London Ambulance Service announced that 529 violent incidents have been reported between April 2020 and January this year. To protect their frontline workers, the Ambulance Service has started to roll out Motorola Solutions VB400 body-worn video solutions to help their frontline workers to deal with assaults and threats. “The health, safety, and wellbeing of our crews are of utmost importance. We want to take every precaution possible to ensure that our frontline people are safe whilst at...
Understanding access control technology has surpassed its core application as a security tool and is helping protect individuals from infection, Anviz has announced the release of a strategic addition to its product line, Go Touchless - FaceDeep 5 and FaceDeep 5 IRT face recognition terminals. Safely Returning to work and school during the post COVID-19 pandemic period leaves people with a key question - With what health and safety precautions? AI-based facial recognition terminal Anviz has i...
In response to gaps in the short-range air defence radar market, Numerica Corporation (Numerica), a globally renowned company in designing and deploying state-of-the-art defence technology, has announced the development of a new USA-made, 3D radar solution for Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) and other short-range defence missions, Spyglass short-range surveillance radar system. Spyglass 3D radar Designed to fill the need for exceptional C-UAS detection and tracking performance, Spygl...
Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) National Training School has launched a valuable new tool to help employers with one of the biggest challenges faced when hiring new security technicians, gauging practical areas of proficiencies. Gauging proficiency areas “Many other professions use skills assessments to verify computer or accounting expertise, for example, so the Electronic Security Association felt with the thousands of test questions we have available from our courses tha...
Synology Inc. has announced two additions to its enterprise-class M.2 NVMe solid-state drive line for SSD caching, and its latest generation 10/25GbE network cards to drive forward storage and networking performance on its storage solutions. New 800 GB models for the SNV3400 M.2 2280 and SNV3500 M.2 22110 NVMe SSD lines are designed to let users with larger data sets cache more data, allowing for higher and more consistent performance improvements over HDD-based arrays. Dual-port 10GbE SFP+ E1...
Anomali, the globally renowned company in intelligence-driven cyber security solutions, has announced that Anomali Match is now integrated with Microsoft Azure Sentinel. By bridging the gap between these two major security solutions, Anomali and Microsoft have created an automated solution that significantly enhances and speeds joint customers’ threat detection, alerting and response capabilities. Azure Sentinel and Anomali Match integration Azure Sentinel is a cloud-native security inf...
Sensor solution provider, HENSOLDT is expanding its capacity to cater for the growth in its business. HENSOLDT is investing approximately 30 million euros at its Ulm site and creating an additional 300 jobs for highly skilled staff throughout the entire group this year, having taken on 250 new recruits in 2020. New radar for Eurofighters This investment is linked to strong order growth relating to the development of new radar for the Eurofighter combat aircraft and other projects. “In its three years of existence, HENSOLDT has strengthened its position in the global sensor solutions market,” affirmed HENSOLDT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Müller. Thomas Müller adds, “We operate in the high-tech sensor technology arena, a growing segment characterised by very long-term planning. Accordingly, our investment in new technologies and development laboratories is an indispensable part of our growth strategy.” AI-based sensors AI-based sensors for a wide range of applications will also be developed at the Ulm site The company is investing in the construction of a radio frequency technology development centre at the Ulm site, among other things. In addition to electronic components for the new Eurofighter radar, AI-based sensors for a wide range of applications will also be developed at the Ulm site. Last year, the German Parliament approved a budget of approximately 1.5 billion euros for the development of new Eurofighter radar by a development consortium led by HENSOLDT. Other business units of the group are also showing strong growth, such as ground and naval radars, electronic warfare and avionics systems, and optronics equipment. FACS and UAV collision warning system For instance, HENSOLDT is working on future-oriented projects, such as the German/French/Spanish Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and a UAV collision warning system. Recently, in 2020, HENSOLDT already hired 250 new employees, expanded its cleanroom production at its Oberkochen site by 300 sq. meters and converted its radar production in Ulm to series production. The new positions cover many different disciplines, in addition to hardware and software engineers, the company is especially interested in recruiting radar system engineers and project managers.
OnSolve, a renowned critical event management provider for enterprises, small-to-medium sized organisations, and government entities, announced significant momentum with a brand relaunch and the roll out of a new platform integration engine, which adds more than 450 out-of-the-box integrations to customers’ existing physical security, business continuity, and IT management ecosystems. In 2020, the company added ~450 new enterprise and government customers, such as Cincinnati Bell and Penske, and grew bookings by 45 percent. With its AI-powered risk intelligence and platform innovation, OnSolve is empowering customers through speed, relevance and usability to deliver true actionable intelligence during a crisis, ultimately keeping people safe and protecting their organisations. Social media platforms OnSolve’s new brand identity symbolises its resolve to enable customers to meet current and future challenges with the expertise and mission-critical technology that saves lives and creates true organisational resiliency. This includes a new logo and visual identity that will be implemented across all OnSolve channels including its website, social media platforms, sales and marketing materials, and customer touchpoints. The need to better manage uncertainty is more critical than ever to saving lives and protecting organisations" “The need to better manage uncertainty is more critical than ever to saving lives and protecting organisations,” said Mark Herrington, CEO, OnSolve. “Our customers turn to OnSolve to help them navigate today’s uncertainty. Our AI-powered platform and relaunched brand underscore our relentless commitment to empowering organisations with technology that delivers insight, resilience and continuity during a crisis – keeping people safe, informed, assured and productive when it matters most.” Risk intelligence and platform innovation “Our partnership with OnSolve is essential to building a more resilient employee community at athenahealth,” said Bridger McGaw, Director, Global Security & Services, athenahealth. “When COVID-19 hit, we felt more prepared than other companies our size because we had a trusted, tested, easy-to-use, cloud-based critical event management platform in place to communicate with our employees ahead of an incident, as well as the ability to gauge the impact of localised COVID-19 outbreaks across our dispersed workforce.” The OnSolve Platform for Critical Event Management (CEM) offers a fully integrated suite of products: OnSolve Risk Intelligence, Critical Communications and Incident Management. At the core of the platform is Risk Intelligence. Its powerful AI engine uses machine learning to ingest thousands of verified data sources, identify the most critical events facing an organisation and deliver these alerts to the right people at the right time - far faster than human analysts. Critical communications innovation OnSolve’s next-generation risk intelligence capabilities, coupled with foundational critical communications innovation and incident management, enables organisations to: Bypass human analysis using an AI engine, so customers or in-house analysts can communicate faster and quickly activate crisis response plans Filter out irrelevant data, so staff can monitor only the critical events that matter most to their people, places and property Target alerts to the right people immediately to enable informed, proactive decisions Identify active incidents at a glance, improving response times and enabling customers to activate their business continuity plans and virtually collaborate in real-time, from any location IT management ecosystems OnSolve experienced a banner year of momentum in 2020, with 45 percent growth in bookings The OnSolve Platform for CEM has also rolled out new integration capabilities through its OnSolve integration engine. The OnSolve integration engine paves the way for customers to seamlessly take advantage of more than 450 out-of-the-box integrations for their existing physical security, business continuity/business resiliency and IT management ecosystems. Through the OnSolve integration engine, customers can instantly orchestrate tasks such as wellness checks and alerts to impacted areas; disable building access; and even trigger appropriate tests based on sensor data such as temperature drops, water levels, electrical current detection or gunshot/monitor detection. OnSolve experienced a banner year of momentum in 2020, with 45 percent growth in bookings. Security audit compliance New customers, renowned recognition and accreditation and strategic leadership changes underscore the company’s success in helping organisations better manage uncertainty and crises: OnSolve was recognised in Gartner’s 2020 Market Guide for Emergency/Mass Notiﬁcation Services Solutions report; and for the third year in a row, the company was awarded two ASTOR awards: Best Mass Notification System and Best Risk and Crisis Management Product. As a testament to its excellence in risk and compliance for federal agencies and the public sector, OnSolve was listed on the FedRAMP marketplace and also achieved HIPAA security audit compliance, enabling the company to sign business associate agreements with healthcare institutions as needed. To support its growth and evolution, OnSolve created new leadership roles and departments in 2020. Ann Pickren assumed the role of Chief Customer Officer to oversee the critical adoption and implementation of the OnSolve Platform by the company’s existing customer base. The company created a new function focused on enhancing alliances, partnerships and channel relationships, led by Vice President of Global Security Solutions Matt Bradley, a 14-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. COVID-19 vaccine deployment Most important, however, is the life-saving role OnSolve solutions continue to play. Its critical communications technology sent billions of notifications, helped to find more than 3,500 missing persons and supported nearly 30,000 customers via capabilities in over 190 countries worldwide. Nearly 200 communities are currently using OnSolve to manage information sharing related to COVID-19 vaccine deployment, with more than 640,000 messages sent to date and growing every day.
BCDVideo, a globally renowned video data infrastructure solutions firm, has debuted its new Hybrid Cloud Connectivity offering, in partnership with premier software developer, Tiger Technology. Known for their work designing secure, high-performing data management solutions for companies across Enterprise IT, Surveillance, Media and Entertainment, and Small Medium Business (SMB)/Small Medium Enterprise (SME) markets, Tiger Technology’s software expertise pairs with BCD’s prowess in security to create this breakthrough programme. Hybrid Cloud Connectivity All BCDVideo and Video Storage Solutions' (VSS) video appliances will include the Harmonize Bridge This joint offering provides security customers with a highway to connect their video management systems (VMS), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), Artificial Intelligence and analytics to the cloud. All BCDVideo and Video Storage Solutions' (VSS) video appliances will include the Harmonize Bridge, powered by Tiger Technology. These cloud-ready appliances will begin rolling out as a standard feature on March 1, 2021. The BCD Harmonize Bridge offering is unique in that the integrator or the end-user can choose the cloud provider of their choice. Partnership with Tiger Technology A partnership with Tiger Technology means BCD customers may seamlessly manage cloud storage and services, all while maintaining legacy applications and workflows. This distinctive offering enables customers to store data on-premises, as well as in private and/or public clouds. Customers can endlessly customise their storage system, prioritising cameras that require hot cloud storage and immediate insights, while also protecting devices that send footage directly to cold storage for long-term storage and analysis. Remote data storage The popularity of local and remote data storage has been on the rise, in both private and public clouds, because of the easy access and clean workflow collaboration it allows between remote facilities with a shared dataset. These hybrid systems allow customers to integrate specialised services, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), video rendering, data archival and long-term retention, without the need for on-premises builds. Hybrid security systems This makes hybrid models the premium option for deployments that intend to expand their systems’ size, which would require large capital expenditures otherwise. Broadly, hybrid cloud infrastructures reduce costs, maximise return on investment (ROI) and offer operational flexibility to any security customer, all while keeping data accessible and secure. Jason Glover, Vice President of Sales at BCDVideo said, “As security software companies continue to expand their product portfolio, the cloud is always a topic of conversation. BCD’s cloud initiative offers a bridge through their Harmonize suite of software products, powered by Tiger Technology’s cloud bridge, to allow VMS companies to bridge archived and recorded data to the cloud offering of their choice, without having to write special integrations.” Cloud storage and infrastructure BCDVideo now offers this technology within its full portfolio of BCDVideo and VSS video appliances BCDVideo now offers this technology within its full portfolio of BCDVideo and VSS video appliances, as a no-charge download on all legacy BCD systems. This means that integrators can continue to provide on-site hardware with the new, added capacity of cloud storage products, in order to give end-users more immediacy and flexibility than ever before. Tiger Technology’s Executive Vice President, Lance Kelson spoke about the strength of the partnership between the two companies, emphasizing the significance of their ability to bring hybrid cloud to any surveillance deployment throughout the world. Cloud-enabled BCD hardware Lance Kelson stated, “We’ve been impressed with the forward-looking cloud strategy from the BCD team. For the first time, the questions and cost concerns of long retention periods, data durability and ease of use can be easily addressed. With cloud-enabled BCD hardware, give us two minutes, and we can connect you to any cloud.” Outfitted with Tiger Technology’s competitive software and BCDVideo’s legacy of robust and reliable hardware, BCD’s Hybrid Cloud Connectivity is built to deliver continuous data protection and dependable storage management. All in all, this partnership guarantees security integrators and end-users a competitive advantage, as well as peace of mind.
Qognify has announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). All of Qognify’s products (Situator, VisionHub, Cayuga, Ocularis and NiceVision) now interface with the OnGuard access control system enabling customers to evaluate situations based on a synopsis of event and video data, allowing a faster and more targeted response to critical incidents. LenelS2 factory certification The newly certified interface allows Qognify software to receive and display events from the OnGuard platform The newly certified interface allows Qognify software to receive and display events from the OnGuard platform, for instance ‘access granted’ or ‘door opened’. In return, live and archive videos from cameras operated with one of Qognify’s Video Management Systems (VMS) or its Enterprise Incident Management System, Situator can be displayed in the OnGuard system. Qognify products and OnGuard access control integration “Qognify has completed required factory testing at LenelS2 to validate the functionality of its interfaces to the OnGuard system. These interfaces provide great options for end users who prefer expanded integrated security solutions,” said John Marchioli, OAAP Product Management, LenelS2, adding "We look forward to Qognify’s continued involvement in the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program." “Being able to offer an interface to the OnGuard access control system is an important step for us, especially because the interface is available across Qognify’s entire product range,” said Chen Porat, Vice President of Research & Development at Qognify. Chen adds, “It reflects our strategy to offer our customers an overall security solution based on their individual needs and is another example of our cross-product initiatives.”
ADT has reached a milestone as its award-winning smart home security platform, ADT Command & Control, surpassed 1 million installations this month. This milestone was achieved less than two years after Command & Control’s nationwide introduction in 2019 as the successor to ADT Pulse, the first widely adopted smart home security system. ADT Command & Control More than 3 million ADT customers now enjoy the convenience and peace of mind provided by an ADT interactive smart home security system. ADT Command integrates security with smart home convenience to create a smarter and safer home or workplace. Whether it is through the ADT Command panel or on the ADT Control mobile app, the Command & Control system integrates with more than 150 devices to help fit every customer’s needs and lifestyle, at home and in the workplace.
PSA Security Network (PSA), the world’s largest security and systems integrator consortium, and USAV, a division of PSA, have announced that general registration has opened for PSA TEC 2021. Discounted early bird pricing is available until March 4, 2021, for all attendees. This year, TEC will be a hybrid event with a small in-person presence for executives of PSA and USAV member and owner companies and a virtual conference open to all levels of systems integrators. “With COVID-19 concerns, we still want to bring people together in a safe manner for top-notch education and networking, while also providing an option for those who cannot travel just yet,” said Candice Aragon, Director of Marketing at PSA Security Network (PSA), adding “We look forward to being able to be together again, though in a limited capacity.” PSA TEC 2021 PSA TEC 2021 will be held from May 3 to May 6, 2021. The live portion will be at the Sheraton Downtown in Denver, Colorado. This is the premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. The in-person education will be focused on executive leadership while the virtual courses will cover a variety of learning tracks including cyber security, managed services, next-generation leadership, management, marketing and sales, operations, procurement and technical. Sessions for systems integration professionals Certifications from renowned industry associations and vendors will be offered virtually The educational content includes sessions for systems integration professionals with a desire to stay relevant and thrive in changing markets through personal and professional development. Certifications from renowned industry associations and vendors will be offered virtually, so technicians can get the training they need without the need to travel. A complete list of the sessions can be found on the official website. “We are excited about both the live and virtual content of TEC 2021, including new NexGen education powered by USAV,” said Anthony Berticelli, Vice President of Operations at PSA Security Network (PSA). Anthony adds, “The virtual sessions will be live-streamed allowing attendees to have high-impact connections with presenters.” Socially distanced trade show PSA will also celebrate its 50th anniversary at the live event, in addition to awarding the prestigious Paul Marcus Award. TEC 2021 will feature major manufacturers and service providers in a socially distanced trade show, as well as offer private meetings for systems integrators and sponsors. A virtual trade show will also be available.
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
The global pandemic has created a working environment filled with uncertainty and, at times, fear, as COVID-19 cases surge yet again and businesses continue to navigate a complex web of infectious disease mitigation protocols and managing the distribution of a potential vaccine. Organisations are operating in an environment where a critical event, posing significant risk to its employees and daily operations, could occur at any moment. Even with a vaccine showing light at the end of a very dark tunnel, the pandemic unfortunately may be far from over, and the communication of accurate public health information to a widely distributed, often remote workforce is vital to keeping employees safe and businesses running. Organisations that plan ahead, invest in an emergency management system and share key updates quickly, reliably and securely, can keep employees safe while ensuring business continuity when it matters most. Taking time to plan and prepare Throughout the pandemic, U.S. offices have gone through alternating stages of reopening and re-closing Throughout the pandemic, U.S. offices have gone through alternating stages of reopening and re-closing. However, whether businesses are operating at a limited or full capacity, medical experts are expecting continuous waves of COVID-19 cases, as community transmission continues to hit record highs. The only way for businesses to keep their employees and customers safe, protect their operations, and retain trust with their key stakeholders during these tumultuous times is to be proactive in nature. Organisations need to put a business resiliency plan in place now that outlines key actions to take if (or when) an issue relating to local spread of the novel coronavirus arises. By having a plan in place and practicing it regularly, organisations can minimise risks and maximise employee safety surrounding critical events, such as suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Context of emergency management Ensuring the safety of employees (and others within the company’s facilities) needs to be the number one priority for organisations; and in any crisis scenario, a prepared and practiced plan maximises a company’s chances of success. In PwC's 2019 Global Crisis Survey, business leaders across a range of industries shared their experiences, expectations, and top strengths and weaknesses in the context of emergency management. By a wide margin (54% vs. 30%), organisations that had a crisis response plan in place fared better post-crisis than those who didn’t. When it comes to ensuring the wellbeing of staff, businesses need to think through a comprehensive, iterative infectious disease mitigation and operational continuity strategy and practice it as often as possible. Investing in proper technology A vital step in adequate critical event management planning is investing in the proper technology infrastructure For today’s modern organisation, a vital step in adequate critical event management planning is investing in the proper technology infrastructure to streamline the communication of vital information. Organisations should explore risk intelligence, critical communication and incident management software to keep their people safe, informed, and connected during critical events - and, thankfully, decision-makers are starting to take note. The Business Continuity Institute 2020 Emergency Communications Report found that 67% of organisations at least use emergency notification and/or crisis management tools. Reliable risk intelligence system Building upon that trend, a reliable risk intelligence system can anticipate and analyse the potential impact of incidents, such as increases in local cases of COVID-19, send vital updates to a distributed workforce of any size on multiple devices regarding infectious disease mitigation protocols and public health directives, and then help incident response teams virtually collaborate while maintaining compliance standards. Automating as much of this process as possible through technology allows human decision makers to efficiently and effectively focus their time, effort and expertise on what matters most in a crisis situation - implementing sound operational continuity strategies and, more importantly, ensuring employees’ safety and well-being are prioritised and appropriately considered when stress rises. Communicating vital updates This is the cultural component of incident management based on emotional intelligence, empathy, effective employee engagement, and authentic listening that makes or breaks an organisation’s response to challenging situations. Employees must be aware at a moment’s notice to stay away from or exit contaminated areas If employees are exposed in the workplace to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, employers must be prepared to quickly update staff on vital next steps, as outlined by the CDC and other public health authorities, and arm key functions - such as security operations, HR, facility management, legal and compliance - with the information they need to mitigate potential spread of the virus, including: Closing/cleaning the office: Employees must be aware at a moment’s notice to stay away from or exit contaminated areas. From there, it is critical that businesses communicate clearly with cleaning staff to follow procedure, use the right disinfecting products and sanitise high-touch surfaces. Alerting key groups that may have been exposed: Employers have a duty to rapidly notify workers of potential exposure to COVID-19. Having the proper communication infrastructure in place can streamline contact-tracing as well as the subsequent testing process, and save vital time. Ensuring work-from-home continuity or diverting workflows to alternative physical environments: Every work environment looks different today. Whether an organisation is managing a distributed workforce, full-capacity essential workers or something in between, there needs be a communication system in place to ensure business continuity. Outlining next steps for reopening: After a potential exposure, employees require the proper reassurance that they will be returning to a safe working environment in an organised, thoughtful manner, which is aligned to public health best practices. Whether it is coordinating a limited capacity return to the office or outlining new infectious disease mitigation protocols - such as steps for receiving a vaccine in the coming months - employees must continue to be updated quickly, comprehensively, and often. Incident management technology There is no doubt that organisations will continue to face a myriad of challenges as they navigate business operations during the pandemic into 2021, as the general public awaits the broad deployment of a vaccine. Public and private sector leaders still have months ahead of them before daily operations even begin to resemble “business as usual.” To best prepare for the next chapter of the global pandemic, organisations should outline a plan tailored to infectious disease mitigation protocols; explore augmenting their crisis management policies with risk intelligence, crisis management and incident management technology; and focus employee communications on containing and rapidly resolving events associated with COVID-19 exposure. Keeping employees safe, informed, and connected during critical events are mandatory considerations for leaders as they analyse existential threats to their business in 2021 and beyond.
Several major players vigorously employ biometric recognition technologies around the globe. Governments use biometrics to control immigration, security, and create national databases of biometric profiles. Being one of the most striking examples, the Indian Aadhaar includes face photos, iris, and fingerprints of about 1.2 billion people. Financial institutions, on their part, make use of biometrics to protect transactions by confirming a client's identity, as well as develop and provide services without clients visiting the office. Besides, biometric technology ensures security and optimises passenger traffic at transport facilities and collects data about customers, and investigates theft and other incidents in retail stores. Widespread use of biometrics Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is an active user of biometric technology Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is another active user of biometric technology. Industries choose biometric systems, as these systems are impossible to trick in terms of security, access control, and data protection. Being in demand in business, these three tasks are also relevant for the industry. However, the use of biometrics at industrial sites is discussed unfairly seldom. Therefore, it is the face identification that is the most convenient there, as workers often use gloves, or their hands may be contaminated, and the palm pattern is distorted by heavy labour. All these features make it difficult to recognise people by fingerprints or veins and significantly reduce identification reliability. Therefore, industries seek facial recognition solutions. Thus, let us demonstrate the application of face recognition technology at different enterprises, regardless of the area. Facial recognition use in incident management Facial biometric products are known to automate and improve the efficiency of security services by enriching any VMS system. These systems provide an opportunity of instantly informing the operator about recognised or unrecognised people, and their list membership, as well as save all the detected images for further security incident investigation. Furthermore, some sophisticated facial biometric systems even provide an opportunity to build a map of the movements of specific people around a site. Besides, it is relevant not only for conducting investigations but also in countering the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Identifying and tracking COVID-19 positive cases Therefore, if an employee or visitor with a positive COVID-19 test enters a facility, the system will help to track his/her movement and identify his/her specific location. It will also help to take the necessary measures for spot sanitary processing. Thus, the introduction of biometric facial recognition at the industrial enterprise can improve and speed up the incidents’ response and investigations without spending hours watching the video archive. Access control system to secure physical assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets, cut personnel costs, and keep employees safe. Facial recognition systems may enrich access control systems of any company by providing more security. As biometric characteristics, by which the system assesses the compliance of a person with the available profiles in the database, cannot be faked or passed. The human factor is also reduced to zero, due to the fact that while identity documents can be changed, the inspector can make a mistake or treat his/her task carelessly, be in collusion with an intruder, the biometric system simply compares a person in front of the camera with the biometric profiles database. Biometric facial identification software For example, RecFaces product Id-Gate, a specialised software product for reliable access control to the site, checks the access rights by using biometric facial identification alone or in conjunction with traditional IDs (electronic passes, access keys, etc.), which means that there is almost a zero probability of passing to the site by someone else's ID. The access control system’s functionality allows one to strictly account the number and time of all the facility’s visitors and also track their movement. When unauthorised access is attempted or a person from the stop list is detected, Id-Gate sends an automatic notification to the access control system and operator. Enhanced data and information security Even despite the division of access to different industrial enterprise areas, the security service needs to provide independent information system security. Employees with the same facility access rights may have different access rights to data. However, in that case, a personal password is not enough, as an employee may forget it, write it down and leave it as a reminder, tell a colleague to do something for him/her during the vacation, or just enter it at another person’s presence. Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure Password-free biometric authentication Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure. Such systems usually provide an option of two-step verification when successful password entry is additionally confirmed by biometric recognition. Hence, it is particularly relevant due to the current lockdown in many countries. To sum up, the application of biometric technologies solves several issues of the industry, such as: Optimises and partially automates the work of the security service, as it provides reliable identification and verification of visitors/employees, reduces the amount of time spent on finding a person on video and making a map of his/her movements, without spending hours on watching video archive in case of investigation. Provides a high level of reliability and protection from unauthorised access to the enterprise and the information system. Provides a two-step verification of the user/visitor (including password and biometric data) and almost eliminates the risk of substitution of user data/ID.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles. Sensitive data leakage Since the lockdown came into effect, organisations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organisations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession. One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever. Good cybersecurity hygiene Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more" With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Work-life balance In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and travelling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working. Video conferencing platforms Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question. The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office. Online training courses Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organisations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Virtual trade show ‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasising both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry. In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself “In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.” Cloud-based platform As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
Many employers faced a need to ramp up hiring of drivers to meet a higher demand for product deliveries and transportation logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the demand for drivers, employers had to make quick hiring decisions while also ensuring products were still being delivered in a timely fashion. Safe work environment Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and contractors. It is therefore important to limit exposing drivers to risk, to put in place proper safety and security protocols, and to clearly outline them in company policies. Whether an employee or contractor, these drivers represent the brand they work for. If they do not adhere to company-mandated safety and security rules, because the business did not make them aware or they intentionally did not comply by acting with malice, this can put the drivers, other employees, customers and the company at risk financially, legally and with regard to their reputation. Adherence to safety protocols Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business" “This need to hire drivers quickly resulted in many businesses lowering their standards and accepting certain risks to meet the increased demand. Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business, potentially leading to harmful events and a damaged brand reputation,” stated Thomas Kopecky, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Ontic Technologies (Ontic), a unified protective intelligence software platform. In the conversation presented below, Kopecky outlines the safety and compliance requirements needed to manage the risks while meeting the demand for drivers. Q: What risks do employers face as they ramp up hiring to meet higher demand for drivers? Thomas Kopecky: There have been instances in which a transportation contractor with multiple violations has simply established the business under a new name but continues to operate dangerously. Hastily hiring such a firm without proper enhanced vetting increases the risk from a safety, as well as a business continuity standpoint. Having to terminate a contract and replace a contractor midway can also have significant financial repercussions. In addition to problems created by executing too quickly, employers are now required both to mitigate their own general liability risks and to manage the perceived risk they may create due to the pandemic. For example, if a delivery driver tests positive for COVID-19, there is the potential they have also exposed customers. Employers must consider contactless delivery or other methods and protocols to mitigate this presumed risk of the pandemic. Q: What are the elements of safety and compliance involved in onboarding new drivers? Thomas Kopecky: When onboarding new drivers, corporations must think about more than clean background checks and adequate infrastructure. Whether employees or contractors, organisations must focus on what other risks the drivers bring with them. As part of this review, an open source scrub should be conducted at the outset to discover the driver’s online activity. Through this exercise, a whole host of questions can be addressed including, for example, whether their morals and values align with those of the company. Are they involved with fringe or radical interest groups? Do their actions conflict with the culture of the organisation, and could they have a negative impact? These are all questions that employers should be considering when hiring new drivers or contracting a new company. Q: What tools are available to help companies vet their driver fleets and how can these tools make a difference? Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags Thomas Kopecky: To vet their driver fleets, corporations can use several tools and resources that will strengthen the organisation’s overall security. Ideally this is a software platform that brings all this information into one place so vetting, real-time data and concerning activities are not siloed but can be connected in order to assess potential risks and threats. Logically, businesses should consider reviewing Department of Transportation Records, which allow organisations to check whether drivers are licenced and appropriately insured. Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags, such as whether an organisation is delinquent or no longer functioning in a given state. Finally, it’s beneficial to review civil records as these can highlight any active or past cases associated with an organisation. This includes fraud, bankruptcy, poor business practices, and more. Q: What should be the standard methodology to investigate and collect data on new driver programs? Thomas Kopecky: Corporate culture and company policies impact the level of vetting required (determined by company policy), which varies from business to business. Quite often, most valuable investigative content is associated with an actual fleet company owner and not a recently created business entity so it behooves corporations to research this information first. Then verify the information provided is correct, and whether any other conflicting information exists. As previously noted, employers should review civil and criminal records at the state level and cases at the federal level, as it is often the fleet company or owner involved in litigation that could reflect negatively on a brand. Media coverage and consumer complaints are another critical source for negative mentions that may not always appear in public records. You should also ask if the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this contract or driver; and if they were once a provider and are now re-applying, is it under a new name? If the answer is yes to either question, it will be necessary to check DOT records for adequate licencing or insurance coverage to ensure providers applying under a new name aren’t trying to circumvent the vetting process. Q: What are the privacy concerns, and how can potential employers ensure they do not violate issues of privacy as they vet drivers (and/or other employees)? Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner Thomas Kopecky: Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Employers often dictate their own guidelines and requirements from company to company. Companies must ensure they follow the law and handle data used for vetting driver fleets in a manner compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When utilising software platforms, those that aggregate public record data in real-time and efficiently to provide actionable insights will be key for protecting corporate driver fleets and businesses overall. Q: How is addressing these issues different in the case of a contracted service versus a company employee? Thomas Kopecky: Addressing these issues will vary from company to company, but it will be important for clients' legal counsel to help interpret the law in the respective state they operate in and make this final determination. This will help shape policy and the employer’s compliance requirements in the area of operation. In some jurisdictions, contractors are vetted and treated like employees who are protected by FCRA. In contrast, there are more broad interpretations of what level of vetting and continuous monitoring can take place on contractors versus employees in other jurisdictions. Q: What is at risk if companies fail to address these issues? Thomas Kopecky: If companies fail to address security issues with managing their driver fleets, they risk major liability, business continuity and brand reputation. Every employee and contractor is in essence an ambassador of the brand, and in many instances, they are the only customer-facing representative for the enterprise. Imagine you are a contractor driving for a major delivery service. If you were to get into an accident and tragically kill someone driving their branded truck, the repercussions of that accident would harm the brand as opposed to the small contracting company by which you are employed. This can have a disastrous impact on the enterprise, both from a reputation and financial standpoint. When proactive steps are not taken to evaluate fleet companies or their owners, this can be viewed as negligence. Consider another example: A brand hires a driver company that has committed fraud while operating under another company’s name. What is the brand’s cost to conduct an initial onboarding assessment of this company versus the cost of investigating an issue, terminating the contract, and dealing with any potential litigation that might follow? The latter is clearly the financial burden. Corporations must proactively address risk associated with their driver fleets to mitigate risk before it occurs. Q: What is the biggest misconception (in the industry and/or the public at large) about employee vetting requirements? Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company Thomas Kopecky: We have passed the days where everything is all about criminal background checks and instant alerts when a driver receives a DUI. We are entering a world where business continuity and resiliency are necessary. Companies are so reliant on contracted services or seasonal employee pools that if that roster of operators were found to be unsuitable, the business itself would not meet the demands of its customers. Before the digital age, people only understood the driver vetting process to be based around a search of felony convictions. Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company from a different vantage point. Employers must begin to think about litigation history, negative media coverage and vocal social platforms, history of poor business practices or fraud, and more. These are factors that need to be considered for a business to mitigate risk and maintain continuity of service in an era where timeliness and instant gratification are highly valued.
Nigel Waterton recently joined cloud video company Arcules to lead the sales and marketing efforts as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He brings to the task the benefit of 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organisations. Waterton joins Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. We caught up with the new CRO to discuss his position and to reflect on how industry changes are impacting integrators and manufacturers. Q: What fresh insights do you bring to Arcules from your previous positions? Waterton: Generally, most manufacturers don’t understand the business model of the integrator. And if they do, their programs don’t necessarily help achieve their goals. Since most manufacturers use integrators to get to the end user, they are often disconnected from truly understanding the customer, their organisation’s business and its impact on the value of the security program. In my previous role, I spent most of my time bridging the gap between these two worlds. It gives me a great platform for understanding how to achieve that with Arcules. Q: How is ‘Chief Revenue Officer’ different from your previous jobs? I have the responsibility of driving innovation for the companyWaterton: While the title is different, the ultimate role I’m in isn’t too different from previous roles that I’ve held in my career. I have the responsibility of driving innovation and strategy for the company, as well as serving as a leader for the sales and marketing team and developing a sales and marketing strategy for the company. This position allows me to build on what I’ve learned throughout my career from an end-user and integrator partner perspective and brings that expertise into the fold of this young, fresh, innovative company that’s paving the way for cloud-based innovation in the marketplace. Q: Is there an industry-wide ‘culture clash’ between the IT-centric nature of cloud systems and the physical security market? How can it be managed? Waterton: Adopters from the IT and physical security worlds are a little at odds over the software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as a result of a disconnect with how the cloud is defined in both spaces. A lot of people and companies are creating their own notion of what cloud and SaaS mean. And without a common nomenclature in place, there is a lot of confusion among all users. Similarly, there is a clash among integrators around how to monetise the SaaS offering. This gap can be closed through increased awareness, education and the reiteration of how ubiquitous the cloud already is in our everyday lives. Q: From the integrator perspective, what is the impact of a transition to a cloud/SaaS model on how revenue is managed in the increasingly service-oriented security market? Waterton: Transitioning to a cloud/SaaS model shifts the mindset of the integrator significantly, as the focus changes from project-centric to more customer service-based impact. Becoming more service-minded creates a greater awareness of what the client’s needs are on a day-to-day basis and how that can be improved over time. When operating with a per-project focus, it can be difficult to create a more long-term impact on an organisation. With a cloud-based, service-oriented model, integrators now have the ability to manage client expectations in real-time, which greatly increases their value proposition. Q: What about from the end user perspective? Waterton: There are so many benefits from the end user perspective, including the ability to remove the process of a large investment in capital expenditures (CapEx) and shift to a more manageable, predictable operational expenditure (OpEx). Not only does this allow organisations to adjust as needs change; it also prevents being locked into a long-term solution that might not be able to move with the speed of the company as it scales. That being said, the main benefit is the ability of SaaS/Cloud services to drive innovation and introduce new features as they’re introduced without additional investment from the end user. Q: What impact does the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model have on the operations/management/cashflow of a supplier/manufacturer company? Waterton: Traditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS modelTraditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS model for many of the same reasons integrators struggle. They must sell the board and possibly their investors on a new valuation model as well as revenue recognition model. That is constraining their innovation in the market. Oddly enough RMR from a manufacturer’s perspective is very similar to the integrator model in that cash flow is more predictable in nature. An RMR model allows a company to grow strategically and innovate constantly, expanding and adjusting to cater to client needs on a daily basis while also providing the ability to look ahead and ensure we’re meeting the needs communicated to us in the market now and into the future. Q: What will be the biggest challenge of your new position at Arcules (and how will you meet the challenge)? Waterton: One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing — and one that will have a significant impact on my role — is the challenge of market adoption of SaaS/cloud services, as well as the awareness about why cloud is a significant part of the future of the industry. There’s also an opportunity to shift the conversation within Arcules from tech-focused outcomes to becoming practitioners of risk-based outcomes. We have to focus on the risk model for organisations, not technology. If we truly understand the risks to the organisation, the tool will become apparent. Answering the questions: Why does a retailer lose product? Why does a facility experience vandalism? We have to understand the sociology of it because that’s how we can address what the service does in the marketplace. Q: Taking the various elements into consideration, what will the ‘physical security industry’ look like five years from now? Waterton: In sum, wildly different. It’s much different than what it was five or even 10 years ago, and with each leap, the industry has moved forward. Products are maturing, bandwidth is improving and the knowledge that we have is exponentially more advanced. There is increasing use of outside perspectives aimed at shaking up the ‘this is how it has always been done’ mentality that many organisations have suffered from. It’s going to look very different five years from now, and cloud-based initiatives will be the key to the success of many organisations.
Domino's Pizza is one of the largest and fastest growing food service company in India with a network of 850+ restaurants in more than 200 cities. The Pizza delivery expert is a renowned provider of the organised pizza market with 70% market share in India. With its most famous half an hour delivery strive, Domino's Pizza marks the importance of communication and time growing towards its vision of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world. Today's retail supply chain executives are moving more products farther and faster than ever before. Communication is a critical parameter when it comes to the Pizza industry as it directly affects, delivery on time, order noting, supply chain relationship and most importantly food management process. In the era of fast life, demanding consumers putting pressure on the supply chain process, Domino's Pizza required all its branches to work in synchronisation managing food delivery on time. Advanced communication system The major challenge was to connect multiple branch offices with headquarters for day-to-day communication. Following it, Domino's Pizza also required 30+ lines as a trunking solution for voice calling at all the branch offices with minimum infrastructure cost. Products And Solutions Offered: Matrix and its channel partner Sun Line Communications Systems worked together and provided an IP enabled PBX solution - ETERNITY GE for all multi-site telephony needs of Domino's Pizza. ETERNITY GE is an advanced communication system offering convenient features and flexible functionalities in line with the changing needs of organisations. The reliable architecture and easy to use platform delivers the unmatched performance to meet the needs of controlling costs and managing operational expenses. ETERNITY GE supports any combination of TDM, IP, GSM PRI trunks and subscribers along with networking of multiple systems across locations. Centralised management of IP-PBX System With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices Peer-to-Peer connectivity over IP between IP-PBX at HO and 15+ ETERNITY GE located in branch offices for seamless connectivity. With installation of 15+ ETERNITY GE at branch offices, Matrix connected all the locations with head office over IP to provide seamless integration all over India for Domino's employees for quick connectivity. With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices. IP telephony feature of ETERNITY GE provides simple 3-digit dialling, call transfer, conference, voice mail access and other call management features for inter-branch communications With the requirement of 30+ trunks at every branch location for voice calling, PRI acts as a perfect network to not only save telephony cost but also saves cabling cost as 30 channels are offered on a single line. Unified communication for workforce With the web based Remote Management feature, all the systems can be centrally managed by the IT administrators from a single location without visiting any branch offices. Innovative SPARS M2S - Mobile Softphone application enables supervisors to carry office extensions wherever they go. They can reach each other by simply dialling an extension number or browsing through the corporate directory. Enhanced collaboration with video calling, instant messaging and presence sharing, voice mail features. Results : Unified Communication for workforce collaboration and better customer responsiveness Low terminating cost of PRI lines as compared to analogue lines for each user Reduced call traffic as high as 40% Future-proof solution with scalability for further expansion plans
Johan Cruijff ArenA will utilise innovative video analytics to improve visitor flow, optimise parking utilisation and offer fans an anonymous way to provide feedback about the stadium experience, among other uses. The Security & Safety Things IoT platform for smart cameras will integrate into the ArenA’s operational software to provide key insights into stadium operations and ongoing health and safety measures, especially useful since the pandemic. The partnership will provide a potential model for other organisations looking to deploy technology solutions to safely reopen. IoT platform for smart cameras Security and Safety Things GmbH and the Johan Cruijff ArenA are partnering up and will deploy S&STs IoT platform for smart surveillance cameras to enhance overall fan experience, optimise ArenA operations and increase visitor security and privacy. The ArenA is home to AFC Ajax and the internationally renowned Amsterdam Innovation ArenA (AIA), a living lab established by the ArenA and the City of Amsterdam to enable development and testing of innovative stadium and smart city solutions. Security & Safety Things IoT platform S&ST IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software The Security & Safety Things (S&ST) IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software to provide information and analysis for safety and security as well optimisation of stadium operations and visitor engagement. “Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. Sander van Stiphout adds, “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimisation tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.” AI-enabled video analytic applications A series of smart cameras on the S&ST IoT platform are installed in key areas throughout the stadium. Using specialised, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real-time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimisation. Queue detection applications Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimise staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow. Smart camera platform We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner" “The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Security & Safety Things GmbH. Hartmut adds, “We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.” Smart surveillance camera system The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyse the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that the American School of Guatemala has selected its Seos credential technology to modernise its physical access system. Enhanced campus security The solution significantly improves campus security and traffic efficiency for students and parents, along with enabling staff to easily issue and manage access credentials. “We’ve significantly improved the management of vehicle traffic by reducing the time it takes for parents to access the parking lot. We’ve been able to improve evacuation and emergency processes for our students and staff,” said a spokesperson for the Security Office, American School of Guatemala. Seos credential technology The spokesperson adds, “And, best of all, we have an automated system to manage the entry and exit times of our employees to know where everyone is located on our large campus.” The American School of Guatemala is a private K-12 college preparatory school in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The school partnered with local security integrator, Grupo RQM and HID Global to replace its legacy system, which consisted of written documentation and fingerprint logs. HID readers installed at access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points and 1,500 Seos smart cards issued to students, parents and staff. In addition to automating and streamlining access to the school’s buildings, the solution has led to a reduction in the average student drop-off time from 40 to 18 minutes. The school also launched a pilot with HID Mobile Access to allow secure access to the school’s parking lot via mobile IDs stored on smartphones. To gain entry, users simply drive up and hold their mobile phone to a reader, an important feature since most students travel in bulletproof armored vehicles that lack the ability to lower windows. Upgraded security and authentication solutions “The American School of Guatemala’s access control system has all the hallmarks of HID’s industry-renowned security and authentication solutions,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. Harm Radstaak adds, “From flexibility and security to ease-of-use, HID’s unique combination of forward-looking technology and intuitive design helps create a robust solution that fortifies the school’s campuses and elevates the user experience.” Due to the successful deployment, school officials plan to replace its traditional key system with Seos smart cards for additional use cases, such as library and student payment services.
AZ Alma was a brand new hospital, created by merging two other hospitals. It needed an access control system that could cope with the demands of high levels of employees and visitors, varying access rights and the flexibility to respond in emergencies. The new hospital also had a vision of being completely keyless. Opportunities offered by AEOS AZ Alma installed Nedap Security Management’s AEOS access control system and implemented several useful features. LEDs on readers, for example, instantly show nurses which rooms they can’t access. AZ Alma installed Nedap Security Management’s AEOS access control system By integrating Mace readers, AZ Alma can give patients a QR code that gives access to parking, doors and elevators, so they can go straight to the right department. And, in line with its keyless vision, even the electrical cabinets have card readers. Key benefits High security & convenience Significant time and money saved by going keyless Option to trigger emergency settings that change access rights immediately Use of QR codes increases convenience for patients Easy to allocate and manage access rights, even for high volumes of people Freedom to integrate a specific choice of readers and other hardware Future-proofed access control that can be easily extended and adapted AEOS access control system AEOS access control system, developed by Nedap Security Management, is a software-based access control system, operated via a web-based dashboard, offering remote log-in from anywhere to control and monitor access. To add more functionality to the system, users can simply select extra options from their access control software. As AEOS is built on open standards, it integrates with a wide range of technologies, including video monitoring and biometric readers. And it has the flexibility to scale easily, so users can build and grow their access control system.
Trinity College Dublin is enhancing safety and support for staff and students by implementing SafeZone technology from CriticalArc. SafeZone technology Through this implementation, the university aims to deliver more rapid response to calls for assistance across all campus facilities, and to better assist students and staff working remotely, including those on placement overseas. When individuals call for assistance, in a wide range of situations, including those working alone out of hours, those with particular vulnerabilities and those with medical emergencies, the technology will enable responders to pin-point their precise location. Access with SafeZone mobile app Students and staff can check-in and use the service with the SafeZone mobile app Students and staff can check-in and use the service with the SafeZone mobile app, which puts them in immediate contact with the university’s support infrastructure. The technology will also make it easy for the responders to optimise response and to provide appropriate intervention in the event of an emergency. “During this challenging time for our students and staff, Trinity College Dublin is doing everything it can to ensure both the physical and mental well-being of everyone in our community. We are delighted to be introducing this advanced technology, as part of our support actions,” stated Trinity’s Head of Safety, Dr. Katharine Murray. Students and staff safety “It’s more important than ever for universities to keep in touch with their students and staff, to fulfill their duty of care and ensure that those who need help of any kind get the quickest possible response,” said Darren Chalmers-Stevens, Managing Director of CriticalArc. Darren adds, “We’re pleased to help Trinity College Dublin with a rapid implementation of SafeZone to help ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.”
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec, Inc. (Genetec), a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions to enhance and upgrade its security system. Genetec Security Center The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec Security Center, a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface, underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract for Changi Airport Group was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process. “Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights that Genetec Security Center is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Commercial Lead Transportation, APAC at Genetec, Inc.
Round table discussion
The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analysed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
Ten years is a long time, but it seems to pass in an instant in the world of security. In terms of technology, 2010 is ages ago. Changes in the market have been transformative during that decade, and we called on our Expert Panel Roundtable to highlight some of those changes. We asked this week’s panelists: What was the biggest change in the security industry in the 2010-2019 decade?
In the digital age, software is a component of almost all systems, including those that drive the physical security market. A trend toward hardware commoditisation is making the role of software even more central to providing value to security solutions. Software developments make more things possible and drive innovation in the market. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How do software improvements drive physical security?
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