IDIS America, the regional headquarters of South Korean security technology innovator, IDIS, announces Emily’s Place, as the first recipient of a comprehensive donation of company’s award-winning technology as part of its ‘Create a Better World’ campaign. The campaign, announced at the 2019 ISC West security show in April, is designed to support and better empower community organisations, the facility’s mission of providing long-term, multi-faceted care and support...
A video analytics system that provides ‘behavioural understanding’ can yield more meaningful and actionable data for a range of applications. In public safety and security, such a system can alert on violent or suspicious behaviours, such as people fighting, vandalism, people with weapons, etc. In advanced traffic surveillance and monitoring, it can provide alerts to vehicle collisions (accidents), traffic hazards or vehicle that aren’t using the road properly, such as a car...
Gunshot detectors use digital microphones installed on (or in) buildings or along streets that listen for evidence of gunshots, provide near instantaneous notification, triangulate the location of shooters and direction of a shot, detect the type of gun and ultimately aid in catching fleeing suspects and solving crimes. Gunshot detection is just one technology playing a role in the larger trend by city agencies to improve core city services. Cities are turning to what are referred to as ‘...
It seems like every day there is another school or public shooting incident in the US. It dominates the news and has become a point of stress and fear for many Americans. According to the US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2018 alone, there were 27 incidents across 16 states resulting in 213 casualties. There is a great deal the security industry can do to prevent such violent incidents and preserve life. Protection layers In general, protection should be built in la...
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the addition of the Twin Cities in Motion (TCM) race management team to the speaker lineup for AcceleRISE – a new conference for tomorrow’s security leaders featuring top-quality idea sharing, coaching, business skills development, networking and inspiration. In a dynamic panel session, TCM will shed light on the changes that took place in the U.S. running community after the Boston Marathon bombings and provide insights on the co...
Secure units for vulnerable children and their families are one of the most complex developments to provide security for, but thanks to its tailored solutions and vast experience, ASSA ABLOY High Security and Safety Group has helped to improve resident safety at numerous facilities. The amount of time young adults are spending in Secure Units is increasing by up to 20%, putting added pressure on these types of facilities. This is also putting strain on the need for security solutions that...
Everbridge, Inc., the global provider of critical event management (CEM) and enterprise safety software applications to help keep people safe and businesses running, announced the acquisition of NC4, a global provider of threat intelligence solutions that empower businesses, government organisations, and communities to assess and disseminate risk data and information to manage and mitigate the impact of critical events. The combination of NC4’s real-time threat intelligence and analyst teams with Everbridge’s existing Global Intelligence Operations Center (GIOC) analysts and market-leading CEM platform creates the industry’s only end-to-end threat assessment and incident communications and management platform for reducing the impact of internal and external threats to people and assets. Together, NC4 and Everbridge are providing the most comprehensive solution for enterprises and government agencies to reduce the ‘time to know’ that a critical event has occurred through to remediation, all from a single pane of glass. Expands the overall situational awareness This acquisition dramatically expands the overall situational awareness Everbridge will provide to organisations"“With NC4, we are adding the industry leader in threat intelligence, making Everbridge one of the largest providers of data for enterprise security and operations in the world,” said David Meredith, CEO of Everbridge. “NC4 offers the most comprehensive threat data in the industry and this acquisition dramatically expands the overall situational awareness Everbridge will provide to organisations, from incident identification to response, mitigation or ultimately, avoidance and prevention.” NC4 combines thousands of the most trustworthy data sources with an experienced team of analysts creating the industry’s leading source of verified data and hyper local threat intelligence. NC4 generates more than 27,000 geo-targeted alerts and nearly 700 incident reports each day for many of the world’s largest businesses, global organisations and government agencies, including over 100 of the FORTUNE 500. AI-enabled incident collection “Verified sources and analysis eliminate the noise and enable us to generate the most impactful information while eliminating false positives,” said Karl Kotalik, President and CEO of NC4. The acquisition includes the NC4 Risk Center solution and NC4’s E Team Emergency Operations Center software “It takes the best of both worlds, machine learning and AI-enabled incident collection and human analysis, to generate the most meaningful intelligence. Everbridge’s market-leading platform, the breadth of its offerings, and the experience of its global team made for a natural fit with NC4. We look forward to aligning with the market leader to jointly provide organisations with unprecedented visibility into the threats and incidents that can impact people and business.” Innovative solutions for critical event management NC4 has offices in El Segundo, California, Merrifield, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. Together, Everbridge and NC4 form a global team of over 950 employees dedicated to delivering innovative, differentiated solutions for critical event management. The acquisition includes the NC4 Risk Center solution and the NC4 brand, as well as NC4’s E Team Emergency Operations Center software solution. The other NC4 products, including Celerium solutions for cyber security and Street Smart for law enforcement, will continue with the current owner. The aggregate consideration paid by Everbridge was approximately $83 million in cash and Everbridge stock. While the largest business component has been closed, additional components are not expected to be closed until the end of the third quarter. The acquisition, upon completion, is expected to be accretive to Everbridge’s non-GAAP financial results within twelve months, and Everbridge will provide further financial details after completion of the entire transaction.
Since the Internet has matured, society has become more interconnected, as have the devices used to enhance everyday lives. This has led to the emergence of the so-called "Internet of Things" (IoT), in which autonomous devices as well as people are now interconnected in and across private, public, and industrial spaces. IoT technologies IoT technologies are invading all application domains including services relevant to emergency situations IoT technologies are invading all application domains including services relevant to emergency situations with a scope wider than IoT connectivity and communication systems. To address this topic, the ETSI Special Committee EMTEL (emergency communications) has just released a report, ETSI TR 103 582, studying use cases and communications involving IoT devices in the provision of emergency situations and providing recommendations on standardisation requirements that could enhance the safety of these communications. The report was prepared by a group of experts possessing a mix of both IoT and emergency communications competencies. ETSI TR 103 582 report ETSI TR 103 582 considers communications involving IoT devices in all types of emergency situations, such as emergency calling, mission critical communications, public warning system communications and adds a new emergency communications domain identified as automated emergency response, where IoT devices can act after receiving a trigger to prevent hazardous situations. A set of eight exemplary use cases illustrate how such communications can be used to provide additional/enhanced information for communicating parties involved in such situations. For example, they cover the case where a smoke detector in a rubbish container sends an emergency message in the event of a fire, sending potentially in parallel a real-time emergency video. Another case could also be that an IoT device turns off immediately a gas tap or slows down a high-speed train when it receives an earthquake public warning (automated response). IoT standardisation ETSI TR 103 582 aids in the potential standardisation requirements enabling a safe operation of these communications ETSI TR 103 582 also helps prepare the potential standardisation requirements enabling a safe operation of these communications. The use cases are analysed from the point of view of potential failures putting safety at risk. Potential means to prevent these points of failure are identified, the impact of these use cases on existing or future standards is assessed and recommendations for requirements against EMTEL existing specifications for each domain are provided. Other IoT standardisation stakeholders also receive suggestions to revise their specifications in order to support the emergency communications requirements. Fail-safe information sharing “The ETSI Report prepares the requirements for communications involving IoT devices in all types of emergency situations”, says Michelle Wetterwald, an expert from the ETSI EMTEL committee. “It also leverages from benefits of IoT with data gathering without human interaction, objectivity of IoT data, fast and fail-safe information sharing, translation of human languages not required, real-time data transmission and operation in dangerous environments.”
Beijing-based Pensees Technology Co Ltd (Pensees), known for its integrated AI-based solutions in computer vision and IoT technologies, formally unveiled the Pensees Singapore Institute, an R&D facility which will oversee the company's applied industrial research and delivery capabilities in Singapore and the region. The Institute was officially launched by Mr. Ma Yuan, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pensees, and Ms. Wang Rong Fang, the counsellor for Science and Technology at the Chinese Embassy in Singapore, who also had the opportunity to tour the facility. AI algorithm researchers Singapore plays an important role in the next wave of AI innovation" Pensees Singapore Institute, which marks Pensees' first foray into the international market, is part of the company's sustained growth strategy and continuous efforts to strengthen research in the fields of AI and deep learning. The facility is headed by Ms. Jane Shen, Group Chief Scientist and Managing Director, and will house up to 70 staff, comprising AI algorithm researchers, system researchers, hardware experts, and engineers. Mr. Ma, said, "Singapore is not only a country that is deeply committed to R&D; it is a thriving digital ecosystem, underpinned by its infrastructure, policy and enablers, making it a hotbed for AI experimentation and innovation. Over the years, we've seen how through a coordinated effort by Singapore's businesses, government agencies and citizens, it has quickly gained global recognition as the No. 1 Smart City. Singapore plays an important role in the next wave of AI innovation, and we are thrilled at the idea of establishing our footing here as we seek opportunities to enhance our offerings and work with AI talent from both academia and industry." Promoting AI innovation Since its inception in 2017, Pensees has successfully developed and deployed a full range of AI products and solutions in domains such as Enterprise Security, Public Security, Smart Community and Smart Factory. Its technology has also found its roots in more than 50 cities, autonomous regions and municipalities across China, serving over 1,000 clients. Pensees and AI Singapore will fund this project on a one-to-one basis Since expanding its footprint in Singapore, Pensees started collaboration with universities and polytechnics here. Pensees Singapore Institute has reached a Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) with NUS for the joint development of the AI-based Camera System. This collaboration has been selected as one of the AI 100E projects under the AI Innovation Programme managed by AI Singapore, an organisation under the National Research Foundation to promote AI innovation. Pensees and AI Singapore will fund this project on a one-to-one basis, and the project will be conducted by the research team led by Professor Feng Jiashi at NUS and Pensees Singapore Institute. Autonomous system technologies Pensees also reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), where both parties agreed to collaborate in the area of autonomous system technologies, autonomous robots as well as AI application development and testing. Aside from having a strong team that focuses on autonomous system technologies and autonomous robots, NYP's School of Engineering also has outstanding R&D facilities and laboratories, while Pensees Singapore Institute's deep capabilities in computer vision and AI algorithms can be applied in autonomous systems for perception. By leveraging each other's strengths, this collaboration seeks to accelerate the development, testing and deployment of autonomous systems. Pensees formally signed the agreements with the NUS and NYP, witnessed by Ms. Wang Rong Fang and distinguished guests from government agencies, universities, and the industry. It also announced the formation of the Pensees Technical Advisory Board, which will support Pensees' technological advancement and research while ensuring that Pensees stays at the forefront of technological leadership.
According to a recent report published by business intelligence provider IHS Markit, Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has become one of the fastest growing providers of access control software in the world. The IHS report showed Genetec rising to the number 3 position in the Americas region (with a 45% growth in business in the region), and to the number 6 position globally in 2018. According to the report Access Control Intelligence Service Annual Update for Global and Regional Databases 2019, “The advanced analytical capabilities of Genetec Security Center software have led Genetec to take market share from competitors, and several traditional access control equipment manufacturers have partnered with Genetec to take advantage of their superior software capabilities. As a result, the Genetec software business grew nearly 45% in the Americas in 2018 to reach a 7.8% market share in the region.” Unified access control platform “Broad adoption of Genetec Synergis demonstrates that our focus on offering a unified enterprise-class access control platform is putting us in a strong, leadership position. Genetec is capturing market share based on innovative technology and this is resulting in strong organic growth of our access control business worldwide,” said Thibaut Louvet, Product Group Director, Access Control. According to IHS Markit (2017 Video Surveillance Market Share Database, 2017 Access Control Intelligence Database, and 2018 ANPR & Detection Sensors Report), Genetec is the only security and public safety solutions developer to hold top-10 global rankings across all physical security industry sectors including video management software (VMS), access control software, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) software.
Punch Technologies, Inc. and Johnson Controls have finalised an agreement to bring an innovative safety communications platform to market. The platform, which can be integrated into businesses’ existing security systems, provides the opportunity to more easily and effectively communicate with employees, emergency responders and other surrounding businesses in the event of an emergency incident. Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson Controls will be the primary distributor of PunchAlert by Punch Technologies, Inc. Delivering safety communications "Our partnership with Johnson Controls is a tremendous step forward and is an opportunity for us to partner with a global leader in safety," said Greg Artzt, Co-founder and CEO of Punch Technologies, Inc. It’s critical for businesses to have the necessary tools to easily and effectively communicate emergency plans" "We will build on this exciting relationship to deliver safety communications for a wide range of public and private enterprises, first responders, campuses, and communities. In today’s always-evolving landscape of emergency events, it’s critical for businesses to have the necessary tools to easily and effectively communicate emergency plans and procedures with employees and building occupants," said Hank Monaco, vice president, marketing, Johnson Controls. Advanced safety wearable “This agreement is a continuation of Johnson Controls’ commitment to public safety by providing enterprises with a mechanism to report and react to emergencies and a means to further bolster security systems and safety procedures.” PunchAlert, launched in 2014, has already gained traction in the United States and Canada with both public and private organisations. The PunchAlert platform is designed to continuously innovate and solve customer pain points based on insights gained from partnerships. Building on its portfolio of offerings, Punch Technologies, Inc. will also launch Rescue, the most advanced safety wearable ever, in the first quarter of 2020.
Redvision, the manufacturer of high-performance, rugged, CCTV cameras and housings, enhances its VMS1000™ open platform control system with a comprehensive range of new features. The VMS1000™ is a video management software and analytics solution, powered by Digifort, which is cost-effective, scalable, intuitive and server-based, with no annual maintenance fees. Standard analytics functionality Over 300 camera brands and 10,000 individual camera models are integrated with the VMS1000™" Stephen Lightfoot, technical director at Redvision, explains, “We have enhanced the capability of our VMS1000™, open-platform control system with a range of new features including object linking, for configuring a logical flow between cameras on screen; field of view direction depiction, for fixed cameras and PTZs on maps; edge playback, direct from supported cameras with SD cards; local MP4 recording options within the surveillance client, not just the server; privacy masking with user rights hierarchy; and multi-level camera grouping.” “Additionally, over 300 camera brands and 10,000 individual camera models are integrated with the VMS1000™. The VMS1000™ enables analytics on presets and has dedicated buttons for the control of lights, wipers, washers and telemetry for our X-SERIES™ rugged PTZs. It also has comprehensive control of the VEGA™ fixed cameras.” The Redvision VMS1000™ standard analytics functionality includes traffic management (speed filter), object tracking, loitering, virtual fences, missing object, abandoned object, face detection, vehicle counting and people counting. Additional, bolt-on modules are available for LPR, Facial Recognition, edge analytics, edge recording and synopsis.
In the next three years, software as a service ‘SaaS’ is likely to grow by around 23%. That’s according to reports by Cognizance. It’s growth rests on the adoption of cloud public, private and hybrid. Without the cloud applications can’t truly pervade an organisation, nor can operational or customer benefits be derived. But there’s no point in adopting the cloud if it’s not secure - the proliferation of SaaS demands security, none more so in a GDPR world. Large cloud environment But modern applications are difficult to secure. SaaS based, web, mobile, or custom made all work on different platforms and frameworks. It’s a headache managing all the APIs needed to automate and sync tools. This introduces risk. The greater the number of apps the broader the attack surface and therefore the greater the chance there will be blind posts. Keeping up to date with updates and new security policies is never easy There are also added hazards. Applications are always changing. Keeping up to date with updates and new security policies is never easy, but especially hard in a large cloud environment. Failure to adopt changes puts the organisation and customers at further risk. But the biggest obstacle is keeping applications and APIs out of harm’s way. It’s a near on impossible task when attack methods and sources are constantly changing. More advanced threats To be specific there are four emerging challenges when it comes to protecting apps. Firstly, managing the good and the bad bots and spotting which is which, secondly securing APIs as IoT adoption intensifies, thirdly the relationship between securing apps and DevOps and ensuring ownership of security, and finally denial of service attacks that use newer tactics such as brute force. Basic security hygiene dictates that security teams refer to the OWASP Top 10. It’s considered the ‘ten commandments’ in security circles, providing a starting point for ensuring the most common threats and vulnerabilities are managed, detected and mitigated. Web Application Firewalls also come into the fray with guidance on testing for the ways hackers exploit vulnerabilities. However, though the basics are good to have in place, there are always more advanced threats to take care of. Bots being a big one. Bot management The more sophisticated bots will go as far as to mimic human behaviourAstonishingly about half of internet traffic is bot generated. Half of it is from bad bots. Discerning the good from the bad isn’t easy though and explains why around 80% of organisations can’t make a clear distinction between the two. Bad bots can do a lot of damage like take over user accounts and payment information, scrape confidential data, or hold up inventory and skew marketing metrics. The more sophisticated bots will go as far as to mimic human behaviour and bypass tools like CAPTCHA and even device fingerprinting based protection ineffective. Securing APIs Then there’s the complications derived from machine-to-machine and internet of things (IoT) communications. The more integrated ‘things’, the more data there is, the more events there are report on, and the more activity there is reliant on APIs to make the ‘things’ useful and agile. That’s what makes them a target and the threats to API vulnerabilities include injections, protocol attacks, parameter manipulations, invalidated redirects and bot attacks. There’s the risk that business will grant access to sensitive data, without inspecting nor protecting APIs to detect cyberattacks. There’s the risk that business will grant access to sensitive data, without inspecting nor protecting APIs to detect cyberattacks Denial of service (DoS) You might think there’s little to add to the swathes of denial of service warnings. Yet when businesses are still being targeted and feeling the ill effects it’s worth mentioning again that different forms of application-layer DoS attacks are still very effective at bringing application services down. Even the greatest application protection is worthless if the service itself can be knocked down This includes HTTP/S floods, low and slow attacks (famous examples being Slowloris, LOIC, Torshammer), dynamic IP attacks, buffer overflow, Brute Force attacks and more. The IoT botnets are the culprits and have made application-layer attacks so popular that they have become the preferred DDoS attack vector. Even the greatest application protection is worthless if the service itself can be knocked down. Continuous security It may seem easy to say but for modern DevOps, agility is valued at the expense of security. We see time and again examples of where development and roll-out methodologies, such as continuous delivery, mean applications are exposed to threats each time they are modified. There’s no doubt it is extremely difficult to maintain a valid security policy and protect sensitive data in dynamic conditions without creating a high number of false positives. But we now find that this task has gone way beyond the capability of humans. Organisations now need machine-learning based solutions that map application resources, analyse possible threats, and create and optimise security policies in real time. Reaching this level in security planning should be a big wake-up call that security automation is an essential not a nice to have. Running security plans The board needs to know that investment is critical to protect their profits It’s critical that the security solution your company adopts protects applications on all platforms, against all attacks, through all the channels and at all times. The board needs to know that investment is critical to protect their profits. As such there are six things they need to know: Application security solutions must encompass web and mobile apps, as well as APIs. Bot management solutions need to overcome the most sophisticated bot attacks. DDoS mitigation must be an essential and integrated part of application security solutions. A future-proof solution must protect containerised applications, severless functions, and integrate with automation, provisioning and orchestration tools. To keep up with continuous application delivery, security protections must adapt in real time. A fully managed service should be considered to remove complexity and minimise resources. No amount of human power will beat the bots. That last point is the most critical. Skill is essential in designing and running security plans and policies that work. But the plans can’t be executed without automated tools. There are just too many decisions to make in a split second. Combining both is the path to an effective app protection strategy and a stronger brand to boot.
Public spaces in cities and suburbs are important places for community development and promoting outdoor recreation. These areas may include main streets, parks, promenades, band shells and fields. Such locations are often utilised by public event planners for community activities, including summer festivals, wintertime ice skating rink installations, music concerts and art fairs. As the year drew to a close, holiday and Christmas markets as well as major New Year’s Eve events, presented cities with constant public event security needs. The public nature of these events increases risks of incidents with high-speed vehicles that put attendees in danger. Fortunately, there are three ways for public space managers to prevent casualty-causing collisions and further promote the use of local public areas. Developing an effective action plan When strategising how to react to an alert, think about what time of the year and time of day the event is occurring It is important to have a plan developed before an incident or accident occurs. Warning systems, utilising doppler radar and digital loop technologies, alert guards to abnormal vehicle velocity changes in the surrounding area. Managers of public areas should organise a meeting with public safety authorities and local agencies to discuss what must immediately occur when a high-speed vehicle is approaching a public event. When strategising how to react to an alert, think about what time of the year and time of day the event is occurring. Having such a reaction plan in place combines technology and strategic planning to ensure everyone is on the same page to effectively target a threat and promote overall event safety. Securing public areas Ideally, there will be no need to implement a well-conceived action plan. After all, taking preventive measures to secure public areas where events take place is important to keep people safe from accidental vehicle collisions and intentional attacks. Protect attendees by clearly separating pedestrian and vehicle locations using security devices such as – Barricades Portable barriers Bollards Install guard booths Avoid the risk of vandalism and theft, making sure people are safe when walking back to the cars at night by keeping parking areas illuminated with flood lights. Install guard booths with employees who monitor activity in the parking area and who are prepared to react if an alert is triggered. Furthermore, prevent accidental collisions by clearly marking the parking area with informative warning signs and using barricades to direct traffic. These three tips can be used by public area managers to promote security at the next community event. Additionally, the technologies used to secure an event can also be used as infrastructure for year-round security. Installing gates that shut when the public space is closed or using aesthetically pleasing bollards are steps any public area manager can take to promote community safety.
The extensive analysis and discussion preceding any decision to implement a new physical security solution – whether it’s hardware, software or a combination of both – often focuses on technology, ROI and effectiveness. When it comes to deciding what type of security entrances to install at your facility, you will almost certainly also consider the aesthetics of the product, along with throughput and, if you’re smart, you’ll also look into service concerns. Each of these factors has its important place within the evaluation process, and none should be overlooked as they all have a significant effect on how well your entrances will perform once they are installed. Culture influences door solution decisions How significant will the change from current entrances to security entrances be for employees? Still, one additional factor actually trumps everything: if you have not considered your organisation’s culture in choosing a security entrance, you may be missing the most important piece of the puzzle. Culture is a part of every other decision factor when selecting an entry solution. Before you make a decision about what type of entrance to deploy, you need to consider and understand the values, environment and personality of your organisation and personnel. For example, how significant will the change from current entrances to security entrances be for employees? If people are accustomed to simply walking through a standard swinging door with no access control, this will be a culture change. Beyond this, whether you are considering a type of turnstile, a security revolving door or possibly a mantrap portal, simply walking through it will be a significant change as well. Training employees on door security You’ll want to know whether employees have ever used security entrances before. If these types of entrances are in place in another part of the facility, or in a facility they’ve worked in at an earlier time, the adjustment will not be as great as if they’ve never used them at all. Consider, too, how your personnel typically react to changes like this in the organisation or at your facility. They may be quite adaptable, in which case there will be less work to do in advance to prepare them. However, the opposite may also be true, which will require you to take meaningful steps in order to achieve buy-in and train employees to properly use the new entrances. With the increased importance of workplace security, discussing new entrances with workforces will help maintain a safer environment Communicate through the decision-making process All of this will need to be communicated to your staff, of course. There are a number of ways to disseminate information without it appearing to come down as a dictate. Your personnel are a community, so news about changes should be shared rather than simply decreed. As part of this process, you’ll need to give some thought to the level of involvement you want for your staff in the decision-making process. Finally, do not overlook the special needs among your personnel population. You undoubtedly have older individuals on staff, as well as disabled persons and others who bring service animals to the office. Entrances need to be accessible to all, and you never want to be in the position of having a gap in accessibility pointed out to you by the individual who has been adversely affected. New security entrance installation By communicating early and often with your personnel, you can alleviate a great deal of the anxiety Once you have made the decision about which security entrances to install, training your personnel on how to use the new security entrances – both before and after the installation – will help to smooth the transition. Because workplace security is such a big issue right now, it makes sense to discuss the new entrances in the context of helping to maintain a safer environment. They will prevent violent individuals from entering, decrease theft, and most of all, promote greater peace of mind during the workday. If you can help them take control of their own safety in a responsible way, you have achieved much more than just a compliant workforce. By communicating early and often with your personnel, you can alleviate a great deal of the anxiety and concern that surrounds a significant change in the work environment. Schedule group meetings Consider your employees; what type of communications do they respond best to? A few suggestions to educate staff on the benefits of the new entrances include: Typically, you would communicate a general message 2-3 months in advance and then provide more specific information (for example, impacts to fire egress, using certain entrances during construction) in a follow up message closer to the installation date. Schedule group meetings to: announce the rationale for increased security, share statistics on crime, review the new security changes that are coming, show drawings/photos of the new doors/turnstiles, and show the orientation videos available from the manufacturer. These meetings are an excellent way to work through user questions and directly address any concerns. Once the installation of a new security system is complete, it is a good idea to have an "ambassador" on board to help employees use these new systems Ensure you monitor public areas If you are implementing a lot of new changes, such as a new access control system, new guard service and security entrances, you might consider hosting a ‘security fair’ on a given day and have the selected vendors come for a day with tabletop displays to meet employees and answer questions during their lunch. This could be a great way to break the ice in a large organisation. Make user orientation videos (provided by the manufacturer) available in several ways, for example: Intranet Site Monitors in public areas—lounges, cafeteria, hallways, etc. Send to all staff as email attachments Immediately after installation, once the doors or turnstiles are operational but before they are put into service, train ‘ambassadors’ on how to use the door/turnstile. Have these people monitor and assist employees during peak traffic times. What is the ultimate success of the installation? By communicating clearly and openly with your population you can greatly facilitate adoption and satisfaction If you have thousands of employees, consider dividing them into groups and introduce the new entrance to one group at a time (Group A on Monday, Group B on Tuesday, etc.) to allow a little extra orientation time. Place user education ‘quick steps’ posters next to the door/turnstiles for a few weeks to help employees remember the basic steps and guidelines, e.g., ‘stand in front of the turnstile, swipe badge, wait for green light, proceed.’ Ask your manufacturer to provide these or artwork. While there are always going to be people who are resistant to change, by communicating clearly and openly with your population you can greatly facilitate adoption and satisfaction. Your responsiveness to any issues and complaints that arise during and after the implementation is equally fundamental to the ultimate success of the installation.
The ban on U.S. government usage of Chinese-made video surveillance products was signed into law last year and was scheduled to take effect a year later – on August 13, 2019. With that deadline looming, there are questions about whether government agencies and departments will comply in time. A year ago, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, a ban on government uses of video surveillance equipment produced by two of the world’s top manufacturers – Hikvision and Dahua. The provision was buried in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019, which the President signed into law on August 13, 2018. The ban, 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. Tracking software to detect banned products Forescout Technologies, San Diego, California, provides software to track various banned devicesThe 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. One problem is identifying where the surveillance equipment is being used, which involves either a tedious manual process to search out the equipment or the installation of tracking software to identify it on the network. A federal Department of Homeland Security program called ‘Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation’ requires use of a detection tool to find any banned products on a network. Forescout Technologies, San Diego, California, provides software to track various banned devices, but not all required agencies have complied with a mandate to secure their networks by tracking every connected device (only 35% had complied as of 2018.) “Without an automated, real-time tool that can detect all of the IT devices – computer or ‘other’ – on your network, there is simply no way to be 100 percent certain that you are compliant with these product bans,” says Katherine Gronberg, Forescout’s Vice President, Government Affairs. Difficult to determine device’s manufacturer Not all equipment is marked to identify its manufacturer; some has been rebrandedAnother problem is the existence of OEM agreements and other supply chain complications that can make it difficult to determine the manufacturer of any given device. A report by Bloomberg says: “A complex web of supply chain logistics and licensing agreements makes it almost impossible to know whether a security camera is actually made in China or contains components that would violate U.S. rules.” Not all equipment is marked to identify its manufacturer; some has been rebranded. “There are all kinds of shadowy licensing agreements that prevent us from knowing the true scope of China’s foothold in this market,” said Peter Kusnic, a technology writer at business research firm The Freedonia Group. “I’m not sure it will even be possible to ever fully identify all of these cameras, let alone remove them. The sheer number is insurmountable.” Companies banned under NDAA The NDAA ban covers “public safety, security of government facilities, physical security surveillance of critical infrastructure, and other national security purposes.” It bans “video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, [and] Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).” Hytera Communications is a Chinese digital mobile radio manufacturer. Huawei Technologies Co. equipment has also been banned, including the HiSilicon chips widely used in video cameras. In addition to banning the Chinese equipment in government installations, the NDAA also includes a ‘blacklist’ provision [paragraph (a)(1)(B)], which could be interpreted to extend the ban to companies that use Chinese-made products in other, non-government applications. Rulemaking on that aspect is still under way, including a public hearing in July.
Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2019 will blow into the Windy City this fall, combining a tradeshow, a full schedule of professional education sessions, plenty of industry networking opportunities, and an annual reunion of the top professionals from around the world tasked with protecting people, property and assets. GSX – the trade show and industry event 'formerly known as' the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits – will be Sept. 8-12 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The show promises to 'elevate the event experience with modern education learning experiences, revitalised networking opportunities, and a reimagined trade show floor.' More than 550 exhibitors will be featured in the expo hall (open Sept. 10-12), according to ASIS International. Chicago is a great location for GSX, as evidenced by the successful 2013 ASIS show. Cutting-edge solutions X1 Stage sessions are designed to highlight cutting-edge solutions and increase contextual understanding GSX seeks to attract more attendees to the exhibition hall with education events positioned alongside the industry’s latest-and-greatest equipment and technology exhibits. On the expo floor, the GSX: Disruption District will include new and enhanced programs such as the X Learning stages, the D3 (drones, droids, defence) Learning Theater, the Pitch Competition and the Innovative Product Awards. X Learning is a series of experiential sessions. X1 Stage sessions are designed to highlight cutting-edge solutions and increase contextual understanding of new technology. GSX: Startup Sector highlights new companies with emerging technologies; and GSX: Pitch Competition brings together entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders to feature early-stage startup pitches. Career HQ will provide free resume reviews, career coaching, professional development and networking opportunities. A Sharpshooter Contest sponsored by Smart Simulators and SB Tactical will allow contestants donating $20 to compete for $500 in prizes each day. Pre-conference certification courses More than 300 security courses, plus pre-conference certification courses, will provide security professionals expertise to enhance their career development. Programming will be led by ASIS and InfraGard subject matter experts. (InfraGard is a non-profit organisation serving as a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.) Seventeen education tracks will serve the needs of security professionals interested in topics from business continuity to crime/loss prevention, law and ethics to national security, information security to physical and operational security. The show also provides opportunities for dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, specifiers, architects and engineers 'Game Changer' sessions will address hot and controversial topics, including 'The Ever-Changing Drone Landscape: What You Need to Know' and 'Accelerating Digital Transformation: Insights and Applications.' Ian Bremmer of Eurasia Group will speak on navigating the geopolitical landscape; Steve Demetriou and Joe Olivarez of Jacobs, a global professional services company, will speak about harnessing technology and big data to make strategic decisions. Providing new opportunities Wednesday morning, General John F. Kelly of the U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), will provide insight into the evolving geopolitical landscape around the world. His keynote presentation on Sept. 11 will kick off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Tarah Wheeler, cyber security researcher, will speak on protecting assets in the age of cybersecurity leaks and scandals. More than 20,000 registered attendees are expected from 110-plus countries across the entire industry Although the attendee emphasis is on security end-users, the show also provides opportunities for dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, specifiers, architects and engineers. More than 20,000 registered attendees are expected from 110-plus countries across the entire industry, according to ASIS International. Networking events will include an ASIS Town Hall Meeting on the afternoon of Sept. 8, aimed at opening communication between ASIS staff and membership. There will be an Opening Night Celebration Sept. 8 centred on the theme 'Chicago on the Silver Screen' at Revel Motor Row, a popular Chicago landmark originally home to the Illinois Auto Club. Emphasis on education On Monday (Sept. 9) a networking luncheon will be followed by the Awards Reception later in the day. A reception in the evening will present the Karen Marquez Honors Award, recognising a female security professional. Tuesday (Sept. 10) will have a Happy Hour at the exhibit hall, followed later by a Women in Security and Young Professionals Happy Hour. Wednesday evening will be the President’s Reception at Wintrust Arena, with a 1980s theme. The annual trade show has declined in recent years, and ASIS International has implemented changes that seek to reinvigorate the show, culminating in the rebranding last year. One challenge is that the show’s emphasis on education keeps attendees engaged for hours of the day, making it harder to meet the expectations of exhibiting companies who want more booth traffic. More attractions on the show floor, including the Tuesday happy hour, are aimed at increasing overall foot traffic in the hall.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding the capabilities of license plate readers and vehicle identification systems. Within a smart/safe city scenario, automatic license plate reader solutions are used to help analyse real-time video streams for site surveillance, inspection and public safety, and to offer actional information through a network of connected camera systems. Outside of law enforcement, this can include other public safety initiatives such as traffic tolls, car counting, and parking security. Vehicle recognition systems Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries Using AI to enable video cameras, Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries. Applications include security and surveillance, public safety, electronic toll collection, brand loyalty, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, and traffic management. AI allows Rekor’s products to recognise and read license plates, while also providing information about each vehicle, including colour, make, year, and model. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software, an AI-based solution that enables any IP (internet protocol) surveillance camera to scan license plates and provide vehicle data including tag number, make, model, and colour in real time with 99% accuracy, according to the company. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software Integrated solutions “Rekor's software started as an open source project, and we have done our best to keep the commercial software as open as possible,” says Rod Hillman, Chief Operating Officer, Rekor Systems. “One of the challenges we see with others in our space is a tendency to ‘close off’ and ‘silo’ their solutions. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible to deploy, integrate, and ultimately use.” Rekor has numerous application programming interfaces (APIs) and ways the solution can be integrated into partners' solutions with a software development kit (SDK). Rekor solutions can be purchased directly or through a worldwide partner network of integrators, wholesalers, and within integrated solutions such as Nokia's smart city platform. Electronic toll collection Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets While many systems are hardware-based, Rekor’s software-as-a-solution offering can turn an IP camera into an automatic license plate reader. Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets, including law enforcement, security and surveillance, electronic toll collection, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, traffic management, and customer experience. “Rekor offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional LPR systems with a much higher accuracy rate at 99% allowing more cameras to be present and active at any given time,” says Hillman. “Traditional LPRs need someone to go through hours of footage to find what they are looking for while Rekor’s technology will send alerts in real time, resulting in much quicker response times.” Move Over Camera mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles to capture ‘Move Over’ violations Two-part authentication Rekor’s products include: NUMERUS, a cloud-based solution for high-volume vehicle recognition, designed to reduce costs and increase efficiencies for the electronic toll collecting industry. Two-part authentication instantly identifies the vehicle’s make, model, colour and body type along with the license plate read. Machine-learning-enabled software recognises license plates from all 50 U.S. states, in addition to plates from more than 70 countries on six continents. Edge, an all-in-one camera and vehicle recognition system that instantly reads vehicle license plates, along with the vehicle’s make, model, colour and body type. Move Over Camera, which mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles (police, tow truck, etc.) to capture ‘Move Over’ violations. ‘Move Over’ laws state that vehicles must move over one lane and/or slow down if they cannot move over to avoid incident while roadside workers are in the shoulder lane. The camera can detect what lane vehicles are in and how fast they are moving. Violators are flagged in the system for law enforcement’s review.
Abu Dhabi is a major cultural and commercial centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), accounting for roughly two-thirds of the UAE’s economy. While oil and natural gas make up a large portion of its GDP, Abu Dhabi has positioned itself as a premiere tourist destination, with major investments in luxury resorts and business hotels. Consequently, public safety is a top priority — and FLIR Systems is playing a critical role in the city’s long-term safe city initiative. Recently, the Abu Dhabi Monitoring and Control Center (ADMCC) was tasked with integrating all public access cameras onto a single platform to provide fully uninterrupted coverage of the city. This is in compliance with the Safe City 2030 vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE. As part of this initiative, ADMCC launched the Falcon Eye project, where surveillance cameras and sensors would be installed across the city to enable real-time situational awareness, threat detection, data collection, data sharing among public safety organisations, and crime prevention. Updating video management system To manage such an extensive system under the Falcon Eye project, ADMCC needed to update its VMS softwareFalcon Eye expands Abu Dhabi’s existing surveillance system to thousands of license plate recognition cameras and surveillance cameras, with cameras equipped with video analytics and/or facial recognition capabilities. To manage such an extensive system under the Falcon Eye project, ADMCC needed to update its video management system (VMS) software. ADMCC sought a VMS that would provide enhanced image quality, as well as increased storage and integrity of streamed video. The VMS also needed to be able to incorporate current, emerging and future technologies, such as Big Data, cyber protection, smart cameras, analytics at the edge, and automated camera management. Additionally, ADMCC required a cost-effective VMS that would seamlessly integrate with the existing physical security management information (PSIM) without compromising any data or operations from subsystems. Reliable software solution for video surveillance Previously, ADMCC had a strong relationship with FLIR, having deployed an older FLIR United VMS version for several years. After careful research and evaluation, ADMCC chose to continue partnering with FLIR as the industry leader in advanced video solutions in the safe city sector. ADMCC selected the most recent FLIR United VMS release as its VMS for the Falcon Eye initiative. FLIR United VMS is a reliable, enterprise-level software solution for video surveillance supporting an unlimited number of cameras over IP networks. Complying with ONVIF Profile S, Latitude ensures greater compatibility between cameras and the VMS Part of FLIR’s award-winning United VMS platform, Latitude features enhanced cyber security protocols. Its distributed server architecture enables unlimited scalability, multi-site deployments and sophisticated network topologies. Latitude’s open platform functionality provides advanced edge device integration, bringing together hundreds of third-party technologies. Complying with ONVIF Profile S, Latitude ensures greater compatibility between cameras and the VMS. Integrating Latitude and PSIM solution ADMCC upgraded to the recent United VMS version in June 2017. With special support from the FLIR team, the integration of Latitude and ADMCC’s in-house PSIM solution was successfully completed without any data loss. Adding value to the integration was the presence of an in-house FLIR engineer, who provided insight and guidance throughout the process. “FLIR is considered one of ADMCC’s trusted vendors, delivering regular upgrades and specialist support to our operations when needed,” said His Excellency Saeed Al-Neyadi, Director General at ADMCC. “The on-site FLIR engineer provided an immeasurable value to ADMCC.” Ensures maximum integrity and reliability One of the defining characteristics of United VMS is its simplicity and easy user interface. United VMS offers simplified access in managing and controlling video operations for the support staff. For all safe city projects, the preservation and availability of data is paramount. United VMS ensures maximum integrity and reliability with exceptional failover, disaster recovery capabilities" “The use of actionable information through data collection is vital in running such a huge scale operation such as Safe City initiatives,” Mr. Khalfan Al Hassani (ICT Director) said. “United VMS ensures maximum integrity and reliability with exceptional failover, disaster recovery capabilities, and 24/7 redundant recording.” Day/night safety of city and residents ADMCC oversees one of the world’s leading safe city solutions that utilises license plate recognition, facial recognition, video analytics and video management from over 45,000 sensors spread across the Emirate. United VMS serves as the central operational platform for all data of this unified platform, providing an efficient combination of video software and server hardware. By utilising the state-of-the-art technologies and subsystems brought together by United VMS, ADMCC ensures the safety of the city and its residents at all hours of the day and night. “United VMS has given ADMCC a reliable, stable, robust and secure platform for the past six years,” said Al Hassani. “It underpins a custom PSIM solution that supports various government agencies in Abu Dhabi helping the city to be ranked the ‘Safest City in the World.’”
Upon hearing Pablo Picasso’s famous praise of art’s ability to clear ‘the dust of everyday life’, one’s thoughts could easily turn to one of Arizona’s newest landmarks, the Mesa Arts Center. Set proudly amidst the dust of the Sonoran Desert, the Mesa Arts Center is a striking complex of buildings, art installations, and public throughways, offering a rich blend of visual impressions in glass, water, stone, and metal, with splashes of vibrant colour and metallic reflection. At more than 21,000 sq. feet, the award-winning $95 million campus is the largest and most comprehensive performing, visual and educational arts complex in Arizona, serving as a gathering point for the citizens of Mesa and region alike, seeking to enjoy the indoor and outdoor spaces, public events, classes, and art exhibitions. Ensuring safe, family friendly environment Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering pointThe presence of an adjacent light rail station and hosting of multiple festivals throughout the year further increase traffic to, from, and through the open planned site at various hours of the day, and on weekends and even holidays. The heart of the Mesa Arts Center complex is a grand promenade that knits together all of its pieces, while providing places for group gatherings, performances, and quiet reflection, comfort and relaxation. Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering point for all walks of life. In addition to welcoming visitors to the Center, the open configuration of the complex invites commuters coming off the nearby light rail line to stroll through on their way to and from the station, and draw loiterers, would-be vandals, and itinerant populations (attracted to the semi-secluded spaces created by outdoor art installations and the complex’s fountains and water elements). Surveillance system for crime prevention Particularly outside of traditional hours of operation, such factors can increase the risk of nuisance crimes, vandalism, and petty theft, and potentially more serious crimes against visitors and staff, without a vigilant and comprehensive security and surveillance operation. Additionally, complex spaces, varied materials, and water elements increase risk for incident and accident without proper prevention and/or prompt response. A technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property While customary approaches to similar venues have typically relied heavily on a combination of CCTV and human security guards, the size and complexity of the Mesa Arts Center campus makes a traditional manned guarding solution, even when supported by a typical surveillance technology, both cost prohibitive and potentially inadequate. Protection of property and campus safety The Mesa Arts Center is an architectural showpiece and regional destination, requiring comprehensive surveillance at all hours, every day of the year, under highly variable conditions. A comprehensive technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property and the safety of everyone on campus. The City of Mesa, who operates the Center, in partnership with Scottsdale’s Surveillance Acquisition Response Center (SARC) and IDIS technology, provided a mix of surveillance cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) able to meet the varied requirements of a campus housing multiple art galleries, studios, performance spaces, walkways and cut-throughs, and outdoor gathering spaces; and support SARC’s innovative approach to virtual guarding, which incorporates military, police, and intelligence best practices and personnel to enhance traditional remote monitoring models and outcomes. Using Direct IP NVRs and cameras SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution SuiteThe City of Mesa’s previous successes implementing SARC and IDIS technology at the Mesa Grande Cultural Park made the integration of technology and monitoring selected for the Mesa Arts Center a natural fit. Featuring multiple IDIS DirectIP [model number] network video recorders (NVRs), and IDIS Direct IP [model number] cameras, with [feature set], at the heart of a comprehensive security posture, SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution Suite, and their unique military, law enforcement, and intelligence-derived protocols and best practices to support on-site personnel and cover the campus comprehensively at night and during other off-hours. Additionally, the IDIS solution also seamlessly integrates with, recording and managing footage from other camera installations, demonstrating the IDIS dedication to eliminating the common frustrations and complexities of security systems. SARC’s virtual guard protection The implementation of SARC’s virtual guard protection and protocols to support on-site personnel, and the highly visible, but seamlessly integrated, presence of IDIS surveillance cameras, as part of a total IDIS solution, have contributed to the Mesa Arts Center’s reputation as one of the region’s most welcoming and inviting community spaces among the area’s art lovers, families, and neighbourhood’s workers (who regularly use the space without fear or discomfort as a gathering place for lunch or pathway to and from the local light rail station). The integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus 24/7, the integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus and those within it, using innovative surveillance application bringing together IDIS’s highest quality remote viewing and VMS offerings and SARC’s remote ‘voice down’ virtual guarding protocol, which informs those under surveillance, in real time, that they are being watched and should leave the property immediately or face consequences. Keeping people and property safe The successful implementation of this solution has placed the City of Mesa and Mesa Arts Center management at the forefront of innovation in keeping the people, places, and property under their protection safe and secure, and marked them as leaders in responsible stewardship of taxpayer, grant, and donor dollars, through the implementation of a system that provides more comprehensive coverage, measurably better outcomes, and enhanced visitor experiences 24/7, year-round for a fraction of the cost of previous manned guarding solutions.
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.”
Columbia Bank, a Northwest community bank headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, sought to upgrade their video surveillance solution to improve image quality and retention time. They also wanted to maximise field of view to deliver a more forceful and expansive – yet, less intrusive – solution. Working with Cook Security Group, Inc., Ross Armstrong, vice president of physical security at Columbia Bank, chose to overhaul video surveillance in their 150-plus branches across the Northwest, many of which included older analogue cameras. They chose to install a mix of Hanwha Techwin models including Wisenet P series PNM-9000VQ multi-sensor / multi-directional outdoor vandal-proof dome cameras with 5 megapixel lens modules and Wisenet X series XND-8020F 5 megapixel indoor flush mount dome cameras. Surveillance cameras managed by Omnicast VMS The project, which started in June of 2018, has already deployed over 1,200 Hanwha Techwin cameras across 80 locationsColumbia Bank is in the process of the multi-phase upgrade that converts their existing branches to Hanwha Techwin video surveillance cameras managed by Genetec’s Security Center Omnicast Video Management System (VMS). The project, which started in June of 2018, has already deployed over 1,200 Hanwha Techwin cameras across 80 locations. They will complete another 60 sites in 2019, and 30 more in 2020. The video cameras serve as part of an overall physical security plan and are positioned to provide expansive coverage of bank interiors including teller lines, exteriors including parking lots and surrounding areas and ATM machines. Cameras bundled with analytics Armstrong said Columbia Bank tested out a of variety of models before deciding on Hanwha Techwin. “I didn't know which camera vendors would give us the biggest bang for the buck,” he said. “But I settled on Hanwha Techwin for a couple of reasons. One, is the price competitiveness and, two, the fact that the cameras come bundled with so many analytics that many companies want to charge extra for those licenses.” One of the analytics features the Columbia Bank security team uses with regularity is the loitering feature, specifically at their ATM machines One of the analytics features the Columbia Bank security team uses with regularity is the loitering feature, specifically at their ATM machines. “If an individual is loitering around one of our ATMs beyond the set time limit, then we have it programmed into Genetec’s Security Center to send an alert." "Omnicast snaps a photo of the loiterer and emails it to everyone designated on our security team. We then can take a quick look at that photo and quickly determine whether or not somebody is utilising the ATM as a customer or if they're doing something they're not supposed to, such as trying to break into the ATM or installing a skimmer.” Health monitoring of the cameras Armstrong said, as he tested cameras from other vendors, he noticed a consistent drop rate which he was concerned would get worse. Even though 98 percent availability seems acceptable, any downtime creates a risk of missing critical events" “Security Center provides health monitoring of the cameras, and what I looked for was if the availability started dropping below 98 percent. Even though 98 percent availability seems acceptable, any downtime creates a risk of missing critical events. One camera model we were testing was experiencing regular outages, where we would lose 30 seconds off and on throughout the day. These short loses added up quickly and we were seeing availability times dropping somewhere around 93 to 94 percent. That wasn't acceptable. “When I reviewed the data on the Hanwha Techwin model, the average availability was consistently above 99 percent, which was so impressive. It might just be a two percent difference, but it's inevitable that the one time you need it is the one time that camera is not working as expected. Columbia Bank was unwilling to accept the risk of utilising equipment that failed to meet our standards, and decided to partner with Hanwha Techwin, who provided a much more reliable end user experience.” Utilising H.265 and WiseStream compression Impact on network infrastructure and bandwidth were also determining factors for Columbia Bank as they chose to upgrade their video surveillance system. Armstrong said he was disappointed to find many camera manufacturers were not quickly integrating usage of H.265 compression technology into their products. He said he is impressed that Hanwha Techwin utilises H.265 in so many of its camera models, as well as the fact that Hanwha has incorporated its own WiseStream technology into its cameras, making them even more efficient. Hanwha Techwin Wisenet P and X series cameras use H.265/H.264/MJPEG with Hanwha’s exclusive WiseStream II compression technology Hanwha Techwin Wisenet P and X series cameras use H.265/H.264/MJPEG with Hanwha’s exclusive WiseStream II compression technology. WiseStream dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement in the image. Combined with H.265 compression, the bandwidth efficiency can be improved by up to 75 percent compared to current H.264 technology. Installing non-intrusive cameras Community banks are charged with keeping employees, customers, and assets safe, but also need to present a warm and inviting environment since they are often a hub of civic activity. In-your-face video surveillance cameras in a bank can be threatening to any would-be criminal, but they are also off-putting to customers that visit banks on a day-to-day basis. This allows us to get higher quality images – and a wider field of view – while not intruding into people’s personal space"When Armstrong and his team were evaluating camera solutions across its branches, they wanted to find a way to let customers know they were providing the latest in video security without the potentially intrusive analogue cameras that often can be found just inches away from customers during transactions at the teller counter. Higher resolution 5 megapixel cameras “It’s a balance – you want customers to feel secure, but you don’t want them to feel like they are in a prison or a fishbowl,” said Armstrong. He said they removed the older analogue cameras on the teller line and replaced them with the higher resolution 5 megapixel Hanwha Techwin models, which were placed off the teller line. “This allows us to get higher quality images – and a wider field of view – while not intruding into people’s personal space,” he said. SPD-150 49 Channel Decoder for connectivity One way to convey that Columbia Bank is all business when it comes to security was with an innovative decoder offered by Hanwha Techwin. Armstrong said they wanted to have video monitors showing surveillance camera feeds in certain higher-risk locations so that customers would know they are being recorded, and that would serve as a deterrent to any would be criminals. However, with the change in hardware, they were unable to connect monitors directly to a DVR. Armstrong said Hanwha’s SPD-150 49 Channel Decoder has allowed them to connect analogue, HDMI, and VGA. Columbia Bank has provided video evidence to help law enforcement investigate a variety of incidents including drive-by shootings, traffic accidents, and arson “Being able to put one Hanwha decoder unit in a branch and run three monitors off of it – as well as the ability to hook monitors up to some cameras directly – has saved us tremendous amounts of money while adding a visual security feature.” Adding cameras outdoor to assist community Columbia Bank has long emphasized that they are a community bank that’s community minded. When Armstrong and his team decided to upgrade their video surveillance solution, they made the decision to add video surveillance cameras to the exterior of all bank locations not only to protect their customers as they come and go, but also to assist the community and law enforcement when incidents occur in areas surrounding their branches. We’re very pleased with the solution from Cook Security Group, Hanwha Techwin, and Genetec" “We look at it as the opportunity to give back to the community and provide assistance in a variety of ways,” said Armstrong. So far, Columbia Bank has provided video evidence to help law enforcement investigate a variety of incidents including drive-by shootings, traffic accidents, and arson. Satisfied with the system’s performance Columbia Bank has been well served by the Hanwha Techwin-Genetec security solution and Armstrong said they are very satisfied with the performance of the system. “Hanwha Techwin has been a phenomenal partner for us,” he said. “And that’s what I look for in a security provider – a long-term partnership. We’re very pleased with the solution from Cook Security Group, Hanwha Techwin, and Genetec and we look forward to completing all phases of the project.”
Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, announces that the New Bedford Housing Authority (‘NBHA’) in Massachusetts, USA has selected Avigilon video security solutions to help improve safety and reduce crime within its community. With close to 1,750 federal public housing units and 748 state aided units, the NBHA services over 6,000 individuals by providing safe, well-maintained and affordable housing units. New Bedford has faced challenges related to crime, which prompted the NBHA to seek out a security system that delivers actionable results to increase public safety throughout its community. Monitor critical areas The NBHA has deployed a complete Avigilon solution to monitor 13 of its properties throughout the city The NBHA has deployed a complete Avigilon solution to monitor 13 of its properties throughout the city. The system includes more than 125 Avigilon cameras and Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology, which is powered by AI to help enable security officers to quickly sort through hours of video with ease to locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across an entire site or multiple sites that are connected to the same Avigilon Control Center™ client software. “Our goal is to provide a safe environment for our residents and deploying an Avigilon system has allowed us to monitor critical areas more efficiently and respond more quickly,” said Steven Beauregard, executive director of NBHA. Video security solutions “So far, the results are tangible as we’ve made great strides in improving the safety and security of our communities.” “The NBHA is taking significant action to proactively address crime and other security concerns to help protect what matters most: its residents,” said Ryan Nolan, senior vice president, Commercial Operations of Avigilon. “By using our AI-powered video security solutions they are able to increase the effectiveness of their security system and provide a new level of public safety.”
There is a saying that ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’, and the Dallas, Texas police department is no exception. The city of Dallas is ranked in the top 10 cities in the U.S. in terms of population, at 1.2 million people. The Dallas Police Department is the ninth largest municipal police force in the U.S., based on 3,012 sworn officers. It is led by Chief of Police, U. Reneé Hall. The department is located in the Jack Evans Police Headquarters building, which was built in 2003. It is 358,000 square feet, has six floors, is spread over a three-acre site, has a separate 1,200 car parking garage and a two-acre, open parking lot for additional visitor parking. Prior to 2003, the department was housed in the circa 1914 former City Hall Building. Preventing terrorist attack and hazards Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant to help design the building to resist terrorist attacksThe Jack Evans Police Headquarters building was under construction when 9/11 terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Buildings in New York. That event was preceded by the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing in April 1995. Therefore, security was a concern in its design. Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant – McClaren, Wilson, and Lawrie Architects of Phoenix – to help design the building to resist a terrorist attack and isolate potential hazards. The building also needed to control visitor traffic and access. On an average month, there are 5,000 public visitors to the Jack Evans building. In addition, shots fired at police buildings nationally are not uncommon, says Paul M. Schuster, Senior Corporal/Facilities Management for the Dallas Police Department. Ready to anticipate dangerous crimes “For the most part they are random, single shot drive-by shootings. Often, the officers are unaware that the building has been shot at, until they find a bullet hole in the brick or glass. Increasingly, police tend to be a symbol of government and some citizens see that as a visible target to lash out at. Police officers are trained to expect the routine types of calls, such as domestic violence, traffic accidents, and other crimes. Yet they must be flexible to anticipate the non-routine that can be dangerous and change in a heartbeat.” On June 13, 2015, after midnight, a 35-year-old male placed a duffle bag with a remote-controlled bomb to detonate later between cars in the parking lot of the headquarters building. The suspect then began shooting continuously at the lobby windows. Officers responded to the scene, a vehicle chase began, and the incident ended outside the city. Luckily officers in the lobby took cover and were not injured. Conducting building security assessment The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weaponsFollowing that incident, the Dallas Police Department conducted a security assessment of the building and also at seven patrol stations throughout the city. The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weapons. Gensler Architects and Guidepost Solutions, LLC developed the solutions and plans. “Yesterday we were concerned about handguns, today we are worried about rifles, and the idea of terrorism is always present with outright attack or bombs,” Schuster notes. “The police officers and police staff only want a place that is safe and where they can do their good work.” Funding of $1.3 million was approved to upgrade the lobbies of the seven patrol stations to withstand rifle rounds, and $1.9 million to improve headquarters lobby security, and to upgrade an aging security system. Turner Construction Company and Convergint Technologies, LLC conducted the renovations and security technology integration. Challenges in upgrading lobby security Visitors were allowed free entry into the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to other floorsThe headquarters’ lobby was initially designed as a two-storey glass-walled structure, with an information desk and public records service windows. Visitors were allowed free entry into the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to other floors. “The challenge in upgrading lobby security was the two-storey lobby entrance glass. The glass was not bullet rated, due to budget constraints. Changing the front of the building to support ballistic rifle-rated glass would have caused extensive time, exposed the inside of the lobby to weather, and would not have solved all of the security issues,” Schuster says. “In addition, there were concerns about keeping an ‘open’ and friendly service concept in mind and ensuring that the lobby would not resemble a ‘fortress’,” Schuster notes. Bullet-rated glass and bullet resistant wall The solution was to keep the existing exterior unchanged and focus on adding a layer of security once a person enters the lobby. Visitors now enter the headquarters and immediately proceed to a side room where security screening is conducted. Once inside the screening room, the visitor has belongings x-rayed, and they walk through a metal detector A new secondary wall with bullet-rated glass and solid bullet resistant wall materials was constructed inside the lobby to channel visitors to the room. Once inside the screening room, which also has bullet resistant walls, the visitor has belongings x-rayed, and they walk through a metal detector. In the event that anyone was to produce a gun and begin shooting, the incident could be contained inside that room. Tourlock 180+90 security revolving door Once a visitor has been cleared, they proceed into the main lobby via a Boon Edam Tourlock 180+90 security revolving door. This automatic, four-wing door is the most advanced, security revolving door in the Boon Edam product range that offers maximum throughput, allowing users to enter and leave the building simultaneously. In the event that a large number of persons try to force their way into the facility, the Tourlock 180+90 will determine that more than one person is trying to enter and will reject the person and lock out any others from entering. Once a visitor is ready to leave the lobby and exit the building, they pass through another Boon Edam Tourlock 180+90 that leads to a vestibule with exterior swinging doors. In the event that someone tries to go back into the lobby from the front vestibule area, without going through the security screening room, the Tourlock security revolving door will reject their entry. Preventing tailgating and piggybacking The Boon Edam security revolving doors accurately prevent both tailgating and piggybackingThe Jack Evans Headquarters security upgrades for the lobby improved security and still kept the best aspects of the lobby design, including the antique police car, and the overhead police helicopter. The Boon Edam security revolving doors accurately prevent both tailgating and piggybacking, and provide the department with maximum security while controlling traffic flow. “While it would be great to have a building totally open to the public and then add security as needed, such is not the world we live in anymore,” Schuster adds. Future security plans include exterior site security upgrades to the patrol stations and the headquarters to include security fencing with card access controls for fleet and employee vehicles at each of the sites.
Round table discussion
Artificial intelligence is on the verge of changing the face of multiple industries – from healthcare to entertainment to finance, from data security to manufacturing to the cars we drive (or that will drive themselves!) In the physical security market, AI has garnered a lot of attention as a buzzword and as a harbinger of things to come. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What security markets are most likely to embrace artificial intelligence (AI)?
Statistically speaking, incidents of terrorism are unlikely to impact most businesses and institutions. However, the mere possibility of worst-case-scenario attacks is enough to keep security professionals awake at night. Compounding the collective anxiety is the minute-by-minute media coverage when an attack does occur. The immediacy of the shared experience of global tragedy impacts us all – including security system decision-makers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market?
Social media is part of our everyday lives, and increasingly it is also part of the security marketplace. Social media can be used for effective marketing and to communicate with customers, and it can be leveraged as a tool to make us all more secure. Communicating information in a crisis is another role social media can play to promote security. To elaborate on social media’s increasingly vital presence in the security marketplace, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What role can social media play in security?