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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.
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.
Stadiums around the world are still paralyzed from the effects of COVID-19. Fans and spectators in masses have been absent from stadiums since April and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan on how or when they’ll be able to return to near capacity. The NBA recently opted to form a bubble philosophy concept in Disney’s facilities, although it’s been a relative success, it’s also been a $200 million temporary solution. This then begs the question: How long can stadiums survive like this without spectator’s present? History tells us that stadiums, venues and sport recover from disasters, so what can stadiums do to speed up the process? This is the catalyst for AI to be integrated on mass level to stadiums around the world. AI is the answer AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back is huge, through capabilities such as: Social Distance Monitoring Crowd Scanning/Metrics Facial Recognition Fever Detection Track & Trace Providing Behavioural Analytics Technologies such as IREX.ai is now working alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. Stadiums around the world are still paralyzed from the effects of COVID-19 AI surveillance software such as IREX.ai when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. Crowd metrics Arming stadiums with AI-powered surveillance tools can detect crowd metrics such as “people counting” and “group statistics”. This ensures stadium personnel can monitor social distancing with precision, accuracy and immediately. Alerts can be set up throughout parts of the stadium to alert senior staff members when overcrowding can appear with real time videos, analytics and photos to their hand-held device, such as a smartphone. Fever detection Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures. What IREX.ai implements is an alert system, coupled with facial recognition of any individual(s) that read an elevated body temperature. This alert system then provides security and health officials with a photo of the individual with the elevated body temperature, meaning staff can react quicker to the situation prevent this individual from entry. Pandemic monitoring by facial recognition Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures Through facial recognition, staff members will be able to locate individuals through simply uploading a photo. It has never been easier to find a person of interest. With masks becoming an everyday part of society, facial recognition has come under scrutiny regarding the accuracy when a mask is worn. Irex.ai still maintains a 96% accuracy with individuals wearing masks and can set up alerts for any individuals not wearing a mask. Another important aspect of facial recognition is finding persons of interest quickly through technology like IREX.ai’s “searchveillance”. The future is here. Designated staff can track a person from when they enter the stadium by simply uploading their photograph. An example of how this can assist stadium personnel is to help relocate lost children inside the stadium with their guardians/parents when they are separated. Another attribute would be any individuals banned from entering the stadium would trigger alerts once they appear under surveillance, a fantastic collaborative tool to use with Law Enforcement. Return on investment With security solutions, one of the biggest issues with any security investment is a lack of an ROI. This is where AI security is breaking the mould. The ability to provide business analytics, consumer/fan behaviours, traffic patterns, etc, allows other departments within the organization to gain vital information that can assist with their strategies and practices. Stadium security will never be the same in a post-COVID world, so why will its practices stay the same? AI & Stadiums is no longer the future, it’s the 2020 solution.
As the media often reports, the world of cybersecurity can be seen like the ‘Wild West’. There’s now a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to the web, making this a hot topic. Among these devices are security cameras. IoT devices are computers that use software that makes them vulnerable. As the famous cybersecurity evangelist Mikko Hypponen says, "If a device is smart, it's vulnerable!" Hypponen is right. On a daily basis, new vulnerabilities are found in software, regardless of the manufacturer. In 2019, more than 12,000 vulnerabilities worldwide were made public and reported as a CVE (Common Vulnerability and Exposure) in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). Unfortunately, vulnerabilities are a given. What really matters is how a company deals with and resolves vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities Awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities is vitally important to protect one, one’s business and the Internet Awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities is vitally important to protect one, one’s business and the Internet, but it’s also important to understand that a vulnerability is not synonymous with “backdoor”, and is not necessarily indicative of “cheap quality.” But there are companies out there that are embedding safeguards into their development processes to reduce the risks. One could see them as ‘Sheriffs’, taking steps to make this Wild West a little safer. Hikvision ‘Secure-by-Design’ Manufacturers of IoT devices can significantly reduce these vulnerabilities during the production of devices Security cameras, like all other IoT devices, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fortunately, manufacturers of IoT devices can significantly reduce these vulnerabilities during the production of devices, using a process called ‘Secure-by-Design’. Implementation of Secure-by-Design requires a commitment on the part of the manufacturer’s management team and a serious investment in resources and technology, which can result in a longer production process and a higher cost of the IoT device. Cost is often the reason why some IoT device manufacturers do not use Secure-by-Design (and are indeed cheaper). Hikvision is a producer of IoT devices that takes security and privacy very seriously and has implemented Secure-by-Design in its production process. Management supports this process and has even set up a dedicated internal cybersecurity structure charged with product cybersecurity. This group is also the central point of contact for all other cybersecurity matters. Product testing Hikvision Security Development Life Cycle (HSDLC) is an essential part of Hikvision's cybersecurity program The Hikvision Security Development Life Cycle (HSDLC) is an essential part of Hikvision's cybersecurity program. Cybersecurity checks take place at every stage of product development — from concept to delivery. For example, product testing takes place during the verification phase, the company also regularly invites well-known security companies and public testing platforms to conduct penetrating testing. There is no guarantee if Hikvision products are immune to hacking, but the HSDLC is a testament to a manufacturer that makes every effort to produce products that are as cyber secure as possible. In addition to the Secure-by-Design process, Hikvision opened a Source Code Transparency Center (SCTC) lab in California in 2018, being a lab to open such a center. At this center, U.S., the Canadian government and law enforcement agencies can view and evaluate the source code of Hikvision IoT devices (IP cameras and network video recorders). Hikvision firmware Hikvision has a Vulnerability Management Program in place when a vulnerability is discovered It’s important to emphasize that no product is 100 percent secure. Hikvision has a Vulnerability Management Program in place when a vulnerability is discovered in a product. To date, vulnerabilities that have been reported to Hikvision and/or made publicly known, have been patched in the latest Hikvision firmware, and are readily available on the Hikvision website. In addition, Hikvision is a CVE CNA, and has committed to continuing to work with third-party white-hat hackers and security researchers, to find, patch and publicly release updates to products in a timely manner. These vulnerabilities are collected in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) and are public. Hikvision recommends that customers who are interested in purchasing security cameras inquire about a manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices and if they have an established Vulnerability Management Program. Cybersecurity questions to consider The cybersecurity of IoT devices is a topic that needs to be addressed in a serious way and it should play an essential role in the product development process, beginning at the concept phase of an IoT product. This requires time, investment and knowledge. Consider the following questions: Trust on the manufacturer of a low-cost security camera Manufacturer with a dedicated cybersecurity organization Manufacturer on handling the vulnerabilities These are the questions that everyone should ask themselves when making a purchase, be it a camera or any other IoT product. Cybersecurity practices There is no absolute 100% guarantee of security, but Hikvision has practices to ensure the cybersecurity for its cameras. Cooperation, with its customers, installers, distributors and partners, and full transparency are key elements to successfully secure IoT devices. When one reads cybersecurity news, one is invited to look beyond the headlines, and really get to know the companies that produce the IoT devices. Before one buys a security camera or any IoT device, it is advisable to check out the manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices, look for a company with a robust vulnerability management program, a company that aligns itself with Secure-by-Design and Privacy-by-Design and a company that employs cybersecurity professionals who are ready and eager to answer one’s questions. One may remember that there are Sheriffs out there, as well as bandits.
Businesses are now gradually reopening in many countries, and people can return to restaurants, office buildings, and public spaces. A safe reopening process will rely heavily on effective public health strategies, including increased testing for the virus, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and cleaning and disinfection activities. In many countries, temperature measurement and the wearing of masks have been commonly made mandatory in both business and public environments. While social distancing and occupancy restrictions are considered necessary in public areas such as shopping malls and transportation hubs, workplaces like office buildings and industrial parks are looking for solutions featuring authorized entries with confidence. In lifting the restrictions for businesses and public areas, innovative video technologies can also help organizations meet and exceed health guidelines for safe and effective reopening. Temperature screening at entry The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, a very well-known public health organization, have issued new guidelines for reopening offices. The CDC advises daily health checks including temperature screenings before employees enter a workplace. To achieve this, security cameras equipped with thermographic video technology can be an effective tool for rapid and safe initial temperature screening. Applications include, for example, schools, industrial parks, hospitals, office buildings, malls and hotels, etc. Hikvision’s temperature screening solutions offer various product types including installed thermographic cameras, handheld thermographic cameras, metal detector doors, and MinMoe access terminals that can be flexibly deployed for a wide range of applications. Video monitoring for mask compliance Wearing masks is recommended as a measure to contain respiratory droplets and protect the general public. Masks are also commonly included in worldwide health guidelines towards reopening. Store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate Hence, compliance with this guideline has become crucial to many organizations. Video technology can help monitor the use of protective masks in clever and unobtrusive ways. AI algorithms can detect whether a person is wearing a mask. The system then triggers a pre-defined action if no mask is detected, such as, for example, a voice prompt or a link to an access system to deny entry. This provides a simple way to monitor the situation, or even to remind people of the rules. Hikvision’s thermal and AcuSense cameras, as well as MinMoe temperature screening terminals are equipped to detect masks. A specialized interface on Hikvision’s DeepinMind NVRs can also be used to visually display temperature and mask status together, making monitoring much easier. Crowd density control Social distancing plays an important role in “flattening the curve” in the spread of the coronavirus. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately In various countries, the recommended physical distancing might differ slightly, but maintaining a distance of a meter or more (3-6 feet) will remain a key recommendation of health authorities. In addition, store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate, so as to ensure safe shopping spaces. Technologies incorporating social distancing and occupancy detection can be put into places like these to assist the process. Hikvision Flow Control Hikvision’s Flow Control system utilizes highly accurate people counting technology. A clear, dynamic display and real-time alerts ensure pre-defined capacity thresholds are never exceeded, even in locations with multiple entrances and exits, such as, for example, shopping malls and supermarkets. Video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing A digital sign can be integrated at entrance areas to display real-time occupancy data, as well as temperature and mask information, letting customers know when it is safe to enter premises. In waiting areas such as cash registers in supermarkets and indoor ATMs in malls, Hikvision’s video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately. The exact measurement can be adjusted, well within the social distancing minimum separation guidelines. Touch-free access control Schools and workplaces have previously made use of traditional access control and time attendance systems such as ID card swiping, PIN codes, or fingerprint scans, which require staff and students to frequently touch shared surfaces. This only increases the risk of spreading infection. With touch-free access control terminals, organizations can not only eliminate the risk, but greatly enhance their daily operational efficiency. Hikvision’s MinMoe temperature screening terminals unify temperature screening, mask detection, and access control & time attendance in one model. The system only grants entries when the guidelines are met, which is particularly useful in highly-populated workplaces like industrial parks and office buildings.
Hikvision USA announces it is donating $5,000 to help kick off the Security Industry’s COVID-19 Relief Response project, organized by Mission 500. Mission 500, a non-profit organization that works with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis, has partnered with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization, with the goal of providing ‘one million meals’ to families in need across the U.S. Creating unprecedented uncertainty Hikvision’s donation will be used as matching funds for the first $5,000 donated to the project. Please click here to learn more about Mission 500’s ‘Million Meal Challenge’ and to make a donation. Hikvision is always happy to partner with Mission 500 and it is pleased to work with Feeding America for the first time. For every $1 donated, Feeding America is able to provide 10 meals to families through its network of 200 foodbanks. “The COVID-19 crisis has created unprecedented uncertainty. With schools closed and many people out of work, hunger is a dire problem in our communities,” said Marianne Chew, Hikvision USA Director of Marketing. “Working together, we can make a difference. Hikvision USA is very grateful to have the opportunity to work with Mission 500, Feeding America, and others in the security industry to support children and families in need,” she added. Showing collective strength Ken Gould, Chairman of the Board, Mission 500 said that the security industry has repeatedly shown its collective strength. “Hikvision’s donation to this initiative will provide 50,000 meals to children and families across the US, and Hikvision is inviting the people and companies in the industry to match this, as the first step in reaching the one million meal mark.” Every year Hikvision employees participate in numerous Mission 500 volunteer events including the Security 5/2K, the Puerto Rico service trip where Hikvision employees helped victims of Hurricane Maria rebuild their homes, and kit building events for Title 1 school children in Connecticut and Florida.
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