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Over the last year, we have continued to see the rise of manufacturers from China in the mid- to low-end market for video surveillance - a trend that currently shows no signs of tapering. Additionally, the shift from analog to IP systems has remained consistent, with end users increasingly looking to network-enabled devices to mitigate risk from both a physical and cyber perspective. Complex network attacks in 2016 demonstrated the need for increased network security for network-connected devices such as IP cameras and network video recorders. More and more manufacturers are considering the potential for such attacks when designing updates for existing hardware and software technology, strengthening password requirements, incorporating robust data encryption, and educating integrators and end users on how to put protocols in place to protect the valuable information being collected. Increased Security Collaborations Today’s surveillance technology - and the new innovations right around the corner - incorporates more IT protocols in response to high-profile cyber incidents. As a result, IT standards will finally start being adopted by security system manufacturers over the course of the next few years. At the same time, we'll see increased collaboration between IT and security leaders within enterprises. Intelligent, Big Data Analysis Video technologies such as panoramic 360-degree cameras with advanced dewarping capabilities are being rapidly adopted, along with video analytics software that enables the extraction of data for business intelligence, apart from just security video. The future includes more widespread availability of cloud technologies and services. In 2017, we can look forward to the more widespread adoption of intelligent analytics and big data analysis, which has the potential to streamline processes and optimize sales operations for organizations to drive new levels of business intelligence. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save
Think of crisis management and emergency planning as a customer service Do you have a written emergency management plan? Where is it? When was the last time you updated it? Developing and writing a corporate or organizational emergency management plan can take a long time. Once completed, however, the plan is there for you to access when you need it. In fact, that’s wrong. According to crisis management authority Michael J. Fagel, emergency planning is supposed to take forever, and it should never go onto a shelf where no one might ever look at it again. “Emergency planning for crisis management is never finished,” Fagel said. “Security is a process, a continuing task that you modify and refine to meet changing circumstances, while continuing to work on improving the overall system.” Fagel has spent nearly four decades in fire, rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement, public health emergency management and corporate safety and security. His experience includes responding to crises and disasters including the Oklahoma City Bombing and the World Trade Center in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. He also led a team of experts that authored the 2013 book “Crisis Management and Emergency Planning: Preparing for Today’s Challenges,” which was published by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. For Fagel, the security process moves forward through clear communications. “Emergency planning is a culture with a communications methodology, where people in a hierarchical structure or chain of command work together to make things work. “By communications, I don’t mean radios, email and texting. I mean talking face-to-face and person-to-person. Think of crisis management and emergency planning as customer service. You, as my customer, make me understand what you need, and I provide it.” But It Won’t Happen Here The worst probably won’t happen, but something will undoubtedly happen. Maybe it won’t be 9/11, but there will be a crisis. So you need a plan, one that evolves and keeps pace with your organization’s risks and vulnerabilities. And you need your plan now. “Crisis management begins before the crisis,” said Fagel. “You can’t pass out your crisis manager business cards as the police arrive in response to an active shooter or bomb threat at your facility. According to crisis management authority Michael J. Fagel, emergency planning is supposed to take forever “You need to form relationships with first responders far ahead of time. You as the crisis manager must sit with the head of security and the building or campus manager and talk about and develop the plan.” Then you have to practice or drill the plan, continued Fagel. As your town’s crisis manager, what will you do if you lose the only hospital you have in your small town? Figure out what that means: It means that your response time to medical emergencies has grown from minutes to unacceptably high, because your town’s two ambulances must deliver patients to the hospital in the next town, which is 40 miles away. You should have talked to the EMTs and asked them what equipment they would want if you had to put together a couple of temporary ambulances. You would also have to find vehicles. Would the police lend you two vans? Do you live in a tornado alley? What happens if a tornado tears into your town’s middle school? Do the schools have a plan? You should probably talk to them about linking their plans with yours. “Crisis management and emergency planning require discussions, information, problem solving and facilitation ahead of time on a continuing basis,” says Fagel. “What are the risks and vulnerabilities? How can you mitigate risks and vulnerabilities? A crisis manager thinks and communicates about these issues daily, imagining what might happen and how to respond.” Currently, Fagel teaches courses in homeland security, terrorism, biodefense and other crisis management and emergency planning subjects at the Illinois Institute of Technology-Stuart School of Business, Masters in Public Affairs Program. He teaches similar courses at Northwestern University in the Masters of Public Policy and Administration Program. He also teaches courses in masters programs at Northern Illinois University, Benedictine University and Eastern Kentucky University.
IT networks are expanding to include more users and applications The use of corporate IT network infrastructure for physical security applications such as video surveillance presents unique challenges. Jack Fernandes, President & CEO of American Fibertek, makes a case for separate networks using specialized equipment and technologies specifically designed for video surveillance which could also integrate other physical security functions. In today’s business world, corporate IT networks are not only expanding to meet accelerating demand, but also to include more users and applications. As businesses use information technology (IT) to collect data from every corner of their business, the term “LAN sprawl” has been suggested to describe the multi-dimensional growth that is putting new stresses on the corporate network. One of the issues that comes with the expansion of local area networks (LANs) is how to control the network infrastructure, especially in relation to allowing users to access data.Given the transition of the physical security industry to systems based on Internet protocol (IP), often that data traveling along the enterprise LAN is related to physical security, including video surveillance. Video data can challenge networks both because it uses a lot of bandwidth and because the user has a high expectation of real-time video without latency. As growing networks accommodate the demands of more users and applications, it has become increasingly difficult for a video surveillance or security system to operate effectively. Many companies are concluding that the best approach is a separate IT infrastructure that is dedicated to video and other security systems.As the amount of network information flowing at any given time can lead to recording and viewing problems, video security systems should have their own network rather than running on a shared database. This approach can also take advantage of IT networking innovations designed specifically for the video and physical security marketplace. Advantages of a separate IP Network for surveillance videoTraffic on a video-specific network does not have to compete with other network data or deal with video quality issues. Dedicating a separate network to video applications enables the system to be designed especially for that purpose, including use of technologies to maximize functionality and dependability. Traffic on a video-specific network does not have to compete with other network data Performance-maximizing technologies for video networks include devices to monitor the efficient operation of the network. Such devices take into account variables such as power, environmental conditions and bandwidth usage. Network technologies designed for security/video systems can also facilitate integration of a range of security-related functionality.The Unique Needs Of Physical SecurityPhysical security information systems, including video, are critical to a company's security operation and general well-being. The security mission requires fail-safe systems that operate dependably over long periods of time, as well as those that are ready to respond when needed. Security systems also must be scalable, flexible and able to adapt to a company's changing protection needs, and should not have to compete for network resources with the growing number of other applications and users on the enterprise network.Video’s bandwidth and system needs are too extensive for it to be relegated as part of an already overburdened corporate network infrastructure. Security has historically operated separately from other corporate functions, an arrangement that supports its distinctly focused mission and enables information systems for video and security applications to operate effectively and mostly independent of other corporate operations. The security market has unique needs. Not all IT is suitable or appropriate for IP video surveillance. It takes specialized equipment to meet the specific needs of the video and security market.
Axis Communications makes audio systems smarter and easier than ever with a line of network audio solutions built for scalability and flexibility based on the customers’ needs. Easily install and manage Axis audio solutions and instantly improve customers’ business operations and security. Axis all-in-one audio solutions can be scaled to fit different spaces and are flexible enough to deliver the right message at the right time and place. Intuitively manage thousands of audio devices with the AXIS Audio Manager C7050 Server and monitor the status from a single user interface. With Axis audio solutions, one can become the audio expert one’s customers need to hear it all loud and clear. A world of audio possibilities With an open platform, Axis audio solutions easily integrate right into one’s customers’ new or existing systems. Offer one’s customers unique benefits including: Improve security on one’s premises with event-triggered announcements and direct callouts. Make live or scheduled announcements in different zones, at the right time and right place. Create ambiance with easy and flexible scheduling of great-sounding background music. All while enjoying the many benefits of a network audio system. Security, Public address and Background music Stop unwanted activity in its tracks. Broadcast to single or multiple zones. Play music how and where one wants to.
Axis Communications, the provider in network video, has helped develop an innovative and clean energy solution which illustrates the potential of sustainable surveillance technologies in remote locations. In response to a request to produce a system to document part of a major program of improvements to Scotland’s A9 carriageway, Axis and its partner Camera Control UK, developed a solution which is capable of capturing high-quality 4K time-lapse imagery using entirely renewable sources. One of the main challenges was that the solution needed to be able to capture high-quality surveillance video in an area with no communication networks or local power, while coping with weather extremes and construction logistics. With diesel generators disregarded due to the pollutants they would produce, and the challenges associated with trying to lay power cables over a considerable distance along a route that twists and turns, a clean and sustainable solution was required. Video surveillance helps in better traffic flow The highways project will see a 10-mile stretch of the A9 from Perth to Inverness widened to increase the efficiency of the route and allow for smoother traffic flow. After winning a tender to document the project, local company, MB Productions Ltd, commissioned Camera Control UK to produce a solution. Camera Control UK in turn contacted Axis Communications, the provider in network video technology, to work in collaboration. The resulting video would be used for audit purposes, to provide evidence of best practice, and to serve as example material for future projects. All captured video is relayed back to a central control location using a dedicated wireless network Martin Naylor, Director of Camera Control UK, elaborates: “We realized it had to be an off-grid solution to avoid using local power; a solution that could incorporate wireless communications and utilize renewable energy sources to be environmentally friendly and sustainable over the longer term.” Bullet cameras To bring the solution to life, AXIS P1448-LE 4K short bullet cameras were chosen for their robustness and durability. The final system uses eight solar power packs, charged by a mixture of wind turbine and solar PV panels. Eight towers with mounted cameras are employed at various key touchpoints along the A9. Communications masts, installed to enable cloud connectivity, ensured that the Axis cameras, connected via the IoT, were able to deliver imagery of incredible quality. The whole solution illustrates the possibilities for innovation when utilizing the natural elements, having a virtually zero carbon footprint. All captured video is relayed back to a central control location using a dedicated wireless network. The whole system can be remotely monitored to continually check its status of operation. Remote management also enables the cameras to be fine-tuned for precision imagery of the work in progress, without the need to manually touch the cameras, or even to be on-site in person. 4K Imagery Martin Naylor commented on the relationship with Axis that has made this solution possible: “Axis really values innovation and is therefore an ideal partner, not only because the team takes the time to understand the challenges when trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible in surveillance, but also because their drive towards sustainable and ethical practices is an inspiration to other technology companies.” Matt Brown, Director, MBP, said of the solution: “We are now able to capture fantastic 4K imagery of the ongoing work on the A9. Camera Control UK has produced an entirely green solution, an incredible feat of engineering. The Axis cameras are in a completely different league, in terms of quality, to others we’ve seen. This project has been a great success.”
It has been a long time coming, but the Bexar County Metro 911 Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is up and running, and the security systems implemented to protect the facility are among the best of the best. The regional operations center unifies emergency operations into one cutting-edge facility. A New Home Built in San Antonio, Texas, the EOC provides a new home for the Bexar County Sheriff’s communications operations and is an alternate site for the San Antonio police and San Antonio fire and EMS operations. The facility is a joint operations center not only for Bexar County but also for Comal (New Braunfels) and Guadalupe (Sequin) counties. Tight security system All three counties touch dividing lines and are considered part of the San Antonio metro area. Bexar Metro 911 Executive Director Bill Buchholtz said building the facility has stayed on budget of $40 million, “give or take a couple of million.” The electrical system meets Tier IV data center standards for maintaining operations regardless of any unplanned activity, and the mechanical system meets Tier III standards. Because the building is under a tight security system inside and out, it was also important that redundant systems were in place, as well as uninterrupted power. Employees based at the monitors on the main floor are given breaks every so often to decompress, relax and interact. Early stages of planning Alterman staff was fortunate to work with the general contractor in the early stages of planning security Alterman Technologies was hired to provide, install and direct the security solutions effort for general contractor Whiting-Turner, who directed construction on the 81,500 square foot facility located on 11 acres of land. Alterman Technologies’ staff was fortunate to work with the general contractor in the early stages of planning security for this facility. According to James Carmen, Alterman’s Project Engineer, being able to make early and consistent contact allowed for the integrator to help specify the types of security that they felt would most satisfy the end user. It also allowed the installation crew to be able to meet their integration deadline of 8 months, long before the overall construction of the facility was complete. Enterprise access control systems “We were able to evaluate all components of the security solution when we saw the demonstrations of the Lenel, Axis and Salient products,” Carmen said. “We’re pleased with the decisions we made to deploy this security equipment.” To keep the facility secure, Alterman Technologies installed 170 IP cameras inside and out to enforce perimeter security. Now that the facility has been formally dedicated and is fully in use, if a person doesn’t have a reason to be on property, they aren’t getting inside. The facility is secure. Alterman Technologies installed 120 door enterprise access control systems, including iClass biometric readers. Video management systems To monitor both the outside perimeter and inside the building itself, 110 5 MP Axis Communications IP cameras were paired with Salient Enterprise video management systems integrated with the Lenel access control solution. Inside the operations center, the facility is outfitted with 100 55-inch video control systems side by side, all of which are integrated with video and audio control solutions. During Hurricane Harvey, operators inside are able to coordinate any and all emergency and rescue operations Inside the facility, there is a first-floor, open room for 104 operator desk consoles, where operators can keep tabs on all three counties. Operators sit in a 13,878-squarefoot Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) to handle all 911 calls, formerly managed at 25 different locations. In fact, during the recent Hurricane Harvey, operators inside are able to coordinate any and all emergency and rescue operations. Getting behind the power “The ability to have multiple supervisor control stations is a key feature, providing access to sources and allowing supervisors to manipulate the wall and change presets as needed,” said Art Salinas, Project Manager for Alterman Technologies. “It’s a great system with no real limitations. I believe the client has been pleased with the capability to control and preview content before it goes on the wall. They currently have about 30 preset displays.” With the number of cameras and the video streaming to the facility, Salinas had to be certain the equipment he was recommending and the software that would power the system would work without a hitch, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Our work to determine the right kind of solution was very involved, and we evaluated all the systems,” Salinas said. “When it came right down to it, we selected Lenel’s OnGuard for access control, Axis Communications IP cameras and Salient’s VMS and its PowerUltra servers. All of this is securely stored in an enclosed network so there is no worry of outside hacking.” Perimeter security system With three counties and multiple agencies using this facility, the security solutions have to be dependable" Salient Regional Sales Representative Paul Fisher said the choice of VMS was truly an important decision because it had to be strong enough to stop any breaches but also be able to provide the ability to run the perimeter security system and the internal security. “Our VMS solution is able to take the lead with all the streaming video and push it wherever it is directed,” Fisher said. “With three counties and multiple agencies using this facility, the security solutions have to be dependable, yet easy to use. We were invited in to demonstrate the system, and we were able to show numerous details that would benefit the end user. We are able to provide reliability and scalability, and we’re a local company, so that worked to our benefit as well,” Fisher said. Law enforcement officials The facility is designed to provide uninterrupted 911 services during various emergencies, including terrorist attacks and natural disasters. There also is an onsite helipad for access by law enforcement officials, should area roadways be closed or congested, and for staging for media during a public emergency. The building is constructed to withstand an EF3 tornado strike and to operate without any public utilities for an extended period of time. “The mission of the facility is to provide that emergency response when a caller is quite possibly going through the worst experience of their life,” said James Hasslocher, Bexar Metro 911 Network District Chairman.
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