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Construction site theft can cause project delays, property damage and loss of profit for companies in the construction sector. It is imperative to deter thieves from targeting construction sites with the help of construction site security. Here, we look into the various security options and how they can help protect your firm from the threat of a break-in. Construction theft has soared during the COVID-19 Pandemic Construction site theft is an ever-increasing problem in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £800 million ($1,040 million) per year. Unfortunately, this type of crime has accelerated further throughout lockdown by an estimated 50% due to the abandonment of construction sites across the UK. With many uncertainties around a potential second wave in the UK, it is time for construction firms to enhance their security strategies to help prevent thieves from becoming opportunists on construction sites. Why are construction sites ‘easy’ targets? Construction sites can easily be targeted, as they typically lack adequate security loss prevention practices. The most popular security-related issues that are leading causes of construction site theft are: Poor overall site security Multiple pieces of equipment sharing the same keys Easy access to open cabs Unsecured sites, particularly at night and over weekends Lack of product identification systems If you do not want your site becoming a costly statistic, you might want to try implementing some or all of these preventive measures. Strengthen your perimeter Putting a clear boundary around a construction site will help to prevent youths and members of the public from inadvertently wandering onto the site. To stop opportunist thieves in their tracks, you will need to go one step further by erecting robust fencing and concrete blocks along with signage warning intruders about the consequences of trespassing. Putting a clear boundary around a construction site will help to prevent youths and members of the public from inadvertently wandering onto the siteIf potential trespassers can see that it would be too challenging to attempt a break-in, then they will look elsewhere to find another construction site which is not as well secured. Lock away valuable tools When considering the vulnerabilities in your construction site, it pays to think about this from the perspective of a criminal. What is it exactly that they are looking for? What can a thief steal easily to make money if they were to remove something from your site? Unfortunately, many construction firms do not lock away their tools, materials or vehicles properly, which makes them an easy target. Ensure valuable tools and materials are locked away and are not left unsecured or lying around. Criminals are mostly interested in scaffolding, bowsers and other valuables that are quick to sell on, so it is important to have a strategy in place to keep these locked away, safe and securely. Put tracking devices in your equipment If you are unable to securely lock away valuable tools, then modern technology makes securing equipment easier than ever before. Tracking devices can be installed onto vehicles and equipment; if any thief is unwise enough to steal from the site, site owners will be able to provide the location to the police who will be able to follow this up. Site owners should also engrave company identification numbers on valuable tools, equipment and vehicles so that it can easily be identified and will serve as proof who it rightly belongs to. Invest in CCTV Closed Circuit Television, otherwise known as CCTV, is renowned for being one of the most effective deterrents for thieves, especially when it comes to construction and building sites.The items that criminals steal from sites are notoriously hard to trace The items that criminals steal from sites are notoriously hard to trace, but if you have CCTV, there is a chance that you can capture clear footage to help bring criminals to justice, such as footage of the vehicle used and the car licence plate. CCTV cameras can help to oversee every inch of a construction site, and can even be hidden out of sight where required. Step up with regular site patrols With a wide range of security monitoring methods available, stepping up on regular site patrols can help to keep track and respond to any criminal activity taking place on your site. Traditional site patrols can be carried out on a schedule by professional SIA-approved security agents. With the presence of guards patrolling a construction site, any criminals in the area will be deterred to force entry onto the site. Schedule supply deliveries on an as-needed basis To prevent an excess of supplies ‘sitting around’ on the site, construction site managers should instead order what is needed at the time, so that valuable materials are not left around waiting to be stolen for weeks at a time. Good planning and excellent communication between the team will be required so that projects are not delayed, but planning accordingly will help to reduce the chances of theft on a construction site. Drone surveillance As technology becomes more and more advance, drone surveillance may soon be a security option that many construction sites could benefit from.Many construction firms in the UK are using drone services to provide aerial images, and are seeing huge cost savings by either purchasing and operating their own drones or by hiring out the work to a company equipped to provide imaging.As technology becomes more and more advanced, drone surveillance may soon be a security option With surveillance drones already handling tasks like mapping and surveying of construction sites, one day they may be able to patrol construction sites at night, equipped with motion sensors and infrared or night vision cameras; They could be automatically deployed from a charging station and fly along a pre-programmed route at regular intervals. One to keep an eye on for the near future! Construction site security to help protect your site If you are ready to tighten security on your own construction site, then your starting point will be to identify your main vulnerabilities and get in touch with a reputable security specialist.
The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorization and the appropriate credentials. The access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customized and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms powers continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SecurityInformed.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organizations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organizations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritizes use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
Bitglass, the Total Cloud Security Company, has received full scores across all nine criteria in KuppingerCole’s Market Compass on Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). The report covers vendors with offerings that address the challenges of security and compliance when using cloud services. This is the fourth time KuppingerCole has included Bitglass in its CASB Compass, demonstrating the company’s strong and consistent market validation. The criteria against which participants are reviewed include security, interoperability, usability, deployment, discovery, access control, data protection, compliance, and posture management. In addition to securing top marks for the above criteria, Bitglass’ CASB was selected as the solution “Featured for Innovation,” highlighting Bitglass for pushing the cloud security space forward with its advanced technologies. Agentless reverse proxy One major problem with the deployment of CASB is the need to install agents on devices or as part of a forward proxy" Specifically, the report focused on the uniqueness of its agentless reverse proxy. Powered by patented AJAX-VM technology, which ensures performance and uptime as applications are updated, Bitglass’ reverse proxy delivers agentless, real-time protection for any app accessed by any device - including personal devices. Additionally, the Market Compass highlights Bitglass’ SmartEdge Secure Web Gateway (SWG). As the world’s only on-device SWG, it decrypts and inspects traffic locally via a SmartEdge agent on each device, forgoing the need for on-premises appliances, VPNs, cloud proxies, and network hops. Real-Time data “One major problem with the deployment of CASB is the need to install agents on devices or as part of a forward proxy,” says KuppingerCole analyst and author of the report Mike Small. “The Bitglass solution leverages patent pending AJAX-VM agentless reverse proxy capabilities. This enables the Bitglass solution to provide support to any application with real-time data and threat protection, identity, and visibility.”
Ajax Systems, the developer behind the most award-winning wireless alarm in Europe, has hired a UK Sales Leader to strengthen the presence in the UK market and expand the local team. Steve Norman is a security industry veteran. For the last 20 years, he was working for major international manufacturers from the US and China, and a distribution and integration company in the UK - this experience lets Steve understand the industry from all sectors. Industrial intruder detection Lately, he headed up the business development team in Hikvision and then spent nearly 4 years managing the team in Dahua UK. Steve joins Ajax as the head of the UK sales team and will work towards its active development and growth. He will strengthen the Ajax team from October 1st. “Ajax has taken an industry that is firmly stuck in a particular way and has approached it with an Apple-esque viewpoint, and I believe that they will change the industry. The opportunity to be at the start of this in the UK and build a tight team to deliver this was too good to miss. I’d like to build a team that, working together, will exceed all expectations and deliver tomorrows intruder detection to an industry that can deliver so much more”, said Steve Norman, UK Sales Leader at Ajax Systems. Full-Fledged team For Ajax, the UK is one of the key markets, and therefore we are taking roots deeper and deeper into it" “For Ajax, the UK is one of the key markets, and therefore we are taking roots deeper and deeper into it. We have several products specifically for this market: the recent StreetSiren DoubleDeck, the current implementation of PD 6662 compliance, and the upcoming launch of DoubleButton." "Certainly, we’re actively striving to increase our presence there, and Steve is our next big step towards enforcing our team in the UK. Soon, the team will grow even more - Ajax will have a large full-fledged team on the UK ground”, said Aleksandr Konotopskyi, CEO of Ajax Systems. Alarm confirmation function Ajax Systems officially entered the UK market at the end of 2018. However, the system gained the recognition of the British professional security community even earlier. In 2017 Ajax was recognized as the “Intruder Alarm of the Year” at the IFSEC International, a renowned integrated security event in London. The company is working on launching new products for the British market. This autumn, Ajax will introduce the OS Malevich 2.10 update that will bring an alarm confirmation function including two detectors. Thus, the Ajax security system will meet all the requirements of the British PD6662 standard. As a result, not only security companies but also police patrols will be able to respond to Ajax alarms.
Ajax Systems have announced that the latest OS Malevich 2.9 update brings significant changes for users and security industry professionals. The new data import feature simplifies the process of replacing old hubs with new ones. Remote activation/deactivation Detectors that work incorrectly can now be deactivated remotely and still be part of the system. Button and transmitter got new types of alarm notifications, adjustable in the app. Automation devices can now work in pulse mode and activate electrical appliances for a short period. The in-app panic button can now be used anywhere, not just at the protected property. Upon activation, it sends smartphone coordinates to an alarm monitoring company and all system users. Data import: Replacing hubs without reconfiguring the system With the import feature, all settings, connected devices, security groups, scenarios, and users can be easily migrated from an old hub to the new one. Engineers and user-administrators can install a more advanced hub model on the protected property without reconnecting each detector. Import feature also allows engineers to quickly restore the security system’s integrity, if its hub fails for some reason. Even if the system has hundreds of devices, dozens of scenarios, and several ReX range extenders, data import will take less than 15 minutes. The process is almost fully automated. Just connect the new hub to the internet, switch off the old one, start the data import, and follow instructions in the app. Temporary device deactivation Wrong installation, bad mounting choice, low signal level, broken tamper, or any other malfunction can easily result in a false alarm. With the release of OS Malevich 2.9, engineers can deactivate malfunctioning detectors remotely. No need to delete them from the list of devices. No need to rush to location. Two types of temporary device deactivation are available in the Ajax app, one is complete device deactivation and the other, deactivation of the notifications about the lid state. When the device is entirely deactivated, it doesn’t execute system commands and can’t take part in automation scenarios. Hub ignores all alarms and notifications of the deactivated devices. If notifications about the lid state of the device are disabled, the hub ignores only its tamper alerts. Alarm monitoring companies and users can still receive other alarms and notifications of this device. Temporary device deactivation function became one of the most popular requests from European PRO-users. Now, the functionality is available for all Ajax users. Pulse mode for Socket and WallSwitch Socket and WallSwitch (with firmware version 126.96.36.199 or higher) as well as Relay (with any firmware version) can now toggle switch devices, powered from the mains for a defined period, from 0.5 to 255 seconds. When the timer expires, devices switch back to their initial state: on or off. Previously, Pulse mode was available only in the Relay settings. It allowed electrical contacts to touch for up to 15 seconds and let the current flow. At the same time, Socket and WallSwitch could work only in bi-stable mode, closing and opening an electric circuit following the user’s command or executing a specific scenario. An additional command was required to change their state again. With OS Malevich 2.9 update, users have more options for automating lighting, electromechanical locks, and electric valves that control the water supply. Unlike Relay, WallSwitch and Socket can control electrical appliances without intermediary relays, rechargeable batteries, or an inverter. Adjustable alarm types for Button and Transmitter Information in alarm notifications defines how an alarm monitoring company and users will respond to the situation With OS Malevich 2.9 release, the settings of button and transmitter were expanded with an option to choose a type of alarm that the device communicates with an alarm monitoring company and other users: Intrusion Fire Medical help Alarm button Gas Information in alarm notifications defines how an alarm monitoring company and users will respond to the situation Information in alarm notifications Information in alarm notifications defines how an alarm monitoring company and users will respond to the situation. That’s why it has to correspond to the nature of the threat accurately. For instance, a wired gas detector connected to Ajax via a transmitter should notify about a gas alert. And button provided to an older person should notify about a medical emergency. By choosing an appropriate alarm type, engineers and user-admins change both the text of an alarm notification and a code of the event sent to the CMS. Transmission of smartphone coordinates to alarm monitoring companies using the in-app panic button Button, SpaceControl and panic button A panic button is a tool that is hardly ever used. But in case of an emergency, it can save lives. Button, SpaceControl, or the panic button in the Ajax app notifies CMS operators if someone is in danger and are located on protected premises. An alarm monitoring company will respond immediately, once the button is pressed. With OS Malevich 2.9 release, the in-app panic button transmits an alarm notification along with the smartphone coordinates to an alarm monitoring company. All system users also get the coordinates and can copy them to get directions using GPS apps. Now, users can call for help using the Ajax app from wherever they are. The second layer of protection from accidental pressing in SpaceControl SpaceControl key fob With OS Malevich 2.9 release, SpaceControl gets additional protection from accidental pressing SpaceControl key fob has to be within reach, in a pocket, bag, or keychain, the places where its buttons can be easily pressed by accident. So, they have equipped SpaceControl with firm buttons and developed a filter that ignores any pressing shorter than 0.15 seconds. With OS Malevich 2.9 release, SpaceControl (firmware 188.8.131.52 or higher) gets additional protection from accidental pressing, which has already proved its efficiency in button. Now, double-click and long-press activation options are available in the device settings in the Ajax app. They recommend turning on this feature to avoid situations when premises are accidentally armed, or the panic button is unintentionally pressed. Other features added include: The option to configure Socket LED brightness - Now, it can be turned off or dimmed. Users can check for the new features in the device settings in the Ajax app or check the Socket manual if in need of help. Notifications about hubs being switched off/on or factory reset - Now, alarm monitoring companies and users will be informed of why a hub went offline. The option to switch off the visual indication of a detector triggering - The LED indicator of a detector can now be deactivated in the device settings. The feature is available for DoorProtect, DoorProtect Plus, MotionProtect, MotionProtect Plus, CombiProtect, MotionProtect Outdoor, MotionCam, and GlassProtect with firmware update 184.108.40.206 and higher, as well as MotionProtect Curtain with firmware update 220.127.116.11 or higher. New devices support - Hub 2 Plus, StreetSiren DoubleDeck, MultiTransmitter.
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