Banking & Finance security applications
Retail banks and financial services companies have a long history of dealing with the risk and potential threat of criminal activity. Arecont Vision understands the unique needs of the retail banking and financial services market and provides customer-proven megapixel camera technology to specifically meet those needs for our customers around the world. Bank Crime Statistics In a typical year in the United States, according to the FBI cash losses total around $7.5 million, only about 22% of...
PVcomBank, one of Vietnam’s fastest growing and most progressive banks, has acquired a cutting-edge March Networks video surveillance system. Established in 2013 through a merger of PetroVietnam Finance Corporation and WesternBank, the Hanoi-based financial institution is a joint stock commercial bank with 115 branches throughout the country. Shareholders include Petro Vietnam with a 52 percent stake and Morgan Stanley with a 6.7 percent strategic interest. Prior to s...
Customer: The Absa Group Limited is one of South Africa’s largest financial services groups, offering a complete range of banking and wealth management products and services. Absa Bank's business is primarily in South Africa, and the group has equity holdings in banks in Mozambique and Tanzania. Absa is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank, a major global financial services provider with an extensive international presence in Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia. Challenge: Absa Bank&rsq...
Founded in 1877, Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) is the second-largest state-owned bank in Costa Rica. Today, BCR provides a broad range of financial services, including retail banking.Looking to protect its staff, buildings and financial assets, BCR has set upon a major project that will see its 4,500 employees, in 278 offices across Costa Rica, protected by an integrated hybrid CCTV and alarm system. The fundamental characteristic of the project is its implementation over unshielded twisted-pai...
Security for banks can be a real challenge when faced with a multitude of threats including: fraud, theft and physical attacks. One bank which is setting new standards in the Middle East, when it comes to the application of surveillance technology to keep its infrastructure, staff and customers safe and secure, is National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). This is thanks to the roll out of an advanced NetVu Connected CCTV solution from Dedicated Micros part of AD Group which is focused on the centralized mo...
Headquartered in Tokyo, Nomura is a top tier international bank providing investment and merchant banking services to corporate and institutional customers. With offices in all major financial centres across the globe, the mission of Nomura is to deliver superior services and solutions to meet all investment needs of their clients. To ensure they execute their mission in a safe and secure environment, Nomura has invested in a Honeywell access control solution that is expandable for the future....
From satellite imagery to street views to indoor mapping, technology has disrupted our past world. This has left us dependent upon new ways to visualise large spaces. This new world has brought many benefits and risks. But what does that mean for the security professional or facility manager today and what technologies can be used to secure buildings and improve facility operations? A Brief History Of 3D Technology Starting May 5, 2007 (inception 2001), Google rolled out Google Street View to augment Google Maps and Google Earth; documenting some of the most remote places on earth using a mix of sensors (Lidar/GSP/Radar/Imagery). The mission to map the world moved indoors May 2011 with Google Business Photos mapping indoor spaces with low cost 360° cameras under the Trusted Photographer program. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialization, expensive hardware and unavailable computing power With the growth of 3D laser scanning from 2007 onwards, the professional world embraced scanning as effective method to create digitised building information modeling (BIM), growing fast since 2007. BIM from scanning brought tremendous control, time and cost savings through the design and construction process, where As-Built documentation offered an incredible way to manage large existing facilities while reducing costly site visits. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialization, expensive hardware, unavailable computing power and knowledge of architectural software. Innovation during the past 8 year, have driven ease of use and lower pricing to encourage market adoption. Major investments in UAVs in 2014 and the commercial emergence of 360° photography began a new wave of adoption. While 3D scanners still range from $20K – $100K USD, UAVs can be purchased for under $1K USD and 360° cameras for as low as $100. UAVs and 360° cameras also offer a way to document large spaces in a fraction of the time of terrestrial laser scanners with very little technical knowledge. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors The result over the past 10+ years of technology advancement has been a faster, lower cost, more accessible way to create virtual spaces. However, the technology advances carry a major risk of misuse by bad actors at the same time. What was once reserved to military personal is now available publicly. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors. Al Qaeda terror threats using Google Maps, 2007 UK troops hit by terrorists in Basra, 2008 Mumbai India attacks, 2016 Pakistan Pathankot airbase attacks, ISIS attacks in Syria using UAVs, well-planned US school shootings and high casualty attacks show evidence that bad actors frequently leverage these mapping technologies to plan their attacks. The weaponization of UAVs is of particular concern to the Department of Homeland Security: "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts." Example comparison of reality capture on the left of BIM on the right. A $250 USD 360° camera was used for the capture in VisualPlan.net software What Does This Mean For The Security Or Facility Manager Today? An often overlooked, but critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing. Most facilities managers today work with outdated 2D plan diagrams or old blueprints which are difficult to update and share.Critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing Renovations, design changes and office layout changes leave facility managers with the wrong information, and even worse is that the wrong information is shared with outside consultants who plan major projects around outdated or wrong plans. This leads to costly mistakes and increased timelines on facility projects. Example Benefits Of BIM There could be evidence of a suspect water value leak which using BIM could be located and then identified in the model without physical inspection; listing a part number, model, size and manufacture. Identification of vulnerabilities can dramatically help during a building emergency. First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans and they must have immediate access to important building information in the event of a critical incident. Exits and entrances, suppression equipment, access control, ventilation systems, gas and explosives, hazmat, water systems, survival equipment and many other details must be at their fingertips. In an emergency situation this can be a matter of life or death. Example Benefit Of Reality Capture First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans A simple 360° walk-through can help first responders with incident preparedness if shared by the facility manager. Police, fire and EMS can visually walk the building, locating all critical features they will need knowledge of in an emergency without ever visiting the building. You don’t require construction accuracy for this type of visual sharing. This is a solution and service we offer as a company today. Reality capture is rapidly becoming the benchmark for facility documentation and the basis from which a security plan can be built. Given the appropriate software, plans can be easily updated and shared. They can be used for design and implementation of equipment, training of personnel and virtual audits of systems or security assessments by outside professionals. Our brains process visual information thousands of times faster than text. Not only that, we are much more likely to remember it once we do see it. Reality capture can help reduce the need for physical inspections, walk-throughs and vendor site-visits but more importantly, it provides a way to visually communicate far more effectively and accurately than before. But be careful with this information. You must prevent critical information falling into the hands of bad actors. You must watch out for bad actors attempting to use reality capture as a threat, especially photo/video/drones or digital information and plans that are posted publicly. Have a security protocol to prevent and confront individuals taking photos or video on property or flying suspect drones near your facility and report to the authorities. Require authorization before capturing building information and understand what the information will be used for and by who.There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today Nefarious Use Of UAVs There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today, such as radio frequency blockers and jammers, drone guns to down UAVs, detection or monitoring systems. Other biometrics technologies like facial recognition are being employed to counter the risk from UAVs by targeting the potential operators. UAVs are being used to spy and monitor for corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property. They are also used for monitoring security patrols for the purpose of burglary. UAVs have been used for transport and delivery of dangerous goods, delivering weapons and contraband and have the ability to be weaponised to carry a payload.Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualization of facilities is well worth the time The Federal Aviation Administration has prevented UAV flights over large event stadiums, prisons and coast guard bases based on the risks they could potentially pose, but waivers do exist. Be aware that it is illegal today to use most of these technologies and downing a UAV, if you are not Department of Justice or Homeland Security, could carry hefty penalties. Facility managers must have a way to survey and monitor their buildings for threats and report suspicious UAV behaviours immediately to authorities. At the same time, it’s critical to identify various potential risks to your wider team to ensure awareness and reporting is handled effectively. Having a procedure on how identify and report is important. Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualization of facilities is well worth the time. It can help better secure your facilities while increasing efficiencies of building operations. Reality capture can also help collaboration with first responders and outside professionals without ever having to step a foot in the door. But secure your data and have a plan for bad actors who will try to use the same technologies for nefarious goals.
They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?
Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalize the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly Competitive Landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved Customer Engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance Traditional Security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased Market Growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide Status Updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetizing smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research program to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 program and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the program, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative Review Team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the program by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Center Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating For The Security Industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organized paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavor to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the program. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the center’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilizing the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes In The GSA Program Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical Access Control Products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labor SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates To Guidance For Procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA program for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorized by the manufacturer. GSA Pricing Tool Since the GSA utilizes a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming Challenges For The Security Community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) program that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorized under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 Leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward The GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernization is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable Tools For Vendor Training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod program have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialized repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditization). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a video surveillance system and why?
Banks must meet their customers' requirements for security in a special way on many levels. Whether it is with their savings, taking advantage of over-the-counter services at a branch office, withdrawing money from the teller machines, making deposits via the cash recycling system, online banking etc. - for a long-lasting, trusting cooperation with a bank, customers demand the highest possible level of security. In order to fulfill these demands, banks rely on sophisticated hardware and software solutions that can be easily and efficiently expanded with MOBOTIX high-resolution video surveillance technology at an optimal cost-benefit ratio. Commerzbank - competent services for private and business customers With around 820 branches, a consolidated balance sheet total of more than 600 billion Euro and almost 36,000 employees, Commerzbank is the second biggest financial institution of its kind in Germany and one of the largest in Europe and in the world. The bank's large number of branches ensures a closely meshed network and customer proximity. In the branches, the trend is towards "more service for the customer" and this of course includes being able to withdraw and deposit cash "around the clock." This, in combination with a sophisticated centralized security system, reduces the threat of criminal attacks. The technical implications of this approach are considerable. Every branch has its own quasi-standardized comprehensive security package installed, in which camera surveillance plays an important role. Once a day, the relevant, locally stored events are transferred via the bank's own data network infrastructure to the bank's security center in Frankfurt and analyzed there. This meets the requirements of the Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (VBG - German professional trade association) while keeping the usage of the data lines between the branch and the headquarters to a minimum during opening hours. The dome camera series is suitable for use inside buildings Flexible solutions for special tasks Security-related situations that cannot be solved using the standard package solutions are occurring with increasing frequency. This is where competent and creative service providers, such as ADS Networks GmbH come in, together with intelligent IP-based audio and video solutions from the technology leader MOBOTIX AG. Commerzbank required a pilot system installation in their branch in Erfurt. This branch is situated in a shopping arcade that was frequently used after closing time by numerous skateboarders to pursue their hobby. This deterred many bank customers from accessing the foyer of the building which houses the account statement printer and the ATM for cash withdrawals, thus also damaging the image of Commerzbank. The landlord's suggestion of barring the skaters from the arcade after closing time by installing rolling shutters was expensive and counter-productive since the bank customers would then have been equally unable to access the branch. The task was to present a solution that focused on the customer's needs. ADS Key Account Manager Semsettin Özünal suggested introducing MOBOTIX dome cameras to provide surveillance in the arcade. Thanks to its elegant design, the dome camera series is highly suitable for use inside buildings. The camera models are each equipped with two flexible, adjustable camera modules that can be individually positioned in all directions independently of each other. The cameras are additionally equipped with a microphone and speakers The individual models are available with a range of different lenses. Michael Wihan, branch security specialist at Commerzbank and an open-minded technician, was immediately convinced and impressed by the advantages of the easily and quickly installable solution. The high-resolution color images of the two cameras enable around-the-clock visual surveillance of the arcade by staff at the Commerzbank security center in Frankfurt. The additional data traffic on the dedicated line also proved to be no problem at all since MOBOTIX IP cameras have very low bandwidth requirements. The cameras are additionally equipped with a microphone and speakers that allow the security staff to directly address the skaters in real-time and order them to refrain from their activities. The impact was enormous. After a short period of transition, the arcade is now free of skaters and can be accessed by anyone without any concerns for security - even during evening hours. G8 summit in Heiligendamm A further security challenge for the banks was the G8 summit of the eight largest industrial countries that was held in Heiligendamm in mid-2007. The security experts at Commerzbank had to prepare themselves and take precautions against a potential threat to their branches in the Heiligendamm area by militant globalisation activists. Due to the exceptionally positive experience in Erfurt, Commerzbank again chose MOBOTIX IP camera technology. Within just a few days, the branches in Kröpelin, Roggentin and Warnemünde were visually and acoustically linked to the group's security center. MOBOTIX CCTV technology provided an ideal solution for Commerzbank After the G8 summit, the decision was made to keep the highly effective and affordable security solution in place. It had proven to be valuable both in terms of preventing threats to the branches and improving customer service. In the event of technical problems, a member of staff at the security center can directly communicate with the customer in the branch foyer via the microphone and speakers in the cameras. IP cameras in the "branches of the future" In its "branches of the future", Commerzbank wants to achieve its goal of "more service for the customer". Additional security measures were therefore needed in the self-service areas that house the ATMs. To ensure customer protection, a reliable surveillance system is required in areas where an emergency button is also installed. In order to identify criminals "creeping in" at night, MOBOTIX' high-resolution IP camera technology combined with an intruder detection alarm system offers a convenient method of providing additional, cost-effective security. The highly detailed camera images enable all required information to be extracted from the image provided by one single camera. This makes it unnecessary to install several conventional cameras cutting investment, installation and operational costs, reducing administration, simplifying data storage and alarm analysis, reducing network traffic and increasing the general reliability of the system. Additionally, customers more readily accept the MOBOTIX solution because it is visually more discreet. There is no doubt that the "branch of the future" needs the intelligent, high-resolution IP camera technology from MOBOTIX as an alternative to the increased use of security personnel or other conventional security measures. So it's a good thing that MOBOTIX communication and security technology is already available today for the branch concepts of tomorrow.
As the popularity of internet banking increases, the demand for conventional bank counter activity reduces and we see increased reliance on ATMs or other transaction devices. Making the appropriate infrastructure adaptations represents a big challenge for banks and for their security. The increasing number of unmanned areas mean that security, especially CCTV, is needed more than ever. In fact wherever cash is handled, CCTV is vital: at conventional teller counters and ATMs, at cash centres and at every step along the cash logistics chain, as well as at data centres and other data infrastructure sites.Meantime banks have also been migrating from analog video systems to IP ones, and adding HD or megapixel video. Generally in this situation their initial requirement is for hybrid solutions which can replace a mixture of different system types with one common system while incorporating their existing (predominantly analog) cameras. Geutebrucks’s re_porter_bank+ was conceived as the ideal platform to meet this need. Essentially it is an entry level ‘omnibrid’ business surveillance solution specifically designed and configured for the banking environment which can be used with analog and/or IP cameras.FlexibilityThe re_porter_bank+ is intended for dealing with the variety of situations, components and peripherals found in a large existing network of branches and locations. It comes with 4, 8, 12, or 16 analog inputs which can be expanded up to 19 Geutebruck channels with three IP sources and supports the use of many different brands of IP cameras. With 1Gbit onboard Ethernet the re_porter_bank+ offers TCP/IP-based digital matrix functionality and unlimited (LAN/WAN) integration potential. Each unit can take up to 4 hard disks for video database storage.The re_porter_bank+ has camera position analysis and motion detection features to trigger alarms if there is any tampering with the video system itself or if an intruder is detected in any sensitive areas of the site. It can of course be integrated with existing branch alarm, access control and ATM systems. So at night and out of hours it protects against break-ins and vandalism by detecting intruders, forwarding alarms to a remote control center, carrying out guard tours and documenting events. The re_porter_bank+ protects against break-ins and vandalism by detecting intruders, forwarding alarms, carrying out guard tours and documenting events ‘Omnibrid’ technologyGeutebruck’s ‘omnibrid’ technology allows the use of all current compression algorithms and standards – H.264, H264CCTV, MPEG4CCTV, M JPEG and ONVIF compliance – as well as audio recording, for analog and IP cameras. It supports H264CCTV, H.264 and MJPEG formats with freely configurable resolutions. In addition, it can transcode M-JPEG streams from IP cameras into MPEG4CCTV or MPEG4CCTV/MP (megapixel) CCTV-optimized formats. This has the advantage of enabling the user to use highly advantageous specialist CCTV processes like dual channel streaming (DCS) and dynamic live streaming (DLS) which deliver large network and storage savings.Geutebruck’s video sensors and intelligent video analysis software are well-known for their reliability, while its own specialist, CCTV-friendly, standard-compliant compression processes retain fluid motion, and consequently valuable detail, in situations where the vast majority of other H.264 implementations hesitate and shudder. A key advantage of this new omnibrid technology is that it enables video streams from third-party image sources to be processed using Geutebruck’s proven video analysis software. It therefore provides more scope for intelligent data management, enabling different compression formats to be used for different purposes, and gives system designers much more scope to achieve optimum customisations.An all-in-one banking solutionConceived as an all-in-one banking solution, the re_porter_bank+ more than meets the specifications of the BVG, the body which regulates video security systems in German banks and other cash-handling institutions. Its regulations cover details such as the location of cameras, picture resolutions, recording rates, the format of pre- and post-incident histories, evidential security and even the system maintenance regime – all with a view to deterring hold-ups, or failing that, to obtaining useful evidence of events.As a consequence of this German regulation Geutebruck has extensive experience of exchanging metadata with other systems (e.g. ATMs, access control, building management systems and others) and the capabilities of the re_porter_bank+ include some specialist functions which are now of increasing relevance and interest internationally. For example, the re_porter_bank+ was designed to fulfilll the legal requirement that all German financial institutions should document all cash withdrawals at ATM machines, whether these are on their own premises or in public areas. So where ATMs are located in foyers secured by access control systems, the re_porter can record card data when the customer presents his card to the card reader at the foyer door; video as he enters the foyer; video as he approaches the ATM; a portrait from the portrait camera as the customer’s cash card is read by the ATM; account data as the transaction is processed; video of the customer’s hand taking the cash from the ATM and then video of the scene as he leaves the foyer. In short it provides a comprehensive package of readily available, water-tight evidence on each ‘event’ which avoids the enormous costs which could otherwise be involved in investigating card fraud or vandalism.Securing banks is a company traditionGeutebruck is no newcomer to the banking sector. It owes its very existence to supplying banks with the latest security solutions. In the 1970s it was the development of an unconventional film camera which helped solve German bank robberies and brought early success to the company. Later the long-running Multiscope range of digital video platforms were used in their thousands in banks worldwide. Now Geutebruck’s GeViScope+ is the obvious choice for central banks and major institutions and the re_porter_bank+ the trusty workhorse for high street branch networks.
Refurbishment work was recently completed at the K&N Kenanga International building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a 22-storey commercial structure with a three-and-a-half-storey annexed podium block, located in Kuala Lumpur's central business district. New features of the refurbished main lobby include a physical access control system based on the contactless LEGIC technology, a food and beverage area and an information counter. Kaba Jaya Security was selected to provide electronic access control, visitor management systems and half-height sensor barriers. The system includes six lanes of Argus HSB E11 for tenants and visitors, one lane of Charon HSD E03 for disabled access, and Kaba Exos® 9300 for electronic access control and visitor management. The completed system provides the K&N Kenanga building with: Access rights management of staff and visitors Efficient reception and management of visitors No long queues during rush hour Integrated Malaysian IC reader Asset protection Increased employee safety Defined access restrictions within the security perimeter Reduced operational cost Fewer administrative expenses A flexible, integrated, efficient security solution All systems integrated One point of responsibility for all three system
This project has a main purpose and goal, which is to connect the main bank office with other bank offices and buildings to achieve secure bank data transfer between all offices. This is very necessary for the bank. In most countries, the systems used for data transfer between companies or banks are based on fiber optic networks such as PSTN and GSM. But in Iraq, the situation is different because Iraq does not have the infrastructure for this network and even if it existed, it would have likely been damaged because of the successive wars that Iraq has known. So, Fidaa Group Co. needed to find an alternative idea to manage the installed network of this bank in order to have a reliable network. Fidaa Group Co. had chosen WiMAX technology from Proxim Wireless for many reasons, which will be discussed later. This project is a premier project in the Middle East and the world using the WiMAX technology in banks network, and we hope it will help to open a new vision of WiMAX technology applications. Why WiMAX? Before Fidaa Group started to find a proper solution for the bank network, there were regular solutions like satellite VSAT connection, SCPC-SCPC, connection with public IP and dynamic SCPC-SCPC VSAT and even the shared satellite systems like DVB-S – RCS, but all of these systems shared four main problems: 1-The high costs – Satellite connections bandwidth used to reach about $3,000.00 for each 1 mbps, whereas it costs nearly $0 after initial up-front equipment costs with WiMAX. 2-The high latency – All satellite systems have minimum data packet latency about 550-750 milliseconds latency, even in ideal situations, which caused problems for real time systems and software. Many real-time applications are sensitive and require less 550 milliseconds of latency to operate synchronously. Many networking companies utilize a very complex technology to overcome these problems, but with WiMAX , this problem had already been solved because the maximum latency is about 10-25 milliseconds – which is considered very fast and suitable for real-time systems that require low latency . 3-The deployment and maintenance – Maintenance, weather affection and time to solve any network problems is very difficult especially when you have a third party network operator like PSTN, GSM, and Satellite Operators. You will not have the ability to solve the network problems compared to your private network if you don’t have a WiMAX network. 4-The security factor is very important especially in banking systems. So in the network of any establishment, it is preferred to use a private network without a third party. This will help to decrease the possibility of data sniffing or to be spied on by anyone. With WiMAX, you have this advantage because it’s your network and you can use the latest security encryptions technologies in the world and have full access of your security employees charged to monitor and control the network 24/7/365 continuously easily which is very difficult to be done in with other technologies. Challenges Fidaa Group thinks WiMAX may threaten the fiber optic network from a cost perspective The challenges of this project could be divided in two sections: the first section is related to the non secure circumstances in Iraq which make work very difficult added to the absence of electricity for more 16 hours per day. Sometimes the workers could not reach work locations for more than a week. The hard weather with a temperature up to 50 degrees Celsius in summer and the connection difficulties between the workers who are supposed to make the alignments because the GSM networks which used to stop for more than a day were also problematic. VHF handsets were also banded. When Fidaa Group looked for a project at a very low budget, the WiMAX network was thousands or millions of dollars cheaper and works extremely well with excellent reliability and low cost running, making us very thankful for this new technology. The company thinks the WiMAX with this large spectrum of frequency (2-80 GHz) and the low cost will be the leader in telecommunication technologies and it may threaten the fiber optic network from a cost perspective. So after these years, we can say that our WiMAX network is working very good, which will encourage us to make other networks for a lot of establishments and gives us more confidence in our abilities and WiMAX’s reliability. Conclusions and recommendations This project had added to Fidaa Group a new experience with the newest technology. The difficult situation in Iraq encouraged us to invent a new application for WiMAX technology in co-operation with Proxim Wireless, something which was not feasible before 2006. Departing from our experience, Fidaa Group recommends using the WiMAX technology in establishment’s networks especially in the countries which don’t have the network infrastructure or even enough budgets for other technologies or need a high secured network. Fidaa Group Company is ready to support any establishment worldwide to get full use of this technology with the lowest costs.
Security Systems Design Limited has successfully completed the installation of a Samsung CCTV system at the London offices of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Following a refurbishment of its offices on the third floor of Senator House in Queen Victoria Street, EC4, the Bank asked Richard Slee, a Director of Security Systems Design Limited, to design a CCTV system which could assist security personnel to provide a high level of protection for staff as well as the Bank's assets. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia employs 38,000 people worldwide. Staff at its London offices are responsible for developing strategic partnerships with European banks and they also assist migrants to relocate their finances to Australia. "Senator House is a multi-tenanted office building and although no cash is handled on the premises, the Bank nevertheless needs to maintain strict control over visitors, welcome or otherwise," said Richard Slee. "The objective therefore was to install a CCTV system to work alongside an existing access control system." Richard worked closely with the Bank's Facilities Manager to draw up the specification for the system which included a requirement that all cameras should have day/night capabilities, as well as built-in lighting so that high quality color images could be captured during the day and equally good monochrome images in night time conditions. "We considered cameras as well as digital recording equipment from a number of manufacturers. We came to the conclusion that we could source all that was required from Samsung who were able to demonstrate confidence in the reliability of their equipment by offering a full three year warranty," added Richard Slee. "The other important factor that helped us make the decision to use Samsung equipment was that its DVRs are supplied with license-free CMS (Centralized Management Software) which makes it very easy for the Facilities Manager to monitor the CCTV system from a PC on his desk." The Samsung SIR-60 day/night domes capture high quality color images in any environment with its built-in LEDs Security Systems Design Limited installed Day/Night dome cameras with built-in LEDs. The dome cameras can capture very high quality color images at 580TV lines resolution during the day. At night or in any environment where there may be zero light, the camera's built-in LEDs are activated and provide effective lighting up to a distance of seven metres. At the same time, the camera switches to monochrome mode generating superb monochrome images at 700TV lines resolution. The brightness of the LEDs is automatically adjusted to take into account how far away an object or person is from the camera. Images from the nine cameras are recorded simultaneously onto a Samsung DVR which uses a highly efficient MPEG-4 compression method to ensure that the three terabytes of on-board video storage capacity is more than enough to record all activity throughout the Bank's offices. The SVR-945 is located in the Bank's secure comms room. "In the current economic climate, the client was understandably looking for a solution which would not put undue strain on the budget available for security equipment," added Richard Slee. "I am pleased to say that we have been able to provide equipment which can be regarded as the best in its class and is able to exactly match the Bank's demanding requirements."
The Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software is an important tool for Loomis Denmark to ensure transparency throughout the entire cash services process. The transport and counting of cash, financial documents and other valuables is a business that demands ongoing attention to security, which is well covered by Milestone XProtect Corporate managing network cameras from Axis and megapixel cameras from IQinVision documenting every detail of the activities."For us security has the highest priority, for obvious reasons. Our customers' livelihoods are literally in our hands when we carry out our work, so it is therefore vital that there is a strong relationship of trust. And this relates not only to our customers but also just as importantly to our employees, who handle all the assets on a daily basis," explains Risk Manager Tom Andersen at Loomis.Loomis utilizes a number of security measures, where video surveillance plays a big role. Every day over 100 cameras in the Glostrup location and a similar number in the city of Brabrand help to ensure that all procedures and security processes are being upheld. Thereby Loomis makes sure that every instance of cash handling is documented so any eventual irregularity can quickly be resolved. The surveillance technology is based on Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software, XProtect Corporate, with network cameras from Axis and IQinVision. With just a few clicks, operators can control different cameras at the same time and view the live or archived video from any location. Loomis monitors all the entrances and exits, cash handling areas, receiving and deliveries, in addition to the outer perimeters of their premises. The 1st of April 2008 is a day that Loomis will never forget. That night at 3:32 a.m. the police received a robbery alarm from Loomis: a group of men had busted into the cash handling company's building by breaking a hole through the wall with a telescope laser, and managed to get away with DK 62 million. The biggest robbery in the history of Denmark thereby became a reality, despite all of the security measures they had in place at that time. Loomis immediately went to work reviewing all their procedures and systems to improve their security even more. "Of course the robbery sharpened our focus on security! Our business always has to live with the risk of robberies but we can make it more and more difficult for any attempts by dividing our security elements and defences into different levels that hinder and delay any criminal efforts so much that the police can manage to arrive and deal with it. One of our important components is the video surveillance, which is also a fantastic tool for the police to use as evidence in their work," says Tom Andersen, who emphasises that Loomis makes ongoing changes to their security procedures all the time.When the robbery occurred, Loomis had operations at night for cash counting so there were employees present at the time of the incident. Today, Loomis only operates during the day, and another part of the increased defense of the building includes new alarms installed to warn when anyone is even getting near the building from the outside. Loomis previously had an analog system that became outdated, so after a thorough review of their security needs in collaboration with SmartGuard, a Certified Milestone Partner, it became clear that the open platform IP video solution from Milestone Systems provided all of the right options. Transparency and documentation for top integrity The open platform IP video solution from Milestone Systems provided all of the right options for Loomis When an employee is hired, he or she must go through a series of security procedures such as credit and police arrest record checks. Yet even though Loomis takes all these precautions, it is still necessary to have an extra guarantee of accountability, which the video surveillance ensures. Today there are many cameras in the work stations. The zoom functions in the software combined with the megapixel cameras from IQinVision deliver the sharpest images of money bags being opened, and the money counting is monitored from different angles. The video information can be compared with the customers' records so any eventual differences can be revealed and resolved. This saves time and provides thorough documentation and integrity for the asset management process. "With the video surveillance we can document that we do our work properly and this strengthens our objective role with our customers. The video also helps us ensure things for our employees: should anything questionable come up, we can immediately go back in the recorded video and see that the task was handled correctly," says Andersen."The reason that we chose Milestone was precisely because the solution includes an intelligent SmartSearch function that lets us click quickly to the exact date and time for the scanning of a particular money bag and view it. We can also look for an object that's disappeared simply by marking it in the images," he adds, and concludes: "The video monitoring makes it possible for us to live up to our promise of transparency and documentation for our customers. And the Milestone open IP platform also allows us to integrate the system with other innovative solutions over time. This creates a high level of flexibility, and is just one of the ways in which we have future-proofed our business."