Government & public services security applications
G4S is the globally renowned integrated security company with operations in approximately 85 countries. At the core of the business is G4S Integrated Security, which combines expertise, security professionals, technology and data analytics. G4S Integrated security G4S delivers integrated security around the world with the last six months having brought significant change for the company. The sale of the conventional cash business has enhanced strategic, commercial and operational focus and str...
The world is constantly changing, with people, data and goods moving more fluidly than ever before. The security solution needs to move with it. New Incedo Business connects all security software and hardware within one platform. One can easily scale it up or down, based on one’s needs, to keep people moving and business growing. Together. People need different access times and entry points, and the access and security requirements change day to day – so, a static solution is no lon...
Resilience and efficiency have become watchwords for the public institutions, before, during and after the ongoing health crisis. In delivering services fit for the modern world, these institutions need more than just innovation and accountability. They require flexibility and agility, too, including in how they approach security. The lock and key have enjoyed public trust for a long time. Keys were used in Ancient Egypt and Assyria, and warrant a mention in the Christian Old Testament. As a te...
As one of the most important provinces of Argentina, Buenos Aires Province has been seeking to improve work efficiency and emergency response speed of its police force. However, the local police was always lacking of evidence when performing legal actions towards violence, traffic accidents, and other social incidents. This created temporary loopholes in law enforcement that criminals and erring people took advantage of in order to escape legal sanctions. For this reason, the Ministry of Securi...
Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) manages more than 26,000 properties on behalf of Newcastle City Council. They are piloting an innovative fire detection system in partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, the UK’s largest privately-owned independent security company and a national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sector. MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras have been installed in 3 multi-story blocks across the city to continually monitor tem...
Abu Dhabi is a major cultural and commercial centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), accounting for roughly two-thirds of the UAE’s economy. While oil and natural gas make up a large portion of its GDP, Abu Dhabi has positioned itself as a premiere tourist destination, with major investments in luxury resorts and business hotels. Consequently, public safety is a top priority — and FLIR Systems is playing a critical role in the city’s long-term safe city initiative. Recently,...
SpotterRF, a company that specializes in designing Compact Surveillance Radar systems for highly critical sites, announces the integration of their Radar technology with the ULISSE COMPACT HD range of PTZ cameras manufactured by Videotec, creator of professional video surveillance cameras. In this integrated solution, the radar helps the camera to always look in the right direction by tracking potential threats in the vicinity. This greatly increases the value of the cameras by creating a fully automated system that enhances situational awareness and prevents incidents before they happen in large critical areas. Perimeter security Using cutting-edge radar technology, SpotterRF can pinpoint the GPS location of unwanted intrusions around the property and potential threats beyond the perimeter. In a perfectly synchronized operation and without human intervention, the radars rapidly and continuously send these exact coordinates to the connected Videotec PTZ cameras. The response is immediate and they can be programmed to zoom in for greater detail, capture sharp Full HD images of the target and send them in real time to the operator’s monitor. The system promptly sends alerts to operators of an alarm, and due to the near-zero false alarm rate of the radars, this occurs only when there is actually something of interest happening on the site. PTZ camera for surveillance The Videotec ULISSE COMPACT HD PTZ camera offers excellent visual surveillance capability coupled with high functional and mechanical performance in outdoor areas. With its wide field of vision and fast positioning, it is capable of capturing great quality Full HD images in the most adverse environments. The combined system from SpotterRF and Videotec has been proven in many real-world deployments worldwide, such as electrical substations, military zones, and other large sensible areas.
Dahua Technology, with its award winning deep learning algorithms, proudly releases WizMind – a portfolio of solutions composed of project-oriented products including IPC, NVR, PTZ, XVR, thermal and software platforms, delivering precise, reliable and comprehensive AI solutions to verticals including government, retail, energy, finance and transportation. WizMind's human-oriented solutions Powered by AI and deep learning algorithms, WizMind provides comprehensive human-oriented solutions including facial recognition, privacy protection, human video metadata, people counting and stereo analysis, enabling rapid and precise reaction. In addition, it provides more precise and effective AI search to locate targets, generating various human data for business analysis. According to IHS, the total market value of professional video surveillance equipment will grow to $27.2 million by 2023 To protect portrait data, WizMind provides outstanding privacy protection. Based on deep learning algorithms, WizMind supports real-time mosaic masking of the human face or body detected in the monitoring area, which is needed in courtroom scenarios and may be valuable to retailers which can optimize their business through intelligent analysis of customer flow, recorded without violating privacy or GDPR. WizMind based on vehicles WizMind boasts multiple vehicle-based AI solutions, such as ANPR and vehicle metadata, illegal parking which provide more attributes of vehicles for easy control, quick search and business analysis. It is widely used in urban areas, residential community entrances, parking lots and toll stations. By extracting and comparing plate numbers with databases, ANPR helps managers of parking lots and city roads improve vehicle management efficiency with functions like Blacklist Alarm and VIP Recognition. ANPR also supports vehicle tracking, which helps police efficiently locate vehicles according to the crosschecking result. ANPR is able to recognize plate numbers in over 58 countries. WizMind with thermal technology WizMind combines deep learning algorithms with thermal imaging technology to help users achieve ultra-long-distance monitoring in harsh environments, non-contact temperature monitoring and early fire prevention. The Dahua WizMind series is compatible with mainstream third party technology partners With an accuracy of 0.3 degrees Celcius and a speed that monitors three people per second, Dahua’s High Accuracy Body Temperature Monitoring Solution has been widely and successfully applied within transportation hubs, financial institutions, commercial complexes, schools and other places all over the world, joining the global efforts in pandemic prevention and control. WizMind Ecosystem Initiating openness and collaboration, the Dahua WizMind series is compatible with mainstream third party technology partners, such as Milestone, AxxonSoft, ISS and others. Furthermore, WizMind Ecosystem provides the DHOP and sufficient API for our technology partners, enabling them to combine real AI joint solutions to our common customers, and a series of marketing activities will be engaged with our ecosystem partners. Dahua WizMind, a high-end AI series, aims to serve demanding scenarios in many vertical industries. With the mission of “enabling a safer society and smarter living”, Dahua Technology will continue to focus on “innovation, quality and service” to serve its partners and customers around the world.
Due to the escalating coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd and ABEC Exhibitions and Conferences P Ltd, have decided that Secutech India will not take place in 2020. The decision is the result of travel restrictions and strict social distancing guidelines currently in place across India, and a lack of availability at the fair’s venue – the Bombay Exhibition Centre – during an appropriate time later this year. The fair will take place at the same location in Mumbai in May 2021. Stemming the spread of COVID-19 The Indian Government has taken extensive measures to stem the spread of COVID-19. Beginning from March 25, a 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced, effective until April 14. This has since been extended for another 19 days, effective until May 3. Strict social distancing regulations have been imposed, and all incoming and outgoing international and domestic flights have been suspended. With uncertainty and tight travel restrictions in place not only in India, but around the globe, pre-fair planning and preparations for Secutech India, originally scheduled from May 7 – 9, 2020, were severely hindered for the fair’s exhibitors and visitors. The decision to defer to 2021 Commenting on the cancellation, Ms Regina Tsai, General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: “The evolving situation, including local and international travel restrictions as well as constantly changing public health guidelines made it impossible for the fair to be held as scheduled. Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to find a new available time slot at the fair’s venue to adequately serve the interests of our exhibitors in 2020. Because of this, we have taken the difficult decision to defer the fair until 2021.” Mr Manish Gandhi, COO, ABEC Exhibitions & Conferences P Ltd, further commented: “As members of an industry that prioritises safety and security, we are confident that the industry is in full support of our decision. We remain committed to supporting the business of our stakeholders wherever possible, and we look forward to welcoming the full fraternity for another productive few days of trade in 2021."
Motorola Solutions has agreed to acquire IndigoVision, a U.K.-based provider of end-to-end video security solutions. The boards of Motorola Solutions, its holding company and IndigoVision have reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition for approximately $37.2 million, representing a premium of approximately 116 percent based on the average share price over the most recent 12-month period. The acquisition will be funded by existing cash resources of Motorola Solutions and become final in May 2020. Motorola Solutions has a strong presence in the large and expanding area of video security since acquiring Avigilon in March 2018. Their product offerings include high-definition cameras, advanced video analytics, network video management hardware and software and access control solutions. IndigoVision is a developer of complete, end-to-end video security solutions from cameras to video recorders to body worn cameras to security management software. Motorola Solutions says the IndigoVision range of products, global presence and customer base are "highly complementary" to Motorola Solutions' existing presence in video security. Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base. "The access we will now have to Motorola Solutions' range of innovative technologies will create new opportunities for IndigoVision and enable us to bring an exciting proposition to the market that allows us to further deliver on our goal of delivering safety, security and business intelligence," says Pedro Vasco Simoes, Chief Executive Officer of IndigoVision. "We share IndigoVision's commitment to providing next-generation, end-to-end video security solutions that enhance safety, security and efficiency," says John Kedzierski, Senior Vice President, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions.
With just days left until the planned industry trade show, Reed Exhibitions has canceled ISC West over concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here is the statement on the decision: 'We at ISC West want to express our concern for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Based on our close monitoring of ongoing developments with the virus, recent reports from public health officials and extensive consultation with our partners in the global security community, ISC West, scheduled to be held March 17-20, will now occur in July at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. We take pride in offering vital business opportunities to our customers, including networking, education and access to new products and technologies, and commit ourselves to making July’s ISC West 2020 event live up to high standards. Over the coming weeks, along with ISC West’s Premier Sponsor SIA - we will continue to serve the industry, creating ways to connect, collaborate and keep our world moving during this difficult period.'
With growing concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus, Motorola Solutions and its Avigilon brand have released a statement on their decision to pull out of this year's ISC West. The trade show, one of the biggest in the security industry, hosts over 30,000 security professionals and over 1000 exhibitors each year. The company states: "After careful consideration, we have withdrawn from this year’s ISC West trade show due to the widespread impact of the coronavirus." Official sources of updates "While ISC West is one important opportunity to demonstrate the power of Motorola Solutions' video security and analytics portfolio, the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and partners is our top priority. We are grateful to the ISC West organizers for their understanding and look forward to attending and supporting future ISC West events." ISC West will occur as scheduled March 17th through 20th, 2020, says Reed Exhibitions, despite the concerns. A statement from the show organizers is as follows: "While we regret that some companies have made the decision not to take part in ISC West 2020, we are focused on making ISC West 2020 a successful, safe, and enjoyable event for all attendees and exhibitors."
One of the biggest trends in security and technology today is centered around solutions that take advantage of the wealth of connected security systems and devices powering the organizations all over the world. As the number of cloud-powered systems and sensors have massively grown in recent years, security leaders in the private and public sectors have started to look at ways to leverage the data from these devices to better the lives of employees, customers, and residents. But while the dream of creating a smarter, safer environment remains the top priority for organizations throughout the world especially as they continue to face the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, a myriad of factors hold security leaders back from implementing more advanced technologies across their infrastructures. AI as a disruptor of physical security One of the main reasons being that the advent of these cloud based technologies indubitably generate massive amounts of data that hamper any practical use by security professionals and often times create cognitive overload and paralysis by analysis. A myriad of factors hold security leaders back from implementing more advanced technologies across their infrastructures Organizations face the challenge of trying to answer numerous questions using the big data generated by the various systems and technologies. How are they going to handle the influx of information that all these disparate systems generate? How can it be analyzed to extract any useful information or insight? What IT security controls are put in place to safeguard the data? How can the data be effectively curated and funneled to the right people at the right time? How can we make our security footprint be more proactive rather than constantly reactive? The answer is artificial intelligence. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Improving your competitive advantage Today, all divisions of an enterprise are trying to leverage AI and big data to improve their competitive advantage and bottom line, including accounting, sales and marketing, material sourcing, and research and development. We need to ensure that the physical security industry realises they can significantly benefit from better, faster, and more accurate intelligence from the now unstructured, bottomless silos of security data; only then will this result in positioning physical security from a primarily reactive business to a revolutionary new proactive environment. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry and adoption is growing at a rapid rate As an industry, we need to focus on reinventing how security personnel and safety resources are allocated in the public safety and corporate security industry. And it all has to start with intelligence derived from big data using AI. Security leaders in the physical security and law enforcement industry can combine multiple data sources with predictive and prescriptive analytics and artificial intelligence to inform and dynamically deploy personnel, assets, and technologies. This approach drives automation of their current manual processes to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their entire security operations. Intelligently predicting the future? Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right; you can look into the future. By grabbing a hold of this AI-powered crystal ball, decision-makers can perform long-term strategic planning and informed day-to-day operational decision making. And what’s more, AI powered platforms are software-based, often delivered using as-a-service business models that empower security personnel to go beyond traditional static business intelligence visualization and reporting systems to transformative dynamic, predictive and prescriptive decision-making environments. Today’s platforms are also not your traditional, old school, expensive PSIMs; they are cost-effective, configurable to your needs and dare we say, easy to operate. Every security leader I have spoken with lately want to extend AI to their security programs. They don't always know precisely where AI will fit, but they understand the need to operationalise more of their security practices. The overall why is that we should all work collaboratively to help organizations across the globe leverage the tools available to transition away from a reactive stance and gain informed insight into the future where we are truly prepared for and one step ahead of what is coming down the road.
Every building starts with the entrance. A solid enterprise risk mitigation and security strategy include protecting that entrance. Often, risk mitigation strategies protecting the entrance have included high-resolution video surveillance cameras, video management systems, and access control solutions. But that strategy and set of security solutions only tells part of the story. Imagine a security guard who is protecting a facility after hours, when an individual approaches the entrance and seeks to gain access. The security guard can pull up the video surveillance feed and see the individual and his movements, which appear to be suspicious. But he also needs to hear him in order to decide the next decisions and actions. Does he escalate the situation, calling for backup and for first responders’ response, or does he allow the individual access to the building because he works there and is authorized to enter? Meet high-definition voice What the security guard needs is to be able to hear and to communicate with that individual. All enterprise security systems need three primary components in order to successfully protect the entrance and to mitigate risk – access control, video surveillance, and the ability to hear and communicate. Each component plays an integral role in supporting a unified security system, and without all three, the security system is not complete. Access control can be thought of as the brains of a security system by holding data and permissions. It serves as the arms and hands of the system; it can either keep someone out or invite them in. IP video allows a security team to remotely position a set of eyes anywhere an IP camera can be placed on a network. With a video management system, security teams can see what is happening and decide how to respond. However, with remote viewing, the event may be over by the time security physically responds. Audio adds interactivity That three-component enterprise security system – comprising IP video, access control, and high-definition voice working together mitigates risks and provides value. It also means that security is interactive. Security teams talk and listen to the person that’s seen on a video surveillance system, no matter where the location or how remote. If the person is lost or simply needs assistance, security personnel can talk to them and provide direction and reassurance. Even more, in an emergency, an interactive solution becomes a critical life-saving tool, as it provides data that can be shared between security, police, emergency services, and more. Audio can also detect voices, noises, breaking glass, or other sounds that are not within direct view of a video camera. An interactive security system creates an informed response, by providing real-time situation awareness management. Post-event, it supports forensics and investigations to mitigate future security incidents. Audio and COVID-19 We are living in extraordinary times. As businesses begin to reopen and stay open, they are looking for any tools that can help them overcome the enormous challenges they face. In buildings and facilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new security perimeter, one that demands contactless access with entry and exit, and that has also created a new duty of care for security professionals. Now more than ever is the need to interact and communicate with individuals moving in and out of doors and spaces without physical intervention. Intelligent communications, integrated with contactless access control, can help a business to comply with pandemic safety guidelines and ultimately, reopen for business and stay open. COVID-19 has also increased the need for clean-room isolation and quarantine spaces, sometimes in areas not originally intended for that use, where risk of infection is high, and equipment must be easily disinfected between patients. Here, purpose-built cleanroom intercoms, providing clear touchless communications despite the noisy environment, have emerged as critical tools for enabling patient care while reducing the need to enter the contaminated space. For example, voice communication can enable hospital staff to verify identity and to communicate with patients without entering the isolated and infectious environment, which can save on personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce the amount of exposure to the virus. In non-emergency healthcare facilities, such as medical centers, voice can effectively relay information to building occupants and visitors for screening purposes. Visitors can be seen and heard. For example, a patient who seeks access to a medical center for an appointment can hear important instructions from a nurse via the intercom solution. Seeing the person that you talk to is one thing but hearing them conveys a much better sense of closeness, making it possible to maintain a high level of security and customer service. The whole story Today’s security systems should no longer simply involve video surveillance cameras generating feedback and images to a security guard. Instead, a new ecosystem for enterprise security and risk mitigation has emerged, and it’s one that involves video surveillance, access control, and high-definition voice. That ecosystem can ensure well-rounded and responsive information management and security platform, all communicating with each other and offering actionable insight into risks and potential physical breaches. Audio is the new value hub of the connected and intelligent school, campus, building, correctional facility, and more. Simply put, a silent security system cannot be an effective security system. In every situation, it is crucial for all security professionals to mitigate risk, no matter what they are protecting. This emphasizes the need to hear, be heard, and be understood in virtually any environment.
The threat landscape we operate in today is changing all the time. Around the world, pressures on law enforcement bodies remain incredibly high as they face the challenge of rising international threat levels and a backdrop of intense political, social and economic uncertainty. It is a challenge that demands a considered, proactive and dynamic response. It’s clear that new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical and cyber security systems and help us to better defend against a wide-spectrum of threats. Finding the balance Specifically speaking, for physical security systems to be effective, they must have the full support of the public. Airport-style environments where security checkpoint processes are implemented are both time consuming and obstructive, and feels, at times, they are in no one’s best interest. Oppressive, fortress-like environments are likely to quickly lose the backing of the public, who want to be able to go about their daily lives without being delayed or obstructed by cumbersome security checkpoints and procedures. For physical security systems to be effective, they must have the full support of the public However, after a large-scale security threat or attack occurs, it is often these more overt systems that we gravitate towards, often fueled by a proven track record of both deterrence and detection. It’s the antithesis of ‘out of site, out of mind’ security. Having these large, bulky overt security systems offer reassurance to people and create a greater sense of security. But what if we could instill this sense of security without monstrous overt systems? What if today’s physical security systems could allow for seamless people flow while creating safe environments, all done in a covert manner without interrupting peoples’ way of life? This is exactly what can be achieved with the some of the new physical security applications that incorporate AI. Security solutions with AI: how, what, where? Today, security solutions driven by AI technologies are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect our global citizenry. These new AI-driven technologies are taking multiple different forms, depending on the locations they are designed to protect. Video management surveillance systems (commonly referred to as VMS systems) are being enhanced by AI/computer vision technology to identify objects. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify and flag forbidden objects, such as visible guns, knives or aggressive people, in a wide range of public spaces, such as schools, hospitals, sport stadiums, event venues and transportation hubs. Recognized threat objects in hand or suspicious behaviours can be identified and flagged instantaneously for onsite security to further investigate. In addition, 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 body and bag and match the item to a catalog of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs with metal shrapnel. 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 a 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. AI-powered solutions proactively help onsite security to effectively safeguard the public Unlike many large, fixed detection security systems, AI-powered solutions proactively help onsite security to effectively safeguard the public without causing mass obstruction and disruption. Soft target hardening Hardening a facility against physical attacks and threats can be expensive, as well as maintaining and running large fixed detection equipment. It may also result in the threat shifting to ‘softer’, less secure targets, for example schools, music venues and places of worship, all locations we’ve see active attacks in the past decade. Around the world, we have seen the devastation to communities and the aftermath impact of these attacks. In the USA, for example, in February 2018, a 19-year-old gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and opened fire, killing 17 students and faculty members. And in the UK in May 2017, a suicide bomber attacked a concert venue in Manchester, tragically killed 22 people. It is a global priority to make these soft target public gathering places more secure. But in doing so we cannot turn them into fortresses. The security industry, public sector and national and local government must collaborate to deploy intelligent systems with technology at their core to not only protect lives, but also preserve a way of life. Integrated systems and behavioral detection One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. It’s not only knives, guns and explosives that intelligent systems can detect. They can also be trained to detect behavior and potential invisible biological threats, such as viral threats currently facing our world today. This does not mean profiling individuals. Instead, using AI that is deployed on existing CCTV or thermal camera systems, it looks for indicators that may identify a physical altercation and disturbance, an elevated body temperature, indicative of viral fever, or lack of a face mask for health safety compliance. When integrated, these solutions can provide onsite security with up-to-the-minute information to allow greater protection of the properties they serve. By using these intelligent, non-intrusive technologies, today’s security personnel are now more capable of detecting a wide range of threats. This is the future of public safety and security, and we should expect to see these new technologies becoming more common over the coming years, as cities around the world strive to create smart, safer communities. The human element While technology can make a significant impact to existing security systems, it would be wrong to position it as the end-all, be all to preventing future attacks. Technology is only part of the solution. Well trained security personnel are also required; individuals who know how to use new technologies and the data they provide, and then make informed decisions about how to engage a potential bad actor or threat. Not only will a properly trained security staff member help to prevent an attack from happening, but the extra insight provides by these intelligent systems can potentially interrupt an attacker in planning and walk through stages, or even before a weapon is drawn. This alone has many benefits beyond just preventing an attack. It means that authorities can help these individuals, some of whom may be suffering from mental health issues, to get the help they need from professional healthcare workers. By security personnel working with local authorities and healthcare professionals, potential attackers can get the support they need, from de-radicalisation programmes to specialized counseling, helping them return to being a healthy, productive member of society. These intelligent systems can potentially interrupt an attacker in planning AI for safer communities AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioral anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Perhaps none more so, though, than to institutes of education, where we have seen many violent attacks over the course of the last few years. Specifically, the application of AI for detecting odd behavioral activity could be used to identify potential active shooter attacks, or even students who may be depressed and prone to committing suicide. Both tragedies we see weekly around the world. One thing is clear, cross-sector collaboration and the application of integrated, intelligent AI technology that puts data and ultimate control into a human’s hands can be key to making our communities safer places to live.
Historically, concerns about inclusion and diversity have not been widely discussed in the security market. In the last couple of years, however, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and other groups have worked to raise awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, SIA’s Women in Security Forum has focused on the growing role of women in all aspects of security, and SIA’s RISE community has focused on “rising stars” in an industry previously dominated by Baby Boomers. The next generation of security leaders There is a business case to be made for diversity and inclusion, says a report by McKinsey & Company. According to the management consulting company, gender-diverse companies are 24% more likely to outperform less diverse companies, and ethnically diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts. Furthermore, the “next generation of security leaders” – employees under 30 – are particularly focused on diversity and inclusion. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique A panel discussion at ISC West’s Virtual Event highlighted aspects of inclusion and diversity, starting with a definition of each. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique. On the other hand, inclusion refers to the behavior and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. “We are all on a journey, and our journey takes different paths,” said Willem Ryan of AlertEnterprise, one of the SIA panelists. “There are opportunities to improve over time. We can all change and increase our ability to have a positive impact.” Industry responsibility The industry has a responsibility to the next generation of industry leaders to address issues of inclusion and diversity. Forbes magazine says that millennials are more engaged at work when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture. So the question becomes: How do we unify and create opportunities to work with and champion tomorrow’s leaders? SIA is driving change in our industry to achieve that goal. More women are active in SIA than ever before. The SIA Women in Security Forum now has 520 members, said Maureen Carlo of BCD International, the SIA Women in Security Forum Chair and another panelist. Also, more women than ever are chairing SIA committees and serving on the SIA Board of Directors. More women than ever are chairing SIA committees Overcoming unconscious bias Former SIA Chairman Scott Shafer of SMS Advisors, another of the panelists, noted that SIA awarded the Chairman’s Award to the Women in Security Forum in 2019, and to the RISE community steering committee in 2020. “There are lots of ways we are seeing the elevation of women and ethnic groups in the security industry,” said Shafer. One topic of interest is the problem of “unconscious bias,” which can be overcome by looking at something through some else’s lens. Ryan suggested use of the acronym SELF – Slow Down, Empathize, Learn, and Find commonalities. Ryan recalled the value of being mentored and having someone shepherd him around the industry. “Now I want to give back,” he said. “We need to look at the things we can change in ourselves, in our company, in our communities, and in our industry. Change comes from the bottom and the top.” Increasing representation “It takes all of us to increase representation everywhere,” said Kasia Hanson of Intel Corp., another panelist. “We have in common that we are all human beings. Let’s make sure the next generation all have opportunities.” Diverse companies can attract better talent Moving forward, the panelists urged the industry to get involved and create opportunities because inclusion drives diversity. Diverse companies can attract better talent and attain a competitive advantage. Awareness of unconscious bias, and working to eliminate it, is an important element of change. Despite the progress the security industry is making, change continues to be incremental. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Can a smart card be used securely for multiple applications (and among multiple companies)? End users are demanding such interoperability, and they also want openness to switch out their access control systems in the future without being “locked in” to one vendor. Those are the goals of the LEAF Identity consortium, a collection of companies that can share encrypted access codes for numerous applications to enable MIFARE DESFire EV2 chip cards to be used across multiple vendors. Smart card systems - more secure Almost everyone in the industry now knows that low-frequency (125 kHz) “prox” cards are not secure; in fact, low-cost cloning equipment is readily and inexpensively available. As the industry transitions to encrypted cards, challenges of interoperability persist. Keeping smart card systems more secure are encrypted “keys” – strings of 32 alphanumeric characters encoded onto the card chips. Information is exchanged via radio frequency (RF) in a challenge-response interaction when a card is presented to a reader. The most recent EV2 card enables one encrypted key to be used for up to 16 devices (and among a variety of manufacturers). LEAF consortium enables encryption sharing using protocols that ensure each manufacturer’s systems can interface with a card chip in the same way. Specifically, each card has a “shared data structure,” which means that the location of information is arranged on a card chip in a predictable and consistent manner. Member companies adhere to that structure in order to be interoperable using a single credential. There are no license fees or intellectual property rights involved. Secret key The approach involves a LEAF Custom Cryptographic (Cc), a “secret” key owned by the end user but managed by a third party. “When we present these concepts to integrators, they realize that, first, they need to get their clients to pay attention to the risks around proximity cards and to migrate to encrypted card technology,” says Laurie Aaron, Executive Vice President, WaveLynx Technologies Corp. “Then we explain the benefits of custom-owned keys and of the LEAF data structure. Then integrators can differentiate themselves by selling the value of the end user staying in control and having unlimited interoperability.” Access control manufacturer WaveLynx is implementing the LEAF concept, which is the brainchild of CEO Hugo Wendling, who saw the advantages of leveraging the ability of an EV2 chip card to authenticate access to multiple applications. Key management service WaveLynx set up the specification, maintains the website, and is involved when a manufacturer wants to become LEAF-enabled. They provide a key management service (for life) to end users based on LEAF capabilities. End users “own” the keys and can ask to share them with any other manufacturer. Sharing a key involves two key custodians (engineers), each of whom only has access to half of the encrypted key in order to keep it secure. Combining capabilities The LEAF consortium provides a way for smaller manufacturers to work together to increase their market share without putting anyone’s intellectual property at risk. Working together, smaller manufacturers can assemble systems to compete more effectively with larger manufacturers. In effect, they combine their capabilities rather than compete. LEAF Consortium partners include Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, Brivo, Eline by DIRAK, Linxens, RFIDeas, and Telaeris. Biometric partners include Idemia and IrisID. Biometric devices may either store their biometric on the card or on a central database and access it through the badge number. The LEAF standard continues to evolve in terms of where a biometric template is stored on the chip. Although the standard does not currently offer mobile credentials, mobile functionality will be available by the second quarter of 2021 (or sooner).
Facial recognition is becoming more popular in newer systems for access control — a shift that began before the pandemic and has intensified with a market shift toward “touchless” systems. A new facial recognition platform is emerging that responds to the access control industry’s increased interest in facial recognition by expanding the concept with a new higher level of technology. At the core of the new system is high-performance, true-3D sensing with facial depth map processing at low power consumption, which enriches the capabilities of small-footprint access control devices. New proficiencies include anti-spoofing (preventing the use of a 2D photo of an authorized user to gain entry) and anti-tailgating (preventing an unauthorized person from gaining entry by following an authorized user) in real time and in challenging lighting conditions. The system uses “true 3D sensing,” which incorporates single-camera structured-light 3D sensing—as opposed to dual-camera depth sensing or IR video imaging-based approaches. AI vision processing and 3D sensing technologies The new “Janus reference design” incorporates AI vision processing, 3D sensing technologies, and RGB-IR CMOS image sensor technologies from Ambarella, Lumentum and ON Semiconductor. Specifically, Lumentum’s high-reliability, high-density VCSEL projector for 3D sensing combines with ON Semiconductor’s RGB-IR CMOS image sensor and Ambarella’s powerful AI vision system on chip (SoC). The Ambarella, Lumentum, and ON Semiconductor engineering teams worked together to incorporate their complementary technologies into the reference design. A reference design offers OEM product and engineering teams a fully functional engineering reference implementation that they can use as the basis for their own product. Teams will often customize a reference design with their choice of various third-party hardware components to fit their product specifications and positioning. They might also integrate their own software, algorithms, and back-end system integrations. The advantage to this approach is that the manufacturer can get to market quickly with a next-generation product that emphasises their core strengths. 3D depth information for facial recognition Generally, it takes between nine months and a year for a manufacturer to get to market using a fully functional reference design, such as the one developed jointly by Ambarella, Lumentum and ON Semiconductor. The Janus platform leverages 3D depth information generated via structured light for facial recognition with a >99% recognition accuracy rate. Traditional 2D-based solutions are prone to false acceptance and presentation attacks, whereas 3D sensing delivers advanced security—just as mobile phones use true-depth cameras for facial recognition. 3D facial recognition also significantly reduces the gender and ethnic biases demonstrated by some 2D facial recognition solutions. The Janus reference design is also aimed at future smart locks for enterprise and residential use: its unique single-camera 3D sensing solution will help OEMs overcome cost and manufacturability barriers, while the ultra-low power edge AI capability can effectively extend the battery life, which in turn reduces maintenance cost. Video security and access control Ambarella sees touchless access control, as well as the convergence of video security and access control, as the mega-trends driving industry innovation and growth—using video, computer vision, and 3D sensing to not only address safety and security, but also to improve the user experience and public health, says William Xu, director of marketing for Ambarella. The convergence of video security cameras and access control readers has been widely discussed by leading access control OEMs. In many cases, they already integrate video security cameras, readers, door controllers, cloud-access, and the like. In most enterprise installations, one would typically find security cameras installed where there are access control readers. Combining the two devices significantly reduces the maintenance cost and system complexity. “In comparison to fingerprint or other contact-based approaches, Janus-based access control is touchless—requiring no physical contact with authentication hardware such as fingerprint sensors or keypads—reducing infection risk while enabling a seamless experience,” says Mr. Xu. “The Janus platform provides true 3D depth information to prevent unauthorized individuals from mimicking legitimate users, and the advanced embedded AI processor enables tracking and anti-tailgating algorithms. Janus-based devices perform well in challenging lighting conditions and they are capable of authenticating multiple users simultaneously, with imperceptible latency.” Access Control and public health What was once purely a security challenge—namely, how to prevent unauthorized entry into a restricted area—has evolved into a public health challenge as well. Many traditional access control methods, from number pads to fingerprint readers, require touch in order to function, and if the current global pandemic has made one thing evident, it’s that minimizing physical contact between users and surfaces is vital to community well-being. Janus was originally designed to facilitate the next generation of facial-recognition-based access control readers—enabling 3D sensing and high recognition speed for seamless authentication. COVID-19 has accelerated industry-wide research, development, and timelines for Janus-based solutions, says Mr. Xu. Deep learning and artificial intelligence drive all the new capabilities offered in Janus—capabilities that are only possible due to the platform’s high computational horsepower. The core deep learning and AI capabilities of Janus enable a wide range of advanced features only possible with an embedded vision SoC, says Mr. Xu. All are performed in real time, even when multiple users are being processed simultaneously. These include the extraction and comparison of facial depth maps with those registered in the system; 3D liveness detection, ensuring that the system can distinguish between real users and photo or video playback attacks; anti-tailgating, which relies on computer vision algorithms to detect and track when an unauthorized person follows a legitimate user inside; face mask detection; and people counting. VCSEL technology According to Ken Huang, Director of Product Line Management, 3D Sensing, Lumentum: “Lumentum’s VCSEL technology is one of the Janus design’s core strengths and differentiators. The process begins when Lumentum’s high-resolution dot projector projects thousands of dots onto the scene to create a unique 3D depth pattern of a user’s face. Most traditional biometric facial security systems rely on 2D images of users—simple photographs—which reduces authentication accuracy. In contrast, the 3D depth map generated by Lumentum’s technology provides the foundation of a more accurate, more secure, and more intelligent system overall. In addition, Lumentum’s VCSEL solutions incorporate a Class 1, eye-safe laser with zero field failures to date.” Adds Paige Peng, Product Marketing Manager, Commercial Sensing Division, ON Semiconductor: “If we think of Ambarella’s CV25 as the brain of the Janus design, the AR0237IR from ON Semiconductor is the eye. The AR0237IR image sensor captures the information, and the CV25 processes it. Other face recognition systems use two “eyes” – one to recognize RGB patterns to generate the viewing image stream, and another IR module to detect liveliness in motion. The Janus solution leverages a single “eye”—the AR0237IR—to obtain both visible and infrared images for depth sensing and advanced algorithms such as anti-spoofing and 3D recognition. AR0237IR also provides good sensitivity in various lighting conditions and supports high-dynamic-range (HDR) functions.” The single-camera 3D sensing solution for access control operates in three seamless steps: Step 1: Lumentum’s high-resolution dot projector creates a unique 3D depth map of a user’s face; Step 2: ON Semiconductor’s RGB-IR image sensor captures the high-resolution images from Step 1, even in low-light or high dynamic range conditions; Step 3: Ambarella’s advanced vision SoC takes the high-resolution images captured in Step 2 and uses deep neural networks (DNNs) for depth processing, facial recognition, anti-tailgating, and anti-spoofing while video encoding and network software run simultaneously.
Each day, over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States funnel massive amounts of energy to homes and businesses across the country. An array of specialized equipment allows these facilities to keep up with demand, and each component must run smoothly to adequately transfer and distribute energy. Housing mission-critical assets vital to the community means that substations must track everything—from condition monitoring to intrusion and sabotage threats. Thermal imaging cameras, video classification analytics, and radiometric measurement offer unmatched maintenance and security insight for substations and help prevent costly issues that hurt the bottom line. AI and deep learning technologies Advancements in artificial intelligence technologies are expanding the capability of security systems Advancements in artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies are expanding the capability of security systems. As security solutions improve, customer expectations grow. Systems that were once limited to perimeter protection are now able to provide valuable process efficiency and maintenance information. Substations should consider integrating new technology that improves efficiency and safety as they move to satisfy NERC CIP-014 requirements. Problematic heating and cooling connections can plague substations. Overheating and burning a transformer is a costly, potentially multimillion-dollar error that can take several months to correct. Beyond damage costs, the abrupt loss of equipment can lead to extended service interruptions and significant revenue loss. The consequences of equipment failure highlight the importance of asset monitoring, asset resiliency, and predictive maintenance for substations. Radiometric thermal cameras Integrating cutting-edge technologies like radiometric thermal cameras and temperature trend analysis software allows facility operators to remotely inspect equipment and quickly detect issues, preventing overheating and fires. Image quality and software compatibility are vital in planning an asset monitoring ecosystem. To best serve both the security and condition monitoring needs of substations, thermal sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems and software developer Embedded Logix collaborated to create a multi-purpose solution. Security and asset monitoring For over 30 years, FLIR has developed security and asset monitoring solutions for utility providers For over 30 years, FLIR has developed security and asset monitoring solutions for utility providers. A full lineup of fixed and pan-tilt thermal cameras allow security operators to monitor assets and perimeters in complete darkness, smoke, fog, and harsh weather conditions. FLIR thermal cameras provide superior resolution, capturing sharp imagery and minute details for high-performance video analytics and immediate threat detection. Quick intervention during intrusions prevents escalation, and rapid detection with thermal imaging supports fast response time. Smart-LX Sensor Gateway Recognizing threats before they ever reach the fence line deters theft, vandalism, and assault, keeping facility personnel safe and reducing the risk of equipment repair and legal costs. As an industry leader in thermal imaging, FLIR looks to partner with other innovative solution providers to create more advanced technologies. Embedded Logix, a Detroit, Michigan-based test and measurement solutions provider for the utility, plastic, food, and metal industries emerged as an ideal partner to integrate smart analytics software into thermal sensors. Their Smart-LX Sensor Gateway is an open-architecture platform that features Smart-LX Analytics with support for infrared cameras, programmable logic controllers, and SCADA systems. It opened the door for a complete predictive maintenance solution. FLIR thermal cameras Partnering with FLIR means being in the center of the infrared universe" The Smart-LX system allows both maintenance and security personnel to leverage networked thermal imagers on a single platform. By 2012, Embedded Logix was FLIR’s exclusive smart sensor software partner for temperature trending in predictive maintenance, bringing the Smart-LX platform to FLIR thermal cameras. “Partnering with FLIR means being in the center of the infrared universe. We can’t imagine any better product lineup to feed data into our Smart-LX Analytics,” said Deborah McLeod, president of Embedded Logix. “We have bench tested many other brands over the years, but FLIR’s products always come out on top, and that is why we recommend FLIR cameras to our customers. When you combine Smart-LX Analytics with FLIR cameras you turn an incredible sensor into an extraordinary solution.” Smart-LX Analytics Embedded Logix Smart-LX Analytics read, process, analyze, and create a visualization of sensor readings, generating asset performance reports on trends and rules that can be sent to maintenance personnel for further assessment. The software adapts over time with customer input, relying on user feedback to create an expert system. The Smart-LX platform works with both legacy and new equipment, analyzing signals from all sensors and systems, and is capable of aggregating information into VMS, OSI PI, and SCADA platforms. The FLIR FC-R fixed thermal camera leverages a radiometric sensor for noncontact temperature measurement FLIR offers several high-performance thermal imaging solutions for Smart-LX integration, including the FLIR A310 and FLIR FC-R Series cameras. Dual thermal and optical sensors on the FLIR A310 PT offer reliable perimeter protection and automated condition monitoring while pan/tilt controls maximize coverage. The onboard radiometric thermal sensor measures slight changes in surface temperature, allowing the A310 PT to monitor hotspots on equipment and alert an operator if temperatures exceed preset levels. FC-R fixed thermal camera The FLIR FC-R fixed thermal camera leverages a radiometric sensor for noncontact temperature measurement. Onboard human and vehicle classification analytics offer reliable intrusion detection and work in tandem with external monitoring systems to quickly alert operators and security personnel. “FLIR’s innovative A310F, A310PT, and FC-R radiometric thermal cameras have been paramount in substation monitoring for years,” said Michael Chaffee, director of business development at FLIR. “With the addition of Embedded Logix and its SmartLX software, our customers can take FLIR thermal cameras to the next level. When combined, FLIR cameras and Smart-LX software create a data goldmine, allowing a more frequent analysis of substation assets right from the security control room.” Facility security FLIR and Embedded Logix systems revolve around facility security and asset monitoring FLIR and Embedded Logix systems revolve around facility security and asset monitoring. Installing different cameras and network components throughout a substation creates an ecosystem ready to detect and prevent issues. Most security and asset monitoring systems from FLIR and Embedded Logix begin with several FLIR FC-ID cameras along the perimeter of the substation, one A310 PT mounted in the center of the substation, FC-R or A310F cameras installed around high priority assets, and several Smart-LX Sensor Gateways. When the system detects an object of interest, FLIR FC-ID cameras trigger the A310 PT camera to track and zoom on the object for further threat assessment, allowing security personnel to quickly and safely gauge the situation. Condition monitoring thermal imagers can continuously survey any asset in their field of view. Fixed FLIR A310F camera Fixed FLIR A310F and FC-R cameras monitor specific equipment 24/7, while the A310 PT can focus on multiple areas, viewing transformer connections, incoming power transmission lines, switch gears, fans, and more. Generated reports compare the performance of similar assets across all stations Smart-LX Sensor Gateways control the A310 PT preset scanning to gather temperature information on equipment, triggering an alarm if a temperature exceeds the preset threshold. Generated reports compare the performance of similar assets across all stations, address historical temperature trends, and label each temperature reading with the substation location, asset ID, and asset class information. This reporting is vital, as temperature trends can indicate trouble even when alarms remain untriggered. Remote monitoring “If the temperature is rising and falling on one asset, but the temperature on the other assets are steady, it can indicate a problem,” McLeod explained. “Even if the asset doesn’t reach the temperature threshold, the temperature slowly creeping up to that threshold is valuable information.” FLIR and Embedded Logix systems leverage remote monitoring to catch issues before they occur, preventing expensive downtime and maximizing substation efficiency. Predictive maintenance programs can identify poor-performing components, allowing operations teams to decide whether to proactively replace components or to continue monitoring. An unknown failure could cause catastrophic damage to other substation elements, causing customer outages and costing the utility millions of dollars. Thermal imaging Smart-LX Sensor Gateways also allow thermographers to inspect equipment remotely “The FLIR and Embedded Logix solution allows you to qualify with more frequency,” said Chaffee. “It ultimately enables you to save money and identify failures sooner. It’s much more expensive to replace a component after failure versus pre-failure. When a failure happens, you shut down the substation and part of the grid, which costs a lot of money.” Smart-LX Sensor Gateways also allow thermographers to inspect equipment remotely, improving efficiency during repairs. Traditionally, a thermographer would report to a substation to manually inspect equipment in need of service. Using a handheld thermal imager, the thermographer would take temperature measurements and check for load balance to determine whether equipment should be taken offline for repair. The need for a pre-work assessment and post-repair verification can make for long days. Embedded Logix Smart-LX Sensor Gateways remove this pain point. Live data access The Smart-LX Sensor Gateways give thermographers the ability to inspect equipment remotely and access live data from each networked FLIR thermal camera. Real-time temperature measurement and analytics allow the maintenance crew to confirm repairs or safely identify any additional issues. Thermographers would only need to go to a site when something is critical" “The FLIR and Embedded Logix solution enhances the role of thermographers,” Chaffee said. “Not needing to drive hundreds of miles to do a regularly scheduled thermal scan saves a lot of money. Your thermography team can scan safely, and with more frequency, from the security operations center. Thermographers would only need to go to a site when something is critical. Time is money, so being more productive as a utility and building a substation predictive maintenance program is an important element.” Critical asset monitoring Smart-LX Software works continuously to monitor critical equipment and uncover even small changes that can indicate impending failure. Intelligent maintenance and security systems are making substations safer and more efficient, positively impacting the bottom line. The insurance deductible of a significant substation asset can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Detecting just one instance of equipment failure can prevent inordinate costs. “The Smart-LX Software solution reduces the cost of an event by detecting it much earlier. Instead of detecting a fire, you’re preventing a fire,” McLeod added. “It’s important for all stakeholders that utilities monitor changes in asset health as a means of improving reliability and reducing the total cost of repairs. Asset security and management Utilities are moving towards proactive deterrence and away from reactive monitoring He adds, “Stakeholders want to see that steps are being taken to reduce insurance claims from unnecessary escalations when a malfunctioning asset is not discovered until it fails and takes out expensive assets or infrastructure around it. Preventing costly downtime by repairing equipment at the first sign of trouble can reduce the number of unscheduled downtime events dramatically and create significant cost-savings.” Leveraging radiometric thermal cameras and analytics for both security and asset monitoring represents a paradigm shift. Utilities are moving towards proactive deterrence and away from reactive monitoring. Substation security FLIR radiometric thermal cameras and Embedded Logix Smart-LX Sensor Gateways safeguard substations and reduce the risk of critical equipment failure. Investing in stronger security keeps substations and their assets safe, and innovative, multipurpose solutions from FLIR and Embedded Logix create a win-win for utility providers throughout the country.
There are over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States. These substations, along with power plants and transmission lines, provide power for millions of people. It is imperative that these locations remain secure from intrusion and sabotage. If just a handful of these substations were rendered inoperable, the U.S. could face a serious blackout. The 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, which knocked out several transformers and totalled over $15 million in damages, was a catalyst for the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) establishing new security standards for utilities. One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). This statute requires utilities to identify ‘mission critical’ facilities and assets, conduct a security inspection to identify threat, and implement a security system to address those risks. Replacing traditional fencing systems VTI Security has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility, and oil and gas sectors for over 35 yearsIn response to security incidents such as Metcalf and other FERC activities, a large electrical utility with hundreds of substations across the country looked to expand security beyond its fence line. The end user wanted to enhance and possibly replace traditional fence protection systems – including fiber optics, microwave barriers, and video analytics – as these systems all proved to be costly, as well as time and labor intensive. In the end, the utility company relied on VTI Security, an industry-leading integrator, for a recommendation. Based in Burnsville, Minnesota, VTI Security has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility, and oil and gas sectors for over 35 years. To determine the best system for its end user, VTI reviewed six different technologies, including some with multiple vendors. VTI also tested systems in field deployments and conducted cost analysis. The integrator concluded that SpotterRF’s product was superior to all others and selected it as its sole radar standard for perimeter solutions. SpotterRF perimeter protection solution “Our findings were that SpotterRF not only provided the most comprehensive detection in a substation environment, but SpotterRF was also by far the most cost-effective total solution based on the ability to mount equipment on existing structures,” said Jerry Klapak, Senior Account Manager for VTI Security. SpotterRF provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems SpotterRF, based in Orem, Utah, provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems, which provide up to 300 acres of radar tracking power in a hand held, four-pound device. The CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100 percent coverage, 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. They are designed to detect threats up to 3300 feet beyond the fence line and provide early warnings to staff before situations escalate. PT-Series thermal camera While radar casts a wide circle to detect the presence of potential intruders, the FLIR thermal camera provides visual verification along specific perimeters. Upon selecting a radar system, VTI needed a video manufacturer to supply cameras to deploy with the radar. In 2015, the integrator approached FLIR Systems for a solution and selected PT-Series thermal camera for the project. “The ability for FLIR's products to perform beyond published performance specifications was a surprise we don’t often see,” said Klapak. “Each product exceeded published performance metrics on our field testing and actual deployments.” Features thermal and visible-light imaging SpotterRF radars, combined with FLIR PT-Series cameras, deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protectionThe PT-Series is a pan/tilt camera that features both thermal and visible-light imaging. The pan/tilt mechanism gives end users precise pointing control, fully programmable scan patterns, and both radar slew-to-cue and slew-to-alarm functions. With the radar and thermal technologies selected, VTI worked to ensure seamless integration and performance between the two systems. “We worked with each company’s support and development teams, as well as the VMS manufacturer, to ensure the technologies not only worked with one another, but also met the client’s needs for bandwidth consumption and VMS interface and display,” said Klapak. Together, SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars, combined with FLIR PT-Series cameras, deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection. Cost-effective solution for substations "The FLIR PT-Series, when deployed with SpotterRF, can cover a wide area of substation footprint. It is a cost-effective solution for substations needing to monitor the perimeter as well as inside the yard," said Michael Chaffee, Director of Business Development at FLIR Systems. “The speed at which the FLIR PT-Series slews to the cue of the SpotterRF detection is impressive." A number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather" When someone walks into the field of view of SpotterRF’s C20 or C40 radar, the radio waves bounce off the person and back to the radar, which then calculates the precise GPS location of the target, as well as its size. The radars then tell the FLIR PT-Series camera to zoom to that location. The camera automatically stays on and tracks the target. Because the radars control the cameras, the cameras only move upon detection, which significantly extends the shelf life of the cameras, allowing them to last for years without replacement. Locates person in a 15 or 100-acre space This FLIR and SpotterRF solution addresses an important pain point for the perimeter security and intrusion detection market. “In the past, utilities tried to use video analytics to find targets. Because these systems were outdoors, a number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather, lighting and moving trees,” said Logan Harris, CEO of SpotterRF. “However, by combining our radar with FLIR’s pan tilt thermal cameras, you’re able to solve this problem.” He added, “Together, SpotterRF’s radar technology and FLIR’s thermal imaging are able to locate a person in a 15 or 100-acre space, see hundreds of yards beyond the fence line, cue the camera, and alert the personnel, all without the help of an operator.” Activates security lighting based on motion One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses"In the past, only military organizations could access this level of advanced technology. Now, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution makes this security capability accessible and affordable for critical infrastructure, power distribution and commercial applications. "Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites," said Klapak. "One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses. They now use the radars to activate security lighting based on motion within and outside the fences. This provides not only a green approach to security by lowering energy costs but also improves customer relations by reducing light pollution in residential neighborhoods.” The entire team was also impressed by the solution’s minimal installation time. Unlike installing fiber optic cables on fence lines, which requires months for digging trenches, the FLIR PT camera and SpotterRF radar can be mounted easily on control shacks or lattice poles within a week. Four times faster installation of systems “The deployment occurred four times faster than it was anticipated,” said Harris. “VTI installed the systems at 25-30 sites in just three months.” VTI began installation in 2016, with plans to roll out the solution in a phased approach as part of a multi-year plan. Approximately 50-75 sites will deploy the camera and radar solution. On average, each substation has two FLIR PT-Series cameras and four SpotterRF radars. Some of VTI’s other clients are also expected to deploy the same solution at 10-20 sites over the next few years, based on the success VTI has proven in the utility environment.
Upon hearing Pablo Picasso’s famous praise of art’s ability to clear ‘the dust of everyday life’, one’s thoughts could easily turn to one of Arizona’s newest landmarks, the Mesa Arts Center. Set proudly amidst the dust of the Sonoran Desert, the Mesa Arts Center is a striking complex of buildings, art installations, and public throughways, offering a rich blend of visual impressions in glass, water, stone, and metal, with splashes of vibrant color and metallic reflection. At more than 21,000 sq. feet, the award-winning $95 million campus is the largest and most comprehensive performing, visual and educational arts complex in Arizona, serving as a gathering point for the citizens of Mesa and region alike, seeking to enjoy the indoor and outdoor spaces, public events, classes, and art exhibitions. Ensuring safe, family friendly environment Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering pointThe presence of an adjacent light rail station and hosting of multiple festivals throughout the year further increase traffic to, from, and through the open planned site at various hours of the day, and on weekends and even holidays. The heart of the Mesa Arts Center complex is a grand promenade that knits together all of its pieces, while providing places for group gatherings, performances, and quiet reflection, comfort and relaxation. Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering point for all walks of life. In addition to welcoming visitors to the Center, the open configuration of the complex invites commuters coming off the nearby light rail line to stroll through on their way to and from the station, and draw loiterers, would-be vandals, and itinerant populations (attracted to the semi-secluded spaces created by outdoor art installations and the complex’s fountains and water elements). Surveillance system for crime prevention Particularly outside of traditional hours of operation, such factors can increase the risk of nuisance crimes, vandalism, and petty theft, and potentially more serious crimes against visitors and staff, without a vigilant and comprehensive security and surveillance operation. Additionally, complex spaces, varied materials, and water elements increase risk for incident and accident without proper prevention and/or prompt response. A technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property While customary approaches to similar venues have typically relied heavily on a combination of CCTV and human security guards, the size and complexity of the Mesa Arts Center campus makes a traditional manned guarding solution, even when supported by a typical surveillance technology, both cost prohibitive and potentially inadequate. Protection of property and campus safety The Mesa Arts Center is an architectural showpiece and regional destination, requiring comprehensive surveillance at all hours, every day of the year, under highly variable conditions. A comprehensive technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property and the safety of everyone on campus. The City of Mesa, who operates the Center, in partnership with Scottsdale’s Surveillance Acquisition Response Center (SARC) and IDIS technology, provided a mix of surveillance cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) able to meet the varied requirements of a campus housing multiple art galleries, studios, performance spaces, walkways and cut-throughs, and outdoor gathering spaces; and support SARC’s innovative approach to virtual guarding, which incorporates military, police, and intelligence best practices and personnel to enhance traditional remote monitoring models and outcomes. Using Direct IP NVRs and cameras SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution SuiteThe City of Mesa’s previous successes implementing SARC and IDIS technology at the Mesa Grande Cultural Park made the integration of technology and monitoring selected for the Mesa Arts Center a natural fit. Featuring multiple IDIS DirectIP [model number] network video recorders (NVRs), and IDIS Direct IP [model number] cameras, with [feature set], at the heart of a comprehensive security posture, SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution Suite, and their unique military, law enforcement, and intelligence-derived protocols and best practices to support on-site personnel and cover the campus comprehensively at night and during other off-hours. Additionally, the IDIS solution also seamlessly integrates with, recording and managing footage from other camera installations, demonstrating the IDIS dedication to eliminating the common frustrations and complexities of security systems. SARC’s virtual guard protection The implementation of SARC’s virtual guard protection and protocols to support on-site personnel, and the highly visible, but seamlessly integrated, presence of IDIS surveillance cameras, as part of a total IDIS solution, have contributed to the Mesa Arts Center’s reputation as one of the region’s most welcoming and inviting community spaces among the area’s art lovers, families, and neighborhood’s workers (who regularly use the space without fear or discomfort as a gathering place for lunch or pathway to and from the local light rail station). The integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus 24/7, the integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus and those within it, using innovative surveillance application bringing together IDIS’s highest quality remote viewing and VMS offerings and SARC’s remote ‘voice down’ virtual guarding protocol, which informs those under surveillance, in real time, that they are being watched and should leave the property immediately or face consequences. Keeping people and property safe The successful implementation of this solution has placed the City of Mesa and Mesa Arts Center management at the forefront of innovation in keeping the people, places, and property under their protection safe and secure, and marked them as leaders in responsible stewardship of taxpayer, grant, and donor dollars, through the implementation of a system that provides more comprehensive coverage, measurably better outcomes, and enhanced visitor experiences 24/7, year-round for a fraction of the cost of previous manned guarding solutions.
One French town just north of Paris faced familiar key management challenges. Each person in their Municipal Technical Centre had to carry approximately forty physical keys. If a single key was lost or stolen, for even one door, all compromised cylinders had to be changed. To prevent unauthorized access, all the keys had to be replaced, too — at great expense. Key duplication costs were mounting. “One lost key cost from €3,000 to €4,000 for changing cylinders and replacing the keys,” explains Fabrice Girard, Territorial Technician at the Villiers-le-Bel Municipal Technical Centre. Administrators can program access rights for every CLIQ key, padlock or cylinder using the Web ManagerTo fix their expensive lost key problem, Villiers-le-Bel city administrators chose to combine ABLOY’s mechanical PROTEC2 and CLIQ electromechanical locking within the same flexible, key-based access control system. Almost 500 CLIQ wireless cylinders, 850 programmable, battery-powered CLIQ keys, plus programming devices and wireless CLIQ padlocks, have been deployed in a multi-year, rolling upgrade program. CLIQ Web Manager software Now, with CLIQ, lost or stolen keys are canceled instantly using the CLIQ Web Manager software. The Web Manager works securely inside a standard browser, with no software installation needed. Administrators can program access rights for every CLIQ key, padlock or cylinder using the Web Manager. They filter access to specific sites and doors according to the precise needs of every city employee. “CLIQ Web Manager is a very easy and pleasant system to use every day,” says Fabrice Girard. CLIQ also saves time for the city’s security team, because staff no longer must return to the Technical Centre to collect the keys for multiple sites. Authorized users carry a single, programmable, battery-powered CLIQ key, where all their individually tailored access rights are stored. Wireless system to enhance safety We wanted a wireless system with reduced maintenance costs and increased safety"“We wanted a wireless system with reduced maintenance costs and increased safety,” adds Fabrice Girard. “CLIQ met all these requirements.” The city has already rolled out CLIQ beyond their Municipal Technical Centre to 10 local schools. Using the CLIQ Web Manager, security staff can track exactly who has been granted access to every school site — critical for these sensitive premises and to improving overall school safety. Plans are in place to equip Villiers-le-Bel’s 12 remaining schools with CLIQ within 2 to 3 years, including canteens and boiler rooms. Because CLIQ can be deployed and scaled flexibly, the city’s dedicated security budget funds this gradual extension of their CLIQ system. CLIQ® technology is secure, user-friendly and scalable across multiple sites — and already trusted in schools, colleges and universities all over Europe. To learn more about CLIQ® key access control, visit campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/cliq
Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), which manages more than 26,000 properties on behalf of Newcastle City Council, is taking an innovative approach to fire safety with a pilot project utilizing thermal imaging cameras in tower blocks. The ALMO has installed the thermal imaging cameras in three of its 45 multi-story blocks across the city in a trial partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, with the project attracting praise from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Mobotix M16 Thermal Cameras The trial of the Mobotix M16 Thermal Camera sees the cameras installed in bin chute rooms The trial of the Mobotix M16 Thermal Camera sees the cameras installed in bin chute rooms. The cameras detect minute increases in temperature, triggering an alarm in YHN’s central enquiry center before any fire has had a chance to take hold, meaning within seconds of a possible fire starting the alarm is raised with the fire service. The camera continually monitors the temperature in the room, with information relayed back to the fire service, enabling them to better prepare for responding to the fire. David Langhorne, YHN’s Assets and Development Director, said: “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower have undoubtedly put fire safety in multi-story blocks under a microscope, but we have been trialing new measures in our multi-story properties for some time. Faster Fire Detection “We pride ourselves on being innovative, so it was an easy decision for us to test something that had not yet been adopted elsewhere. The early detection system provided by the camera has many benefits, but, most importantly, the faster response time from the fire service means the potential impact on residents and their properties is minimized and they and their homes are far safer as a result.” “This trial system is one of many fire safety measures currently in place in the blocks we manage across the city, where we also have wet and dry risers, central alarm systems, smoke alarm activated bin chute fire dampers, and bin room sprinklers.” Reducing False Fire Alarms Alan Robson, Assistant Chief Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said “It’s great that YHN is innovating in this way. Using technology to support the monitoring of storage areas such as this helps improve the information we receive about incidents. This technology can reduce false alarm calls and improve our response to confirmed fires.” The standard CCTV lens provides a live feed for further verification of events OpenView Security Solutions is the UK’S largest privately-owned independent security company and a leading national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sectors. Thermal Imaging The Mobotix M16 Thermal camera’s lens is triggered when an unexpected heat pattern occurs and automatically sends an alert to the central control room. Images from the thermal lens are automatically presented to operators enabling the exact location of hotspots, such as smouldering fires, to be pinpointed. The standard CCTV lens provides a live feed for further verification of events. YHN’s existing infrastructure, which uses Openview installed equipment in the blocks to link alarms through to its enquiry center via Jontek, meant the new approach could be easily implemented without any disruption to residents. Innovative Fire Protection Solutions Andy Ward, Sales Director of OpenView Security Solutions, added “This innovative fire protection solution enables housing providers to ensure a safer environment for residents and minimize the incidence of false alarms. It now forms part of our expanding portfolio of fire and life safety solutions, one of the fastest growing areas of our business, and consolidates our leading position in the public and private housing sector.” Commenting on the partnership with YHN and OpenView, Frank Graham, Mobotix Regional Sales Manager, said: “We are very happy to be working so closely with both YHN and Openview in the development and provision of an innovative solution for such a serious issue. Mobotix cameras have inbuilt intelligence to meet all the requirements of integrator and end users alike and we look forward to a longstanding and fruitful partnership with both organizations moving forward.”
A 300-plus camera city center video surveillance scheme in Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using cameras, monitors and switching equipment from Dahua Technology. The previous analog-based CCTV system was more than 20 years old and had become expensive to maintain, so City of Lincoln Council decided to replace the analog cameras and transmission equipment with HD digital equipment. The total cost of ownership has been reduced by the savings made on legacy fiber lease costs, as well as reduced energy consumption and the ability to configure and maintain the cameras remotely. Installation Of IP Full HD System The installation of the new IP full HD system and network is part of Lincoln’s smart city strategy – Vision 2020The design of the new all-wireless encrypted system was based around delivering flexible technology, reducing the total cost of ownership, ease of installation, lower maintenance requirements, smart edge analytics and remote connectivity. Environmentally friendly aspects of the project included specifying lower-energy equipment, integrating remote support and recycling hardware wherever possible. The council employed independent consultants Lever Technology Group to help them ensure they had a robust and future-proof radio network design. The installation of the new IP full HD system and network is part of Lincoln’s smart city strategy – Vision 2020 – which seeks to drive innovation in the city and harness new technologies to improve the lives of citizens. One of the results is the provision of free Wi-Fi in the city, working alongside the Dahua cameras using the same IP wireless network. Bandwidth Efficiency Using H.265 Compression A combination of fixed and PTZ cameras were installed over a new 1GB duplex network. These include cameras from the Dahua Pro series, which features high image quality, bandwidth efficiency using H.265 compression and excellent low-light performance. Bullet cameras from the Ultra series – with powerful optical zoom, IR distances of up to 50 metres and software which supports people-counting and heat-mapping – were also installed. The design of the scheme incorporated both camera and server-side analytics with legacy motion and audio detection The bandwidth efficiency of the cameras meant that multiple cameras could be installed in any given position, providing 360° coverage of locations and up to 20 Megapixels of video capacity per location – compared with less than 400,000 pixels with the previous analog cameras. The design of the scheme incorporated both camera and server-side analytics, including video content analytics, facial recognition, ANPR, heat maps and pedestrian counting, as well as legacy motion and audio detection. The objective of the facial recognition aspect is to support operators in areas such as the search for missing and vulnerable individuals. PoE Switches For Providing Power The superior image quality of the new system is borne out in figures which show an increase in ‘actionable’ images from 5% with the previous system to 60% successful reviews with the new one. Dahua PoE switches were also installed to provide power to the cameras, which are then connected to a layer-2 network. A new video wall comprising ten Dahua DHL49-4K LED backlit 49-inch 4K Ultra HD video wall display units featuring industrial level wide-viewing LCD panels, was fitted into a newly refurbished control room in City Hall and connected to i-Comply wonderwall video display drivers. This is a great collaboration of key project partners that have a tried-and-tested pedigree and working relationship with Videcom Security"Supplied through authorized distributor Mayflex, the entire system was installed by public space CCTV specialists Videcom Security, which worked with other partners to provide a high-performance, efficient and feature-rich system. Cost-Effective And Reliable Equipment Bill Mead, Managing Director at Videcom Security, said that working largely with Dahua video equipment meant it was easier for engineers in terms of configuration, as well as being cost-effective and representing good value for money. “Working with the Dahua product range has been great. The products have proved to be reliable and we experienced very few problems, from the initial configuration through to installation and commissioning. “This is a great collaboration of key project partners that have a tried-and-tested pedigree and working relationship with Videcom Security. We broke new ground with the development of 4K H.265 decoding, the support through Luxriot for camera-side analytics and edge recording, and the development by Dahua of camera-to-camera communication, allowing for non-connected systems to communicate locally.” Infinet 5GHz And Siklu E And V Band Radios Videcom Security is a certified Dahua Integration Partner, training for which was delivered both by Dahua and the Mayflex AcademyDahua is a solution provider in the global video surveillance industry and associated technology and has a keen focus on innovation by investing heavily in research and development. For the Lincoln city scheme, its products were selected based on their performance and cost-effectiveness to meet project budgets. Videcom Security is a certified Dahua Integration Partner, training for which was delivered both by Dahua and the Mayflex Academy. This helped Videcom negotiate key firmware enhancements, which added to many of the analytical features available in each of the cameras. The wireless network is built with Infinet 5GHz and Siklu E and V band radios. Resilience and diverse routing has been built into the network design, which supports video surveillance as well as public Wi-Fi and capacity for smart city services. Luxriot have worked closely with Dahua, supplying their Evo Global video management system and supporting edge analytics integration through their ‘events and actions’ management, which has also been integrated through to i-Comply’s VTAS CRVMS software (now rebranded as Viewscape). Real-Time Control And Video Streaming The Dahua system implemented by Videcom Security provides the main elements of our tier-1 solution"The introduction of H.265 compression was ground-breaking for such a project, with the system capable of displaying 4MP and 6MP H.265 to the operator’s spot monitor with real-time control and video streaming. “The Dahua system implemented by Videcom Security provides the main elements of our tier-1 solution,” said Martin Byrne, CCTV Team leader at Lincoln City Council. “The police are extremely pleased with the system and we’ve had very positive feedback from them. “There is really no comparison from how we operated previously to how we can now. It revolutionizes how we manage the CCTV systems and data. The potential for what we can achieve going forward is remarkable. We have now started to get real results from the investment in analytics; in particular vehicle and people-counting has been deployed and data is used to enhance other city projects.” Martin added: “Dahua has taken time out to visit and discuss with us our ambitions for smart city services. We have adopted Dahua as our brand of choice for CCTV cameras and have so far been very pleased and impressed with their reliability, low-light performance and overall image quality.”
Round table discussion
The COVID-19 global pandemic continues, and more and more companies are looking for ways to continue (or resume) operations while minimizing the coronavirus’s negative impact on their workforce, or potentially contributing to disease spread among the wider population. Thermal cameras have been proposed as a solution to screen individuals for elevated body temperature since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the technology has its detractors, and there are regulatory questions. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can thermal cameras be used effectively for fever detection to screen for infectious diseases?
Serving customer needs is the goal of most commerce in the physical security market. Understanding those needs requires communication and nuance, and there are sometimes surprises along the way. But in every surprising revelation – and in every customer interaction – there is opportunity to learn something valuable that can help to serve the next customer’s needs more effectively. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What was the best lesson you ever learned from a security end user customer?
New software developments have dominated technology innovation in the physical security industry for years, making more things possible to the benefit of integrators and end users. However, hardware is another important piece of the puzzle. No matter how great your software, the system doesn’t perform unless the hardware works too. In our enthusiasm over software developments, let’s not overlook the latest in the hardware world. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do hardware improvements drive better physical security?