Understanding access control technology has surpassed its core application as a security tool and is helping protect individuals from infection, Anviz has announced the release of a strategic addition to its product line, Go Touchless - FaceDeep 5 and FaceDeep 5 IRT face recognition terminals. Safely Returning to work and school during the post COVID-19 pandemic period leaves people with a key question - With what health and safety precautions? AI-based facial recognition terminal Anviz has i...
In response to gaps in the short-range air defence radar market, Numerica Corporation (Numerica), a globally renowned company in designing and deploying state-of-the-art defence technology, has announced the development of a new USA-made, 3D radar solution for Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) and other short-range defence missions, Spyglass short-range surveillance radar system. Spyglass 3D radar Designed to fill the need for exceptional C-UAS detection and tracking performance, Spygl...
Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) National Training School has launched a valuable new tool to help employers with one of the biggest challenges faced when hiring new security technicians, gauging practical areas of proficiencies. Gauging proficiency areas “Many other professions use skills assessments to verify computer or accounting expertise, for example, so the Electronic Security Association felt with the thousands of test questions we have available from our courses tha...
Anomali, the globally renowned company in intelligence-driven cyber security solutions, has announced that Anomali Match is now integrated with Microsoft Azure Sentinel. By bridging the gap between these two major security solutions, Anomali and Microsoft have created an automated solution that significantly enhances and speeds joint customers’ threat detection, alerting and response capabilities. Azure Sentinel and Anomali Match integration Azure Sentinel is a cloud-native security inf...
BCDVideo, a globally renowned video data infrastructure solutions firm, has debuted its new Hybrid Cloud Connectivity offering, in partnership with premier software developer, Tiger Technology. Known for their work designing secure, high-performing data management solutions for companies across Enterprise IT, Surveillance, Media and Entertainment, and Small Medium Business (SMB)/Small Medium Enterprise (SME) markets, Tiger Technology’s software expertise pairs with BCD’s prowess in...
Qognify has announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). All of Qognify’s products (Situator, VisionHub, Cayuga, Ocularis and NiceVision) now interface with the OnGuard access control system enabling customers to evaluate situations based on a synopsis of event and video data, allowing a faster and more targeted response to critical incidents. LenelS2 factory certification The newly certified interface allows Qog...
ADT has reached a milestone as its award-winning smart home security platform, ADT Command & Control, surpassed 1 million installations this month. This milestone was achieved less than two years after Command & Control’s nationwide introduction in 2019 as the successor to ADT Pulse, the first widely adopted smart home security system. ADT Command & Control More than 3 million ADT customers now enjoy the convenience and peace of mind provided by an ADT interactive smart home security system. ADT Command integrates security with smart home convenience to create a smarter and safer home or workplace. Whether it is through the ADT Command panel or on the ADT Control mobile app, the Command & Control system integrates with more than 150 devices to help fit every customer’s needs and lifestyle, at home and in the workplace.
PSA Security Network (PSA), the world’s largest security and systems integrator consortium, and USAV, a division of PSA, have announced that general registration has opened for PSA TEC 2021. Discounted early bird pricing is available until March 4, 2021, for all attendees. This year, TEC will be a hybrid event with a small in-person presence for executives of PSA and USAV member and owner companies and a virtual conference open to all levels of systems integrators. “With COVID-19 concerns, we still want to bring people together in a safe manner for top-notch education and networking, while also providing an option for those who cannot travel just yet,” said Candice Aragon, Director of Marketing at PSA Security Network (PSA), adding “We look forward to being able to be together again, though in a limited capacity.” PSA TEC 2021 PSA TEC 2021 will be held from May 3 to May 6, 2021. The live portion will be at the Sheraton Downtown in Denver, Colorado. This is the premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. The in-person education will be focused on executive leadership while the virtual courses will cover a variety of learning tracks including cyber security, managed services, next-generation leadership, management, marketing and sales, operations, procurement and technical. Sessions for systems integration professionals Certifications from renowned industry associations and vendors will be offered virtually The educational content includes sessions for systems integration professionals with a desire to stay relevant and thrive in changing markets through personal and professional development. Certifications from renowned industry associations and vendors will be offered virtually, so technicians can get the training they need without the need to travel. A complete list of the sessions can be found on the official website. “We are excited about both the live and virtual content of TEC 2021, including new NexGen education powered by USAV,” said Anthony Berticelli, Vice President of Operations at PSA Security Network (PSA). Anthony adds, “The virtual sessions will be live-streamed allowing attendees to have high-impact connections with presenters.” Socially distanced trade show PSA will also celebrate its 50th anniversary at the live event, in addition to awarding the prestigious Paul Marcus Award. TEC 2021 will feature major manufacturers and service providers in a socially distanced trade show, as well as offer private meetings for systems integrators and sponsors. A virtual trade show will also be available.
Comelit has extended its security offering to deliver a wireless intruder alarm system, designed to seamlessly operate with its inclusive app technology, allowing residents and businesses to not only control their door entry, CCTV and home automation, but also now their intruder alarm. The Italian security specialist, known for its high specification solutions, has launched Secur Hub, as an intruder alarm system natively connected to the Comelit Cloud, which includes both WiFi and LAN connectivity. Secur Hub Secur Hub operates a high-performance two-way radio link between the control panel and the sensors Secur Hub operates a high-performance two-way radio link between the control panel and the sensors. It allows up to 16 IP CCTV cameras with HD resolution to connect to the control panel for users to view in live stream mode via the Comelit app, and recording of 4 cameras on alarm events for visual verification. Francesca Boeris, Comelit UK Managing Director, stated “To maintain and grow our position as the premier security specialist, we are constantly evolving our solutions to present future-proof technology that keeps people and their places powered and protected wherever they are, utilising IoT to deliver latest app-friendly solutions.” Featuring built-in intuitive wizard Francesca adds, “We are also conscious of simplifying the installation process to enable more installers the chance to offer this smart technology. Secur Hub’s elegant and functional design extends to all devices that communicate with the control panel and allows the system to be installed quickly. With the support of a built-in intuitive wizard it offers instant peace of mind security.” Designed for quick installation, Secur Hub does not require ports to be opened on the router, even for the App, for both system management and for viewing any connected CCTV cameras. Via the app, users can set or unset the alarm system check the status of each sensor and organise notifications or view the control panel event log. Smart security solution Francesca Boeris further stated, “Secur Hub is an exciting innovative launch that really utilises the best of our technology to offer a smart solution with a stylish design that installers have come to expect from Comelit. And when combined with the Comelit App, it presents the perfect solution to the end user.”
iluminar, the specialist manufacturer and supplier of infrared and white light illuminators, appointed Pierre Bourgeix, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of ESI Convergent LLC, a global security consultancy, to its Board of Advisors. Pierre Bourgeix brings over 30 years of security experience through his work at RAND Corporation, U.S. State Department, ADT, Tyco Security, HySecurity, Wallace International, SecureState and Boon Edam. With Bourgeix’s expertise, iluminar looks to expand its influence and customer base across the security channel in the critical infrastructure, education, manufacturing and retail verticals. Appointed to iluminar's Board of Advisors “I am thrilled to be nominated to iluminar's Board of Advisors and partner with Eddie Reynolds,” said Pierre Bougeix, adding “Security solutions today rely on video, analytics and inference at the edge, but none of this is possible without clear video capture enabled by powerful lighting. I look forward to supporting iluminar and driving education around the critical role lighting plays in the smart security solution equation.” Pierre's partnership will strengthen iluminar's share of voice in the marketplace “We are excited for Pierre Bourgeix to join iluminar’s leadership group,” said Eddie Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iluminar, adding “Pierre brings a wealth of knowledge and security experience to the table that is invaluable. His partnership will strengthen iluminar’s share of voice in the marketplace as well as new business opportunities.” Physical and cyber security governance expert Bourgeix’s competencies are in physical and cyber security governance. He has a proven track record of success working with the U.S. Secret Service, National Security Agency (NSA), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Bourgeix’s other knowledge areas include electronic security, managed services security, information technology (IT), and cyber security. He is a respected industry expert and is involved in the development of security standards for the testing of products, systems and solutions. Bourgeix holds master’s degrees in both, Behavioural Education and International Business Management, with a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. He is also a member of the U.S. Naval Institute and is fluent in the languages of English, French and Arabic.
Carefully planned safety and security measures will be a crucial part of the successful redevelopment of the high streets and city centres as they seek to reinvent themselves post the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to security experts, ATG Access. With the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee informed at a January 2021 meeting that the lockdown-induced shift towards online retail will likely be permanent, the high street must move its emphasis away from retail and instead become more leisure and experience-focused with the help of new pedestrianised zones. Creating new pedestrianised zones Gavin Hepburn, Managing Director at ATG Access commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated changes that were already happening in consumer behavior. This presents an exciting opportunity to have another look at our urban landscapes and consider how they might be transformed to better serve the needs and wants of the public.” He adds, “As we saw last summer, pedestrianisation is a great way to create new multifunctional spaces for people to gather and socialise. These spaces can be used to provide a much needed boost to hospitality businesses, or host fun community events, which will be critical when it comes to drawing people back to the high street as things start to return to normal.” Deploying appropriate physical security measures ATG Access report shows 60% of design professionals have concerns about the level of investment in security measures Gavin further stated, “When creating these new spaces, choosing the right physical security measures, such as bollards and impact-tested street furniture, will be crucial in order to ensure that the public can use and enjoy them with confidence. While this may seem obvious, according to our recent research many architects, specifiers and urban planners feel like not enough is invested in security on the projects they work on.” The report by ATG Access revealed that 60% of urban design professionals have concerns about the level of investment in security measures, while 47% feel that their nearest city isn’t safe. When asked about the barriers to appropriate implementation, the majority (67%) cited insufficient funding, 55% identified reluctance from local authorities to invest, and 32% had experienced a local unwillingness to have the look of a space spoiled by ‘obtrusive security measures’. Solutions to circumvent barriers to security implementation Exploring the potential solutions to these barriers, 53% of those surveyed suggested working in partnership with local authorities and suppliers, right from the beginning of a project, to determine the most appropriate security measures, while 36% were keen to make use of impact-tested street furniture to counteract any aesthetic issues. Gavin concludes by stating, “We all want to see cities and towns bustling with life again once the pandemic comes to an end. Creating new safe, public spaces will be the key to achieving this, so urban design professionals, local authorities and security suppliers must all work together to bring this new vision to life and ensure a bright future for our high streets.”
Workforce management specialist, Synel Industries UK (Synel UK), has introduced the latest version of Synergy Access, a cloud-based access control solution which provides a scalable and cost-effective way to manage who is allowed access to restricted areas. Available as a stand-alone solution or as part of a wider suite of software from Synel that includes Time and Attendance and other workforce management modules, Synergy Access is designed to provide a future-proof solution for access control applications of any size, from one building with just a few doors, through to multiple sited organisations that need to secure many thousands of entrances and exits. Effective access control solutions “Synel has already acquired extensive knowledge of what it takes to deliver effective access control solutions, having previously fulfilled the requirements of many existing clients, including banks, data centres, education facilities, commercial offices, retail, warehousing and manufacturing plants," said James Smith, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Synel Industries UK (Synel UK). The latest version of Synergy Access has been developed in response to feedback from existing customers" James Smith adds, “We have seen steady growth in access control enquiries and sales, and the latest version of Synergy Access has been developed in response to feedback from existing customers who have told us they are placing much more value in the benefits delivered by the Cloud and latest technological advancements, such as facial recognition.” Synergy Access Synergy Access, which is offered as a traditional on-site architecture solution or via Synel UK’s fully managed hosted cloud architecture (SaaS), works hand-in-hand with the company’s own brand readers, as well as fingerprint-based biometric readers and the latest state-of-the-art facial recognition devices from technology partner, Suprema. “We have enjoyed a long-term business relationship with Synel and together we have been able to meet the expectations of many of Synel’s customers,” said Jamie McMillan, Managing Director at Suprema Systems. James McMillan adds, “With the launch of the latest Synergy Access version, I believe Synel has the opportunity to offer system integrators a competitive edge, while providing users with added value from their access control systems.” ANPR module Synel has partnered with 4Sight Imaging to introduce an ANPR module for Synergy Access In addition, Synel has partnered with the renowned UK Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) specialist, 4Sight Imaging, to introduce an ANPR module for Synergy Access that allows an on-site ANPR engine to be managed over the Cloud as a hybrid solution. This has already been rolled out to a host of customers. “As technology partners who are experts in their respective fields, 4Sight Imaging and Synel have a proven track record of working together to ensure customers can make best use of ANPR as part of an access control solution," said Martin Cowley, Strategic Accounts Manager at 4Sight Imaging. Martin adds, “The development that we have worked on with Synel allows their customers to take advantage of our leading ANPR engine, whilst managing credentials through Synel’s platform, from anywhere in the world." Integration partnerships Synel Industries UK’s Chief Executive Officer, James Smith further said, “We are in a fantastic position to benefit from continued growth with Synergy Access and are actively looking for new integrator partnerships across EMEA who would like to be part of its success.” He concludes, “Synergy Access offers system integrators a feature rich and yet competitively priced access control solution, which will enable them to win new business and have the opportunity to enjoy long-term recurring revenue by promoting our Cloud-based SaaS. The Synel UK team welcomes any enquiries for demonstrations, as well as being available to provide ongoing pre-sales and post-sales support.”
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
Several major players vigorously employ biometric recognition technologies around the globe. Governments use biometrics to control immigration, security, and create national databases of biometric profiles. Being one of the most striking examples, the Indian Aadhaar includes face photos, iris, and fingerprints of about 1.2 billion people. Financial institutions, on their part, make use of biometrics to protect transactions by confirming a client's identity, as well as develop and provide services without clients visiting the office. Besides, biometric technology ensures security and optimises passenger traffic at transport facilities and collects data about customers, and investigates theft and other incidents in retail stores. Widespread use of biometrics Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is an active user of biometric technology Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is another active user of biometric technology. Industries choose biometric systems, as these systems are impossible to trick in terms of security, access control, and data protection. Being in demand in business, these three tasks are also relevant for the industry. However, the use of biometrics at industrial sites is discussed unfairly seldom. Therefore, it is the face identification that is the most convenient there, as workers often use gloves, or their hands may be contaminated, and the palm pattern is distorted by heavy labour. All these features make it difficult to recognise people by fingerprints or veins and significantly reduce identification reliability. Therefore, industries seek facial recognition solutions. Thus, let us demonstrate the application of face recognition technology at different enterprises, regardless of the area. Facial recognition use in incident management Facial biometric products are known to automate and improve the efficiency of security services by enriching any VMS system. These systems provide an opportunity of instantly informing the operator about recognised or unrecognised people, and their list membership, as well as save all the detected images for further security incident investigation. Furthermore, some sophisticated facial biometric systems even provide an opportunity to build a map of the movements of specific people around a site. Besides, it is relevant not only for conducting investigations but also in countering the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Identifying and tracking COVID-19 positive cases Therefore, if an employee or visitor with a positive COVID-19 test enters a facility, the system will help to track his/her movement and identify his/her specific location. It will also help to take the necessary measures for spot sanitary processing. Thus, the introduction of biometric facial recognition at the industrial enterprise can improve and speed up the incidents’ response and investigations without spending hours watching the video archive. Access control system to secure physical assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets, cut personnel costs, and keep employees safe. Facial recognition systems may enrich access control systems of any company by providing more security. As biometric characteristics, by which the system assesses the compliance of a person with the available profiles in the database, cannot be faked or passed. The human factor is also reduced to zero, due to the fact that while identity documents can be changed, the inspector can make a mistake or treat his/her task carelessly, be in collusion with an intruder, the biometric system simply compares a person in front of the camera with the biometric profiles database. Biometric facial identification software For example, RecFaces product Id-Gate, a specialised software product for reliable access control to the site, checks the access rights by using biometric facial identification alone or in conjunction with traditional IDs (electronic passes, access keys, etc.), which means that there is almost a zero probability of passing to the site by someone else's ID. The access control system’s functionality allows one to strictly account the number and time of all the facility’s visitors and also track their movement. When unauthorised access is attempted or a person from the stop list is detected, Id-Gate sends an automatic notification to the access control system and operator. Enhanced data and information security Even despite the division of access to different industrial enterprise areas, the security service needs to provide independent information system security. Employees with the same facility access rights may have different access rights to data. However, in that case, a personal password is not enough, as an employee may forget it, write it down and leave it as a reminder, tell a colleague to do something for him/her during the vacation, or just enter it at another person’s presence. Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure Password-free biometric authentication Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure. Such systems usually provide an option of two-step verification when successful password entry is additionally confirmed by biometric recognition. Hence, it is particularly relevant due to the current lockdown in many countries. To sum up, the application of biometric technologies solves several issues of the industry, such as: Optimises and partially automates the work of the security service, as it provides reliable identification and verification of visitors/employees, reduces the amount of time spent on finding a person on video and making a map of his/her movements, without spending hours on watching video archive in case of investigation. Provides a high level of reliability and protection from unauthorised access to the enterprise and the information system. Provides a two-step verification of the user/visitor (including password and biometric data) and almost eliminates the risk of substitution of user data/ID.
Many employers faced a need to ramp up hiring of drivers to meet a higher demand for product deliveries and transportation logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the demand for drivers, employers had to make quick hiring decisions while also ensuring products were still being delivered in a timely fashion. Safe work environment Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and contractors. It is therefore important to limit exposing drivers to risk, to put in place proper safety and security protocols, and to clearly outline them in company policies. Whether an employee or contractor, these drivers represent the brand they work for. If they do not adhere to company-mandated safety and security rules, because the business did not make them aware or they intentionally did not comply by acting with malice, this can put the drivers, other employees, customers and the company at risk financially, legally and with regard to their reputation. Adherence to safety protocols Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business" “This need to hire drivers quickly resulted in many businesses lowering their standards and accepting certain risks to meet the increased demand. Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business, potentially leading to harmful events and a damaged brand reputation,” stated Thomas Kopecky, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Ontic Technologies (Ontic), a unified protective intelligence software platform. In the conversation presented below, Kopecky outlines the safety and compliance requirements needed to manage the risks while meeting the demand for drivers. Q: What risks do employers face as they ramp up hiring to meet higher demand for drivers? Thomas Kopecky: There have been instances in which a transportation contractor with multiple violations has simply established the business under a new name but continues to operate dangerously. Hastily hiring such a firm without proper enhanced vetting increases the risk from a safety, as well as a business continuity standpoint. Having to terminate a contract and replace a contractor midway can also have significant financial repercussions. In addition to problems created by executing too quickly, employers are now required both to mitigate their own general liability risks and to manage the perceived risk they may create due to the pandemic. For example, if a delivery driver tests positive for COVID-19, there is the potential they have also exposed customers. Employers must consider contactless delivery or other methods and protocols to mitigate this presumed risk of the pandemic. Q: What are the elements of safety and compliance involved in onboarding new drivers? Thomas Kopecky: When onboarding new drivers, corporations must think about more than clean background checks and adequate infrastructure. Whether employees or contractors, organisations must focus on what other risks the drivers bring with them. As part of this review, an open source scrub should be conducted at the outset to discover the driver’s online activity. Through this exercise, a whole host of questions can be addressed including, for example, whether their morals and values align with those of the company. Are they involved with fringe or radical interest groups? Do their actions conflict with the culture of the organisation, and could they have a negative impact? These are all questions that employers should be considering when hiring new drivers or contracting a new company. Q: What tools are available to help companies vet their driver fleets and how can these tools make a difference? Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags Thomas Kopecky: To vet their driver fleets, corporations can use several tools and resources that will strengthen the organisation’s overall security. Ideally this is a software platform that brings all this information into one place so vetting, real-time data and concerning activities are not siloed but can be connected in order to assess potential risks and threats. Logically, businesses should consider reviewing Department of Transportation Records, which allow organisations to check whether drivers are licenced and appropriately insured. Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags, such as whether an organisation is delinquent or no longer functioning in a given state. Finally, it’s beneficial to review civil records as these can highlight any active or past cases associated with an organisation. This includes fraud, bankruptcy, poor business practices, and more. Q: What should be the standard methodology to investigate and collect data on new driver programs? Thomas Kopecky: Corporate culture and company policies impact the level of vetting required (determined by company policy), which varies from business to business. Quite often, most valuable investigative content is associated with an actual fleet company owner and not a recently created business entity so it behooves corporations to research this information first. Then verify the information provided is correct, and whether any other conflicting information exists. As previously noted, employers should review civil and criminal records at the state level and cases at the federal level, as it is often the fleet company or owner involved in litigation that could reflect negatively on a brand. Media coverage and consumer complaints are another critical source for negative mentions that may not always appear in public records. You should also ask if the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this contract or driver; and if they were once a provider and are now re-applying, is it under a new name? If the answer is yes to either question, it will be necessary to check DOT records for adequate licencing or insurance coverage to ensure providers applying under a new name aren’t trying to circumvent the vetting process. Q: What are the privacy concerns, and how can potential employers ensure they do not violate issues of privacy as they vet drivers (and/or other employees)? Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner Thomas Kopecky: Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Employers often dictate their own guidelines and requirements from company to company. Companies must ensure they follow the law and handle data used for vetting driver fleets in a manner compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When utilising software platforms, those that aggregate public record data in real-time and efficiently to provide actionable insights will be key for protecting corporate driver fleets and businesses overall. Q: How is addressing these issues different in the case of a contracted service versus a company employee? Thomas Kopecky: Addressing these issues will vary from company to company, but it will be important for clients' legal counsel to help interpret the law in the respective state they operate in and make this final determination. This will help shape policy and the employer’s compliance requirements in the area of operation. In some jurisdictions, contractors are vetted and treated like employees who are protected by FCRA. In contrast, there are more broad interpretations of what level of vetting and continuous monitoring can take place on contractors versus employees in other jurisdictions. Q: What is at risk if companies fail to address these issues? Thomas Kopecky: If companies fail to address security issues with managing their driver fleets, they risk major liability, business continuity and brand reputation. Every employee and contractor is in essence an ambassador of the brand, and in many instances, they are the only customer-facing representative for the enterprise. Imagine you are a contractor driving for a major delivery service. If you were to get into an accident and tragically kill someone driving their branded truck, the repercussions of that accident would harm the brand as opposed to the small contracting company by which you are employed. This can have a disastrous impact on the enterprise, both from a reputation and financial standpoint. When proactive steps are not taken to evaluate fleet companies or their owners, this can be viewed as negligence. Consider another example: A brand hires a driver company that has committed fraud while operating under another company’s name. What is the brand’s cost to conduct an initial onboarding assessment of this company versus the cost of investigating an issue, terminating the contract, and dealing with any potential litigation that might follow? The latter is clearly the financial burden. Corporations must proactively address risk associated with their driver fleets to mitigate risk before it occurs. Q: What is the biggest misconception (in the industry and/or the public at large) about employee vetting requirements? Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company Thomas Kopecky: We have passed the days where everything is all about criminal background checks and instant alerts when a driver receives a DUI. We are entering a world where business continuity and resiliency are necessary. Companies are so reliant on contracted services or seasonal employee pools that if that roster of operators were found to be unsuitable, the business itself would not meet the demands of its customers. Before the digital age, people only understood the driver vetting process to be based around a search of felony convictions. Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company from a different vantage point. Employers must begin to think about litigation history, negative media coverage and vocal social platforms, history of poor business practices or fraud, and more. These are factors that need to be considered for a business to mitigate risk and maintain continuity of service in an era where timeliness and instant gratification are highly valued.
Historically, concerns about inclusion and diversity have not been widely discussed in the security market. In the last couple of years, however, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and other groups have worked to raise awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, SIA’s Women in Security Forum has focused on the growing role of women in all aspects of security, and SIA’s RISE community has focused on “rising stars” in an industry previously dominated by Baby Boomers. The next generation of security leaders There is a business case to be made for diversity and inclusion, says a report by McKinsey & Company. According to the management consulting company, gender-diverse companies are 24% more likely to outperform less diverse companies, and ethnically diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts. Furthermore, the “next generation of security leaders” – employees under 30 – are particularly focused on diversity and inclusion. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique A panel discussion at ISC West’s Virtual Event highlighted aspects of inclusion and diversity, starting with a definition of each. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique. On the other hand, inclusion refers to the behaviour and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. “We are all on a journey, and our journey takes different paths,” said Willem Ryan of AlertEnterprise, one of the SIA panelists. “There are opportunities to improve over time. We can all change and increase our ability to have a positive impact.” Industry responsibility The industry has a responsibility to the next generation of industry leaders to address issues of inclusion and diversity. Forbes magazine says that millennials are more engaged at work when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture. So the question becomes: How do we unify and create opportunities to work with and champion tomorrow’s leaders? SIA is driving change in our industry to achieve that goal. More women are active in SIA than ever before. The SIA Women in Security Forum now has 520 members, said Maureen Carlo of BCD International, the SIA Women in Security Forum Chair and another panelist. Also, more women than ever are chairing SIA committees and serving on the SIA Board of Directors. More women than ever are chairing SIA committees Overcoming unconscious bias Former SIA Chairman Scott Shafer of SMS Advisors, another of the panelists, noted that SIA awarded the Chairman’s Award to the Women in Security Forum in 2019, and to the RISE community steering committee in 2020. “There are lots of ways we are seeing the elevation of women and ethnic groups in the security industry,” said Shafer. One topic of interest is the problem of “unconscious bias,” which can be overcome by looking at something through some else’s lens. Ryan suggested use of the acronym SELF – Slow Down, Empathise, Learn, and Find commonalities. Ryan recalled the value of being mentored and having someone shepherd him around the industry. “Now I want to give back,” he said. “We need to look at the things we can change in ourselves, in our company, in our communities, and in our industry. Change comes from the bottom and the top.” Increasing representation “It takes all of us to increase representation everywhere,” said Kasia Hanson of Intel Corp., another panelist. “We have in common that we are all human beings. Let’s make sure the next generation all have opportunities.” Diverse companies can attract better talent Moving forward, the panelists urged the industry to get involved and create opportunities because inclusion drives diversity. Diverse companies can attract better talent and attain a competitive advantage. Awareness of unconscious bias, and working to eliminate it, is an important element of change. Despite the progress the security industry is making, change continues to be incremental. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Ethics are an important – but some might argue, undervalued – aspect of the security marketplace. To kindle the industry’s interest in ethics, the Security Industry Association (SIA) in early 2019 created a working group on Ethics in Security Technology. The working group developed a list of ethical principles, which were approved by the organisation’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors and became the SIA Membership Code of Ethics. SIA member companies must adhere to the Code of Ethics, and there are consequences of noncompliance, up to and including possible expulsion from the organisation. In addition to adopting the Code of Ethics, the Board of Directors have revised the organisation’s bylaws to require that members read, understand and adhere to the Code of Ethics as a condition of SIA membership. Navigating issues “SIA wanted to be proactive on this and give members resources to navigate day-to-day issues,” said Ron Hawkins, SIA Director of Industry Relations. He notes that the Code is intentionally written broadly to be applied to a range in cases, and to provide SIA leaders with latitude making decisions. Current members will be required to adhere to the code when they renew their membership Current members will be required to adhere to the code when they renew their membership, which will be sometime during 2020 or in the first half of 2021, depending on when a member joined (for a one-year term). If there is an ethics-related complaint or an issue with a member company, the matter is considered by SIA leadership, which will review the concerns and ask the member company to respond. The resulting judgment might be a written notice/warning, a suspension of membership or expulsion. Enforcement of the Code of Ethics might be triggered by media coverage, government announcements, or written complaints submitted to the SIA Executive Committee. Handling complaints Hawkins emphasises that each complaint will be handled by the Executive Committee and full Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis to address anything not specified in the principles, which focus on requirements rather than consequences. Hawkins says it would be unlikely that any public announcement would be made about enforcement of the Code unless or until a member company were expelled. Since the Code of Ethics took effect on July 1, 2020, SIA has not taken any action on any member company. Any issue with any current member would be addressed on their membership renewal date, Hawkins said. The code applies to all SIA member companies, both manufacturer companies (which make up more than half of the membership) as well as to integrators, service providers, distributors and other member companies. Act with honesty, integrity and transparency Among the principles in the Code of Ethics are requirements to act with honesty, integrity and transparency, and to avoid fraudulent or misleading business practices. Marketing materials must be accurate. Sustainability and environmental impacts of products and services must be considered. The Code also opposes prejudice, harassment and abuse in the workplace The Code also opposes prejudice, harassment and abuse in the workplace. SIA companies should work with law enforcement to enhance public safety while respecting expectations of privacy. Cybersecurity risks should be monitored and mitigated “as much as reasonably possible, according to industry best practices.” Products, services and solutions should not be designed or manufactured in a manner as to “surreptitiously transmit information to third parties.” Finally, the principles require SIA member companies not to “knowingly” design, manufacture, sell or deploy products that have been deemed by any government authority or self-regulatory entity to “support the infliction of human rights abuses, the restrictions of civil liberties, and/or the implementation of other oppressive measures.” Hawkins says that the interpretation of “knowingly” would be made by SIA leaders. Why does the industry need The Code of Ethics? He would not comment on whether the Code of Ethics applies to activities by global companies that do not involve that company’s U.S. subsidiary (which is a SIA member). Such details would be decided on a case-by-case basis by the SIA Board of Directors, he said. The Code of Ethics is needed in part because the security industry impacts important issues for society at large, from privacy to civil liberties to national security. The Code of Ethics is needed in part because the security industry impacts important issues for society “Everywhere you go, you encounter security technologies, such as video cameras in public places,” says Hawkins. “Even if someone is not a purchaser or user of security technology, they will encounter it every day. So security is in a unique position because of its reach beyond the people who buy and use it, and it requires consideration of issues such as civil liberties and privacy.” Hawkins notes that the SIA Board of Directors already has its own “Code of Ethics” which directs how board members perform their duties, such as abstaining from a decision that might involve a competitor.
Johan Cruijff ArenA will utilise innovative video analytics to improve visitor flow, optimise parking utilisation and offer fans an anonymous way to provide feedback about the stadium experience, among other uses. The Security & Safety Things IoT platform for smart cameras will integrate into the ArenA’s operational software to provide key insights into stadium operations and ongoing health and safety measures, especially useful since the pandemic. The partnership will provide a potential model for other organisations looking to deploy technology solutions to safely reopen. IoT platform for smart cameras Security and Safety Things GmbH and the Johan Cruijff ArenA are partnering up and will deploy S&STs IoT platform for smart surveillance cameras to enhance overall fan experience, optimise ArenA operations and increase visitor security and privacy. The ArenA is home to AFC Ajax and the internationally renowned Amsterdam Innovation ArenA (AIA), a living lab established by the ArenA and the City of Amsterdam to enable development and testing of innovative stadium and smart city solutions. Security & Safety Things IoT platform S&ST IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software The Security & Safety Things (S&ST) IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software to provide information and analysis for safety and security as well optimisation of stadium operations and visitor engagement. “Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. Sander van Stiphout adds, “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimisation tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.” AI-enabled video analytic applications A series of smart cameras on the S&ST IoT platform are installed in key areas throughout the stadium. Using specialised, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real-time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimisation. Queue detection applications Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimise staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow. Smart camera platform We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner" “The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Security & Safety Things GmbH. Hartmut adds, “We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.” Smart surveillance camera system The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyse the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
AZ Alma was a brand new hospital, created by merging two other hospitals. It needed an access control system that could cope with the demands of high levels of employees and visitors, varying access rights and the flexibility to respond in emergencies. The new hospital also had a vision of being completely keyless. Opportunities offered by AEOS AZ Alma installed Nedap Security Management’s AEOS access control system and implemented several useful features. LEDs on readers, for example, instantly show nurses which rooms they can’t access. AZ Alma installed Nedap Security Management’s AEOS access control system By integrating Mace readers, AZ Alma can give patients a QR code that gives access to parking, doors and elevators, so they can go straight to the right department. And, in line with its keyless vision, even the electrical cabinets have card readers. Key benefits High security & convenience Significant time and money saved by going keyless Option to trigger emergency settings that change access rights immediately Use of QR codes increases convenience for patients Easy to allocate and manage access rights, even for high volumes of people Freedom to integrate a specific choice of readers and other hardware Future-proofed access control that can be easily extended and adapted AEOS access control system AEOS access control system, developed by Nedap Security Management, is a software-based access control system, operated via a web-based dashboard, offering remote log-in from anywhere to control and monitor access. To add more functionality to the system, users can simply select extra options from their access control software. As AEOS is built on open standards, it integrates with a wide range of technologies, including video monitoring and biometric readers. And it has the flexibility to scale easily, so users can build and grow their access control system.
Trinity College Dublin is enhancing safety and support for staff and students by implementing SafeZone technology from CriticalArc. SafeZone technology Through this implementation, the university aims to deliver more rapid response to calls for assistance across all campus facilities, and to better assist students and staff working remotely, including those on placement overseas. When individuals call for assistance, in a wide range of situations, including those working alone out of hours, those with particular vulnerabilities and those with medical emergencies, the technology will enable responders to pin-point their precise location. Access with SafeZone mobile app Students and staff can check-in and use the service with the SafeZone mobile app Students and staff can check-in and use the service with the SafeZone mobile app, which puts them in immediate contact with the university’s support infrastructure. The technology will also make it easy for the responders to optimise response and to provide appropriate intervention in the event of an emergency. “During this challenging time for our students and staff, Trinity College Dublin is doing everything it can to ensure both the physical and mental well-being of everyone in our community. We are delighted to be introducing this advanced technology, as part of our support actions,” stated Trinity’s Head of Safety, Dr. Katharine Murray. Students and staff safety “It’s more important than ever for universities to keep in touch with their students and staff, to fulfill their duty of care and ensure that those who need help of any kind get the quickest possible response,” said Darren Chalmers-Stevens, Managing Director of CriticalArc. Darren adds, “We’re pleased to help Trinity College Dublin with a rapid implementation of SafeZone to help ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.”
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec, Inc. (Genetec), a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions to enhance and upgrade its security system. Genetec Security Center The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec Security Center, a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface, underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract for Changi Airport Group was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process. “Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights that Genetec Security Center is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Commercial Lead Transportation, APAC at Genetec, Inc.
Located in the heart of west London, Ealing Council serves the residents and businesses of the UK capital's fourth largest borough. With a vast housing portfolio and a commitment to keeping residents as safe and secure as possible, Ealing Council benefits from the use of PAC’s innovative cloud-based access control solution, PAC Residential Cloud. The London Borough of Ealing comprises seven major towns, Ealing, Acton, Greenford, Hanwell, Northolt, Perivale and Southall. Ealing Council’s task is to provide a diverse range of services to the 350,000 residents residing across the area. It is committed to improving its performance, while ensuring value for money and serving a key part of this is the provision of good quality housing that meets the highest possible standards. Ensuring safety and security of residents In addition to carrying out property allocation, repairs, rent collection, homelessness services and estate management, Ealing Council is responsible for ensuring the security and safety of the tenants living in its 300+ housing blocks. As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system" Daljit Gill, an Electrical Services Manager at Ealing Council commented, “When it comes to administering our multi-site housing portfolio, Ealing Council recognises the advantages that access control technology brings in terms of our ability to effectively access information, issue and configure key fobs and check occupancy status.” He adds, “As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system, which currently comprises around 1,100 doors and 500 controllers.” PAC Residential Cloud Over the last few years the cloud has proven to be a game changer in the way access control technology is designed, configured and used. The PAC Residential Cloud leads the way in allowing organisations to remotely manage and monitor their access control systems. Meanwhile, the PAC controllers, which are being used as part of the Ealing Council’s access control system, utilise the general packet radio service (GPRS) platform, which is a faster and cost-effective means of connecting remote sites via a mobile network. Key fob management and remote diagnostics Sam Flowers, Regional Sales Manager at PAC GDX, explains “Daljit and his team can address technical issues, deal with key fob management, examine diagnostics, view system status, set and unset a system, and gain access to event logs and reports, all from a remote location.” Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals" Sam adds, “Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals, which is obviously restrictive and can lead to a delayed response. We provide a full online training programme to help customers get the best out of their systems and also offer full technical support.” Asked on how the PAC Residential Cloud makes his day to day working life easier, Ealing Council’s Daljit Gill responded by stating, “I can address connection issues, manage the system and troubleshoot from wherever I happen to be, using my PC, tablet or smartphone. Not only is this convenient, it also saves me a huge amount of time, as I don’t have to go into the office to log-in.” Fully auditable system He adds, “Two of my colleagues also have permission to use the system remotely, although we could share access with up to 15 administrators if required, with each person only given access to information that relates directly to their role.” Daljit further said, “One of the main features of the system is that it is fully auditable, meaning that any activity can be monitored in real time and traced directly back to a specific user via their unique password.” Adherence to GDPR and strong data protection policy Ealing Council strictly adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has implemented a strong data protection policy. PAC Residential Cloud is hosted with The Bunker, a trusted PAC partner, whose UK data centres are located in former nuclear bunkers and certified to the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob" PAC Residential Cloud also offers Ealing Council some less obvious benefits. Sam Flowers comments, “The data collected by the access control system can be used to issue an alert if a resident’s key fob hasn't been used during a specific period, identify patterns of behaviour that could suggest illegal activity, flag-up if someone is subletting a property or even detect if a tenant is using a cloned key fob.” Sam adds, “If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob. Furthermore, the PAC Residential Cloud has also helped Ealing Council adopt a business as usual approach during the coronavirus pandemic by limiting physical interaction, while still enabling a prompt and effective response.” Fully IP-based access control system As well as enjoying the operational advantages of the PAC Residential Cloud, Ealing Council is also planning to advance its transition to a fully internet protocol (IP) based access control system by upgrading to PAC’s 512DCi digital networkable access controllers. Daljit Gill concludes by stating, “Installing the PAC 512DCi’s will allow us to maximise operational effectiveness through our investment in the PAC Residential Cloud. We will also be able to utilise PAC’s high frequency OPS MIFARE DESFire EV1 readers, which have been tested to meet Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128 bit compliance. This will further reduce the risk of key fob cloning and ensure that our tenants benefit from improved levels of security.”
Synectics, a globally renowned company in the design, integration and support of advanced security and surveillance systems, announced that the company has won a new contract with Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) to upgrade all InterCity Mark 4 rolling stock on the Dublin to Cork route to an IP-based video surveillance solution, following a competitive bid process. The IP video security system contract will see Synectics develops and installs an innovative safety-critical IP video surveillance system that enables full connectivity from trains to the control room, there by replacing the existing CCTV approach. Safety-critical IP video surveillance system installation Each eight-coach train set, using Synectics’ T2000 platform, will help utilise a suite of IP 360-degree ‘fish-eye’ cameras Each eight-coach train set, using Synectics’ T2000 platform, will help utilise a suite of IP 360-degree ‘fish-eye’ cameras, in the vestibules and saloon areas, to provide high-quality surveillance information. Installation is expected to commence in September 2021, to be followed by an additional support contract to provide a five-year in-territory maintenance programme. IP video security technology Iain Stringer, Managing Director of Synectics, commented “We are delighted that Irish Rail has chosen our IP video security technology, alongside our design, programme management and installation capabilities, to upgrade surveillance on one of their premier InterCity routes.” He adds, “This win with Irish Rail represents a further step into on-vehicle heavy rail solutions for our Synectics Security business, building on our deep experience across light-rail markets.” Smart technology developments Iain further stated, “Irish Rail is our second public transport win in Ireland over the last few months and reflects our growing reputation for smart technology developments that meet next generation operator requirements. Our approach is opening up new opportunities for all rail operators to transition their video management capability to the cloud and improve operational effectiveness.”
Round table discussion
A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?
The definition of a standard is “an authoritative principle or rule that usually implies a model or pattern for guidance, by comparison with which the quantity, excellence, correctness, etc., of other things may be determined.” In technology markets, such as physical security, standards are agreed-upon language, specifications or processes that are used across the board by multiple stakeholders to enable easier interconnectivity and smoother operation of systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are standards shaping change in the physical security market?
Statistically speaking, incidents of terrorism are unlikely to impact most businesses and institutions. However, the mere possibility of worst-case-scenario attacks is enough to keep security professionals awake at night. Compounding the collective anxiety is the minute-by-minute media coverage when an attack does occur. The immediacy of the shared experience of global tragedy impacts us all – including security system decision-makers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market?
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