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Video surveillance across the world is growing exponentially and its major application is in both public safety and law enforcement. Traditionally, it has been fixed surveillance where cameras provide live streams from fixed cameras situated in what is considered strategic locations. But they are limited in what they can see given by their very definition of being “fixed”. The future of video surveillance includes the deployment of more mobile video surveillance with the benefits it offers. Instead of fixed cameras, this is the ability to live stream from mobile devices on the move such as body-worn cams, drones, motorbikes, cars, helicopters and in some cases, even dogs!Sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters Advantages Of Mobile Surveillance The advantage of mobile surveillance is that the camera can go to where the action is, rather than relying on the action going to where the camera is. Also, sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters. The ability to live stream video from cars and helicopters in high-speed pursuits can be used to take some of the operational issues from the first responders on the ground and share that “life and death” responsibility with the operational team leaders back in the command center. This allows the first responders in the pursuit vehicle to focus on minimizing risk while staying in close proximity of the fleeing vehicle, with direction from a higher authority who can see for themselves in real time the issues that are being experienced, and direct accordingly. In addition to showing video live stream from a pursuit car or motorcycle, by using inbuilt GPS tracking, the video can be displayed on a map in real time, allowing a command chief to better utilize additional resource and where to deploy them, through the use of displaying mapping information with real time video feed. It allows police chiefs to make better informed decisions in highly-charged environments. The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively Application in emergency situations The same is true of first responders in many different emergency situations. Mobile surveillance opens up a new area of efficiencies that previously was impossible to achieve. For example, special operations can wear action body-worn cameras when doing raids, fire departments can live stream from emergency situations with both thermal and daylight cameras, and paramedics can send video streams back to hospitals allowing doctors to remotely diagnose and prepare themselves for when patients arrive at the hospital. How can special operations and emergency first responders live stream video from a mobile camera with the issues of weight, reliability and picture-quality being considered? H265 Mobile Video Compression Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively. The issue of course is that 4G is not always reliable. Soliton Systems has mitigated this risk of low mobile quality in certain areas, by building an H265 mobile video compression device that can use multiple SIM cards from different cellular providers simultaneously. H265 is the latest compression technique for video, that is 50% more effective than conventional H264, and coupling this with using multiple “bonded” SIM cards provides a highly reliable connection for live-streaming high-quality HD video. The 400-gram device with an internal battery can be connected to a small action cam, and can live-stream simultaneously over at least three different cellular providers, back to a command center. Latency is typically less than a second, and new advance improvements are looking to reduce that latency further. Encrypted Video Transmission What about security? Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain, i.e. AES256.What about integration into existing video infrastructure at the command center? It is not untypical for a police force to have an existing video management system (VMS) at their command center such as Milestone System’s Xprotect. The Soliton range of products are ONVIF-compliant, a standard used by video surveillance cameras for interoperability, allowing cameras and video devices that are ONVIF-compliant to simply “plug&play” into existing video management systems. These mobile transmitters are deployed with law enforcement and first responders across the globe. Their ability to provide secure, full HD quality and highly-reliable video streaming within a small unit, and to enable it to be integrated into the current eco-system that is already installed at the receiving end, has made them a favorite choice with many companies and government agencies.
The term “smart city” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, but as different technologies that strive to be defined in this way are adopted by different countries globally, the meaning of this phrase gets lost in translation. The simplest way to define a “smart city” is that it is an urban area that uses different types of data collecting sensors to manage assets and resources efficiently. One of the most obvious types of “data collecting sensor” is the video camera, whether that camera is part of a city’s existing CCTV infrastructure, a camera in a shopping mall or even a police car’s dash camera. The information gathered by video cameras can be used with two purposes in mind, firstly: making people’s lives more efficient, for example by managing traffic, and secondly (and arguably more importantly): making people’s lives safer. Live Streaming Video All The Time, Everywhere In the smart and safe city, traditional record-only video cameras are of limited use. Yes, they can be used to collect video which can be used for evidence after a crime has taken place, but there is no way that this technology could help divert cars away from an accident to avoid traffic building up, or prevent a crime from taking place in the first place. However, streaming live video from a camera that isn’t connected to an infrastructure via costly fiber optic cabling has proven challenging for security professionals, law enforcement and city planners alike. This is because it isn’t viable to transmit video reliably over cellular networks, in contrast to simply receiving it. Video Transmission Challenges Transmitting video normally results in freezing and buffering issues which can hinder efforts to fight crime and enable flow within a city, as these services require real-time, zero latency video without delays. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of any scene where cameras are present to support immediate decision making and smart city processes. The information gatheredby video cameras can beused to make people’s lives more efficient, and to make people’s lives safer There are many approaches to transmitting video over cellular. We’ve developed a specialist codec (encoding and decoding algorithm) that can provide secure and reliable video over ultra-low bandwidths and can therefore cope when networks become constrained. Another technique, which is particularly useful if streaming video from police body worn cameras or dash cams that move around, is to create a local wireless “bubble” at the scene, using Wi-Fi or mesh radio systems to provide local high-bandwidth communications that can communicate with a central location via cellular or even satellite communications. Enhanced City Surveillance Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means that video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control center and matching faces against any watch lists that the control center owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. Identifying Known Criminals This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city center where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Facial recognition technology captures and streams live back to a controll center, matching faces against any watch lists that the control center owns In an ideal world where the police had an automated, electronic workflow, the police officer nearest to the location of the incident would be identified by GPS and would be told by the control room where to go and what to do. Most police forces aren’t quite at this technological level yet, and would probably rely on communicating via radio in order to send the nearest response team to the scene. As well as this, shopping malls could create a database from analog records of known shoplifters to identify criminals as soon as they entered the building. This would be even more effective if run co-operatively between all shopping malls and local businesses in an area, and would not only catch any known shoplifters acting suspiciously, but would act as a deterrent from shoplifting in the first place. Live Streaming For Law Enforcement As mentioned above, live streaming video from CCTV cameras can help the police fight crime more proactively rather than reactively. This can be enhanced even further if combined with live streaming video from police car dash cams and police body worn cameras. If video was streamed from all of these sources to a central HQ, such as a police operations center, the force would be able to have full situational awareness throughout an incident. This would mean that, if need be, officers could be advised on the best course of action, and additional police or other emergency services could be deployed instantly if needed. Incorporated with facial recognition, this would also mean that police could instantly identify if they were dealing with known criminals or terrorists. While they would still have to confirm the identity of the person with questioning or by checking their identification, this is still more streamlined than describing what a person looks like over a radio and then ops trying to manually identify if the person is on a watch list. The smart, safe city is possible today – for one, if live video streaming capabilities are deployed they can enable new levels of flow in the city. With the addition of facial recognition, cities will be safer than ever before and law enforcement and security teams will be able to proactively stop crime before it happens by deterring criminal activity from taking place at all.
In 2017, DITEK saw how power surges from the many natural disasters that took place damaged many businesses. In a natural disaster, or even everyday business operations, a facility’s entire investment in security, life safety and surveillance systems technology can be disabled or rendered useless in a few seconds. Surge protection solutions can mitigate those risks and protect security investments. Proactive Approach To Risk Mitigation Throughout 2017, we also witnessed a change in how enterprises view surge protection, which included how investments are being made in surge protection to protect valuable security, life safety and surveillance systems, while also reducing downtime, manpower costs, liability vulnerabilities, and possibly compliance issues that can force businesses to actually cease operations. Effective security management is about mitigating risks. But risks cannot be mitigated without a proactive approach. Enterprises and integrators, who take the time to assess risk and to develop a strategy to incorporate effective detection, deter and response criteria to protect physical assets will be successful in 2018. 2018 And Beyond That strategy includes designing surge protection into new security systems, while also adding surge protection to existing systems. Enterprises and security integrators who implement a surge protection strategy during security planning processes – or after – will be exercising prevention and mitigation, and they will be successful in 2018 and beyond. Surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise surveillance and security systems In 2017, Ditek continued to offer security end users a solid surge protection solution. We also successfully educated system integrators, who are seeking value-added products or services to incorporate into their portfolios, on the importance of surge protection devices. Educating Security Integrators We believe that surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise video surveillance and security systems, because they can and do meet safety and security challenges that have been rarely identified in the past. We are looking forward to 2018, when we will continue to develop new surge protection products – including a new product engineered to protect up to twelve individual fuel dispensers, which is critical to the financial operation of convenience stores. We will also continue to educate security integrators about the importance of including surge protection in the design/build RFP, to not only secure an enterprise’s valuable security equipment, but also to help integrators to differentiate their capabilities and knowledge from the competition.
ComNet, Communication Networks of Danbury, Connecticut, an ACRE company, and a USA-based manufacturer of fiber optic transmission and networking equipment, is expanding the line of Cybersecurity products by adding to its line of intelligent media converters. These intelligent media converters with Link Guardian create a physical layer of protection that limits network traffic to one-way communication between the source and destination networks. The ComNet CNGEUMC4+2(TX, RX)/M is designed to prevent cybersecurity attacks by limiting data flow to one direction between a secured and unsecured network. External cyber threats How the devices are deployed will determine which direction the data will flow. Called a ‘Unidirectional Media Converter’, this physical security is more effective than software-enabled network firewalls. This data connection is un-hackable and invulnerable to malware. The ComNet CNGEMUMC4+2(TX, RX)/M is a hardened four-port all-gigabit intelligent Media Converter. This product is designed to provide deterministic data transfer in only one direction (unidirectional), to segment and protect networks, devices, and other digital assets (databases, historians, SCADA, PLCs, DCS, etc.) from external cyber threats. Distance extending device The primary purpose is as a distance extending device, but they can also be used as an entry point to a network" It has four 10/100/1000Base-T(X) copper ports and two 1000Base-FX SFP ports. It effectively only allows data to travel in one direction. The CNGEMUMC4+2(TX, RX)/M provides exclusive functionality for easy field deployment including DIP switch-based operation of RSFP (redundant SFP) for creating redundant fiber connections. According to Andrew Acquarulo Jr., ComNet CEO and President, “Media converters are generally simple to use. The primary purpose is as a distance extending device, but they can also be used as an entry point to a network. By adding features such as Link Guardian, we are offering our customers another way of making their network more reliable and secure from unauthorized access. This keeps us front and center in terms of innovation.” More competitive position The company believes that these features give them a more competitive position in the market and allows ComNet to be unique and differentiate the product line. “Making any network operate more efficiently and effectively is another way of how ComNet moves the market. Cybersecurity/ unauthorized access is a monumental concern for all security networks.” “By leading with our advanced technology, such as Link Guardian, we position ComNet and our solutions as the company to turn for ‘new and better’ transmission options. Our position is that if you are concerned about the long-term success of your application, choosing ComNet ensures it will be,” said Skip Haight, ComNet VP of Marketing.
ComNet, Communication Networks of Danbury, Connecticut, a USA-based manufacturer of fiber optic transmission and networking equipment and an ACRE brand, announced that ACRE has acquired Razberi Technologies and the product line will be added to and sold under the ComNet brand and portfolio of products. ComNet will now be selling Razberi products through its established channels. Intelligent video appliances The Razberi product line of intelligent video appliances, automated security software, and health monitoring software is designed to protect and monitor IP-based surveillance systems and complements the ComNet line of innovative network communication solutions. The Razberi appliance allows cameras, access control points, and other devices to add layers of protection while lowering the threat of cyber security risks to businesses. According to Tom Galvin, Razberi founder and Chief Product Officer, “We’re excited to join with ComNet and add more value to their deep network product line. ComNet can now offer a more comprehensive infrastructure for video transmission, storage, management, and cyber security.” Open video surveillance platform Bringing Razberi Technologies into the ComNet product portfolio made sense on many levels" Razberi’s open video surveillance platform includes intelligent appliances combined with automated cyber security and health monitoring software. In combination with a wide range of top third-party video management software (VMS) applications and IP cameras, enterprises can flexibly deploy a best of breed solution that reduces their total cost of ownership and reduces the likelihood of a costly cyber breach. “Bringing Razberi Technologies into the ComNet product portfolio made sense on many levels,” said Andrew Acquarulo Jr., ComNet’s Chief Executive Officer and President, adding “ComNet has strongly considered adding an enhanced surveillance product line that would make a significant impact on the market and bring a measurable improvement to any application. We believe Razberi is that product.” Enhancing cyber security and securing business networks ComNet believes the Razberi product line is a cost-effective solution and its cyber security products can complement ComNet’s emphasis on securing business networks. “With the intense focus on cyber security, the unique Razberi products directed to cyber threats, CameraDefense and ApplianceDefense now combined with ComNet Port Guardian, present a formidable defense against unauthorized network access,” said Skip Haight, ComNet Vice President of Marketing, adding “Our position is that if you are concerned about the long-term success of your application, choosing ComNet ensures it will be.”
ACRE, a global brand providing state-of-the-art security systems, announced the acquisition of Razberi Technologies based in Farmers Branch, Texas. This purchase will enhance ACRE’s strategic expansion plans for strengthening its video and communications business and product portfolio. This is the latest M&A transaction since ACRE completed the acquisitions of two access control businesses - Open Options in December 2018 and RS2 in May 2019; both of which have continued to prosper and build ACRE’s overall market position. Razberi will significantly increase ACRE’s position in the communications and video market, enhancing the ComNet portfolio and providing complementary technologies to its access control brands. System health monitoring technology In addition, Razberi provides increased cybersecurity protection and threat response times Razberi, which was founded in 2011, has developed a portfolio of products that enable enterprises to deploy a simple, secure best-of-breed video surveillance system. Razberi’s open product platforms work with third-party video cameras, video management and video analytics software. In addition, Razberi provides increased cybersecurity protection and threat response times. ACRE will leverage the technology and expertise of Razberi beyond video across its access control brands for providing server builds, cybersecurity and system health monitoring. ACRE CEO Joseph Grillo stated that this transaction will continue to expand ACRE’s competitive position in a highly fragmented market with great growth potential. Advanced cyber security “The acquisition of Razberi boosts ComNet’s reach in the communications space and enhances our product portfolio with the addition of advanced cybersecurity and system health monitoring technologies,” said Grillo. “We are excited to join the ACRE organization with its strong global reach that will open new opportunities for the Razberi product range,” said Tom Galvin, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Razberi. Tom Galvin will remain as the General Manager of the business post-acquisition and will be instrumental in integrating Razberi into ACRE. Imperial Capital were the advisors to Razberi on this transaction. Financial details of the transaction were not released.
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