Our most popular articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the U.S. security market, from deep learning to protection of mobile workers, from building automation to robotics. Again in 2017, the most read articles tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click.

 

Let’s look back at the Top 10 most-clicked articles we posted in 2017. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. 

1. Las Vegas Massacre Demands Reevaluation of Hospitality Sector Security

The Oct. 1, 2017, sniper attack from a 32nd-floor room at Mandalay Bay, overlooking 22,000 people attending a country music festival, has been compared to “shooting fish in a barrel.” When the bullets rained down, there was nowhere to hide. The attack came from outside the “perimeter” of the event, so any additional screening of attendees would not have prevented it. There are also implications of the Las Vegas massacre for the hospitality industry. Hotels and resorts such as Mandalay Bay have not generally embraced technologies like the explosives scanners or X-ray machines used at airport terminals, at least not in the United States.

2. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Ashani]

Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms

Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products
The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning

3. Home Security Systems: Why You Need to Upgrade From 3G to 4G Technology [Missy Dalby]

The current communication method for most home security systems is via CDMA and 3G (GSM) technologies. With the emergence of faster, better, and stronger 4G LTE technology, carriers are migrating away from old technology standards and methods towards new, more efficient ones. As such, the older technology is going dark, and soon. Manufacturers of cellular modules have stopped making them. At the end of 2018 they will stop letting customers add systems utilizing 3G radios to their channels.

4. Diving into AI and Deep Learning at NVIDIA’s San Jose Conference [Larry Anderson]

Video analytics applications fall under NVIDIA's “AI City” initiative, which they describe as a combination of "safe cities" (video surveillance, law enforcement, forensics) and "smart cities" (traffic management, retail analytics, resource optimization). Depending on the application, AI City technology must function in the cloud, on premises and/or at the edge. NVIDIA’s new Metropolis initiative offers AI at every system level, from the Jetson TX2 "embedded supercomputer" available at the edge, to on-premises servers (using NVIDIA’s Tesla and Quadro) to cloud systems (using NVIDIA’s DGX).

5. Physical Security Evolves to Protect Mobile Workers [Annie Asrari]

With an increasing number of employees traveling and working remotely, the days of a dedicated worker who commutes to and from a single location every day of the week are just about over. Security professionals must take a second look at their policies and procedures for employee safety. To protect employees in this new mobile world, where people, assets and brand reputation threats may face higher than normal levels of safety and security risks, businesses must focus less on securing physical, four-wall perimeters and instead take a global approach to security that focuses on protecting traveling, remote and lone workers.

Security professionals must take a second look at their policies and procedures for employee safety
Businesses must take a global approach to security that focuses on protecting traveling, remote and lone workers

6. New Security Technologies Driving Excitement on Busy ISC West Day One [Larry Anderson]

ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off April 5 with an expanding focus on new technologies and new applications, including some that go beyond any narrow definition of security. “Technology is disrupting the market and executives are taking our solutions beyond security,” says Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify. “They are starting with security and quickly moving to other risk and business continuity issues in the organizations. They want a clear return on investment (ROI), which we can deliver if we move from covering a limited island of ‘security’ issues and give them the value of also managing risk, safety, and operations.”

7. Optimizing Building Automation for Good Return on Investment [Minu Youngkin]

Smart buildings are on the rise around the world, not only because a growing number of companies are considering their environmental impact, but also because of the dramatic cost savings that can be realized through integration. In every building that has an integrated security and access control system, an opportunity awaits to also integrate the building’s energy use, water use, ventilation and more. The key is to effectively convey the tremendous potential of this new technology to the end user.

8. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Secuirty Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson]

A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well.

Domestic violence, child abuse, behavioral health, drug and alcohol abuse will all continue to challenge hospital staff
Violence will continue to challenge the healthcare sector in the future

9. The Future of Healthcare Security: Violence Response and Emergency Preparedness [Ben Scaglione and David LaRose]

Violence will continue to challenge the healthcare sector in the future. Domestic violence, child abuse, behavioral health, drug and alcohol abuse will all continue to challenge hospital staff in the Emergency Department, Women’s Health, and behavioral health areas. The Hazard Vulnerability Assessments (HVA) along with facility wide risk assessments helps in defining risk severity and identifying historical patterns of violence.

10. Robot Revolution: Uncovering the Real Value of Security Robots [Steve Reinharz]

The security coverage that a robot offers in the case of a shopping mall can be easily overshadowed by the fact that the machines seem to serve to entertain the population. Instead, security robots can best be utilized for more high-level roles, such as in critical infrastructure sites, corporate campuses and educational facilities, where wide, expansive spaces require continuous protection. In these locales, security can be difficult to achieve, as cost, location and lack of resources make the logistics of deployment difficult.

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In case you missed it

New Markets For AI-Powered Smart Cameras In 2021
New Markets For AI-Powered Smart Cameras In 2021

Organizations faced a number of unforeseen challenges in nearly every business sector throughout 2020 – and continuing into 2021. Until now, businesses have been on the defensive, reacting to the shifting workforce and economic conditions, however, COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans. This is now giving decision-makers the chance to take a proactive approach to mitigate current and post-pandemic risks. These long-term technology solutions can be used for today’s new world of social distancing and face mask policies and flexibly repurposed for tomorrow’s renewed focus on efficiency and business optimization. For many, this emphasis on optimization will likely be precipitated by not only the resulting economic impacts of the pandemic but also the growing sophistication and maturity of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), technologies that are coming of age just when they seem to be needed the most.COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans Combined with today’s cutting-edge computer vision capabilities, AI and ML have produced smart cameras that have enabled organizations to more easily implement and comply with new health and safety requirements. Smart cameras equipped with AI-enabled intelligent video analytic applications can also be used in a variety of use cases that take into account traditional security applications, as well as business or operational optimization, uses – all on a single camera. As the applications for video analytics become more and more mainstream - providing valuable insights to a variety of industries - 2021 will be a year to explore new areas of use for AI-powered cameras. Optimizing production workflows and product quality in agriculture Surveillance and monitoring technologies are offering value to industries such as agriculture by providing a cost-effective solution for monitoring of crops, business assets and optimizing production processes. As many in the agriculture sector seek to find new technologies to assist in reducing energy usage, as well as reduce the environmental strain of modern farming, they can find an unusual ally in smart surveillance. Some niche farming organizations are already implementing AI solutions to monitor crops for peak production freshness in order to reduce waste and increase product quality.  For users who face environmental threats, such as mold, parasites, or other insects, smart surveillance monitoring can assist in the early identification of these pests and notify proper personnel before damage has occurred. They can also monitor vast amounts of livestock in fields to ensure safety from predators or to identify if an animal is injured. Using video monitoring in the growing environment as well as along the supply chain can also prove valuable to large-scale agriculture production. Applications can track and manage inventory in real-time, improving knowledge of high-demand items and allowing for better supply chain planning, further reducing potential spoilage. Efficient monitoring in manufacturing and logistics New challenges have arisen in the transportation and logistics sector, with the industry experiencing global growth. While security and operational requirements are changing, smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye, but have a significant impact on the overall customer experience. Smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye. Video analytics can assist logistic service providers in successfully delivering the correct product to the right location and customer in its original condition, which normally requires the supply chain to be both secure and ultra-efficient. The latest camera technology and intelligent software algorithms can analyze footage directly on the camera – detecting a damaged package at the loading dock before it is loaded onto a truck for delivery. When shipments come in, smart cameras can also alert drivers of empty loading bays available for offloading or alert facility staff of potential blockages or hazards for incoming and outgoing vehicles that could delay delivery schedules planned down to the minute. For monitoring and detecting specific vehicles, computer vision in combination with video analysis enables security cameras to streamline access control measures with license plate recognition. Smart cameras equipped with this technology can identify incoming and outgoing trucks - ensuring that only authorized vehicles gain access to transfer points or warehouses. Enhance regulatory safety measures in industrial settings  Smart surveillance and AI-enabled applications can be used to ensure compliance with organizational or regulatory safety measures in industrial environments. Object detection apps can identify if employees are wearing proper safety gear, such as facial coverings, hard hats, or lifting belts. Similar to the prevention of break-ins and theft, cameras equipped with behavior detection can help to automatically recognize accidents at an early stage. For example, if a worker falls to the ground or is hit by a falling object, the system recognizes this as unusual behavior and reports it immediately. Going beyond employee safety is the ability to use this technology for vital preventative maintenance on machinery and structures. A camera can identify potential safety hazards, such as a loose cable causing sparks, potential wiring hazards, or even detect defects in raw materials. Other more subtle changes, such as gradual structural shifts/crack or increases in vibrations – ones that would take the human eye months or years to discover – are detectable by smart cameras trained to detect the first signs of mechanical deterioration that could potentially pose a physical safety risk to people or assets. Early recognition of fire and smoke is another use case where industrial decision-makers can find value. Conventional fire alarms are often difficult to properly mount in buildings or outdoor spaces and they require a lot of maintenance. Smart security cameras can be deployed in difficult or hard-to-reach areas. When equipped with fire detection applications, they can trigger notification far earlier than a conventional fire alarm – as well as reduce false alarms by distinguishing between smoke, fog, or other objects that trigger false alarms. By digitizing analog environments, whether a smoke detector or an analog pressure gauge, decision-makers will have access to a wealth of data for analysis that will enable them to optimize highly technical processes along different stages of manufacturing - as well as ensure employee safety and security of industrial assets and resources. Looking forward to the future of smart surveillance With the rise of automation in all three of these markets, from intelligent shelving systems in warehouses to autonomous-driving trucks, object detection for security threats, and the use of AI in monitoring agricultural crops and livestock, the overall demand for computer vision and video analytics will continue to grow. That is why now is the best time for decision-makers across a number of industries to examine their current infrastructure and determine if they are ready to make an investment in a sustainable, multi-use, and long-term security and business optimization solution.

How Technology Can Elevate Guest Services And Their Security
How Technology Can Elevate Guest Services And Their Security

The return to the workplace is a focal point for many in the built environment but one of the most important elements is easy to overlook. Guest services will be vital in the return to the workplace. Front-of-house teams will be responsible for welcoming building users back and reassuring them as they negotiate shared spaces in the post-Covid era. The workplace will inevitably look different after Covid. We have become more aware of our spaces, how clean they are, and what spaces building users share. Employees have also become more conscious of the pros and cons of the workplace. For some, a year of working from home has been a welcome break from the stress and time taken by a commute. Many organizations are considering moving to hybrid workplace approaches, downsizing their corporate real estate portfolio, and using shared spaces more consciously, be that for focussed quiet work or collaboration. We will also see heightened care in workplace cleaning and more data-led solutions. Front-of-house teams will be at the center of helping building users get used to these changes. The role of technology Front-of-house personnel will likely be responsible for ensuring buildings do not exceed safe occupancy levels and will be aided by visitor management systems.  Another change to look out for in the workplace will be the use of technology. Tech-led organizations have long reminded us that gut instinct and trusting our senses is not enough anymore, but Covid-19 has forced us to come to terms with this. Now that adopting technology has become crucial in cleaning, we will see a reticence to adopt it elsewhere fade too. A survey from McKinsey suggests that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technologies by several years. Why is this important for guest services? Much like other workplace changes, new technologies will alter how building users interact with their environment. Tech will also enable front-of-house teams to focus on the key ingredient of their role – human interaction. This will be vital in helping occupants feel comfortable, safe, and happy. Occupancy and visitor management systems These systems have been around in the workplace for many years, and pre-Covid were used to help us maximize our space and utilization. These systems are even more important as we are likely to see some return to the workplace before everyone has been vaccinated. We may see systems that contact only those occupants in an affected area of a building, rather than a whole workforce, to limit worry and ensure most people can remain confident in the hygiene of their workspace. For the rest of 2021 at least, precautions such as social distancing will need to be in place. Workplaces will continue to function at limited occupancy for some time to keep people safe. Front-of-house personnel will likely be responsible for ensuring buildings do not exceed safe occupancy levels and will be aided by visitor management systems. These may be used by individual organizations or by multi-tenanted buildings. Temperature checks and identity verification systems Organizations are mitigating risks where possible. Handheld digital thermometers have been in high demand. The use of such devices has reshaped the role of security officers over the past year. Officers have become familiar faces in shops and shared spaces, keeping people safe and acting as the first point of contact. The security sector has been placed under immense pressure, balancing the need to enforce precautions with responding to stressed building users in an empathetic way. Officers have demonstrated agility that security technology cannot replace. Post-pandemic, we will likely see a greater appreciation for what manned guarding can offer and a greater potential for officers in front of house roles. Front-of-House staff are becoming responsible for temperature verification. Some organizations may choose to increase the collaboration between their front-of-house and security teams. This could include implementing identity verification systems, as well as touchless systems. This will allow the focus of front-of-house teams to remain on the people and giving a warm welcome to users as they return to the office. Using monitoring to make guest services more available  Monitoring solutions may be the first things that come to mind when discussing security technology. We have seen an increasing trend toward integrating remote monitoring with manned guarding since before the pandemic. Such a move may be even more important now.Beyond keeping employees safe, guest services are going to play a central role in making the workplace an attractive option. For many organizations, the pandemic has forced a rapid switch in focus. Organizations have had to face the security challenges of caring for vacant premises and the additional complications of managing cybersecurity for remote work. Rebalancing the cost and focus of security may feel as though it has left some businesses without the capacity to utilize front-of-house officers. Yet when employees return to the workplace, front-of-house teams will be more important than ever. For those that did not do so during the pandemic, now is the time to be investing in effective monitoring solutions. The falling cost of technology means such a solution can be combined with manned guarding and front-of-house roles. Organizations may need to invest in fewer officers, but their roles can be more focused upon the occupant experience. Encouraging employees back Beyond keeping employees safe, guest services are going to play a central role in making the workplace an attractive option. Remote working has had both pros and cons but many of those downsides will be diminished with the end of the pandemic. Loneliness will no longer be such a challenge when seeing friends and neighbours is an option, and the return of children and partners to school and work will relieve distractions. It may be tempting, then, for many employees to continue working from home. As a result, many opportunities for collaborative work will be lost. For employers looking to encourage their workforce to return, creating an amazing workplace experience is key. Technology alone can’t offer this. Rather, too much tech could create an environment that feels clinical and impersonal. Use technology to streamline the boring or stressful elements of the workplace and invest in friendly faces who will welcome your workforce back.

What are the Security Challenges of Protecting the Cannabis Industry?
What are the Security Challenges of Protecting the Cannabis Industry?

The advent of a truly new market for the physical security industry is a rare occurrence. Particularly rare is a new market that is both fast-growing and provides an environment that is not just conducive to application of physical security technologies but that actually demands it. Such is the case with the market for legalized marijuana. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting the cannabis industry?