Intruder alarm communicators - Expert commentary

The Digital Transformation Of Modern Access Control Solutions
The Digital Transformation Of Modern Access Control Solutions

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.

Cybersecurity: What We Can Do As An Industry
Cybersecurity: What We Can Do As An Industry

In 2017, IoT-based cyberattacks increased by 600%. As the industry moves towards the mass adoption of interconnected physical security devices, end users have found a plethora of advantages, broadening the scope of traditional video surveillance solutions beyond simple safety measures. Thanks in part to these recent advancements, our physical solutions are at a higher risk than ever before. With today’s ever evolving digital landscape and the increasing complexity of physical and cyber-attacks, it’s imperative to take specific precautions to combat these threats. Video surveillance systems Cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind When you think of a video surveillance system, cybersecurity is not usually the first concern to come to mind, since digital threats are usually thought of as separate from physical security. Unfortunately, these two are becoming increasingly intertwined as intruders continue to use inventive methods in order to access an organization's assets. Hacks and data breaches are among the top cyber concerns, but many overlook the fact that weak cybersecurity practices can lead to physical danger as well. Organizations that deploy video surveillance devices paired with advanced analytics programs often leave themselves vulnerable to a breach without even realizing it. While they may be intelligent, IoT devices are soft targets that cybercriminals and hackers can easily exploit, crippling a physical security system from the inside out. Physical security manufacturers Whether looking to simply gain access to internal data, or paralyze a system prior to a physical attack, allowing hackers easy access to surveillance systems can only end poorly. In order to stay competitive, manufacturers within the security industry are trading in their traditional analog technology and moving towards interconnected devices. Due to this, security can no longer be solely focused on the physical elements and end users have taken note. The first step towards more secured solutions starts with physical security manufacturers choosing to make cybersecurity a priority for all products, from endpoint to edge and beyond. Gone are the days of end users underestimating the importance of reliability within their solutions. Manufacturers that choose to invest time and research into the development of cyber-hardening will be ahead of the curve and an asset to all. Wireless communication systems Integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future Aside from simply making the commitment to improve cyber hygiene, there are solid steps that manufacturers can take. One simple action is incorporating tools and features into devices that allow end users to more easily configure their cyber protection settings. Similarly, working with a third party to perform penetration testing on products can help to ensure the backend security of IoT devices. This gives customers peace of mind and manufacturers a competitive edge. While deficient cybersecurity standards can reflect poorly on manufacturers by installing vulnerable devices on a network, integrators also become complicit in any issues that may arise in the future. Just last year, ADT was forced to settle a $16 million class action lawsuit when the company installed an unencrypted wireless communication system that rendered an organization open to hacks. Cybersecurity services In addition, we’ve all heard of the bans, taxes and tariffs the U.S. government has recently put on certain manufacturers, depending on their country of origin and cybersecurity practices. Lawsuits aside, employing proper cybersecurity standards can give integrators a competitive advantage. With the proliferation of hacks, malware, and ransomware, integrators that can ease their client's cyber-woes are already a step ahead. By choosing to work with cybersecurity-focused manufacturers who provide clients with vulnerability testing and educate end users on best practices, integrators can not only thrive but find new sources of RMR. Education, collaboration and participation are three pillars when tackling cybersecurity from all angles. For dealers and integrators who have yet to add cybersecurity services to their business portfolios, scouting out a strategic IT partner could be the answer. Unlocking countless opportunities Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organization is the first step Physical security integrators who feel uncomfortable diving headfirst into the digital realm may find that strategically aligning themselves with an IT or cyber firm will unlock countless opportunities. By opening the door to a partnership with an IT-focused firm, integrators receive the benefit of cybersecurity insight on future projects and a new source of RMR through continued consulting with current customers. In exchange, the IT firm gains a new source of clients in an industry otherwise untapped. This is a win for all those involved. While manufacturers, dealers and integrators play a large part in the cybersecurity of physical systems, end users also play a crucial role. Becoming educated on the topic of cybersecurity and its importance for an organization is the first step. Commonplace cybersecurity standards Below is a list of commonplace cybersecurity standards that all organizations should work to implement for the protection of their own video surveillance solutions: Always keep camera firmware up to date for the latest cyber protections. Change default passwords, especially those of admins, to keep the system locked to outside users. Create different user groups with separate rights to ensure all users have only the permissions they need. Set an encryption key for surveillance recordings to safeguard footage against intruders and prevent hackers from accessing a system through a backdoor. Enable notifications, whether for error codes or storage failures, to keep up to date with all systems happenings. Create/configure an OpenVPN connection for secured remote access. Check the web server log on a regular basis to see who is accessing the system. Ensure that web crawling is forbidden to prevent images or data found on your device from being made searchable. Avoid exposing devices to the internet unless strictly necessary to reduce the risk of attacks.

Security And Safety Drive Smart Building Strategies For The Future
Security And Safety Drive Smart Building Strategies For The Future

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.

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RISCO’s SmartHome Video-enabled Security Solution At IFSEC 2015
RISCO’s SmartHome Video-enabled Security Solution At IFSEC 2015

RISCO will also present its new ProSYS Plus grade 3 hybrid security system for commercial sector at the event RISCO Group, the global integrated security solutions provider, will be presenting a host of exciting new products at IFSEC 2015, stand G1100. SmartHome An extension of RISCO Group’s award-winning Agility 3 and LightSYS 2 intruder alarms, using the advanced iRISCO smartphone app, new ‘SmartHome’ offers homeowners total control of their security, safety and home appliances. RISCO’s powerful video-enabled security solutions combined with their new connected home devices now enables householders to increase their energy efficiency, save money and enjoy control of their home devices and security - using just a single interface. ProSYS Plus - NEW G3 Panel With 512 Zones With the new ProSYS™ Plus grade 3 hybrid security system designed for the commercial sector, RISCO is setting the bar in the security industry. The powerful state-of-the-art solution offers a unique array of benefits, featuring a revolutionary single hardware platform with a unique licensing mechanism - allowing virtually unlimited scalability for any size of installation up to 512 zones. Encompassing the complete spectrum of advanced RISCO technology, the ProSYS™ Plus professional security solution provides: Advanced scalable control panel suitable for any commercial installation, up to 512 zones ‘Super Hybrid’ architecture offering wired, 2-way wireless and RISCO Bus for optimized installation Revolutionary cost-effective licensing model reducing project TCO Cloud-based smartphone app and web interface, enabling remote monitoring anytime, anywhere Full range of professional commercial and industrial detectors, utilizing RISCO’s advanced detection technologies Integrated IP cameras for live HD video verification and remote ‘look in’ via the cloud Fully supported by RISCO’s open architecture command & control PSIM software Beyond™ - NEW Wired And Wireless External Detector A winning combination of dual technology and integrated camera, Beyond™ provides crystal clear visual verification via the monitoring station, iRISCO smartphone app, or web interface A winning combination of dual technology and integrated camera, Beyond™ provides crystal clear visual verification via the monitoring station, iRISCO smartphone app, or web interface. Offering both flexibility and ease of installation, the IP65 rated wireless device features a chargeable auxiliary solar battery for extended battery life. Enhancing Beyond’s performance, false alarms in outdoor environments are drastically reduced via RISCOs’ unique Sway Recognition™ and Digital Correlation™ detection technologies. With Beyond™ you get: Cutting edge wireless DT outdoor detector with an integral high-resolution color camera Crystal clear images for visual alarm verification, day and night Unique solar powered solution enabling close to unlimited battery life Visual Alarm verification via the iRISCO mobile app Minimal false alarm rate due to high detection performance technologies and visual verification capability BWare™ – NEW Wireless Model Added To The State-Of-The-Art Commercial Detector Range In addition to its advanced technology and reliability, BWare™, RISCO Group’s state-of-the-art wired and wireless detector series for professional installations, scores high points for its smart and modern design. Utilizing RISCO’s industry-leading detection technologies, such as Anti-Cloak™ and K-band microwave for improved catch performance, and a unique wireless DT detector with active IR anti mask, the BWare™ series offers a comprehensive array of wired, wireless and Bus detectors. Saving installation time and cost, the BWare™ BUS models can be remotely diagnosed and serviced using the RISCO Bus. The BWare™ series is ideal for a wide range of commercial and high security applications; with Grade 2 and Grade 3 versions. The BWare™ smart detector family provides the flexibility to utilize professional detectors within any installation - wired, wireless or hybrid, while maintaining a uniform look across the site. Now supplied with the CSL DualCom WorldSIM® as standard, visitors to the RISCO stand can view the full range of award-winning panels, and HandyApp, on the ‘Innovation Trail’. In addition, visitors to the show can see Steve Riley presenting VUpoint, as part of the Benchmark Innovation Awards, at 11:30am on Tuesday 16th June in the Benchmark arena.

IFSEC International 2015 - Highlights of Innovation Trail
IFSEC International 2015 - Highlights of Innovation Trail

The Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the security industry Innovation is the key theme at this year’s IFSEC International, taking place from 16-18 June at ExCeL London. The annual security gathering will host the Benchmark Innovation Awards along with the launch of the new Innovation Arena. In addition to this, the Innovation Trail returns for its second year. Innovation Trail - Latest Products and Services Organizers of IFSEC International have polled their exhibitors to discover all the latest trends and innovations that will be on display, the Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the security industry that have launched this year. Highlights of the IFSEC International Innovation Trail include the NICE Suspect Search, a patent-pending video analytics tool that quickly locates and retraces the movements of a suspect, lost child, or other person of interest within a video surveillance network. Video footage from different cameras and time frames can be reviewed in just minutes, as the system automatically filters out 95 percent of irrelevant images. In addition to achieving faster response times, organizations are able to restore normal operations quicker following a security breach. RISCO To Exhibit Its HandyApp The RISCO HandyApp is the first smartphone application dedicated to supporting the sales and installation activities of professional security installers. The app allows installers working with RISCO products to increase their efficiency and sales potential by providing access to everything they need for a smooth installation. Through the app, installers can gain access to manuals, use power consumption calculators and even share user guides or sales materials with customers or colleagues. Installers can also extend product warranties and seamlessly open a service request by phone or email through the dedicated support area. Arecont Vision At The Event "We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year" IFSEC International will also be displaying the latest in camera systems including Arecont Vision next generation panoramic cameras, the 5MP SurroundVideo® with Arecont Vision®’s proprietary STELLAR™ Low Light Technology, and the 12MP SurroundVideo® with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Both panoramic cameras also feature motorized lenses for easy set-up, and over a 50% increase in frame rate versus current SurroundVideo® cameras. Engtex AB will showcase its highly advanced textile Avertic Armour, developed from the No. 1 chainsaw protective textile, Avertic Pro+. This warp-knitted textile uses the world´s strongest fiber designed to withstand break-in attempts when heavy duty tools are used. Smanos To Launch K1 Finally, Smanos launch K1, the ultimate home automation and security center combining butler and guard functions into a stack of aesthetically pleasing round discs. The discs come with aluminum frames and texturized plastic surfaces, suitable for everyday use. This smart home technology uses intuitive operation, gesture-based password protection and self-learning capability to ensure the connected home is both affordable and easy to use. IFSEC, Event Director Comments Gerry Dunphy, event director- IFSEC International states: “Following our move in 2014 to London’s ExCeL we conducted a significant amount of research and one of the key themes that kept coming up is everyone wanted to see genuine innovation on the show floor. We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year. With so many new products within the Innovation Trail, IFSEC International really will provide a one-stop shop for our installer community to get their hands on the latest technology.” All these new products, plus many more, will make up this year’s Innovation Trail at IFSEC International 2015, helping visitors to easily access the new technologies that have come to market. Visitors will also be able to speak to leading suppliers that are shaking up the industry with new services, experts will be on hand to answer any questions and demo all the latest products on their stands. 

RISCO Groups’s Integrated Security Systems Control And Monitor Comverse’s Branches Worldwide
RISCO Groups’s Integrated Security Systems Control And Monitor Comverse’s Branches Worldwide

RISCO Group’s SynopSYS platform provides real time pictures of all branches from one interface Comverse is a leading multinational provider of telecommunications software and systems, with numerous branches worldwide. Comverse required an integrated management platform to control and monitor all of their branches from the company headquarters. The Challenge Comverse’s many branches around the world vary in size and operating hours. Many contain sensitive areas such as labs, warehouses, and IT rooms. Comverse’s largest site is the company headquarters, spanning 55,000 square meters. The headquarters houses two data centers, which are considered to be the most sensitive areas in all of Comverse worldwide. Comverse required a solution that would enable them to secure and monitor all of the branches from the global security control center located in their headquarters. The solution would have to support the simple integration of a variety of security systems. Another requirement was that the solution be based on TCP/IP communication. The most important consideration for Comverse was the reliability of the solution. The Solution Comverse chose RISCO Group’s ProSYS Integrated Security System as the solution that met all requirements. In 2006, ProSYS was initially installed in seven branches, each panel communicating via IP. ProSYS’ IP module enables simultaneous multiple channel TCP/IP communication, and works via secure communication with a full SSL stack using AES256 bit encryption. Following the successful installation of ProSYS in the first seven branches, Comverse’s Director for Corporate Security & EHS, Guy Dafna, called ProSYS a ‘global standard,’ and has since extended the system to all branches worldwide. In 2009, Comverse chose RISCO Group’s SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management platform with Integrated Video to control and monitor Comverse’s scattered branches. The installation is led by Comverse Corporate Security, who are gradually rolling out the platform to all branches. The Platform provides an overall picture of all the branches in real time, from one intuitive user interface located in the company headquarters and displays all building and rooms. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management displays all buildings and rooms in the sites on synoptic maps. Highlights ProSYS Integrated Security System is installed in Comverse’s branches worldwide, communicating via IP. ProSYS was selected for its simplicity and flexibility. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management Platform enables control and management of all the company’s branches from the headquarters via a single and intuitive user interface. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management Platform is extremely flexible, its open platform allowing for easy integration not only with ProSYS, but also with video monitoring, intrusion, and fire systems, as well as HVAC, lighting, and elevator control. The Customer’s Point of View Comverse was pleased with the open platform that makes it easy to build unique projects, and is scalable according to the company’s future needs. They particularly valued the system’s flexibility, ease of use, and wide range of features. Comverse’s Corporate Security Director Guy Dafna noted, “Based on my experience working with many security systems, I can surely say that it looks like we’re on the good and safe track with RISCO’s solutions.”

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