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Securing Your Business While Working Remotely
Securing Your Business While Working Remotely

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.

Fighting Illicit Trade With Artificial Intelligence
Fighting Illicit Trade With Artificial Intelligence

AI has opened doors to many transformation opportunities and increasingly minimised many risks  -- personal and economic -- that are alarming today. And illicit trade is one of those pains AI can offer a promising solution against. Illicit trade is a serious threat and problem that affects governments and societies on every level. While governments lose financial funds in tax revenues, thriving businesses are losing potential customers, and customers are getting tricked into purchasing counterfeit, low-quality products. Transnational organized crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion through transnational criminal organizations, complicit corrupt facilitators, and other threat areas. The list of criminal activities is long and involves such horrific crimes as trafficking of narcotics, opioids, arms, humans, fake medicines and other counterfeit and pirated goods; illegal tobacco and alcohol; illegally-harvested timber, wildlife, and fish; pillaged oil, diamonds, gold, and other natural resources and precious minerals; stolen antiquities; and other contraband or valuable items sold across streets, social media, online marketplaces, and the dark web. In short, illicit trade is a contributing cause to large-scale insecurity and instability across markets. AI-driven technologies Here is where revolutionary AI-driven technologies come in, with their capability to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. There are a few ways that AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. Transnational organized crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents -- often billions of pages of documents -- in a short period of time. Among these documents widely in circulation, most have an unstructured and inconsistent format -- from invoices to insurance documentation -- are a complex system to tackle; in this whirlwind of pages, the likelihood of non-compliant and misrepresented figures to go by unnoticed. But this is also where AI can thrive as solutions become a necessity, enhancing humans’ capabilities of identifying fraud risks in the early stages. Relying on natural language processing, the technology can begin interpreting the text from the scanned and digitised documents in order to process trade information at high speed. In this context, AI-powered solutions are capable of comparing, contrasting document information and identify anomalies worth looking into further. By automating a large portion of the process, AI-driven technology allows the staff to focus on more pressing, high-involvement issues that require human judgement while saving time on the time-consuming manual work of analyzing documents by hand. Identifying covert interactions between criminals As criminal networks become increasingly intricate in their illegal operations, cutting-edge AI technology is crucial in the battle against it. In 2019, EU launched a project with the goal to deploy advanced AI technology and robots to identify smuggling across the borders of Portugal, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.  With the help of AI, it will be possible to send drones and autonomous vehicles to the most dubious border areas in order to enforce border control and detect smugglers quickly and efficiently. Illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals The issues the EU is trying to address through the project include drug and weapon smuggling, as well as human trafficking. From tight border control tracking crossings to communication monitoring to identify covert interactions between criminals on both sides of the border, the project is one among many that will expand the scope of solutions to the illicit trade problems today. AI’s contribution is significant on many levels: from predicting crime and threats to safeguarding public health and safety (in face of human trafficking, counterfeit medicines, and toxic products), these are simply inklings of major shifts that AI technology promises for the future of the battle against illicit trade. So why is fighting illicit trade so crucial? Here are a few reasons why AI’s role in fighting this global issue is crucial. In a world where customers run the risk of being deceived and tricked into buying counterfeit products, companies who provide the original products suffer through the loss of revenue and market share. The same companies are also robbed of their intellectual property and proprietary data. Furthermore, people who are employed in these companies run the risk of losing their jobs as a result of revenue and market share loss. And finally, the last straw is the loss of brand integrity and reputation to the need to compete with low-quality, sometimes even dangerous counterfeit products. Just like a domino effect, illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals. And it’s time for AI to step in and stop it.

Edge Computing, AI and Thermal Imaging – The Future of Smart Security
Edge Computing, AI and Thermal Imaging – The Future of Smart Security

Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities? As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are also seeing demand for thermal imaging technology increase. New technology like this combined with more of these always-on systems being rolled out, means organizations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data and there are some key trends you can expect to see as a result of this evolution. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyze it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. Edge computing and smart security As public cloud adoption grew, companies and organizations saw the platform as a centralized location for big data. However, recently there’s been opposition to that trend. Instead we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. There is one main reason for this change in preference: latency. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralized data center hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure. UHD and storage AI-enabled applications and capabilities, such as pattern recognition, depend on high-definition resolutions such as 4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD). This detailed data has a major impact on storage – both the capacity and speeds at which it needs to be written, and the network. Compared to HD, 4K video has much higher storage requirements and we even have 8K on the horizon. As we know, 4K video has four times the number of pixels as HD video. In addition, 4K compliant video supports 8, 10, and 12 bits per channel that translate to 24-, 30- or 36-bit color depth per pixel. A similar pattern holds for HD — more color using 24 bits or less color using 10 or 12 bits in color depth per pixel. Altogether, there is up to a 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080 pixel video. Larger video files place new demands on data infrastructure for both video production and surveillance. Which means investing in data infrastructure becomes a key consideration when looking into smart security. Always-on connectivity Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more. Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralized recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to the safety and security of hospital patients and staff. For this reason, microSD cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps. Thermal imaging Health and safety is the number one priority for all organizations as people return to work and public spaces. Some organizations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organizations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices. Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means requirements of the supporting data infrastructure improve to match that, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation. Companies need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy for the future.  

Latest OPTEX news

Dahua Technology To Host Dahua Technology Partner Day 2020 Online With 26 Technology Partners
Dahua Technology To Host Dahua Technology Partner Day 2020 Online With 26 Technology Partners

Dahua Technology, a renowned video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, will hold its online Dahua Technology Partner Day 2020 on 1st of December. The event will be a perfect occasion to get a taste of the Dahua ECO system in the EMEA region. 26 technology partners will bring solutions in the field of security and IoT. Smarter Together is the central theme of the Dahua Technology Partner Day 2020. A total of 26 distinguished Dahua partners will gather to share their knowledge and expertise on the development of security and IoT applications for a variety of vertical markets. This online event will serve as a technological and commercial hub for end-users and system integrators from different markets, ranging from Logistics, Traffic and Infrastructures to Healthcare, Retail and Residential. Attendees can Register free of charge and tune in to all the partner keynotes. Explore business opportunities In the partner hub, participants can chat with technology partners, explore business opportunities or technical challenges and get the latest product information. The event will kick off with an opening speech by Mr. Jason Zhao, Dahua VP & General Manager of Overseas Business to introduce how Dahua Technology and its technology partners become smarter together. 26 Partners will showcase their solutions in a main auditorium and six different break out rooms, including Axxonsoft, Qognify, Ivideon, TechnoAware, Vaelsys, A.I. Tech, Optex, Eagle Eye Networks who joined in the 2019 offline partner day and gained much exposure and business opportunities last year. Global security industry We are moving the Partner day to an online event in order to sustain the opportunity of getting together" Integrated solutions developed by both Dahua Technology and its partners will be displayed during the event, which will surely raise spectators’ interest as they meet different needs of system integrators and end users with greater versatility.“The 2019 Partner Day held on September 26th at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid was a success with many of our partners’ participation. However, 2020 is challenging because of COVID-19." "We are moving the Partner day to an online event in order to sustain the opportunity of getting together. During the event, leading representative companies in global security industry and IoT industry will have the chance to present their insights into the latest Security Application and also reflect on current challenges in the industry”, says Mr. Jiaqi Gao, Overseas Marketing Director at Dahua Technology. Smart integrated security solutions “The attendees will have the chance to meet security players in the market and create new and diverse business opportunities.” Committed to its mission of “Enabling a Safer Society and Smarter Living,” Dahua Technology will continue to adhere the core value of “customer-centered” and provide the market with smart integrated security solutions, systems, and services to create value for city operations, corporate management, and consumers.

OPTEX Announces The Updates Of Intelligent Visual Monitoring Alarm System With Intelligent Visual Verification
OPTEX Announces The Updates Of Intelligent Visual Monitoring Alarm System With Intelligent Visual Verification

OPTEX has launched its new Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution in the UK and Ireland, powered by CHeKT - a hardware and software solution that takes separate intruder and CCTV technologies installed on the same site, but acting independently, and ‘bridges’ them to create one, seamless, integrated visual monitoring solution. Monitored intruder alarms can now be visually verified within seconds, without impacting the integrity of the technology installed, or its Grade. When an alarm occurs, a signal is instantly sent to the Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) whose operator can view images pre and post the alarm event as well as the live view via a dedicated portal to determine whether the alarm is genuine. Intrusion sensors OPTEX Bridge is the hardware device that physically connects the intrusion sensors and IP cameras Camera locations can be overlaid with a map of detection zones, thus helping the ARC operator to quickly and easily ‘see’ where the incident has occurred and take the appropriate action. Images can also be sent directly to the customer’s handheld device for further verification if, for example, the alarm is genuine, but the ‘intruder’ is known to the customer or has a legitimate reason for being on site. The OPTEX Bridge is the hardware device (gateway) that is physically connecting the intrusion sensors or the panic buttons and IP cameras on site. It provides a complete audit trail of activity and can detect when a camera is not working (i.e. when it has dropped out of the network), and report the fault, thus ensuring security is not compromised. Intruder alarm technology It can also communicate via a gated Cloud portal with the ARC in the appropriate ‘language’, regardless of the make or manufacture of the monitoring technology installed, or the protocols with which it operates. It will, in effect, work with virtually any intruder alarm technology and any ONVIF camera to deliver one seamless visual verification solution. The ARC software needs to be compatible, and many of the major ARC software platforms are already integrated. Whereas the monitoring of intruder alarms through an Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) is generally accepted best practice, CCTV monitoring remains slow to take hold. Part of the problem has come down to money; larger sites such as major depots and warehouses with constant activity 24/7 can clearly benefit from a fully functioning CCTV system monitored through a dedicated Remote Video Response Center (RVRC). Visually verified alarms Cloud-hosted platform also allows a stronger collaboration between the ARCs and the home/business owners Smaller sites, while they would benefit from visually verified alarms, would struggle to justify the investment of a full-scale RVRC solution. ARCs now have the ability to provide a visual verification service to residential and commercial sites without a substantial investment in time or money; the Bridge can be installed and working within the hour. The Cloud-hosted platform also allows a stronger collaboration between the ARCs and the home/business owners by having the ability to share video clips to confirm the alarms while respecting any privacy guidelines through its bespoke privacy feature that only end-users can release. Early warning solution Masaya Kida, Managing Director of OPTEX EMEA says by installing the OPTEX Bridge, sensors and cameras combine to deliver a secure, reliable and effective early warning solution, detecting and reacting to an intrusion before a potentially damaging and costly event has occurred. “It is also invaluable to those who need police response and may have lost their URN (Unique Reference Number); a visually verified alarm will put them back on police response. For the installer, meanwhile, it provides them with the opportunity to re-engage and adds further value to the customer with the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing systems and technology across single or multiple sites.”

Optex ISeries Battery-Powered Wireless Detectors Enhance Construction Site Security By Countering Thefts
Optex ISeries Battery-Powered Wireless Detectors Enhance Construction Site Security By Countering Thefts

Multiple Construction sites in the Albuquerque area are managed by Shumate Constructors, Inc., an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based construction contractor, that is also renowned for building educational facilities. In addition to building schools from the ground up, Shumate Constructors completes school additions and remodels. Construction site thefts Three years ago, the company began having problems keeping thieves out of its construction sites during non-working hours. Unwatched construction sites are hot beds for a variety of thefts - from copper pipes and wire to hand tools to heavy-duty machinery. The loss of machinery, such as front-end loaders, would cost hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. Sometimes workers will arrive to a site in the morning only to find materials, such as copper pipe, gone along with their tools. Enhancing construction site security The sites also presented a challenge due to changing construction conditions The result is the loss of a whole day and sometimes multiple days of work. On top of the lost time, the contractor has to cover the cost of replacing materials, file an insurance claim for each theft and complete additional administrative paperwork that they weren’t planning to invest time in. The sites also presented a challenge due to changing construction conditions. Equipment or storage containers are delivered and removed, the sites are graded/re-graded and as sections of build were completed, tools, materials and supplies were moved to different areas. Flexible, reliable wireless solution At a contractor trade show a few years ago, Mark Shumate, President of Shumate Constructors met Dave Meurer, President of Albuquerque’s Armed Response Team. Meurer introduced Shumate to the idea of a flexible, reliable wireless solution that could continually monitor the entire site without the need to trench around the perimeter. “Mark [Shumate] was fed up with theft at his construction sites so we started to discuss some prevention ideas,” said Meurer, adding “I knew this was a great fit for the combined Inovonics transmitter and Optex sensor solution.” Optex sensors installed He further said, “At the Armed Response Team, we refer to this solution as the never sleeping, non-blinking eye. Shumate was not aware of any reliable solutions that could provide this type of theft prevention, but we explained that we were very confident in this application and he was definitely interested.” To install each combined sensor, the Armed Response Team attached the Optex sensors to a freestanding steel post with a base plate on it and deployed them throughout the site. This allowed the flexibility to be easily moved to accommodate site changes. Once installed, a signal was easily achieved. iSeries Optex/Inovonics sensors The amount of iSeries Optex/Inovonics sensors needed at Shumate’s sites vary The sensors in the combined solution often need to communicate as far as an entire city block and the perimeters can be several thousands of feet. The iSeries Inovonics/Optex solution was able to easily accomplish this feat. The amount of iSeries Optex/Inovonics sensors needed at Shumate’s sites vary. For some sites, it can be as few as a dozen, and others it can be as many as 30 or more. “Together, the products offer a great solution,” noted Meurer, adding “The Optex sensors can handle varying weather conditions and Inovonics’ wireless connectivity offers less signal drop and more consistent reporting signal than any of the other transmitters we’ve tried.” Efficient perimeter security solution “Between the perimeter technology by Inovonics and Optex, and the Armed Response Team’s follow-up, we have seen zero thefts for all projects since installation. With the integrated wireless solution, the construction sites are monitored on a real-time basis and immediately notify the Armed Response Team upon unauthorized access,” said Mark Shumate, President of Shumate Constructors. He adds, “We look at the perimeter security solution as a great investment. Annually, the cost of manpower, replacement of lost or stolen items and damage repairs could easily cost three times more than we spend on Armed Response Teams’ services with the Optex and Inovonics solution.”

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