Download PDF version Contact company

There are few things that unite people better than tragedy, whether that takes the form of mourning a common loss or navigating the unknown. As industries across the globe continue to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic and a new way of life that accompanies it, we have seen a level of togetherness previously unmatched. Messages of #strongertogether and #youarenotalone are shared widely across social media. And despite the unknown nature of COVID-19 and its far-reaching impact giving reason after reason to call it quits, the world has pushed on – and the security industry is no exception.

This global pandemic is uncharted territory for each and every one of us. As a result, companies are shifting to remote work and reduced schedules, and are collaborating with partners they once deemed competitors. These newfound partnerships will be paramount in remaining successful both now and when the dust settles. As the industry continues to navigate this turbulent time, there are a few key ways to continue moving forward in a world that is seemingly at a standstill.

Share Ideas

There are few alive today who have experienced a pandemic of this scale. For that reason alone, it is necessary for companies to realize they are not alone. No person, or group of people, truly know the best way to maintain business continuity when cash flow has decreased seemingly overnight. This is why it is more important than ever to think outside the box and innovate through collaboration. It is only through thoughtful conversation, trial and error, and varied perspectives that companies will be able to make deliberate decisions that will ensure current and future success for the company.

Our communication has certainly increased as we strive to move forward

At RS2, we have a number of companies we work with on an ongoing basis, but our communication has certainly increased as we strive to move forward amidst the current landscape. Open Options and Vanderbilt are both ACRE companies that we regularly meet with to share ideas of what we’re doing to better serve our people.

While end users are important to consider, it is also necessary to examine how companies are taking care of their employees during this time. Hearing from companies who are sharing what has worked for them and what hasn’t in navigating a remote workforce can be extremely beneficial in making decisions that will have lasting benefits. At RS2, that meant transferring two-thirds of our team to remote work. We can only keep business moving if our employees are safe.

Through collaboration we can complete the solutions needed for a safer, more dynamic, and ever-ready world.

Embrace Remote Options

A majority of the world is currently working from home, so businesses must respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. This immediate shift to embrace more virtual opportunities to communicate is a heavy indicator that the business to client relationship is changing, and that companies must fill the gaps to maintain connectivity and openness.

Many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations

Another important demographic to consider when offering remote options is integrators and system designers. At the end of the day, they are making recommendations to end users, so it is important to keep them up to date on latest offerings and best practices associated with your businesses’ particular product. 

In-person experiences were often the gold standard for training dealers and integrators about the platforms they offer, but with travel restrictions in place, these same solutions providers have had to virtualize these experiences. Online platforms and programs are emerging to make these classes available remotely, webinars are replacing one-on-one training opportunities, and partners are teaming up to share the benefits and inner workings of integrations. Now is a better time than ever to ensure resources are available to technology partners. Though in-person installations are few, it is possible to continue offering educational courses that will benefit all players in the market in the future.

Stay Flexible

It is important for all businesses to recognize how truly unprecedented this situation is

Above all else, it is important for all businesses to recognize how truly unprecedented this situation is and to lead with compassion. Project requests may be down as a result of stay-at-home orders, but this is only temporary. Business ethics are being tested, and those who lead with employee safety in mind will reap the long-term benefits.

Consider offering a flexible work schedule as opposed to stringent 8-to-5 office hours. Employees are expected to do their jobs well, but they are also facing new challenges: kids out of school, sharing a workspace with spouses, and coordinating meals for little ones throughout the day. Companies cannot control the variables in an individual employee’s life, so it is necessary more than ever to maintain open lines of communication and be understanding. Though a difficult time, the coronavirus will bring out the true nature of companies. How businesses lead now will determine how successful they are tomorrow. More than ever, it’s important to have employees who you can rely on to get the job done, but who can also rely on you to make human decisions. 

At the end of the day, businesses all have the same goal: to help support our partners, customers and friends during this unprecedented time. By listening, offering remote options and taking care of employees, businesses will be better prepared to navigate the uncertainty of this pandemic. In a climate where things change on a daily basis, all we can truly focus on is what we can control: keeping our heads up, keeping employees safe, and striving for a better tomorrow.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

David Barnard Vice President of Sales and Marketing, RS2 Technologies, LLC

In case you missed it

Why Visualization Platforms Are Vital For An Effective Security Operation Center (SOC)
Why Visualization Platforms Are Vital For An Effective Security Operation Center (SOC)

Display solutions play a key role in SOCs in providing the screens needed for individuals and teams to visualize and share the multiple data sources needed in an SOC today. Security Operation Center (SOC) Every SOC has multiple sources and inputs, both physical and virtual, all of which provide numerous data points to operators, in order to provide the highest levels of physical and cyber security, including surveillance camera feeds, access control and alarm systems for physical security, as well as dashboards and web apps for cyber security applications. Today’s advancements in technology and computing power not only have increasingly made security systems much more scalable, by adding hundreds, if not thousands, of more data points to an SOC, but the rate at which the data comes in has significantly increased as well. Accurate monitoring and surveillance This has made monitoring and surveillance much more accurate and effective, but also more challenging for operators, as they can’t realistically monitor the hundreds, even thousands of cameras, dashboards, calls, etc. in a reactive manner. Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making In order for operators in SOC’s to be able to mitigate incidents in a less reactive way and take meaningful action, streamlined actionable data is needed. This is what will ensure operators in SOC truly have situational awareness. Situational awareness is a key foundation of effective decision making. In its simplest form, ‘It is knowing what is going on’. Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making and in accidents attributed to human error. Achieving ‘true’ situational awareness Situational awareness isn’t just what has already happened, but what is likely to happen next and to achieve ‘true’ situational awareness, a combination of actionable data and the ability to deliver that information or data to the right people, at the right time. This is where visualization platforms (known as visual networking platforms) that provide both the situational real estate, as well as support for computer vision and AI, can help SOCs achieve true situational awareness Role of computer vision and AI technologies Proactive situational awareness is when the data coming into the SOC is analyzed in real time and then, brought forward to operators who are decision makers and key stakeholders in near real time for actionable visualization. Computer vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence that trains computers to interpret and understand digital images and videos. It is a way to automate tasks that the human visual system can also carry out, the automatic extraction, analysis and understanding of useful information from a single image or a sequence of images. There are numerous potential value adds that computer vision can provide to operation centers of different kinds. Here are some examples: Face Recognition: Face detection algorithms can be applied to filter and identify an individual. Biometric Systems: AI can be applied to biometric descriptions such as fingerprint, iris, and face matching. Surveillance: Computer vision supports IoT cameras used to monitor activities and movements of just about any kind that might be related to security and safety, whether that's on the job safety or physical security. Smart Cities: AI and computer vision can be used to improve mobility through quantitative, objective and automated management of resource use (car parks, roads, public squares, etc.) based on the analysis of CCTV data. Event Recognition: Improve the visualization and the decision-making process of human operators or existing video surveillance solutions, by integrating real-time video data analysis algorithms to understand the content of the filmed scene and to extract the relevant information from it. Monitoring: Responding to specific tasks in terms of continuous monitoring and surveillance in many different application frameworks: improved management of logistics in storage warehouses, counting of people during event gatherings, monitoring of subway stations, coastal areas, etc. Computer Vision applications When considering a Computer Vision application, it’s important to ensure that the rest of the infrastructure in the Operation Center, for example the solution that drives the displays and video walls, will connect and work well with the computer vision application. The best way to do this of course is to use a software-driven approach to displaying information and data, rather than a traditional AV hardware approach, which may present incompatibilities. Software-defined and open technology solutions Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need, including computer vision. In the modern world, with everything going digital, all security services and applications have become networked, and as such, they belong to IT. AV applications and services have increasingly become an integral part of an organization’s IT infrastructure. Software-defined approach to AV IT teams responsible for data protection are more in favor of a software-defined approach to AV that allow virtualised, open technologies as opposed to traditional hardware-based solutions. Software’s flexibility allows for more efficient refreshment cycles, expansions and upgrades. The rise of AV-over-IP technologies have enabled IT teams in SOC’s to effectively integrate AV solutions into their existing stack, greatly reducing overhead costs, when it comes to technology investments, staff training, maintenance, and even physical infrastructure. AV-over-IP software platforms Moreover, with AV-over-IP, software-defined AV platforms, IT teams can more easily integrate AI and Computer Vision applications within the SOC, and have better control of the data coming in, while achieving true situational awareness. Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people, at the right time, in order to address security incidents and challenges. Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people Often, the people who need to know about security risks or breaches are not physically present in the operation centers, so having the data and information locked up within the four walls of the SOC does not provide true situational awareness. hyper-scalable visual platforms Instead there is a need to be able to deliver the video stream, the dashboard of the data and information to any screen anywhere, at any time — including desktops, tablets phones — for the right people to see, whether that is an executive in a different office or working from home, or security guards walking the halls or streets. New technologies are continuing to extend the reach and the benefits of security operation centers. However, interoperability plays a key role in bringing together AI, machine learning and computer vision technologies, in order to ensure data is turned into actionable data, which is delivered to the right people to provide ‘true’ situational awareness. Software-defined, AV-over-IP platforms are the perfect medium to facilitate this for any organizations with physical and cyber security needs.

What New Technologies And Trends Will Shape Video Analytics?
What New Technologies And Trends Will Shape Video Analytics?

The topic of video analytics has been talked and written about for decades, and yet is still one of the cutting-edge themes in the physical security industry. Some say yesterday’s analytics systems tended to overpromise and underdeliver, and there are still some skeptics. However, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reinvigorating the sector and enabling it to finally live up to its promise. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new technologies and trends will shape video analytics in 2021?

Tackling The Challenge Of The Growing Cybersecurity Gap
Tackling The Challenge Of The Growing Cybersecurity Gap

The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and center on people’s minds again. Hacking communication protocol The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol.  This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many. An explosion of network devices What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices. IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers. Bridging the cybersecurity gap In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike. IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads. End-user awareness One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing. It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely. Physical security network A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices. Proactive maintenance By intelligently utilizing system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralized location for asset and alert management. Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.