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Ergonomic Standards Increase Control Room Productivity
Ergonomic Standards Increase Control Room Productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organizational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased Productivity In The Workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centers. Health Benefits Of Ergonomic Workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency Operations Center “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realization is guiding emergency operations center (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorized M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centers. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving Security System Installations With Acceptance Testing
Improving Security System Installations With Acceptance Testing

Endless possibilities for security deployment have been made possible with technological advancements Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from the company’s headquarters in Chicago. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 percent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labeled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

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How Ava’s Intelligent Video Security Solution Is Serving The U.S. Military
How Ava’s Intelligent Video Security Solution Is Serving The U.S. Military

As a multi-faceted community with several buildings, public safety services, healthcare facilities, schools, childcare, barracks, a commissary and a visitor’s center, a typical U.S. Military base is a city in itself. Beyond the protection of armed forces personnel, the base is responsible for the safety of many civilians and civil servants. With such high standards and complex needs, U.S Military bases recognize the need for intelligent security systems that enable proactive monitoring, provide fast and smart forensics and comply with NDAA Section 889. Challenges faced by the US Military Base Inadequate situational awareness - The size and diversity of the military base pose a challenge. Past security measures led to gaps in coverage, leaving the base vulnerable to both internal and external threats. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic created the need for increased situational awareness. Without a real-time and dynamic understanding of the environment, it became increasingly difficult to enforce preventative measures to control and mitigate the risk of transmission. Slow incident response time - Speed is critical. Within the confines of the military base, the consequences of slow incident response time can be devastating and even sometimes deadly. The longer it takes for the Security Operation Center (SOC) to gather, understand, and analyze the details of the incident, the greater the threat becomes. It became clear that responding to an Active Shooter, vehicle breach, or an assault, required immediate action that wasn’t available through their existing technology. Limited real-time analytic capabilities - The base wanted to prevent incidents from occurring rather than reacting after an incident has occurred. The traditional method of receiving an emergency call and responding after the fact was too costly. The US Base needed a platform that would provide the security team with automation notifications and alerts based on anomalies and rule-violations that were captured on video. NDAA-889 compliance - All military bases must meet the NDAA-889 compliance which states that the U.S. Government has banned specific telecommunications and video surveillance equipment utilising chips manufactured in China. Government contractors must help agencies remove/ replace banned equipment by Aug 12, 2021. Why Ava? One U.S. Military Base recently turned to Ava for an end-to-end intelligent security solution that would meet its full range of needs. Their requirements were a platform that was: Proactive - When there is a need to respond to a threat, the response needed to be immediate. Precise - On a base of this size, it was critical to pinpoint the exact location and nature of a security event in seconds - not hours or days. Simple - The system needed be straightforward to implement, manage and use within the existing infrastructure and cameras. Ease of use saves time and lives. Scalable - The system needed to be able to scale to thousands of cameras. Protecting military personnel and staff at the base Using Ava, operators can add maps of all the US Military Bases’ locations to gain situational awareness and insights Ava understood that the ability to protect military personnel and civilians that run the US Military Base is of utmost importance with even seconds being critical. Ava’s wicked-fast and smart forensic searches and powerful analytics transform the manually intensive examination of massive surveillance footage into accurate and useful results within mere minutes. Security operators are using powerful appearance, event, or image search functions to narrow down and track people or objects of interest. Using Ava, security operators can add maps of all the US Military Bases’ locations to gain situational awareness and insights. Each map can be configured and includes camera views, alarm views, as well as the ability to track people and objects as they move around the campus. Only Ava could meet their challenges by providing: Advanced Situational Awareness: Powered by Ava’s Smart Presence, the company’s use of AI and machine learning allows security personnel and operators to detect anything unusual at any time. Ava Aware VMS understands perimeters and behaviours, identifies, classifies, and tracks people of interest, vehicles, or other objects to send alerts before threats escalate. Operators now receive immediate alerts on unidentified loud noises including the exact source of the sound through microphones. The US Military Base’s security teams are now able to stop threatening actions, before there is damage to property or people. Rapid Incident Response: Powered by Ava’s Spotlight, video streams change dynamically to bring only the relevant feeds to the attention of the operator. Real-time alerts and notifications show up on the video wall to describe the incident, the time, and place it occurred. Using Ava’s Smart Search, the base is able to search by event and similarity to perform appearance and image detection powered by machine learning capabilities to comb through countless hours of video within seconds. Real-time Analytics: Ava provided the US Military Base with threat detection and notifications in real-time and uses intelligent algorithms and self-learning to detect abnormal behavior. The platform will alert the base’s security operators in real-time. It will intelligently highlight what’s relevant from all of the US Base’s cameras, in real-time, all the time. NDAA Compliant - Ava’s video hardware is TAA (Trade Agreement Act) Compliant, enabling any base to be fully NDAA 889 compliant. Ava’s solution provided operational efficiencies, such as: Seamless integration with existing cameras - Whether a military base is replacing all or some of their cameras, Ava Aware VMS easily integrates into and enhances existing cameras with the same AI capabilities. Now, existing ONVIF cameras are enhanced with analytics such as object detection, people and vehicle count, similarity based searching and more. By linking all existing cameras into a larger, AI-based video analytic platform, the base can leverage these powerful analytics across ‘all the cameras, all the time’. Access Control Integration - Ava’s solution easily integrates into access control, remote monitoring, and existing infrastructure. Monitoring the entire military base can be done as part of a single video management system. Scalable - The platform can easily be clustered to meet the growing needs of a base, from hundreds to thousands of cameras. Deployment simplicity - Ava’s system is designed for overall simplicity and readiness for deployment. With security cameras that were ready to go, fully loaded with out-of-the-box Ava Aware software, the base could easily replace cameras in a phased implementation, minimizing installation time and eliminating downtime. Ava’s simplified licensing/pricing model further simplified deployment. Plug and play configuration Plug and play configuration removes the need for user names and passwords The same simplicity extends to maintaining scalable management within a base’s group configuration policies. Plug and play configuration removes the need for user names and passwords, pre-configuration steps, and default settings. And finally, the base chose the Ava system for its general ease of use. Security operators now have access to detailed camera information, activity logs, and advanced video adjustments in a single, user-friendly screen view. Set up for success with intelligent video security The US Military Base is now set up for success with an end-to-end intelligent video security system that will scale with their needs. Highlights include: Camera installation, which will put the base into full compliance with NDAA-889. The US Military Base now has the highest level of security, to protect against the vulnerabilities of the connected world. The equipment has end-to-end encryption, factory-installed certificates, and records detailed audit trails of both operators and administrators to assist with any other compliance requirements. Security operators have gone from having ‘data overload’ to easily and quickly accessing ‘actionable insights’ to drive more confident and proactive security decisions. By leveraging powerful analytics, the base’s operators are able to respond in real-time and investigate incidents faster and with fewer resources. Operators are able to act on the system’s identification of objects, events, anomalies, and similarities that detect issues as they unfold. Furthermore, operators also have full occupancy insight to manage the flow of people and traffic across the base, in support of COVID-19 rules and regulations. Ava Smart Presence includes a people and vehicle counter to track objects in real-time, allowing for historical analysis and reporting. Configurable maps of all locations provide instant situational awareness and insights. The US Military Base seamlessly integrated the new system with existing access controls and non-banned cameras to cost-effectively meet the mandate and fully leverage analytics across the entire security system. Security teams at the base can trust in a powerful security solution that doesn’t inadvertently contain technology that poses a new threat. Whether enhancing existing cameras with advanced video analytics, replacing the entire video security system to meet the NDAA mandate, or creating a solution from scratch, the U.S. Military and supporting agencies can benefit from Ava’s secure cameras and leverage Ava’s powerful analytics for the highest levels of proactive security.

Ava Announces Completion Of Unified Security Merger With Vaion And Jazz Networks
Ava Announces Completion Of Unified Security Merger With Vaion And Jazz Networks

Ava, a unified security company, has announced the completion of the merger between Jazz Networks, renowned cyber security insider threat detection and response firm and Vaion, an end-to-end video security solutions provider. Ava is now uniquely positioned to deliver unified cyber and physical security solutions to organizations worldwide. Tormod Ree, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ava Security, said “The only way to protect against hybrid cyber and physical security threats is to have a solution that can connect the dots across both domains. In April 2020, we announced the company’s vision and over the past five months, we have been connecting those dots, working with new partners and helping organizations across industries protect their most valued assets, both online and offline.” Integrated cyber and video solution Ava’s integrated cyber and video solution allows for separate analysis of data from all users, cameras, and servers Ava’s integrated cyber and video solution allows for separate analysis of data from all users, cameras, and servers. The human-centric cyber solution (formerly by Jazz Networks) employs a powerful combination of policy, education, and machine learning sensors to prevent IP theft and sabotage, improve cyber hygiene, and accelerate threat hunting. The end-to-end video solution (formerly by Vaion) delivers proactive video security, and insight including integrated video and audio analytics uniquely powered by machine learning algorithms, intuitive installation processes, and a range of smart cameras. For maximum flexibility and agility, video can be viewed from anywhere with simple web and mobile interfaces.  Managing physical and information security “By identifying both cyber and physical security threats before they become incidents, organizations can take a more proactive security posture,” stated Ree. “Managing our physical and information security needs through a wider lens has become critical to protecting our entire operation,” said Bill Tom, Director of Information Technology and Cyber security of Grace Farms Foundation, whose part of its mandate is to combat modern slavery, gender-based violence and environmental crimes. Enhancing data security Bill adds, “The Foundation carries out its work through the publicly available facilities and integrated programs of Grace Farms, an 80-acre property owned and operated by the Foundation with an even larger population accessing data. Ava allows us to leverage possible insider threat information into our overall physical security picture.” The average total cost of a data breach in the U.S. has grown from US$ 3.54 million in 2006 to US$ 8.19 million in 2019, a 130% increase over 14 years. The pressure on chief information security officers (CISOs) and security teams, in general, has increased incrementally. It is imperative that organizations have a flexible, secure solution to prevent incidents from occurring rather than just documenting the damage reactively. Driving innovation in unified security market Ava is driving innovation in the unified security market. Organizations must account for the full spectrum of risk" "Ava is driving innovation in the unified security market. It is no longer enough to protect against either physical or cyber threats. Organizations must account for the full spectrum of risk," said Espen Riksa, Director and Partner Manager, Atea. As companies move toward a hybrid workforce structure with employees splitting time between working in-office and remote, organizations must reassess processes to keep IT staff from burning out, while at the same time efficiently managing distributed systems and assets. Unified security solution “You can’t build firewalls around remote employees, businesses must empower and educate staff to make the right choices,” adds Tormod Ree, CEO, Ava Security. “We are excited to partner with Ava to bring innovative unified security solutions to our mutual customers,” said Urban Jansson, Sales Manager, Cygate, adding “Ava brings a unique understanding of the market’s pain points. Beyond protecting against physical and cyber threats, Ava understands that businesses don’t always have the in-house resources to monitor operations 24/7. Ava’s cutting edge use of machine learning and the cloud eases the burden on internal resources while proactively mitigating the risk.”

Ava Completes Unified Security Merger With Jazz Networks To Protect Businesses Against Hybrid Physical-Cyber Security Threats
Ava Completes Unified Security Merger With Jazz Networks To Protect Businesses Against Hybrid Physical-Cyber Security Threats

Ava, a unified security company, announced the completion of the merger between Jazz Networks, a cybersecurity insider threat detection and response company, and Vaion, an end-to-end video security provider. Ava is now uniquely positioned to deliver unified cyber and physical security solutions to organizations worldwide. “The only way to protect against hybrid cyber and physical security threats is to have a solution that can connect the dots across both domains,” said Tormod Ree, CEO, Ava. “In April, we announced our vision, and over the past five months, we have been connecting those dots. Working with new partners and helping organizations across industries protect their most valued assets: online and offline.” Improve cyber hygiene Ava’s integrated cyber and video solution allows for separate analysis of data from all users, cameras, and servers. The human-centric cyber solution (formerly by Jazz Networks) employs a powerful combination of policy, education and machine learning sensors to prevent IP theft and sabotage, improve cyber hygiene, and accelerate threat hunting. The end-to-end video solution (formerly by Vaion) delivers proactive video security, and insight including integrated video and audio analytics uniquely powered by machine learning algorithms, intuitive installation processes, and a range of smart cameras. For maximum flexibility and agility, video can be viewed from anywhere with simple web and cellphone interfaces. “By identifying both cyber and physical security threats before they become incidents, organizations can take a more proactive security posture,” said Ree. Overall physical security Ava allows us to leverage possible insider threat information into our overall physical security picture" “Managing our physical and information security needs through a wider lens has become critical to protecting our entire operation,” said Bill Tom, Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity of Grace Farms Foundation, whose part of its mandate is to combat Modern Slavery, Gender based violence and Environmental Crimes. “The Foundation carries out its work through the publicly available facilities and integrated programs of Grace Farms, an 80-acre property owned and operated by the Foundation with an even larger population accessing data. Ava allows us to leverage possible insider threat information into our overall physical security picture.” Information security officers The average total cost of a data breach in the U.S. has grown from $3.54M in 2006 to $8.19M in 2019, a 130% increase over 14 years. The pressure on chief information security officers (CISOs) and security teams, in general, has increased incrementally. It is imperative that organizations have a flexible, secure solution to prevent incidents from occurring rather than just documenting the damage reactively. “Ava is driving innovation in the unified security market,” said Espen Riska, Atea. “It is no longer enough to protect against either physical or cyber threats. Organizations must account for the full spectrum of risk.” Efficiently managing systems We are excited to partner with Ava to bring innovative unified security solutions to our mutual customers" As companies move toward a hybrid workforce structure with employees splitting time between working in-office and remote, organizations must reassess processes to keep IT staff from burning out, while at the same time efficiently managing distributed systems and assets. “You can’t build firewalls around remote employees, businesses must empower and educate staff to make the right choices,” said Ree. Unified security solutions “We are excited to partner with Ava to bring innovative unified security solutions to our mutual customers,” said Urban Jansson, Sales Manager, Cygate. “Ava brings a unique understanding of the market’s pain points. Beyond protecting against physical and cyber threats, Ava understands that businesses don’t always have the in-house resources to monitor operations 24x7. Ava’s cutting-edge use of machine learning and the cloud eases the burden on internal resources while proactively mitigating the risk.”