SourceSecurity.com’s Expert Panel covered a lot of ground in 2017 about a variety of topics resonating in the security market.

 

The most-read Roundtable discussion in 2017 was about a familiar and ongoing debate: What is an open system? Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of Roundtable discussions included smartphones, buzzwords, standards and product life cycles.

Here is a listing of our Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2017, along with a “sound bite” from each discussion, and links back to the full articles.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Expert Panel Roundtable in 2017 (including the quotable panelists named below).

1. What is an open system? Is there a consensus in the marketplace on the definition of “open?”

"Being truly ‘open’ means going above and beyond when designing your product line, keeping in mind the ability for end-users to easily interface your product with other open-platform solutions. That's why offering an open-platform design must be coupled with the ability to provide exceptional support through training, follow-up and innovation as they are brought to market.” [Mitchell Kane]

2. How are smartphones impacting the physical security market?

"The security protocols on phones (such as fingerprint readers and encryption) have become some of the strongest available to consumers and are regularly used to access essential services such as banking. With this level of trust and user convenience from mobile device security, it makes sense to produce physical security systems that also take advantage of it." [John Davies]

Smartphone mobile device security
TDSi's John Davies says it makes sense to produce physical security systems that take advantage of trust and user convenience on mobile devices

3. What is the biggest missed opportunity of security systems integration?

"Integrators need to be more savvy on how they can meet their customers’ IT and surveillance goals, from both a technology and services perspective. Being knowledgeable about new innovations can help integrators sell infrastructure, keeping that piece of business rather than losing server sales to a customer’s internal IT department. Integrators are tasked with ensuring surveillance customers can benefit from best practices, and solutions proven in the world of IT offer significant benefit." [Brandon Reich]

4. What are the security industry’s newest buzzwords?

"End-to-End Security is a buzzword reflecting how cyber threats are increasing and the importance of ‘the security of security systems,’ especially for companies operating in the critical national infrastructure. Convergence has been a ‘hot topic’ for years, but has it really happened? In order to create true end-to-end security solutions, IT and physical security best practices need to be combined." [Arjan Bouter]

Cyber threats are increasing
End-to-End Security is a buzzword reflecting how cyber threats are increasing, says Arjan Bouter

5. What technology will have the greatest impact in the second half of 2017?

"Cloud-hosted access control is poised to have the biggest impact in the second half of 2017. Organisations are looking to decentralise IT management and eliminate the need for overhead costs in hardware infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs. This decentralisation is driving them to migrate their day-to-day systems to the cloud, and access control is no exception." [Melissa Stenger]

6. Are mergers and acquisitions good or bad for the security industry?

“On the ‘pro’ side, consolidation is good for pulling together a fractured market, as vendors try to gain market share by acquiring solutions they may not otherwise have in their portfolio. On the ‘con’ side, however, consolidation restricts or limits innovation as the merged vendors strive to develop end-to-end solutions that reduce customer choices" [Reinier Tuinzing]

7. What new standards are needed in the security marketplace?

"Do we need that many new standards, or do we need the industry to embrace the standards that are already in place? I believe that current standards like ONVIF and OSDP are sufficient in what they offer the industry. Members of the security industry just need to start thinking outside the box and realise that it is with standards in place that real industry growth can occur." [Per Björkdahl]

8. What will be the big news at ISC West 2017?

"Security solutions that capture greater data and utilise analytics to transform the data into useful information, or business intelligence, will be the talk of the industry at ISC West this year. It’s not just about surveillance or access control anymore, but about who can best assess the end user’s interests and deliver an end-to-end solution that provides a value beyond the technology and a service beyond security.” [Richard Brent]

Paying for cameras
When buying cameras, customers are often lured by lower upfront costs, but may end up paying more in the medium- to long-term because of lower quality, says Oncam's Jumbi Edulbehram

9. Why should a customer continue to buy “premium” surveillance cameras?

"When buying cameras, customers are often lured by lower upfront costs, but may end up paying more in the medium- to long-term because of lower quality (requiring costly site visits and replacements), susceptibility to cyber-attacks, or lower quality of integrations with video management systems. Customers should certainly be prudent buyers and make sure that they’re paying for actual reliability/features/functionality rather than simply paying a premium for a brand-name product. When functionality and reliability are important, it always makes sense to ‘buy nice, not twice.’ [Jumbi Edulbehram]

10. What is an acceptable life cycle for a physical security system?

"The answer to this question clearly depends on the seat you sit in. Manufacturers, integrators, distributors, consultants and engineers all have extremely different perspectives on this question. As a manufacturer, we design systems to have a lifecycle between 5 and 7 years." [Robert Lydic]

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Preventing Workplace Violence: Considering The Instigator's Perspective
Preventing Workplace Violence: Considering The Instigator's Perspective

A complex set of biological, psychological, sociological, contextual and environmental factors are involved when a perpetrator decides to commit an act of workplace violence. In many cases, the perpetrator doesn’t really want to become violent; rather, they are seeking to achieve an outcome and mistakenly believe violence is their only option. An underused approach to preventing workplace violence is to consider the issue from the perspective of the instigator, to seek to understand their grievances, and to suggest alternative solutions, says James Cawood, President of Factor One Inc. “It’s helpful to consider their perspective at a point of time, and how do I use that information in a way that explores the issues and influences them to seek other means of achieving their goals without violence?” suggests Cawood. Preventing Workplace Violence An underused approach to preventing workplace violence is to consider the issue from the perspective of the instigator Factor One specialises in violence risk management, threat assessment, behavioural analysis, security consulting and investigations. Cawood will present his insights into preventing workplace violence in a session titled “Workplace Violence Interventions: The Instigator’s Perception Matters” during GSX 2018 in Las Vegas, September 23-27. Intervening and seeking to understand the instigator’s viewpoint can direct them away from violence. Often, diffusing a situation can prevent tragedy. Delaying a violent act is a means of prevention, given that the instigator might not reach the same level of stress again. Cawood says several recent examples of workplace violence illustrate the importance of identifying behavioural precursors and intervening. It is difficult to quantify the benefits of such an approach, since no one is keeping statistics on incident that were successfully diverted, he says. Reaching A Mutually Agreeable Solution “Accommodation and appeasement often won’t serve the problem,” says Cawood. “Instead of projecting our needs on what would be effective for us, we must really understand what matters to them and what we are able to do to solve the problem. “It’s about listening and reflecting back to reach a mutual agreement of their perspective of what matters,” he says. “Now we can talk about what’s possible or not. Is there something concrete I can do that is within the rules? Just being heard in depth is a de-escalator of violence.” It’s the same methodology used by hostage negotiators: Listen, reflect back, and come to a mutually agreeable solution. Giving a troubled employee a severance package – money – might not address their underlying complaints For example, giving a troubled employee a severance package – money – might not address their underlying complaints. “We may not have solved the underlying problem as they perceive it,” says Cawood. “They may feel disrespected or picked on. There may be an underlying mental condition, such as paranoia, or a grandiose sense of self-worth, underlying filters that have nothing to do with money.” GSX Networking And Education GSX is the new branding for ASIS International’s trade show, attended by more than 22,000 worldwide security professionals  Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual conference and trade show, attended by more than 22,000 security professionals from 100-plus countries. Cawood’s session will be September 24 from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. “My purpose is to hone in on an area of workplace violence that is often ignored,” says Cawood. Cawood started out in law enforcement in the 1970s and transitioned to security in the 1980s. His credentials are typical of the high level of speakers presenting at GSX 2018: He holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology, and a Doctorate in Psychology, is a Certified Threat Manager (CTM), and has successfully assessed and managed more than 5,000 violence-related cases. He is the former Association President of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) and currently the Vice-Chair of the Certified Threat Manager program for ATAP. Cawood has written extensively on the topic of violence risk assessment, and co-authored a book, Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner's Handbook. Cawood has been active in ASIS International since the 1980s and sees value in attending GSX 2018. “People from all over the world are coming and being exposed to a common set of topics to use as jump-off points for additional conversations. People from all types of experiences and exposures will be providing information through those lenses.” Knowledge gained from GSX provides a “real chance to drink from a fire hose” and get a deeper understanding of a range of topics. The relationships and networking are another benefit: “Nothing is more powerful than knowing someone face-to-face,” he adds.

What’s New “on The Edge” Of Security And Video Surveillance Systems?
What’s New “on The Edge” Of Security And Video Surveillance Systems?

By definition, an edge device is an entry point to a network. In the physical security industry, edge devices are the cameras, sensors, access controllers, readers and other equipment that provide information to the IP networks that drive today’s systems. In the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing refers to an increasing role of edge devices to process data where it is created instead of sending it across a network to a data center or the cloud. In our market, edge computing takes the form of smarter video cameras and other devices that store and/or process data locally. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What’s new “on the edge” of security and video surveillance systems? 

How To Choose The Right Storage Card For Video Surveillance Systems
How To Choose The Right Storage Card For Video Surveillance Systems

With increased demands being placed on safety and security globally, and supported by advancements in IP cameras and 360-degree camera technology, the video surveillance industry is growing steadily. Market research indicates that this worldwide industry is expected to reach an estimated $39.3 billion in revenue by 2023, driven by a CAGR of 9.3 percent from 2018 to 2023. Video surveillance is not just about capturing footage (to review an event or incident when it occurs), but also about data analysis delivering actionable insights that can improve operational efficiencies, better understand customer buying behaviors, or simply just provide added value and intelligence. Growth of Ultra-HD Surveillance To ensure that the quality of the data is good enough to extract the details required to drive these insights, surveillance cameras are technologically evolving as well, not only with expanded capabilities surrounding optical zoom and motion range,4K Ultra HD-compliant networked cameras are expected to grow from 0.4 percent shipped in 2017, to 28 percent in 2021 but also relating to improvements in signal-to-noise (S2N) ratios, light sensitivities (and the minimum illumination needed to produce usable images), wide dynamic ranges (WDR) for varying foreground and background illumination requirements, and of course, higher quality resolutions. As such, 4K Ultra HD-compliant networked cameras are expected to grow from 0.4 percent shipped in 2017, to 28 percent in 2021, representing an astonishing 170 percent growth per year, and will require three to six times the storage space of 1080p video dependent on the compression technology used. Surveillance cameras are typically connected to a networked video recorder (NVR) that acts as a gateway or local server, collecting data from the cameras and running video management software (VMS), as well as analytics. Capturing this data is dependent on the communications path between individual cameras and the NVR. If this connection is lost, whether intentional, unintentional, or a simple malfunction, surveillance video will no longer be captured and the system will cease operations. Therefore, it has become common to use microSD cards in surveillance cameras as a failsafe mechanism. Despite lost connectivity to the NVR, the camera can still record and capture raw footage locally until the network is restored, which in itself, could take a long time depending on maintenance staff or equipment availability, weather conditions, or other unplanned issues. Since microSD cards play a critical role as a failsafe mechanism to ensure service availability, it is important to choose the right card for capturing video footage.  It has become common to use microSD cards in surveillance cameras as a failsafe mechanism if an NVR breaks Key Characteristics Of microSDs There are many different microSD cards to choose from for video capture at the network’s edge, and they range from industrial grade capabilities to commercial or retail grade, and everything in-between. To help make some of these uncertainties a little more certain, here are the key microSD card characteristics for video camera capture. Designed For Surveillance As the market enjoys steady growth, storage vendors want to participate and have done so with a number of repurposed, repackaged, remarketed microSD cards targeted for video surveillance but with not much robustness, performance or capabilities specific to the application. Adding the absence of mean-time between failure (MTBF) specifications to the equation, microSD card reliability is typically a perceived measurement -- measured in hours of operation and relatively vague and hidden under metrics associated with the camera’s resolution and compression ratio. Therefore, when selecting a microSD card for surveillance cams at the edge, the choice should include a vendor that is trusted, has experience and a proven storage portfolio in video surveillance, and in microSD card technologies. Endurance, as it relates to microSD cards, represents the number of rewrites possible before the card can no longer store data correctly  High Endurance Endurance, as it relates to microSD cards, represents the number of rewrites (program/erase cycles) that are possible before the card can no longer store data correctly. The rewrite operation is cyclical whereby a new stream of footage replaces older content by writing over it until the card is full, and the cycle repeats. The higher the endurance, the longer the card will perform before it needs to be replaced. Endurance is also referred to in terabytes written (TBW) or by the number of hours that the card can record continuously (while overwriting data) before a failure will occur. Health Monitoring Health monitoring is a desired capability that not many microSD cards currently support and enables the host system to check when the endurance levels of a card are low and needs to be replaced. Having a card that supports this capability enables system integrators and operators with the ability to perform preemptive maintenance that will help to reduce system failures, as well as associated maintenance costs. Performance To capture continuous streams of raw footage, microSD cards within surveillance cams perform write operations about seventy to ninety percent of the time, whereas reading captured footage is performed about ten to thirty percent. The difference in read/write performance is dependent on whether the card is used in an artificial intelligent (AI) capable camera, or a standard one.   microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras should support temperature ranges from -25 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius Finding a card that is write-friendly, and can provide enough bandwidth to properly capture streamed data, and is cost-effective, requires one that falls between fast industrial card capabilities and slower commercial ones. Bandwidth in the range of 50 MB/sec for writes and 80 MB/sec for reads are typical and sufficient for microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras. Temperature Ranges Lower capacity support of 32GB can provide room to attract the smaller or entry-level video surveillance deployments As microSD cards must be designed for continuous operation in extreme weather conditions and a variety of climates, whether located indoors or out, support for various temperature ranges are another consideration. Given the wide spectrum of temperatures required by the camera makers, microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras should support temperature ranges from -25 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius, or in extreme cases, as low as -40 degrees Celsius. Capacity Selecting the right-sized capacity is also very important as there needs to be a minimum level to ensure that there is enough room to hold footage for a number of days or weeks before it is overwritten or the connectivity to the NVR is restored. Though 64GB is considered the capacity sweet spot for microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras today, lower capacity support of 32GB can provide room to attract the smaller or entry-level video surveillance deployments. In the future, even higher capacities will be important for specific use cases and will potentially become standard capacities as the market evolves. When choosing the right storage microSD card to implement into your video surveillance system, make sure the card is designed specifically for the application – does it include the right levels of endurance and performance to capture continuous streams – can it withstand environmental challenges and wide temperature extremes – will it enable preventative and preemptive maintenance to provide years of service? It is critical for the surveillance system to be able to collect video footage whether the camera is connected to an NVR or is a standalone camera as collecting footage at the base of the surveillance system is the most crucial point of failure. As such, failsafe mechanisms are required to keep the camera recording until the network is restored.