Nedap Security Management’s standards of excellence achieved another stamp of approval last month with ISO 27001 certification. This assures that all its products and services, including the AEOS access control system, are fully compliant with the highest international standards for information security. Fokko van der Zee, Managing Director of Nedap Security Management says: “This is the formal confirmation of our ambition to excel at everything we do. A crucial aspect of that, part...
With the coming of a New Year, we know these things to be certain: death, taxes, and… security breaches. No doubt, some of you are making personal resolutions to improve your physical and financial health. But what about your organisation’s web and mobile application security? Any set of New Year’s resolutions is incomplete without plans for protecting some of the most important customer touch points you have — web and mobile apps. Every year, data breaches grow in scop...
Following the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), many renovations of existing buildings are to be expected in the coming years. These renovations must lead to buildings that are more energy efficient than they are today. This will require the installation of Building Automation systems for commercial buildings above 290 kW installed power. Although each country needs to develop its own renovation plan to tackle the expected renovations, one thing is certain that with automatio...
MedixSafe, a pioneer in the access control cabinet market, is pleased to introduce its new GS1 Gun Safe. Initially custom-built to accommodate a request from a police department looking to secure firearms, the GS1 electronically controlled cabinet is an access control solution that law enforcement, airport security staff and private gun owners alike can count on to restrict access to their firearms. Easy to manage from any computer, the MedixSafe GS1 is equipped with a stand-alone networkable T...
Edward Snowden’s name entered the cultural lexicon in 2013, after he leaked thousands of classified National Security Agency documents to journalists. He’s been variously called a traitor, a patriot, a revolutionary, a dissident and a whistleblower, but however you personally feel about him, there’s one way to categorise him that no one can dispute: He’s a thief. There’s no doubt about it: Snowden’s information didn’t belong to him, and the scary truth...
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has appointed Susan Carioti, the vice president of certification, standards and guidelines at ASIS International, to a three-year term as a director-at-large on the ANSI board of directors. Standards and conformance-based solutions As a director-at-large, Carioti will work with members of the board to determine and approve the policies and direction of ANSI’s strategic vision, and in close collaboration with stakeholders from industry and...
Security expert Abloy UK is highlighting the importance of access control systems that offer dynamic lockdown, following recent reports that retail stores are being advised by counter-terror police launching the Protect and Prepare campaign, to develop emergency contingency plans recommending a 'sixty second' security checklist to avoid panic during reports of terror attacks. High street shops throughout the country hit their busiest period during Christmas. With large numbers of people around, counter-terror police are providing stores with a security checklist that can be implemented in sixty seconds to prevent widespread panic in terror or emergency situations. Threat awareness and preparedness To improve reaction times and ensure evacuations can take place as smoothly as possible, staff should know who is in charge of emergency plans, when it is appropriate to evacuate a store, when to order a lockdown, and the best places to hide in the event of an attack. An effective way for retailers to be prepared for such a threat is with Dynamic Lockdown An effective way for retailers to be prepared for such a threat is with Dynamic Lockdown, which is the ability to provide for basic life safety in the event of such eventualities as a terror attack or other unforeseen threats. It offers the capability to compartmentalise buildings and sites by controlling the flow of people by preventing access to unauthorised intruders, providing real physical security from the secure side of the door, while also allowing exit and escape where required. This can have vital importance in protecting members of the public by preventing access for threats to enter a building but at the same time allowing them to leave the building if necessary. Dynamic Lockdown applications With this in mind, Abloy UK has developed solutions that can provide for Dynamic Lockdown for a wide range of applications. For the retail sector specifically, Abloy systems are available to secure doors between public and non-public areas and exits from main staff areas. Products include Abloy’s range of compliant electric locks and the Escape Door System (EDS). Abloy continuously promotes the importance of emergency escape systems with free training on standards" Electric locks - such as the Abloy EL560 solenoid lock and EL520 motorised lock - work by controlling either the latch or the handle, or by motorising the bolt back once a proximity card is presented or a request to exit device is used. This ensures that only authorised personnel are able to gain access to the building, and the system will prevent any unauthorised persons from entering. Fail-unlocked locking element What’s more, the EDS offers blocking with a fail-unlocked locking element that does not require any mechanical input to operate, and intelligent control that allows connection to fire alarm systems or other building control systems to ensure escape in an emergency. The Trigger unit incorporates a key-switch and a push button that tells the controller to release the locking mechanism to allow safe escape. Pat Jefferies, Commercial Director at Abloy UK, commented, “This is a superb initiative by counter-terror police as it will make retailers more proactive and able to respond faster to potentially life-threatening events. Egress from a building can be a matter of life and death, so here at Abloy we continuously promote the importance of emergency escape systems with free training on standards and compliance via our Academy.”
Aqua Security announced that its Aqua Container Security Platform (CSP) has been certified by CIS Benchmarks to compare the configuration status of Kubernetes clusters against the consensus-based best practice standards contained in the CIS Kubernetes Benchmark. Organisations that leverage Aqua CSP can now ensure that the configurations of their critical assets align with the CIS Benchmarks consensus-based practice standards. “We are thrilled to have our platform certified by the CIS for the Kubernetes Benchmark,” said Amir Jerbi, CTO and co-founder at Aqua. “This certification is a testament to the rigorous security testing performed by our platform, and our commitment to providing enterprise customers with solutions that enable them to meet CIS best practice standards and maximise the security posture of their Kubernetes clusters.” Aqua Container Security Platform (CSP) Aqua’s platform is used by more than 100 of Global 1000 companies, securing their container-based and cloud native applications, on-prem and in the cloud, supporting both Linux and Windows runtime environments, across Kubnernetes as well as other orchestrators. The Aqua platform drives DevSecOps automation and provides visibility and runtime protection for cloud native workloads, including both host-level and network-level controls. The CIS Benchmarks program is a trusted, independent authority that facilitates the collaboration of public and private industry experts This certification is issued by CIS (Center for Internet Security, Inc.) and reflects proven guidelines that are continuously refined and verified by a volunteer, global community of experienced IT professionals. “Cybersecurity challenges are mounting daily, which makes the need for standard configurations imperative. By certifying its product with CIS, Aqua Security has demonstrated its commitment to actively solve the foundational problem of ensuring standard configurations are used throughout a given enterprise,” said Curtis Dukes, CIS Executive Vice President of Security Best Practices & Automation Group. CIS Certified Security Software Products In order for a product to receive the CIS Benchmarks Certification, a vendor must adapt its product to accurately report to the security recommendations in the associated CIS Benchmarks profile. CIS Certified Security Software Products demonstrate a strong commitment by the vendors to provide their customers with the ability to ensure their assets are secured according to consensus-based best practice standards. The CIS Benchmarks program is a trusted, independent authority that facilitates the collaboration of public and private industry experts to achieve consensus on practical and actionable solutions. CIS Benchmarks are recommended as industry-accepted system hardening standards and are used by organisations in meeting compliance requirements for Federal Information Security Management Act, PCI, Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act and other security requirements.
DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) has released a new Best Practice Guide for the locks and building hardware industry covering the British Standard for Mechanically Operated Push-Button Locksets (BS 8607:2014 + A1:2016). The Standard sets out the requirements and test methods for durability, strength and also functionality. Classification of the Mechanically Operated Push-Button locksets is in five grades. Products tested to BS 8607 incorporate specific performance grades from BS EN 12209 for mechanically operated locks, latches and locking plates, and also requirements of BS EN 1906, BS 3621, PAS 24 and for the overriding cylinder, where applicable, BS EN 1303. A BSI Kitemark certification scheme is available for products achieving grade 5. Testing lever/knobs and keypads The objective of this British Standard is to provide a classification for Mechanically Operated Push-button Locksets"The British Standard includes requirements for locksets intended for use on fire-resisting and smoke control doors but does not specify requirements for locksets intended for use on final exit doors on escape routes, which are covered in BS EN 179:2008. The standard also will test the performance of the lever/knobs as well as the durability of keypads. “The objective of this British Standard is to provide a classification for Mechanically Operated Push-button Locksets,” explains DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry. “These products are generally used as a means of convenience, but they are now also used on fire doors and perimeter doors and the standard is available to give specifiers guidance on the performance of these types of products. Guidance on safety, compliance and standards “Locksets should not only have acceptable documentary evidence to demonstrate that they are fit-for-purpose on any smoke and/or fire-resisting doors for which they are intended but must be correctly installed. This is essential in ensuring that they are able to operate efficiently within the performance levels described in the Standard. By the appropriate use of the correct product we hope communities and properties will be protected from crime" “We have simplified this standard for our members, with the Best Practice Guide providing practical help for all those involved with Mechanically Operated Push-button Locksets and offering clear guidance on safety, compliance and the standards that they should be adhering to. This is at the very heart of the support we continue to offer to our members.” Protecting communities from crime The Code has also received support from the industry. Michael Brooke, Senior Technical Officer at Secured by Design said: "Secured by Design is pleased to support the introduction of this Code of Practice. We see it as a valuable tool to guide users and specifiers in an area that can be confusing to many. By the appropriate use of the correct product we hope communities and properties will be protected from crime." DHF’s latest Best Practice Guide is just one in a series of guides addressing the major issues that should be considered when specifying, ordering or using the products it describes. Its objective is to provide its members with a concise and comprehensive document which includes a summary of relevant sections from the new European product standards.
Security-Net, Inc., a global provider of security system services, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, a testament to the strength of the organisation that today brings together the best independent security systems integrators to collaborate on enterprise-level projects, technology acumen and business practices. Security systems integrators group Since its founding in 1993, Security-Net has been recognised as the top group of security systems integrators within the industry Since its founding in 1993, Security-Net has been recognised as the top group of security systems integrators within the industry. Its members are regularly included in the SDM 100 Top Systems Integrators list, an annual listing of the top security systems integrators in North America, and the Security Systems News 20 Under 40, an annual award that recognises the top up and coming security systems integrators. “The idea for Security-Net originated during a manufacturer’s award trip when several security systems integrators expressed a desire to discuss common problems and business best practices with industry peers,” said Bill Savage, President of Security Control Systems of Houston and one of the four original founders of Security-Net. “A year later we had an organisation formed.” Security-Net project management platform Over the past 25 years, Security-Net has evolved into an organisation that now collaborates on national projects, helps its members stay up to date on the latest technology issues and trends, and provides sales and project management training to its members. The group has also launched its own project management platform. “We’re proud of how Security-Net has grown dynamically over the years,” said J. Matthew Ladd, a member of the Security-Net Board of Directors. “Within the past 10 years we’ve added numerous sub-committees, including Tech-Net, Ops-Net and Sales-Net, and provided member companies with access to programs to strengthen their sales and project management skills.” Global security services Today, Security-Net members regularly collaborate with other member companies on projects that expand beyond their geographic areas of business, providing customers with global security services through its network of security systems integrators. Security-Net’s membership based currently includes 21 members a combined 50 offices in North American, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Aqua Security, global platform provider for securing container-based and cloud native applications, has announced version 3.5 of its cloud native security platform, which now protects a wide range of cloud native technologies, including applications using serverless functions. Customers can deploy end-to-end security to establish a consistent policy enforcement layer spanning container, serverless containers (such as AWS Fargate) and serverless functions (such as AWS Lambda). Aqua CSP v3.5 In addition, driven by continued enterprise adoption of the Aqua platform in some of the largest global enterprises, Aqua CSP v3.5 raises the bar in terms of ease of management of complex, multi-application and multi-team enterprise environments by enabling flexible policy scopes and highly granular user role definitions, and adds container encryption for protection of intellectual property. Moving to a serverless model allows developers to prioritise simplicity and agility by abstracting infrastructure concerns to provide a straightforward execution environment for applications and microservices. However, serverless architectures also introduce new security risks. Attackers may leverage a weakness or vulnerability in the serverless function code itself or outsourced libraries; or attempt to take advantage of the complexity of cloud infrastructure permissions to reach services or networks that contain sensitive information. Building on Aqua’s experience in securing containers, Aqua CSP v3.5 addresses these serverless threat vectors and minimises their potential impact. Security for hybrid cloud deployments There is a growing need for scalable security that is easy-to-manage across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, covering both containers and serverless functions" “As the adoption of containers and serverless continues to expand within a greater number of enterprises, and to greater numbers of applications within those enterprises, there is a growing need for scalable security that is easy-to-manage across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, covering both containers and serverless functions,” said Amir Jerbi, CTO and co-founder of Aqua Security. “Our customers now run multiple cloud native applications and require a unified platform to manage security across teams, while providing security and DevOps teams segregation of duties coupled with the control they require.” Features and capabilities Risk Assessment for Serverless functions: Checks functions for known vulnerabilities, embedded secrets (keys and tokens), and cloud permissions, to ensure that function privileges are secure and minimised. Serverless support is fully integrated with Aqua’s extensive controls for container runtime deployments and is managed via the same console. Container Encryption: Aqua now makes it possible to encrypt the entire contents of a container image, decrypting it with a key when it is instantiated as a container. This feature enables companies with sensitive intellectual property embedded in their container images to protect them against unauthorised use and prevents unauthorised access to code in case of a registry breach or when code is given under license to partners and customers. Greater Visibility through Workload Explorer: With a tabular and visual view of running workloads on Kubernetes and Docker environments, Workload Explorer provides visibility into large, distributed runtime environments, highlighting vulnerable or risky components (i.e., namespaces, deployments, pods, containers). Operations and security staff can easily filter the data and drill down to view detailed information quickly to ensure compliance. Contextual Runtime Policies: Based on feedback from some of Aqua’s largest customer implementations, Aqua runtime security policy models now allow the definition of a highly specific scope for each policy, to be applied to an application context. The scope can be defined according to dozens of parameters, including Kubernetes deployment and namespace, image registry prefix, environment variables, and many more. This flexibility allows customers to easily differentiate between multiple applications, for example by applying stricter policy to applications with higher trust requirements, such as mission critical applications, even if they use the same images as other applications. Fine-Grained Administrative Access Control: An enhanced RBAC engine enables fine-grained permissions for DevOps, security and compliance teams on the Aqua platform, enabling true segregation of duties between teams and roles. For example, different teams may be granted access to different sets of images or registries, while their ability to view or change Aqua policies for images, serverless functions, runtime, secrets, and compliance will vary according to their specific role.
Following the latest budget, which highlighted increased funding for terrorism prevention despite recent cut backs in other areas of police funding, the Small Business Network (SBN) of professional security companies has highlighted an opportunity for the private security industry to support public services. “Whilst the budget saw extra money for the prevention of terrorism, the selling off of other police assets and the reduction in officers on the street has made life difficult when it comes to the prevention of other criminal activity,” comments Abbey Petkar, spokesperson for the SBN and managing director of Magenta Security. Stop criminal behaviour “The police are doing a fantastic job with limited resources and we are perfectly placed to support them.” Through client contracts already in existence, security companies across the UK can deliver for their clients whilst working in partnership with local police forces to spot and stop criminal behaviour. Whether it be a CCTV supplier, alarm company or manned guards, the industry is already working to prevent criminal activity" “Whether it be a CCTV supplier, alarm company or manned guards, the industry is already working to prevent criminal activity. We are on the look-out for vulnerabilities in the community that could affect clients as well as opportunists looking to make the most of any situation. A closer working relationship with the police can only improve this,” continues Abbey. Support public services “In fact, there is even an opportunity for those companies who have been properly certified to undertake work on behalf of the police, supplementing their forces and needs as appropriate.” Ultimately, the SBN believes the current challenges faced by police forces across the country are an opportunity for the security sector. The SIA’s ongoing desire to improve quality in the sector means the companies exist with the requisite skills and oversight to support public services in a professional and cohesive way. The SBN fundamentally believes that public security should not just be the responsibility of the police, instead everyone should do their part, working together to ensure safety for all.
Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2018. Looking back at the top articles of the year provides a decent summary of how our industry evolved this year, and even offers clues to where we’re headed in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2018 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. U.S. President Signs Government Ban on Hikvision and Dahua Video Surveillance The ban on government uses, which takes effect ‘not later than one year after … enactment,’ applies not only to future uses of Dahua and Hikvision equipment but also to legacy installations. The bill calls for an assessment of the current presence of the banned technologies and development of a ‘phase-out plan’ to eliminate the equipment from government uses. 2. Motorola Makes a Splash with Avigilon Video Surveillance Acquisition Early clues point to Motorola positioning Avigilon as part of a broader solution, especially in the municipal/safe cities market. The company says the acquisition will enable more safe cities projects and more public-private partnerships between local communities and law enforcement. Motorola sees Avigilon as ‘a natural extension to global public safety and U.S. federal and military’ applications, according to the company. 3. Impact of Data-Driven Smart Cities on Video Surveillance One of the major areas of technology that is going to shift how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). One benefit will be the ability to use video surveillance to analyse data on large crowds at sporting events The IoT already accounts for swaths of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes increasingly critical. Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency 4. CES 2018: Security Technologies Influencing the Consumer Electronics Market Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For example, Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency. Many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security. Are Panasonic’s 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format or Sony’s A8F OLED televisions a preview of the future of security control room monitors? 5. SIA Predicts Top Physical Security Trends for 2018 Traditional security providers will focus more on deepening the customer experience and enhancing convenience and service. The rise of IoT also places an emphasis on cybersecurity, and security dealers will react by seeking manufacturers and technology partners with cyber-hardened network-connected devices. 6. High-Speed Visitor Screening Systems Will Improve Soft Target Security The system is more expensive than a metal detector, but about a third the cost of familiar airport body scanners. Labor reduction (because of faster throughput) can help offset the system costs, but “it’s difficult to quantify the improvement in the visitor experience,” says Mike Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology. 7. How to Prevent ATM Jackpotting with Physical and Cyber Security A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve- how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest 8. Why We Need to Look Beyond Technology for Smart City Security Solutions Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. 9. How New Video Surveillance Technology Boosts Airport Security and Operations Employing airport security solutions is a complex situation with myriad government, state and local rules and regulations that need to be addressed while ensuring the comfort needs of passengers. Airport security is further challenged with improving and increasing operational efficiencies, as budgets are always an issue. As an example, security and operational data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, emergency response and airport operations to drive a more proactive approach across the organisation. 10. The Evolution of Facial Recognition from Body-Cams to Video Surveillance The safety and security world bring a complex problem to solve how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve.
There’s only so much a corporation can do to counteract the threat of a major incident. You can ask everyone to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious, but you cannot stop someone intent on deliberately starting a fire, threatening a work colleague with a knife or something much worse. And of course, most businesses recognise that even routine events – such as burst pipes, IT system failures, extreme weather event or power outages – can have significant consequences unless they are quickly brought under control. Training security officers Governments and organisations across the world are increasingly encouraging businesses to re-assess risks and to plan for and conduct drills for major emergencies. This is driving different agencies and companies to invest in new skills, resources and systems, and encouraging businesses to routinely re-evaluate their emergency response strategies. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents For example: UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents, as part of the UK government’s Action Counter Terrorism programme. And organisations including the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) and Higher Education Business Continuity Network (HEBCoN) are developing customised training for their members to improve their own response and business continuity plans. Mass notifications systems Whether an organisation is facing a terrorist attack or a severe weather event, follow up reports consistently identify that the same types of challenges are common to all crisis situations, with similar errors often occurring again and again. Typically, these are centred on three key areas: poor communications, fractured command and control structures, and delayed deployment of resources. Communications skills and technologies clearly play a pivotal role in how effective an organisation is in responding to major incidents, particularly when it comes to assessing the situation and its implications, moving people towards safety and providing updates as an incident unfolds. However, when an organisation is considering its technology options, emergency response and mass notification systems (MNS) are often touted as the ideal platform to deliver all the required critical communications and ongoing updates. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents Emergency notification system All the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform But, if an organisation does not know exactly where all its staff or students are, and it cannot see the location and availability of its first responders and other emergency coordinators relative to them and the incident, then how useful is it to send a top-down alert to everyone? And what about fast moving or multi-centre incidents, where previously agreed evacuation procedures, recommended actions or mustering points may need to change if an incident takes an unexpected turn? Many organisations may have been lulled into believing that an emergency notification system will allow them to confidently handle all the communications aspects of virtually any crisis. In reality, too many businesses are still unaware that there are now much more sophisticated and proven technologies where all the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform. Using live map tracking The benefit of using these advanced and more integrated approaches – often categorised as mobile distributed command and control systems – is that they enable faster and better decision making in a crisis using real-time feedback and two-way dialogue with those closest to the emergency. And they avoid the risks of any potential delays, miscommunications or mistakes that can happen when an organisation is under pressure to respond and often switching between multiple systems. Leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response These next generation emergency management platforms have been specifically designed to enable real-time mapping of an organisation’s security assets and its users on a single screen and to fully integrate it with a highly targeted geo-fenced notification capability. The mass notification aspect of the system can then be used to advise specific groups on the best actions to take at their location as an incident develops. The use of live map tracking enables real time mapping of an organisation's security assets Segmented messaging Many leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using these new mobile/web-enabled platforms to plan, manage and improve their incident response, leading to 50% faster reactions and more positive outcomes.During a crisis, users can receive push notifications so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly The systems have been widely adopted within the higher-education sector, but they are equally applicable to any large company with multiple international sites or those situated in research or corporate campuses where the bulk of assets and people are based in one or more key locations. Typically, systems provide users with a smartphone app that they can use to call for immediate emergency or first aid support when at work, or to report something suspicious which could prevent an apparently minor incident from escalating into a full-scale emergency. During a crisis, users can receive push notifications, SMS and E-mails asking them to open the app if they are not already logged in, so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly. Supporting dispersed mustering Now that communications can be more nimble, responsive and flexible this can support the increasing numbers of planners are recognising the advantages of dispersed mustering. This is a strategy that has been developed to reduce the risk of secondary attacks on unprotected people complying with instructions to evacuate from premises and gather in what are, effectively, exposed locations. It is now acknowledged that evacuees waiting outside for any length of time are more vulnerable to targeted attacks or to injury, from flying glass for example. With dispersed mustering – a strategy made more effective by these new mobile distributed command and control systems - a building’s occupants can be advised not to go outside, but to move to known safe internal locations. People in each specific area can then be kept regularly updated. Many corporations are now using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response Coordination between response agencies The software platforms can be integrated with an organisation’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information First responders are permanently logged in, so the emergency operations centre can see their exact locations in real-time and can advise what actions to take in mustering people or in setting up and protecting security cordons. Bringing everything together on one platform, with real-time feedback and in a fully integrated system also removes what is often seen as the weakest communication link in managing any major incident: the need to rely on conventional two-way radio as the sole means of communication between the command and control centre and its first responders and other team members on the ground. The software platforms can be integrated with an organisation’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information to a new level for improved collaboration, coordination and communications between users, the incident management team and external agencies. Improving emergency response strategies One of the most powerful features of some of these new systems is the ability to record and view all alerts, responses and the detailed conversations between first responders, emergency coordinators and other parties. This allows the systems to be used to simulate major incidents involving inputs from the emergency services and other key agencies and to ensure the organisation’s crisis management plans have been fully tested against a range of possible incident scenarios.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be described as the ‘use of shared digital representation of a built object (including buildings, bridges, roads, process plants, critical infrastructures, etc.) to facilitate design, construction and operation processes to form a reliable basis for decisions’. The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) defines it simply as the “digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of an object”. Understanding BIM construct BIM is neither a product nor software but rather is a “cache of building information” to which graphic data (such as drawings) and certain technical attributes (such as technical data sheets and associated characteristics) that are also related to the foreseen life cycle can be added. BIM represents a collaborative planning method as it allows for the integration of useful information for every phase of planning in a single model What BIM represents therefore is a collaborative planning method as it allows for the integration of useful information for every phase of planning – architectural, structural, plant design and installation, energy, management – into a single model. Project functionality and performance While CAD allows a project to be designed with 2D or 3D drawings, BIM also specifies the functionality and performance of each BIM object in the project or in the entire building process. A BIM object can hold any information pertaining to the building as a whole, or its parts. The most common information collected in a BIM is geographic location, structure, the properties of the materials/components/systems and technical elements, construction phases and maintenance procedures. Fields of application Building Information Modelling is used both in the construction sector, for design and installation (architecture, engineering, technical installations…) as well as in facility management. BIM supports the general improvement of a project along the entire life cycle of the construction process The role of BIM within the construction industry (by means of participants such as architects, engineers, surveyors, experts, builders, consultants and clients) is to support communication, cooperation, simulation and the general improvement of a project along the entire life cycle of the construction process. Advantages of BIM technology BIM technology offers a great number of advantages, such as greater efficiency and productivity, fewer errors, less downtime, reduced costs, greater interoperability, maximum information sharing, and more accurate and consistent control over a project. Generally, a BIM object is saved in .ifc (Industry Foundation Class) format. These IFC files are classed as 3D image files that also contain other technical information and are compatible with any software that works with BIM technology. Standard process and regulation BIM will become the standard process for all buildings and is currently being integrated into public contracts legislation across Europe. With Directive 2014/24/EU, the European Union has introduced a few guidelines to member countries on using the BIM system in the design and construction of public works. The BIM system is therefore strongly supported as a means of increasing the effectiveness and transparency of procurement procedures. Comparable BIM tools are necessary in order to allow the various softwares to ‘read’ the relevant data to manage all different parts of the construction sector Mandatory use of BIM process in public works In terms of the BIM process spreading to European operators (planners and companies), the leading nations are the Netherlands followed by the United Kingdom, whose government is bringing in a plan to make the use of BIM mandatory for public works. Even in Northern Europe and the United States, BIM technology has been used since 2000. Since the construction sector varies so widely (plants, structures, energy), it has become evident that no software exists that can manage all these different parts. Instead, comparable BIM tools are necessary in order to allow the various softwares to “read” the relevant data. BIM technology makes it possible to ascertain exactly how the cameras will fit into a building’s layout, reducing the risk of unexpected blind spots BIM and video surveillance Security has now become an integral part of the design process of any new large building. To provide the highest levels of security and avoid any blind spots that might constitute a security breach, the video surveillance system has to be planned in conjunction with other essential services, such as the electrics and hydraulics. BIM allows security system designers to interactively understand camera coverage, making it easier to identify the required models and to optimise the system layout. Reducing camera installation risks In actual fact, the technology makes it possible to ascertain exactly how the cameras will fit into a building’s layout (both internally and externally) and to determine whether the view of any camera is blocked by columns, lighting posts, trees, etc. This reduces the risk of unexpected blind spots. It is therefore possible to see how the cameras will be configured before they are installed, and which areas will be covered by the surveillance system after installation.
School shootings continue, as does a search for answers. What solutions are there to prevent school shootings and/or to improve the response (and thus minimise the death toll)? In the physical security industry, we like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem, but realistically speaking, how effective are they at the end of the day? We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. Scarce resources on preventative measures The dearth of knowledge on the subject leaves schools at risk of spending scarce resources on measures that don’t have any real impact, or worse, that have a negative effect on education environments. The natural impulse following a school shooting is to do something – anything – to prevent the tragedy from happening again at any school, but especially at my school. But how is money best spent?Successful businesses are a good thing, but not at the expense of misspending education resources on solutions that don’t solve anything Congress has passed the Stop School Violence Act of 2018 to provide $50 million per year to develop programs to train students, teachers and law enforcement to prevent violence, and to create anonymous reporting systems, such as hot lines, for school violence threats. The bill authorises another $25 million for improvements to school’s physical security infrastructures. Congress also provides $1.1 billion in Title IV block grants, which districts can use to pay for diverse needs such as security systems. Several states are providing additional funding for physical safety measures and campus police, and local districts are also stretching their budgets to address security concerns. But is that money being targeted to measures that will help the situation? What is the role of technology in preventing school violence, and are we as an industry at risk of over-selling our preventative capabilities and diverting money from other measures that might have more impact? Successful businesses are a good thing, but not at the expense of misspending education resources on solutions that don’t solve anything. More metal detectors, armed guards and police officers could cause anxiety in some students and even interfere with the learning process Studies on school safety and protection Researchers, advocates and educators gathered this fall at American University to consider the need for better research to inform decision-making on safety, reported Education Week.The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them" A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand. “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Jeremy Finn, a professor of education at the University of Buffalo, has pointed out the difficulty of assessing the effectiveness of measures designed to deter events that likely won’t occur anyway. “How do you know when you have deterred a school shooting?” he asks. “It didn’t happen.” The effects on our students Might technologies aimed at making schools more secure have an adverse effect on the learning environment? More metal detectors, armed guards and police officers could cause anxiety in some students and even interfere with the learning process. The physical security industry should freely acknowledge that the technologies we offer are only part of the solution to school violence Do security measures aimed at preventing active shooting incidents absorb resources that might better be used to address a more general and/or likely security threat such as vandalism or student discipline? Theoretically, security measures in general should help to prevent the probability of an active shooter at the same time they are addressing a wider range of concerns and threats. But do they? At the very least, we in the physical security market should be aware, and should freely acknowledge, that the technologies we offer are only part of the solution to school violence. Schools should take the broadest possible approach to the range of security challenges, and technology should be one tool among many. Furthermore, better data to measure what works is sorely needed to illuminate the best path forward.
I have been thinking a lot about the U.S. government’s ban on video surveillance technologies by Hikvision and Dahua. In general, I question the wisdom and logic of the ban and am frankly puzzled as to how it came to be. Allow me to elaborate. Chinese camera manufacturers Reality check: the government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse. Before the government ban, you occasionally heard about some government entities deciding not to use cameras manufactured by Chinese companies, although the reasons were mostly “in an abundance of caution.” Even so, I find the targeting of two Chinese companies – three if you count Hytera Communications, a mobile radio manufacturer – in a huge government military spending bill to be a little puzzling. I can’t quite picture how these specific companies got on Congress’s radar. The government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced (by a Missouri congresswoman) into the House version of the bill? And after the ban was left out of the Senate version, was there a new wave of discussions to ensure it was included in the joint House-Senate version (with some minor changes, and who negotiated those?). It all seems a little random. Concerns for the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. ban solves neither of the two main concerns that are generally used as its justification: Concern: Cybersecurity. The U.S. ban “solves” the issue of cybersecurity only if both of the following statements are true. No security system that uses a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. Any system that does not use a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced into the House version of the bill? The ban ignores the breadth and complexity of cybersecurity and instead offers up two companies as scapegoats. Our industry has sought to address cybersecurity, and the one principle that has guided that effort is that cybersecurity is an issue that must be addressed by manufacturers, consultants, integrators and end users – in effect, everyone in the industry. Cybersecurity does not begin and end with the manufacturer and banning any manufacturers from the market does not ensure better cybersecurity. Concern: “Untrustworthy” Chinese companies. Hikvision and Dahua are only two Chinese companies. Any response to concerns about whether Chinese companies are trustworthy would need to cover many more companies that manufacture their products in China. Australian TV recently claimed that “all Chinese companies pose a risk. Because of Chinese laws, there is a requirement for companies to be engaged in espionage on behalf of the state.” Even if one embraces that extreme view, the logic fails when only two companies are targeted. One source told me that 60 to 65 percent of the global supply of commercial video cameras are manufactured in China, so it’s a much bigger issue than two companies.The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras And is U.S. security at risk unless or until it is cut off from more than half of the world’s supply of video cameras? Even Western camera companies manufacture some of their cameras and/or components in China. Why name only two (or three) companies, only one of which has ties to the Chinese government? If the goal of the U.S. ban was to address the possibility of cybersecurity and/or espionage by the Chinese government, shouldn’t there be other companies and product categories included? Clearly, video surveillance is not the only category that has the potential for abuse. The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras. Global response to U.S. ban And now that the U.S. ban has been passed, how is the ban being misused to justify a new level of alarm about Chinese companies? Australian television effortlessly made the leap from “software backdoors” to a concerted and organised effort by the Chinese government to use cameras to be the “number one country for espionage.” And it’s not just about government facilities: “Even on the street, [cameras] have the potential to inadvertently contribute toward Chinese espionage activity by providing real-time information about the situation on the ground,” says the Australian TV report. If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies? If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies, or at least those with electronics or computer products that could be used for espionage? What about the espionage potential of the 70% of mobile phones that are made in China? What about other consumer electronics such as PCs or smart TVs? How many government facilities that are eliminating Dahua and Hikvision cameras have employees who use iPhones or use other electronic equipment from China? Artificial intelligence & IP-over-coax Also, consider the impact of the ban on business. Hikvision and Dahua have had many successes in the video surveillance market, including in the U.S. market. They have added value to many integrators and end user customers. They have been on the forefront of important trends such as artificial intelligence and IP-over-coax. And, yes, they have made technologies available at lower prices.Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just Hikvision and Dahua Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just these two, and both Hikvision and Dahua have worked to fix past problems, and to raise awareness of cybersecurity concerns in general. Is a U.S. ban on two companies an appropriate response to a series of geo-political concerns that are much bigger than those two companies (and bigger than our entire market)? Should two companies take the brunt of the anti-Chinese backlash? Video surveillance cameras Is the video surveillance market as a whole better or worse for the presence of Hikvision and Dahua? Is it up to the U.S. government to make that call? In some ways, thoughts of Chinese espionage are a sign of these uncertain political times. Fear of video surveillance is perfectly congruent with long-standing anxieties about “Big Brother;” suspicion about China taking over our video cameras just rings true at a time when Russia is (supposedly) controlling our elections. But should two companies be targeted while broader concerns are shrugged off?
Repercussions are rippling through the physical security industry since President Trump signed into law the ban on government uses of surveillance equipment by Chinese manufacturers Hikvision and Dahua. In addition to the direct and indirect consequences of the new law, there have also been other developments likely to impact the future of Chinese companies in the video surveillance market. The ban has raised awareness of Chinese companies’ role in video surveillance, and other developments are related to tariffs and possible sanctions, all playing out amid the backdrop of an escalating trade war. One Chinese manufacturer previously dismissed security concerns about its role in video surveillance as “Cold War rhetoric.” There has been an almost nostalgic tone recently to the escalating concerns about video cameras being used for spying. Hikvision and Dahua have both stated emphatically that they have not conducted any espionage-related activities. Even so, the U.S. government ban has emboldened the concerns. However, to be clear: No one has alleged that technologies from either of the companies have been used for espionage. Rather, the concerns are about the potential for misuse, not actual misuse. Also aggravating the situation are Chinese companies’ previous, actual problems with cybersecurity, which the companies say they have addressed. Here are some recent developments related to the U.S. government ban and Chinese manufacturers in general: Tariffs and trade concerns Additional rounds of U.S. tariffs have targeted an expanding array of Chinese goods, including data storage and processing components such as printed circuit boards, as well as video camera lenses. The escalating trade war has kept generalised concerns about China and its trade practices in the public eye and fomented a level of uncertainty in many markets, including physical security. Additional rounds of U.S. tariffs have targeted an expanding array of Chinese goods Involvement of surveillance in Chinese human rights violations Concerns have surfaced in a Congressional hearing recently about the Chinese government’s surveillance activities targeting the Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the Zinjiang Urghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Specific attention is being directed at the region’s surveillance system including “thousands of surveillance cameras, including in mosques,” and Hikvision and Dahua were mentioned in the Congressional hearing as profiting from security spending in the area. Increased global media attention The ban has not been widely publicised in the U.S. mainstream media, but the topic has attracted global attention. For example, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast a 10-minute expose on the use of Chinese-made cameras in Australian government facilities, including “sensitive military facilities.” The report, which mentioned the U.S. ban, noted that “Both [Hikvision and Dahua] have had security flaws be exposed leading to fears that some of the flaws were placed there to help the Chinese government spy.” The report continues: “China is trying to set itself up as the number-one country for cyber-espionage, and this is part of that platform.” How broadly should one interpret the inclusion of "critical infrastructure" mentioned in the bill? Broader interpretation of the bill beyond the federal government The language in the bill leaves a level of ambiguity in terms of the scope of its application, and the security marketplace as a whole has been struggling to understand its full impact. Does the ban only restrict an integrator’s use of Chinese technology on a specific government job, or does it eliminate an integrator who installs the technology (even in non-government projects) from consideration for government jobs? How broadly should one interpret the inclusion of “critical infrastructure” mentioned in the bill, for example, non-governmental facilities? Will other governments and private entities assume they should ban Hikvision and Dahua in order to be compliant? For example, Suffolk, Virginia, has announced it will not to use Dahua or Hikvision cameras because the federal ban applies to “U.S. government-funded contracts and for critical infrastructure and national security usage.” The result of these developments is a kind of snowball effect, simultaneously drawing attention to the issues and adding new elements to an overall narrative. Taken together, these developments suggest the U.S. ban has set off a level of concern about Chinese companies that will have an industry-transforming impact in the months to come.
Premier League football club Everton FC has deployed SureCloud’s GDPR suite to manage and monitor its data and GDPR compliance, enabling the club to work towards GDPR compliance, optimise internal processes and position it strategically for the future. The solution replaced Everton FC’s manual data mapping and processing methods. Manual data mapping and processing Everton FC’s databases are extensive, containing details on over 32,000 season ticket holders and over 600,000 registered fans, with details on around 360 employees, players, agents, suppliers, and individuals associated with the club’s community charity and partner school. Much of this information is sensitive. This data and all of the processes associated with it were being manually managed and tracked in a series of Excel spreadsheets. With multiple requests and queries to respond to every day, the club’s Data Protection Officer was struggling to record and manage smaller ad hoc queries, incidents, and tasks. With GDPR due to place much tighter restrictions on how the club processed, managed and shared its data – as well as on the reporting of any incidents that did occur – the club needed a more comprehensive and reliable tool in place before 25th May 2018. SureCloud platform The club approached its long-standing IT support provider NCC to find a solution. NCC recommended the SureCloud GDPR Suite, delivered on the SureCloud platform. After SureCloud had successfully demonstrated the ability to provide full visibility for management and automation of GDPR processes across the organisation, Everton FC selected its cloud-based suite of solutions. Two dashboards were created according to Everton FC’s specific needs Two dashboards were created according to Everton FC’s specific needs: one to show all data mapping and transfers, including where data is being held and who it is being shared with; and one showing incidents and requests, including a subject request register and incident tracker path. This gives an immediate overview of which requests are still outstanding, such as a request for an individual’s personal information to be erased from the database. SureCloud GDPR Suite The five applications Everton FC chose to deploy from the SureCloud GDPR Suite were: GDPR Program Tracker - to enable the club to map all its disparate data and workflows using intelligent risk-based questions GDPR Management – to provide all mandatory GDPR business-as-usual processes Information Asset Management - to record and maintain the club’s entire data inventory Compliance Management for GDPR - to help Everton FC speed up their process of attaining compliance and on-going real-time risk remediation Incident Management for GDPR – to meet the GDPR requirement to log, track and notify the ICO of any data breaches, should an incident arise Ian Garratt, Data Protection Officer at Everton FC said: “The penalties for not achieving GDPR compliance are severe – up to 4% of our revenues, or €20 million. It was imperative that we got a solution in place that could not only help us achieve GDPR compliance but would also make it quick and easy for us to demonstrate that compliance at any point, on request. SureCloud’s GDPR Suite fit the bill.” Centralised data management Now, all of Everton FC’s disparate data are mapped, risk-assessed and tracked in a single centralised system “We are now tracking and recording every single data request in a centralised way. With NCC’s support, SureCloud’s solution has brought a comprehensive clarity to our data processing that was impossible to achieve with manual spreadsheets. The system is so intuitive; it has helped us streamline multiple processes and undertake impact assessments that we couldn’t handle before.” Now, all of Everton FC’s disparate data are mapped, risk-assessed and tracked in a single centralised system. All changes and requests are automatically tracked so that activity records and data audits can be produced at the click of a button. Should an incident like a suspected data breach occur, it is identified and reported immediately and automatically. The club’s data protection team can select which asset has been affected and immediately determine the severity of the incident and whether it needs to be reported to the ICO. Should it need to be escalated, the report is available instantly. Data processing, documentation and risk management Ian Garratt added: “The SureCloud GDPR Suite isn’t just a compliance tool; it’s a comprehensive management tool. We now have a continuous, real-time status of where we are and what we need to be doing in terms of data processing, documentation and risk management. It would have simply been impossible to achieve this manually. SureCloud has not only helped us to work towards GDPR compliance they have optimised our internal processes and positioned us strategically for the future.” In addition to deploying five applications within the GDPR suite, SureCloud is currently adapting its Incident Assessment tool to meet Everton FC’s specific requirements.
To succeed in business, one must be brilliant at one thing. In many cases it’s a skill, such as art, coding, engineering or design. Or that one brilliant attribute can also be a personality trait or a business process. No business will be successful unless it is at least adequate, and preferably superb, in product development, sales, and customer engagement - not to mention finance, planning, marketing and recruiting. Too many VMS producers are trying to do all these things themselves when they should be doubling up on what they are best at and leveraging the rest. It is a new mindset. Instead of obsessing about which ‘me-too’ product to supply, software producers could make their first priority finding complementary and compatible partners. Developing a partnership ecosystem One partner might see the opportunity to sell a solution. Another partner might know a better way to distribute a product. A third partner might provide the vertical expertise to get the customer a perfectly tailored solution. By leveraging partners and developing a partner ecosystem, a company will tend to have more unique offerings and the ability to execute faster in an ever-changing world. All this additional partner horsepower is still no guarantee a company will succeed but partnerships will also give a company a feedback channel. Many stand-alone companies plod along, never quite failing, but never getting better either. Partners are less likely to tolerate business limbo. They will be quick to utilise great products, and less wedded to the concept if it doesn’t prove out. Because the partners are in close contact with the market, they are the first responders to changing or developing needs. This is why a company should listen very closely to their partners: They are the feet on the street and the ears to the beat! Open platform matters Producing software takes time, and producing great software takes even longer All of this is not possible, however, if a company produces closed platform software. This is software whose functions can only be changed by the original developers. Producing software takes time, and producing great software takes even longer. This means low agility. The partners might identify great opportunities, but before the closed platform software producer can react, the opportunities might be gone - or worse, be grabbed by competitors. The slow reaction capabilities of closed platform providers will frustrate partners and may lead to the worst of all complications in a partnership: distrust. Add-on modules and intrinsic scripting When the products are based on an open platform, however, they are adaptable. Then the partners have the ability to change the solution through the open software architecture. Not by changing the basic code (that would be open source) but by add-on modules and intrinsic scripting abilities. Total integrated solution Open platform means that the partner can easily extend and enhance the software into a total integrated solution Open platform means that the partner can easily extend and enhance the software into a total integrated solution to fulfill the customer’s needs with the minimum of effort. This gives agility, and agility means fast go-to-market abilities. Just what is needed in this fast-moving world. There are some important things to note here. The ways to extend and enhance the software have to be easy and well documented. The partners must have access to training and knowledge sharing. (It does not help to have a system for extending the capabilities of the software if the partners have to guess at the process and the documentation is rudimentary.) Open access is key It is important that the business philosophy is based on openness, giving the partners full access to all relevant information. And openness is a two-way street: By being open for your partners, you also have to be open about their business. A partner might be able to develop a highly sophisticated solution but be unable to market the solution. By building a catalogue of partner solutions easily accessible to customers, openness extends to ensure open access to the partners. Openness is not something a business can just tack on to their approach. It has to be in the DNA of the business from the start. In a Harvard Business Review article entitled ‘Predators and Prey: A new ecology of competition,’ JF Moore says: “A business ecosystem, like its biological counterpart, gradually moves from a random collection of elements to a more structured community.” Structured business ecosystem Milestone has seen this progression within the company's ecosystem Milestone has seen this progression within the company's ecosystem. They introduced training and certification requirements as part of the partnership success structure, ensuring knowledge is shared and also used in a way that is most mutually beneficial for all involved. Moore also writes: “Every business ecosystem develops in four distinct stages: birth, expansion, leadership and self-renewal.” At present, Milestone and its partners are entering into the ‘leadership’ stage, where video enabling is creating opportunities beyond those offered by a traditional video surveillance system, and into areas that provide additional business benefits to our customers. Video enabling “A leader must emerge in the ecosystem,” Moore says, “to initiate a process of rapid, ongoing improvement that draws the entire community toward a grander future.” This is the role Milestone has played in leading the industry towards the video enabling phase and redefining the industry’s expectations of what a surveillance system is capable of. In the article, Moore underlines that “executives whose horizons are bounded by the traditional industry perspectives will find themselves missing the real challenges and opportunities that face their companies.” Getting connected Connectors are those people with a wide range of contacts across different social circles In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes what he calls ‘The Law of the Few,’ which says: "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts." This is based on the 80/20 principal, “which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the 'work' will be done by 20 percent of the participants." He goes on to identify three types of people with these gifts: Salesmen, who are skilled in persuasion and negotiation; Mavens, who collect and disseminate useful information; and Connectors. Connectors are those people with a wide range of contacts across different social circles who can make introductions and create links between otherwise disparate individuals. Milestone, key connector in physical security industry In the wider scheme of things, Milestone effectively acts as a ‘Connector’ in the business ecosystem and in the overall physical security industry. Milestone brings together companies who are brilliant in their respective fields and make it easy for them to work together to create a valuable solution for the customer. The company provides the environment for that to occur and work closely with them to ensure that the end result is useful and effective. At Milestone, partners realised that significant investments in education and training was required to create the demand for the company's products and solutions that the conservative physical security industry required. The value of partnership was learnt and the ‘open’ approach adopted, which was a central part of the thinking behind our software. Adopting the Scandinavian management model Milestone effectively acts as a ‘Connector’ in the business ecosystem and in the overall physical security industry Milestone extended this approach to the entire business model, creating the ecosystem that has been the driving force for success. And while the company embraced the best of the Scandinavian management model, its inclusiveness and encouragement of creativity, they still needed to have the courage to make changes to the business, changes which would ensure the best possible position to take on whatever challenges the future might hold. Milestone partner ecosystem Milestone have always worked in a partner-driven business mode. The company from the start was designed to be open and partner oriented. The Milestone partner ecosystem is a fundamental part of its mindset and daily operations. It is one of the major reasons for getting the company to the position where it is today. To be in a company without the partner component would be like cutting the internet and phone cables while reverting to telex and written paper letters! The company would be developing products in the dark, not knowing the demand. Open business world Today, Milestone's partners are delivering optimal solutions to mutual customers, building a better and open business world with video as a business enhancer. All thanks to the company's open platform and community approach. To have a flourishing partner ecosystem, one must think not as a corporation but in human terms. Because companies don’t think, humans do. In all senses of the word, there is one thing that will contribute more to the success of a partnership than anything else; 'Give before hoping to receive'.
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.
Keeping the food supply safe was not an issue for Furman Foods back in 1921, when John W. Furman canned 360 glass jars of tomatoes with his wife, Emma, and their six children. Just as food processing practices have evolved over time, so too has the nation’s approach to securing food processing facilities. Today, Furman Foods uses ID cards as the first step of a greater plan to enhance its plant security. Furman Foods is a family-owned business. By 1969, the company had sold a million cases of tomatoes and was complementing its tomato crop with beans, peppers and other vegetables sold under the Furmano’s name. The company’s roots are planted firmly in the soil of the Susquehanna River Valley of Pennsylvania. Despite this remote location, Frank Furman, Vice President of Quality, is ready to take the facility to the next level of security and quality. “The need is here,” he said. “Everything is coming together at once. Not only does security make good business sense, but it also is something we need to do for our customers.” Food safety and security While the company has focused on food safety for many years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Bioterrorism Act of 2002 made security a top concern for food producers such as Furman’s. Title III of the act specifically addresses protecting the safety and security of food and drug supplies. In addition, because Furman Foods provides food for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food programs, it is subject to USDA security measures. Security isn’t new to the company. It began incorporating additional security measures shortly after September 2001. The well heads for the water supply are locked and checked daily, for example, and a third-party security service is on duty during off-hours. Delivery truck doors now must be sealed, the company’s computer systems have new access controls in them, and locks now adorn all bulk storage areas, such as those for corn sweeteners and vinegar, some of the most vulnerable areas in the company. An important part of the security system at Furman’s is a new ID card program Time and attendance tracking An important part of the security system at Furman’s is a new ID card program. “We needed to replace our time clocks,” said Mark Slear, Systems Administrator, “so we took advantage of the opportunity to introduce employee ID cards to track time and attendance.” “I wanted some kind of control so that people who don’t work here don’t get in,” Furman said, “Despite the fact that we are located in a rural area, we still were seeing people here who shouldn’t be here. We had to figure out some way to limit access.” In the past, the company had pre-printed, pre-numbered, bar coded cards for hourly employee access. Employees were assigned a number, but that was it. HID Fargo Printer/Encoder Slear and Furman selected the Fargo DTC550 Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder with lamination capabilities from ID Wholesaler (www.idwholesaler.com), a Fargo Value-Added Retailer and the largest online reseller of photo ID products. “I looked around quite a bit,” said Slear, “and all of my research kept coming back to Fargo.” Furman’s warehouse employees require a stronger card to withstand the everyday wear and tear associated with their active jobs" “We determined that Furman Foods needed a higher level of security than a basic photo ID card could offer,” said Shane Stark, Account Manager, ID Wholesaler. “The FDA keeps tight regulations on who has access to food processing areas. Along with using bar codes and magnetic encoding for security measures, Furman’s warehouse employees require a stronger card to withstand the everyday wear and tear associated with their active jobs. This led us to lamination and a Mylar card, which offers greater durability.” Slear was also interested in the printer’s speed. “When we ramp up during the summer, we produce a year’s worth of product in three months,” he said. “We have to print a lot of ID cards quickly to accommodate our seasonal workers.” Security access cards Furman’s bought the Fargo printer in October, took employee pictures in November and began issuing new ID cards in January. The ID cards contain a full photo, and the program includes all employees, even the extra 300 that are hired during the July-to-October busy season. While tracking time and attendance with the ID cards was the company’s first concern, Slear and Furman were thinking ahead when they chose an ID card printer, knowing that security needs would be enhanced down the road. “We added a magnetic stripe and photo in preparation for future security,” said Slear. “We haven’t defined yet what else we might do, but much of it will be driven by FDA and USDA directives.” “We liked the fact that the DTC550 printer can print on proximity cards if we decide to upgrade our ID cards someday,” said Slear. Furman agreed. “Eventually, we will go to smart cards, especially for the room where our ingredients are mixed,” he said. “We need to limit this area to those who are designated to be there. They will have to swipe an ID card for access. We chose a printer that will allow us to upgrade the cards, knowing that sooner or later we’ll have to go further with security.” Our product and industry knowledge enable us to assess our customers’ needs and present options that meet their requirements" Comprehensive identification solutions “Everything has been going well,” Slear said. “The person printing the cards picked up on it quickly.” Slear gives high marks to ID Wholesaler for their customer service. “Every time I talk to Shane, I get the answers I need,” he said. “He also checks in from time to time, just to see how things are going.” “Our product and industry knowledge enable us to assess our customers’ needs and present options that meet their requirements and their budgets,” said Jennifer Clancy, Marketing Manager, ID Wholesaler. Currently there are three variations to the Furman’s ID cards: yellow background for employees, green background for visitors and blue background for vendors. “Certain vendors are allowed on site without an escort,” said Furman. “For instance, because we are a kosher facility, once a month a rabbi comes in to check our operations. He has his own vendor ID card and is pre-approved, so he can move throughout our facility unescorted.” Facility security One of our big concerns is having someone follow a carded employee into the plant Furman Foods prides itself on its strong values, its quality products, its sustainability and its food security. Yet Furman isn’t satisfied. “We are still not where we should be,” he said. “We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. If I could wave a magic wand, we would have one entrance, where everybody has to enter and exit. This entrance would be secured by a card reader, so individuals would have to swipe an ID card to get in. One of our big concerns is having someone follow a carded employee into the plant. Restricted areas should require special access cards, and I’d like a fence around the entire facility, with a guard shack where everyone checks in and out,” he further added. Right now, there are multiple entrances for traffic. The facility is very spread out, and the road in front is a public road. Photo ID access card Yet, all agree that the ID cards are an important step on Furman Foods’ journey toward enhanced security. “A safe workplace is fundamental,” said Clancy. “Photo ID cards provide at-a-glance validation that the card wearer is authorised to be on the premises. This is especially important for food manufacturers.” “I tell our employees security is only going to get tighter,” Furman said. “More safeguards will be put in place. We are in the food business. If we don’t have safe foods, we don’t have jobs.”
Following several high-profile incidents alleging abuse of special needs students (including some non-communicative students), and the activism of a number of parent groups in the state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas Senate Bill 507, requiring districts to install audio and video surveillance equipment into select special education classrooms when requested. The law requires the installation of cameras and recorders in classrooms meeting certain criteria—if and when a parent, school board member, or school staff requests them from the 2016-2017 school year forward. Surveillance must cover all areas in a classroom, with the exception of bathrooms and changing areas, and recorded footage must be retained for a minimum of six months. Many Texas school districts have begun the work of bringing relevant educational spaces into compliance with the law, including the Edna Independent School District.The IDIS solution crafted by PSX meets Edna ISD’s SB 507 compliance requirements Super Fisheye-powered surveillance Carefully considering Edna ISD’s requirements for a highest-quality surveillance solution, capable of audio recording and coverage in compliance with the law, along with their need for a fiscally responsible solution that minimised total cost of ownership, while maximising value, PSX recommended the IDIS Total Solution’s DirectIP line. The IDIS Total Solution has a selection of affordable, highest-quality options for school districts, easily scaled to meet any classroom size, configuration, or budget. The IDIS solution crafted by PSX meets Edna ISD’s SB 507 compliance requirements with a custom configuration of IDIS cameras and recorders for multiple classrooms and sites. At the heart of the solution is the IDIS DirectIP Super Fisheye Camera, which features breakthrough IDIS technology recognised by the industry for solving common concerns found with many other fisheye models.The IDIS Super Fisheye offers unparalleled client, camera, and mobile dewarping for a clearer picture Smart UX controls The IDIS Super Fisheye offers unparalleled client, camera, and mobile dewarping for a clearer picture and strongest possible assessment and documentation of incidents. It also features the company’s award-winning IDIS Smart UX Controls (named a 2016 ‘New Product of the Year’ by Security Products magazine), which allow for agile real-time pointing and zooming in a simplified and smooth manner previously unheard of in the industry. Other IDIS benefits, including two-way communication and the powerful recording and storage technology the company is known for, make the solution an ideal one for Edna ISD’s needs. Significantly, SB 507 was not accompanied by additional funding for implementation. It required school districts to cover the cost of surveillance purchases and installation from existing funds, donations, or other alternate funding strategies. This expands the requirement for school districts such as Edna ISD, beyond the simple purchase and installation of new surveillance solutions, to include the identification of surveillance solutions able to provide maximum quality with a low total cost of ownership and to be as responsive as possible to the law, student needs, and existing budgetary requirements.The IDIS Total Solution has proven a strong fit for school districts Cost-effective deployment Offerings that feature combinations of technical and cost-effective benefits have proven a strong fit for school districts, including Edna ISD, looking to meet SB 507 requirements without sacrificing quality for cost, something that is important to institutions such as public schools, charged with both optimal execution of their core educational mission and careful stewardship of public funds. The IDIS Total Solution, differentiated by its ease of installation and use as well as its lack of licensing and maintenance fees, has proven a strong fit for school districts, including Edna ISD. Alan Morris, Vice President of Sales for PSX, Inc., stated, “While SB 507 compliance has proven a challenge for some school districts, Edna ISD has shown an uncompromising commitment to its special needs students through the selection of technology that provides easy real-time review of classroom behavior and provides the best, clearest evidence possible should an incident occur.” Secure learning environment "In Edna ISD, the safety of our students, teachers, and staff is a key part of our educational mission. When those in our schools, and the families that love them, know their environment is safe and secure, the educational mission can thrive. We have embraced the SB 507 requirements as yet another tool in ensuring an ideal learning environment for all, providing additional support and protection for our special needs population.” “We were committed to doing this with only the best technology the industry had to offer, while also remaining responsible to our taxpayers throughout the process. The IDIS combination of a fully scalable solution of next-generation technology with a lower total cost of ownership than typically seen in the industry made it the right choice for our needs."
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a rich history of innovation. Since its founding in 1984, the facility has become one of the world’s leading public aquariums and ocean conservation organisations. Monterey Bay Aquarium has produced significant insights into the life history of sharks, sea otters, and bluefin tuna. The aquarium also was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest, and in 2004 it was the first to successfully exhibit and return to the wild a young great white shark. It is therefore no surprise that the Monterey Bay Aquarium desired the most innovative and state-of-the-art cameras as a key component for its security system, and Arecont Vision was able to deliver what they required. Until recently, the Monterey Bay Aquarium relied upon up to 60 analogue cameras for its video security needs Constant surveillance and monitoring The aquarium has a huge campus, with multiple separate properties and an average annual visitation of two million people. Until recently, the Monterey Bay Aquarium relied upon up to 60 analogue cameras for its video security needs. With such a large area to cover and with so many people to monitor, this type of system proved increasingly unreliable and insufficient to its growing security needs. The aquarium’s security staff also found it a major inconvenience that accessories and other parts for the system were exclusive to the original provider, limiting the security team’s options both technically and financially. The footage from the analogue cameras was monitored on monochrome screens and useful viewing of surveillance video was quite difficult at times. The quality of the images was low, and the inflexible nature of the cameras resulted in a number of blind spots throughout the aquarium’s large campus. Difficult lighting conditions The aquarium also has some very challenging lighting situations, requiring more specialised, versatile cameras in order to properly capture images. “We have some very difficult light levels here. The reflections of the water tanks can make certain areas lighter on camera than they are in person, or vice-versa,” stated Thomas Uretsky, Director of Security and Emergency Management for the facility. The security team reached the point where they knew they needed to upgrade. “The system needed more flexibility, multiple views on one camera, the works,” Mr. Uretsky said. “Blind spots needed to be eliminated, and we wanted as close to a 360-degree view as possible.” After thorough research, San Jose, California-based security integrator NSI Systems recommended Arecont Vision for the camera solution. The aquarium has a huge campus, with an average annual visitation of two million people Arecont Vision surveillance expertise Mr. Uretsky and the team at Monterey Bay Aquarium collaborated with Arecont Vision regarding what they were looking for, where coverage was needed, and how to best fit in into their budget. Monterey Bay Aquarium chose ExacqVision as their video management system, another solid partner to help upgrade their prior surveillance system. A range of different Arecont Vision cameras were ultimately deployed to serve the aquarium’s varying needs. Arecont Vision MicroDome cameras were ideal for the ticketing area and customer lines. The series includes Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) models, which can achieve clear images across extreme lighting conditions, such as those found in some of the indoor spaces at the aquarium. MicroDome cameras have an extremely low profile and only a 4” diameter, making them ideal for discrete security surveillance. When asked for his thoughts about the MicroDome camera, Mr. Uretsky responded, “They are small and nearly invisible to anyone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for. The fact that they have such a small footprint makes them ideal for us in the ticketing and front entrance areas.” The Monterey Bay Aquarium now has the unique and flexible camera solution it required, utilising 360-degree video Another favourite at Monterey Bay Aquarium were Arecont Vision SurroundVideo Omni G1 and G2 adjustable-view cameras. The SurroundVideo Omni series utilises a patented 360º track where each of its four-megapixel sensors can be moved to cover virtually any angle. Remote motorised focus simplified installation with the Omni G2. Combined with the ability to interchange lenses, the Monterey Bay Aquarium now has the unique and flexible camera solution it required. The customisable features of the camera also simplify future changes that may occur at the aquarium, saving time and money if construction or remodelling were to occur. “The SurroundVideo Omni cameras are some of our favourites because we are getting four cameras in one. They have the most flexibility,” said Kevin Wright, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s security manager. “Our blind spots are much more limited, and we don’t need to use nearly as many cameras as we previously had in those areas.” Although each camera offers four separate views, only a single PoE (Power over Ethernet) cable and a single software license is required for integration with the Exacq software, further reducing costs. Megapixel camera performance The system has performed incredibly well to date. Not only was it installed on time, but it was completed within budget. The Monterey Bay Aquarium monitors the system locally, 24-hours per day. The images are viewed on a dynamic video wall in the new Security Operations Center. While most footage is viewed on-site, some cameras have been enabled with the Exacq software for remote monitoring at satellite offices. For example, holding areas for rescued sea otters can be viewed remotely by a research team. Some cameras have been enabled with the Exacq software for remote monitoring off-site Arecont Vision cameras have helped the aquarium’s security department in a variety of ways, one of which is increasingly common: addressing bicycle theft. Individuals will sometimes access a public recreational trail that runs along the aquarium’s main campus to steal unattended bikes parked by visitors or staff. Unlike the previous analogue surveillance system, Arecont Vision’s megapixel cameras are able to provide the security department with good views and high-resolution images when reporting such incidents to the police department. The project at Monterey Bay Aquarium fulfilled a vast array of surveillance requirements — indoor and outdoor scenes, large and small spaces, low- to high-lighting conditions — and Arecont Vision cameras addressed each of the challenges. The deployment of the new cameras made an impression on Mr. Uretsky and his team. Making potential security solutions reality One installation inspired ideas for another, and Arecont Vision helped make these potential security solutions a reality as well. The continual partnership between the aquarium, the system integrator, and Arecont Vision has resulted in an ongoing collaboration between the three entities. “The reason we went with Arecont Vision was because it has a niche where a lot of manufacturers don’t, with its multi-view cameras,” Mr. Uretsky stated. Arecont Vision pioneered the first multi-sensor megapixel panoramic cameras in the surveillance industry in 2006, and has continued to enhance their capabilities, introducing adjustable-view Omni cameras in 2014. “These cameras have been fundamental as we systematically replace our old cameras with newer, megapixel versions. We are always improving and always adding cameras, so each time we’ve installed them we’ve been pleased.”