ESA is proud to recognise the distinguished group of companies supporting the industry in 2018 through its Executive Strategic Partners program. Executive Strategic Partners program This program allows us to partner with key manufacturers and service providers that are looking to make a significant impact on the industry" “This program allows us to partner with key manufacturers and service providers that are looking to make a significant impact on the industry,” says Merlin Guilbe...
Morse Watchmans, the provider of key and asset management, announces the latest addition to their executive management team - Tim Purpura, security industry veteran and Chairman of Mission 500, will be joining as International Sales Manager. Extensive experience “Morse Watchmans’ international sales have shown strong potential in recent years,” said Joe Granitto, COO, Morse Watchmans. “Tim’s extensive experience in the industry will help him strengthen our interna...
Everbridge, Inc., global supplier in critical event management and enterprise safety software applications to help keep people safe and businesses running, has announced that it has achieved a FedRAMP Agency Authorisation for its Everbridge Suite solution. FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorisation Management Program) is a government-wide program that provides a standardised approach to security assessment, authorisation and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Federal Risk and A...
There’s no denying that cyber-crime is one of the biggest threats facing any organisation with the devastating results they can cause painfully explicit. Highly publicised cases stretching from the US government to digital giant Facebook has made tackling cyber security a necessity for all major organisations. The consequences of breaches have just become more severe, with new GDPR rules meaning any security breach, and resultant data loss, could cost your organisation a fine of up to four...
The rise to prominence of smart cities should not go unnoticed. To the untrained eye, you might not realise just how connected your city is and how it’s helping your everyday life. From crossing the road to monitoring water levels, technology is allowing cities to think quicker and act smarter. Data-driven decisions A recent whitepaper by ABI Research has revealed that the total global cost-saving potential offered by smart cities stands at more than $5 trillion. This shows how technolog...
Tavcom Training, operator of the Register for Certified Technical Security Professionals (CTSP), is pleased to announce that Frank Smith and Nick Grewcock from the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) are among the first auditors to be admitted. The CTSP Register was extended to include auditors and consultants fulfilling technical roles in the electronic security and fire systems sectors in June 2018. Frank Smith commented: “I’m delighted to have been recognised as...
Hytera Communications Corp. Ltd., Hytera America, Inc., and Hytera Communications America (West), Inc. (collectively, "Hytera") has filed a petition at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting review of a Final Initial Determination issued on July 3, 2018 by ITC Administrative Law (ALJ) Judge MaryJoan McNamara that features in Hytera's Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products sold in the US infringe patents of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI). Hytera files petition at US ITC Hytera's position remains that its products sold in the US do not infringe MSI's patents, and that the initial determination is incorrect. MSI originally asserted seven patents in its complaint but later withdrew three. ALJ McNamara ruled that a limited number of claims in the four remaining patents at issue are infringed, but also determined that MSI did not satisfy the technical industry prong of the domestic industry requirement as to another of its patents and did not find Hytera to have violated the statute with respect to that patent. During proceedings in this case, before the period for factual discovery ended, Hytera had produced for the ALJ's consideration documents and source code related to several new designs. In addition to asking the ITC to reverse the ALJ's initial determination, Hytera has also petitioned the Commission to affirm that these latest products are not infringing. Hytera is confident that our designs for our next-generation DMR product portfolio do not infringe any of the asserted patents of MSI" Digital Mobile Radio products "Hytera is confident that our designs for our next-generation DMR product portfolio do not infringe any of the asserted patents of MSI," said Tom Wineland, Vice President of Hytera Communications America (West), Inc. "MSI did not oppose our new designs based on six of the asserted patents." In June of 2018, Hytera announced a new range of features for its digital mobile radio (DMR) portfolio, including its mobile radios, portable radios, and repeaters. These new features include extending full-duplex calling into repeater-mode operation (RMO) and direct-mode operation (DMO), enlarging full-duplex coverage beyond trunking mode without requiring extra hardware. Hytera also extended its over-the-air programming capability to conventional repeater operation, allowing individual radios to be reprogrammed remotely. Furthermore, optimised push-to-talk (PTT) functionality allows users to talk instantly after PTT even before a call is established. Hytera portable radios and repeaters Hytera's new features for digital mobile and portable radios and repeaters promote higher productivity" "Hytera's new features for digital mobile and portable radios and repeaters promote higher productivity, help improve the safety of users, and offer a better user experience," added Hytera's Wineland. "They boost Hytera’s leading position in providing innovative, versatile, high-quality DMR solutions that also present a compelling value to our dealers and customers." Hytera's petition before the ITC remains confidential by terms established by the Commission, which typically completes reviews within 120 days. Since the Commission has not issued its final decision, there is presently no constraint on the import or sale of any of Hytera’s products. Hytera also learned in May of 2018 that the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board has accepted three Hytera petitions to invalidate MSI's patents based on prior art. "Hytera looks forward to the disposition of this case at the ITC and to resolving the series of nuisance litigations our competitor has filed against us," adds Wineland. "Hytera is focused on innovation and prefers to compete fairly in the marketplace rather than in the courtroom. Hytera is confident that our products do not infringe."
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology overview and early adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations at critical infrastructure sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation and advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New market opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-sensor thermal solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia, the marketplace for the Asian gaming and entertainment industry, officially came to a conclusion at The Venetian Macao. The Expo’s 12th edition was its largest to date, boasting a 33,000 square meters of show floor and a globally renowned showcase of more than 220 exhibitors with cutting-edge products, services and technologies. It additionally hosted 16,358 local and international trade visitors, at an annual increase of 17.2 percent. Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China, notes, “We’re proud to have concluded our largest, most exciting and successful expo to date! G2E Asia truly gets bigger and better each year. We never rest on our laurels and always recognize the need for growth and improvement. Our dedicated teams, both on and off the show floor, work hard throughout the year to ensure the event’s continued growth. Of course, G2E Asia also depends on the collaboration of our partners and participants. Our loyal exhibitors and thousands of visitors complete the show’s formula for success. We’d like to thank them for their contributions and their dedication to the industry, and to G2E Asia! Here’s to even more success in 2019!” G2E Asia 2018 event highlights included: New Product Hot Hits presented real-time rankings of the most popular products and services showcased by G2E Asia exhibitors New Product Hot Hits Returning as the most popular digital item at G2E Asia 2018, New Product Hot Hits presented real-time rankings of the most popular products and services showcased by G2E Asia exhibitors. This year’s grand champion and winning product was WeChat mini games, presented by Rolling Bet Technology Company Limited. Macau SAR Legislators Tour As Macao’s meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry increasingly elevates its status in the international arena, G2E Asia’s enriched and diversified non-gaming content continues to provide a vital platform for the region’s ongoing development. The aim of the inaugural Macau SAR Legislators Tour was to further enhance understanding of the long-term goal to develop and expand Macao SAR into a global tourism and leisure hub. This year, several members of the Legislative Council of Macao took part at the invitation of the Macau Convention & Exhibition Association and Reed Exhibitions. Cotai Trek, exclusively reserved for G2E Asia Privileges members, included a customised tour to three integrated resorts located along Macau’s Cotai Strip G2E Asia Cotai Trek The half-day G2E Asia 2018 Cotai Trek, exclusively reserved for G2E Asia Privileges members, included a customised tour to three integrated resorts located along Macau’s famed Cotai Strip, including MGM COTAI, Galaxy Macau and Wynn Palace. The “Trek” comprised a guided VIP tour of gaming and non-gaming amenities, together with each property’s unique highlights including a peek at MGM Cotai’s permanent art collection of Macau and Eight Views of Macau Series; the Galaxy Macau’s Fortune Diamond and Wave Pool; and Wynn Palace’s Penthouse Gaming Salon and eclectic Fontana Buffet. “I was thoroughly impressed by the tour. Our guides, all members of top management, took the time out of their busy schedules to show us their amazing properties. With such a diverse selection of gaming and non-gaming options, all three were a truly defined the modern integrated resort." Mr. Anton Ivanov, general manager of Grand Hotel Varna JSC. “The trek gave us a unique and first-hand glimpse of both the front and back of the house. It was fascinating to see how these massive properties worked ‘behind the scenes’. Their design and features were so innovative and remarkable. Just when you thought they had thought of everything, these resorts are proof that creativity and innovation are alive and well in the industry!” Ms Michelle Elliott, senior cash operations and collections executive of Les Ambassadeurs Club UK Ltd. G2E Asia 2019 returns to The Venetian Macao from May 21-23, 2019. Its expanded exhibition space aims to deliver a larger and more comprehensive event.
The concept of door locks means something totally different in our current age of smarter buildings that house data-driven businesses. Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control. Locks can also increasingly be a part of a smart building’s flow of data. The opportunities of these new technologies and approaches are significant, but there are also pitfalls. I heard an interesting discussion about these topics presented by several business leaders from lock company Allegion at a press event at ISC West earlier this year. Here are some highlights from that discussion. Q: What new developments in emerging technologies do you see in the coming years? There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems" Mark Jenner, Market Development Director: Connected locks, other types of sensors and all the data being aggregated inside buildings provide opportunity for data analytics. The buzzwords around technologies can cause confusion for integrators and end users, such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning, and what’s the difference among all of them? My opinion is that they are important, but the big theme across them all is opportunities for new business models for the integrator, and opportunities to solve problems for end users. And it’s not just technology for technology’s sake. There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems. Devin Love, Market Development Manager: You can’t just have a solution looking for a problem. You see a lot of people who understand technology in their own lives, and they want to translate that into their businesses. That’s where I think it’s exciting. You now have all this technology, and people understand it to the extent that it improves their daily life. They go through their day with less friction, with more ease, and technology fades to the background. There are two levels of value. One is the longer, bigger, broader scope of what the technology can bring to a company using it, but on an immediate basis, there is the value of tracking how a business is running. These sensors are collecting data. For example, if you are a multi-tenant property, you can look at how amenities are being used. What do my residents really care about? That informs future decisions. Robert Gaulden, Project Based Business Leader, Electronic Access Control: I have been studying the multi-family space for the last couple of months. The customer experience is really driving a lot of that technology adoption. What you’re seeing today, whether it’s a mobile device or some other device, is the ability to move throughout the property, and gain access to the perimeter and to your tenant space. All of this adoption is around that experience. There’s multiple players coming into the space, from Amazon wanting to deliver packages into the tenant space to residents who don’t want the inconvenience of using a key. Technology adoption to solve problems, and also to drive experiences, is where a lot of the balance will play out. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently" Brad Aikin, Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel: From an integrator perspective, there are two things. One is how they can approach end users, and the scope of what integrators consult with them about is wider. I think we as an industry are getting beyond those high-traffic, high-security applications. Those are still critical, but the value we bring around security and convenience is opening a new incremental opportunity. Also, the experience of the integrator and how they conduct their business is important, from generating quotes to communications to proactive servicing. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently. Gaulden: We as an industry, and we as manufacturers, need to understand what data we are generating so we can run our businesses more efficiently from every aspect, whether you’re the property manager, the building owner, the integrator, or whether you’re the manufacturer. These devices and technology are being pushed out everywhere and will generate the data. How we learn from that – especially when you apply security to it to be more proactive – provides huge opportunities. Jenner: What data is important and what’s not? Folks get overwhelmed with too much data at some point. What’s important for an application at the end user level? What do they really need to solve the problem? Love: Privacy gets involved as well, especially with consumer products. The attitude is “stay out of my private business.” But if you’re an employee now, all bets are off. Now you have a professional relationship with the people you work with, so there is a different lens that you look through when tracking data. You use the data to everyone’s benefit, and it’s a different paradigm than in your private life. Aikin: Also, where does that data create a better experience for the person? That’s what drives the money and value: What level of information sharing makes my experience better? The technology is also getting smarter in terms of “how do we sort through the valuable information?” Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control Q: As facilities connect more devices and sensors, the cybersecurity threats increase. We have already seen Internet of Things (IoT) devices being used as the attack point of cyber breaches. What are the vulnerabilities that make those attacks possible, and how can integrators protect their customers? Love: Certainly, this is an extremely – maybe the most important – piece of our industry. What is the point of everything we do if we can’t instill that trust? But what we need to solve here also comes with opportunity. There’s certainly hope. You’re not seeing a frontal attack on the technology. It’s usually some loophole, or some older device that hasn’t been updated, or wasn’t installed correctly, or it was social-engineered. The opportunity is, not that it can’t be solved, but that it absolutely needs to be solved – and it can. Gaulden: Integrators need the ability to understand that cyber layer and what it means. Nowadays, everything runs on the network, and you won’t even get past the IT department to get on the network if you don’t have the right staff, the right credentials. From an integrator standpoint, you need the ability to add to your staff, to understand everything from the product level to the firmware and the software level, all the way to the deployment of the holistic system. You can’t just say, “That’s not part of our responsibility.” All these devices are now riding on the network. They can be protected from a cyber perspective, or you will have vulnerabilities. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate the conversation, that it is one ecosystem" Aikin: Everything is a communication device. With the concern and need comes an opportunity for the integrator. But it’s also in making sure integrators are having that conversation with end users and setting the expectations up front. What I’m providing you on day one is the best in the industry at this time, but tomorrow it may not be. My accountability and service are to maintain that environment and keep it running. I may not physically change the device you see, but the service I’m bringing to you is that security, and that comprehensive dialogue. The IT stakeholders already have that expectation, but there is a chasm in some organisations between the physical security and the IT stakeholders, and the integrator is facilitating that conversation. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate that conversation. It is one ecosystem. Q: Aside from cybersecurity, what are some of the other threats that integrators should be aware of as they work with customers to implement the new trends and technologies we have mentioned? Aikin: It is diversifying, all the options and the capabilities. With that comes confusion and misapplication. If I look at the trends around just wireless; I go back 10 years ago, there were even questions of whether wireless was a secure technology. That has progressed and continues to be part of the cyber conversation, just like any hardwired product. It’s something you have to maintain and be aware of. Wireless has really diversified. There is still a need for education within the channel, and most importantly, to the end user. There are still end users that assume a WiFi widget is the same thing as a Bluetooth widget is the same thing as a low-frequency widget. But they are all different. There are reasons there are different technologies. Nothing stifles the adoption of technology more than misapplication. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow a mix of technology" Gaulden: Integrators understand the differences in how various doors are used and how those applications will work. In the K-12 school environment, you want the ability for an instant lockdown, and a WiFi deployment probably isn’t your best option. You need a real-time deployment. However, my office door at headquarters doesn’t necessarily need real-time communication. I can pull audits off it once or twice a day. You have to mix and match technologies. For a high security door, you would proactively monitor it. But for a door where convenience is the goal, we can put electronic security on it but we don’t need to know what’s going on at any moment in time. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow that mix of technology. Jenner: End users want the latest technology, but it may not be for their applications. Those things drive more costs into it, when end users need to be putting money into cybersecurity and some other things. That’s part of the misapplication. Another risk is interoperability. That’s a big piece of the technology and as things change. How do we do a better job of supporting open architecture? It may not be a standards-based protocol, although we use a lot of standards, but we just need to make sure whatever protocols we use are open and easily accessible so we can continue to work with them in the future. We know that when our devices go in, they will support other parts of the ecosystem from an interoperability perspective. That’s important for integrators to know: How is this going to be applied and integrate with something in three, four or five years from now? It’s an expensive investment, and I want to make sure it will work in the future. Main photo: Business leaders from Allegion discussed new trends in electronic and wireless locks at a recent press event: (L-R) Robert Gaulden, Devin Love, Brad Aikin and Mark Jenner.
Audio is often overlooked in the security and video surveillance industry. There are some intercom installations where audio plays a key role, but it’s not typically thought about when it comes to security and event management. Audio takes a back seat in many security systems because audio captured from a surveillance camera can have a different impact on the privacy of those being monitored. Audio surveillance is therefore subject to strict laws that vary from state to state. Many states require a clearly posted sign indicating audio recording is taking place in an area before a person enters. Analytic information derived from audio can be a useful tool and when implemented correctly, removes any concerns over privacy or legal compliance. Audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Focused responses to events Audio analytics processed in the camera, has been a niche and specialised area for many installers and end users. This could be due to state laws governing audio recording, however, audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Processing audio analytics in-camera provides excellent privacy since audio data is analysed internally with a set of algorithms that only compare and assess the audio content. Processing audio analytics on the edge also reduces latency compared with any system that needs to send the raw audio to an on-premises or cloud server for analysis. Audio analytics can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritise responses from police and emergency personnel. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialised features, and for audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison Microphones and algorithms Many IP-based cameras have small microphones embedded in the housing while some have a jack for connecting external microphones to the camera. Microphones on indoor cameras work well since the housing allows for a small hole to permit sound waves to reach the microphone. Outdoor cameras that are IP66 certified against water and dust ingress will typically have less sensitivity since the microphone is not exposed. In cases like these, an outdoor microphone, strategically placed, can significantly improve outdoor analytic accuracy. There are several companies that make excellent directional microphones for outdoor use, some of which can also combat wind noise. Any high-quality external microphone should easily outperform a camera’s internal microphone in terms of analytic accuracy, so it is worth considering in areas where audio information gathering is deemed most important. In-built audio-video analytics Surveillance cameras with a dedicated SoC (System on Chip) have become available in recent years with in-built video and audio analytics that can detect and classify audio events and send alerts to staff and emergency for sounds such as gunshots, screams, glass breaks and explosions. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialised features. For audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison. The camera extracts the characteristics of the audio source collected using the camera's internal or externally connected microphone and calculates its likelihood based on the pre-defined database. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS Configuring a camera for audio analytics Audio detectionThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup Noise reductionA simple threshold level may not be adequate enough to reduce false alarms depending on the environment where a camera or microphone is installed. Noise reduction is a feature on cameras that can reduce background noise greater than 55dB-65dB for increased detection accuracy. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup. With noise reduction enabled, the system analyses the attenuated audio source. As such, the audio source classification performance may be hindered or generate errors, so it is important to use noise reduction technology sparingly. Audio source classificationIt’s important to supply the analytic algorithm with a good audio level and a high signal-to-noise ratio to reduce the chance of generating false alarms under normal circumstances. Installers should experiment with ideal placement for both video as well as audio. While a ceiling corner might seem an ideal location for a camera, it might also cause background audio noise to be artificially amplified. Many cameras provide a graph which visualises audio source levels to allow for the intuitive checking of noise cancellation and detection levels. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly Messages and eventsIt’s important to choose a VMS that has correctly integrated the camera’s API (application programming interface) in order to receive comprehensive audio analytic events that include the classification ID (explosion, glass break, gunshot, scream). A standard VMS that only supports generic alarms, may not be able to resolve all of the information. More advanced VMS solutions can identify different messages from the camera. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
Twitter has around 350 million active users a month, all eagerly posting 280-character “tweets” about the world around them. It’s a vast amount of data from all over the globe. Security professionals have begun to appreciate the value of mining all that data for insights to help them protect people, assets and operations. One company leveraging the Twitterverse to provide real-time situational awareness to corporate security end users is Dataminr.Dataminr assembles this information flow into a useful timeline that summarises the ongoing sequence of events Algorithms for actionable security signals The New York-based technology company has developed algorithms that comb through the full Twitter dataset to provide actionable signals to security professionals around the world about security-related events as they unfold. For corporate security, early information about an unfolding event enables them to take action faster in order to secure their people, locations and business operations. “OMG! Just heard a loud bang on the quad,” a tweet might declare. Combined with location information gleaned from a mobile phone, such a tweet could be the first indicator of an unfolding security incident. As an event unfolds, hundreds of such tweets are likely to be posted from the surrounding areas, collectively offering a running narrative of developing events. Dataminr assembles this information flow into a useful timeline that summarises the ongoing sequence of events. Many times, tweets are the first information available from an incident even before the arrival of first responders.Dataminr’s information is provided in a variety of platforms, from a web-based dashboard to a mobile app or notification via email “Early notification allows security professionals to be more proactive,” says Dillon Twombly, SVP, Corporate Sales at Dataminr. “We have a broad range of users across Fortune 1000 companies, and also including country security managers, security operations centers, and executive protection. "In retail, we provide information for security operations or loss prevention. Events sometimes have a potential to spin out of control, and we allow security professionals to react faster and get ahead of an event proactively.” Various security platforms Dataminr’s information is provided in a variety of platforms, from a web-based dashboard to a mobile app or notification via email. The system can be integrated with a company’s workflow, and the software interfaces with various security platforms, such as physical security information management (PSIM) systems. Another corporate use for Dataminr is in public relations, where social media could be a source of misinformation or rumors about an issue or event Dataminr addresses all regulatory and legal concerns, and it is GDPR-compliant. However, privacy is generally not a big concern because Twitter data is posted publicly, and Dataminr gleans information related to a specific event, not a specific Twitter user’s individual data. “Over the past couple of years, we have grown the security vertical,” says Twombly. “The market is receptive to the value of social media as a tool for users tasked with responding in a comprehensive way to a range of issues.”The company’s services are useful across the full range of vertical markets in the security industry Public safety and security In addition to security and public safety applications, Dataminr also provides services to financial companies and even media outlets. In fact, the 9-year-old company started in finance, where stock or currency traders were able to leverage breaking news notifications to make decisions faster. In the media vertical, Dataminr provides information to 500 newsrooms globally. Public safety and security uses have evolved, and Twombly currently spearheads the company’s work in corporate security, calling on his experience in the security world. Another corporate use for Dataminr is in public relations, where social media could be a source of misinformation or rumors about an issue or event.Customers can customise the kind of information they want to receive, and Dataminr algorithms use the full publicly available data set of Twitter Tracking Twitter posts enables a company to get ahead of an evolving story and help to shape the narrative. Twombly says Dataminr has “deep and broad relationships” with corporate customers and delivers information that can possibly be used by multiple departments in an organisation. The company’s services are useful across the full range of vertical markets in the security industry, from transportation to major industrials to financial services to energy. In the education vertical, major universities are customers, as are local school districts. Customers can customise the kind of information they want to receive, and Dataminr algorithms use the full publicly available data set of Twitter. Twombly says the company’s software is constantly evolving and being fine-tuned in response to changing needs. Dataminr is a “strategic partner” of the social media giant and works closely with them on product development, he adds.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has expressed strong support for MI HB 5828 and HB5830, two bills designed to improve school security across the state of Michigan. Michigan Legislation In a letter to Michigan House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Chairwoman Laura Cox and Vice-Chair Rob VerHeulen, SIA CEO Don Erickson praised the bills’ creation of a comprehensive school plan and fund to enable local districts to procure security solutions to protect students from malicious perpetrators and update building code requirements to include security measures. “Sadly, our nation’s schools have increasingly become a soft target for mass violence – at Sandy Hook Elementary, recently at Stoneman Douglas High School and in many other attacks,” said Erickson. “We support holistic approaches to improving school safety and security in response to these tragedies – recognising there is no single action that can be taken that will, by itself, make our schools safe.” SIA is a co-founder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts Improving school security SIA represents about 900 security and life safety solutions providers – companies that develop, manufacture and integrate technologies that help keep people and property safe from hazards. These industry leaders strive to introduce robust security solutions integrated into our nation’s K–12 public schools, private academic institutions, colleges and universities. In addition to serving member organisations working to improve security in schools and other environments, SIA is a co-founder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts that developed threat- and income-based guidelines for schools housing grades K–12 to implement appropriate, layered security measures. These guidelines are available to help guide school investments. Additionally, PASS provides integrators with risk assessments and white papers that can be used when working with schools to evaluate and establish the best security protections for their buildings. SIA believes state assistance like that in the Michigan legislation is a start to addressing key security gaps in schools and is especially critical to high-risk school districts or those with limited budgets.
A new Concierge and Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solution from Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM) is protecting two tower blocks in Haringey, enabling authorised council employees to control door access and manage fire and security systems from anywhere within the council’s estate. Newbury House, Finsbury House, John Keats House and Thomas Hardy House in Wood Green, London, already feature four of ISM’s state-of-the-art Ultimate door entry systems as well as another two, third-party technology systems (Elizabeth Blackwell and George Lansbury) from Entrotec, utilising its Apex Dual path speech technology. Thanks to the Genesys PSIM from ISM, multiple technologies can be controlled, regardless of the manufacturer, providing enhanced security to residents in 510 flats across the six towers. This delivers greater flexibility and control, eliminates the potential disruption caused by installing new equipment, and protects the council’s legacy investment. It also means that further buildings with existing ISM or Entrotec systems can be added as required with only minimal additional investment. Integrated security system Genesys allows the integration not just of door entry systems, but also multiple systems from multiple manufacturers – all from one holistic integrated security system. Every electronic security or fire safety device from CCTV and intruder alarms to electronic locking and public address can be monitored and controlled from a single platform. Most importantly, it features Migrating 3+ technology, a patented automatic failover technology that adds higher levels of automatic configurable redundancy and power. Control is effectively distributed across multiple workstations. "To improve our efficiency and give faster responsesto our residents we neededto provide conciergeservices to all our estates" Len Fevrier at Homes for Haringey has been impressed with the system and how it has performed so far: “We have used the ISM Ultimate door entry products and its Genesys 2 control room software platform extensively in the Borough over many years and have enjoyed excellent product reliability and technical support. To improve our efficiency and give faster responses to our residents we needed to provide concierge services to all our estates,” he says. “The development of the Entrotec integration into the Genesys platform, allowed Haringey to combine technology, including CCTV and fire, without going to the expense of replacing legacy door entry equipment unnecessarily. This delivers a much-needed saving during these challenging economic times for local councils, and we plan to roll this system out across the rest of the Broadwater Farm Estate and potentially other sites in the borough.” Intuitive software Managing Director of ISM, Stephen Smith, says this project is a perfect example of the flexibility of Genesys and its door entry system range: “Genesys is a ‘true’ PSIM system built around intuitive software that combines a range of industry leading features and benefits including an enhanced graphical user experience and 3-D modeling and a comprehensive event management database. Events and alarms from any integrated security application are presented to the operator clearly as and when they happen.” The PSIM software operates as a standalone platform over LAN or WAN networks for remote and local sites with workstations that can be transferred to any operating security control room on the network. This offers the end user flexibility when closing down sites or buildings for off-peak or out of normal working hours or in the unlikely event of any system failures. Ultimate is a fully addressable digital telephone entry system that is robust in design and easy to install. Unlike other door entry systems on the market it has multi speech paths that allow numerous conversations to be had at one time Such was the complexity of the project, that from initial design of the system to completing the installation took around two years to complete. Fire alarms, access control and CCTV can all now be controlled from one computer from any of the Council’s network.
The town of Morbegno in the Italian Alps near the Swiss border will be relying on the competence of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Italy to boost energy efficiency in its public buildings and other facilities within the scope of a long-term project financing contract. 2017 Safe Parks Project Among other things, it includes installing LED technology in all public lighting and in the interior lighting systems of municipal buildings, upgrading the municipal heating systems while continuing to maintain the existing district heating network, bringing the fire protection systems and warning signs in all municipal buildings into line with current standards, installing new public lighting systems within the scope of the “Progetto Parchi Sicuri 2017” (2017 Safe Parks Project) and carrying out both routine and any required special maintenance of the upgraded systems. The contract also calls for modernising panelboards and replacing over 15,000 meters of power lines, installing a solar power system and an air-water heat pump, and implementing a number of “smart city” functions such as a 24/7 call center, remote control and management of systems, and new photovoltaic systems on municipal facilities with total capacity of 45 kWp. Improved energy efficiency Under the terms of the contract, Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Italy will plan and implement all of the measures and ensure that everything works properly over the next 20 years. “The contract with Bosch will give our town technologically advanced, high-quality equipment and systems,” says engineer Giorgio Ciapponi, who is responsible for the project on the Morbegno town council. “We’re also confident that we will save money in the long term by having Bosch maintain and operate our systems.” Carlo Papi, Commercial Director of the Public Administration Division of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Italy, explains: “Working with a certified energy service company (ESCo) like us is a way for small communities like Morbegno to significantly improve their energy efficiency. The available public funding often isn’t enough. We’re going to invest 2.63 million euros in this project.”
Following the recent attack in Parsons Green, the joint terror analysis centre increased the terrorism threat level to the UK from severe to critical. As a result, the government carried out additional counter-terrorism operations around the country to help protect people in public places. Securitas took the decision to proactively support the emergency services and military operations by asking their Protective Services Officers to provide additional patrols at transport hubs across the UK. Additional security patrols Over the weekend – 16-17 September 2017 – their teams completed an additional 223 patrols, in addition to their normal security duties, providing visible, uniformed reassurance and completing security patrols in crowded places. They co-ordinated these activities though their Securitas UK Operations Centre (SOC) and from the moment they made the decision, their mobile teams immediately provided on-the-ground support. Vigilance against security threats Securitas pride themselves on providing total security – protecting people and property. In a world of ever-present security threats, we all have an increasingly important role in keeping each other safe, too. The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK has dropped from critical to severe, however they encourage everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the Anti-Terrorism Hotline or emergency services.
Digital Barriers plc is pleased to announce that its ThruVis thermal screening camera technology was deployed by G4S to enhance security at the Manchester “One Love” Concert at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester on the 4th June, 2017 and throughout the week of the British Summer Time event at Hyde Park, London 3-9th July 2017. Manchester “One Love” Concert Digital Barriers and G4S offered their services to the organisers of the One Love concert, responding to the need for additional security assurance. The event’s security infrastructure, including ThruVis, protected an audience of 50,000 visitors, as well as staff and artists including Liam Gallagher, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Robbie Williams. British Summer Time Event At the British Summer Time event in Hyde Park, ThruVis was deployed for the whole week both at VIP entrances and also at public gates, screening at rates of up to 1,000 people per hour. A total of 50,000 people were screened by ThruVis through the week at an event headlined by artists such as Kings of Leon, The Killers and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Additional security assurance G4S chose to use ThruVis as it provides a unique new security capability. Firstly, it offers additional security assurance by seeing non-metallic threats like explosives and ceramic knives, as well as guns, at distances in excess of 5m. Secondly, as a thermal camera, it is completely safe and respectful of personal privacy. Finally, by reducing queuing times and minimising the need to divest clothing, ThruVis dramatically improves the visitor “experience”, as shown by the 98% satisfaction rating from visitors screened at Hyde Park. Enhanced security at minimal inconvenience G4S Director of Events Eric Alexander, said, “We used Digital Barriers' ThruVis passive screening solution, to support our security arrangements at the event. We recognise that new security innovations play an important role in strengthening our capability and increase the public's confidence in the measures we use to keep them safe.” Colin Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Digital Barriers, said, “The public expects enhanced security around high profile public events and would prefer this to be provided with minimal further inconvenience. We are confident ThruVis is the only security technology available today that meets this need and we are delighted to be working with G4S to make this important new capability widely available.”
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.