Intruder detectors - Expert commentary

We Need To Talk About Intelligent Enclosure Protection
We Need To Talk About Intelligent Enclosure Protection

Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data center world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.

Remote Monitoring Technology: Tackling South Africa’s Cable Theft Problem
Remote Monitoring Technology: Tackling South Africa’s Cable Theft Problem

For decades, cable theft has caused disruption to infrastructure across South Africa, and an issue that permeates the whole supply chain. Here, Ian Loudon, international sales and marketing manager at remote monitoring specialist Omniflex, explains how new cable-alarm technology is making life difficult for criminals and giving hope to businesses. In November 2020, Nasdaq reported that, “When South Africa shut large parts of its economy and transport network during its COVID-19 lockdown, organized, sometimes armed, gangs moved into its crumbling stations to steal the valuable copper from the lines. Now, more than two months after that lockdown ended, the commuter rail system, relied on by millions of commuters, is barely operational.” Private security firm Despite this most recent incident, cable theft is not a new phenomenon to sweep South Africa Despite this most recent incident, cable theft is not a new phenomenon to sweep South Africa. In 2001, SABC TV broadcast a story following two members of a private security firm working for Telkom, a major telecoms provider. In the segment, the two guards, working in Amanzimtoti on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, head out to investigate a nearby alarm that has been triggered. They reach a telecoms cabinet and discover that it has been compromised, with the copper cable cut and telephone handsets strewn across the ground. In the dark, they continue to search the area when one of the guards discovers the problem: 500 metres of copper wire has been ripped out. In their haste, the thieves have dropped their loot and fled. Widespread cable theft Had they managed to get away, they would have melted the cable to remove the plastic insulation and sold the copper to a local scrap dealer for around 900 Rand, about $50 US dollars. For the company whose infrastructure has been compromised, it may cost ten times that amount to replace and repair the critical infrastructure. The disappointing takeaway from this story is that two decades on from this incident the country still faces widespread cable theft, whether it’s copper cables from mines, pipelines, railways, telecoms or electrical utilities. In fact, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that cable theft costs the economy between R5–7 billion a year. The answer to the problem must go further than the existing measures used by companies. Detect power failure Most businesses already invest in CCTV, fences, barriers and even patrol guards, but this is not enough. Take the mining sector, for example. These sites can be vast, spanning dozens of kilometres - it’s simply not cost effective to install enough fences or employ enough guards or camera operators. As monitoring technology gets better, the company has seen site managers increasingly use cable alarms in recent years that detect when a power failure occurs. The idea is that, if one can detect a power failure, they can detect whether the cable has been cut The idea is that, if one can detect a power failure, they can detect whether the cable has been cut. The problem is though: how does one distinguish the difference between a situation where a cable has been cut intentionally and a genuine power outage? Power outages in South Africa are an ongoing problem, with the country contending with an energy deficit since late 2005, leading to around 6,000 MW of power cuts in 2019. Remote terminal units Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the company that generates around 95 per cent of South Africa’s power has already warned of further blackouts as the company works to carry out repairs to its power plants. According to a statement on the company’s website, “Eskom spends in the region of R2 billion a year replacing stolen copper cables." The result is that criminals take advantage of the gaps in power to steal cable, timing their robberies to coincide with the published load shedding schedules. The basic alarms used to detect power outage won’t recognize the theft because they register a false-positive during a power cut. By the time the power comes back on, the deed has been done and the criminals have gotten away with the cable. The good news is that recent breakthroughs in cable monitoring technology are helping tackle just this problem. New alarms on the market now combine sophisticated GSM-based monitoring systems that use battery powered remote terminal units. Legitimate supply chain Unlike the basic alarms that look for the presence or absence of power, these new systems monitor whether the cable circuit is in an open or closed state. In the event of a power outage, the unit continues to run on battery power and can detect if a cable has been cut, sending a priority SMS alert to the site manager immediately, giving them a fighting chance to prevent a robbery in progress. Beyond the opportunistic theft carried out by petty criminals, the theft of copper cables forms a wider problem Beyond the opportunistic theft carried out by petty criminals, the theft of copper cables forms a wider problem across the supply chain in South Africa. In recent years, the combination of unscrupulous scrap dealers, the alleged involvement of large scrap processing companies and lax penalties meant that much of the stolen copper ended up back in the legitimate supply chain. However, recent changes in the law have sought to take a tougher stance on copper theft. Alarm monitoring technology According to the Western Cape Government, “The Criminal Matters Amendment Act, regulates bail and imposes minimum offences for essential infrastructure-related offences." The act, which came into effect in 2018, recommends sentencing for cable theft, with the minimum sentence for first-time offenders being three years and for those who are involved in instigating or causing damage to infrastructure, the maximum sentence is thirty years. It seems to be working too. In January 2021, the South African reported that a Johannesburg man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for cable theft in Turffontein. While the longer-term outlook is a positive one for industry, the best advice for businesses seeking to alleviate the problem of cable theft in the immediate future is to invest in the latest cable-theft alarm monitoring technology to tackle the problem and make life difficult for criminals.

Trends And Challenges We Will See In The AI-driven Security Space In 2021
Trends And Challenges We Will See In The AI-driven Security Space In 2021

For decades, the nature of global safety has been evolving. From physical security threats like large-scale terrorist attacks and lone actor stabbings to chemical threats such as the Salisbury poisonings and even microbiological threats such as COVID-19, new challenges are constantly arising and the threat landscape we operate in today is constantly changing. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks. With the economic downturn, there is the traditional rise in theft, violence and other crimes. Compound this with unmanned businesses and work-at-home staff, and there is a perfect storm for a rise in security threats. Artificial intelligence (AI) and specifically the branch of AI known as machine learning (ML), was already causing widespread disruption in many industries, including the security industry. AI has been a driving force to replace labor-based business models with integrated data and actionable intelligence that is context-aware. It has become apparent that AI will play a big part in the ongoing fight against both pandemics such as COVID-19, as well as other threats that we may face in the future. With all of this in mind, 2021 is poised to be a big year for AI growth. While AI is going to continue to impact our lives in dozens of ways, from smart sensors to face mask compliance detection, the following reflects a few top trends and challenges that I have my eye on for 2021 as we close out this year. The rise of smart city investments One such example is the increasing development of smart cities and how AI can be leveraged to build safe communities. To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks Typical development of a city includes standard infrastructure - roads, schools, power, water, transportation. Now, internet, data and AI capabilities are part of the standard infrastructure requirements for all new developments. AI promises to deliver increased efficiencies with the infrastructure that will accommodate growing populations while reducing our impact on the environment, resources, and communities. Global cities now account for more than half of the world’s population, and the United Nations projects the number to balloon to 68% by mid-century. Owing to both demographic shifts and overall population growth, that means that around 2.5 billion people could be added to urban areas by the middle of the century, predicts the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). With an increase in population has come an increase in global spending on smart city initiatives to drive down the impact of growing urban concentration. Global spending on smart city initiatives is expected to total nearly $124 billion this year, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide, while Singapore, Tokyo, London and New York as the big spenders - expected to spend more than $1 billion in 2020. Using AI-driven technology to create safer public and private spaces Today, security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect the population in a more efficient, and accurate manner. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new AI technology can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. One such deployment is the use of video object recognition/computer vision software that can be integrated into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify risks and flag threats, such weapons, aggressive behaviours, theft, and safety compliance. This helps to minimize the impact of a breach by an early alert to onsite security in real-time to the location and nature of the potential threat, allowing them to intervene before a loss occurs. These same AI-enabled video solutions can similarly be used to provide advanced business operations in retail, logistics, and manufacturing organizations. Multi-sensor security solutions Also, targeted magnetic and radar sensor technologies, concealed in everyday objects like planter boxes or inside walls, can now scan individuals and bags entering a building for concealed threat objects. Using AI/machine learning, these two sensor solutions combined can identify metal content on the body and bag and match the item to a catalog of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs. Security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments Without this advanced multi-sensor solution, it becomes nearly impossible to discover a weapon on a person's body before it appears in an assailant’s hands. This multi-sensor solution allows for touchless, unobtrusive access to a building, but allows for immediate notification to onsite security when a concealed threat is detected. The hidden technology thus empowers security staff to intercept threats before they evolve into a wider scale attack, while also maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of the public, unless, of course, they are carrying a concealed weapon or pose a physical threat. With the advent of sophisticated surveillance and technological innovation, a level of caution must be exerted. Despite the ongoing global debate, there remains little regulation about the use of AI technologies in today’s physical security space. One thing is certain; it must be deployed in the right place, at the right time, with the right privacy and civil liberty protection objectives. People don’t want to be protected by omnipresent, obstructive and overbearing security systems that infringe on their privacy and civil liberties. They want a proper balance between security and their current way of life, one that must be fused together. Technology and tracing COVID-19 Machine learning-based technologies are playing a substantial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the key purpose of surveillance systems has been to detect and deter threats, including the detection of visible and hidden weapons and abnormal behavior. While this, of course, remains a primary focus, today we are seeing how surveillance systems defend against new invisible threats, as well as rapidly automate the process of contact-tracing to capture and contain a virus before it spreads. Again, the ability to track and trace through parsing algorithms that can manage through enormous amounts of data provides a highly scalable and rapid response mechanism to control the spread of threats. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact Although the threat may not be visible, it is just as destructive. By incorporating AI into existing technologies, government, healthcare and security professionals can monitor public spaces and environments through the combined use of digital and thermal video surveillance cameras and video management systems); just one of the solutions being explored. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By Using AI-powered video analytic software, businesses can monitor face masks, social distancing and large gathering compliance and also detect elevated body temperature. Critically, technology must be capable of both identifying and tracking the virus but also be unobtrusive. An unobtrusive system that is adaptable enough to be deployed across a range of environments where the public gathers in enclosed spaces is necessary to be effective. Security in 2021 Technology has proven itself to be a valuable ally in times of crisis. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI/machine learning technologies will help optimize security solutions in areas that are brimming with potential. As we look ahead to the future of security in a world that is impacted by such a wide range of threats, from physical to chemical to microbiological, it’s clear that new technologies, specifically AI can dramatically improve the effectiveness of security systems and help us to better defend against a wide spectrum of threats. Technology has a huge role to play in making our communities safe in 2021 and beyond, but for security systems to be effective, they must not be oppressive or obstructive. This will ensure they have the full support of the public - the key to success.

Latest RISCO Group news

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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