Milestone Video Evolves With The University Of East Anglia’s Needs

The University of East Anglia (UEA) was an early adopter of IP video surveillance in 2005. Milestone partner Check Your Security (CYS) brought together a number of standalone CCTV systems into one single IP-based monitoring system that is proving capable of growing with the university. 
 
The university’s security system was centralised by using Milestone XProtect® Enterprise as the video management platform. A total of 90 existing analog cameras were brought into the Milestone solution, with 30 new IP cameras installed campus-wide. The UEA’s IT department took over management of three dedicated video servers and the system was moved onto the campus’ fibre backbone. 
 
However, the number of cameras being installed around the 450-acre campus grew by up to 20 per year as new buildings were constructed. It became clear by 2011 that the system performance should be upgraded. Simultaneously, the UEA began to look seriously at integrating its campus-wide Cardax access control system with the Milestone video management system to find further security management efficiencies. 

Open platform IP Video solution expandable

With the guidance of CYS, the UEA made the decision to upgrade from Milestone XProtect Enterprise to Milestone XProtect® Corporate. The UEA also upgraded to Milestone XProtect® Smart Client 7 in order to bring the system’s front-end user interface up to date. Additional storage servers from HP were added to handle growing data archiving capacity.
 
The benefits of the upgrades were many. The number of cameras per server can now continue expanding with minimal IT resources being required for the foreseeable future, even if the camera count continues to rise at the current rate.
 
Furthermore, the UEA is planning to extend its IT services support to a neighbouring school site which is being renovated and expanded. Milestone Federated ArchitectureTM within Milestone XProtect Corporate allows the UEA to easily interconnect and manage new security systems and bring them onto the centralised network.
 
Many additional benefits have flowed from the upgrade:
 
• IT systems administration resources have also been reduced. XProtect Corporate’s use of Microsoft® Active Directory™ makes access to the surveillance from the network both easier and more secure, as both firewall administration and system access authentication can be streamlined. Failover support guarantees against the UEA’s surveillance system going offline in rare cases of server hardware failure.
 
• For the UEA’s security officers the benefits of the Milestone XProtect Corporate and Milestone XProtect Smart Client upgrades were immediately seen on their control room screens: XProtect Corporate provides interactive maps which give the operators a graphical overhead view of the campus from which they can drill down into specific buildings and views, clicking on specific cameras to reveal live video images. 
 
• XProtect Corporate’s multi-screen live viewing, combined with XProtect Smart Client’s Camera Navigator capabilities, enable operators to track suspects from camera to camera through a building and across the campus. This makes it easier to identify and apprehend them before leaving the site. 
 
• ‘Edge’ storage and mobile client access support a planned move to connect patrolling officers’ existing body-worn cameras and smart phones to the Milestone XProtect video management system.
 
• XProtect Smart Client also offers improved features such as on-screen joystick pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) control, digitally signed video evidence export, more sophisticated alarm management and improved design for easier navigation.

Positive results

Milestone XProtect Corporate
leverages the IP video choice for
additional expansions


The Milestone XProtect system gives the UEA’s 28-strong team of security officers the confidence that they can retrieve the details of incidents very quickly and use this intelligence to make well-informed decisions to keep the campus’ staff, students and visitors safe. 

The upgrade to Milestone XProtect Corporate leverages the IP video choice for additional expansions well into the future. The Milestone Integration Platform also enables the university to explore further efficiencies across the security estate through closer integration with third-party systems. 

Trevor Smith, Campus Services Manager at the UEA explains: “We have two main security systems at UEA: one is Cardax access control and the other is the Milestone-based IP video system. The idea of integrating the two is very exciting. 

“You only have to look at security scenarios to realize the potential. For example, in case of fire at night it would be possible to determine which students have left a hall of residence following an alarm being raised, comparing the numbers and identities of those detected by the access control with surveillance image views at the designated muster points.” 
Heads of Security at UEA
The UEA security team of 28 officers
provide 24-hour security

Smooth integration between the Cardax and Milestone systems will mean that all access control alarm events (i.e. forced door entries, swiping of a deactivated card, etc) will be linked with the Milestone video database. Access control alerts will be displayed in the Milestone XProtect Smart Client on the control room screens.  

The nearest camera to a door entry could be selected and moved via XProtect to view the person trying to force a door. Patrolling security officers can be dispatched to challenge any unauthorized entrants to a building. The Milestone system can also integrate with video content analytics to ‘face match’ the photo in the Cardax system with the live XProtect video image of the card user swiping the card. Theft or misuse of swipe cards to enter university buildings could thereby be easily detected. The Cardax-Milestone integration project will be completed in 2013.

“Milestone was the only video management system that truly delivered our vision of centralizing the UEA’s CCTV system without tying us into proprietary technology. It enables us to manage the rapid expansion which is constant at the UEA. Furthermore, Milestone’s open platform allows us to tap into the latest best-of-breed IP-based technologies and bring disparate systems together to generate further efficiencies.” Trevor Smith, Campus Services Manager, Estates Division, the University of East Anglia
 
The UEA’s security credentials

The UEA was voted third for 'Good Security' out of 113 universities in the Times Higher Education Supplement’s ‘Student Experience Survey 2011’. It has been voted the safest university campus in England three years in a row.

The UEA security team of 28 officers provide 24-hour security campus-wide. These officers are based in a fully-manned 24/7/365 security lodge. They run four shift teams of seven people each and one officer of the on-duty team stays in the lodge to man the phones and alarms and complete incident reports.
 
Every two hours officers rotate between tasks over their 12-hour shifts in which they perform a range of activities, including mobile patrol in vehicles and on foot, manning the central control room and the security lodge, also tending to locking and unlocking duties. 

Squeezing more from static security budgets

Once the access-control CCTV system integration is complete at the UEA this will establish a blueprint for further projects. CYS is already scoping the benefits of integrating the Milestone XProtect platform with the UEA’s intruder alarms and fire detection systems to build business cases for those investments should budgets become available.
Trevor Smith summarises: “The reality is I do not see my team expanding in the near future, yet two or three new buildings are going up each year and student numbers are rising. More effective use of the Milestone video management and alarm platform provides the key to squeezing better and more services out of static budgets. Milestone is vital to finding these efficiencies and productivity increases looking forward.”
 
Technical specifications in more detail
 
The UEA’s data centre has dedicated three HP servers for the university’s IP video surveillance system. A designated management server runs Milestone XProtect Corporate for managing live video and a specified amount of recorded images from 175 cameras, 90 of which are analog.
The Milestone XProtect Enterprise
Milestone XProtect Smart
Client  displays
video across two
three-screen stations

 
Two other servers hold up to 10 hours of recorded video. All three servers then archive the data to an HP direct-attached storage device, currently holding 16TB of video storage each (i.e. 48TB total capacity). 
 
This configuration ensures rapid access and retrieval of video when incidents occur, and provides storage for up to 30 days. Milestone XProtect Smart Client is used to display live and recorded video across two three-screen operating stations in the university’s central control room. 
 
Video from the analog cameras are digitised through 23 Axis 243Q and 243SA four and single channel video encoders. The campus has recently deployed four 360 Vision Predators with IR and LED Lighting. It also has 30 Axis 232D and 233D network dome cameras, three Axis Q6034E cameras and more than 60 Mobotix M12, M24, D12 and Q24 cameras. 
 
Background to the UEA
 
The UEA was founded in 1962. Over the last 50 years it has been continually expanded and developed. Today it is spread across 350 acres, with over 13,000 students and 3,000 staff. The campus has 57 buildings and a wide range of facilities and services, including the Sportspark, the UK’s largest indoor sports centre, and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
 
The campus also provides accommodations, shops, banks, a health centre, chaplaincy, nursery, Students Union and Norfolk’s largest library. It is home to 12 en-suite residences in the University Village. Construction of its own state-of-the-art biomass plant, being completed in 2013, will make the university ‘power positive’- selling its own power back to the national grid. 
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What Are New Trends In Residential Security?
What Are New Trends In Residential Security?

Residential security and smart homes are rapidly changing facets of the larger physical security marketplace, driven by advances in consumer technology and concerns about rising crime rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people spent more time at home and became more aware of the need for greater security. As workplaces opened back up, returning workers turned to technology to help them keep watch over their homes from afar. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the trends in residential security in 2021?

How Businesses Can Protect Their People In The New Age Of Work
How Businesses Can Protect Their People In The New Age Of Work

Ensuring employee health and safety remains a key priority for organizations this year, especially as we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise in different areas of the world. As an ongoing challenge, COVID-19 has shifted the priorities of many organizations. In fact, “improving health and safety for employees” is the top strategic goal this year of manufacturing and logistics organizations in the U.S. and U.K., according to research conducted by Forrester on behalf of STANLEY Security. But as we think about reopening and as hybrid workforce models and “workspace-on-demand” approaches rise in popularity, leaders need to consider implementing the right technologies to help ensure a safe return to the office. This means investing in health, safety, and security solutions that can help leaders protect their people. The intersection of security technology and health and safety There’s no doubt that the scope of security has expanded in the wake of the global pandemic. What was once an area governed by a select few security or IT professionals within a business has now become a crucial company investment involving many key stakeholders. The role of security has expanded to encompass a broader range of health and safety challenges for businesses Additionally, the role of security has expanded to encompass a broader range of health and safety challenges for businesses. Fortunately, security technologies have made significant strides and many solutions, both existing and new, have been thrust forward to address today’s biggest business challenges. Investment in security technology It’s important to note that businesses are eager to adopt tech that can help them protect their people. Nearly half (46%) of organizations surveyed by Forrester report that they’re considering an increasing investment in technology solutions that ensure employee safety. Technologies like touchless access control, visitor management systems, occupancy monitoring, and installed/wearable proximity sensors are among some of the many security technologies these organizations have implemented or are planning to implement yet this year. Facilitating a safe return to work But what does the future look like? When it comes to the post-pandemic workplace, organizations are taking a hard look at their return-to-work strategy. Flexible or hybrid workforce models require a suite of security solutions to help ensure a safer, healthier environment More than half (53%) of organizations surveyed by Forrester are looking to introduce a flexible work schedule for their employees as they make decisions about returning to work and keeping employees safe post-pandemic. Such flexible – or hybrid – workforce models require a suite of security solutions to help ensure a safer, healthier environment for all who traverse a facility or work on-site. One of the central safety and security challenges raised by these hybrid models is tracking who is present in the building at any one time – and where or how they interact. Leveraging security technology With staggered schedules and what may seem like a steady stream of people passing through, it can be difficult to know who’s an employee and who’s a visitor. Access control will be key to monitoring and managing the flow of people on-site and preventing unauthorized access. When access control systems are properly integrated with visitor management solutions, businesses can unlock further benefits and efficiencies. For instance, integrated visitor management systems can allow for pre-registration of visitors and employees – granting cellphone credentials before people arrive on-site – and automated health screening surveys can be sent out in advance to help mitigate risk. Once someone reaches the premises, these systems can also be used to detect the person’s temperature and scan for a face mask, if needed.  We will likely see these types of visitor management and advanced screening solutions continue to rise in popularity, as 47% of organizations surveyed by Forrester report that they’re considering requiring employee health screening post-pandemic. Defining the office of the future A modern, dynamic workforce model will require an agile approach to office management. It’s imperative to strike the right balance between making people feel welcome and reassuring Businesses want to create an environment in which people feel comfortable and confident – a space where employees can collaborate and be creative. It’s imperative to strike the right balance between making people feel welcome and reassuring them that the necessary security measures are in place to ensure not only their safety but also their health. In many cases, this balancing act has created an unintended consequence: Everyone now feels like a visitor to a building. Protocols and processes With employees required to undergo the same screening processes and protocols as a guest, we’ve seen a transformation in the on-site experience. This further underscores the need for seamless, automated, and tightly integrated security solutions that can improve the employee and visitor experience, while helping to ensure health and safety. Ultimately, the future of the office is not about what a space looks like, but how people feel in it. This means adopting a “safety-always” culture, underpinned by the right technology, to ensure people that their safety remains a business’ top priority. 

Access The Right Areas - Making A Smart Home Genius With Biometrics
Access The Right Areas - Making A Smart Home Genius With Biometrics

Household adoption of smart home systems currently sits at 12.1% and is set to grow to 21.4% by 2025, expanding the market from US$ 78.3 billion to US$ 135 billion, in the same period. Although closely linked to the growth of connectivity technologies, including 5G, tech-savvy consumers are also recognizing the benefits of next-generation security systems, to protect and secure their domestic lives. Biometric technologies are already commonplace in our smartphones, PCs and payment cards, enhancing security without compromising convenience. Consequently, manufacturers and developers are taking note of biometric solutions, as a way of leveling-up their smart home solutions. Biometrics offer enhanced security As with any home, security starts at the front door and the first opportunity for biometrics to make a smart home genius lies within the smart lock. Why? Relying on inconvenient unsecure PINs and codes takes the ‘smart’ out of smart locks. As the number of connected systems in our homes increase, we cannot expect consumers to create, remember and use an ever-expanding list of unique passwords and PINs. Indeed, 60% of consumers feel they have too many to remember and the number can be as high as 85 for all personal and private accounts. Biometric solutions strengthen home access control Biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control Doing this risks consumers becoming apathetic with security, as 41% of consumers admit to re-using the same password or introducing simple minor variations, increasing the risk of hacks and breaches from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, continually updating and refreshing passwords, and PINs is unappealing and inconvenient. Consequently, biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control. Positives of on-device biometric storage Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint recognition uses personally identifiable information, which is stored securely on-device. By using on-device biometric storage, manufacturers are supporting the 38% of consumers, who are worried about privacy and biometrics, and potentially winning over the 17% of people, who don’t use smart home devices for this very reason. Compared to conventional security, such as passwords, PINs or even keys, which can be spoofed, stolen, forgotten or lost, biometrics is difficult to hack and near impossible to spoof. Consequently, homes secured with biometric smart locks are made safer in a significantly more seamless and convenient way for the user. Biometric smart locks Physical access in our domestic lives doesn’t end at the front door with smart locks. Biometrics has endless opportunities to ease our daily lives, replacing passwords and PINs in all devices. Biometric smart locks provide personalized access control to sensitive and hazardous areas, such as medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, safes, kitchen appliances and bike locks. They offer effective security with a touch or glance. Multi-tenanted sites, such as apartment blocks and student halls, can also become smarter and more secure. With hundreds of people occupying the same building, maintaining high levels of security is the responsibility for every individual occupant. Biometric smart locks limit entry to authorized tenants and eliminate the impact of lost or stolen keys, and passcodes. Furthermore, there’s no need for costly lock replacements and when people leave the building permanently, their data is easily removed from the device. Authorized building access Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door, but also throughout the entire building, such as washing rooms, mail rooms, bike rooms and community spaces, such as gyms. Different people might have different levels of access to these areas, depending on their contracts, creating an access control headache. But, by having biometric smart locks, security teams can ensure that only authorized people have access to the right combination of rooms and areas. Convenience of biometric access cards Additionally, if building owners have options, the biometric sensors can be integrated into the doors themselves, thereby allowing users to touch the sensor, to unlock the door and enter. Furthermore, the latest technology allows biometric access cards to be used. This embeds the sensor into a contactless keycard, allowing the user to place their thumb on the sensor and tap the card to unlock the door. This may be preferable in circumstances where contactless keycards are already in use and can be upgraded. Smarter and seamless security In tandem with the growth of the smart home ecosystem, biometrics has real potential to enhance our daily lives, by delivering smarter, seamless and more convenient security. Significant innovation has made biometrics access control faster, more accurate and secure. Furthermore, today’s sensors are durable and energy efficient. With the capacity for over 10 million touches and ultra-low power consumption, smart home system developers no longer have to worry about added power demands. As consumers continue to invest in their homes and explore new ways to secure and access them, biometrics offers a golden opportunity for market players, to differentiate and make smart homes even smarter.