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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 FLIR Systems news

FLIR Wins Additional $15.4M Contract For Black Hornet Nano-UAV Systems For U.S. Army Soldier Borne Sensor Program
FLIR Wins Additional $15.4M Contract For Black Hornet Nano-UAV Systems For U.S. Army Soldier Borne Sensor Program

FLIR Systems, Inc. announced it has won an additional $15.4 million contract to deliver its FLIR Black Hornet® 3 Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS) to the U.S. Army. The advanced nano-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being used to augment squad and small unit-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities as part of the Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) program. In late 2018, the U.S. Army began acquiring Black Hornet 3’s to support the SBS effort. Since then, it has placed orders totaling more than $85 million for the FLIR nano-UAV. Live video and HD images Extremely light and well suited for operations in contested environments, nearly silent, and with a flight time up to 25 minutes, the combat-proven, pocket-sized Black Hornet PRS transmits live video and HD still images back to the operator. Its information feed provides soldiers with immediate covert situational awareness to help them perform missions more effectively. FLIR has delivered more than 12,000 Black Hornet nano-UAVs to defense and security forces worldwide.  Enhanced safety of troops “Unmanned systems like our Black Hornet provide enhanced standoff and safety to troops in harm’s way, which is critical as militaries intensify their plans for multi-domain operations,” said Roger Wells, VP, and general manager of Unmanned Systems & Integrated Solutions at FLIR. “We’re honored the Black Hornet plays an integral part in the Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor program. Every new order is a testament to the difference this technology can make on the battlefield and renews our commitment to advancing the science.” The award-winning Black Hornet is designed and built by FLIR in Norway. Deliveries will begin midyear 2021.

FLIR Systems Launches Radiometric Version Of Boson Thermal Imaging Camera Module
FLIR Systems Launches Radiometric Version Of Boson Thermal Imaging Camera Module

The Boson® camera core represents the best in FLIR high-performance uncooled thermal imaging technology within a small, lightweight, and low-power package, and FLIR partners and customers will have the option to purchase radiometric versions that can capture the temperature data of every pixel in the scene. Camera configurations The new Boson radiometric camera core comes in two versions, 640 x 512 or 320 x 256 resolutions with multiple lens configurations and the ability to capture temperature data for quantitative assessment. The camera core is meant for use in systems across a variety of applications including firefighting, surveillance, security, unmanned systems, industrial inspection, and fixed-asset monitoring. Assessing temperature accuracy The Boson SDK feature provides guidance across five confidence grades offering in-the-moment assessment  Featuring radiometric accuracy provides ±5 °C (±8 °F) or ±5% temperature measurement accuracy, the Boson Radiometric cameras include a Spot Meter Accuracy software feature that provides an assessment of how accurate a given temperature measurement appears in the scene. Available as telemetry data accessed through the Boson SDK or the Boson graphical user interface (GUI), this feature provides guidance across five confidence grades offering in-the-moment assessment to help improve temperature measurement confidence. Spot meter accuracy In addition, the Spot Meter Accuracy software feature gives operators the ability to account for dynamic ambient temperatures, along with the ability to configure measurements prior to operation, including adjusting emissivity and thermal gain settings. These functions are crucial for outdoor environments and the swift movements of unmanned antenna drones and automated ground vehicles. The software also offers inspection and assessment features, including spot meters and windows that pinpoint temperature measurement in the scene that the camera is focused on, and atmospheric correction capabilities during post-processing analysis. 40 years of thermal imaging expertise The Boson family of thermal imaging cores is an important part of the 40 plus years of thermal imaging expertise that FLIR offers. As a result of this expertise, the Boson thermal imaging cores utilize a high sensitivity 12-micron pixel pitch detector that provides high-resolution thermal imaging in a small, low-power, lightweight, and turnkey package. All Boson cores feature FLIR infrared video processing architecture, noise reduction filters, and local-area contrast. The imaging processing capabilities accommodate industry-standard communication interfaces, including visible CMOS and USB.

FLIR's Dual-Vision Cameras For Automatic Incident Detection Keep Norwegian Tunnels Safe
FLIR's Dual-Vision Cameras For Automatic Incident Detection Keep Norwegian Tunnels Safe

FLIR was selected to provide intelligent dual-vision cameras with embedded Automatic Incident Detection (AID) to be installed in the new Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels in Norway. The cameras alert tunnel operators on a variety of possible traffic incidents, including stopped vehicles, lost cargo, and pedestrians, allowing emergency services to react fast. The Ryfast project Norway has complex geography. The many fjords, glaciers, and mountains make traveling without natural obstacles a challenge, which is why the country has so many tunnels. The Ryfast project is one of the country’s most recent additions in tunnel infrastructure, running from the city of Stavanger to the municipality of Strand. It is also Norway’s largest road project to date. The Ryfast project consists of three tunnels. The 14.4 km Ryfylke tunnel, running from the village of Tau to the isle of Hundvåg, was opened in December 2019. The 5.5 km Hundvåg tunnel, from Hundvåg to Stavanger, was opened in April 2020. The latter tunnel connects with the 3.7 km Eiganes tunnel, which runs beneath the city of Stavanger, as part of the E39 coastal highway. Safety in dense traffic Trafsys again selected FLIR Systems to deliver the AID camera technology When the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) and tunnel contractor were looking for a reliable tunnel safety system for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels, they intended to uphold the same high safety standards the organization is known for. This is especially critical given the dense traffic situation in the twin-bore tunnels - 10,000 and 35,000 daily vehicles for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels respectively. For both tunnels, Nordic system integrator Trafsys was selected to supply the Traffic Control & Monitoring system, video surveillance (CCTV), and Automatic Incident Detection (AID), among other things. Trafsys again selected FLIR Systems to deliver the AID camera technology, based on both companies’ many years of experience in tunnel safety projects.  FLIR’s detection systems “We were already convinced of the stability of FLIR’s incident detection systems because we have been using them in previous tunnel projects,” says Knut-Olav Bjelland, Department Manager at Trafsys, AS. “FLIR’s powerful detection algorithms on visual traffic cameras have proven their performance in tunnel projects worldwide. With FLIR’s dual-vision cameras, we were able to combine the company’s proven video analytics with the power of thermal imaging.”    Visual and thermal in one camera In total, 332 FLIR cameras have been installed in the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels combined Trafsys chose FLIR’s ITS Series Dual AID cameras, which combine a thermal and visual camera with FLIR’s advanced video analytics. In total, 332 FLIR cameras have been installed in the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels combined. With the thermal imaging camera, the FLIR ITS Series Dual AID provides critical information on traffic incidents, including stopped vehicles, sudden speed drops, wrong-way drivers, pedestrians, fallen objects, and starting fires. Operators also use the high-resolution (640 x 512 pixels) thermal image to verify the incident and to see where the incident took place. The use of thermal imaging cameras has especially proven valuable for tunnel entrances and exits. There, shadows or direct sunlight could obstruct the view of the visible-light camera and therefore disturb traffic detection. Because they detect heat, not light, thermal cameras have no issues with these phenomena and as a result, they can detect traffic 24/7, in all weather conditions. Detection and performance “When you look at the complex topography of the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels, a camera system like the FLIR ITS Series Dual AID is the most efficient technology choice,” says Knut-Olav. “And with the many bends and turns in both tunnels, you need appropriate detection systems at many different positions.” “The cameras’ daily performance is excellent,” says Anders Helle, Construction/Maintenance Manager at NPRA. “We can clearly see the detected incidents on the thermal image in our control room, which reduces the time to understand the situation and speeds up our decision-making process. Based on the system’s reliability, performance, and low unwanted alarm rate, we would definitely recommend the FLIR dual-vision camera for automatic incident detection.” Providing safety in tunnels “We are honored to be selected for this major tunnel safety project,” says Sukhdev Bhogal, Business Development Director at FLIR Systems. “It is the first time that our FLIR ITS Dual AID cameras have been deployed in such large numbers, and we are looking forward to making more tunnels in the region a safer place to travel through.” Safety is critical, given the dense traffic situation in the twin-bore tunnels - 10,000 and 35,000 daily vehicles for the Hundvåg and Eiganes tunnels respectively. Early fire detection The dual cameras’ fire detection functionality demonstrates the early detection capability within seconds  “Apart from the great detection performance we are used to from FLIR, having a combined visual and thermal camera from one vendor has nothing but benefits,” says Knut-Olav. “Combining both cameras into one detection unit makes it a very compact solution, and cabling is also much simpler.” The dual cameras’ fire detection functionality has also been switched on to demonstrate the early detection capability within seconds of the appearance of visible flames. This could be crucial for tunnel operators to close the tunnel fast and take the necessary decisions in the case of a fire. The thermal technology from FLIR ITS also allows seeing through the smoke. This allows operators to detect the presence of pedestrians and vehicles in a smoke-filled traffic tunnel. The fire detection functionality was already demonstrated when a car caught fire in the Hundvåg tunnel in July 2020. The FLIR ITS Dual thermal AID camera picked up the fire within 7 seconds after visible flames appeared, following its first alert for a stopped vehicle and pedestrians.

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