Telemetry transmitters and controllers - Expert commentary

Integrated security systems for medium and large-sized offices
Integrated security systems for medium and large-sized offices

If you’re responsible for a medium or large-sized office, it’s more important than ever that you have access to a means of ensuring people’s safety, managing risks and fraud, and protecting property. Any security system that you employ must therefore meet the most demanding commercial requirements of today’s offices, and tomorrow’s. This means thinking beyond a basic intrusion system and specifying a comprehensive solution that integrates smart features like access control, video management and intelligent video analytics. Because only then will you have security you can trust, and detection you can depend on. Reliable entry management Access control systems have been developed that guarantee reliable entry management for indoors and outdoors Access control is becoming increasingly important for ensuring the security of office buildings, but as the modern workplace evolves you’re unlikely to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Today, it’s commonplace to control entry to individual rooms or restricted areas and cater to more flexible working hours that extend beyond 9 to 5, so a modern and reliable access control system that exceeds the limitations of standard mechanical locks is indispensable. Access control systems have been developed that guarantee reliable entry management for indoors and outdoors. They use state-of-the-art readers and controllers to restrict access to certain areas, ensuring only authorised individuals can get in. With video cameras located within close proximity you can then monitor and record any unauthorised access attempts. The system can also undertake a people-count to ensure only one person has entered using a single pass. Scalable hardware components As previously mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all system, but thanks to the scalability of the hardware components, systems can adapt to changing security requirements. For example, you can install Bosch’s Access Professional Edition (APE) software for small to medium-sized offices, then switch to the more comprehensive Access Engine (ACE) of the Building Integration System (BIS) when your security requirements grow. And, because the hardware stays the same, any adaptations are simple. APE’s ‘permanent open’ functionality allows employees and guests to enter designated areas easily and conveniently The APE software administers up to 512 readers, 10,000 cardholders and 128 cameras, making it suitable for small to medium-sized buildings. With functions like badge enrollment, entrance control monitoring and alarm management with video verification it provides a high level of security and ensures only authorised employees and visitors are able to enter certain rooms and areas. Of course, there will always be situations when, for convenience, you need certain doors to be permanently open, such as events and open days. APE’s ‘permanent open’ functionality allows employees and guests to enter designated areas easily and conveniently. Growing security needs You switch to the Bosch Building Integration System (BIS), without having to switch hardware (it stays the same, remember?). This is a software solution that manages subsystems like access control, video surveillance, fire alarm, public address or intrusion systems, all on a single platform. It is designed for offices with multiple sites and for large companies with a global presence. Bosch Building Integration System (BIS) manages subsystems like access control, video surveillance, fire alarm, public address or intrusion systems, all on a single platform The BIS Access Engine (ACE) administers up to 10,000 readers and 80 concurrent workplace clients per server, and 200,000 cardholders per AMC. An additional benefit to security officers is the ability to oversee cardholders and authorisations through the central cardholder management functionality and monitor all access events and alarms from every connected site. For consistency, multi-site cardholder information and access authorisations can be created on a central server and replicated across all connected site servers, which means the cardholder information is always up to date and available in every location. Intrusion alarm systems Bosch B Series and G Series intrusion control panels can also send personal notifications via text or email Securing all perimeter doors is vital when protecting employees, visitors and intellectual property. Doors are opened and closed countless times during business hours, and when intentionally left open, your office is vulnerable to theft, and the safety of your employees is compromised. For this reason, intrusion control panels have been developed with advanced features to ensure all perimeter doors are properly closed, even when the system is not armed. If a door remains open for a period of time (you can specify anything from one second to 60 minutes), the system can be programmed to automatically take action. For example, it can activate an audible alert at the keypad to give employees time to close the door. Then, if it is still not closed, it will send a report to a monitoring center or a text directly to the office manager, and when integrated with video it can even send an image of the incident to a mobile device. Customised intrusion systems What about people who need to access your building outside of working hours, like cleaning crews? Your intruder system allows you to customise the way it operates with a press of a button or swipe of a card. This level of control enables you to disarm specific areas, bypass points and unlock doors for cleaning crews or after-hours staff, whilst keeping server rooms, stock rooms and executive offices safe and secure. Bosch B Series and G Series intrusion control panels can also send personal notifications via text or email. You can program the panel to send you opening, closing, and other event alerts, which means you don’t have to be on-site to keep track of movements in and around your facility. Video management system A video management system will add a next level of security to your access control system Every office building has different video security requirements depending on the location, size and nature of the business. Some offices may only need basic functions such as recording and playback, whereas others may need full alarm functionalities and access to different sites. A video management system will add a next level of security to your access control system. For example, the video system can provide seamless management of digital video, audio and data across IP networks for small to large office buildings. It is fully integrated and can be scaled according to your specific requirements. The entry-level BVMS Viewer is suitable for small offices that need to access live and archived video from their recording solutions. With forensic search it enables you to access a huge recording database and scan quickly for a specific security event. For larger offices, embellished security functions for the BVMS Professional version can manage up to 2,000 cameras and offers full alarm and event management Full alarm and event management For larger offices, embellished security functions for the BVMS Professional version can manage up to 2,000 cameras and offers full alarm and event management. It’s also resilient enough to remain operative should both Management and Recording Servers fail. Large multi-national companies often need access to video surveillance systems at numerous sites, which is why BVMS Professional allows you to access live and archived video from over 10,000 sites across multiple time zones from a single BVMS server. When integrated with the BVMS Enterprise version multiple BVMS Professional systems can be connected so every office in the network can be viewed from one security center, which provides the opportunity to monitor up to 200,000 cameras, regardless of their location. Essential Video Analytics Video analytics acts as the brain of your security system, using metadata to add sense and structure to any video footage you capture If your strategy is to significantly improve levels of security, video analytics is an essential part of the plan. It acts as the brain of your security system, using metadata to add sense and structure to any video footage you capture. In effect, each video camera in your network becomes smart to the degree that it can understand and interpret what it is seeing. You simply set certain alarm rules, such as when someone approaches a perimeter fence, and video analytics alerts security personnel the moment a rule is breached. Smart analytics have been developed in two formats. Essential Video Analytics is ideal for small and medium-sized commercial buildings and can be used for advanced intrusion detection, such as loitering alarms, and identifying a person or object entering a pre-defined field. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the right footage from hours of stored video, so you can deal with potential threats the moment they happen. Essential Video Analytics also goes beyond security to help you enforce health and safety regulations such as enforcing no parking zones, detecting blocked emergency exits or ensuring no one enters or leaves a building via an emergency exit; all measures that can increase the safety of employees and visitors inside the building. Intelligent Video Analytics Intelligent Video Analytics have the unique capability of analysing video content over large distances Intelligent Video Analytics have the unique capability of analysing video content over large distances, which makes it ideally suited to more expansive office grounds or securing a perimeter fence. It can also differentiate between genuine security events and known false triggers such as snow, rain, hail and moving tree branches that can make video data far more difficult to interpret. The final piece in your security jigsaw is an intelligent camera. The latest range of Bosch ’i’ cameras have the image quality, data security measures, and bitrate reduction of <80%. And, video analytics is standard. Be prepared for what can’t be predicted. Although no-one can fully predict what kind of security-related event is around the corner, experience and expertise will help make sure you’re always fully prepared.

Why live video streaming is critical for safer and smarter cities
Why live video streaming is critical for safer and smarter cities

The term “smart city” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, but as different technologies that strive to be defined in this way are adopted by different countries globally, the meaning of this phrase gets lost in translation. The simplest way to define a “smart city” is that it is an urban area that uses different types of data collecting sensors to manage assets and resources efficiently. One of the most obvious types of “data collecting sensor” is the video camera, whether that camera is part of a city’s existing CCTV infrastructure, a camera in a shopping centre or even a police car’s dash camera. The information gathered by video cameras can be used with two purposes in mind, firstly: making people’s lives more efficient, for example by managing traffic, and secondly (and arguably more importantly): making people’s lives safer. Live streaming video all the time, everywhere In the smart and safe city, traditional record-only video cameras are of limited use. Yes, they can be used to collect video which can be used for evidence after a crime has taken place, but there is no way that this technology could help divert cars away from an accident to avoid traffic building up, or prevent a crime from taking place in the first place. However, streaming live video from a camera that isn’t connected to an infrastructure via costly fibre optic cabling has proven challenging for security professionals, law enforcement and city planners alike. This is because it isn’t viable to transmit video reliably over cellular networks, in contrast to simply receiving it. Video transmission challenges Transmitting video normally results in freezing and buffering issues which can hinder efforts to fight crime and enable flow within a city, as these services require real-time, zero latency video without delays. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of any scene where cameras are present to support immediate decision making and smart city processes. The information gatheredby video cameras can beused to make people’s lives more efficient, and to make people’s lives safer There are many approaches to transmitting video over cellular. We’ve developed a specialist codec (encoding and decoding algorithm) that can provide secure and reliable video over ultra-low bandwidths and can therefore cope when networks become constrained. Another technique, which is particularly useful if streaming video from police body worn cameras or dash cams that move around, is to create a local wireless “bubble” at the scene, using Wi-Fi or mesh radio systems to provide local high-bandwidth communications that can communicate with a central location via cellular or even satellite communications. Enhanced city surveillance Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means that video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control centre and matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. Identifying known criminals This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city centre where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Facial recognition technology captures and streams live back to a control centre, matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns In an ideal world where the police had an automated, electronic workflow, the police officer nearest to the location of the incident would be identified by GPS and would be told by the control room where to go and what to do. Most police forces aren’t quite at this technological level yet, and would probably rely on communicating via radio in order to send the nearest response team to the scene. As well as this, shopping centres could create a database from analogue records of known shoplifters to identify criminals as soon as they entered the building. This would be even more effective if run co-operatively between all shopping centres and local businesses in an area, and would not only catch any known shoplifters acting suspiciously, but would act as a deterrent from shoplifting in the first place. Live streaming for police As mentioned above, live streaming video from CCTV cameras can help the police fight crime more proactively rather than reactively. This can be enhanced even further if combined with live streaming video from police car dash cams and police body worn cameras. If video was streamed from all of these sources to a central HQ, such as a police operations centre, the force would be able to have full situational awareness throughout an incident. This would mean that, if need be, officers could be advised on the best course of action, and additional police or other emergency services could be deployed instantly if needed. Incorporated with facial recognition, this would also mean that police could instantly identify if they were dealing with known criminals or terrorists. Whilst they would still have to confirm the identity of the person with questioning or by checking their identification, this is still more streamlined than describing what a person looks like over a radio and then ops trying to manually identify if the person is on a watch list. The smart, safe city is possible today – for one, if live video streaming capabilities are deployed they can enable new levels of flow in the city. With the addition of facial recognition, cities will be safer than ever before and law enforcement and security teams will be able to proactively stop crime before it happens by deterring criminal activity from taking place at all.

Drone terror: How to protect facilities and people
Drone terror: How to protect facilities and people

The use of drones has increased dramatically in the last few years. Indeed, by 2021, the FAA says the number of small hobbyist drones in the U.S. will triple to about 3.55 million. With that growth, drone capabilities have increased while costs have decreased. For example, the DJI Phantom 4 can deliver a 2-pound payload to a target with 1.5m accuracy from 20 miles away for the less than $1000.00. This is an unprecedented capability accessible to anyone. This new technology has created an entirely new security risk for businesses and governments. Drone security risks Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations within our borders to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Currently, the most common technologies in use for drone detection are video, acoustic sensors, radio, and air surveillance radar. Each of these has advantages, but they also have flaws that make it difficult to detect drones in all conditions. Both optical and thermal cameras, as well as acoustic sensors, do not operate in severe weather such as fog and snow. And while radio and air surveillance radar cover a wide area of detection, they suffer from high installation costs and limiting technical challenges, such as being unable to detect low flying drones on autopilot. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The compact size allows the radar to be mounted on existing structures or even trees, providing extensive perimeter defence almost anywhere that you can imagine. CSR can also filter out clutter such as birds by using an advanced algorithm reducing the number of false alarms. While the use of CSR and the other detection technologies are legal in the US and in most locations throughout the world, the response mechanisms are generally not. Current regulations in the US prohibit the use of jamming or GPS spoofing in all cases except for a few federal agencies Regulations limiting drones Current regulations in the US prohibit the use of jamming or GPS spoofing in all cases except for a few federal agencies. This makes it difficult to stop the damage that drones can cause. The FAA has put into place new regulations that limit some uses of drones. However, in most cases it is still illegal for even state or local governments to stop or interfere with drones other than to locate the operator and have them land the drone. In 2016 the first law to neutralise a drone in the United States was passed in Utah to respond to drones in wildfire areas because of their interference with airborne firefighting. This law may very well provide a model for other states dealing with drones in situations where people’s lives are being put at risk by drones. At the federal level, much effort is being put into evaluating the regulations and technology surrounding the misuse of drones. In the 2016 reauthorisation bill for the FAA, Section 2135 included a pilot program for the investigation of methods to mitigate the threat of unmanned aircraft around airports and other critical infrastructure. There are many federal agencies that are evaluating the use of a variety of technologies to respond to this threat. Both optical and thermal cameras, as well as acoustic sensors, do not operate in severe weather such as fog and snow   Effective countermeasure technologies The most effective countermeasure for drones is jamming, currently off-limits to the private sector. This includes stadiums, convention centres, and other large gathering areas. A number of companies are developing new response technologies that do not require the use of jammers or hacking. Several companies have developed net guns that shoot a net at an approaching drone. These are only effective at less than 100m and frequently miss the target, especially when the drone is approaching at high speed. Several other companies have taken this method a step further, with drones that capture other drones. Once a radar detects a drone, another defence drone is launched and flies to the point of detection. Then, using video analytics it homes in on the drone and fires a net to disable the drone and take it to a safe location. While this drone capturing technique is still in its infancy, it shows a great deal of promise and will not be restricted in the same fashion as jamming. However, even this solution is difficult under current regulations, as all commercial drones in the US must be under direct control of a human operator within their line of sight. This effectively means that a drone operator is required to be on-site at all times to protect a facility, event, or persons. One thing is for certain, technology will continue to adapt and security companies will continue to invent new methods to protect their facilities and the people they are sworn to protect.

Latest Axis Communications news

ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio wireless locks and AXIS Entry Manager access control software integration offers a cost-efficient system for end users
ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio wireless locks and AXIS Entry Manager access control software integration offers a cost-efficient system for end users

Businesses are always looking for cost-efficient solutions to upgrade their security level. AXIS Entry Manager’s customers can now extend access control efficiently and affordably with Aperio battery-powered locks from ASSA ABLOY. Online integration of the AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller with Aperio cylinders, escutcheons and locks give facility managers real-time control over more doors. Administrators continue to manage every locking point from one AXIS Entry Manager interface, thereby saving time and removing the need to complete extra training. AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller operates on a flexible platform, built to adapt as a site’s security needs change AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller operates on a flexible platform, built to adapt as a site’s security needs change. With this integration, battery-powered Aperio locks are controlled from the same web interface as wired door devices. Because the integration is online, it enables real-time control plus door and user audits on demand. “This integration is the first we have ever done with our access controllers,” explains Ernst Westerhoff, Business Development Manager for Access Control in Europe at Axis Communications, adding “At the end of the day, it costs less for the end-user.” Aperio RS-485 Hub Once installed, an Aperio RS-485 Hub coordinates up to 8 Aperio devices within a 15- to 25-metre range, communicating with the central system via the AXIS A1001. One AXIS A1001 can manage one wired door and one Aperio hub, for a total of 9 doors maximum per controller. AES 128-bit encryption secures all communication between locks and security systems. Aperio locks are wireless, so they require no expensive cabling to install. The AXIS A1001 uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), which eliminates any need for power cabling to controllers. Aperio is cost-efficient during the use phase, too. Wireless Aperio locks Because they run on standard batteries, Aperio locks are much more energy-efficient than equivalent wired door locks. Unlike wired locking, Aperio devices are not connected to mains electricity and use no power when inactive. According to recent ASSA ABLOY benchmarking analysis, choosing wireless over wired locking could bring a large reduction in access control energy use, more than 70% or thousands of euros over a typical installation’s life-cycle. Greater flexibility to expand system coverage Aperio offers Axis end users much greater flexibility to affordably expand or modify their system coverage" “Aperio offers Axis end users much greater flexibility to affordably expand or modify their system coverage. If needs change at a facility, for example, managers want to filter access through more doors, it’s quick and easy for an installer to fit Aperio locks and integrate them online with the AXIS Entry Manager control panel.”, says Lars Angelin, Aperio Business Development Manager at AAOS. The integration allows users to open all wired doors and Aperio wireless controlled doors with the same credential, via almost any standard RFID technology including iCLASS, MIFARE, HID Prox/EM410 and Seos. “We offer to our customers the benefit of easy set-up for wireless access control. They just mount a wireless lock or wireless cylinder to a door and they have full access control,” adds Westerhoff. Streamlining access management The new integration has already been deployed at H-Farm, a business education and innovation hub in Italy. They sought a solution to streamline access management at a geographically dispersed portfolio of buildings. H-Farm experiences rapid user turnover, both because new businesses join regularly and because they organise up to 300 events every year. New locks had to extend the existing Axis system without adding admin workload. Aperio handles, security locks and escutcheons To meet their needs, H-Farm selected Aperio handles, security locks and escutcheons, each easy to retrofit To meet their needs, H-Farm selected Aperio handles, security locks and escutcheons, each easy to retrofit, so as to ensure that day-to-day work at their offices would not be disrupted. So far, 40 Aperio H100 wireless door handles, plus the Aperio wireless locks and wireless escutcheons, have been installed across multiple H-Farm locations in northern Italy. Most of H-Farm’s interior doors are secured with the award-winning Aperio H100 wireless handle, a former Intersec Access Control Product of the Year. The H100 wireless handle packs the flexibility and affordability of wireless access control into a slim door handle. Wireless access control hardware A standard battery slots inside and powers the handle, ensuring a minimal footprint. ASSA ABLOY’s device design team incorporated electronics into the handle lever on the outside of the door, without compromising security. “Aperio wireless access control hardware is solid, nice looking and perfectly fits our environment, solving our access problem,” stated Alberto Aldrigo at H-Farm. H-Farm has a strong track record supporting innovation and creativity in European start-ups. The company focuses on skills development, new approaches to education and digital transformation. With the help of seamless integration from Aperio and Axis, the latest transformation upgrades their own access and security management.

Axis study reveals impact of COVID-19 on physical security industry
Axis study reveals impact of COVID-19 on physical security industry

Axis Communications, a global industry front-runner in network video, has released the results of a recent partner survey in a new whitepaper exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the physical security industry. The online survey, conducted in December 2020, sought the views of senior decision makers within circa 200 partner companies across the UK and Ireland. It is hoped that through the results partners and the wider security industry will be able to make more informed decisions on future business opportunities. The enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be fully grasped. Its initial impact on businesses in the UK and around the world was swift and gave rise to a great many challenges. As businesses adapt to the new social and economic reality and lay down plans for the year ahead, many will want to implement necessary measures to mitigate the effects of further recurrences. The report identifies ways that technology can facilitate a smarter, safer world, by helping businesses to continue to operate through careful management of social distancing and other COVID-led requirements. New security approach Axis’ ‘listening project’ also sought insight into how it can better support its partners and their customers in 2021 Axis’ ‘listening project’ also sought insight into how it can better support its partners and their customers in 2021. While the majority of partners continued to work, albeit some with limited capacity, under their classification as essential services, 41% of respondents expressed concerns about their supply chains, while anxiety over general economic recovery was repeatedly referenced as a top concern for both partners (67%) and their customers (55%). What is clear is the need for ongoing support as partners and customers embrace new approaches to security, with strong customer support viewed as essential. Effective business operations David Needham, Sales Manager of the UK and Ireland, Axis Communications, commented, “Despite the unprecedented disruption that COVID-19 has caused, Axis is proud to have been able to effectively respond and adapt. To further demonstrate our commitment to offer support wherever possible, we launched a survey in the region to identify the main challenges, needs and expectations of our trusted partners, their customers, and wider stakeholders.” “Through careful analysis of the experiences of senior decision makers from a wide range of industries, we will be able to determine where the greatest support is needed and identify ways that technology can facilitate safer and more effective business operations.” Analytics, contactless entry and video surveillance Over half of the partner companies that responded serve medium to large enterprises in a wide range of industry sectors, with more than one in ten employing over 1000 people. Analytics are highlighted as being key to ongoing success, with crowd management and assistance with appropriate social distancing measures also welcomed. In addition, contactless entry to avoid the unnecessary touching of shared surfaces, and integrated solutions such as video surveillance combined with access control, are emphasised. In terms of which particular sectors are viewed as having the most potential in the year ahead, (73%) of respondents cited commercial, followed by industrial (58%) and education (50%). Changes in workflow Process changes have also been widespread throughout the physical security industry On the effects of the pandemic to businesses to date, changes in workflow were reported by most respondents, who indicated that both they and their customers have been challenged by the shift to remote working that has accompanied COVID. HR issues were raised as a cause for concern by 29% of partners; and 33% of end customers, according to the partners, had been affected by HR related issues and 32% by their ability to effectively function remotely. The survey responses indicated that process changes have also been widespread throughout the physical security industry, but few regarded this as a concern. Respondents touched upon a number of key areas, such as increased use of video conferencing, a shift toward remote management systems and changes in sales activity. A third cited changes in service delivery and sales processes (34%). Many believe that the increased emphasis on health and safety processes would likely continue, even as restrictions are eased. Survey outcomes in the Whitepaper The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread and often difficult to gauge. The Axis survey results contained in the whitepaper shed light on the issues facing businesses in the security industry and their customers, as well as their willingness to embrace modern technology, such as automation, analytics, and touchless tools to mitigate those concerns. The responses will help Axis meet the needs of its partners and customers, and continue to find ways of innovating for a smarter, safer world.

Will the new decade represent a ‘Roaring Twenties’ for security?
Will the new decade represent a ‘Roaring Twenties’ for security?

The “Roaring Twenties” was a decade of economic growth and widespread prosperity, driven by recovery from devastation, a construction boom, and welcoming of new technologies such as automobiles and electricity. As we look ahead to the big picture of the 2020s, 100 years later, are there parallels that suggest a successful decade ahead? Might recovery from the devastation of COVID-19 help to drive even higher levels of economic growth and technical innovation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Does the new decade represent a new “Roaring Twenties” for the physical security market?