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Critical infrastructure facilities that must secure large areas with extended outer boundary and numerous entry points, present a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to perimeter protection. As such, true end-to-end perimeter protection calls for the utilization of a sophisticated, multi-layered solution that is capable of defending against anticipated threats. Integrated systems that incorporate thermal imaging, visible cameras, radar and strong command and control software are crucial for covering the various potential areas of attacks. Let’s look at these technologies and the five key functions they enable to achieve an end-to-end solution that provides intrusion detection, assessment and defense for the perimeter. 1. Threat Recognition The first step in effectively defending against a threat is recognizing that it’s there. By combining state-of-the-art intrusion detection technologies, facilities can arm themselves with a head start against possible intruders. An exceptionally important aspect of effective perimeter protection is the ability to conduct 24-hour surveillance, regardless of weather conditions, environmental settings, or time of day. Visible cameras do not perform as well in low light scenarios and inclement weather conditions. However, thermal imaging cameras can provide constant protection against potential intruders, regardless of visual limitations, light source or many environmental factors. In fact, facilities such as power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create what is known as a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilize the protection of a physical fence or wall. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool Critical infrastructure applications require not only continuous video surveillance and monitoring, but also a solution that yields highly reliable intrusion detection, with fewer false alarms. This need makes advanced video analytics a must for any adequate surveillance system. Features like dynamic event detection and simplified data presentation are game changing in supporting accurate intrusion analysis and facilitating a proactive response. Advanced analytics will provide multiple automated alarm notification options, including email, edge image storage, digital outputs or video management software (VMS) alarms. Incorporating high quality, unique and adaptive analytics can virtually eliminate false alarms, allowing security personnel to respond more efficiently and effectively, while also lowering overall cost for the end user. While surveillance technologies such as radar, thermal imaging and visible cameras, or video analytics work well on their own, utilizing all of these options together provides an advanced perimeter detection system. For example, ground surveillance radar can detect possible threats beyond the fence line as they approach and send a signal to pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, triggering them to slew to a specific location. From there, embedded analytics and visible cameras can further identify objects, notify authorized staff, and collect additional evidence through facial recognition or high-quality photos. 2. Automatic Response Systems Once an intrusion attempt is discovered, it is important to act fast. Organizing a response system that can initiate actions based on GPS location data, such as the slewing of PTZ cameras, automated intruder tracking or activated lighting sensors, greatly increases staff’s situational awareness while easing their workload. For instance, thermal imagers deployed in conjunction with video analytics can be used to generate an initial alarm event, which can then trigger a sequence of other security equipment and notifications for personnel to eventually respond to. Having all of this in place essentially lays the entire situation out in a way that allows responders to accurately understand and evaluate a scene. Power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilize the protection of a physical fence or wall 3. Deterring Suspicious Activity After the designated auto-response mechanisms have activated and done their job, it is time for responders to acknowledge and assess the situation. From here, authorized personnel can take the next appropriate step toward defending against and delaying the threat. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool. Often, control room operators can diffuse a situation by speaking over an intercom, telling the trespasser that they are being watched and that the authorities have been notified. This tactic, known as ‘talk down’, also allows officers to view the intruder’s reaction to their commands and evaluate what they feel the best next step is. If individuals do not respond in a desired manner, it may be time to take more serious action and dispatch a patrolman to the area. 4. Delay, Defend, Dispatch And Handle The possible danger has been identified, recognized and evaluated. Now it is time to effectively defend against current attacks and slow down both cyber and physical perpetrators’ prospective efforts. Through the use of a well-designed, open platform VMS, security monitors can manage edge devices and other complementary intrusion detection and response technologies, including acoustic sensors, video analytics, access control and radio dispatch. A robust VMS also enables operators to control functions such as video replay, geographical information systems tracking, email alerts and hand-off to law enforcement. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level The primary purpose of the delay facet of the overall perimeter protection strategy is to stall an attempted intrusion long enough for responders to act. Access control systems play a key role in realizing this objective. When a security officer sees a non-compliant, suspicious individual on the camera feed, the officer can lock all possible exits to trap them in one area all through the VMS. 5. Intelligence: Collect Evidence And Debrief More data and intelligence collected from an event equals more crucial evidence for crime resolution and valuable insight for protecting against future incidents. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level. One innovative resource that has become available is a live streaming application that can be uploaded to smart phones and used for off-site surveillance. This app gives personnel the power to follow intruders with live video anywhere and allows operators to monitor alarm video in real-time. Geographic Information System (GIS) maps are computer systems utilized for capturing, storing, reviewing, and displaying location related data. Capable of displaying various types of data on one map, this system enables users to see, analyze, easily and efficiently. Multi-sensor cameras, possessing both visible and thermal capabilities, provide high-contrast imaging for superb analytic detection (in any light) and High Definition video for evidence such as facial ID or license plate capture. Integrating these two, usually separated, camera types into one helps to fill any gaps that either may normally have. Still, in order to capture and store all of this valuable information and more, a robust, VMS is required. Recorded video, still images and audio clips serve as valuable evidence in the event that a trial must take place to press charges. Control room operators can use data collection tools within their VMS to safely transfer video evidence from the field to the courtroom with just a few clicks of their mouse. More advanced video management systems can go a step further and package this data with other pertinent evidence to create a comprehensive report to help ensure conviction.
Security control rooms should be functional and durable, and their aesthetics should incorporate matching colors that are conducive to a 24/7 operating environment—not too much contrast and easy on the eyes. Another factor driving aesthetics is an enterprise’s desire to create a ‘showpiece’ to demonstrate a commitment to security for shareholders and other stakeholders. “Everyone wants to have a good-looking control room and a cost-effective design,” says Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles. Critical Role Of Lighting And Aesthetics “Lighting is a critical factor for operators,” adds Papic. Studies of control rooms have sought to address issues of circadian rhythms (physical, mental, and behavioral changes that a person undergoes over a 24-hour cycle, based on responses to light) and the impact of changing light colors throughout the day. Flexibility is key. Properly adjusted light can increase alertness at 2 a.m.; controlling the color, tone and intensity of light can increase productivity any time of day. Evans Controls has experts who can do a lighting study of a room as part of construction services and consulting. Evans Controls has experts who can do a lighting study of a room as part of construction services and consulting Aesthetics, depending on the control room, can be very important, agrees Randy Smith, President of Winsted. His company accommodates aesthetics by using a variety of matching laminates, solid (Corian-type) surfaces, and sometimes real wood. They can put in a console with matching work surfaces, a credenza or other furnishings, or can even match existing décor in a facility. Customized Tailored Furnishing Security control rooms, often operating in glass enclosures, are often used to “make a statement” about the security of a facility, says Smith. Companies want the control rooms to be up-to-date, and have “cool designs.” Sometimes they want to add a company logo to a work surface or side panels, or they want to employ corporate colors in the design. Winsted can customize its offerings to meet any such requirements, says Smith. In too many instances, the control room is an afterthought: They just install furniture that fits with the monitors. How the furnishings are tailored to the operator is often not considered, says Papic. He offers several other considerations: Will the furniture last the lifetime of the control room? How adaptable is a design to possible future changes, whether larger monitors, managing cables, or ability to reconfigure the console? Furniture should not be viewed as a transactional item; there are more issues to address beyond physically housing the equipment, says Papic. Read part 5 of our Control Rooms series here
Today, almost every employee carries with them a smart device that can send messages, capture, and record images and increasingly live-stream video and audio, all appended with accurate location and time stamping data. Provide a way for staff to easily feed data from these devices directly to the control room to report an incident and you have created a new and extremely powerful ‘sensor’, capable of providing accurate, verified, real-time multi-media incident information. You need only to watch the television when a major incident is being reported. The images are often from a witness at the scene who recorded it on their device. It is madness that it has until now been easier for people to share information around the world via Facebook and YouTube etc, in a matter of minutes, than it is to transmit it to those that need to coordinate the response. The Public As An Additional Security And Safety Sensor In the UK, a marketing campaign designed by government, police and the rail industry is currently running. Aiming to help build a more vigilant network on railways across the country and raise awareness of the vital role the public can play in keeping themselves and others safe, the ‘See It. Say It. Sorted’ campaign urges train passengers and station visitors to report any unusual items by speaking to a member of rail staff, sending a text, or calling a dedicated telephone number. Essentially, the campaign is asking the public to be an additional safety and security sensor. However, with the help of the latest mobile app technology, it is possible to take things to a whole new level and this is being demonstrated by a large transport network in the US. This organization recognized that the ideal place to begin its campaign of connecting smart devices to the control room as an additional sensor, was by engaging its 10,000 employees (incidentally, this is approximately twice the number of surveillance cameras it has). These employees have been encouraged to install a dedicated app on their cellphones that enables them to transmit important information directly to the control room, as well as a panic button for their own safety. This data can be a combination of images, text, audio, video and even live-streaming, to not only make the control room aware of the situation but give them eyes and ears on the ground. For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information Combating Control Room Information Overload For the control room operator, the insights being fed to them from this ‘sensor’ have arguably more value than any other as they provide pinpoint accurate and relevant information. For example, if an alert comes in about a fire on platform 3, the operator doesn’t necessarily require any of the information from the other sensors, nor does he need to verify it’s not a false alarm. He knows that the information received has been ‘verified’ in-person (it is also time and location stamped) and that there is an employee located in the vicinity of the incident, who they can now directly communicate with for a real-time update and to co-ordinate the appropriate response. Compare this to a 24/7 video stream from 5000 cameras. It is in stark contrast to the typical issue of sensors creating information overload. The employee only captures and transmits the relevant information, so in essence, the filtering of information is being done at source, by a human sensor that can see, hear, and understand what is happening in context. So, if an intruder is climbing over a fence you no longer need to rely on the alert from the perimeter alarm and the feed from the nearest camera, you simply send a patrol to the location based on what the person is telling you. Furthermore, if the control room is operating a Situation Management/PSIM system it will trigger the opening of a new incident, so when the operator receives the information they are also presented with clear guidance and support regarding how to best manage and respond to that particular situation. Transport networks are using staff and the public as additional safety and security sensors Application Of Roaming Smart Sensors To be clear, this is not to suggest that we no longer need these vitally important sensors, because we do. However, one major reason that we have so many sensors is because we cannot have people stationed everywhere. So, in the case of the US transit company, it has been able to add a further 10,000 roaming smart sensors. This can be applied to other industries such as airports, ports, warehouse operations, stadiums, and arenas etc. Now, imagine the potential of widening the scope to include the public, to truly incorporate crowdsourcing in to the day-to-day security function. For example, in May, it was reported that West Midlands Police in the UK would be piloting an initiative that is asking citizens to upload content relating to offences being committed. Leveraging Existing Hardware Infrastructure Typically, when introducing any form of new security sensor or system, it is expected to be an expensive process. However, the hardware infrastructure is already in place as most people are already in possession of a smart device, either through work or personally. What’s more, there is typically an eager appetite to be a good citizen or employee, just so long as it isn’t too much of an inconvenience. Innovations in smart mobile devices has moved at such a pace that while many security professionals debate if and how to roll-out body-worn-cameras, members of the public are live-streaming from their full HD and even 4K ready phones. The technology to make every employee a smart sensor has been around for some time and keeps getting better and better, and it is in the pockets of most people around the world. What is different now is the potential to harness it and efficiently bring it in to the security process. All organizations need to do is know how to switch it on and leverage it.
Dahua Technology USA Inc., a provider of advanced, video-centric, smart IoT solutions, has introduced a new selection of 5MP IP cameras in its cost-efficient Lite Series, incorporating Smart Motion Detection (SMD) technology for ease of set-up, improved accuracy, and fewer false alarms. Smart Motion Detection (SMD) SMD uses an advanced algorithm to differentiate human and vehicular shapes within a scene and send alarms only when a person or vehicle is detected. SMD can be enabled with just one click, allowing the camera to analyze all motion within its view. The camera then filters motion-activated objects depending on what the user wants to see, making searches faster. “Compared with traditional motion detection where lights, animals, rain, and tree movement tend to cause false alarms, Dahua’s SMD feature gives the user highly accurate motion detection with fewer false alarms. No more annoying alarms with useless information,” remarked Jennifer Hackenburg, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Dahua Technology USA. SMD N53A series cameras The SMD N53A series cameras can be paired with Dahua N52 and N54 Series NVRs with upgraded firmware The SMD N53A series cameras can be paired with Dahua N52 and N54 Series NVRs with upgraded firmware to take advantage of the complete SMD solution. With this solution, users can tailor real-time push notifications according to what’s relevant to them and conduct quick target searches based on object classification, date and time. The SMD feature will expand to other models later this year. Quick Target Search, a playback feature, extracts and classifies images of humans and vehicles from video data, making it easy for users to review and retrieve historical information. The SMD cameras are well-suited for environments where limited resources mean fewer onsite security guards. Integrated with IR and Starlight technology The SMD N53A Lite Series offers fixed and vari-focal options in eyeball, dome and bullet-style form factors. These cameras include additional, advanced features that further maximize users’ Return on Investment (ROI), such as Starlight technology for ultra-low-light scenes, True Wide Dynamic Range (120dB), integrated IR, and perimeter protection for customized intrusion detection and tripwire functionality. Additionally, the Smart H.265+ codec reduces bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image details. “The new SMD cameras represent advanced edge technology that truly reduce false alarms and provide peace of mind,” added Hackenburg. “We’re pleased to be able to provide SMD based on customer needs and help them bring additional value to the end users.”
GSX 2019 got off to a jaunty start Tuesday. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their booths. There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side), while the trend toward system sales is continuing. Here's a review of Day 1 from the show floor. Dahua continues to educate market “Traffic-wise, the show is better than last year,” observed Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, at midday on Tuesday. “We met more people from Latin America,” he added. Shen theorized that Chicago is at the center of a larger territory of customers than last year’s location (Las Vegas).Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement: “We’re still here" Dahua has faced some negative publicity in the last year since they were banned from procurement by U.S. government customers by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement, says Shen. The statement is “We’re still here.” Shen said only one visitor to the Dahua booth even mentioned the NDAA on the first day of the show, and the visitor was misinformed about the provisions and implications of the law. “There is a lot of misinformation,” he says. “We need to continue to educate the market.” Facial recognition, video metadata, and people counting New at the show is the Dahua Analytics+ line of cameras that feature more in-depth analysis of data such as facial attributes, video metadata, and people counting. For example, the cameras can identify 128 points in a face, with an additional 256 attributes analyzed by the back-end recorder. Analysis can provide information such as age and gender, which can help a retailer analyze the demographics of their customers, for instance. Dahua is also adopting some of its consumer line of products for sale through the commercial channel. These include a flood light camera, a 2-megapixel WiFi camera and a doorbell camera. The products might be used outside of a retail store, for example, to complement Dahua commercial cameras that are used inside the store, says Shen. Dahua previewed a new multi-sensor camera that also includes a speed dome. The multi-sensor component combines eight views, each 2 megapixels, for a total of 16 megapixels. Below the multi-sensor camera is mounted a speed dome that can zoom in on regions of interest in the larger multisensor view. The camera will be launched in the fourth quarter. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their exhibits ACRE reports continued North American growth “The industry’s momentum will continue to grow,” predicted Joe Grillo, Principal of ACRE. New areas such as cloud and mobile credentialing have the fastest growth rate, but are starting from a much smaller base, he said, so momentum in those categories will take time.ACRE sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market Grillo noticed the first morning of GSX was busy, although there was a bit of a lull at midday. In terms of the business outlook, Grillo sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market, although there have been some negative elements creeping into the outlook in Europe. Cybersecurity concerns in access control I caught up with Grillo at the booth promoting RS2, a Munster, Ind., access control company that Acre acquired last May. It is the only Acre company that is exhibiting at GSX. RS2 is one of two access control companies acquired by Acre in the last year — the other was Open Options, Addison, Texas. Grillo said the two acquired companies are complementary, especially in terms of their sales channels and geographic strengths. Although both are national companies, RS2 tends to be stronger in the Midwest, while Open Options sales emphasis is centered in Texas and emanates to the rest of the country. Concerns about vulnerabilities are a growing issue in access control, said Grillo, and more large endusers are conducting penetration testing of systems. The industry should welcome the scrutiny, he added. Cybersecurity also represents an business opportunity in access control, noted Grillo. Concerns about the vulnerabilities of legacy technologies such as 125Khz proximity cards and the Wiegand protocol will likely accelerate the pace of companies upgrading their access control systems There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side) Eagle Eye Networks and cloud-based VMS Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks had already realized some new client opportunities during the first day of the show, although he was not optimistic at the outset. In contacting potential clients to meet at the show, he had heard that many were not attending. Among Eagle Eye Networks’ news at the show is full integration of body-cams into their cloud-based video management system. “It’s the most unique thing happening from a video management perspective,” Francis said. Previously, if someone needed a video clip from a body cam, they had to use a separate software system. Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed" Francis continues to be bullish on the subject of cloud adoption of video management and made a bold prediction: “Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed.” Eagle Eye Networks is doing its part with “rocket growth” that is reflected in an increase of company employees from 27 to 165 or so. Economies of scale have enabled Eagle Eye Networks to lower subscription prices by up to 45 percent. Genetec's release self-service PIAM system Many of the “new” products at GSX 2019 are slight variations on what was introduced at ISC West last spring. An exception is Genetec’s introduction of ClearID, a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that enforces security policies while improving the flow of people within the organization. The new system is integrated with the Genetec's Security Center Synergis access control system. PIAM systems have historically been customizable, complex to install and costly, which is why a lot of companies have not used a system. Genetec’s differentiator is that it is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box solution for a broader base of customers. “We scanned the market and found a lack of off-the-shelf identity management systems,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec. “Targeting the mid-market, we are providing an accessible, ready-to-go cloud-based system that is ‘baked’ for the average company but can be integrated and expanded to include other systems.” The trend toward system sales at the show is continuing ClearID will simplify operation for the security department, which was previously tasked with a lot of administrative work in response to various departments. ClearID “pushes down” the authority to use the system to stakeholders (such as IT and/or facilities directors) and provides a system they can use themselves without involving security. “It empowers stakeholders and employees to work directly through the system rather than going through security,” says Arcuri. “It gives employees access based on stakeholder policies and improves the flow of people through an organization. The security director is relieved of administrative work and can work on ‘real’ security.” I saw some other things today, too, which I will share in a future GSX article... And more about the show tomorrow.
Video surveillance is used for more than just safety and security: users are discovering that high-resolution images and user-friendly features make surveillance cameras a valuable asset for all sorts of applications. A cattle ranch in Manatee County, Florida found that a Dahua PTZ was the perfect way to observe eagles without disturbing their habitat. Dahua PTZ Cameras When Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida in 2017, Victoria and Nicholas, a pair of American bald eagles, watched their nest get destroyed. Undeterred, they began building a new nest in a tree right next to the old one. The ranchers on whose property the eagles lived were so inspired by this show of dedication that they decided to install cameras nearby to share the eagles’ story with the world. They reached out to Jens Buff, security consultant with Rapid Security Solutions, for support, and he contacted Dahua. Dahua donated a 4MP 30x IP PTZ, which was mounted to a tree in order to observe the nest up close. Dahua donated a 4MP 30x IP PTZ, which was mounted to a tree in order to observe the nest up close But disaster struck yet again! In 2018 “an unnamed storm, unexpected and unseasonable, blew through our area with pounding rain and ferocious winds,” stated the Eagle Country YouTube page. “Sadly, the eagles’ nest was blown to the ground in pieces again! We wondered if they would relocate, but this was Nicholas and Victoria. The very next day they began to rebuild. The cameras we placed after Irma were not destroyed and we are able to watch this incredible story continue.” Smart IR And Day/Night Surveillance Dozens of YouTube videos, as well as a live feed, give viewers a rare glimpse into the day-to-day lives of these majestic birds. Whether they’re incubating eggs, eating dinner, cleaning house, or fending off intruders, their activities are captured in clear video both day and night. The camera’s true day/night IR cut filter and Smart IR allow for crisp nighttime images without “whitening out” as the eagles get close to the camera. True WDR preserves the image in the direct sunlight that’s unavoidable at the top of a tree in the Sunshine State. The easy-to-use PTZ features let the ranchers follow the eagle’s actions without bothering them by manually repositioning the camera. “Dahua’s PTZ was the perfect choice to view one of life’s most beautiful creations living in nature,” Mr. Buff remarked.
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