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Physical Security And The Cloud: Why One Can’t Work Without The Other
Physical Security And The Cloud: Why One Can’t Work Without The Other

Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organization secure.

The Intrinsic Role Of Lighting For Video Surveillance Clarity And Performance
The Intrinsic Role Of Lighting For Video Surveillance Clarity And Performance

The sound of sirens in the distance is commonplace, nowadays. Whether related to a medical emergency or everyday crimes, such as theft, property crimes, and so on, we’re all accustomed to hearing these sirens by now. It is worth noting that many incidents that police respond to take place at night. According to a recent report by the Sleep Judge, more than half of murders, manslaughter, sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts happen long after the sun has set. To anyone looking to address the round-the-clock security challenge, deploying the most comprehensive surveillance solution is a must, and this means, looking at the instrumental role illumination plays in video capture. Limitations of Traditional Video Surveillance If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and/or resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete For surveillance cameras relying on video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver functionalities such as facial recognition, license plate reading and motion detection, nighttime crimes can pose something of a problem. Without adequate illumination, images from video cameras are grainy and unusable. Without proper lighting, potential criminals and moving objects essentially become indistinguishable, at night, thereby inhibiting even the most advanced security technologies. This limitation of traditional surveillance technology not only hinders immediate police response, but it also stops crime investigations dead in their tracks. Often, without video evidence that is clear and discernible, conviction in a court of law is next to impossible. A common response to this issue is to place security cameras near streetlights or well-lit areas. After all, according to NPR, street lights are effective in deterring crime,  as “there are people — neighbors, pedestrians or police — to actually see suspicious activity.” However, even if streetside and primary entrances are well lit, the areas that still need most to be surveilled are rear or side doorways shrouded by darkness, unlit back alleys, and so on. If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete. Best-in-class security solutions must be able to see everything, day and night. A Purpose-Designed Solution to the Problem Addressing this issue is easier than you might think. Much like a human eye needs some sort of light to “see,” so does video surveillance technology. Integrating external illuminators into a security solution can optimize camera performance exponentially, expanding a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities and ensuring the operation of video analytics, day and night. Opting for an external illuminator allows system integrators to select a device that matches the exact emission range of a camera’s field of view (FOV). The result is an evenly lit visual field, where captured images are clear and effective for security purposes. The two most common options available to integrators include infrared (IR) and white light illuminators. Each technology is built to optimize particular deployments, depending on their needs. Infrared Versus White Light IR illuminators emit IR light, which is invisible to the human eye and perfect for covert surveillance operations. When cameras need to be able to detect potential threats over long distances, IR illuminators are perfect for the job as they typically have longer emission ranges. IR illuminators are optimal for surveillance operations in license plate recognition, border patrol, safe cities, theme park, and medical sleep lab applications. If an end user needs to implement full-color video analytics for identification purposes, such as facial, object and license plate recognition, white light illuminators are undoubtedly an integrator’s best bet. IR illumination and traditional thermal security cameras, after all, are only able to provide black-and-white images, whereas object recognition software often identifies objects based on their color. White light illuminators installed alongside AI-powered surveillance cameras enable enhanced video image clarity, which, optimizes video analytics performance. When customers want to physically deter suspicious activity, deploying white light illuminators is effective. A recent study out of Crime Labs New York found that businesses that deployed visible lights to deter crime “experienced crime rates that were significantly lower,” which “led to a 36 percent reduction in ‘index crimes’”. On top of all this, LED based white lights operate at low running costs and typically have long lifespans, saving end users thousands of dollars a year in energy costs without having to sacrifice surveillance optimization. External Versus Built-In Illumination Security customers looking to use lighting to deter crime and improve the performance of video surveillance may consider “all-in-one" solutions, as some cameras have LEDs (light emitting diodes) built into them. These LEDs typically encircle the lens and therefore shed light in whatever direction the camera is pointed. However convenient these may seem, built-in illumination can cause problems.Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night First, LEDs built into cameras and next to other electronic components often cause heat to build up, which attracts insects that can trigger motion detection and obstruct a camera’s view. This heat buildup also shortens the LED lights lifespan. Built-in LEDs also tend to create “hot spots” with glare and reflection back into the camera, often because these lights only cover a 30-degree field of view (FOV), even though the average camera’s FOV is 90 degrees. This issue can severely limit a camera’s visibility, essentially rendering those remaining 60 degrees dark and unusable. All in all, when integrating lighting solutions into your security deployment, a cost-effective solution that enhances a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities, are external illuminators because they offer flexible choices of field of view and distances. Best-in-Class Solution When it comes to criminal conviction in a court of law, “seeing really is believing.” Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night, just as any security officer would be when patrolling the same unlit area. To guarantee end users the most reliable and highest performing security solution, consider integrating best-in-class illumination into your offerings.

ONVIF Profile T And H.265: The Evolution Of Video Compression
ONVIF Profile T And H.265: The Evolution Of Video Compression

In today’s market, efficient use of bandwidth and storage is an essential part of maintaining an effective video surveillance system. A video management system’s ability to provide analysis, real time event notifications and crucial image detail is only as a good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. In the physical security industry, H.264 is the video compression format used by most companies. Some companies also employ H.264 enhancements to compress areas of an image that are irrelevant to the user at a higher ratio within a video stream in order to preserve image quality for more important details like faces, license plates or buildings. The H.265, H.264’s successor, will be increasingly used for compression in the future. Some companies are already using H.265 in their cameras and video management systems, while a host of other manufacturers are certainly preparing for its broader adoption in the years to come. Video Compression Technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of H.264, while retaining the same quality. Increased compression rate translates into decreased storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage and fewer switches – all of which reduce overall costs of system ownership. H.265 compression delivers a lower bitrate than H.264, which is relevant to end users and integrators because the lower bitrate reduces strain on hardware and can reduce playback issues. It’s very important that the compression format that is used is supported in all of the different components of a system: cameras, desktop computers on which the VMS is running and the VMS itself. It is also good for end users and integrators to understand the basics of video compression. Having a basic understanding of compression allows users to tweak settings to reduce bandwidth usage even more. Many cameras come with default settings that can be changed to ultimately reduce costs. ONVIF Physical Security In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 but is not directly involved in developing the compression standards themselves. With Profile T, the new ONVIF video profile released will employ a new media service that is compression agnostic. This means that it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future without having to redesign its media service. In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 Standardization organizations that are directly addressing new compression standards include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and a joint commission of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is addressing the coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information. Other compression formats on par with H.264 and H.265 are being developed by companies such as Google. H.265 Compression Formats Using products that employ H.265 compression will reduce costs through bandwidth reduction, as will changing default settings on cameras, which are often conservative. Having a basic understanding of compression formats and how to tweak camera factory default settings also gives integrators the ability to further reduce bandwidth for added costs savings and increased system performance. These enhancements will analyse which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly It is also worth noting that H.265 enhancements will likely be developed by camera manufacturers to further reduce bandwidth, as was the case with H.264. These enhancements will analyze which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly. While H.265 itself is ready for prime time, its value as a tool for IP-based surveillance systems is dependent on support for the codec in all parts of the system – the VMS, server hardware, graphics cards and camera. Though widespread H.265 adoption is predicted, providers of these components are jumping on the H.265 bandwagon at different rates of speed. ONVIF is including support for H.265 in its new video profile, Profile T, because it believes it will become the most widely used compression format and ONVIF recognizes the need to anticipate that migration as a future need of the industry. The new media service, which will be implemented with Profile T, will be future-proof in that when new compression formats are released in the future, ONVIF can adopt them very quickly. That flexibility will definitely help integrators.

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BSIA Representatives To Share Knowledge At IFSEC 2015
BSIA Representatives To Share Knowledge At IFSEC 2015

Visitors to the show have three conference theaters to choose from this year: Keynote and Convergence, Security Solutions and Safe Cities As IFSEC International prepares to return to London’s ExCeL in June, a number of British Security Industry Association (BSIA) representatives are ready to impart advice on a number of industry issues – from city security to access control – as part of the show’s busy educational program. Visitors to the show have three conference theatres to choose from this year: Keynote and Convergence, Security Solutions and Safe Cities. While UK-based security suppliers are anticipating another successful show as IFSEC returns to London for a second year, several BSIA spokespeople are set to share their knowledge on the following topics: Tuesday 16th June Cyber Security – Confronting Current And Future Threats 11:00, Keynote and Convergence Theater Mike O’Neill, Managing Director, Optimal Risk Management Ltd and Chairman of the BSIA’s Specialist Services Section, is joined by Dan Solomon, Optimal Risk Management’s Director of Cyber Risk and Security Services, to discuss current and emerging cyber threats and the need for robust countermeasures. This session will also explore the importance of upskilling IT professionals to meet evolving cyber threats. Key Considerations when Choosing A Security Provider 13:00, Security Solutions Theater Pauline Norstrom, Chief Operating Officer at AD Group Ltd and Chairman of the BSIA, discusses the importance of security market knowledge in the procurement process, answering the crucial question of what is more important, price or quality? Wednesday 17th June Access Control As A Service 11:00, Keynote and Convergence Theater Paul Adams, Head of Technology and Product Management at BSIA Access Control member company, Kaba Ltd, explores the features and functionalities of Access Control as a Service (ACaaS), including the difference between hosted, managed and hybrid services. Paul will also address the common questions that arise for providers and adopters of ACaaS. The Police And Security Initiative: Collaboration To Increase Public Safety 11:00, Safe Cities Academy Geoff Zeidler, Immediate Past Chair of the BSIA, introduces the Police and Security Initiative and the growing importance of partnerships between business, the police and the private security industry. This session looks at practical measures for improving working relationships, sharing good practice and reducing crime. The Surveillance Camera Code Of Practice – Time For Voluntary Adoption? 13:00, Keynote and Convergence Theater Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter QPM LLB, will be joined by Simon Adcock, Managing Director of ATEC Security and Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV Section, and Chairman of the BSIA, Pauline Norstrom, to discuss the implications of the Protection of Freedoms Act and the subsequent Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice on CCTV owners and operators.   CCTV Control Room Compliance 14:00, Security Solutions Theater Dirk Wilson, Managing Director of Sector Security Services Ltd and Vice Chair of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, introduces the latest updates and revisions to BS7958, the Code of Practice for CCTV management and operation. Providing recommendations on best practice in obtaining reliable information that might be offered as evidence, Dirk will also explore the increasing police and public confidence in the operation and management of CCTV. Security Risk Management Strategies For Safer Cities 15:00, Safe Cities Academy Mike O’Neill, Managing Director of Optimal Risk Management and Chairman of the BSIA’s Specialist Services Section, returns to explore the key risk management strategies that can be adopted to ensure maximum security in today’s increasingly technology-enabled cities. Thursday 18th June Supporting Safe Cities & Major Events – A Code Of Practice For Security Searches 14:00, Safe Cities Academy Dirk Wilson, Managing Director of Sector Security Services Ltd and Vice Chair of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, introduces a new Code of Practice for security searches, exploring lessons learned from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and how these have been adopted by a new set of minimum standards for personnel carrying out security searches with the ultimate goal of ensuring greater police and public confidence in the private security sector and its ability to provide support at major events. Meanwhile, members of the BSIA are welcome to utilize the BSIA’s members’ lounge at IFSEC, free of charge. This can be found on the BSIA’s stand (B1350).

Infiniti Integrated PTZ Camera Series Introduced By Dedicated Micros At ISC West 2011
Infiniti Integrated PTZ Camera Series Introduced By Dedicated Micros At ISC West 2011

 The Infiniti cameras by Dedicated Micros are optimized for operation in exposed outdoor environmentsCCTV specialist - Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - premiered its leading edge Infiniti Integrated PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) camera series in the Americas at ISC West, including an advanced thermal imaging model.The new Infiniti series cameras have been optimized for effective, and secure, operation in exposed outdoor environments. They can be deployed, seamlessly, at the front end of the latest Closed IPTV deterministic IP video security solutions whose unique 'Trusted Endpoint' technology means that cameras cannot be hacked or their IP ports used to gain unlawful access to the corporate network.  Looking at the landmark Infiniti Thermal model in more detail, this features an IP CCTV camera, Thermal Imaging Unit, screen wiper/washer control and integrated pan and tilt mechanism - all in one robust package.In operation, the Thermal Imaging Unit has been created to deliver outstanding performance for night vision, heat sensing and surveillance applications, allowing users to see what is going on even in testing conditions such as haze, dust, fog and smoke. Featuring a germanium window for thermal accuracy , an uncooled high resolution sensor, an athermally stabilised lens, and choice of focal lengths, the thermal imaging unit has the potential to detect human-sized heat sources at ranges of up to 900 metres. This long-range view makes the Infiniti Thermal an ideal choice for early warning systems whilst the potential to compare, and contrast, thermal and conventional images maximises the ability of users to deal with incidents. Turning to the configuration of the other models in the Infiniti series, these are supplied with an IR illuminator in place of the Thermal Imager. A major operational advantage of having the camera and IR illuminator positioned side-by-side is that, no matter where the unit is pointed, the field of view of the camera is always illuminated. The Infiniti series has all of the functionality of a precision dome with the added benefits which come from the integrated capabilitiesThe Day/Night camera module, common to all Infiniti models of the Infiniti, comes with a powerful 36x optical zoom and offers 0.01 Lux (Mono) sensitivity, optically flat toughened glass and wash/wipe system to optimize visibility at all times.Additionally, with privacy masks, presets and patrols the Infiniti series has all of the functionality of a precision dome with the added benefits which come from the integrated capabilities. Compatibility of the Infiniti with the latest generation of Dedicated Micros' Hybrid DVR and NVRs also ensures that users can readily access the company's advanced camera functionality such as Point&Go and Absolute Positioning.There is even the potential, through the on-board DSP core from Dedicated Micros' sister company ChipWrights, to unlock powerful video analytics capabilities in the Infiniti such as virtual tripwire so adding additional value to a surveillance solution. Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "We are delighted to be able to spotlight the industry-leading capabilities of our Infiniti series at ISC West 2011 which set a new standard for integrated PTZ cameras and, when used in the IP environment, can be operated as part of a safe and secure Closed IPTV surveillance solution."The roll-out of our first thermal imaging product in the Infiniti Thermal underlines our belief that there are major opportunities in the marketplace to expand the take-up of thermal CCTV into the surveillance mainstream. No longer does thermal imaging have to be seen as the exclusive preserve of enterprise level solutions."For more information on Dedicated Micros please log on to their website.

Dedicated Micros Highlights Seamless Hybrid And IP Video At ISC West 2011
Dedicated Micros Highlights Seamless Hybrid And IP Video At ISC West 2011

 Dedicated Micros unveils its new IP video products at ISC West 2011 in Las VegasCCTV specialist Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - showed off it's seamless hybrid and IP video capability at ISC West 2011 in Las Vegas. It also unveiled new IP video products, which expand the game changing Closed IPTV, deterministic, safe and secure IP video series.Highlights of the new patent pending Closed IPTV product lines include the entry-level EcoSense NVR (Network Video Recorder), hybrid SD Advanced NVR/DVR, layer 3 enhanced CCTV switch, and a series of ultra flexible IP cameras.Focusing on the EcoSense NVR, this pure IP video product, which was first shown at IFSEC in the UK in May 2010 contains a built-in Dedicated Micros Layer 3 enhanced CCTV switch, which provides safe and secure plug and play IP camera connection and recording, without any prior IP knowledge. Ecosense NVR overcomes the barriers in the way of traditional CCTV installers, who don't have the resources to re-train their engineers to become IT experts, enabling the installation of IP video solutions and bringing the benefits of high definition video to entry level applications. The Ecosense NVR contains the critical security features demanded in 24-hour surveillance applications including alarm integration and remote transmission features lacking in other NVR products.Moving on to the SD Advanced, hybrid NVR/DVR which, when coupled with the Layer3 enhanced CCTV switch, provides the perfect platform for legacy integration and completely secure, future expansion into IP video. The product supports up to 32 channels of IP video all of which can be megapixel cameras and like other Dedicated Micros products creates a seamless analog and IP video solution managed from a single user interface - a key aspect of Dedicated Micros products for at least the last five years.Focusing on Dedicated Micros IP cameras, these comprise the CamVu Mini VR (Vandal Resistant) Dome, the CamVu Indoor Mini-Dome and CamVu box camera. Looking at these in turn, the CamVu Mini VR Dome combines High Definition image capture up to 2 mega pixel with a vandal resistant mini-dome housing, the potential - thanks to a built-in enterprise level video server - to support Integrated Camera Recording and Video Analytics plus wide-ranging network capabilities such as MultiMode Recording and Transcoding combined with both near side and off side storage capability. Closed IPTV compatibility also ensures that the Mini VR Mega-Pixel Dome can be set-up as a 'Trusted Endpoint' so protecting it from the dangers of hacking attack, especially when deployed in remote and vulnerable locations.Turning to the CamVu Indoor Mini-Dome, this 2 Mega-Pixel Closed IPTV capable camera delivers comparable features to the Mini VR Dome, aside from the absence of an environmental and vandal resistant housing, which is not required for indoor deployment. Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "We are delighted to showcase our very latest Closed IPTV surveillance products. The Mega-Pixel cameras we are unveiling tie-in very much with a growing demand for HD CCTV solutions, especially in high risk crime areas, where the combination of the detailed views provided by the cameras and optimized network security - with Closed IPTV - is proving to be an attractive proposition." "At the entry level we see the EcoSense NVR as an ideal starting point for security integrators who are looking at robust, embedded networked CCTV solutions for the first time or want a solution with reduced set-up time and enhanced ease of use. The fact that the EcoSense NVR is part of the game changing Closed IPTV means that a completely secure network of video over IP products can be readily created, where IP cameras are automatically identified and configured by the NVR as a point to point relationship - just like an analog system. Once configured, the closed IP network can be totally locked down by a number of automatic firewall provisions and 'Trusted Endpoints' established without the need for any network knowledge."For more information on Dedicated Micros please log on to their website. 

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