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It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home while at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours. According to a recent report, police forces are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centers, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, investing in a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property from inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals However, technology, improved cellphone connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has changed the security market and made it easy for anyone to set up a surveillance ecosystem with easy installation and constant round the clock, cloud monitoring. Plus, you can access footage from anywhere in the world via devices and apps – just in case you have to skip the country! The best cameras for SMBs Most good cameras have the much same functionality: excellent video and audio capabilities, remote access and programming, motion and sound detection, and the ability to capture still or video images and audio and save the data to the Cloud. But the burning question is, when you're trying to find a need in a haystack, what will work best for a small to medium sized business? A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours Now you can buy cameras that come packed with features such as integrated night vision, 1080p resolution, microSD card slot for local recording, two-way audio functionality as well as the latest latest 128bit encryption. They also have wide-angle lenses allowing users to see more of their office with a single camera, and some come with free, intelligent AI-Based motion detection. The AI gives users more choices on what is captured by the camera and when they should be alerted. Users can specify what types of motion they would like to detect, such as an intruder as opposed to a dog, an object crossing a defined boundary or into a specific area. They can also define multiple zones, alerting them immediately when movement is detected in particular areas. Easy installation is crucial These security cameras should also be easy enough to install and use that you don't need to fork out for expensive expert installation, and many can work with existing CCTV and CCTV DVR systems you may already have set-up. Many of the business security cameras are Wi-Fi enabled and come with their own apps, so you can view footage on your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are in the world. It means you don't need to pay for a security team to watch the footage at all times (though if you can afford it, that won't hurt), and you can store your videos locally with an NVR on a HD, in the cloud with mydlink or do both with a hybrid NVR/cloud recorder. The apps use Rich Notifications which send a push notification with snapshot to the mobile device the moment activity is detected. Users can react immediately without the need to log into the app by accessing the camera’s live view or calling one of two pre-assigned contacts with a single tap. Any motion-triggered recordings can be saved in the cloud, or locally on a microSD card. Indoor, Outdoor or both? Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions. Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal. Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilize features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from color images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker. When doing your research, features to look out for include: Wide angle lens for optimum room view or full view of the front of your property Full HD 1080p at 30fps ONVIF compatible - Open Network Video Interface Forum - The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other. Night vision - look at length of the night vision - 5m is about right Your options will depend on your budget and specific needs, but the above features are a great start when you come to buy.
News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence. Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place.
The ease of getting from point A to point B, the effective movement of goods and services, and the flexibility and integration of various modes of transportation are key aspects of mobility today. Smart Mobility has been a key theme in the transportation industry for a while. The idea is to keep traffic flowing and help people to get where they need to be, in a smarter way. To this end, industry players are now innovating and introducing advanced technologies and solutions. Examples include intelligent traffic management systems, free-flow tolls, autonomous driving, smart location solutions, and more. At the same time, traffic congestion, aging infrastructure, rapid urbanization, and increasing sustainability demands are also intensifying the need for smart mobility solutions. One way to overcome these obstacles is to use intelligent video surveillance technology for improved traffic management, making the roads safer and more efficient for every user, while also reducing emissions. Perceptive Intersections Relying on intelligent video analytics, traffic video cameras identify traffic build ups at intersections by counting numbers of vehicles crossing an intersection and detecting their speed, while also counting the number of vehicles queueing in real-time. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green. Intelligent optimization for traffic signals ensures more effective traffic flow. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green The benefits? Improved safety on the roadways; intersection reconstruction can be avoided; drivers can be advised about the speed of their route, forecasted by traffic signals; reduced wait times and stress for commuters; reduction of harmful emissions; and positive impact on public satisfaction. Road Safety Traffic incidents can be disastrous, not merely for causing congestion on the roads but sometimes far worse – resulting in injuries and even fatalities. These incidents have many causes, not the least of which is drivers willfully violating traffic laws. Video technology can aid in detecting all kinds of events – for example, illegal parking, running a red light, wrong-way driving, speeding, and making illegal U-turns can all be detected by smart camera technology. By using deep learning technology, cameras can recognize these events and traffic authorities can be immediately notified and take necessary actions even before traffic incidents occur. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally. Furthermore, ticketing systems can be incorporated to further regulate driving behaviors. Benefits here include incident prevention, better driver performance, and increased safety on the roads and streets, to name just a few. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally Public Information Sharing information is key to keeping city drivers and travelers informed. Intelligent communication about warnings and updates helps everyone save time, avoid frustration, and simplify everyday mobility. This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations, such as congested areas, transportation hubs, shopping malls, and city plazas – or even at your fingertips on your favorite mobile apps! This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations Traffic video cameras generate real-time data of traffic flow and incidents, sending it to a central platform to further fuse with data from third-party systems such as radar and GPS systems. They also disseminate traffic information, including traffic status, warning and advisory notices, as well as parking status. The benefits are improved public awareness of traffic information, improved travel convenience, overall enhancement of mobility in the city, and more. The Hikvision Practice Hikvision has accumulated sophisticated experience in traffic management both at home and abroad. Product lines offer versatile solutions to resolve multitudes of problems in urban traffic management, traffic incident management, highway management, and more. Going deeper, it’s essential to note that efficient signal control management is dependent on the quality of traffic data, system algorithms, and the hardware devices in use; it is also closely related to the mobile environment, such as road conditions, historical traffic conditions, and urban infrastructure. Because of this, no single solution solves traffic congestion everywhere. Hikvision believes that only by working closely with city authorities, public safety organizations, consultants, even academia and other relevant stakeholders, can applications and operational processes be developed to achieve the best possible outcomes. The possibilities for traffic video data are endless, especially now that it can employ artificial intelligence for advanced functionality. Harnessing its power will make all the difference, but the ultimate goal remains the same: safe and smooth traffic, smart mobility, and improved quality of human life.
The Very Group is the UK’s largest integrated digital retailer and financial services provider. It offers 1,900 brands to its four million customers. Due to the company’s growth, it built a new state-of-the-art fulfilment center - close to one million square feet - to centralize operations and drive efficiency. The Very Group has historically operated from three fulfilment centers in the north of England. Due to the business’ growth, it needed a new, purpose-built and automated facility in a central, well connected location; that could accommodate all one-man fulfilment and returns operations on one site, and that provided room for continued expansion. The space offered by the new site in the East Midlands means that The Very Group can process more orders and use new technology to make the business more responsive, reducing the time it takes to get products to customers. Support business growth The site’s position in the East Midlands, adjacent to the M1 and East Midlands Airport, with its own rail freight terminal, will enable the business to increase its cut-off time for next day delivery to midnight from 7pm, and explore the introduction of same day delivery in the future. A crucial aspect of the new hub was security - with the need to not only secure the site and the stock inside, but implement solutions which would benefit the wider business too. The Very Group required a platform which could provide the business-wide value it was seeking The Very Group required a platform which could unite operations and provide the business-wide value it was seeking. The company approached Grantfen, initially on a consultancy basis, to guide the organization on the route it should be taking and the technologies that could support its ambition. Grantfen quickly recognized the scope of The Very Group’s ambitions for a platform that was easy-to-use and that could bring together information from hundreds of different sensors and technologies. Incorporating video surveillance It put forward a comprehensive solution built on the Genetec Security Center unified platform. Incorporating video surveillance and analytics, access control, automatic number plate recognition and integration with other key business systems, this allowed The Very Group to deploy best of breed technologies from a range of vendors including HID Global, Axis Communications and SenStar. Perhaps the most important solution needed was tracking who was coming in and out of the building - with such a large workforce, combined with inbound and outbound deliveries, the facility has hundreds of people inside at any one time. Previously, security manually searched people selected at random. However, thanks to the robust Genetec software development kit, and Grantfen’s specialist development expertise, The Very Group has been able to adapt the solution and write its own code in order to use the access control system to implement truly random searches. Number plate recognition This has involved getting permission to hold employee data, but again, thanks to the new system brought together by Security Center, the data is housed safely. Moving from three fulfilment centers into one, consolidated facility meant a change in operations for The Very Group, and security needed to mirror this evolution. Therefore, with the volume of traffic coming in and out of the site increasing, The Very Group implemented automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Heavy goods vehicles could be monitored coming in and out of the site, enabling those in the diary to enter and exit the grounds in an efficient manner. Plus, with timestamps now able to show when vehicles entered or exited the grounds, it helped with yard management and traffic flow, with Security Center able to generate reports on how traffic is moving around the yard. Employees are able to take advantage too - with the ANPR recognizing them and seamlessly letting them into the parking lot. Health and safety standards The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment center, means a new era for the group" This enhanced integration has benefitted other areas of the business too. The CCTV control room is now able to monitor fulfilment center flow, looking at movements such as trailers, to help maximize efficiencies and ensure high health and safety standards. Dean Cooper, Head of Security at The Very Group, commented: “The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment center, means a new era for the group. We are a digitally-led business, and the fact we are now able to enhance operations and yield more value from security functions is going to help us operationally. Genetec and Grantfen have played a huge part in accelerating our sophistication in this area, and I look forward to how we can gain increasing insights from all the technology has to offer.” Deep integration and analytics While the roll-out has been relatively recent, the positive effects are already being felt across the business. This has led to future plans about what else could be introduced - all underpinned by Genetec Security Center. “Genetec Security Center is helping to improve inter-departmental collaboration thanks to its reporting functions, alongside benefiting operations and ensuring the security of the facility. We are an ambitious business, and as we grow we need a system that will continue to evolve with our requirements. Genetec enables this, and alongside its deep integration and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over years to come”, concluded Cooper.
As an industry, we often speak in buzzwords. In addition to being catchy and easy to remember, these new and trendy industry terms can also reflect the state of the security market’s technology. In short, the latest buzzwords provide a kind of shorthand description of where the industry is - and where it’s going. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword(s) rose to prominence in the security industry in 2020? (And how do they reflect industry trends?)
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named five young security professionals as the recipients of the 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship, a program offered through SIA’s RISE community, which supports the education and career development goals of young industry talent. Through this scholarship program, open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees at SIA member companies each awardee will receive a $3,000 scholarship to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, SIA program offerings and/or other academic or education programs. Scholarship funds can be used to expand knowledge in the areas of business, human resources (HR), information technology (IT), marketing, sales, project management, security engineering, and/or risk management. Young security professionals “The 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship awardees are an extraordinary group of young security professionals who represent tomorrow’s industry leaders,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA is proud to help foster the careers of these talented honourees, and I look forward to seeing their many accomplishments and successes to come.” Winners for the 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship Nadim Hammoud, Software Developer, Feenics As a key member of the software development at Feenics, Nadim Hammoud has contributed to multiple new features in production and bug fixes, built proofs of concept for prospective clients, and contributed new tests to the automated testing of the company’s web API. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course and certification in AI He has a strong interest in the latest technologies, including cloud computing and machine learning. Prior to his time at Feenics, Hammoud served as a teaching assistant at Carleton University and held engineering and software development positions at Bertrandt and Tactical Technologies Inc. He holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and biomedical and mechanical engineering from Carleton University. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course, a professional certification in the field of artificial intelligence, and attendance at industry events. Olivia Peralta, Account Executive, Allegion In her role as an account executive at Allegion, Olivia Peralta works with teams around the world to plan and sell access control projects – from teaching the company’s security software to implementing hardware installations hosted on the cloud for physical security end-users. Prior to her time at Allegion, she served as an account executive at ISONAS Access Control and completed communications internships at Western Resource Advocates and the Oregon Natural Desert Association. She holds bachelor’s degrees in environmental sciences and communication and environmental studies from Northern Arizona University and a continuing education certification from Colorado Water Education’s Water Educator Network and is IPVM University Access Control certified. Peralta plans to use the scholarship funds toward earning SIA’s Certified Security Project Manager certification and pursuing an education that bridges the gap between strategy, design, and product delivery. Matthew Rios, Regional Sales Manager, Axis Communications Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification In his role at Axis Communications, Matthew Rios promotes the use of IP video and Axis cameras to integrators, distributors, consultants, and end-users and maintains fluid and enthusiastic relationships with current and prospective customers. Prior to his time at Axis Communications, Rios held sales management roles at Hanwha Techwin America, Honeywell, and R&D Lock and Alarm. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in the homeland and corporate security from St. John’s University. Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification. Mary Sharp, HRA, Stanley Access Technologies As a key member of the HR team at Stanley Access Technologies, Mary Sharp is responsible for over 220 professional hourly, non-union service and install technicians and provides support on major change management and organization redesign efforts and issues pertaining to team cohesiveness, dynamics, and management. Prior to her time at Stanley Access Technologies, she held HR and administrative roles at Stanley Healthcare, Infrasource Underground Construction, and Frontline Private Security. She holds a bachelor’s degree in ethics and public policy from the University of Iowa. Sharp will use the scholarship funds toward obtaining the Society for Human Resource Management’s SHRM-CP certification. Trevor Zuerlein, System Designer, VTI Security Zuerlein plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in IT, become a member of (ISC)², and to earn CISSP credentialTrevor Zuerlein started at VTI Security in 2017 as a security systems technician and now serves as a system engineer; Zuerlein is skilled in access control security systems, security cameras, computer repair, computer science, technical writing, and AC/DC electronics. Before his time at VTI Security, he held IT and sales roles with Time Warner Cable, Mead Lumber, and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Zuerlein holds an associate’s degree in information technology from Central Community College. He plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in the IT field, become a member of (ISC)², and work toward his goal of earning the Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential. Networking events SIA RISE is a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry. In addition to awarding the annual SIA RISE Scholarship, SIA RISE offers fun networking events for young professionals, created the RISE Microlearning Series of mini-webinars on top professional development topics, hosts career growth webinars and trade show education tracks. Mentorship program The recently launched the Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) mentorship program for early and mid-career professionals in the security industry and presents the annual AcceleRISE conference, an essential experience designed to ignite new thinking, strengthen leadership and sharpen business acumen in young security talent. RISE is available to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years.
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