Cables & cable assemblies - Expert commentary

Remote Monitoring Technology: Tackling South Africa’s Cable Theft Problem
Remote Monitoring Technology: Tackling South Africa’s Cable Theft Problem

For decades, cable theft has caused disruption to infrastructure across South Africa, and an issue that permeates the whole supply chain. Here, Ian Loudon, international sales and marketing manager at remote monitoring specialist Omniflex, explains how new cable-alarm technology is making life difficult for criminals and giving hope to businesses. In November 2020, Nasdaq reported that, “When South Africa shut large parts of its economy and transport network during its COVID-19 lockdown, organized, sometimes armed, gangs moved into its crumbling stations to steal the valuable copper from the lines. Now, more than two months after that lockdown ended, the commuter rail system, relied on by millions of commuters, is barely operational.” Private security firm Despite this most recent incident, cable theft is not a new phenomenon to sweep South Africa Despite this most recent incident, cable theft is not a new phenomenon to sweep South Africa. In 2001, SABC TV broadcast a story following two members of a private security firm working for Telkom, a major telecoms provider. In the segment, the two guards, working in Amanzimtoti on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, head out to investigate a nearby alarm that has been triggered. They reach a telecoms cabinet and discover that it has been compromised, with the copper cable cut and telephone handsets strewn across the ground. In the dark, they continue to search the area when one of the guards discovers the problem: 500 metres of copper wire has been ripped out. In their haste, the thieves have dropped their loot and fled. Widespread cable theft Had they managed to get away, they would have melted the cable to remove the plastic insulation and sold the copper to a local scrap dealer for around 900 Rand, about $50 US dollars. For the company whose infrastructure has been compromised, it may cost ten times that amount to replace and repair the critical infrastructure. The disappointing takeaway from this story is that two decades on from this incident the country still faces widespread cable theft, whether it’s copper cables from mines, pipelines, railways, telecoms or electrical utilities. In fact, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that cable theft costs the economy between R5–7 billion a year. The answer to the problem must go further than the existing measures used by companies. Detect power failure Most businesses already invest in CCTV, fences, barriers and even patrol guards, but this is not enough. Take the mining sector, for example. These sites can be vast, spanning dozens of kilometres - it’s simply not cost effective to install enough fences or employ enough guards or camera operators. As monitoring technology gets better, the company has seen site managers increasingly use cable alarms in recent years that detect when a power failure occurs. The idea is that, if one can detect a power failure, they can detect whether the cable has been cut The idea is that, if one can detect a power failure, they can detect whether the cable has been cut. The problem is though: how does one distinguish the difference between a situation where a cable has been cut intentionally and a genuine power outage? Power outages in South Africa are an ongoing problem, with the country contending with an energy deficit since late 2005, leading to around 6,000 MW of power cuts in 2019. Remote terminal units Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the company that generates around 95 per cent of South Africa’s power has already warned of further blackouts as the company works to carry out repairs to its power plants. According to a statement on the company’s website, “Eskom spends in the region of R2 billion a year replacing stolen copper cables." The result is that criminals take advantage of the gaps in power to steal cable, timing their robberies to coincide with the published load shedding schedules. The basic alarms used to detect power outage won’t recognize the theft because they register a false-positive during a power cut. By the time the power comes back on, the deed has been done and the criminals have gotten away with the cable. The good news is that recent breakthroughs in cable monitoring technology are helping tackle just this problem. New alarms on the market now combine sophisticated GSM-based monitoring systems that use battery powered remote terminal units. Legitimate supply chain Unlike the basic alarms that look for the presence or absence of power, these new systems monitor whether the cable circuit is in an open or closed state. In the event of a power outage, the unit continues to run on battery power and can detect if a cable has been cut, sending a priority SMS alert to the site manager immediately, giving them a fighting chance to prevent a robbery in progress. Beyond the opportunistic theft carried out by petty criminals, the theft of copper cables forms a wider problem Beyond the opportunistic theft carried out by petty criminals, the theft of copper cables forms a wider problem across the supply chain in South Africa. In recent years, the combination of unscrupulous scrap dealers, the alleged involvement of large scrap processing companies and lax penalties meant that much of the stolen copper ended up back in the legitimate supply chain. However, recent changes in the law have sought to take a tougher stance on copper theft. Alarm monitoring technology According to the Western Cape Government, “The Criminal Matters Amendment Act, regulates bail and imposes minimum offences for essential infrastructure-related offences." The act, which came into effect in 2018, recommends sentencing for cable theft, with the minimum sentence for first-time offenders being three years and for those who are involved in instigating or causing damage to infrastructure, the maximum sentence is thirty years. It seems to be working too. In January 2021, the South African reported that a Johannesburg man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for cable theft in Turffontein. While the longer-term outlook is a positive one for industry, the best advice for businesses seeking to alleviate the problem of cable theft in the immediate future is to invest in the latest cable-theft alarm monitoring technology to tackle the problem and make life difficult for criminals.

HD Over Coax Provides Cost-effective Video Surveillance Upgrade
HD Over Coax Provides Cost-effective Video Surveillance Upgrade

According to IHS Market, it is estimated that there are over 60 million security cameras in the United States, and other reports say these cameras capture more than four billion hours of footage per week. Over the last decade, IP camera technology has dominated the conversation as it has provided users with a broad offering of enhanced image quality and features. With a large percentage of existing security systems relying on analog, many end users looking for high definition (HD) video quality have been forced to take on a complete system overhaul. Infrastructure Overhaul For HD Video To make the switch, customers would need to change everything, from cameras to hardware to wiring– not to mention the lengthy installation process that would ensue. IP cameras also require higher Internet speeds and more cloud space. Whether constrained by budget, bandwidth or storage, many end users have been unable to adopt this new video surveillance method.Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike. By utilising the current Coaxial cables, this offering yields high definition video, while requiring minimal infrastructure changes and is an optimal surveillance choice for security customers. Plus, with new advancements and updates being made frequently to this technology, there is a solution for every security need. The enhanced alternative of HD over Coax has been warmly welcomed in the security industry, thanks to its simple solutions and ever-evolving features. Many new analog HD cameras are “plug and play,” able to connect directly to existing Coaxial cables. This eliminates the need for a complete system change, creating cost-savings for the end user and an enhanced video quality offering. Easy Solutions For HD Video As a result, integrators can cost-effectively upgrade their customer’s surveillance solution while using their legacy infrastructure, making it an attractive option for end users and an easy sell for dealers. Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems, where even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response HD over Coax cameras themselves are always expanding and evolving to meet a wide array of security needs. With the introduction of fisheye and multi-sensor cameras, users now have a multitude of coverage options, not to mention the introduction of 4K bringing resolution options to the same level as IP. Some newer technologies are even touting 4K cameras paired with 4K digital video recorders (DVRs) made specifically for analog systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analog solutions, and triple that of IP systems. This single cable is able to transmit both HD video and audio. Recently, broadcast quality audio over Coax has become available in limited models, a substantial improvement over older analog technology, which was unable to transmit audio. Stopping Video Delay Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems. Even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response. IP cameras are forced to compress and packetize their video for transmission. The outcome of this is a reduced number of images per video, which in turn causes delay. HD over Coax on the other hand, delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity. Additionally, the point-to-point transmission delivers uncompressed video free of lag. Another touted benefit is that, unlike IP networked cameras, analog systems provide a more secure video transmission. With so much sensitive information housed on a businesses’ network, adding another point of network access through an IP camera can create concerns for cyber security risks. HD over Coax delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity Preventing Network Hacking With HD over Coax, the physical connections between the camera and DVR prevent network hacking. By keeping the video surveillance system offline, security professionals are able to direct their attention to the physical threats at hand, rather than having to focus on deterring cyber security risks. One of the primary difficulties of deploying HD video solutions is the fact that many older systems utilize a wide variety of HD standards and platforms. To make matters more complicated, after HD over Coax was brought to market, manufacturers raced to create their own version of this technology. Today, the most popular proprietary standards are HD-CVI, HD-TVI and AHD. However, integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible.Integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible Diversifying Surveillance Through One DVR To combat these issues, manufacturers have introduced products with more flexibility to their portfolios. One example of this is the penta-brid DVR which grants the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple technologies deployed across one application. This means that systems with diverse camera brands and technologies, such as a mix of HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD, analog or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analog systems, penta-brid DVRs give them greater freedom to choose between a variety of solutions, rather than being limited to one option. With video resolution increasing, the space needed to store the footage is similarly rising. Penta-brid technology has been able to adapt to these evolving needs, giving users ample storage space to house the HD and 4K surveillance video with some of the newest models including H.265 compression.  HD Casino Surveillance Made Simple For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff While HD over Coax is beneficial to many end users and integrators, those in the casino and hospitality markets find it crucial. With a combination of high profile guests, large amounts of cash on hand, constant crowds and strict industry regulations, reliable video surveillance is a must. Deploying new IP systems comes at a stiff price. When looking to upgrade their video surveillance, casinos must also be mindful of the installation process. When moving to an IP-based system, ripping out old wires and replacing them with new is the standard practice. This practice can be both disruptive and costly, not to mention gaming regulations require casino activities be monitored at all times so a complete system shutdown would result in revenue loss. This cost can be hard to justify, especially when the current legacy analog system remains in working condition with only the lower image resolution to date it. For these scenarios, the most cost-effective option is to leverage the legacy infrastructure, replace the existing cameras with new devices, and reap the benefits that HD video has to offer without any lapse in security. For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff. HD over Coax cameras now offer the same resolution as IP cameras with a plug and play approach, that cuts down on expense without sacrificing quality. For businesses and applications that are unable to adopt IP technology, whether it be cost or time prohibitive, HD over Coax now features most of the same benefits IP has to offer without breaking the bank. By providing clear images in real time, maximizing existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.

How Atlanta’s New Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sets The Standard For Protection Against Vehicle Attacks
How Atlanta’s New Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sets The Standard For Protection Against Vehicle Attacks

Atlanta’s new $1.5 billion stadium, home to the NFL Atlanta Falcons football team and MLS Atlanta United soccer club and site of the recent NCAA national college football championship, is protecting fans, personnel and athletes from terrorists and errant drivers from using vehicles as weapons. While the threat of terrorists planning to attack soft targets, such as stadiums increases, stadium security professionals, such as those at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, must look for the weak points throughout their facilities to determine where fanatics are most likely assailing. Taking their cue from hard target attacks, they and other stadium management understand that the use of vehicles, either to carry the people that will carry out the attack or act as the bomb itself, is a very real threat. New System, Safer Pedestrians Installed by Tusco, using Delta Scientific perimeter protection products, the new access system includes four DSC501 barriers, five DSC720 bollards, 39 DSC2000 barriers and 59 DSC680 fixed bollards. “We are very experienced with installing Delta equipment,” relates Brent Martina, President of Tusco. “Mercedes-Benz Stadium was very particular about their security needs and protocols and requested a customized sequence of operations for their security equipment. While the threat of terrorists planning to attack soft targets increases, stadium security professionals must look for the weak points throughout their facilities “Delta Scientific’s products and experienced engineers made them the obvious choice in meeting both the high quality and technical standards required to integrate with the stadium’s sophisticated security system. It was crucial to have a reliable team in place as we received a very compressed schedule to get everything complete by the first football game and, therefore, had no room for errors.” Because of long, straight approaches to some access points, stadiums oftentimes need to deploy high performance barriers. DSC501 barriers were used at main entrances where players and VIPs, among others, enter with their cars. Preventing Attacks Before They Happen The DSC501 is the only K54-certified retractable vehicle barricade in the world. Set in a foundation only 18 inches deep, it will survive and operate after a 5.4-million-foot pound impact. That’s equivalent to a 65,000-pound truck hitting it at 50 mph. Stopping the truck or car dead in its tracks, the DSC501 protects against a “second hit” risk from a second vehicle. The stadium preferred installing these barricades in a more industrial look, wanting them to be “seen.” Five retractable DSC720 bollards were used at the pedestrian entry areas. This is Delta’s highest crash rated bollard, stopping a 15,000-pound vehicle at 50 mph. The bollard will stop and destroy much larger vehicles than those tested at very high velocities. The DSC720 is 35 inches tall and 15 inches wide. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the bollards feature brushed stainless-steel sleeves. Oftentimes, the ground below the access points are filled with cables, wires, pipes and other infrastructure products. As a result, typical, below ground installed traffic bollards, barriers and barricades cannot be used because these infrastructure products are too close to the surface. The solution is to use surface-mounted and shallow foundation barricades and barriers. This isn’t the only stadium using Delta equipment to protect staff and attendees from vehicle harm - Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco is a well-known user Delivery Entrances Are Weaknesses At the same time, for some reason, delivery entrances never seem to be as secured as the main entrances to the stadium. With delivery vehicles coming and going, delivery entrances need a solution that lets delivery vehicles enter and exit but stop unauthorized vehicles from entering at all. At the loading docks, 39 of Delta’s fastest, smallest and shallowest foundation barricades were implemented. Chosen especially for high speed applications and ease of installation, the cost effective DSC2000 barrier is K12 crash-certified with no penetration, meaning it will stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph dead in its tracks. The ten-inch shallow foundation also reduces installation complexity, time, materials and corresponding costs. Lastly, 50 DSC680 shallow foundation fixed bollards with stainless steel sleeves protect pedestrian areas. They secure any unprotected locations where vehicle bombers and errant drivers have no obstacles. Versus cement barriers such as posts and pots, many organisations prefer fixed-post bollards for several reasons. Terrorists typically don't go where they see barricades, so placing them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks dramatically That’s because, when hit, cement posts and pots can explode, literally spreading shrapnel throughout the crowd, potentially creating numerous injuries. Shallow foundation bollards can be installed within sidewalks or on top of concrete deck truss bridges as well as conform to the inclines and turns of a locale. They also meet the 1-meter clearance regulations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fixed bollard, which does not go up and down, provides a significant blocking device solution that continues to challenge security directors faced with threats such as stopping a vehicle from ploughing into the stadium’s inner perimeter. They let a facility manager meet a long-standing challenge - how to easily install bollards on shallow substrates, including those that are not level or have turns. No longer do locations, such as curves on hills, the upper levels of parking structures and other unprotected locales have to rely on unsightly ‘make-do’ solutions to stop car bombers or wayward drivers. One Of The World's Most Secure “Delayed by roof issues, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium challenged us with a condensed schedule to provide one of the world’s most secure vehicle access systems,” avows Martina. “I’m proud to say that our team completed the work on time and walked away from the project with another pleased client.” This isn’t the only stadium using Delta equipment to protect staff and attendees from vehicle harm. Among many, Penn State and Purdue as well as Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco (49ers) are well-known users. Unfortunately, most procurement offices won't allow vendors to announce their purchases. This is too bad since terrorists typically won't go where they know barricades are deployed, reducing security risks dramatically. Leading universities, including six of the Associated Press (AP) top-10 rated 2018 pre-season football schools, also stayed one step ahead of terrorists and errant drivers this year on their campuses by identifying vulnerable areas and securing them within minutes with Delta MP5000 temporary, portable barriers. These mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers carry a K8 rating (M40 ASTM rating), stopping 7.5-ton vehicles traveling 40 mph. Terrorists typically don't go where they see barricades, so placing them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks dramatically. Today, there is little excuse for a major stadium to suffer an attack which uses a vehicle to break through the perimeter. Whatever the weakness a terrorist thinks can be exploited, there is a type of bollard, barricade or barrier to stop him, yet let authorized people through.

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Utah School Using Mobile Video System Deployment As First Line Of Defense
Utah School Using Mobile Video System Deployment As First Line Of Defense

Canyons School District is located in the Southeast region of Salt Lake County, Utah. The school system serves approximately 33,900 students in 44 schools, including 29 elementary schools, eight middle schools, five high schools, and several special program schools.   This large district covers 192 square miles and relies on a well-coordinated bus system to transport 15,000 students daily on bus routes that cover close to 1.5 million miles a year. The district's 200 Transportation Department employees maintain a fleet of 175 school buses that serve over 4,700 stops and 2,500 activity trips annually. Challenge “Student safety is a top priority for us and buses have more than their fair share of problems," said Director of Technology Support, Canyons School District. “Our video systems are a key piece of technology used to keep our students and drivers safe. Bullying, fights, inappropriate behavior, accidents, and vandalism have all been documented with our camera systems. Video evidence is a critical piece of the puzzle that helps our Principals and Administrators know what happened.”  Upgrading to open platform technology The team specified a system that includes VMS from Milestone, network cameras from Axis, and Sintron's mobile server After several years of dealing with an older, failing, analog video system on its buses, the district needed to update the fleet. The district's Transportation Department together with the IT department spent two years researching technologies and best practices to find the right mobile video security system. The team ultimately specified a system that includes video management software (VMS) from Milestone Systems, network cameras from Axis Communications, and Sintron Technologies’ mobile server/recorder. Stone Security is the Milestone Diamond Partner responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the solution.    Installing the solution Stone Security made sure the installation went according to Canyons School District standards. They worked around the district's tight bus schedule, keeping flexible in dealing with special situations and emergencies. Over 85 of the district's buses were installed with the new mobile video system during the summer of 2017 and the rest of the total 175 buses were recently upgraded this summer in preparation for school to start end of August 2018. In the future, when Canyons School District adds buses to its fleet, they will be outfitted with the same Milestone, Axis, Sintron solution.        IP-based open platform An important part of the solution is that the system must use open platform IP-based, industry-standard components “Milestone and Stone Security have been awesome partners,” said the Director of Technology Support at Canyons School District. “We started this project after school ended in June, the same day we began to repave the bus yard. The logistics of getting old camera systems removed and new ones installed while at the same time having buses parked at many temporary locations was daunting. Stone Security handled it with grace and even finished a week ahead of schedule.”    An important component of the solution is that the system must use open platform IP-based, industry-standard components. Traditional analog solutions only use proprietary cables, cameras, DVRs, etc., but the Canyons School District wanted to make sure that it moved to an open standard, so if problems arose, it would not be locked into any vendor, and a range of expansion options would be possible. A connected solution The Canyons School District solution includes onboard two, three, or four AXIS M3037-PVE 360-degree cameras per bus depending on the size of the vehicle, and a Sintron mobile recording server, fully customizable and ruggedized, Windows OS-based. Administrators can manage the OS, group policies, updates, and software from a centralized location with Microsoft System Centre Manager. The server includes a built-in UPS to protect it from battery drops as the engine starts and stops, as well as loss of power in the case of a vehicle accident. It provides PoE to the cameras and has options for GPS, Cellular, multiple storage locations, WiFi, as well as reading data from a CAN-BUS network.  Milestone XProtect software and Interconnect add-on  Operators can retrieve video in a matter of hours following an incident, rather than days “Milestone VMS is the system we use for many of our school-based systems. By also using it in our buses, it makes it easier on our Principals and Administrators because they don’t have to learn multiple systems,” said the Director of Technology Support at Canyons School District.   The Milestone XProtect software was selected because it allows the recording server to be located on the bus and manage itself, while the Milestone Interconnect add-on enables the video to be transferred from the buses anytime they are near a school or in the main bus yard over WiFi. Operators can retrieve video in a matter of hours following an incident, rather than days. Video storage Solution “We developed a new way to deploy the Milestone VMS for transportation. We're using XProtect Expert on the buses, with XProtect Corporate in the data center, and XProtect Interconnect as the connection between the systems. With Milestone, we were able to craft a flexible solution that didn't exist previously," said Andy Schreyer, Stone Security. Schreyer explained that video is stored redundantly within the bus both on the server as well as within the cameras. If there's an accident that takes down the server, video from the cameras can be retrieved. The bus servers store video for 30 days, and any time an equipped bus pulls into a district schoolyard, the server will connect back to the corporate Milestone server and offload the video. The video is stored in the district's data center and accessed on an as-needed basis. When an incident occurs, the Transportation Department can share recorded video with the school administration or local authorities. Total visibility The system captures the four video streams coming from each camera and picks up external images through the windows The internal 360-degree cameras cover all activity within a bus, often providing data from a minimum of two different angles. The system captures the four video streams coming from each camera (up to 16 video feeds from a four-camera equipped bus) and picks up external images through the windows as well. While some windows are digitally masked in the software to avoid excessive recording on motion, the district has an option for mounting cameras on the exterior of a bus. They can expand to external camera systems by equipping buses with Axis P3905-RE high-performance outdoor cameras, helping to assure that what's happening outside and around a bus is captured. Video security “I’m excited about the Milestone solution. After extensively studying all of the software and hardware manufacturers in the video security industry, the Milestone, Sintron, and Axis combination ticks all of the boxes." "Also, we are not locked into proprietary systems as the industry evolves. Lastly, Stone Security has proven to be a rock-solid partner in all of this and I highly recommend them,” said the Director of Technology Support, Canyons School District.

2021’s Most Popular Expert Panel Roundtable Discussions
2021’s Most Popular Expert Panel Roundtable Discussions

Topics that dominated our website’s Expert Panel Roundtable articles in 2021 included the effects of COVID-19, the benefits of mobile access, the upcoming potential of deep learning, and the future of access control cards. Our website’s Expert Panel Roundtable discussions in 2021 reflected some of the most timely and important topics in the industry. The very most clicked-on Expert Panel Roundtable discussion in 2021 considered the positive and negative effects of COVID-19. The second most popular was trends in perimeter security technology. Smart video solutions Here is a roundup of the Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2021, along with a ‘sound bite’ from each discussion and links back to the full articles. Thanks to everyone who contributed to Expert Panel Roundtable in 2021 (including the quotable panelists named and linked below). The pandemic has impacted security in many ways, some we are just now realizing" What are the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 to security? “The pandemic has impacted security in many ways, some we are just now realizing. On the negative side, integrators were limited in their ability to access customer locations, posing significant challenges to supporting customers. Innovation was also halted in many sectors – such as AI and edge computing in healthcare. However, the pandemic increased awareness regarding the need for smart solutions that can aid in these types of crises. Smart video solutions have been identified repeatedly in the media as a potential pathway to better customer experience and increased safety.” – Alexander Harlass. Reducing false alarms What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology? “What’s really important in perimeter security is the minimization of false alarms, not simply the potential detection of what might be an unauthorized person or object. In light of that, many systems now include alarm validation that can confirm an alarm event using a camera. The utilization of AI-based technologies can further validate the accuracy of the alarm, making it as accurate and precise as possible. I anticipate seeing more cross-technological integrations to reduce false alarms, so that personnel in an alarm center spend as little time as possible in validating an alarm.” – Leo Levit. What will be the biggest security trends in 2021? “2021 will see artificial intelligence (AI) become more mainstream. There will be increased deployment in edge devices, including cameras, thermographic cameras, radar and LIDAR sensors, entry point readers, etc. Additional algorithms will be developed, greatly expanding the use and function as video surveillance transitions from a forensic tool to real-time analytics. This increases the value of these systems and helps create ROI cases for their deployment.” – Tim Brooks. Access control solutions Investments in tools and platforms to drive digital interactions have accelerated" What will be the security industry’s biggest challenge in 2021? “The security industry is traditional in the sense that it relies heavily on face-to-face interaction to do business with customers and partners alike. COVID-19 has put a hold on in-person meetings, trade shows, etc., and this trend is likely to extend throughout 2021. Virtually recreating these personal touchpoints, while cultivating and strengthening internal and external relationships, will continue to be both a challenge and opportunity for the security industry. Investments in tools and platforms to drive digital interactions have accelerated.” – Robert Moore. What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control? “Mobile access control solutions are an exciting innovation in a market where the day-to-day user experience hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. One area that has clear benefits and challenges is in improving the user experience. On one hand, physical credentials are expensive and a hassle to administer; however, they work reliably, quickly, and predictably. Mobile credentials are convenient in that everyone already has a smartphone, and you don’t have to admin or carry cards; however, when you’re actually standing at the door they need to work as well or better than physical credentials, or the benefits are lost.” – Brian Lohse. Attacking critical infrastructure What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure? “It seems so often we hear about a new threat or cyber-attack in the news. Because of the rapid growth in technology over the last few years, cybercriminals are getting bolder and discovering new ways to attack critical infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges boils down to the capabilities of the operating security system and whether the organization is aware of the current risks they face. Because there are so many points of entry for cybercriminals to target within critical infrastructure, it is vital that the security solution be prepared for attacks at every level.” – Charles (Chuck) O’Leary. They are more aware when they make physical contact with doors and interfaces" Which security technologies will be useful in a post-pandemic world? “People have become more sensitized to crowds and personal space. They are more aware when they make physical contact with doors and interfaces. As the pandemic subsides, these habits will likely remain for a majority of people." "Utilising AI-based cameras to accurately monitor the number of people in a room or in a queue will enable staff to take action to improve the customer experience. For example, AI-based analytics can quickly notify security or operations when people are waiting at a door and initiate 2-way audio for touchless access.” – Aaron Saks. Central monitoring station What is the potential of deep learning in physical security and surveillance? “Deep learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, enables networks to train themselves to perform speech, voice, and image recognition tasks." In video surveillance, these networks learn to make predictions through highly repetitive exposure" "In video surveillance, these networks learn to make predictions through highly repetitive exposure to images of humans and vehicles from a camera feed. That ability is ideal for use with drones patrolling perimeters seeking anomalies or in software that significantly reduces the number of false alarms reported to central monitoring station operators. Through use, the software continues improving its accuracy.” – Brian Baker. Valuable audit trail How soon will access control cards become extinct and why? “Access control cards will go the way of the dinosaur, but they still have some life left in them. For the short term, they have plenty of utility in minimum security use cases and leave a valuable audit trail. But for companies that are more technology-centric, particularly those with high value assets, we’re seeing demand for next-generation access control, which includes increased integration with video surveillance systems and professional monitoring services.” – Sean Foley. Which security markets are embracing touchless and contactless systems? “Touchless technology is not a new trend, but contactless systems and transactions have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the pandemic is over, it is likely public perception of what is hygienic and acceptable in public spaces will have changed. [We are] seeing an uptick in touchless access control systems in the education and flexible office space markets.” – Brooke Grigsby.

Quanika Distribution Deal With SensaTek To Deliver A New Generation Of Integration Projects For Australian Integrators
Quanika Distribution Deal With SensaTek To Deliver A New Generation Of Integration Projects For Australian Integrators

Australian systems integrators can now deliver a new generation of seamless, end-to-end security solutions powered by Quanika’s Enterprise and VisitorPoint software, following a distribution agreement between the two companies. Quanika Enterprise enables out-of-the-box integration with world-pioneering tech from Axis Communications including its full range of network cameras, door controllers, and audio devices as well as a choice of video management software. Users can connect, off-the-shelf a range of popular third-party systems from intruder and fire detection and site-specific applications and widely used databases, such as Microsoft Active Directory. Unified security management Quanika’s modular approach is more affordable and flexible than traditional enterprise-level integrated solutions and its access control and visitor management software works seamlessly with Axis Communications’ hardware, and a wide choice of video management software (VMS) including AXIS Camera Station, Milestone, and IPConfigure, to give users a unified security management platform. Quanika’s VisitorPoint visitor management software is also being used by organizations to combine increased security with improved access convenience for visitors, staff, contractors, and deliveries. Through access digitisation it is automating workflows, eliminating siloed systems, and helping organizations adapt to more flexible and hybrid working patterns. Integrated solutions Quanika’s integration model combines off-the-shelf affordability with bespoke tailoring is being deployed globally" The distribution agreement covering Australian markets positions SensaTek to deliver complete integrated solutions to meet the security, safety, and operational demands of businesses of any size including single facilities, campuses, and multi-site applications in the healthcare and logistics sectors. “Quanika’s integration model, which combines off-the-shelf affordability with bespoke tailoring whenever required, is being deployed in settings globally including hospitals, global logistics operations, retail, manufacturing, and leisure,” says James Robinson, Senior Business Development Manager, SensaTek. “It’s helping organizations improve security and drive up efficiency by moving away from stand-alone, siloed systems. We are looking forward to delivering the same benefits to Australian customers too.” Security and safety Quanika Enterprise offers an intuitive security and safety management platform that integrates advanced access control functionality with video and wider building management and popular databases, including Microsoft Active Directory, that gives organizations single and multi-site management and control and the flexibility to orchestrate change and adapt to the latest security, safety, and operational requirements. “As well as the advantages of affordable integration with off-the-shelf software, Quanika offers the ability to quickly add new integrations to meet site-specific challenges,” says Phil Campbell Sale Director, Quanika. “In line with our expansion in other markets we are delighted now to be working with SensaTek to deliver a new generation of affordable integrated solutions across Australia.”