Access control accessories - Expert commentary

Securing A Sustainable Future
Securing A Sustainable Future

The UK Government has set out an ambitious ten-point plan, known as the green industrial revolution, with an aim “to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050.” This makes our government the first major economy to embrace such a legal obligation. Green recovery Acknowledging climate change and meeting net-zero is a demanding challenge especially for those affected by the pandemic. But the UK Government, with the launch of its aspiring strategy, is investing everything in its power to promote a ‘green recovery.’ Here, Reece Paprotny, Commercial Manager and Sustainability Champion at Amthal, highlights how the fire and security industry has an opportunity to use the current recovery period to explore its own sustainable journey and embrace the significance of environment, economic and social collaboration, transparency, and accountability. Employing sustainable technologies Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets The perception is that COVID-19 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-write the existing rulebook. This is riding on the significance of changing public support for more environmentally friendly living opportunities, with associated cost savings, efficiencies, and cleaner industries. Innovative sustainable technologies are the key to kickstart this route to success.  Nowhere can this be seen more than in the built environment, which currently contributes to 40% of the UK's carbon footprint. Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets. This is through the entire life cycle of a building, to reduce their impact on the environment from planning stages, through build and demolition. Building the right environment By creating the right policy environment, incentives for innovation and infrastructure, the Government can encourage companies to seize the sustainable opportunities of new technologies and value chains linked to green sectors. They can accelerate the shift of current carbon-intensive economic and industrial structures onto greener trajectories, enabling the UK to meet global climate and development goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Transparent working practices Each industry sector is expected to engage and pledge its support to achieve the significant deadlines. Every company can make a difference, even with small steps towards a sustainable future. So while elements such as safety and security represent just one component of building the right sustainable environment, it paves the way to opening up our sector to greater efficiencies, transparent working practices, and encourages collaborative use of resources. Sustainability in security The security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into its practices In fact, the security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into their processes, and practices. This is right from product lifecycles to more environmentally friendly work practices when it comes to maintenance and monitoring services. When integrating environmentally friendly practices, starts with the manufacturing and production of the wide variety of systems in operation for the security sector. And some certifications and guidelines can be achieved, such as the ISO 14000 which looks into eliminating hazardous materials being used which in turn will reduce carbon footprint.  Upgrading supply chain process Observing the complete supply chain and working with partners to reduce unnecessary travel, shipments, and transportation of products, can all contribute and create sustainable processes.  In the maintenance and monitoring of products, it is essential installers and security specialists consider their own environmental impacts. Simple changes such as switching company vehicles to electric options for site visits can make a significant difference to climate change and improving air quality. Presenting sustainable ways of disposing of products at the end of their natural lifecycle is key to change in our sector. This is especially in the security industry where many customers will need a complete overhaul of outdated solutions or need systems upgrading due to changing threat levels. Sustainable evolution Progress is being made, specifically in the fire and security industry, in its sustainable evolution. Businesses are trying to develop a reputation for “sustainability” or “good corporate citizenship.” And it has gone well beyond the theory to the practical, where companies recognize activities have an impact on the environment and are also reviewing the social and economic influences. Three pillars of sustainability In a recent interview, Inge Huijbrechts, the Global Senior Vice President for safety and security and Responsible Business at Radisson Hotel Groups sees her vision to combine safety, security, and sustainability. Inge focuses on three pillars, namely, Think People, Think Community, and Think Planet. Think People means that we “always care for the people in our hotels and our supply chain.” So, in outwards communications, safety and security were always part of the Think People focus area. Think Community is caring and contributing in a meaningful way to communities where we operate. Finally, Think Planet makes sure that “our footprint on the environment is as light as it can be in terms of energy, water, waste, and carbon, and making sure that we incorporate sustainability into our value proposition.” Moving forward Apprenticeship schemes are integral to ‘think people’ and have a role to play in the social impact on the security industry There are immediate actions that can be taken by companies in the security industry to support sustainable development, working right from within a company to supporting industry-wide initiatives. From a social perspective, at a foundation level, “Think People’ can see the Living Wage Foundation as an example of a commitment to a team.  This is for businesses that choose to go further and pay a real Living wage based on the cost of living, not just the Government minimum. Apprenticeship schemes are also integral to ‘think people’ and have a pivotal role to play on the social impact on the security industry.  It addresses the sector-wide issue of finding employees with the right mix of skills to collaborate and meet discerning consumer demands for increasingly smart security solutions for homes and businesses. Impact of the full lifecycle of products From an environmental view, or ‘think planet,’ we need to collectively look at all elements of our industry, with a desire to analyze the impact of ingredients used, supply chain, or manufacturing alone, and also consider the full lifecycle of our selected products from creation to end of life. As Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal summarises, “This is a long-term, sustainable investment in our people, our products, and our business based on our values.” “When put together, a social team which feels empowers and operates in environmental optimum working conditions is in a position to provide a great experience to our customers, creating an economic positive difference. It forms the basis of a sustainable sector vision for the security industry-wide to adopt.” Taking action Amthal is taking action based on the ready-made universally agreed UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Also known as Global Goals, these are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member states. This agenda is a plan of action for people, the planet, and prosperity. By being an early adopter, we believe we can engage with customers, partners, and suppliers on these issues and generate opportunities to innovate for mutual and industry sector benefit. Together, we can contribute to building a more sustainable security sector and future, and contribute to the UK Government’s green industrial revolution.

The Benefits Of Installing High Security Doors
The Benefits Of Installing High Security Doors

Whenever you say the word “security” in today’s world of digitalization and technology, minds immediately jump to online security. Encryption, passwords, and website security are all common areas of concern for today’s security teams – so much so that we often pass over physical security installations entirely. But we shouldn’t, because contrary to popular belief, security doors aren’t just for banks and safes. High-security doors are deployed and used across everything from home spaces to offices, venues, communal entrances, and more – offering an extra level of safety designed to keep unwanted guests out and keep the people inside safe. In this blog, we will be uncovering some of the benefits of installing high-security doors besides the obvious – offering a high level of security. Benefits of high-security doors When you start telling someone about high-security doors, they often immediately think of thick steel doors with unbreakable locks. But modern security doors are nothing like that, with the marketplace filled with different options including ventilated louvre doors, reinforced hammer glass doors, and classic metal doors. And with each style comes a different set of benefits. 1) High-security doors keep businesses and properties safe If anything is going to put burglars off and keep your inside space safe, it’s high-security doors. High-security doors not only help keep burglars away but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive home security systems With such a wide array of options on the market, from double or triple glazing through to top-level security doors for industrial properties and homes, customers can choose the weight of their door and its finish – meaning that they have a choice between making their high-security decision obvious or concealing it for the benefit of aesthetics. This not only helps keep burglars away from your home or office space and reduces the crime rate, but also saves on the cost of investing in expensive alarms and home security systems. 2) Dual purpose benefits from top-level manufacturers Modern high-security doors from retailers like Premier SSL not only provide industrial-strength but are also classed as fire doors – meaning that they keep people inside safe on two accounts. On top of that, high-security doors no longer look like the entrance to a bank – in fact, most manufacturers now work with materials that deliver an aesthetically pleasing finish that can complement your building or inside space. This means you can benefit from everything from a wood effect finish to a decorative trim and more. 3) Cut costs in Winter and Summer Managing bills at home often mean juggling the art of keeping the house cool enough in summer and warm enough in winter. On one hand, with high-security doors which are effective fire doors and are made to measure and tailored to your home, the heat and warm air inside your home are trapped inside during the winter to keep your home cozy. This helps to cut the cost of heating and ensures your family is protected during the winter months. Mesh layered security Meanwhile, for those who opt for the mesh layered security doors or Louvre doors, in summer you can keep your home or inside space cool and filled with fresh air even while the doors are closed and secured. This ensures adequate ventilation and is a popular choice with homeowners today as it cuts the cost of bills and expensive air conditioning and helps prevent issues like mold which can occur in damp spaces with little airflow. Louvre security doors also help to retain the same level of privacy as a solid door but with a high level of airflow – making them ideal for communal areas and spaces with a high footfall. 4) Keep pets and children safe A security door is enough to deter a burglar to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house A security door is enough to deter a burglar – so is certainly more than sufficient to keep your little ones and pets safe and contained inside the house. Preventing access to dangerous situations such as being outdoors on their own and entering the kitchen on their own is a benefit that many families revel in – with a range of options including the mesh-covered security doors to retain ventilation and natural light and create more of a homely feel. 5) Feeling safe and secure in your own space This one may seem obvious but it’s one of the biggest benefits – feeling safe even when on your own. Security doors mean that you can rest easy in your own space, in complete control of the locking mechanism and the entry of anyone besides yourself. Most of the security doors recognized by modern standards can withstand ballistics and crowbar tampering – even those with ventilation breaks. On top of that, they have a certain degree of water tightness and resistance to wind, meaning that they also keep you safe from home or building damage. 6) Versatility The vast array of security doors on the market right now means that versatility is possible – in the way that doors are locked, the way that they look, and the additional features they provide. Many of the high-security doors we and other retailers offer also provide complete sound ventilation and are ideally suited to everything from a modern new build to something more traditional in its feel and aesthetics. Uses of security doors High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues As previously touched on, security doors are no longer just for banks and high-security institutes. High-security doors are a popular addition to modern homes and office spaces, as well as communal spaces and venues. The versatility presented by the locking mechanism and access tools means that users can select everything from an entry fob to a code and a traditional key as a means of getting inside. The Takeaway High-security doors are an increasingly popular solution for nurturing safety both in commercial spaces and private homes. With options from solid steel doors to louver doors, triple and double glazed doors, and fire doors available on the market for every space and with made to measure manufacturing options, it has never been easier to equip your home against intruders and keep your family or work team safe and comfortable. Best of all for the modern homeowner, high-security doors no longer create an eyesore – instead, reflecting the same design aesthetic focus as you might expect from an interior company.

Tackling The Challenge Of The Growing Cybersecurity Gap
Tackling The Challenge Of The Growing Cybersecurity Gap

The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and center on people’s minds again. Hacking communication protocol The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol.  This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many. An explosion of network devices What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices. IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers. Bridging the cybersecurity gap In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike. IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads. End-user awareness One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing. It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely. Physical security network A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices. Proactive maintenance By intelligently utilizing system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralized location for asset and alert management. Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.

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Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches Are A Line Of Smart PoE Switches That Offer Simplified Installation And Remote Management
Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches Are A Line Of Smart PoE Switches That Offer Simplified Installation And Remote Management

Hikvision, the globally renowned manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions, now offers a line of smart PoE switches, designed to simplify installation, remote management, and system maintenance. EI Smart Managed Switches The new Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switch portfolio includes a host of unique features, including advanced visualized topology, network health monitoring and real-time alarm notifications. “Our new EI Smart Managed Switch offering combines the ideal combination of performance, functionality and cost efficiency, to best manage new or expanded networked systems,” said John Xiao, Vice President Marketing, Hikvision USA. Advanced health monitoring and notification John Xiao adds, “Designed specifically for professional surveillance and security applications, our new EI Smart Switches can help reduce system downtime, by providing system administrators with advanced health monitoring and notification features.” The new IEEE 802.3af, IEEE 802.3at PoE compatible Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches are available in 4, 8, 16, or 24 port configurations, rated at 100 Mbps. Key features of Hikvision EI Smart Managed Switches include: Visual Topology Management, which provides a unique 2D visual layout of networked devices, when used with Hikvision’s iVMS-4200 or HikCentral camera and system management platforms. The visual topology feature provides administrators with a convenient view of their entire network of connected devices, making systems easier to build and maintain. Network Health Monitoring allows system administrators to view the real-time bandwidth of the network and device details at both ends. Real-Time Alarms and Notifications significantly reduce network operation and maintenance costs, by automatically notifying system administrators, when network bandwidth exceeds predetermined thresholds. The affected camera tile will also turn red on the visual topology, in the event transmission is interrupted.

Hikvision's Cameras Employed To Prevent Waste Fires
Hikvision's Cameras Employed To Prevent Waste Fires

Waste fires – in other words, fires that occur in waste or recycling plants - is a very serious global issue. Countries all over the world are suffering from more than one fire per day in the waste and recycling industry. This causes a risk of injury to employees, damage to sites and machinery, and damage to reputation. And that’s even before one considers the potential environmental impact. There’s more irony here too – one of the biggest risks for fire in a waste facility is damaged lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are rechargeable and thus designed to be more sustainable! What causes waste fires? As the human race creates more and more waste, recycling has become crucial in the fight for sustainability. Numerous recycling plants are built to deal with all kinds of materials, turning them into something useable again. Many of these materials are combustible – paper and cardboard, for example. The materials are also compressed together in order to save space. A dry, hot spell of weather can also add a rise in heat within this pile. All these conditions combine to make a potentially combustible situation – all that is needed is a spark. This is an example of what’s known in the industry as ‘scalding’. Heat can build up unchecked in places that cannot be seen or monitored in traditional ways. In the middle of a waste pile, for example. There’s also no smoke to be seen here since it’s shielded by outer layers of the waste. Rechargeable batteries Danger can come from various places – but increasingly the culprit is rechargeable batteries Danger can come from various places – but increasingly the culprit is rechargeable batteries. In fact, according to a recent WEEE report, the most severe fires caused by batteries in the last four years caused damage costing an average of €1.3 million. The lithium-ion technology in these batteries works by using different chemicals in separate cells. The ‘walls’ of these cells are quite thin, to make the battery lightweight. When damaged, these can be punctured, or short-circuited combining the separated elements and causing either a build-up of heat, leading to a fire, or even an explosion. Tackling waste fires Traditional methods of tackling the problem are based on reacting quickly to a waste fire once it breaks out. Fire alarms and sprinkler systems are used, and a ‘hotline’ to the local fire services could be prudent. Sites also use sirens and lights to warn people of the danger. However, these measures all come into effect once a fire has started. Technology can now be used to tackle the issue before it happens. In other words, to detect the build-up of heat, before the spark has ignited the fire. It succeeds in managing the risks of harm to employees or visitors to the site. It’s also good for the budget – reducing the costs and work to repair any fire damage.  Enter Hikvision’s cameras Thermal cameras are used to monitor temperatures both inside and outside of a plant. These cameras can be configured to raise an alarm when a predefined temperature is monitored, and then again when a higher one is reached. The first temperature limit is for a pre-alarm, which will have the camera send a signal once the temperature is higher than normal. The second limit should be configured at a critical temperature so that it’s clear that immediate action is necessary once it’s heard. HikCentral VMS Using HikCentral video management software, images can also be sent to managers remotely Both alarms can be verified by employees monitoring the situation, both on and off-site, using a bi-spectrum camera. This provides live images alongside the thermal ones, giving more context to the issue. Then, armed with verified situational information, appropriate persons can take action to prevent, or put out, any waste fires. This could be site employees, or via a remote monitoring service. Using HikCentral video management software, images can also be sent to managers remotely. They are able to see what’s happening via tablet or mobile, wherever they are. Fire repressing systems The solution uses smart algorithms to ensure that hot spots caused by sunlight, or cars moving through the site, do not cause false alarms. It can also be seamlessly connected to other fire repressing systems, like sprinklers or automated fire doors. The world of sustainability moves on. In a world where a battery designed to be sustainable can actually cause problems when recycled, looking at the complete picture seems crucial. As is the ability to tackle problems before they happen. Using technology, recycling plants can identify potential fires before they happen. So even if the materials going through a waste site are potential fire risks, these can be effectively managed. It’s a classic example of prevention being better than cure – more relevant than ever to waste fires.

Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras
Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras

Hikvision, a manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions is launching a special, limited-time promotion on the company’s next generation of intelligent AcuSense PCI series cameras. Employing advanced deep learning algorithms, AcuSense cameras can accurately distinguish people and vehicles from other moving targets such as animals and shadows in real-time, vastly improving detection accuracy while reducing costly false alarms. Improve safety and security “Our next generation of AcuSense cameras delivers intelligent features and capabilities that improve safety and security and help eliminate costly false alarms in virtually any environment. AcuSense PCI models use audio and visual alarm messages to actively reduce the risk of intrusion, providing real-time proactive deterrence from crime, intruders, and unwanted behavior,” said Michael Hendrix, director of sales engineering, Hikvision. “These new AcuSense cameras deliver the perfect combination of intelligent performance and cost-efficiency for a wide range of users and applications.” Limited time price reduction For a limited time during the month of May, Hikvision is offering select second-generation AcuSense PCI cameras at a significant price reduction. Those seeking details about the promotion can request additional information online. To learn more about Hikvision’s next generation of AcuSense cameras, join a special open webinar on May 7, 2021. Registration for the webinar is free but space is limited. AcuSense camera features AcuSense cameras precisely sense human and vehicle movement versus non-human objects, reducing false alarms up to 90 percent and improving alarm handling efficiency. New strobe light and audio features on SL models vastly improve on-site response and real-time, proactive crime deterrence. The new generation of AcuSense cameras includes a host of advanced features, including customizable two-way audio warnings, ultra-low light color performance, and camera-accessible cloud video storage.  

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