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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.

Latest Honeywell news

C2MI Deploys Honeywell’s AI-Powered Thermal Screening And Risk Self-Assessment Solutions For Safe Building Access
C2MI Deploys Honeywell’s AI-Powered Thermal Screening And Risk Self-Assessment Solutions For Safe Building Access

The MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI), the largest electronics systems research and development center in Canada, has announced that they recently selected Honeywell for its new thermal screening and risk self-assessment process, at its Bromont, Quebec location, to better sustain operations and to help improve the well-being of building occupants and visitors. Thermal cameras installed C2MI is an internationally known micro-electronics research center that requires 24/7 laboratory access for its team and collaborators. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged its standard operations and ability to provide laboratory access, while limiting potential virus exposure. Honeywell worked with C2MI to install a thermal camera solution to screen elevated skin temperatures and risk self-assessment, in order to streamline building access control, without the need for human interaction. Healthy Building Kiosk thermal sensors Using AI, the Healthy Building Kiosk thermal sensor monitors for trends and leverages variables Using artificial intelligence (AI), the Healthy Building Kiosk thermal sensor monitors for trends and leverages variables, such as the outdoor temperature to provide more accurate readings. If an elevated skin temperature is detected, the staffer or visitor is referred for testing, before being authorized access to the center. The solution allows C2MI security staff to focus on other critical tasks and gives building users shared accountability. C2MI and Honeywell collaboration C2MI and Honeywell are continuously working to refine the technology, in order to create a more efficient and safer access control. C2MI will see a return on investment in less than one year, when calculating the cost of a security personnel dedicated to managing staff access control. “We’ve worked with C2MI to create a custom solution to improve the efficiency of building access and support a return to more normal operations,” said Laura Laltrello, Vice President and General Manager of North America services for Honeywell Building Technologies. 24/7 operations simplified Laura Laltrello adds, “With the implementation of the new Healthy Building Kiosk at the entrance, C2MI’s 24/7 operations are simplified, while allowing the security staff to focus on other critical tasks. We’ve also deployed a continuous improvement process with C2MI to refine the solution to best suit its needs and manage issues such as queuing.” “As a center of collaboration and innovation, C2MI faced two challenges in the past year: the ability to sustain operations, while also taking steps to help make our staff and researchers safer,” said Marie-Josée Turgeon, General Manager for C2MI. Streamlining building access control Our collaboration with Honeywell has allowed us to streamline building entry" Marie-Josée Turgeon adds, “Our collaboration with Honeywell has allowed us to streamline building entry and remove the semi-manual process of individuals’ skin temperature reading, to help provide a safer environment for our teams.” C2MI also implemented health protocols aligned with local guidelines and recommendations, such as a work-from-home (WFH) policy, limiting the number of people in the cafeteria and conference rooms, encouraging social distancing, optimizing disinfecting and cleaning, as well as mandatory procedural mask wearing. Honeywell Healthy Buildings solutions Honeywell’s Healthy Building solutions are part of a comprehensive effort to quickly develop innovative solutions that will help critical sectors of the global economy to recover, without the need to replace existing infrastructure at high costs. Honeywell’s Healthy Building solutions also provide a holistic view of a building’s health, based on the key factors, such as indoor air quality (IAQ), occupant flow, personal protective equipment (PPE) analytics, thermal screening, skin temperature monitoring, social distancing and sanitation efficacy.

Honeywell Expands Its MAXPRO Cloud Portfolio With Addition Of MPA1 And MPA2 Access Control Panels
Honeywell Expands Its MAXPRO Cloud Portfolio With Addition Of MPA1 And MPA2 Access Control Panels

Honeywell announced the expansion of capabilities of its MAXPRO Cloud portfolio with the launch of MPA1 and MPA2 access control panels that offer cloud, web-based, or on-premise hosting options. “Our technologies can be integrated into existing systems, helping our customers create and maintain flexible, bespoke solutions that are best suited to their needs, which is especially important for SMBs,” said Rick Koscinski, North America General Manager, Honeywell Commercial Security. Rick adds, “Our new MPA1 and MPA2 control panels strengthens our MAXPRO Cloud offering by giving users cost-effective access control functionality and real-time security information from anywhere.” MAXPRO Cloud security solution MAXPRO Cloud is a cloud-based security solution designed for multi-site small and medium-sized businesses, which provides effective and efficient security and safety, while minimizing IT costs and future-proofing investments. The MAXPRO Cloud solution integrates access control and video into an integrated and easy to use platform The MAXPRO Cloud solution integrates access control and video into an integrated and easy-to-use platform, and is used to protect multi-site infrastructure, such as retail, franchises, multi-tenant commercial and residential properties, schools, and churches. With features such as global credential management, automated reporting and remote management of doors and schedules, the cloud-based security system is not only a great security solution, but also a powerful business tool. MPA1 single door POE-powered controller MPA1, a single door POE-powered controller is easy to install, operate, and maintain, thanks to its unique edge installation design and its dedicated Device Utility App for fast and easy commissioning. It can either be mounted in a U.S. single gang junction box or in a specially designed compact enclosure with Status LED diagnostics. In addition, the embedded web interface allows the MPA1 to operate in stand-alone mode in single and multi-panel solutions. Honeywell MPA1 control panels feature: Flexible capability: With its small design and sleek enclosure, it can be leveraged for diverse deployment across a variety of jobs. In standalone mode, MPA1 can control a single door or manage multiple networked controllers. Faster installation: Single door Power over Ethernet (PoE) powered edge controller is fast and easy to commission via the Device Utility App on an Android or iOS mobile phone. At-the-door mounting decreases cable runs and with the small edge design, the MPA1 fits in U.S. single gang junction box. Only Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) support: The latest communication technology for card readers provides strong encryption, bi-directional communication and improved cyber security resilience. It gives users the option of forming a platform that can be expanded in the future. It also features SSL certificate security, safeguarding connections to the panel. MPA1 has been developed with a small installer-friendly design that easily adapts to existing IT infrastructure and methods, reducing installation and support costs and supports OSDP reader connections, ensuring end-to-end secure communication from smart card to the host. So, as a system grows, MPA1 grows as well. MPA2 cloud-based access control panel MPA2 is a cloud and standalone access control panel for two door access control. The MPA2 panel features enhanced security due to a 128-bit AES encrypted bi-directional Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) communication with access control readers. This combination of features, bolstered by an intuitive, browser-based user interface, gives customers an easy-to-use and secure site-access system. Users can manage MPA2 securely using Ethernet or Internet connections.  Honeywell MPA2 control panels feature: Flexible 3-in-1 capability: Embedded, cloud- or software-hosted capability from one panel. This means that MPA2 can be deployed for a large variety of jobs, from basic access control for a single site to multi-site, enterprise-level security with fully integrated access, video and Faster installation: User-friendly, screwdriver-less installation is facilitated by push-in connectors and RJ45 cabling, halving the time previously required in fitting similar panels and offering benefits to installers, in terms of reduced operation and maintenance costs. IP-based hardware with Power over Ethernet (PoE) PLUS capability eliminates additional network module wiring and simplifies powering the panel. At-the-door mounting also decreases cable runs. MPA2 is built to use the Structure Cabling System in new buildings, where network/RJ45 cabling is already in place, reducing installation cost by up to 50%. Wiegand and OSDP Support: Next to legacy Wiegand communication, which makes it easy to connect to the most common Wiegand connected readers, MPA2 provides the latest communication technology for card readers for strong encryption, bi-directional communication and improved cyber security resilience. It gives users the option of forming a platform that can be expanded in the future. It also features SSL certificate security, safeguarding connections to the panel. MPA2 offers a simplified approach to security management, improving business and employee productivity, by reducing both training and operating time. The new panel is available as a standalone product and can be fitted into existing security set-ups with ease.

Honeywell And IDEMIA Announce A Strategic Alliance To Develop An Intelligent And Seamless Building Ecosystem
Honeywell And IDEMIA Announce A Strategic Alliance To Develop An Intelligent And Seamless Building Ecosystem

Honeywell, a global provider of connected buildings, and IDEMIA, a global provider of Augmented Identity, announced a strategic alliance to create and cultivate an intelligent building ecosystem that provides a more seamless and enhanced experience for operators and occupants alike. The alliance will integrate Honeywell’s security and building management systems with IDEMIA’s biometric-based access control systems to create frictionless, safer, and more efficient buildings. The Honeywell and IDEMIA alliance is intended to design solutions that will allow occupants to easily and securely have contactless engagement with a building - from vehicle recognition at the car park and automatic elevator calls to biometric-based access and personalized conference room settings. With a focus on security and data privacy, these next-generation solutions will provide occupants with a safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable experience that will help building owners attract tenants. Complex security requirements “We recognize that our customers need to deliver business outcomes like managing complex security requirements and providing healthier, more productive environments,” said Manish Sharma, Vice President, Chief Technology and Chief Product Officer for Honeywell Building Technologies. We will create an intelligent building ecosystem that better addresses our customers’ key challenges" “By working with IDEMIA, we will create an intelligent building ecosystem that better addresses our customers’ key challenges and drives their desired outcomes. Whether it’s a commercial office building, a hospital or an airport, we have the ability to change the way people experience and interact with buildings for the better.” Safety and security systems “We look forward to expanding our long-standing relationship with Honeywell to bring greater value to our customers with more integrated solutions that make for a more seamless building experience,” said Matt Cole, CEO, Secure Enterprise Transactions Division, IDEMIA. “The ability for our technology to easily integrate with Honeywell safety and security systems will provide building owners and operators more insight and control into creating more efficient buildings, while putting the occupant experience first.” Facial recognition terminal IDEMIA’s field-proven AI-based products and solutions - like MorphoWaveTM, a contactless fingerprint device that scans four fingerprints in less than one second; VisionPass, the most advanced facial recognition terminal; or Augmented Vision, a biometric video analytics platform - integrate with Honeywell security and building management systems. Honeywell’s systems include Pro-Watch Integrated Security Suite, MAXPRO Cloud and Enterprise Buildings Integrator. Honeywell and IDEMIA will work together to deliver powerful integrations through aligned product creation Honeywell and IDEMIA will work together to deliver more powerful integrations through aligned product creation and joint product roadmaps. The integrated offerings will allow building operators to respond rapidly and effectively to alarms or incidents by providing an incident workflow package that allows Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be configured, reducing compliance exceptions, security risks and response times. Personal protection equipment IDEMIA products also support Honeywell’s Healthy Buildings solutions that help building owners improve building environments, operate more cleanly and safely and encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations and a company's risk management policies. Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions provide a holistic view of a building's health based on key factors such as indoor air quality, occupant flow, personal protection equipment (PPE) analytics, contactless access, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitation efficacy.

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