Network Video Recorders (NVRs) - Expert commentary

Securing Mobile Vehicles: The Cloud and Solving Transportation Industry Challenges
Securing Mobile Vehicles: The Cloud and Solving Transportation Industry Challenges

Securing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the transportation industry is multi-faceted for a multitude of reasons. Pressures build for transit industry players to modernise their security systems, while also mitigating the vulnerabilities, risks, and growth-restrictions associated with proprietary as well as integrated solutions. There are the usual physical security obstacles when it comes to increasingly integrated solutions and retrofitting updated technologies into legacy systems. Starting with edge devices like cameras and intelligent sensors acquiring video, analytics and beyond, these edge devices are now found in almost all public transportation like buses, trains, subways, airplanes, cruise lines, and so much more. You can even find them in the world’s last manually operated cable car systems in San Francisco. The next layer to consider is the infrastructure and networks that support these edge devices and connect them to centralized monitoring stations or a VMS. Without this layer, all efforts at the edge or stations are in vain as you lose the connection between the two. And the final layer to consider when building a comprehensive transit solution is the software, recording devices, or viewing stations themselves that capture and report the video. The challenge of mobility However, the transportation industry in particular has a very unique challenge that many others do not – mobility. As other industries become more connected and integrated, they don’t usually have to consider going in and out or bouncing between networks as edge devices physically move. Obviously in the nature of transportation, this is key. Have you ever had a bad experience with your cellular, broadband or Wi-Fi at your home or office? You are not alone. The transportation industry in particular has a very unique challenge that many others do not – mobility Can you trust these same environments to record your surveillance video to the Cloud without losing any frames, non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? To add to the complexity – how do you not only provide a reliable and secure solution when it’s mobile, traveling at varying speeds, and can be in/out of coverage using various wireless technologies? Waiting to upload video from a transport vehicle when it comes into port, the station, or any centralized location is a reactive approach that simply will not do any longer. Transit operations require a more proactive approach today and the ability to constantly know what is going on at any given time on their mobile vehicles, and escalate that information to headquarters, authorities, or law enforcement if needed; which can only occur with real-time monitoring. This is the ultimate question when it comes to collecting, analyzing, and sharing data from mobile vehicles – how to get the video from public transportation vehicles alike to headquarters in real time! Managing video data In order to answer this question, let’s get back to basics. The management and nature of video data differs greatly from conventional (IT) data. Not only is video conducted of large frames, but there are specific and important relationships among the frames and the timing between them. This relationship can easily get lost in translation if not handled properly. This is why it’s critical to consider the proper way to transmit large frames while under unstable or variable networks. The Internet and its protocols were designed more than two decades ago and purposed for conventional data. Although the Internet itself has not changed, today’s network environments run a lot faster, expand to further ranges, and support a variety of different types of data. Because the internet is more reliable and affordable than in the past some might think it can handle anything. However, it is good for data, but not for video. This combination makes it the perfect time to convert video recording to the Cloud! Video transmission protocol One of the main issues with today’s technology is the degradation of video quality when transmitting video over the Internet. ITS are in dire need for reliable transmission of real-time video recording. To address this need a radical, yet proven, video transmission protocol has recently been introduced to the market. It uses AI technology and to adapt to different environments in order to always deliver high quality, complete video frames. This protocol, when equipped with encryption and authentication, enables video to be transmitted reliably and securely over the Internet in a cloud environment. One of the main issues with today’s technology is the degradation of video quality when transmitting video over the Internet Finally, transportation industry has a video recording Cloud solution that is designed for (massive) video that can handle networks that might be experiencing high error rate. Such a protocol will not only answer the current challenges of the transportation industry, but also make the previously risky Cloud environment safe for even the most reserved environments and entities. With revolutionary transmission protocols, the time is now to consider adopting private Cloud for your transportation operations.

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

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorization and the appropriate credentials. The access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customized and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms powers continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

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

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

Latest Hikvision USA Inc. news

Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras
Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras

Hikvision, a manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions is launching a special, limited-time promotion on the company’s next generation of intelligent AcuSense PCI series cameras. Employing advanced deep learning algorithms, AcuSense cameras can accurately distinguish people and vehicles from other moving targets such as animals and shadows in real-time, vastly improving detection accuracy while reducing costly false alarms. Improve safety and security “Our next generation of AcuSense cameras delivers intelligent features and capabilities that improve safety and security and help eliminate costly false alarms in virtually any environment. AcuSense PCI models use audio and visual alarm messages to actively reduce the risk of intrusion, providing real-time proactive deterrence from crime, intruders, and unwanted behavior,” said Michael Hendrix, director of sales engineering, Hikvision. “These new AcuSense cameras deliver the perfect combination of intelligent performance and cost-efficiency for a wide range of users and applications.” Limited time price reduction For a limited time during the month of May, Hikvision is offering select second-generation AcuSense PCI cameras at a significant price reduction. Those seeking details about the promotion can request additional information online. To learn more about Hikvision’s next generation of AcuSense cameras, join a special open webinar on May 7, 2021. Registration for the webinar is free but space is limited. AcuSense camera features AcuSense cameras precisely sense human and vehicle movement versus non-human objects, reducing false alarms up to 90 percent and improving alarm handling efficiency. New strobe light and audio features on SL models vastly improve on-site response and real-time, proactive crime deterrence. The new generation of AcuSense cameras includes a host of advanced features, including customizable two-way audio warnings, ultra-low light color performance, and camera-accessible cloud video storage.  

Hikvision Shares Awareness Of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities With IoT Devices
Hikvision Shares Awareness Of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities With IoT Devices

As the media often reports, the world of cybersecurity can be seen like the ‘Wild West’. There’s now a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to the web, making this a hot topic. Among these devices are security cameras. IoT devices are computers that use software that makes them vulnerable. As the famous cybersecurity evangelist Mikko Hypponen says, "If a device is smart, it's vulnerable!" Hypponen is right. On a daily basis, new vulnerabilities are found in software, regardless of the manufacturer. In 2019, more than 12,000 vulnerabilities worldwide were made public and reported as a CVE (Common Vulnerability and Exposure) in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). Unfortunately, vulnerabilities are a given. What really matters is how a company deals with and resolves vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities Awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities is vitally important to protect one, one’s business and the Internet Awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities is vitally important to protect one, one’s business and the Internet, but it’s also important to understand that a vulnerability is not synonymous with “backdoor”, and is not necessarily indicative of “cheap quality.” But there are companies out there that are embedding safeguards into their development processes to reduce the risks. One could see them as ‘Sheriffs’, taking steps to make this Wild West a little safer.  Hikvision ‘Secure-by-Design’ Manufacturers of IoT devices can significantly reduce these vulnerabilities during the production of devices Security cameras, like all other IoT devices, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fortunately, manufacturers of IoT devices can significantly reduce these vulnerabilities during the production of devices, using a process called ‘Secure-by-Design’. Implementation of Secure-by-Design requires a commitment on the part of the manufacturer’s management team and a serious investment in resources and technology, which can result in a longer production process and a higher cost of the IoT device. Cost is often the reason why some IoT device manufacturers do not use Secure-by-Design (and are indeed cheaper). Hikvision is a producer of IoT devices that takes security and privacy very seriously and has implemented Secure-by-Design in its production process. Management supports this process and has even set up a dedicated internal cybersecurity structure charged with product cybersecurity. This group is also the central point of contact for all other cybersecurity matters. Product testing Hikvision Security Development Life Cycle (HSDLC) is an essential part of Hikvision's cybersecurity program The Hikvision Security Development Life Cycle (HSDLC) is an essential part of Hikvision's cybersecurity program. Cybersecurity checks take place at every stage of product development — from concept to delivery. For example, product testing takes place during the verification phase, the company also regularly invites well-known security companies and public testing platforms to conduct penetrating testing. There is no guarantee if Hikvision products are immune to hacking, but the HSDLC is a testament to a manufacturer that makes every effort to produce products that are as cyber secure as possible. In addition to the Secure-by-Design process, Hikvision opened a Source Code Transparency Center (SCTC) lab in California in 2018, being a lab to open such a center. At this center, U.S., the Canadian government and law enforcement agencies can view and evaluate the source code of Hikvision IoT devices (IP cameras and network video recorders). Hikvision firmware Hikvision has a Vulnerability Management Program in place when a vulnerability is discovered It’s important to emphasize that no product is 100 percent secure. Hikvision has a Vulnerability Management Program in place when a vulnerability is discovered in a product. To date, vulnerabilities that have been reported to Hikvision and/or made publicly known, have been patched in the latest Hikvision firmware, and are readily available on the Hikvision website. In addition, Hikvision is a CVE CNA, and has committed to continuing to work with third-party white-hat hackers and security researchers, to find, patch and publicly release updates to products in a timely manner. These vulnerabilities are collected in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) and are public. Hikvision recommends that customers who are interested in purchasing security cameras inquire about a manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices and if they have an established Vulnerability Management Program.  Cybersecurity questions to consider The cybersecurity of IoT devices is a topic that needs to be addressed in a serious way and it should play an essential role in the product development process, beginning at the concept phase of an IoT product. This requires time, investment and knowledge. Consider the following questions: Trust on the manufacturer of a low-cost security camera Manufacturer with a dedicated cybersecurity organization Manufacturer on handling the vulnerabilities These are the questions that everyone should ask themselves when making a purchase, be it a camera or any other IoT product. Cybersecurity practices There is no absolute 100% guarantee of security, but Hikvision has practices to ensure the cybersecurity for its cameras. Cooperation, with its customers, installers, distributors and partners, and full transparency are key elements to successfully secure IoT devices. When one reads cybersecurity news, one is invited to look beyond the headlines, and really get to know the companies that produce the IoT devices. Before one buys a security camera or any IoT device, it is advisable to check out the manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices, look for a company with a robust vulnerability management program, a company that aligns itself with Secure-by-Design and Privacy-by-Design and a company that employs cybersecurity professionals who are ready and eager to answer one’s questions. One may remember that there are Sheriffs out there, as well as bandits.

Hikvision Introduces MinMoe And Flow Control Solutions For Density Control, Temperature Screening, Mask Detection And Access Control
Hikvision Introduces MinMoe And Flow Control Solutions For Density Control, Temperature Screening, Mask Detection And Access Control

Businesses are now gradually reopening in many countries, and people can return to restaurants, office buildings, and public spaces. A safe reopening process will rely heavily on effective public health strategies, including increased testing for the virus, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and cleaning and disinfection activities. In many countries, temperature measurement and the wearing of masks have been commonly made mandatory in both business and public environments. While social distancing and occupancy restrictions are considered necessary in public areas such as shopping malls and transportation hubs, workplaces like office buildings and industrial parks are looking for solutions featuring authorized entries with confidence. In lifting the restrictions for businesses and public areas, innovative video technologies can also help organizations meet and exceed health guidelines for safe and effective reopening. Temperature screening at entry  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, a very well-known public health organization, have issued new guidelines for reopening offices. The CDC advises daily health checks including temperature screenings before employees enter a workplace. To achieve this, security cameras equipped with thermographic video technology can be an effective tool for rapid and safe initial temperature screening. Applications include, for example, schools, industrial parks, hospitals, office buildings, malls and hotels, etc. Hikvision’s temperature screening solutions offer various product types including installed thermographic cameras, handheld thermographic cameras, metal detector doors, and MinMoe access terminals that can be flexibly deployed for a wide range of applications. Video monitoring for mask compliance Wearing masks is recommended as a measure to contain respiratory droplets and protect the general public. Masks are also commonly included in worldwide health guidelines towards reopening. Store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate Hence, compliance with this guideline has become crucial to many organizations. Video technology can help monitor the use of protective masks in clever and unobtrusive ways. AI algorithms can detect whether a person is wearing a mask. The system then triggers a pre-defined action if no mask is detected, such as, for example, a voice prompt or a link to an access system to deny entry. This provides a simple way to monitor the situation, or even to remind people of the rules. Hikvision’s thermal and AcuSense cameras, as well as MinMoe temperature screening terminals are equipped to detect masks. A specialized interface on Hikvision’s DeepinMind NVRs can also be used to visually display temperature and mask status together, making monitoring much easier. Crowd density control Social distancing plays an important role in “flattening the curve” in the spread of the coronavirus. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately In various countries, the recommended physical distancing might differ slightly, but maintaining a distance of a meter or more (3-6 feet) will remain a key recommendation of health authorities. In addition, store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate, so as to ensure safe shopping spaces. Technologies incorporating social distancing and occupancy detection can be put into places like these to assist the process. Hikvision Flow Control Hikvision’s Flow Control system utilizes highly accurate people counting technology. A clear, dynamic display and real-time alerts ensure pre-defined capacity thresholds are never exceeded, even in locations with multiple entrances and exits, such as, for example, shopping malls and supermarkets. Video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing A digital sign can be integrated at entrance areas to display real-time occupancy data, as well as temperature and mask information, letting customers know when it is safe to enter premises. In waiting areas such as cash registers in supermarkets and indoor ATMs in malls, Hikvision’s video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately. The exact measurement can be adjusted, well within the social distancing minimum separation guidelines. Touch-free access control  Schools and workplaces have previously made use of traditional access control and time attendance systems such as ID card swiping, PIN codes, or fingerprint scans, which require staff and students to frequently touch shared surfaces. This only increases the risk of spreading infection. With touch-free access control terminals, organizations can not only eliminate the risk, but greatly enhance their daily operational efficiency. Hikvision’s MinMoe temperature screening terminals unify temperature screening, mask detection, and access control & time attendance in one model. The system only grants entries when the guidelines are met, which is particularly useful in highly-populated workplaces like industrial parks and office buildings. 

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