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.

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The Gaylord Opryland Resort And Convention Center Upgrades Their Video Surveillance System With Cameras From Hanwha Techwin
The Gaylord Opryland Resort And Convention Center Upgrades Their Video Surveillance System With Cameras From Hanwha Techwin

Marriott International Inc. is a hospitality company and the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is a Marriott property in the world. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Gaylord Opryland offers visitors the chance to experience Music City under a single roof. The resort has a hotel with over 3000 suites and rooms and a smaller adjacent hotel with more than 300. Risk assessment Ryman Hospitality, the organization that owns Gaylord Brand Hotels, decided to embark on a risk assessment of their properties in 2017. The third-party assessors discovered that CCTV systems were lacking in all of the hotels, including at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. According to Greg Pezzo, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Attractions’ Safety and Security Director, “The system consisted of old operating systems and cameras that didn’t all work. The security team could not get consistent playback from all of their cameras, and they were not able to store data for more than a few weeks at a time.” As a result of the risk assessment, ownership decided to invest in a complete upgrade of all its hotels and chose the Gaylord Opryland as its test case. Their strategy was to use Opryland as the model and then upgrade their other five Gaylord hotels following its success. Installation of multidirectional cameras Working with integrator Herring Technology, Ryman Hospitality designed a solution that features a new video management system (VMS) from Milestone Systems and 400 state-of-the-art cameras from Hanwha Techwin. The Resort purchased a variety of Hanwha cameras, including 145 XND-6010 full HD cameras with video analytics, 182 Q series indoor and outdoor dome cameras with IR, and more than 20 PNM 7000 and 9000 multi-directional cameras. Deciding where to place their cameras was a relatively simple process. Pezzo explains, “We added cameras where we had high volume, where we had experienced problems in the past, and where we didn’t previously have cameras at all.” They also looked at their own data relating to theft and other incidents to help determine camera location. High-quality imaging camera The surveillance system and the cameras are helping to protect the resort against liability from potential lawsuits According to Pezzo, one of the main functions of their upgraded system is protecting the resort against false claims. He states, “From a claims perspective, this surveillance system and, specifically, these cameras are helping to protect us against liability from potential lawsuits.” He explains, “Our older security camera images are grainy or black and white, which means we could not get the level of detail we needed. But, with Hanwha cameras, we are able to capture high-quality images in real-time that show us, for example, how a guest fell: whether there was an obstruction, water on the floor, an indentation, or whether the guest simply tripped.” The ability to protect the organization against potential lawsuits equates to significant ROI for the Resort. Easy to keep track of movement As a result of the upgrade, security is easily able to track persons of interest clearly as they move throughout the resort. Says Pezzo, “With 3000 rooms and a million square feet of property, the ability to see an individual this clearly as they move through our spaces is incredible. In the past, we would lose people in uncovered sections. They would just disappear. But that doesn’t happen anymore.” For the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, the upgrade had an immediate impact. According to Pezzo, “On the first day after installing the new cameras, someone attempted a false claim, but we were easily able to prove that it was not our fault.” For 2021, the Resort plans to invest in more new cameras every few months as the budget becomes available.

What New Technologies And Trends Will Shape Video Analytics?
What New Technologies And Trends Will Shape Video Analytics?

The topic of video analytics has been talked and written about for decades, and yet is still one of the cutting-edge themes in the physical security industry. Some say yesterday’s analytics systems tended to overpromise and underdeliver, and there are still some skeptics. However, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reinvigorating the sector and enabling it to finally live up to its promise. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new technologies and trends will shape video analytics in 2021?

Hanwha Techwin Announces The Immediate Availability Of A New Range of Public View Monitors (PVMs) With Built-in Cameras
Hanwha Techwin Announces The Immediate Availability Of A New Range of Public View Monitors (PVMs) With Built-in Cameras

Hanwha Techwin, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, has announced the immediate availability of a new range of easy to install and affordable Public View Monitors (PVMs) designed to help retailers deter crime. Wisenet PVMs The new Wisenet PVMs offer a complete built-in SSL-connected 2-megapixel camera, eliminating the need for system integrators to install and connect a separate supporting camera. With a choice of 10”, 27”, and 32” (inches) monitors, the three new PVMs can be easily placed at store entrances, shopping aisles, cash registers, or self-service checkouts. Public view monitors can serve as a strong deterrent to illicit behavior" “Public view monitors can serve as a strong deterrent to illicit behavior,” said Ray Cooke, Senior Vice President, Products, Solutions, and Integration, Hanwha Techwin America, adding “Our new line of PVMs has been designed for ease of installation so they can be quickly deployed across a large number of stores.” Supported by Wisenet WAVE VMS and NVRs Aside from deterring crime, the new PVMs can also display other important information, such as customized on-screen messaging to indicate a recording is in progress, as well as supplier commercials, own-brand product promotions, and special offers, by making use of the monitors’ SD/SDHC/SDXC slot, which can facilitate up to 256GB of data storage capacity. Supported by the Wisenet WAVE video management platform (Wisenet WAVE VMS), as well as Wisenet NVRs (Network Video Recorders), the ONVIF-conformant Public View Monitors can be programmed so that images captured by the cameras are either continuously recorded or when prompted to do so, by built-in face or motion detection video analytics. Face and motion detection activation The face and motion detection feature can also be configured to switch the display to ‘live’ view to make people aware they are being watched, as they will be able to see themselves on the monitor as they enter a store or walk down a shopping aisle. The display reverts to the slide show after a specified number of seconds. The PVMs can be integrated with tagging (EAS) systems to record images of people, who might be leaving the store with stolen items. Video evidence Public View Monitors will continuously stream images to a control room, where they can be viewed via VMS Regardless of whether they are displaying live images or a slide show, or the monitor has been turned off by someone using a remote control, the Public View Monitors will continuously stream images to a control room, where they can be viewed via video management software (VMS), as well as continue to be recorded on an on-site or remotely located NVR. The ultra-low light capabilities of the new PVMs, together with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology performing at up to 150dB, enables the built-in camera to capture clear and sharp images in strongly contrasting light conditions, at store entrances, for example, where strong sunlight may be streaming in. Power over Ethernet (PoE+) All three Public View Monitors (PVMs) can be powered by 12V DC power supply, with the Wisenet SMT-1030PV also offering the option to utilize Power over Ethernet (PoE+), if there isn’t an existing power supply close to where the Public View Monitor is being installed. A single cable of up to 325 feet is all that is needed to provide power to the SMT-1030PV and for network communications. The three new Wisenet PVMs, which can be mounted by using standard VESA brackets, are as follows: SMT-1030PV: 10” monitor with LED backlight and 1024 x 600 display resolution. SMT-2730PV: 27” monitor with LED backlight, HDMI input, and Full HD display. SMT-3230PV: 32” monitor with LED backlight, HDMI input, and Full HD display.

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