Network Video Recorders (NVRs) - Expert commentary

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.

What Is AI Face Search? Benefits Over Facial Recognition Systems
What Is AI Face Search? Benefits Over Facial Recognition Systems

When a child goes missing in a large, crowded mall, we have a panicking mom asking for help from the staff, at least a dozen cameras in the area, and assuming the child has gone missing for only 15 minutes, about 3 hours’ worth of video to look through to find the child. Typical security staff response would be to monitor the video wall while reviewing the footage and making a verbal announcement throughout the mall so the staff can keep an eye out for her. There is no telling how long it will take, while every second feels like hours under pressure. As more time passes, the possible areas where the child can be will widen, it becomes more time-consuming to search manually, and the likelihood of finding the child decreases. What if we can avoid all of that and directly search for that particular girl in less than 1 second? Artificial neural networks are improving every day and now enable us to search for a person across all selected camera streamsWith Artificial intelligence, we can. Artificial neural networks are improving every day and now enable us to search for a person across all selected camera streams in a fraction of a second, using only one photo of that person. The photo does not even have to be a full frontal, passport-type mugshot; it can be a selfie image of the person at a party, as long as the face is there, the AI can find her and match her face with the hundreds or thousands of faces in the locations of interest. The search result is obtained in nearly real time as she passes by a certain camera. Distinguishing Humans From Animals And Statues The AI system continuously analyzes video streams from the surveillance cameras in its network, distinguishes human faces from non-human objects such as statues and animals, and much like a human brain, stores information about those faces in its memory, a mental image of the facial features so to speak. When we, the system user, upload an image of the person of interest to the AI system, the AI detects the face(s) in that image along with their particular features, search its memory for similar faces, and shows us where and when the person has appeared. We are in control of selecting the time period (up to days) and place (cameras) to search, and we can adjust the similarity level, i.e., how much a face matches the uploaded photo, to expand or fine-tune the search result according to our need. Furthermore, because the camera names and time stamps are available, the system can be linked with maps to track and predict the path of the person of interest. AI Face Search is not Face Recognition for two reasons: it protects people’s privacy, and it is lightweight Protecting People’s Privacy With AI Face Search  All features of face recognition can be enabled by the system user, such as to notify staff members when a person of interest is approaching the store AI Face Search is not Face Recognition for two reasons: it protects people’s privacy, and it is lightweight. First, with AI Face Search, no names, ID, personal information, or lists of any type are required to be saved in the system. The uploaded image can be erased from the system after use, there is no face database, and all faces in the camera live view can be blurred out post-processing to guarantee GDPR compliance. Second, the lack of a required face database, a live view with frames drawn around the detected faces and constant face matching in the background also significantly reduces the amount of computing resource to process the video stream, hence the lightweight. Face Search Versus Face Recognition AI Face Search Face Recognition Quick search for a particular person in video footage Identify everyone in video footage Match detected face(s) in video stream to target face(s) in an uploaded image Match detected face(s) in video stream to a database Do not store faces and names in a database Must have a database with ID info Automatically protect privacy for GDPR compliance in public places May require additional paperwork to comply with privacy regulations Lightweight solution Complex solution for large-scale deployment Main use: locate persons of interest in a large area Main use: identify a person who passes through a checkpoint Of course, all features of face recognition can be enabled by the system user if necessary, such as to notify staff members when a person of interest is approaching the store, but the flexibility to not have such features and to use the search tool as a simple Google-like device particularly for people and images is the advantage of AI Face Search.Because Face Search is not based on face recognition, no faces and name identifications are stored Advantages Of AI Face Search Artificial Intelligence has advanced so far in the past few years that its facial understanding capability is equivalent to that of a human. The AI will recognise the person of interest whether he has glasses, wears a hat, is drinking water, or is at an angle away from the camera. In summary, the advantages of Face Search: High efficiency: a target person can be located within a few seconds, which enables fast response time. High performance: high accuracy in a large database and stable performance, much like Google search for text-based queries. Easy setup and usage: AI appliance with the built-in face search engine can be customised to integrate to any existing NVR/VMS/camera system or as a standalone unit depending on the customer’s needs. The simple-to-use interface requires minimal training and no special programming skills. High-cost saving: the time saving and ease of use translate to orders of magnitude less manual effort than traditionally required, which means money saving. Scalability: AI can scale much faster and at a wider scope than human effort. AI performance simply relies on computing resource, and each Face Search appliance typically comes with the optimal hardware for any system size depending on the customer need, which can go up to thousands of cameras. Privacy: AI Face Search is not face recognition. For face recognition, there are privacy laws that limits the usage. Because Face Search is not based on face recognition, no faces and name identifications are stored, so Face Search can be used in many public environments to identify faces against past and real-time video recordings. AI Face Search match detected face(s) in video stream to target face(s) in an uploaded image Common Use Cases Of AI Face Search In addition to the scenario of missing child in a shopping mall, other common use cases for the AI Face Search technology include: Retail management: Search, detect and locate VIP guests in hotels, shopping centres, resorts, etc. to promptly attend to their needs, track their behaviour pattern, and predict locations that they tend to visit. Crime suspect: Quickly search for and prove/disprove the presence of suspects (thief, robber, terrorist, etc.) in an incident at certain locations and time. School campus protection: With the recent increase in number of mass shootings in school campuses, there is a need to identify, locate and stop a weapon carrier on campus as soon as possible before he can start shooting. Face Search will enable the authorities to locate the suspect and trace his movements within seconds using multiple camera feeds from different areas on campus. Only one clear image of the suspect’s face is sufficient. In the race of technology development in response to business needs and security concerns, AI Face Search is a simple, lightweight solution for airports, shopping centres, schools, resorts, etc. to increase our efficiency, minimise manual effort in searching for people when incidents occur on site, and actively prevent potential incidents from occurring. By Paul Sun, CEO of IronYun, and Mai Truong, Marketing Manager of IronYun

Latest Anviz Global Inc. news

Anviz Unveils Touchless Iris And Face Recognition Access Control Terminals To Secure Businesses In COVID-19 Pandemic
Anviz Unveils Touchless Iris And Face Recognition Access Control Terminals To Secure Businesses In COVID-19 Pandemic

In 2020, with the continuous spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have been infected around the globe. Touchless security devices In these uncertain times, with the ever-increasing demand for touchless security devices, Anviz, a globally renowned biometric security solutions firm, offers the latest touchless solutions - iris and face recognition access control terminals. The company’s latest iris and face recognition access control terminals help reassure business owners, wrestling with the uncertainties of running their businesses, during this very challenging period. Iris S2000 and FacePass 7 Series access control terminals Anviz’s Iris (S2000) and FacePass (FacePass 7 Series) recognition terminals provide 100% touchless user authentication for a variety of applications, spanning access control, time & attendance, visitor management, etc. These terminals help: Detect if a person requesting access has an acceptable face mask or glasses. The face recognition readers have body temperature detection that will instantly alert and deny access to anyone trying to enter with body temperature above the acceptable range. Efficient body temperature screening Anviz’s iris and face recognition terminals feature a very powerful embedded dual core processor Denying access to anyone with high body temperature prevents healthy individuals from being infected, especially in shipping facilities, airports, schools, commercial office buildings, pharmacies, grocery stores, and so on. Anviz’s iris and face recognition terminals are a combination of a very powerful embedded dual core processor and the latest AI deep learning algorithm for high-level accuracy and quick matching-speed. Featuring integrated thermal sensor The capture time of the company’s touchless access control devices is less than 1 second and the matching speed is less than 0.5 second and its body temperature detection is accurate to within +/- 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit when a person stands within 20 inches of its integrated thermal sensor. Anviz successfully launched 3 models of its touchless access control series.

ISC West 2016: Physical Security Industry Focuses On Incorporating Audio, Video And Other Safeguards In An Integrated Approach
ISC West 2016: Physical Security Industry Focuses On Incorporating Audio, Video And Other Safeguards In An Integrated Approach

Access control now includes a strong focus on the data integration sideof the business, as showcased at this year’s ISC West When the category of physical security emerged many decades ago, it was literally all about locks, hardware and creating barriers such as fences to keep people out. Fast forward to ISC West 2016 in Las Vegas this week, where the focus is on intelligent solutions, smart data, cloud-based access control and incorporating audio, video and a wide range of safeguards in a total, integrated approach. LE-802 Intelligent Audio Analytic System Louroe Electronics, Van Nuys, California, is one of the original pioneers of audio technologies, and as systems continue to merge and converge, the element of sound provides a much-needed added dimension to fortifying physical security applications. Louroe Electronics is unveiling the LE-802 Intelligent Audio Analytic System, offering a robust and easy-to-install application for unattended audio monitoring on specific events analyzing the presence of gunshots, aggressive speech, glass breaking and car alarms. The system is a complete hardware and software solution housed in a weather- and vandal-resistant enclosure for outdoor applications. It also integrates with most video management and monitoring systems and works as a standalone edge solution analyzing sounds in real time, according to Chris Gaunt, Manager of North American Sales. Connecting Audio To Video Surveillance “Audio security gives you another piece of the puzzle and makes what was a silent movie come to life,” he says, adding that the bread and butter for the company is tying audio to video surveillance, as an attachment to cameras or nearby as an enhancement to surveillance. “For example, in schools, some 80 percent of verbal encounters lead to something aggressive, and now we can do something with preventative audio software,” he says. The company partnered with an analytics company to build the additional audio capabilities into its product, which also fits markets such as public safety, commercial and law enforcement, in addition to education. It also brought to market the Verifact® a gunshot detector for active shooter incidents. Louroe Electronics demonstrated the Verifact® Gunshot Detector at ISC West Data Builds Intelligent Processes A common theme of data and added intelligence was front and center at the show – getting more from physical security. Vanderbilt Industries, Parsippany,  New Jersey, introduced Vanderbilt VI Connect at the show, a custom-configurable data management system that integrates Vanderbilt’s security management system (SMS), with third party, disparate systems of any size to automate business workflow. Automation For Error Reduction Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries, says the process of access control has changed and now includes a strong focus on the data integration side of the business. “Automating workflow makes the process less labor-intensive and eliminates user error in programming permissions and schedules. The entire process is automated and performed through web interfaces and hosting. Everything we automate means one less thing to do and one less chance of doing something wrong.” VI Connect establishes rules engines and also can provide the systems integrator with detailed security audits and reports for the end user. For example, the solution can be used in higher education environments where student data — demographic information, enrolled courses, housing information and badging settings — can be processed and manipulated through the VI Connect system, ensuring that a student is only allowed to gain access to campus buildings that are relevant to that particular student’s major. CrossChex Time Attendance And Access Control Management System Anviz, an intelligent security provider with roots in biometric and RFID applications, is making its move to the cloud with the CrossChex Time Attendance and Access Control Management System. The company offers three different levels to expand the scope of specification possibilities: Desktop for small and medium businesses; Professional designed for enterprise web-based management; and Cloud for global enterprise applications. Brian Fazio, Director of Global Sales, Shanghai, China, says the three different versions provide a full solution for every type of user and their specific time and attendance applications. “CrossChex satisfies the time and attendance and access control requirements in different, complicated environments,” he says, and it also provides report management and a mobile application function that can be applied and accessed via smartphones. The lines of typical product categories continue to blur. The focus is on integrating a wide range of solutions to meet the challenges and issues of the end-user customer.

Increased Visitor Attendance, Higher Quality Conversations And New Security Products Unveiled At ASIS
Increased Visitor Attendance, Higher Quality Conversations And New Security Products Unveiled At ASIS

Foot traffic improved a little on the second day of ASIS International in Anaheim, California. Furthermore, the high quality of meetings at the big industry show tended to overshadow complaints about attendance. There is plenty to talk about in Anaheim. “The conversations have been much more substantial than you usually have at a trade show,” says Charles Hunger, Product Marketing Director, Anviz Global Inc. “They’re not general conversations, they’re ‘How can I use it? I have a very specific problem I need to solve.” Cloud-Based Services For Biometric Access Control Anviz specialises in small- to medium-sized business (SMB) applications. The company’s biometric time-and-attendance systems are strong in the retail/restaurant/small medical facility market, while the manufacturing vertical favours Anviz biometric access control applications. A relative newcomer to the U.S. market, Anviz announced at ASIS that it will begin offering cloud-based services for biometric access control and time and attendance. In business since 2001, Anviz has been successful in the Latin American market (especially Argentina) and entered the U.S. market in 2010, selling products manufactured in Shanghai, China, including a line of surveillance cameras branded under the Anviz name. The company has about two dozen dealers across North America, moving deliberately with a strategy to pay for growth in the U.S.  market from sales revenues. OnSSI Ocularis v5.0 ASIS is a great venue to highlight product improvements, and some new products introduced just last spring have been upgraded and improved since their initial launch. For example, OnSSI introduced Ocularis Version 5.0 in the spring, the first version of OnSSI’s flagship software that uses the company’s own recorder (versus an OEM’d recorder.) Ocularis Version 5.1 now includes additional integrations with camera manufacturers, including Arecont Vision and Canon, in addition to the cameras previously supported. The system also uses server-based motion detection. ASIS is a great venue to highlightproduct improvements, and somenew products introduced just lastspring have been upgraded andimproved since their initial launch  Fully encrypted using 256-bit AES, the software can be used in banking and government applications.The system also manages storage of video and load-balances storage among multiple drives to increase capacity. “The customer reaction to Ocularis 5 has been tremendous,” says Ken LaMarca, OnSSI’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “They are embracing it because it is a wholly owned product.” He says the quality of attendees at OnSSI’s booth has been very good. “But there haven’t been enough of them.” Placing confidence in the uniqueness of a product line is a good strategy in the era of commoditization. That seems to be the case for MOBOTIX, which has always charted its own product development course. The German company emphasized IP video when analog was still dominant, and they were also early to the idea of edge storage. Even with a heritage of innovation, Keith Jernigan, MOBOTIX General Manager, says the company needs to work to educate the market on who they are.  New Thermal Cameras Offering hemispheric cameras, a new thermal radiometry camera and improved video management software (VMS) that is touch-screen and intuitive to operate, the company has a lot to tell the market about. There is also a 6 megapixel camera in the lineup and “Moonlight” low-light imaging. “We believe in the technologies the company was founded on,” says Jernigan, noting that many technologies have become more common since they were pioneered by MOBOTIX. Another message for MOBOTIX at the show is use of video for functions beyond security, such as use of the new thermal camera to detect temperature extremes to monitor manufacturing or other processes. Open House Events Placing confidence in the uniquenessof a product line is a good strategy inthe era of commoditization After the show closed, events in the evening continued to draw crowds, including two open house events in nearby Irvine, Calif., a center of technology. Axis Communications hosted an open house at their new “Axis Experience Center,” a learning facility that can host up to 28 people and also focuses on use of Axis products in a variety of vertical markets, with full displays of systems targeted to markets such as gaming, education, retail and banking. A short ride away, Dahua was also hosting an open house at its Irvine facility. The Chinese company is on the verge of expanding its presence in the U.S. market, building its channel, and positioning Dahua as a trusted brand in the video surveillance market. The company has been in the U.S. market for years as an OEM/ODM manufacturer, but is now beginning to build up its branded business. The global company is already selling products, including HD cameras, NVRs, video display walls, VMS software and video analytics, in 140 countries. It’s one of the companies that makes the ASIS show truly international. 

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