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Video motion detectors - Expert commentary

Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected
Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected

The global pandemic has triggered considerable innovation and change in the video surveillance sector. Last year, organisations around the globe embraced video surveillance technologies to manage social distancing, monitor occupancy levels in internal and external settings, and enhance their return-to-work processes. Forced to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations for a new post-COVID reality, companies were quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video surveillance systems. Whether that was utilising motion sensing technologies to automatically close doors or switch on lighting in near-deserted office facilities. Or checking if people were wearing masks and adhering to distancing rules. Or keeping a watchful eye on streets and public spaces during mandated curfew hours. Beyond surveillance and monitoring use cases, organisations also took advantage of a raft of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to undertake a range of tasks. Everything from automating their building management and optimising warehouse operations, to increasing manufacturing output and undertaking predictive maintenance. Behind the scenes, three key trends all contributed to the growing ubiquity of video surveillance observed in a variety of government, healthcare, corporate, retail, and industry settings. Video surveillance takes to the Cloud Last year the shift to digital working led organisations to rapidly embrace cloud-enabled services, including cloud-hosted Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) solutions that provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility. Alongside significant cost savings, these solutions make it easier for organisations to enhance their disaster recovery and manage their video surveillance estate in new and highly effective ways. Surveillance cameras with audio recording were used more than 200% by customers between 2016 and 2020For example, in addition to enabling remote access and maintenance, today’s cloud-powered systems eliminate any need to invest in local storage technologies that all too often fail to keep pace with an organisation’s growing data storage requirements. Indeed, data from our worldwide customer base survey reveals how in 2020 an impressive 63% of organisations had abandoned using any on-premises storage option and were instead only storing all their video surveillance recordings and data in the Cloud. A deeper review of the global stats shows that the average cloud recording retention period for this stored data was 28.2 days, with organisations in Asia topping the global average at 38 days – 33% higher than was observed in any other region. Improvements in bandwidth and scalability engendered by the Cloud have also helped boost the growing utilisation of audio recordings in addition to visual image capture. Indeed, our research found the number of surveillance cameras with an audio recording facility used by customers jumped more than 200% between 2016 and 2020. Making sense of Big Data The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by the Cloud is stimulating more companies to connect a lot more video surveillance cameras to their networks. The top motivation for doing so is to generate live metrics and data that can be utilised to deliver enhanced business insights and operational intelligence. In recent years, a rich choice of video analytics solutions have been developed for a variety of industry verticals. The range of functionalities on offer is impressive and covers a variety of applications. Everything from making it easy to classify and track objects and behaviour patterns in real-time, to undertaking anomaly detection, or generating predictions based on past and present events/activities. Data collected via today’s cloud connected cameras can now also be used to feed deep learning training and AI analytics, utilising the unparalleled virtualised processing capacity of the Cloud to convert Big Data into usable information quickly. By integrating this information with data from other enterprise data capture systems, organisations are now able to gain a 360-degree view of their operations – in almost real-time. IT is now in the driving seat No longer the sole preserve of on-site security staff, the wider application and business use of video surveillance means that IT is increasingly taking the lead role where the management and control of these systems are concerned. IT is asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need Aside from the fact that IT has a vested interest in addressing the cybersecurity implications that come with attaching a growing range of IoT devices to the enterprise network, they’re also increasingly being asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need. As organisations expand their integration of video with other business applications, such as point of sale, access control, process control and manufacturing systems, this trend is only set to accelerate. Looking to the future Right now, the video surveillance industry is at a key tipping point, as video systems become increasingly strategic for enabling the enterprise to boost productivity, stay compliant, and fulfil its obligations to protect employees and customers. As the technology’s contribution to enhanced data-driven decision-making and problem solving continues to increase, expect the adoption of IP connected video cameras to burgeon as organisations look to capture more data from their day-to-day business operations.

VSaaS and ACaaS uptake increases due to cloud adoption as a result of COVID
VSaaS and ACaaS uptake increases due to cloud adoption as a result of COVID

While COVID-19 caused widespread disruption and many challenges for businesses, its sudden arrival prompted some very quick decision-making around how to maintain operations. For some businesses, cloud-based video conferencing solutions provided a welcome alternative to meeting face-to-face. A year on and it seems that this sudden and mass adoption of cloud has accelerated a digital transformation process in other departments. Physical security too is increasingly moving to the cloud in the form of hosted solutions, where Video Surveillance as-a-Service (VSaaS) is providing comprehensive protection across a range of industries and sectors. To better understand the impact of this migration to the cloud, hosted security provider Morphean commissioned a survey of 1000 senior decision-makers across the UK, Germany and Sweden, working in HR, facilities management, IT and security. As well as ascertaining purchasing intent around hosted security applications among a broad spectrum of buyers, the results would provide key indications around the abilities of cloud to benefit organisations in regard to both security and business operations. An increasing urgency around VSaaS and ACaaS adoption Low costs, flexible scalability, demand for real-time and remote access to security data are key to the adoption of hosted solutions Survey results revealed that 51% of senior decision-makers are currently using cloud-based video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or a door entry/access control system (ACaaS). This represents a 3% increase in comparison to responses from a 2019 survey (48%), and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.2%. Low costs, flexible scalability and demand for real-time and remote access to security data are key to the accelerated adoption of hosted solutions in the current climate. A significant 70% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had actually increased the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt VSaaS and ACaaS, with IT Services revealed as the sector with most respondents strongly or somewhat agreeing (82%), followed by Security (73%). Results highlight a hosted physical security market which is in a strong position for 2021. Physical security utilising the cloud can unlock many security and business benefits for the modern organisation as it faces many new challenges. Business optimisation and operational insights The benefits of VSaaS and ACaaS prompted Morphean to examine what areas of the business were optimised, or in need of improvement. 43% of those surveyed stated that data/information security was the most optimised aspect of their company. The total number of respondents who indicated that physical security was already optimised had risen by 4% since our 2019 survey, to 27%. It was those working in IT who saw the greatest disparity in security-related optimisation, with far fewer recognising that physical security was optimised (28%) compared with data/IT security (55%). This may point to an opportunity to increase physical security optimisation to be on par with data/IT security. 95% of those surveyed agreed that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making it would influence adoption. It is clear that the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. As an example, consider an office environment where access control and video data can be used to determine an employee’s movements in the event of a positive COVID-19 result and alert others who may have made physical contact with that individual. A future proof business model Decision-makers surveyed that use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19 78% of the 1000 senior decision-makers surveyed anticipate their organisations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on-premises, businesses are able to customise and scale quickly to meet ongoing challenges without the need for large upfront capital investment. The convenience of as-a-service can be paid for out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost. This is the proven business model of the cloud. Yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licences rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities. This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the crisis. Full support and extensive functionality From a customer perspective, 28% of respondents highlighted cost benefits as a key factor in the move towards VSaaS/ACaaS and 19% indicated that they would expect to see all-inclusive updates/upgrades and support. VSaaS and ACaaS are supported by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades, so are always up to date. Additionally, functionality such as remote management allows operations to be monitored offsite via mobile device. Access from any location (32%), remote maintenance (31%), and the ability to monitor empty sites (29%) were all identified as key benefits of introducing VSaaS and ACaaS, alongside better security (40%) and better functionality (33%). The revelation that such technology is employed by over half of organisations across a wide range of industries is a comforting validation of its benefits, and evidence that hosted physical security is in great demand. 30% of those surveyed indicated that they did not currently use such solutions, but were considering their implementation. Cloud’s resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. VSaaS and ACaaS provide flexibility in a security and business solution that meets the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.

We need to talk about intelligent enclosure protection
We need to talk about intelligent enclosure protection

Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data centre world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.

Latest GJD Ltd news

GJD launches Clarius hybrid IP LED illuminator to provide excellent night-time images
GJD launches Clarius hybrid IP LED illuminator to provide excellent night-time images

GJD, a manufacturer and designer of smart electronic perimeter detection and high-performance LED illumination equipment, is pleased to announce the launch of its Clarius® Hybrid IP IR/WL LED illuminator. The Clarius® Hybrid IP is a high-performance combined infra-red and white light illuminator; which incorporates the latest surface mount LED technology with enhanced optical output and outstanding reliability, delivering excellent night-time images. Minimising light wastage GJD’s Hybrid IP illuminator provides white light for colour recordings or IR light for black & white night-time CCTV image capture. The Hybrid illuminator is an internet protocol connected device with an integrated web browser. The unit includes an interchangeable lens diffuser system which allows the user to quickly and easily alter the angle of illumination. Elliptical beam profiles allow more light to be delivered where it is needed Elliptical beam profiles allow more light to be delivered where it is needed, lighting up longer distances and minimising light wastage. The system also helps to prevent overexposure of foreground objects. As standard the illuminator includes interchangeable lensing which delivers 10° circular, 30°, 60° & 95° elliptical beam profiles, with additional lenses available on request. Provide dedicated lighting Why use the Clarius Hybrid IP IR/WL illuminator? Hybrid illuminator designed to provide dedicated lighting for IP cameras via PoE+ (power over ethernet) Distances up to 187m (614') (IR) and 114m (374') (WL) Integrated browser interface Direct integration with VMS systems IEEE02at compliant IP66 weatherproof rating Built-in photocell on/off Vibration/shock sensor CleanLITE self-cleaning lens coating technology High quality anodised aluminium heat sink 5 year warranty GJD, headquartered in Heywood, Greater Manchester provides innovative presence detection and security lighting systems. GJD’s detectors and illuminators are a perfect fit for sites of all sizes and from low to high-end security requirements.

Revader Security forms a strategic partnership with Dynamic CCTV to promote their products across the UK
Revader Security forms a strategic partnership with Dynamic CCTV to promote their products across the UK

Revader Security has agreed a strategic partnership with Dynamic CCTV, a trade supplier of professional CCTV to the security industry. Revader Security’s range of products include Transit rapid redeployable cameras which are straightforward to install in virtually any location and can be rapidly repositioned to respond to changing security demands. Powered by battery or mains, footage can be viewed and downloaded over wireless and mobile networks. Remote monitoring solutions The company also produces a range of mobile power solutions (PowerPaks) and a range of accessories to interface with the redeployable CCTV products. Revader Security has also developed a range of diesel and battery powered rapid deployment CCTV towers which are proving increasingly popular with end users and the security trade as a rental opportunity. Dynamic CCTV will promote, supply and support Revader Security’s range of products As complete surveillance, recording and remote monitoring solutions, they are ideal for deployment into situations where little or no existing infrastructure is present. Dynamic CCTV will promote, supply and support Revader Security’s range of products with trade customers across the UK, drawing on over 25 years’ experience in the marketplace as one of the suppliers of CCTV to the security industry. Digital recording systems Dynamic CCTV is a Hikvision UK authorised distributor, providing the latest innovative CCTV equipment at very competitive pricing - including Digital Recording Systems, IP Cameras and CCTV monitoring equipment, along with products from other manufacturers such as TP-Link, GJD, Iiyama, TOA, Ubiquiti and Veracity. Stuart Caldecourt, Managing Director at Revader Security commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Dynamic CCTV, who have an outstanding track record in the supply of professional CCTV products across the UK – and an impressive engineering and support capability proven over many years.”

Hikvision secures Dundee aqua park with thermal video solution
Hikvision secures Dundee aqua park with thermal video solution

Dundee’s rejuvenated waterfront has breathed new life into the city, and not far from the new V&A Museum building is Foxlake Dundee, an exciting new water sports facility. Taking advantage of the regenerated docks area, Foxlake Dundee offers cable wakeboarding – where boarders are propelled by an electric cable rather than a boat – paddle boarding and Scotland’s first urban Aqua Park. Hikvision thermal video solution Foxlake Dundee was the second Foxlake water park to open, following the very successful adventure park in Dunbar, East Lothian, on the Scottish coast. The Dundee facility, which opened fully in summer 2018, includes a large floating assault course, which has proven hugely popular with visitors, featuring huge obstacles, slides and rafts, and a giant 3.5m inflatable tower known as ‘the Mountain’. Unfortunately, due to its city centre location, the assault course and the wider facility was likely to be something of a magnet for unauthorised activity, primarily of the inebriated variety, explains Zak Hegarty, Foxlake Dundee’s manager. “Because of our location, right in the heart of Dundee city centre, we’re quite near a lot of pubs,” Hegarty adds. “And sometimes a 3.5m floating inflatable tower looks pretty inviting to someone with a quantity of ale in their system – it looks like an irresistible challenge.” Remote HD CCTV monitoringI introduced myself as I saw they were opening and was invited initially to look at a CCTV system" The concern was that accidental or deliberate damage or vandalism to the equipment was a real risk – and along with that came the danger of injury or worse to those attempting to exploit the park, at night, in the dark, unsupervised on the water. Hegarty’s first instinct was to investigate the option of manned guarding: having a security officer on-site during those out of hours periods overnight when the facility was at its most vulnerable. But an approach from Brian Davidson of Webster Security & Fire was to change his mind. Davidson had noticed the development in the docklands with interest. He approached Hegarty to see if Webster Security & Fire might be able to help with securing the site. “I introduced myself as I saw they were opening and was invited initially to look at a CCTV system,” Davidson says. “This then blossomed during further conversations into a proactive, remotely monitored CCTV solution. They were looking at going down the route of employing manned guarding for when the site was closed, but we thought this would provide a cost-effective and workable solution that offered the same level of protection.” GJD motion detectors The challenges presented by the Foxlake Dundee site were not insignificant. The system needed to be remotely monitored and based on some form of movement detection – on a site which itself was constantly moving, due to the changing tidal water levels. Davidson and Webster Security & Fire got in touch with Hikvision in Scotland and together they designed a solution to meet all of Foxlake’s needs. The centrepiece of the system proposed by Davidson and Webster Security & Fire was the use of Hikvision thermal cameras to detect activity on the jetties. This is complemented by the use of GJD motion detectors and Hikvision cameras to pick up movement on approach areas, further Hikvision cameras which monitor the internal office reception areas, and additional Hikvision cameras providing a security, health and safety and management overview of the both the assault course and the paddle and wakeboarding facility areas. A public address tannoy system is also connected to the surveillance solution. Hikvision thermal bullet cameras The Hikvision thermal bullet cameras highlight areas of heat difference in the field of view The Hikvision thermal bullet cameras highlight areas of heat difference in the field of view – so a human body is always visible as hotter than its surroundings, particularly in a marine or waterfront environment. Hikvision’s thermal cameras also utilise behaviour analysis technology, so figures moving into specific zones in the image can automatically generate alarms. The advantage of thermal cameras for a water-based site like Foxlake is that they can operate in all weather conditions – they’re not impeded by fog, mist, heavy rain, snow or other environmental factors, the sorts of conditions which could severely impede even the most advanced of conventional cameras. Hikvision 8-channel DeepinMind NVRs The other cameras in the Foxlake Dundee system benefit from Hikvision’s Darkfighter technology, allowing for video monitoring and recording in even the lowest of light conditions. And the whole solution records to a Hikvision 8-channel DeepinMind network video recorder, which utilises powerful AI technology to learn to filter out false alarms and accurately raise alerts. In the evening, after normal operating hours, the site is locked up and alarms are set. It’s then remotely monitored by the Corps of Commissioners, who are alerted when the thermal cameras or motion detectors pick up any movement on the site. Operators check the live cameras to confirm that intrusion has occurred. If an intruder is detected, they immediately contact Foxlake management via phone, and are also able to contact police if required. At the same time, the Corps operatives can use the PA system to issue warning announcements to allow the intruders to know they are being monitored. The effect is almost instantaneous, Hegarty says. Enhanced intrusion detectionThe overall reception for the video surveillance solution has been extremely positive “We’ve had three incidents since the system was installed,” he says, “and the response by the intruders is pretty remarkable. I’ve reviewed the footage and compared it to the time notification I’ve received a missed call on my phone: you can see the intruder on the video footage hear the warning, and then they’re off. They just leave straight away. It’s amazingly effective.” The overall reception for the video surveillance solution has been extremely positive. “We’re really happy with the system,” Hegarty says. “The video footage quality is very high and we’re glad we haven’t had to go down the manned guarding route, as similar facilities have done. We appreciate that Webster and Hikvision took the time and thought to design something that would work for us in our specific circumstances. Of course, the proof is in the performance, and the fact that a number of intruders have been quickly and effectively warned away is evidence that it is doing the job it was designed for.”

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