutdown of the UK’s second busiest airport, disrupting the travel plans of 140,000 people and affecting 1,000 flights. To address growing security threats by drones, the UK Government has released its ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’. ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’ This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring" “This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring,” says Brandon Lewis, the U.K. Minister of State for Security. “It will provide the security the public and drone users require to continue to enjoy the benefits of leisure and commercial drone use and facilitate the growth of the drone industry.” “Given the challenge posed by rapid advances in drone technology and the potential threat, the strategy will provide overarching direction to our efforts,” says Lewis. The strategy focuses on ‘small drones’, those weighing less than 20 kg (44 pounds). Countering malicious use of aerial drones The UK Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy centres on mitigating the highest-harm domestic risks resulting from malicious use of aerial drones. They are: Facilitating terrorist attacks, such as modifying commercially-available drones to conduct reconnaissance or attacks. Facilitating crime, especially in prisons, where drones are currently used to deliver contraband. Disrupting critical national infrastructure, such as airports, where a malicious incursion using a drone can have serious safety, security and economic consequences. Potential use by hostile state actors. Maximising benefits of drone technology The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards Over the next three years, the strategy will seek to reduce the risks posed by the highest-harm use of drones while maximising the benefits of drone technology. It will develop a comprehensive understanding of evolving risks and take a “full spectrum” approach to deter, detect and disrupt the misuse of drones. The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards. Further, promoting access to counter-drone capabilities and effective legislation, training and guidance will empower the police and other operational responders. Tactical response to drone-based threats Because technology is rapidly evolving, the response needs to keep pace, according to the strategy document. Lewis adds, “We will therefore work to understand how drone-based threats might evolve in the future, both at the tactical and strategic levels.” The strategy will be to build an end-to-end approach to tackling the highest-harm criminal use of drones. It will also work to make it easier to identify malicious drone use against a backdrop of increased legitimate use. Legal drone operators will be required to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and to pass an online competency test before flying a drone. Retailers who follow a specific set of safety guidelines when selling drones will be designated ‘DroneSafe’. Unmanned traffic management system The government is working toward future implementation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system, which provides a means of preventing collisions between unmanned aircraft and other manned or unmanned aircraft. The current strategy includes early planning for the system. An Industry Action Group will ensure a continuing relationship with the drone industry and help to improve existing counter-drone measures and identify new opportunities, such as use of ‘Geo-Fencing’ to restrict drones from flying in certain areas. Regulating commercial and domestic drones The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace The strategy will seek to communicate the UK’s security requirements to the counter-drone industry and to encourage a thriving sector that is aware of, and responsive to, the needs of government. Regulating drones is the responsibility of two UK government departments. The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace, while the Home Office has overall responsibility for domestic counter-drone activity. Fast-evolving drone and counter-drone technology Also, the Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has been involved in reducing the vulnerability of sensitive sites, including airports. New performance measures will track the strategy’s success. Due to the fast-evolving nature of drone and counter-drone technology, the intent is to review and, if necessary, refresh the strategy in three years.
Sepura’s Italian partner GEG has donated vital critical communications equipment to an emergency hospital in Italy, to aid the country’s medical support during the COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19 health facility The rapidly deployed Fiera di Bergamo hospital is situated in an event venue in Bergamo, the worst affected region in Italy and is managed by staff from a nearby permanent hospital. The facility was constructed in just a week, supported by private and corporate donations and volunteer support from the region. The facility comprises 142 beds including over 70 intensive care beds and access points for both ambulances and helicopters. As a mark of the community endeavour behind the construction, the canteen is being run by the locally-based Michelin-starred chef Vittorio Cerea, with his family volunteering to provide meals to the emergency staff. Sepura SC21 TETRA radios To ensure that all medical staff, logistic support and volunteers can communicate effectively, GEG have donated a complete critical communications system to the site, comprising of 50 Sepura SC21 TETRA radios, programming software and a TETRA base station from DAMM to provide the local network. The radios have been provided with individual battery chargers and belt clips to reduce the amount of contact with hands and to reduce the risk of cross contamination. For the control room, GEG have provided a desk-mounted SRG3900, multiple charging units and desktop programming devices to ensure that the radios are correctly set up for emergency use. Training to radio fleet administration GEG also delivered training to all radio fleet administration staff on basic radio use After performing a full site inspection and installing the base station, GEG also delivered training to all radio fleet administration staff on basic radio use, including switching between talk groups and making full duplex calls. Ian Gotti, Sales Area Manager for GEG said, “Communication is particularly important in this environment, as many of the key workers in this highly pressured environment are not used to working together; on site there are member of both the Italian and Russian armies, volunteers from international emergency response and civil protection organisations, nurses and medical staff from all across Italy and many maintenance staff across site covering many functions.” He continued, “We are proud for GEG to have played our part in enabling Italy to fight back against the coronavirus and we stand with the emergency teams on the frontline that are providing the expert medical help patients desperately require.” TETRA radio communication systems Due to the protective masks worn on the mouth, communication over a critical communications device was the only available solution to the workers. The Sepura radios allow for a very quick configuration and programming of the fleet and also an efficient way to link the fleet to the control room which was vital in this situation. The radios have the additional advantage of being easy to clean and sanitise, capable of functions with minimal use of hands and provide guaranteed secure coverage even in the deepest parts of the building. Enhancing communications Victor Rodrigues, Strategic Account Director for Sepura said, “GEG have many years’ experience in selling TETRA systems into environments such as hospitals and it is a tribute to their dedication that the system was up running so quickly to support the emergency operation. We pass our best wishes to the medical staff on the frontline.”
VIVOTEK, the global IP surveillance provider, has deployed its IP surveillance cameras in the residential project “New Borovaya,” constructed by A-100 Development, one of the largest developers of residential and commercial real estate in Belarus. This deployment has been carried out by long-standing distributor DataStream DEP, and has successfully put into action the high-quality products and brand value of VIVOTEK. On land with a total area of more than 100 hectares, a whole district is being actively developed in line with the most modern European trends of improved urban living environments. Based on the principle of SMART and SOCIAL, the “New Borovaya” project is one of the most innovative and upscale developments in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. In order to ensure public safety and protect private property, А-100 Development pays special attention to the security of the huge residential complex. Bullet network cameras To meet the demanding requirements of the project, including high-quality imagery, reliable equipment from a global brand, excellent technical characteristics and optimal price, the distributor DataStream DEP had complete confidence in recommending VIVOTEK’s IP surveillance solutions. VIVOTEK is honoured to have this decade-long strategic partnership with A-100 Development VIVOTEK’s IB8369A and IB8367A bullet-type network cameras were selected for video surveillance of streets, playgrounds and outdoor parking, while the FD8369A-V dome type cameras were chosen for the entrances of residential buildings. A single data transmission network has been built at the facility, which unites all cameras and provides easy-access to any camera. Surveillance solutions Commenced in 2014, development of the "New Borovaya" project will last for 10 years. In the first two quarters, solutions based on VIVOTEK IP surveillance cameras were implemented, the success of which has led developer А-100 Development to proudly place VIVOTEK solutions in its marketing materials, and confidently declare the reliability of this brand during both operation and for further cooperation. VIVOTEK is honoured to have this decade-long strategic partnership with A-100 Development and looks forward to providing its latest surveillance solutions again in the near future.
Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) manages more than 26,000 properties on behalf of Newcastle City Council. They are piloting an innovative fire detection system in partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, the UK’s largest privately-owned independent security company and a national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sector. MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras have been installed in 3 multi-storey blocks across the city to continually monitor temperatures in the buildings’ bin chute rooms. The thermal cameras will send an alarm to OpenView’s central control centre and the fire service immediately if an unexpected heat pattern is detected. The early detection system provided by the OpenView now means that residents can be reassured of much faster response times from the fire service in the event of an incident, minimising the potential impact on occupants and their properties, so that they and their homes are far safer as a result. Risks and Challenges Ensuring safety of residents through early detection and prevention of potential fires To be able to react quickly to verify a fire situation Alerting the fire service within seconds of a potential fire so they can respond rapidly Keeping residents safe and minimising damage to property in the event of a fire The risk to lives and property caused by rapid spread of a fire in high-density apartment blocks Solution provided by MOBOTIX and OpenView MOBOTIX M16 thermal cameras installed in bin chute rooms of 3 YHN multi-storey blocks Thermal technology continuously monitors temperature, triggering an alarm if an unexpected heat pattern is detected Operators in OpenView’s central control room assess and monitor the situation Fire service instantly alerted ready for rapid response MOBOTIX cameras integrated into existing infrastructure with no disruption to residents Potential risk to lives and property minimised through early fire detection Installation of thermal imaging cameras YHN has installed thermal imaging cameras in 3 of its 45 multi-storey blocks across the cityYour Homes Newcastle (YHN) manages community and public housing on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Set up in 2004, the organisation oversees more than 26,000 properties for the council. With fire safety in tower blocks having been in the spotlight since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, YHN took the decision to pilot an innovative fire detection system. In a trial partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, the UK’s largest privately-owned independent security company and a national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sectors, YHN has installed thermal imaging cameras in 3 of its 45 multi-storey blocks across the city. “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower have undoubtedly put fire safety in multi-storey blocks under a microscope, but we have been trialling new measures in our multi-storey properties for some time,” says David Langhorne, YHN’s Assets and Development Director. ONVIF compliant thermal cameras OpenView Security designed and installed an early fire detection system using MOBOTIX dual M16 thermal cameras, featuring one thermal and one optical sensor. MOBOTIX thermal sensors measure minute differences in mid-wavelength infrared radiation emitted from an object or body based on its temperature, allowing them to pick up temperature differences of 0.05 of a degree within a temperature range of -40 to +550 degrees Celsius. The ONVIF compliant MOBOTIX cameras contain a powerful CPU that can deliver up to 3 video streams simultaneously The ONVIF compliant MOBOTIX cameras contain a powerful CPU that can deliver up to 3 video streams simultaneously and fulfil the H.264/ONVIF standard, making it easy to combine them with other systems to create unique solutions to real-world problems. By integrating the cameras into YHN’s existing infrastructure, which uses OpenView installed equipment, it was possible to implement the new system without any disruption to residents. Alerts central control room in case of fire Operators are able to monitor images from the thermal lens to pinpoint the exact location of hotspotsThe MOBOTIX M16 cameras were installed in bin chute rooms, where they continually monitor the temperature, sending an alert to the OpenView’s central control room instantly if an unexpected heat pattern is detected. Operators are then able to monitor images from the thermal lens to pinpoint the exact location of hotspots, such as smouldering fires, as well verify the situation via a live feed from the optical lens. An alarm is also raised with the fire service within seconds of a potential fire, making them ready to respond rapidly to a potential emergency situation. According to Andy Ward, Sales Director of OpenView Security Solutions, the innovative fire protection solution enables housing providers to ensure a safer environment for residents and minimise the incidence of false alarms: “It now forms part of our expanding portfolio of fire and life safety solutions, which is one of the fastest growing areas of our business, and consolidates our leading position in the public and private housing sectors.” Faster response times from fire service The early detection system provided by the OpenView now means that residents can be reassured of much faster response times from the fire service in the event of an incident, minimising the potential impact on occupants and their properties, ensuring that they and their homes are far safer as a result. We have wet and dry risers, central alarm systems, smoke alarm activated bin chute fire dampers and bin room sprinklers"“This trial system is one of many fire safety measures currently in place in the blocks we manage across the city. We also have wet and dry risers, central alarm systems, smoke alarm activated bin chute fire dampers and bin room sprinklers,” Langhorne explains. “We pride ourselves on being innovative, so it was an easy decision for us to test something that had not yet been adopted elsewhere,” he adds. Meeting requirements of integrator and end-users Frank Graham, MOBOTIX Regional Sales Manager UK & Benelux, said of the partnership with YHN and OpenView: “We are very happy to be working so closely with both YHN and OpenView in the development and provision of an innovative solution for such a serious issue. “MOBOTIX cameras have inbuilt intelligence to meet all the requirements of integrator and end-users alike and we look forward to a longstanding and fruitful partnership with both organisations moving forward.”
Vicon Industries, Inc., designer and manufacturer of video surveillance and access control software, hardware and components has announced that The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the largest Cathedral and fifth largest church building in the world, recently completed installation of a Vicon Valerus video management system to secure the Cathedral and surrounding 11.3-acre complex in Manhattan. Valerus VMS As the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the Cathedral is the site of daily religious services, community programing and social outreach. It also plays host to a busy schedule of art exhibitions, concerts, receptions, public and private events and visiting dignitaries, who have included Nelson Mandela, The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu and President Bill Clinton. The new Valerus system combines over 70 Vicon high-resolution IP cameras, a Valerus application server and multiple recording servers The new Valerus system, installed by the Long Island office of ITsavvy, an IT products and technology solutions provider, combines over 70 Vicon high-resolution IP cameras, a Valerus application server and multiple recording servers. The system’s wide range of cameras include models with powerful zoom that provide detailed coverage of surrounding city streets, and others chosen for their ability to perform well in the low and challenging light inside the Cathedral. Vicon IP cameras Cameras also provide coverage of the Cathedral’s’ exterior, administrative and residential buildings that support the Bishop, clergy and Diocese, a world-class textile conservation laboratory, visitor center, information booths and surrounding grounds and gardens. The Valerus system is vital for providing safety for all visitors, staff, residents and students, as well as protecting the property and its many valuable artifacts. Cameras are particularly helpful in protecting the Cathedral from liability in slip-and-fall incidents Cameras are particularly helpful in protecting the Cathedral from liability in slip-and-fall incidents. They also document, for the police, any incidents that arise from the Cathedral’s service to the mentally ill and indigent. Live and recorded video from the Valerus system is frequently shared with NYPD and local security forces from Columbia University and other neighboring institutions. Crime prevention and incident management Keith Hinkson, Director of Security at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, says, “The searching feature is so much easier on Valerus, and we can see up to 99 cameras on one screen. This is huge for an institution like ours. I can go from one camera to the next with no trouble whatsoever.” “Vicon is incredibly proud that a world-class institution as prestigious as The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine has entrusted its security to an end-to-end Vicon solution, including our latest Valerus software. Our participation in this project illustrates that Valerus can deliver security effectively to the most high-profile of installations,” said Bret McGowan, Vicon’s Senior V.P. of Sales and Marketing.
HID Mobile Access integration with HRMIS means management can view all staff records on one platform A government department in Malaysia sought to upgrade their access control system and integrate the new system with their internal human resource system, HRMIS. With the proliferation of smart devices in the country, the agency took advantage of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend by moving their access control system to an innovative mobile solution. Public service human resources This government department in Malaysia is one of Malaysia’s federal government offices. The department is responsible for the development and implementation of public service human resources in the country. Their functions include planning, development and management of all areas pertaining to human resources for the public sector, to ensure that Malaysia’s public agencies have the human capital and infrastructure to function at optimal efficiency and effectiveness. As the functions of the agency continue to expand in breadth and scope, in accordance with the demand for the public services in the country, their staff has steadily grown over the past years. And, similar to other organisations, an increase in personnel also means an increase in management challenges. Improving security with integrated access control By early 2015, this department had a total of 350 civil servants under its employ. Looking to upgrade its time and attendance system that was tied to a card-based access control system, they sought a new, innovative solution to provide a better user experience for its staff. According to the facility officer in government department of Malaysia, the old access control system had been in place since 2002, and it was a perfect time to upgrade based on current technological developments. “We’ve had a card-based access control system at our entrance for a while, one which has served us well since the requirements we had were very basic,” said the officer. “However, with new technology comes new ways for us to improve our system. It is time for us to embrace change.” Minimising security threats from lost cards Improving security was another goal this department wanted to accomplish with a new solution. With a card-based system, a misplaced access card could result in a security threat – anyone who picked up a lost card could gain access to the department. Also, due to their small form factor, the loss of cards often went unnoticed and was reported late. Thus, another requirement of the new access control system was that it had to minimise the possibility and magnitude of security threats from lost and misplaced cards. The department also wanted a solution that can be integrated into their HRMIS human resources portal The department also wanted a solution that can be integrated into their HRMIS human resources portal, so information about staff attendance and schedules could be viewed online under a unified platform. “In addition to improving the user experience, we also wanted to tie our previously siloed systems together to provide the management with better information about our staff’s time in and out of the office. This would allow us to have the complete picture of each staff member’s availability for better manpower allocation,” said this officer. HID Mobile Access control system The government department in Malaysia procured the services of Prymax Technologies Sdn Bhd, an HID Global partner that provides ICT system integration in the education, government and private sectors. After assessing HID Global’s products and solutions, they chose to deploy HID Mobile Access to enhance its access control system at their building’s entrance. The solution includes HID Mobile IDs and multiCLASS SE RP40 mobile enabled readers, as well as a VertX EVO V2000 reader interface and a network gateway controller. The deployment took less than three months. With more and more staff bringing and using their own smart devices to the office, this department embraced the BYOD trend fully through its new access control system. By deploying HID Mobile Access, the department enabled the staff to use their own mobile phones to replace cards for office access. Connected smart devices The multiCLASS SE RP40 mobile enabled card readers support Bluetooth and work with both iOS and Android devices, as well as a range of credential technologies. The readers are connected to the VertX EVO V2000 controller via a TCP/IP network wired with CAT6 cabling to processes all access control decisions in real-time. At the entrance, the staff member can conveniently tap their mobile device to the reader or use HID Global’s patented “Twist and Go” gesture technology, an option configurable by department’s IT staff. "The HID Mobile Access solution provides and exceeds the level of security we were looking for, while improving the convenience of our staff" The users’ HID Mobile IDs and access rights are provisioned over-the-air to end-user mobile devices via the intuitive HID Mobile Access Portal administration, and can be revoked remotely by the administrators in case the devices are lost or stolen. HID Mobile Access also communicates with their HRMIS portal and relays staff attendance data to the server. Their staff can now view and remark on attendance, as well as send records online through the portal. Integrated resource management solution “The majority of our staff welcomes the change, citing the convenience of using their own mobile phones to check in at work is a great improvement over carrying yet another card for this purpose. From the management perspective, using mobile devices to verify a staff member’s attendance ensures that we are getting the real attendance records, as it completely eliminates card skimming. Also, since reporting is done on a browser, the administrators can generate reports easily at any time,” said the facility officer. HID Mobile Access integration with HRMIS also means that management can view of all staff records on one platform, streamlining the evaluation and allocation of personnel for projects. This also provides management with unprecedented insights into staff productivity to identify highly productive workers. “Like any other government agency around the world, we take security very seriously. Hence, any solution we deploy has to fulfill a stringent set of requirements. The HID Mobile Access solution not only provides and exceeds the level of security we were looking for, but it also does so while improving the convenience of our staff members. We are very pleased with the results of this project,” said the officer.
The IVX, Inc. is a revolutionary technology startup founded by industry veterans from Cisco, Jupiter and Motorola. The company is dedicated to providing innovative, high performance, fully integrated solutions for the public safety sector that effectively manage collaboration among multiple agencies and improve crisis management response time. The IVX enables real-time surveillance data collection, synchronisation and collaboration across the private and public safety sectors. Public safety challenge In the wake of recent mass shootings and terror attacks on high profile cities, public safety is once again at the top of the agenda. The growing number of higher specification surveillance cameras and the huge amount of data they generate, combined with longer data retention periods and real-time response requirements, are pushing the boundaries of what traditional storage approaches can handle. With these market conditions building, The IVX set off to look for an alternative solution for video surveillance. From proprietary to open source to private and public cloud solutions, The IVX tried different approaches, but they failed to deliver the necessary performance and cost efficiency. Both NetApp and EMC solutions required expensive software licenses and would incur hardware and maintenance costs, while open source software lacked reliability, software manageability and support. Additionally, encryption and data security concerns are still inhibiting the widespread use of the public cloud for surveillance solutions. Promise solution at The IVX After testing and conducting proof of concept, The IVX concluded that Promise Technology’s purpose-built hyperconverged infrastructure – VSkyCube – was the only solution to meet all of their current needs while providing a path for the future. By using the VSky Cube software defined approach, The IVX can deploy and launch surveillance services with just a few clicks VSkyCube pre-integrates computing, storage, and networking into hyperconverged nodes, giving a pre-integrated and adaptable cluster with a unified pool of resources that can be deployed, adapted, scaled, and managed quickly and easily. It is specifically optimised for video surveillance workloads and brings the benefits of the hyper-scale datacentre to the market. By using the VSky Cube software defined approach, The IVX can deploy and launch surveillance services with just a few clicks. They also have the ability to manage, monitor, scale and adjust compute, storage and networking resources all in the same web interface with the centralised management software, VSkyView. As the number of cameras and the amount of video they capture continue to increase, the IVX can dynamically scale out to multiple PB for 24x7x365 intensive workloads without interruption, thanks to Promise’s software-defined cloud storage – VSkyStor. And, most importantly, all sensitive data is protected by RAID and RAIN. High resilience and high availability features prevent drive and server failure, making for uninterrupted video capture and access. Promise solution business benefits With 24/7 support from Promise Technology, The IVX has successfully delivered surveillance services through a virtual private cloud on top of VSkyCube. The IVX can now handle 250 TB of HD surveillance video data, and is enjoying a 20-40% reduction in budget that was previously going to things such as hardware and software licensing and operating costs.VSkyCube is the only enterprise-class surveillance infrastructure that delivers the highest levels of performance, resiliency and data protection, all without the cost, complexity and skills typically required by virtualised environments. Anson Chen, Vice Chairman and Co Founder of The IVX Inc. said: “VSkyCube is an advanced hyperconverged system with all of the enterprise storage features we need. It is a perfect fit for solution providers like us who need a reliable solution that can grow over time, and allow us to maximize budgets. Promise Technology delivered on everything they promised! The close collaboration and timely support from Promise’s global teams help us provide excellent service to our customers.”
Round table discussion
Utilities are an important element of critical infrastructure and, as such, must be protected to ensure that the daily lives of millions of people continue without disruption. Protecting utilities presents a unique range of challenges, whether one considers the electrical grid or telecommunications networks, the local water supply or oil and gas lines. Security technologies contribute to protecting these diverse components, but it’s not an easy job. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting utilities?
The concept of how security systems can contribute to the broader business goals of a company is not new. It seems we have been talking about benefits of security systems beyond “just” security for more than a decade. Given the expanding role of technologies in the market, including video and access control, at what point is the term “security” too restrictive to accurately describe what our industry does? We asked the Expert Panel Roundtable for their responses to this premise: Is the description “security technology” too narrow given the broader application possibilities of today’s systems? Why?
Hospitality businesses work to provide a safe and pleasant customer experience for their guests. Hotels offer a “home away from home” for millions of guests every day around the world. These are businesses of many sizes and types, providing services ranging from luxury accommodations to simple lodging for business travelers to family vacation experiences. Hospitality businesses also include restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues. Security needs are varied and require technologies that span a wide spectrum. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?