Intercom Systems - Expert commentary

A Secured Entrance Is The First Defense Against An Active Shooter
A Secured Entrance Is The First Defense Against An Active Shooter

The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols. The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments. Deadly active-shooter events Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015. Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country." Active shooter incidents Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this: Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74) Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43) K-12 Schools (39) Institutions of Higher Learning (16) Non-Military Government Properties (28) Military Properties—Restricted (5) Healthcare Facilities (11) Houses of Worship (10) Private Properties (12) Malls (6) What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. Situational awareness in perimeter and door security Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal" According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security. “Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasize to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco. High-security turnstiles “Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.” What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government center or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive. Properly identifying the adversaries “As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organization can move their line of defense away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says. Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalize their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates. Integrated solution of electronic access control Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where. Enhancing access control assurance “There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.” He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”

Are Mobile Credentials More Secure Than Smart Cards?
Are Mobile Credentials More Secure Than Smart Cards?

For the past several years, there has been a focus by integrators and customers to assure that their card-based access control systems are secure. To give businesses an extra incentive to meet their cybersecurity threats, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to hold the business community responsible for failing to implement good cybersecurity practices and is now filing lawsuits against those that don't. For instance, the FTC filed a lawsuit against D-Link and its U.S. subsidiary, alleging that it used inadequate safeguards on its wireless routers and IP cameras that left them vulnerable to hackers.Many companies perceive that they are safer with a card but, if done correctly, the mobile can be a far more secure option  Now, as companies are learning how to protect card-based systems, such as their access control solutions, along comes mobile access credentials and their readers which use smart phones instead of cards as the vehicle for carrying identification information. Many companies perceive that they are safer with a card but, if done correctly, the mobile can be a far more secure option with many more features to be leveraged. Handsets deliver biometric capture and comparison as well as an array of communication capabilities from cellular and Wi-Fi to Bluetooth LE and NFC. As far as security goes, the soft credential, by definition, is already a multi-factor solution. Types Of Access Control Authentication Access control authenticates you by following three things:  Recognises something you have (RFID tag/card/key), Recognises something you know (PIN) or Recognises something you are (biometrics). Your smart phone has all three authentication parameters. This soft credential, by definition, is already a multi-factor solution. Your mobile credentials remain protected behind a smart phone's security parameters, such as biometrics and PINs. Organizations want to use smart phones in their upcoming access control implementations Once a biometric, PIN or password is entered to access the phone, the user automatically has set up 2-factor access control verification - what you know and what you have or what you have and a second form of what you have.                 To emphasize, one cannot have access to the credential without having access to the phone. If the phone doesn’t work, the credential doesn’t work. The credential operates just like any other app on the phone. The phone must be “on and unlocked.” These two factors – availability and built-in multi-factor verification – are why organizations want to use smart phones in their upcoming access control implementations. Smart Phone Access Control Is Secure Plus, once a mobile credential is installed on a smart phone, it cannot be re-installed on another smart phone. You can think of a soft credential as being securely linked to a specific smart phone. Similar to a card, if a smart phone is lost, damaged or stolen, the process should be the same as with a traditional physical access credential. It should be immediately deactivated in the access control management software - with a new credential issued as a replacement. Your mobile credentials remain protected behind a smart phone's security parameters, such as biometrics and PINs Leading readers additionally use AES encryption when transferring data. Since the Certified Common Criteria EAS5+ Computer Interface Standard provides increased hardware cybersecurity, these readers resist skimming, eavesdropping and replay attacks.            When the new mobile system leverages the Security Industry Association's (SIA) Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), it also will interface easily with control panels or other security management systems, fostering interoperability among security devices. Likewise, new soft systems do not require the disclosure of any sensitive end-user personal data. All that should be needed to activate newer systems is simply the phone number of the smart phone.All that should be needed to activate newer systems is simply the phone number of the smart phone Bluetooth And NFC The Safer Options Bottom line - both Bluetooth and NFC credentials are safer than hard credentials. Read range difference yields a very practical result from a security aspect. First of all, when it comes to cybersecurity, there are advantages to a closer read range. NFC eliminates any chances of having the smart phone unknowingly getting read such as can happen with a longer read range. There are also those applications where multiple access readers are installed very near to one-another due to many doors being close. One reader could open multiple doors simultaneously. The shorter read range or tap of an NFC enabled device would stop such problems. However, with this said in defense of NFC, it must also be understood that Bluetooth-enabled readers can provide various read ranges, including those of no longer than a tap as well. One needs to understand that there are also advantages to a longer reader range capability. Since NFC readers have such a short and limited read range, they must be mounted on the unsecure side of the door and encounter all the problems such exposure can breed. Conversely, Bluetooth readers mount on the secure sides of doors and can be kept protected out of sight. Aging Systems Could Cause Problems Research shows that Bluetooth enabled smart phones are continuing to expand in use to the point where those not having them are already the exceptions With that said, be aware. Some older Bluetooth-enabled systems force the user to register themselves and their integrators for every application. Door access – register. Parking access – register again. Data access – register again, etc. Newer solutions provide an easier way to distribute credentials with features that allow the user to register only once and need no other portal accounts or activation features. By removing these additional information disclosures, vendors have eliminated privacy concerns that have been slowing down acceptance of mobile access systems. In addition, you don’t want hackers listening to your Bluetooth transmissions, replaying them and getting into your building, so make very sure that the system is immunised against such replays. That’s simple to do. Your manufacturer will show you which system will be best for each application. Research shows that Bluetooth enabled smart phones are continuing to expand in use to the point where those not having them are already the exceptions. They are unquestionably going to be a major component in physical and logical access control. Gartner suggests that, by 2020, 20 percent of organizations will use mobile credentials for physical access in place of traditional ID cards. Let’s rephrase that last sentence. In less than 18 months, one-fifth of all organizations will use the smart phone as the focal point of their electronic access control systems. Not proximity. Not smart cards. Phones!

Smart Access Control Is Essential To The Future Of Smart Cities
Smart Access Control Is Essential To The Future Of Smart Cities

Throughout the UK there are many examples of smart city transformation, with key industries including transport, energy, water and waste becoming increasingly ‘smart’. A smart city is a one that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and resident welfare. Smart access is an important step forward in providing technologically advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities and their respectively smart industries. Explaining Smart Access If we used the standard definition of smart, it would be to use technology to monitor, control and manage access, but the technology must be adapted to both the physical and management characteristics of smart cities. Smart access is an important step forward in providing advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities For example, it would not make sense to install an iris biometric sensor at an isolated water storage tank, which is out in the open and may not even have electrical power. Nor would a permissions management system work, one that does not let you update permissions simply and easily and cannot be customized. With high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of the city, it is important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by business owners or managers for audits, improvements or compliance. When initiating a new access control system it is important that the supplier and customer work together to understand: Who can enter a secure area Where in the building each individual has access to When an individual can enter a secure area How an individual will gain access to a secure area This information can be crucial in the event of a security breach, enabling investigators to find out who was the last known key holder in the building and what their movements were while there. Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information Modernizing Locks And Keys Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information, which means that it can be installed on any door as you would a mechanical lock without maintenance requirements. Permissions are stored within an intelligent key. If you have authorization for that lock, it will open. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed to enter and all of the activity carried out by the key will be recorded. You can update permissions from a computer or using an app on a cellphone at the time of access, which will update the key's permissions via Bluetooth. This allows shortened validity periods, constrains movements to be in line with company access policy and removes travel and fixed authoriser costs. This then delivers increased flexibility and higher levels of security. Remote Access Control Utilities Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key. It also provides notification of lost keys, joint management of access schedules, protection of isolated workers and much more. Combined with new technological solutions, an app allows contextual information to be sent, such as on-site presence, duration of an operation, authorisations and reporting of anomalies. Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion, for example to repair a failure. Access can be restricted to enable entry only during working hours, for example. Permissions can be granted for the amount of time required, which means that if permission is requested to access a site using a mobile app, the company should be able to access it, for example, in the next five minutes. Once this time has passed, the permission expires and, if a key is lost or it is stolen, they will not be able to access the site. The rules for granting permissions are infinite and easily customisable, and the system is very efficient when they are applied; as a result, the system is flexible and adapted to suit company processes and infrastructures. Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key Finding Applications To Create Solutions In many cases, companies themselves find new applications for the solution, such as the need to obtain access using two different keys simultaneously to prevent a lone worker from accessing a dangerous area. The software that manages access makes it smart. It can be used from a web-based access manager or through personalized software that is integrated within a company's existing software solution, to automatically include information, such as the employee's contractual status, occupational risk prevention and the existence of work orders. In some companies, the access management system will help to further improve service levels by integrating it with the customer information system, allowing to link it for instance with alarms managers, intrusion managers or HR processes. With over one million access points currently secured worldwide, this simple and flexible solution will play a strategic role in the future of security.

Latest Dahua Technology USA Inc. news

Dahua Technology USA Announces Adding Advanced 5MP Smart Motion Detection IP Cameras To Its Lite Series
Dahua Technology USA Announces Adding Advanced 5MP Smart Motion Detection IP Cameras To Its Lite Series

Dahua Technology USA Inc., a provider of advanced, video-centric, smart IoT solutions, has introduced a new selection of 5MP IP cameras in its cost-efficient Lite Series, incorporating Smart Motion Detection (SMD) technology for ease of set-up, improved accuracy, and fewer false alarms.  Smart Motion Detection (SMD)  SMD uses an advanced algorithm to differentiate human and vehicular shapes within a scene and send alarms only when a person or vehicle is detected. SMD can be enabled with just one click, allowing the camera to analyze all motion within its view. The camera then filters motion-activated objects depending on what the user wants to see, making searches faster. “Compared with traditional motion detection where lights, animals, rain, and tree movement tend to cause false alarms, Dahua’s SMD feature gives the user highly accurate motion detection with fewer false alarms. No more annoying alarms with useless information,” remarked Jennifer Hackenburg, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Dahua Technology USA. SMD N53A series cameras The SMD N53A series cameras can be paired with Dahua N52 and N54 Series NVRs with upgraded firmware The SMD N53A series cameras can be paired with Dahua N52 and N54 Series NVRs with upgraded firmware to take advantage of the complete SMD solution. With this solution, users can tailor real-time push notifications according to what’s relevant to them and conduct quick target searches based on object classification, date and time. The SMD feature will expand to other models later this year. Quick Target Search, a playback feature, extracts and classifies images of humans and vehicles from video data, making it easy for users to review and retrieve historical information. The SMD cameras are well-suited for environments where limited resources mean fewer onsite security guards. Integrated with IR and Starlight technology The SMD N53A Lite Series offers fixed and vari-focal options in eyeball, dome and bullet-style form factors. These cameras include additional, advanced features that further maximize users’ Return on Investment (ROI), such as Starlight technology for ultra-low-light scenes, True Wide Dynamic Range (120dB), integrated IR, and perimeter protection for customized intrusion detection and tripwire functionality. Additionally, the Smart H.265+ codec reduces bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image details. “The new SMD cameras represent advanced edge technology that truly reduce false alarms and provide peace of mind,” added Hackenburg. “We’re pleased to be able to provide SMD based on customer needs and help them bring additional value to the end users.”

GSX 2019 Day One Review: Lots Of ‘Newish’ Products To See On The Show's Busy First Day
GSX 2019 Day One Review: Lots Of ‘Newish’ Products To See On The Show's Busy First Day

GSX 2019 got off to a jaunty start Tuesday. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their booths. There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side), while the trend toward system sales is continuing. Here's a review of Day 1 from the show floor. Dahua continues to educate market  “Traffic-wise, the show is better than last year,” observed Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, at midday on Tuesday. “We met more people from Latin America,” he added. Shen theorized that Chicago is at the center of a larger territory of customers than last year’s location (Las Vegas).Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement: “We’re still here" Dahua has faced some negative publicity in the last year since they were banned from procurement by U.S. government customers by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement, says Shen. The statement is “We’re still here.” Shen said only one visitor to the Dahua booth even mentioned the NDAA on the first day of the show, and the visitor was misinformed about the provisions and implications of the law. “There is a lot of misinformation,” he says. “We need to continue to educate the market.” Facial recognition, video metadata, and people counting New at the show is the Dahua Analytics+ line of cameras that feature more in-depth analysis of data such as facial attributes, video metadata, and people counting. For example, the cameras can identify 128 points in a face, with an additional 256 attributes analyzed by the back-end recorder. Analysis can provide information such as age and gender, which can help a retailer analyze the demographics of their customers, for instance. Dahua is also adopting some of its consumer line of products for sale through the commercial channel. These include a flood light camera, a 2-megapixel WiFi camera and a doorbell camera. The products might be used outside of a retail store, for example, to complement Dahua commercial cameras that are used inside the store, says Shen. Dahua previewed a new multi-sensor camera that also includes a speed dome. The multi-sensor component combines eight views, each 2 megapixels, for a total of 16 megapixels. Below the multi-sensor camera is mounted a speed dome that can zoom in on regions of interest in the larger multisensor view. The camera will be launched in the fourth quarter. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their exhibits ACRE reports continued North American growth “The industry’s momentum will continue to grow,” predicted Joe Grillo, Principal of ACRE. New areas such as cloud and mobile credentialing have the fastest growth rate, but are starting from a much smaller base, he said, so momentum in those categories will take time.ACRE sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market Grillo noticed the first morning of GSX was busy, although there was a bit of a lull at midday. In terms of the business outlook, Grillo sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market, although there have been some negative elements creeping into the outlook in Europe. Cybersecurity concerns in access control I caught up with Grillo at the booth promoting RS2, a Munster, Ind., access control company that Acre acquired last May. It is the only Acre company that is exhibiting at GSX. RS2 is one of two access control companies acquired by Acre in the last year — the other was Open Options, Addison, Texas. Grillo said the two acquired companies are complementary, especially in terms of their sales channels and geographic strengths. Although both are national companies, RS2 tends to be stronger in the Midwest, while Open Options sales emphasis is centered in Texas and emanates to the rest of the country. Concerns about vulnerabilities are a growing issue in access control, said Grillo, and more large endusers are conducting penetration testing of systems. The industry should welcome the scrutiny, he added. Cybersecurity also represents an business opportunity in access control, noted Grillo. Concerns about the vulnerabilities of legacy technologies such as 125Khz proximity cards and the Wiegand protocol will likely accelerate the pace of companies upgrading their access control systems There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side) Eagle Eye Networks and cloud-based VMS Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks had already realized some new client opportunities during the first day of the show, although he was not optimistic at the outset. In contacting potential clients to meet at the show, he had heard that many were not attending. Among Eagle Eye Networks’ news at the show is full integration of body-cams into their cloud-based video management system. “It’s the most unique thing happening from a video management perspective,” Francis said. Previously, if someone needed a video clip from a body cam, they had to use a separate software system. Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed" Francis continues to be bullish on the subject of cloud adoption of video management and made a bold prediction: “Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed.” Eagle Eye Networks is doing its part with “rocket growth” that is reflected in an increase of company employees from 27 to 165 or so. Economies of scale have enabled Eagle Eye Networks to lower subscription prices by up to 45 percent. Genetec's release self-service PIAM system Many of the “new” products at GSX 2019 are slight variations on what was introduced at ISC West last spring. An exception is Genetec’s introduction of ClearID, a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that enforces security policies while improving the flow of people within the organization. The new system is integrated with the Genetec's Security Center Synergis access control system. PIAM systems have historically been customizable, complex to install and costly, which is why a lot of companies have not used a system. Genetec’s differentiator is that it is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box solution for a broader base of customers. “We scanned the market and found a lack of off-the-shelf identity management systems,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec. “Targeting the mid-market, we are providing an accessible, ready-to-go cloud-based system that is ‘baked’ for the average company but can be integrated and expanded to include other systems.” The trend toward system sales at the show is continuing ClearID will simplify operation for the security department, which was previously tasked with a lot of administrative work in response to various departments. ClearID “pushes down” the authority to use the system to stakeholders (such as IT and/or facilities directors) and provides  a system they can use themselves without involving security. “It empowers stakeholders and employees to work directly through the system rather than going through security,” says Arcuri. “It gives employees access based on stakeholder policies and improves the flow of people through an organization. The security director is relieved of administrative work and can work on ‘real’ security.” I saw some other things today, too, which I will share in a future GSX article... And more about the show tomorrow.

Florida Cattle Ranch Installs Dahua PTZ Cameras For Its Bald Eagles
Florida Cattle Ranch Installs Dahua PTZ Cameras For Its Bald Eagles

Video surveillance is used for more than just safety and security: users are discovering that high-resolution images and user-friendly features make surveillance cameras a valuable asset for all sorts of applications. A cattle ranch in Manatee County, Florida found that a Dahua PTZ was the perfect way to observe eagles without disturbing their habitat. Dahua PTZ Cameras  When Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida in 2017, Victoria and Nicholas, a pair of American bald eagles, watched their nest get destroyed. Undeterred, they began building a new nest in a tree right next to the old one. The ranchers on whose property the eagles lived were so inspired by this show of dedication that they decided to install cameras nearby to share the eagles’ story with the world. They reached out to Jens Buff, security consultant with Rapid Security Solutions, for support, and he contacted Dahua. Dahua donated a 4MP 30x IP PTZ, which was mounted to a tree in order to observe the nest up close. Dahua donated a 4MP 30x IP PTZ, which was mounted to a tree in order to observe the nest up close But disaster struck yet again! In 2018 “an unnamed storm, unexpected and unseasonable, blew through our area with pounding rain and ferocious winds,” stated the Eagle Country YouTube page. “Sadly, the eagles’ nest was blown to the ground in pieces again! We wondered if they would relocate, but this was Nicholas and Victoria. The very next day they began to rebuild. The cameras we placed after Irma were not destroyed and we are able to watch this incredible story continue.” Smart IR And Day/Night Surveillance Dozens of YouTube videos, as well as a live feed, give viewers a rare glimpse into the day-to-day lives of these majestic birds. Whether they’re incubating eggs, eating dinner, cleaning house, or fending off intruders, their activities are captured in clear video both day and night. The camera’s true day/night IR cut filter and Smart IR allow for crisp nighttime images without “whitening out” as the eagles get close to the camera. True WDR preserves the image in the direct sunlight that’s unavoidable at the top of a tree in the Sunshine State. The easy-to-use PTZ features let the ranchers follow the eagle’s actions without bothering them by manually repositioning the camera. “Dahua’s PTZ was the perfect choice to view one of life’s most beautiful creations living in nature,” Mr. Buff remarked.

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