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The physical security industry is moving fast. Evolving risks, new technologies and business changes all converged and had a profound impact on the industry in 2019. Looking back at our top articles of the year – as measured by those that received the most “clicks” at our website – provides a decent summary of how the industry evolved this year. Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2019 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. Schneider Electric to Sell Pelco to Private Equity Firm Schneider entered exclusive negotiations with Transom Capital Group, a U.S.-based private equity firm, to sell the Pelco business unit. Pelco is a security industry stalwart and global specialist in the design, development, and delivery of end-to-end video surveillance solutions and services including cameras, recording and management systems software. 2. High-Tech Drones, Robots and Counter-Drone Solutions on Display From robots to drones to counter-drone solutions, a range of new technologies [was] displayed at ISC West 2019. The Unmanned Security Expo [included] a dedicated complimentary education theater for attendees offering sessions on a range of topics. Also included [were] demos of the best UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), UGVs (unmanned ground robotics and vehicles) and autonomous systems on the market. 3. Hikvision and Dahua Banned from Buying U.S. Exports In effect, inclusion on the “entities” list restricts the export of equipment to the two companies because of their alleged involvement in “human rights violations and abuses” related to a Chinese government campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against minority groups. Equipment from the two companies is used to provide video surveillance capabilities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. 4. The many faces of today's facial recognition technology Used proportionately and responsibly, facial recognition can and should be a force for good. It has the ability to do a lot more to increase security in the future. From street crime to airport security, all the way through to helping those battling addiction, the technology can take security and operations to new heights. 5. Security Industry Trends to Be Led by Focus on Cyber Security In 2019 With a more open, connected environment come cyber-risk and data privacy concerns – which is why, in the Security Industry Association’s 2019 Security Megatrends, cybersecurity’s impact on the physical security industry ranks number one on the list. Cybersecurity is affecting all areas of the industry landscape, from security implementation to attracting top talent to the workforce. 6. Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP): The Gold Standard for Access Control Installations The Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP) is now the industry’s gold standard for physical access control installations. It was designed to offer a higher level of security with more flexible options than the aging, de facto Wiegand wiring standard. OSDP, first introduced in 2011 by the Security Industry Association (SIA), continues to evolve with significant manufacturer input. 7. Honeywell Embracing AI, Reinvesting in Video Portfolio Although uses for artificial intelligence (AI) are still emerging in security, Honeywell sees an important role for AI in building a connected system to ensure the safety and security of a building, and more importantly, its occupants. AI allows end users to go beyond monitoring activity on a surface level to really understand the scene – from who exactly is in the area to what they might be doing. 8. A Secured Entrance Is the First Defense Against an Active Shooter What the majority of venues [of recent active shooter incidents] have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. 9. Debunking the Myths of the Security of Access Control Systems One of the areas where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smart cards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. 10. At Chubb Fire and Security, Ethics is a Core Concept with Practical Impact Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process.
Kurt Takahashi, the new CEO of Pelco, says he will provide collaborative leadership to help build the Pelco team, work together hand-in-hand with team members, remove barriers and lead the company forward. He brings industry experience and relationships to the new post that will translate into new opportunities. Takahashi joins Pelco from AMAG Technology, where he served as President for the last couple of years. Earlier, he had stints at ADT, Tyco and Quantum Secure, where he was Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This was an opportunity to join a brand that has deep, rich and far-reaching history,” says Takahashi. “I couldn’t resist the opportunity to come into a company such as Pelco and be able to make a difference.” Improving the fundamentals Takahashi acknowledges that Pelco has slipped in the last 10 years from its position as a market-leading brand. To address the situation going forward, the company must “improve fundamental things,” he says. Those fundamentals include keeping the customer first, putting the right people in the right roles, and executing technical support well. Keeping the customer first, putting the right people in the right roles, and executing technical support well “We have to provide customer service from when we receive an order, to acknowledging it, to processing it and shipping the order,” says Takahashi. “Another piece is to deliver revisions to a product in a faster time period and introduce new products to the market in a timely way. In terms of market presence, we learn that people haven’t really heard from Pelco in a while. We have to get in front of integrators and consultants more aggressively than we have in the past.” “It’s up to us to prove that we belong and can sustain and support customers moving forward,” he adds. “We will get new opportunities, but we will need to execute them. If we do that, we will grow.” Brand optimism Takahashi sees more reasons for optimism. “In spite of the problems, we are a big company with thousands of customers, a massive footprint, 10 offices around the world and people in over 40 countries. We are a strong, known brand around the world. These are a great foundation to grow from; we just have to execute better.” These are a great foundation to grow from; we just have to execute better Pelco’s new parent company, Transcom Capital Group, was another reason Takahashi was attracted to the position. He says Transom is led by “amazing professionals” that specialize in “transformational culture and how to diffuse best practices in an organization.” At Pelco, Transom has already led surveys, workshops and focus groups throughout the organization to create a vision, mission and values covering how the company wants to present itself in the market. From those values will emanate new process and policy improvements to move the company in the right direction. New visions and missions The company’s new, collectively developed vision is “to make the world safer.” The mission is “to deliver distinctive video solutions and world-class customer experiences.” The company’s new, collectively developed vision is “to make the world safer.” The company’s culture is built on six values: innovation and excellence, customer focus, integrity, respect and recognition, collaboration, and ownership. “We believe this is what will help drive our culture moving forward, and it’s the mindset of all of us as one team with one goal that will give us something to be proud of,” says Takahashi. “As we move into the new era of Pelco, you will see excitement internally and externally,” he adds “Everybody’s really eager to see Pelco come back and be a significant player.” Three horizons to success The idea is to look inward and improve on the current, successful product lines Takahashi sees three horizons that summarize the company’s path to future success. The first horizon is to focus on the fundamentals of what the company does today. The idea is to look inward and improve on the current, successful product lines, such as the VideoXpert video system and on-board video analytics. The second horizon will be to look at ways to advance the current feature set, whether “to build, partner or buy.” Building partnerships will be part of that success, such as the partnerships they are already building with Briefcam and Anyvision. The third horizon will be to expand their innovation, based on feedback from end users, dealers and consultants. “I want to get very deeply connected with our customer base,” says Takahashi. “Are we on the right path? Should we explore other partner relationships? We need to bring those minds together to expand our vision.” The focus should be on solving three business problems – mitigating risk, ensuring compliance and saving money. Looking ahead to ISC West in the spring, Takahashi expects Pelco to emerge as a more proactive company that is eager to engage. “We have a lot of stories to communicate, and we have not been as active as we should,” he says.
In the banking world, the threat of unwanted intrusions into premises leading to loss of property and even risk to life is always present. Small wonder then that banking institutions take so much care over their security systems and also over their choice of suppliers for those products. In the retail banking sector, requirements for intrusion detection and related security measures are necessarily more stringent and more specialized than in most other areas of business and commerce. Data capture form to appear here! The banks clearly need to work with suppliers whose integrity is beyond question. They should also be looking for organizations that can offer expert advice, gained through their knowledge of design and manufacturing security products. Systems need specialist installer partners in order to provide a seamless solution. Systems need specialist installer partners in order to provide a seamless solution The special requirements of the banking sector These supplier organizations must also fully understand the special requirements of the banking sector and, ideally, should be able to demonstrate proven experience in that sector. They must also be willing and able to work with the bank as a partner, to find better ways of addressing old threats and to develop effective measures to counter new ones. Video is a big component of providing security, and variable lighting conditions pose a persistent challenge in video surveillance applications such as large banks and financial institutions. Typically, these venues include an abundance of windows. The resulting excessive light can damage video image quality, by flooding the image plane of the surveillance camera. Dramatic differences between light and dark areas complicate the ability of video cameras to view someone standing in the shadows. A contrasting lack of windows at teller stations can result in dim lighting, equally damaging video image quality, in critical surveillance areas where clear, detailed images are needed the most. Stark contrasts between white and black levels in video images can obliterate faces and finer details of a subject when in a darker area. Particularly, this happens when a person is amid dark internal lighting, with his/her back to the sun. Data capture form to appear here! A new network architecture When upgrading a bank’s digital security system, a new network architecture needs to be created. Usually, this means switching from DVRs to NVR servers. As a result, network switches attach to the camera allowing for easier future system expansion. Along with the newly gained scalability, throughput performance on servers can achieve significantly higher levels. Servers, networking and workstations provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects, regardless of size. Servers, networking and workstations provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects Implementing a complete video solution with high-performance servers, modern networking protocols and powerful workstations is now possible in financial institutions, even for small projects. Servers, networking and workstations provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects, regardless of size. Software is also part of the solution. A new software platform helps banks and credit unions simplify, modernize, and automate security, surveillance and fraud investigations across their enterprise. The platform eases the daily challenges security investigators face. It simplifies and reduces the time to access live and recorded video through an intuitive interface, empowering users to quickly find the data needed to eliminate risks while increasing productivity. With an enhanced user experience, investigators can reduce training time, align investigation workflow, streamline video sharing, and focus on more critical tasks. The fraud and security challenges banks contend with can be overwhelming, but prompt action is necessary to limit the damage that can greatly affect customers, employees, and the brand. When an incident occurs, investigators must turn to innovative security tools to be able to swiftly locate and analyze data. But these solutions are typically complex to use and manage. Investigators must turn to innovative security tools to be able to swiftly locate and analyze data Changing work environments The changing work environment of financial institutions is impacting security needs. A credit union in Australia operates an innovative, modern working environment that utilizes flexible workspaces in place of traditional desks. Staff are not allocated a specific desk but instead choose where they wish to sit each day. To facilitate the operation of the flexible work environment and provide employees with storage for their personal effects (work-related material is stored elsewhere), the credit union uses banks of brightly colored lockers that are managed by electronic access control. Using Gallagher’s smartcard, multi-technology T20 and T10 readers on each locker bank, staff badge their access card to open their allocated locker. With the readers communicating with Gallagher’s Command Center software management platform, the credit union has a simple-to-operate, customizable system that enables staff to carry just one card on site. Read part one and part three of our banking security mini series.
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