Access control accessories - Expert commentary

Surveillance In 2017: 360-degree Cameras  A Primary Device For Total Situational Awareness
Surveillance In 2017: 360-degree Cameras A Primary Device For Total Situational Awareness

The physical security market continues to experience growth as users look to capitalize on the promises of emerging technologies and because of this, 2017 proved to be a great year for Oncam. In fact, this year was the best year in Oncam's history in terms of sales, as 360-degree fisheye cameras have gone from being a “specialty” camera used only in certain applications to a primary device for enabling total situational awareness. Today, many of our customers leverage 360-degree cameras exclusively to provide extensive coverage inside a facility or in a large outdoor area, with traditional narrow field-of-view cameras used only at “choke” points. Increase In Cybersecurity Threats And Breaches At the end of 2016, we predicted a major trend this year would be an increase in cybersecurity concerns for users of physical security systems, and we were right. An increase in cybersecurity threats and breaches have put organizations on watch. Based on this and the adoption of more IT-centric infrastructure and protocols, there is significant collaboration between IT and physical security, and true “convergence” is finally starting to happen. The adoption of video analytics also continued to increase this year, as most video surveillance projects involved the use of some form of analytics and data analysis. Demand For Safeguards As we move into 2018, the trends of 2017 will roll over, and cybersecurity will continue to be a major issue. Suppliers of hardware and software will put an even greater emphasis being cyber secure and end users will increasingly demand safeguards. Additionally, the deployment and use of advanced analytics based on newer artificial intelligence-based technologies will continue to increase. It will be the technology providers that find ways to allow users to capture additional value from the information collected by security systems that will accelerate growth. Oncam made significant investments in new products that leverage analytics and cloud technologies. In 2018, we will continue to invest in the development of new products, with a focus on solutions for particular applications across industry segments. Beyond our technology advancements, we've invested significantly in boosting our sales force in the Americas and adding industry experts to ensure sustained customer and partner success with our solutions. From our vantage point, Oncam is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities for growth in the coming year.

Connected, Cyber-secure Solutions Will Lead The Security Market In 2018
Connected, Cyber-secure Solutions Will Lead The Security Market In 2018

2017 was quite an interesting and eventful year for the physical security industry. The economy has been robust and technology has become progressively sophisticated—with interactive services, cloud computing and network-based solutions taking charge to provide new insights to installers and their end-user customers. The Internet of Things is creating increasingly integrated solutions, with a heightened emphasis on total connectivity. Changing Security Expectations World events have also put the spotlight on the need for comprehensive security at public events, tourist attractions and schools and campuses. Security is an expectation and systems integrators are becoming trusted advisors to their customers, who are looking to them to solve problems or issues. Residential systems are more robust and now, are migrating to the commercial side of the business. There’s a blurring of the lines of technology—many of the products that come to the security industry originate from the consumer side. This proposition is also changing expectations by both residential and commercial customers, who want common, easy operation from their smartphone or user interface. Unexpected was some of the biggest deals in the industry, including acquisitions by dominant companies who grew even larger and continued ongoing consolidation on the manufacturing side. Those who remain will need to be progressive and step up their game with the latest proven technologies. Selling hardware isn’t the end game any longer. It’s providing solutions that generate revenue for security dealers and offer a solid return on investment for the end-user. In addition, solutions need to be easier for the user, and integrate many different systems and components across the enterprise. Cybersecurity Safeguards End users want to get the most out of their solutions—and they want to be able to have more than safety and security. They are looking for the types of products that yield insights into system performance and give them the data the need for greater control and to proactively address any challenges or problems before they occur. Downtime is not an option and therefore, there’s an increased emphasis on consistent power so solutions are always on and running reliably. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines Cybersecurity is a dominant conversation in the security industry these days and that buzz will continue into 2018. Because solutions are increasingly network connected, they have vulnerabilities that will have to be addressed by service providers and manufacturers. Manufacturers will need to take the upper hand in providing hardened products—testing and certifying for cybersecurity safeguards. That is not an easy task and can be expensive, but it needs to be done. Because cybersecurity is in constant evolution, many will go the route of outsourcing this component of their manufacturing to third parties well-versed in threat detection and hardening. Hardened products will also need to evolve with new emerging attacks. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines. Intelligent Access Control Solutions Manufacturers no longer operate in silos. They are working with systems integrators to more fully understand their needs and those of the end-user. Manufacturers are also partnering with technology providers—bringing in the expertise of others so their solutions are comprehensive and holistic. We will continue to see integration of formerly disparate components, open systems and open APIs. There will also be strong migration to access control systems with edge intelligence and power over Ethernet, leveraging existing cabling for network connectivity. The winners will be those who take the lead in providing cyber secured and hardened products, as well as companies who partner with others to bring best of breed solutions to market. The losers will be those who continue to develop proprietary, closed systems and fail to recognize the importance of network connectivity for real-time, proactive reporting. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7 Ongoing Partner Success LifeSafety Power® has been working consistently and diligently on elevating the status of power from unintelligent hardware device to network-connected component that yields rich data for the user and allows the installer to provide remote monitoring and managed power services. We have changed the paradigm of power but there’s additional work to do to get people to understand the new, critical role power plays in comprehensive enterprise and campus security. Now, security installers can help the end user know what’s happening with locks, access control, gates or other connected solutions and fix problems before they happen. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7. We have also had continued, ongoing successes with our many partners in the access control community and that’s where we will further focus our efforts in 2018—working with leading security solution providers to present the best technologies and solutions that are reliable, certified and present the types of insights security dealers need to offer customers to provide the highest levels of service. This will also help security dealers and integrators differentiate themselves and compete more effectively in the crowded marketplace.

Intercoms Increasingly Popular In Education, Campuses And Multi-tenant Housing Markets
Intercoms Increasingly Popular In Education, Campuses And Multi-tenant Housing Markets

 Part 1 in our Intercoms in Security Series Lambert-St. Louis International Airport uses Code Blue intercoms Organizations are demanding a new level of interoperability among mission-critical security systems. Intelligible audio, the ability to hear, be heard and be understood, is critical to communication, which is essential to the core security processes within an organization, as well as to emergency situations. Intelligible audio provides a platform to optimize various processes, including the use of security officers. “Our main thrust is to ensure our clients see intelligible and interoperable audio, not as an option, but as instrumental to their budget optimization, stakeholder communication and risk mitigation efforts,” says Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America, a manufacturer of intercoms and other communications solutions. Iintercoms In Building Safety And Security  The role of intercoms in building safety and security is a given across many markets, and that use is growing. Intercoms are used in campus call boxes, elevators, muster locations, and for emergency notification. The trend is toward video, audio and access control, all tied together. There is also an emphasis on providing intelligible audio in any environment, even demanding ones. The education market has historically been a large sector for intercoms. Emergency phones and intercoms traditionally have been found throughout education settings, including colleges and universities, where they remain quite popular. Expanding Markets For Two-way Communication In recent years, however, their popularity has also grown within the healthcare and mass transit sectors, where their versatility allows authorities to react to emergency situations while also providing a wide range of applications for non-emergency situations, such as car trouble or requests for directions. Intercoms can fulfill a variety of emergency and non-emergency needs in places like downtown Santa Ana, California (Photo courtesy Code Blue) “Markets of all sizes and shapes can benefit from a two-way communication solution that can help individuals place calls for assistance with first responders, police departments or customer service representatives,” says David Fleming, Chief Design Officer for Code Blue Corp. Intercoms For Public And Private Sectors Aiphone is another intercom manufacturer for which education is a big market. Bruce Czerwinski, U.S. General Sales Manager, Aiphone Corp., says about 80 percent of both public and private K-12 and higher education campuses are using at least one intercom in some form. That percentage grows to nearly 100 percent for hospitals, which are using intercoms as nurse-call stations and at parking facilities, exterior door entries, nurseries and pharmacies, he says. "About 40 percent of commercial units – from strip malls to large, multi-tenant campus settings – are using intercoms" Up to 70 percent of larger multi-family facilities are also using intercoms. And that percentage is even higher in older, heavily populated Eastern cities. Many locales have laws mandating the use of audio and video intercoms on buildings beyond a threshold number of units. About 40 percent of commercial units – from strip malls to large, multi-tenant campus settings – are using intercoms, says Czerwinski. In the past year, Aiphone’s emergency stations have become very popular, particularly in campus settings; both commercial and higher education. Also, a growing number of unmanned parking garages are using the stations to allow patrons to immediately reach first responders or security personnel. Each of these markets still has growth potential, but by its sheer size, the commercial market offers the greatest opportunities, according to Aiphone. Video-Enabled IP Intercoms Intercom usage differs widely in various global markets, according to Craig Szmania, CEO of 2N USA, a manufacturer of IP intercoms. In the North American market, intercom usage is relatively low compared to the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, where intercoms are a more mature market. Security, convenience, systems integration and IP-versus-analog adoption are driving usage and growth to more than 20 percent year-over-year. More and more video-enabled IP intercoms are seen as an integral part of a system wide security and video solution, according to Szmania. “Our intercom portfolio targets all the major verticals, but we have had particular success in the education sector – K-12 and universities,” says Szmania. “These end users are looking for specific features in securing their campuses, providing convenience to their administrators, employing programmability for differing use scenarios throughout the campus, and integration to their telephony or other systems.” More and more video-enabled IP intercoms are seen as an integral part of a system wide security and video solution Szmania says the latter point is becoming a particular need in light of a requirement for campus-wide communication and coordination in emergency situations. “Our intercoms integrate seamlessly with third party solutions such as Cisco’s telephone systems that are the communication backbones of many schools and campuses,” he adds. IP-based Solutions In Residential Verticals Considering near-term growth potential, single family and multi-tenant residential verticals have fantastic opportunities for increased usage of door stations/intercoms in the United States, according to Szmania. The company has entered this space over the last several years and has grown to be a market leader in IP-based integrated solutions, especially in the home automation space. The adoption of IP networked solutions for condominiums and apartments is just taking off, driven in part by consumer demand for mobile-anywhere video, audio and door control. The service is also a driver for integrator/dealer adoption of the technology to provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR). 2N has also achieved triple-digit growth in commercial building installations over the past two years. Building owners, IT departments and security managers want and need a networked solution for control and security. 2N’s open platforms are a good fit, says Szmania. Read part 2 of our Security Intercoms series here

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How Custom Solutions Meet Customer Needs For Access Control
How Custom Solutions Meet Customer Needs For Access Control

The software-based technology running today’s access control systems is ideal for creating custom solutions for very specific end-user needs. Those needs may vary from delaying bar patrons’ access to a shooting range to reducing the risk of diamond miners pocketing precious stones. The ability to tightly integrate with and control video, intrusion, and other equipment puts access control at the heart of enterprise security. Often, off-the-shelf access systems provide most of the features an end user requires, but due to their type of business, facility or location, some organizations still have unaddressed needs. That’s where a custom solution can fulfill an essential task. Custom solutions are frequently requested by end users or the reseller to expand access control to meet those needs. Here’s a look at some custom solutions designed for end users. Area & time-based access control The owners of a popular shooting range also operate an onsite, full-service bar, and the owners wanted to delay entry to the shooting range once a customer had consumed alcoholic beverages at the bar. The custom solution works with the access cards customers use to enter the range. When a patron orders an alcoholic beverage, the bartender presents the patron’s credential to a reader at the cash register.  With each drink, the access control system puts an automatic delay on the card being used to enter the shooting range. An area and time-based control solution was created An area and time-based control solution was created for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer concerned with potential contamination between laboratories testing viral material and others designing new vaccines. If an employee uses a badge to enter a room with viral material, that employee can be denied access to a different area (typically a clean room in this case), for a customized period of time. This reduces the potential of cross contamination between ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ rooms. The software can be customized by room combinations and times. Random screening A mine operator wanted to prevent easily portable precious stones from being taken by miners. The custom solution uses the access control system integrated with time and attendance software. As the miners clock in, the system randomly and secretly flags a user-defined percentage of them to be searched as their shifts end. Security guards monitor displays and pull selected employees aside.  A nice feature of this solution is that the random screening can be overridden at a moment’s notice. For example, if the process causes excessive delays, guards can override the system to enable pre-selected miners to pass until the bottleneck is relieved. The solution has also been adopted by a computer manufacturer looking to control theft by employees and vendors. Scheduler The system automatically unlocks and locks doors A custom solutions team integrated a university’s class scheduling and access control software to lock doors to classrooms that are not in use. With the custom solution in place, the system automatically unlocks and locks doors 15 minutes prior to and after a class. The doors remain unlocked if the room will be used again within the next 30 minutes. Readers mounted at each door enable faculty to enter rooms early for class setup or to work in a lab knowing students or others won’t be able to walk in. Event management This solution simplifies the visitor check-in process, especially for larger events with multiple guests. Efficiently moving people in and out of events booked at a working intelligent office building and conference center required integrating the access control system with a web-based solution storing the names, email addresses and phone numbers of invited guests. Before an event, guests receive an email invitation that includes a link to a downloadable smartphone mobile credential. Upon arrival, guests present that credential to Bluetooth readers at the building’s gated parking garage. The same credential enables smaller groups (up to 50 guests) to enter the building through turnstile-mounted readers – also used throughout the day by hundreds of building employees. To avoid long lines for larger groups of visitors, the turnstiles are kept open with security guards using handheld readers to authenticate credentials as guests enter the lobby. Additionally, a third-party emergency notification system was added to this custom solution. Guests receive instructions on their smartphones should there be a need to shelter in place or evacuate during an event. The credentials and notifications are disabled as guests leave the building through the turnstiles. This allows the hospital to maintain a secure environment while providing a simplified, efficient access solution Similar custom solutions have been deployed at hospitals searching for a way to provide secure access to patients only expected to be staying a short time for surgery.  Patients are emailed a mobile credential to access both the hospital’s parking structure and surgical reception area. They can also designate family members and other visitors to receive emailed mobile credentials.  This allows the hospital to maintain a secure environment while providing a simplified, efficient access solution for patients and visitors. Custom solutions are about problem solving. It’s finding answers to needs not specifically addressed by an access control system. The robust software of modern access control systems enables the design of custom solutions to efficiently enhance security, save time and reduce redundant tasks through automated processes.

Milestone Systems Hosts The 2020 Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), Texas
Milestone Systems Hosts The 2020 Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), Texas

Milestone Systems’ annual MIPS brings together a rich community of video, security, and technology solution partners focused on advancing innovation. Special guests including Milestone officers, industry leaders, renowned futurists, authors, and a popular TEDx speaker will share their inspirations. Milestone will also showcase three start-ups from its Kickstarter Contest with compelling technologies and businesses that comprehensively address pressing security and societal issues. Milestone Systems, a global provider of open platform video management software (VMS), is hosting the 2020 Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) conference, in Dallas, Texas on February 17-19, 2020. Partners, customers and influencers are invited to register for the special two-day event. Applied innovation in video surveillance Milestone will feature a variety of speakers and topics, including TEDx speaker Anders Sorman-Nilsson, and one of the Top Ten Futurists in the world, Gerd Leonhard. The event will also include an exhibition pavilion featuring products and programs from partners including Axis Communications, Dell, Intel, Herta, Lenel S2, and Seneca Data and an innovation showcase with the three most promising ideas from Milestone’s incubator program, Kickstarter. We glimpse at the future through the ideas of our Kickstarter contestants" “MIPS is a one-stop destination for applied innovation in video surveillance,” notes Tim Palmquist, Vice President for the Americas at Milestone Systems. “Each year we hear from an array of speakers that challenge our thinking about today’s technology and the new frontiers of tomorrow. We see new products and programs from the most innovative companies in our industry. Together with XProtect, they serve the needs of our many customers. Finally, we glimpse at the future through the ideas of our Kickstarter contestants. MIPS is a hub for business, network connections and, above all, novel ideas!” Video analytics Leveraging the power of the open platform, the Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS) is compatible with more than 8,500 security and surveillance devices, and more than 450 software integrations from over 3,500 technology partners. Technology partners include providers of network video cameras, cloud solutions, DVRs and NVRs, servers and storage equipment, alarm and detection systems, video analytics, GPS technology, laser and radar scanners, emergency call boxes and more. “The open platform provides an opportunity to innovate freely as circumstances and opportunities dictate, not as a VMS provider dictates,” says Palmquist. “This freedom of innovation has already yielded some of the very best technologies and collaborations in the security industry. It has also resulted in scalable and future-proof systems in healthcare, education, city surveillance and other verticals where Milestone is the platform of choice and where professionals accept nothing less than freedom of choice to do their jobs at the best of their capacity.” Milestone Marketplace 2.0 Integrators will promote their installation experience and connect with technology partners on Marketplace Milestone will launch version 2.0 of the Milestone Marketplace on its website which will enable customers to find resellers and integrators that deliver video solutions based on their pain points or location. Integrators will promote their installation experience and connect with technology partners on Marketplace hereby allowing end-users to access information on the latest innovations. “By launching Milestone Marketplace 2.0, we are inviting customers to search for the latest and greatest technologies in our community. Milestone supports the co-creation of solutions, allowing our community to supply best-in-class technology for a variety of customer needs,” says chief sales and marketing officer at Milestone, Kenneth Hune Petersen. Integrated cloud-based solutions A large part of the MIPS 2020 Dallas event focuses on the many advantages of an open solution, with the Milestone XProtect VMS platform enabling reliable and efficient integrations with thousands of third-party hardware and software products. Detailed discussions of solution applications as well as previews of new integrations and partnerships help integrators, resellers and partners of all types to shape the future of their own businesses. Cloud-based services and integrations will soon take video management systems to a new level MIPS 2020 promises to usher in new integrated cloud-based solutions, which will greatly impact the future of how video systems are designed, deployed, and monetized. Cloud-based services and integrations will soon take video management systems to a new level, expanding how security professionals think about technology and their own business models. Open for startups Additionally, three finalists in Milestone's annual Kickstarter contest will demonstrate their visions. MIPS 2020 participants will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite software coder with the winner being announced during the gala dinner. Milestone believes in inspiring talent to make the world see through connecting new technology ideas, business strategy, and innovation. Three 2020 finalists will have a chance to showcase their visions directly to the Milestone Community of partners and customers at the MIPS2020 conference and beyond. They are: Benoit Koenig is the co-founder and COO at Veesion. Benoit was confronted with shop-lifting on a regular basis in his family-owned supermarkets. During his studies in Artificial Intelligence, he saw the great potential of deep learning applied on video data, which inspired him to start Veesion with two other engineers. Veesion are developing a gesture recognition technology to detect shoplifting in the retail industry. Commenting on Benoit’s idea and company, Palmquist noted, “Veesion is what MIPS is all about. This is an innovation that addresses a major commercial issue for retailers around the world but does so using technology in a respectful, considerate and intelligent manner. I am proud and encouraged that Veesion is enabled by the open platform.” Jennifer Ivens is the founder of Canscan, a technology company that provides automated container inspection services. It was impatience and ambition that prompted her to leave her position as a logistics analyst for an ocean carrier to go into this business for herself. Canscan’s idea is the next-level shipping container checking system, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) called Virtual Checker. “Jennifer and her team have come up with an innovation that addresses many social, economic, and criminal issues. It has the potential to avert some of the human tragedies we hear of and see on television across the globe each year,” Palmquist said. Zeljko Tepic has over 15 years of experience in the development of client/server and cloud architectures. He works on projects involving advanced algorithms, signal processing, Artificial Neural Networks, deep learning, generic algorithms, fuzzy logic, spectral analysis, and more. Venzo Secure’s idea is to provide seamless awareness of critical events by transparently displaying an intuitive “alert timeline” on top of the XProtect Smart Client camera views. The solution will give customers the option to dynamically arrange a view of the cameras in the Smart Client which are closest to the event at hand, and to handle any related events, alarms, analytics or metadata inside the Milestone XProtect video platform, including those from third parties. “Smart city managers, emergency responders, and police will benefit from this new technology enabling them to better respond during a crisis. This technology is poised to save lives, and I am proud that Milestone is supporting Venzo through our Kickstarter program,” commented Palmquist. Over 750 attendees are expected to attend MIPS 2020 at The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center on February 17-19, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.

LenelS2 Introduces OnGuard Version 7.6 With Extend Cloud Compatibility And Cybersecurity
LenelS2 Introduces OnGuard Version 7.6 With Extend Cloud Compatibility And Cybersecurity

LenelS2, a provider of advanced security systems, introduces OnGuard version 7.6, its latest enterprise security management system that offers rich feature and operability enhancements to its access control platform, while also extending its cloud compatibility, integration capabilities and convenience. LenelS2 is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. “With the technology enhancements in OnGuard 7.6, our valued-added resellers and growing customer base will be able to leverage operability improvements as well as enhanced cybersecurity, cloud and cellphone features to experience a more scalable, accessible and cloud-compatible enterprise security platform,” said Jeff Stanek, president, LenelS2. “OnGuard 7.6 demonstrates our ongoing investment in the platform while continuing our progress in browser-based application usability.” Manage privacy or safety concerns OnGuard 7.6 browser-based client applications enable system administrators to more easily deploy and operate the system. End user customers who monitor alarms, manage visitors and approve access requests will appreciate the convenience of cellphone browser-based clients as part of the standard installation process. In addition, an enhanced setting in OnGuard Surveillance and OnGuard Monitor browser clients enables role-based restrictions. OnGuard 7.6 also includes a dynamic new reader/alarm panel interface, the LNL-1324e An operator is able to view recorded video beyond a specified timeframe to manage privacy or safety concerns. Both clients feature new options that enhance video viewing and simplify navigation. Cybersecurity and compliance enhancements include use of the TLS 1.2 protocol to encrypt OnGuard 7.6 communications, including email and browser client use; elimination of default passwords for compliance; as well as an updated OnGuard Hardening Guide. Expanded cloud compatibility OnGuard 7.6 also includes a dynamic new reader/alarm panel interface, the LNL-1324e. This I/O module, with AES 256 encryption, enables doors to be conveniently connected to an OnGuard platform using either structured cabling or via the onboard Ethernet for easier installation. Additional OnGuard 7.6 enhancements include: OnGuard Visitor Management support of PDF417 barcode technology, providing greater scalability and reliability. Expanded cloud compatibility that leverages Amazon Web Services virtual machine images or Amazon Machine Images. A new BlueDiamond Active Credentials option that enables administrators to see the quantity of currently active cellphone credentials to better plan their purchasing decisions. Updated integration with Bosch and Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) intrusion panels and improved integrations with Otis Elevator CompassPlus controllers.    

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