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This year has brought about changes in virtually every sector. As with other frontline industries, the security sector has been tested more than those able to move entirely to remote working. While the promise of a vaccine means an end is in sight, the post-COVID era will not bring with it a return to the ‘normal’ we knew before the pandemic. Organizations have adapted, becoming more resilient and agile and this will have lasting effects. The coming months will continue to be testing. The tiered system will see the precautions in place fluctuate with the situation. Initial lockdown period At the same time, a gradual return to normal as the vaccine is rolled out will require adaptive measures. The security sector will be at the heart of keeping people safe throughout this process. The initial lockdown period and the first wave of panic buying might seem like a lifetime ago. However, the introduction of the second lockdown in November was accompanied by another wave of stockpiling despite organizations trying to reassure their customers. It is uncertainty that breeds anxiety, and we continue to see this as the restrictions fluctuate across the country. The tier system depends upon a number of factors: case detection rate, how quickly case numbers are rising or falling, positive COVID-19 test numbers in the general population, pressure on the NHS in that region, and local context and exceptional circumstances. Social distancing measures For the sector to meet demand, technology will be needed to work alongside the manned guarding role While travel is allowed in all tiers if necessary for work, government advice still recommends that those able to work from home should do so. This means that throughout the country, many buildings will remain empty or at minimal capacity for some time to come. Security risks vary with the restrictions in each area. Although shops are largely open, tier three still requires the closure of many premises. Vacant premises are more vulnerable to theft and damage, meaning officers and security technology remain in higher demand than usual. As more premises are allowed to open, the need for officers to implement social distancing measures increases, stretching the sector like never before. For the sector to meet demand, technology will be needed to work alongside the manned guarding role. Temperature checking devices It will continue to be important in providing security when officers cannot be present in person through CCTV and sensors. But it will also be integrated into the manned guarding role to streamline processes. We are already seeing the start of this as many officers are using handheld temperature checking devices to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We’ll also see temperature scanners installed into buildings to allow security guards to focus on other priorities. Those businesses that are open will need to continue to adapt to the changing regulations in the coming months. Christmas is a busy period that stretches the retail sector. Unpredictability results in heightened stress levels and makes it more difficult for people to reliably take in and recall information. Security officers are a key first point of contact both to enforce measures and reassure anxious staff and members of the public. Enforcing one-Way systems Security staff will need to keep members of the public safe and prevent disruption Some shops are enforcing one-way systems and limiting the number of customers allowed inside. Over Christmas, many more may choose to do so. Security officers will be responsible for ensuring these precautions are followed. With the heightened pressure of the festive period, it can be hard to predict how members of the public will respond to officers enforcing measures. Security staff will need to keep members of the public safe and prevent disruption. Doing so will require tact and empathy in dealing with customers. Within shops, too, officers will be tasked with ensuring social distancing and other measures are followed effectively. Doing so, they must work closely with clients to understand what protocols are in place and how to handle a breach. They must also be able to enact discretion. For example, clients may not take issue with protocols being broken momentarily or accidentally. Extensive government guidance There is extensive government guidance on the precautions that should be taken on various premises. They include the introduction of one-way systems and limiting building capacity. Measures such as one-way systems may be broken by those that don’t notice or don’t care. Officers must be able to judge what responses are appropriate while maintaining a calm and reassuring presence. The security officer role has long been moving toward a more front of house position as, for many visitors to a building, they are the first point of contact. The pandemic has accelerated this trend. Working on the frontline of the pandemic, officers have had to play a more multifaceted role than ever before. Officers still act as deterrents and manage security issues, but they must also use empathy and strong communication skills to inform and reassure customers and staff onsite. Adapting to new technology They will need to be able to learn quickly on the job and adapt to new technology and practices Being able to demonstrate this flexibility and to read a situation and react appropriately will be some of the skills most in demand in the industry in the future. Officers will need to build close working relationships with clients. In addition, many will have new roles, such as taking temperatures with handheld devices. They will need to be able to learn quickly on the job and adapt to new technology and practices. Technology, too, will be more important. If the global pandemic has driven any point home, it is that we cannot always see or sense threats. Data-Driven insights Temperature checks and occupancy sensors will be the norm in protecting from COVID, while security technology and data-driven insights will continue to grow in popularity. The security sector specializes in adapting to the unexpected and the threatening. It continues to demonstrate incredible value through the pandemic. While the coming months will undoubtedly be trying, the sector is adapting. Lessons have been learned from the pandemic that will affect business globally. Security specialists are taking these on and creating a stronger and more effective industry.
For decades, the nature of global safety has been evolving. From physical security threats like large-scale terrorist attacks and lone actor stabbings to chemical threats such as the Salisbury poisonings and even microbiological threats such as COVID-19, new challenges are constantly arising and the threat landscape we operate in today is constantly changing. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks. With the economic downturn, there is the traditional rise in theft, violence and other crimes. Compound this with unmanned businesses and work-at-home staff, and there is a perfect storm for a rise in security threats. Artificial intelligence (AI) and specifically the branch of AI known as machine learning (ML), was already causing widespread disruption in many industries, including the security industry. AI has been a driving force to replace labor-based business models with integrated data and actionable intelligence that is context-aware. It has become apparent that AI will play a big part in the ongoing fight against both pandemics such as COVID-19, as well as other threats that we may face in the future. With all of this in mind, 2021 is poised to be a big year for AI growth. While AI is going to continue to impact our lives in dozens of ways, from smart sensors to face mask compliance detection, the following reflects a few top trends and challenges that I have my eye on for 2021 as we close out this year. The rise of smart city investments One such example is the increasing development of smart cities and how AI can be leveraged to build safe communities. To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks Typical development of a city includes standard infrastructure - roads, schools, power, water, transportation. Now, internet, data and AI capabilities are part of the standard infrastructure requirements for all new developments. AI promises to deliver increased efficiencies with the infrastructure that will accommodate growing populations while reducing our impact on the environment, resources, and communities. Global cities now account for more than half of the world’s population, and the United Nations projects the number to balloon to 68% by mid-century. Owing to both demographic shifts and overall population growth, that means that around 2.5 billion people could be added to urban areas by the middle of the century, predicts the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). With an increase in population has come an increase in global spending on smart city initiatives to drive down the impact of growing urban concentration. Global spending on smart city initiatives is expected to total nearly $124 billion this year, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide, while Singapore, Tokyo, London and New York as the big spenders - expected to spend more than $1 billion in 2020. Using AI-driven technology to create safer public and private spaces Today, security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect the population in a more efficient, and accurate manner. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new AI technology can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. One such deployment is the use of video object recognition/computer vision software that can be integrated into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify risks and flag threats, such weapons, aggressive behaviours, theft, and safety compliance. This helps to minimize the impact of a breach by an early alert to onsite security in real-time to the location and nature of the potential threat, allowing them to intervene before a loss occurs. These same AI-enabled video solutions can similarly be used to provide advanced business operations in retail, logistics, and manufacturing organizations. Multi-sensor security solutions Also, targeted magnetic and radar sensor technologies, concealed in everyday objects like planter boxes or inside walls, can now scan individuals and bags entering a building for concealed threat objects. Using AI/machine learning, these two sensor solutions combined can identify metal content on the body and bag and match the item to a catalog of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs. Security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments Without this advanced multi-sensor solution, it becomes nearly impossible to discover a weapon on a person's body before it appears in an assailant’s hands. This multi-sensor solution allows for touchless, unobtrusive access to a building, but allows for immediate notification to onsite security when a concealed threat is detected. The hidden technology thus empowers security staff to intercept threats before they evolve into a wider scale attack, while also maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of the public, unless, of course, they are carrying a concealed weapon or pose a physical threat. With the advent of sophisticated surveillance and technological innovation, a level of caution must be exerted. Despite the ongoing global debate, there remains little regulation about the use of AI technologies in today’s physical security space. One thing is certain; it must be deployed in the right place, at the right time, with the right privacy and civil liberty protection objectives. People don’t want to be protected by omnipresent, obstructive and overbearing security systems that infringe on their privacy and civil liberties. They want a proper balance between security and their current way of life, one that must be fused together. Technology and tracing COVID-19 Machine learning-based technologies are playing a substantial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the key purpose of surveillance systems has been to detect and deter threats, including the detection of visible and hidden weapons and abnormal behavior. While this, of course, remains a primary focus, today we are seeing how surveillance systems defend against new invisible threats, as well as rapidly automate the process of contact-tracing to capture and contain a virus before it spreads. Again, the ability to track and trace through parsing algorithms that can manage through enormous amounts of data provides a highly scalable and rapid response mechanism to control the spread of threats. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact Although the threat may not be visible, it is just as destructive. By incorporating AI into existing technologies, government, healthcare and security professionals can monitor public spaces and environments through the combined use of digital and thermal video surveillance cameras and video management systems); just one of the solutions being explored. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By Using AI-powered video analytic software, businesses can monitor face masks, social distancing and large gathering compliance and also detect elevated body temperature. Critically, technology must be capable of both identifying and tracking the virus but also be unobtrusive. An unobtrusive system that is adaptable enough to be deployed across a range of environments where the public gathers in enclosed spaces is necessary to be effective. Security in 2021 Technology has proven itself to be a valuable ally in times of crisis. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI/machine learning technologies will help optimize security solutions in areas that are brimming with potential. As we look ahead to the future of security in a world that is impacted by such a wide range of threats, from physical to chemical to microbiological, it’s clear that new technologies, specifically AI can dramatically improve the effectiveness of security systems and help us to better defend against a wide spectrum of threats. Technology has a huge role to play in making our communities safe in 2021 and beyond, but for security systems to be effective, they must not be oppressive or obstructive. This will ensure they have the full support of the public - the key to success.
It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home while at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours. According to a recent report, police forces are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centers, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, investing in a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property from inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals However, technology, improved cellphone connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has changed the security market and made it easy for anyone to set up a surveillance ecosystem with easy installation and constant round the clock, cloud monitoring. Plus, you can access footage from anywhere in the world via devices and apps – just in case you have to skip the country! The best cameras for SMBs Most good cameras have the much same functionality: excellent video and audio capabilities, remote access and programming, motion and sound detection, and the ability to capture still or video images and audio and save the data to the Cloud. But the burning question is, when you're trying to find a need in a haystack, what will work best for a small to medium sized business? A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours Now you can buy cameras that come packed with features such as integrated night vision, 1080p resolution, microSD card slot for local recording, two-way audio functionality as well as the latest latest 128bit encryption. They also have wide-angle lenses allowing users to see more of their office with a single camera, and some come with free, intelligent AI-Based motion detection. The AI gives users more choices on what is captured by the camera and when they should be alerted. Users can specify what types of motion they would like to detect, such as an intruder as opposed to a dog, an object crossing a defined boundary or into a specific area. They can also define multiple zones, alerting them immediately when movement is detected in particular areas. Easy installation is crucial These security cameras should also be easy enough to install and use that you don't need to fork out for expensive expert installation, and many can work with existing CCTV and CCTV DVR systems you may already have set-up. Many of the business security cameras are Wi-Fi enabled and come with their own apps, so you can view footage on your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are in the world. It means you don't need to pay for a security team to watch the footage at all times (though if you can afford it, that won't hurt), and you can store your videos locally with an NVR on a HD, in the cloud with mydlink or do both with a hybrid NVR/cloud recorder. The apps use Rich Notifications which send a push notification with snapshot to the mobile device the moment activity is detected. Users can react immediately without the need to log into the app by accessing the camera’s live view or calling one of two pre-assigned contacts with a single tap. Any motion-triggered recordings can be saved in the cloud, or locally on a microSD card. Indoor, Outdoor or both? Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions. Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal. Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilize features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from color images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker. When doing your research, features to look out for include: Wide angle lens for optimum room view or full view of the front of your property Full HD 1080p at 30fps ONVIF compatible - Open Network Video Interface Forum - The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other. Night vision - look at length of the night vision - 5m is about right Your options will depend on your budget and specific needs, but the above features are a great start when you come to buy.
Johnson Controls has announced it has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys Inc., a globally renowned residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, after owning a majority stake in the company since 2014. Smart building solutions expert Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. The Qolsys founders and leadership team will remain in Silicon Valley (San Jose, California), assuming key roles in Johnson Controls’ global intrusion business. Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next-gen smart building solutions Johnson Controls continues in its mission to deliver smarter, safer, more intelligent and connected buildings, by deploying emerging technologies, such as embedded IP, artificial intelligence and machine learning through state-of-the-art solutions and partnerships. Johnson Controls is at the forefront of fundamental transformation of how spaces and places are perceived and enjoyed by balancing and responding to the flow of information, services and people that occupy buildings. OpenBlue digital platforms By applying data from both inside and outside buildings, Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue digital platforms empower customers to manage operations, while delivering safety and security in dynamic and agile environments. "Qolsys has grown from a startup to a renowned security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses," said Jeff Williams, President of Global Products, Johnson Controls. "The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets, while further enhancing the suite of products and services offered on our digital platform, OpenBlue." IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals The award-winning IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals have driven explosive growth in North America and across the globe with future-proof features, supported by over-the-air software updates, built-in panel camera, Bluetooth disarming and innovative installation, and diagnostic tools to reduce costs and increase user engagement and satisfaction. Qolsys continues to show consistent growth of services and dealers, which led to US$ 150 million in revenues during fiscal year 2019. "As the world becomes more connected and the innovation curve continues to ramp at unprecedented speed, we are excited to join Johnson Controls," said Dave Pulling, Qolsys Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dave will be occupying the post of Vice President and General Manager of the global intrusion products business for Johnson Controls, which had US$ 500 million in revenue in fiscal year 2019. Advanced cloud-enabled solutions firm This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry" Dave adds, "We are committed to our customers in the security channel while continuing to invest in our roadmap and emerging verticals around the globe. This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry with advanced cloud-enabled solutions that transcend traditional intrusion offerings including advanced automation, energy management, apartment management, building management and wellness for aging in place." The combined volume of Qolsys, DSC, Bentel, Visonic - PowerG and Tyco products positions Johnson Controls as the market share major in advanced security solutions worldwide. IQ Hub, Panel, Water and Router products Qolsys recently announced roadmap products, including the IQ Hub, a lower-priced, third-generation IQ Panel; the IQ Router, a next-generation mesh networking solution to elegantly address the rapidly complex connected home; IQ Water, a connected water shut-off valve designed for mass market retrofit and a fourth generation IQ Panel due in 2021 with Qualcomm chipset supporting AI, M2M and next generation connectivity. Johnson Controls will offer Qolsys products throughout global markets. The IQ Panel 2 Plus and a full line of security and home automation devices are available from authorized Qolsys distributors.
Visitors to The Security Event will be among the first to see live demonstrations of some of the latest products to be launched by Tyco, the security division of Johnson Controls. A wide range of access control, intrusion and video products from the American Dynamics, Exacq, Illustra, Bentel, CEM Systems, DSC, Kantech, Software House and Visonic brands, which are supplied under the Tyco umbrella, will be on show on stand SE102. These include: Access Control Credential iotega, an all-in-one smart security and home automation platform for residential and small commercial properties A new camera to cloud solution which provides a cost-saving and efficient and method of managing IP cameras and securely storing video in the cloud. The recently launched Illustra Flex IR 30 x PTZ cameras which have adaptive IR illumination that adjusts the intensity of the IR in line with the operator controlled zoom setting of the camera. A new 8 channel VideoEdge Deep Intelligence Network Video Recorder (NVR), which utilizes machine learning techniques with the help of a powerful Graphic Processing Unit (GPU). This optimizes the ability of the NVR to display highly accurate video intelligence compared to standard methods of video analytics. Kantech EntraPass software which enables users to operate any number of doors where card access is required and provides support for a server based Go Pass mobile App that allows card holders to use their mobile phones as an access control credential. iotega, an all-in-one smart security and home automation platform for residential and small commercial properties. Commercial Security Exhibition Tyco is a Founding Partner of The Security Event which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on 9-11th April, 2019 and is intended to fulfill the need for a UK focused commercial security exhibition. “The opportunity to take an active role as a Founding Partner in an industry event which will be at a location which so many of our customers consider ‘home’, is extremely welcome,” said Gordon Morrison, GB Sales Director for the Tyco Security Products access control and video brands. “The concept, focus and size of the show makes it ideal for us to showcase our unified fits with our requirements and plans for a major part of our business."
On the heels of the release of Ocularis 5.0, OnSSI has now announced the introduction of several new technology integrations for its recently released VMS with C2P’s software solution. Ocularis 5.0, which is based on a new recorder, maximizes HDD storage effectiveness with dynamic data management for automatic storage load balancing, End-to-End 256 bit AES Encryption and edge recording support. The newly certified integrations with Ocularis 5.0, provide security professionals with valuable situational information across a wide range of applications including banking, access control, asset tracking, license plate recognition and point-of-sale. “The correlation of video and data creates an extremely effective and intelligent security solution,” said Ken LaMarca, VP of Sales and Marketing, OnSSI. “Ocularis’ open architecture not only makes this integration possible, it results in a powerful tool that meets a variety of demanding applications and delivers comprehensive intelligence across multiple platforms. Most important, beyond the power of these integrations, the systems provide vital information, better enabling the operators to assess emerging situations and provide them with information to choose an appropriate course of action.” Details On These Integrations Are As Follows: Banking Integrations with Diebold and Fiserv for teller terminals and ATM deployments allow for TCP/IP text and/or events to be streamed live directly to Ocularis in the form of JPEG images. The TCP/IP data is also stored as texts for forensic searches afterwards. All banking transactions are time synchronized with area video surveillance in real-time and includes real-time charting of specific events. Access Control These integrations with Axis, DMP, DSX, FST21, Hirsch, ISONAS, Keri Systems, Keyscan, and RBH provide for real-time access control activity and user defined, real-time on-screen event annotation. The seamless integration with OnSSI provides real-time analytics which enables users to define rules based on the text received from the access control system. These rules are then used to engage the full power of the Ocularis Event Fusion engine to push video of the event to predefined client screens, lock/unlock doors, blow horns, turn PTZs, send email and SMS alerts, etc. The C2P framework also includes a powerful text search tool, linking all texts received from the access control system with stored surveillance video. Reports are available for export as CSV files and also as video evidence. Asset Tracking Traditional asset tracking is enhanced by this integration, allowing users of Visonic RFID or generic bar code readers to see real-time onscreen notifications of asset activity, as well as email and SMS alerts. The information can be exported for video evidence or as a CSV file for reporting purposes. License Plate Recognition This LPR integration with ELSAG, HTS, Inex/Zamir, Mango, PlateSmart and Vigilant Solutions provides users with real-time onscreen confirmation of LPR activities, the ability to graph specific events, and time synchronization of all license plate reads with area surveillance video. Onscreen event connotation, email and SMS alerts, a powerful search tool for all LPR text, and stored video are included. Exports include reports as a CSV file or video evidence. Point-Of-Sale Integrations with IBM RMS, LOC, Micros, NCR Radiant, and POSitouch provide for all POS transactions to be time-synchronized with all Ocularis surveillance video. Real-time features include onscreen POS terminal activity, time graphing of specific events and POS transaction analytics enabling users to quickly find activities of interest. User-defined event annotation via onscreen messaging and push video, email and SMS alerts are also included. Video evidence can easily be exported as CSV files or displayed onscreen as a camera view. “Working with OnSSI to accomplish this integration has been a smooth and positive experience thanks to the open architecture of Ocularis 5.0,” said Paul Eaton, President and CTO, C2P. “The solution efficiently addresses the complexities of bringing together video and data for highly effective use in security applications.”
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