Physical security, security integration, video, access control, security market trends
Round table contributions
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?
The world of politics, like the world of security, is an environment of constant change. But do changes in one have an impact on the other? Governments around the world are involved in buying a wide variety of physical security systems, so how those governments operate certainly affects how they spend money on security. But in a broader sense, governments (and the associated political forces at work) also impact how their citizens and those in the private sector view threats and, as a logical extension, the security systems they need to address those threats. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does the political climate affect spending on security systems?
A busy trade show abounds with new products and expanded features, colorful signage and blinking video screens, all competing for attention from busy attendees. It’s a microcosm of how the security marketplace – or any market, for that matter – sells its products. But what happens if the reality turns out different to the sales pitch? What happens when product or system performance doesn’t quite live up to the claims? Some would call that hype, and it can lead to disillusioned and frustrated customers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the negative impact of hype in the security marketplace?
Consolidation is a reality in the security and video surveillance market. In the last several years, we have seen a variety of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving scores of companies of all sizes. But what is the impact of M&A activity on the companies involved, on their customers, and on the industry as a whole? We posed this question to our Expert Panel Roundtable: Do mergers and acquisitions have a net positive or net negative impact on the security market (and why)?
IP network dependability matters in physical security and safety applications, given that a company’s assets and people are at risk. There have been strides in the areas of network dependability, fault-tolerance, reliability, and survivability. However, networks (or affordable ones, at any rate) still cannot ensure near-100 percent uptime, which is why system designers acknowledge and plan for the possibility of a network outage. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can/should an IP networked system adapt when network connectivity is lost?
Sometimes customers expect more out of a security system. A brand new security system just doesn’t perform as the customer expected it would. In fact, one might argue that the many variables in today’s complex systems make it more likely than ever that some element of a system might not measure up to a customer’s expectations. What happens then? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What happens if a customer’s expectations of system performance are greater than what a physical security system can deliver?
How mobile telephones have transformed into “smartphones” is one of the great technology stories of our time. What once was a single-function device now can do almost anything – display video, pay for groceries, monitor our health. The smartphones we carry in our pockets today have more computing power than the “super computers” of yesteryear, and that power has found many uses in a seemingly endless array of “apps.” Some of them are directly related to our physical security systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What security applications are best suited to smartphone apps?
One of the benefits of newer IP systems is the ability to store video inside the camera or in a nearby digital video recorder (DVR) at the edge of the network. Edge-based storage is unlikely to take the place of centralized storage, but it is complementary and provides some interesting new options related to system design. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of edge-based storage and in what specific applications?
Healthcare organizations are an important vertical market for many security manufacturers and integrators. Like other vertical markets, healthcare has its own unique set of requirements and challenges for physical security systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel: What are the distinctive security problems faced by healthcare organizations? What technologies are being embraced to increase security?
Software changes constantly. There’s always a new patch or fix, and our computers persistently remind us that an update is available. As a core component of today’s IP networked video systems, video management software (VMS) is also subject to the need to be constantly updated and refined. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable to elaborate: Why is it important that networked video customers keep up to date with the latest version of video management software (VMS)?
College campuses often operate like small communities – or even like large communities depending on enrollment. Although each college and university campus is unique, there are commonalities such as a young and vulnerable population of students, many living away from their parents for the first time. Campuses can be urban or rural, geographically dispersed or densely populated, with a variety of demographics and “wild card” elements such as partying, drugs and alcohol. Campus police and security officers face a variety of challenging environments. Is it wise to add firearms to the mix? Is it necessary for campus police to be armed? Specifically, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: In what situations should college or university campus police be armed?
More and more physical security systems are being hosted in the cloud. But are cloud-based security systems “safe?” It’s a question being posed by risk-averse security professionals all over the world, and one for which a clear, concise answer may be difficult to find. We decided to pose it to our Expert Panel.
We asked this week’s Expert Panel: What are the limitations on where video cameras can be placed because of privacy? With hundreds of new cameras installed every day, the likelihood increases exponentially that a camera will be placed in a location where it violates privacy. In fact, threats to privacy are often among the largest objections when video surveillance is proposed, whether in a public area or in the workplace. Allaying fears about undermining privacy is a basic requirement to make such systems acceptable to the public. It’s a touchy subject, but one our Expert Panel is willing to address.
Rapid technology innovation in the physical security market comes with it a commensurate need to dispose of older systems as they are replaced. Some technologies can help minimize the waste, providing, for example, the ability to use existing coaxial cable with newer IP video systems. However, absent the ability to reuse equipment, how should integrators manage disposal of systems at end-of-life? Here are some responses from our Expert Panel.
Megapixel and panoramic camera manufacturers have been predicting the demise of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ cameras) for several years now. They contend that PTZs can be replaced by the higher resolutions of newer cameras, coupled with their ability to “zoom” in digitally on a specific area of an image and show sufficient detail. New panoramic cameras also capture everything in a wider field of view, while a PTZ camera runs a risk of missing important action because it is pointed in the wrong direction. We ask our Expert Panel to weigh in on the future of PTZ cameras.
Articles by Larry Anderson
Workforce management systems gather and analyze information and anomalies from security officers in the field. The information ranges from direct observations entered via mobile or desktop apps by officers on duty to reports from cleaning staff, the maintenance department, and CCTV operators. Taken together, the information yields business intelligence and data analytics at no additional cost. Trackforce is a provider of workforce management solutions specific to the security industry and its unique operational requirements. From tracking guard tours to managing incidents and officers remotely, the platform improves officer accountability, optimizes operations, and delivers actionable insights via a live dashboard to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance efficiencies. The platform is customizable and scales to each client’s business. Platform to control and identify risks “Corporate security teams deal with issues related to operational risk, facility security levels and design basis threats, and must contend with manmade, naturally occurring, and technological events,” says Guirchaume Abitbol, CEO and founder of Trackforce. “We provide them a platform that enables them to control and identify risks, deliver their service, and maintain security best practices.” Trackforce uses live monitoring to ensure quality control and to upgrade situational awareness, delivers real-time incident notifications Trackforce serves large security guard companies and global organizations in diverse vertical market sectors and is expanding in facilities management. More than 200,000 professionals at over 20,000 customer sites in 45 countries use the platform. Trackforce uses live monitoring to ensure quality control and to upgrade situational awareness, delivers real-time incident notifications, and generates data-rich analysis and key performance indicators (KPIs) that enhance monitoring and reporting. Reduces corporate risk Better management of corporate risk is a benefit of security workforce management. The Trackforce platform reduces corporate risk in four areas by: Managing multiple sites, located anywhere, with various threat levels, cultural differences, operating procedures, and regulations. Supporting a security budget and investment in new solutions by providing data necessary for budget approval. Keeping management informed about outsourced security services partners with relevant data, analytics, and transparency. Providing real-time data on risks and incidents so operations can be quickly optimized to ensure top-level security services. Identifying potential threats and risks The platform rapidly and accurately collates data (implied data or trends) based on user-selected parameters. Data- and intelligence-rich reports become available to managers from any location via a dashboard. All necessary information is displayed on a single screen in an uncluttered format.The ability to analyze current and historical data in real time empowers security managers to track patterns Reports can be downloaded and shared with stakeholders. The ability to analyze current and historical data in real time empowers security managers to track patterns, identify potential threats and risks, and implement preventative actions and strategies. Using data intelligence as benchmark Security teams will use data intelligence as a performance benchmark for resources required to accomplish site goals. They will also use this information to pilot and rationalize resource needs for impending contracts based on historical, descriptive (what happened), diagnostic (why did it happen), predictive (what will happen) and/or prescriptive data (how can we can make it happen). “For example, when a large company incurs incremental computer equipment theft, a supervisor can use the platform to review historical reports and identify patterns and anomalies,” says Abitbol. “The supervisor could then identify and proactively implement targeted strategies to mitigate the theft, such as modifying security routes, increasing patrols, or adjusting asset management protocols.” Enhanced control of security resources The Trackforce platform has been designed to serve clients at multiple regional and national locations and is available in many languages. The Command Center allows a security supervisor based at a central location to easily manage officers on multiple sites. The Command Center provides greater oversight and enhanced control of security resources The Command Center provides greater oversight and enhanced control of security resources. Management can compare locations and evaluate security with a customizable reporting dashboard for each site. The uniform platform uses the same reporting templates and processes for each secured and managed location, thus ensuring consistency and accurate benchmarking. Trackforce’s workforce management solution has low cost and presents a low barrier to entry, with systems that can be implemented in a short time.
Whether it is video analytic platforms to monitor traffic patterns or cameras deployed to help law enforcement ensure public safety, many cities are looking at advancements in video technology. Upgrade costs and technology compatibility issues are often front-and-center when it comes to blending new technology with existing infrastructure. For example, if the city law enforcement officials want to improve video camera image quality, which can improve the evidentiary value of footage in prosecutions, they may look at newer HD or IP-based video systems. Upgrading to a hybrid DVR system Applications include perimeter monitoring, public parking, city transportation, square/town safetyTo stretch a tight budget, a migration plan to an IP-based camera system could be phased in over time by centering the upgrade on a new hybrid DVR system. This way, both existing analog and newer IP-based cameras can be hooked into the system. For example, Hikvision’s Smart City Solutions include systems for government services, transportation and traffic management, or any combinations of these. Applications include perimeter monitoring, public parking, city transportation, square/town safety and temporary surveillance. Data capture form to appear here! Heart of City strategy Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, has introduced its ‘Heart of City (HOC)’ strategy, which is in line with the top-level design experience from hundreds of city projects. The strategy is based on the maturity of five technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, IoT and 5G. The combination will enable the evolution of smart city 3.0 and bring great changes to our life, according to Dahua. A 300-plus camera city center video surveillance scheme in the UK city of Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using Dahua's cameras, monitors and switching equipment A 300-plus camera city center video surveillance scheme in the UK city of Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using cameras, monitors and switching equipment from Dahua Technology. The design of the new all-wireless encrypted system was based around delivering flexible technology, reducing the total cost of ownership, ease of installation, lower maintenance requirements, smart edge analytics and remote connectivity. Future-proof radio network design Environmentally friendly aspects of the project included specifying lower-energy equipment, integrating remote support and recycling hardware wherever possible. The council employed independent consultants Lever Technology Group to help them ensure they had a robust and future-proof radio network design. The installation of the new IP full HD system and network is part of Lincoln’s smart city strategy – Vision 2020 – which seeks to drive innovation in the city and harness new technologies to improve the lives of citizens. One of the results is the provision of free Wi-Fi in the city, working alongside the Dahua cameras using the same IP wireless network. Wearables for city surveillance Wearables are another new aspect of city surveillance system. For example, FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced FLIR TruWITNESS, a wearable sensor platform designed for city-level security and public safety operations. TruWITNESS combines video, audio, location data, Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, and cloud and management software in one solution, allowing organizations to reach a new level of situational awareness. TruWITNESS is worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles and is designed for any public safety organization that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance TruWITNESS is designed for any public safety organization that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance. Worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles, TruWITNESS includes visible-video, audio, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors. These sensors combine to send alerts and stream data to a central command center in real-time to ensure full situational awareness and global event handling. Featuring FLIR Neighbor Aware inter-device connectivity, TruWITNESS acts as an IoT device, triggering nearby TruWITNESS devices, fixed and motorized Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) security cameras, and other connected sensors to act upon an alarm event. TruWITNESS becomes a key component of FLIR Systems’ Video Management System, United VMS, which command centers use to manage video surveillance. United VMS combines video, audio, and other related data and makes it available for real-time situation management and forensic purposes. Video analytics for crowd monitoring Crowd monitoring video analytics solutions monitor vast areas instantly alerting police of any overcrowding areasCrowd monitoring video analytics solutions continuously monitor vast areas instantly alerting police of any overcrowding areas. Qognify’s crowd monitoring video analytics solution was successfully used during the Maratha Morcha in the city of Kolhapur, India, on October 15th, 2016. The system monitored approximately one million protestors through 165 cameras installed across city. Smart threshold alerts were streamed directly into the control room while the crowd was building up, so that action could be taken before the crowd density reached dangerous levels, alleviating crowd safety and stability. At the core of the solution is Situator, Qognify’s advanced PSIM/Situation Management solution, which manages a myriad of security systems and sensors, including Qognify’s video management solution, from a newly built state-of-the-art Command and Control Center. Security operators and officials have advanced situational awareness of what is happening in their city and where. Automated, pre-defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were designed, in the local language Marathi, for handling routine security incidents as well as disaster management, ensuring that the most effective response is initiated, and procedures are executed in a consistent manner. Maintaining law, order and safety Qognify also implemented its Safe City solution in Navi Mumbai, a planned township that was established to handle the population overflow from the overcrowded and ever-growing city of Mumbai, India. Together with CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation, the agency established for managing the new city) and system integrator WIPRO, Qognify designed an integrated and holistic solution that helps Navi police to maintain law, order and safety. Qognify’s Video Management Solution controls hundreds of surveillance camerasAs a planned township, Navi Mumbai officials have the benefit of operating in a modern environment, allowing them to maximize Qognify’s Safe City solution. The Qognify Situator is an advanced Situation Management platform, and Qognify’s Video Management Solution controls the hundreds of surveillance cameras throughout the city. Role of standards in smart cities “Standards can assist in successfully deploying a comprehensive [safe cities] system with multiple technologies into a single, cohesive entity,” said Per Björkdahl, Chair of the ONVIF Steering Committee. “With the ability to integrate various sensors and data from many different devices synthesized through one interface, government officials and law enforcement are afforded a more complete picture of their city’s security.” Deployment of facial recognition technology Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high quality This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control center and matching faces against any watch lists that the control center owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city center where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police.
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilized in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalization is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, traveling over existing networks, empowering a more centralized security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ camerasMultiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-Light capability There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darknessIt’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
When it comes to security and to ensuring the integrity of gaming operations, today’s casino market is risk-averse. Regulations direct the required surveillance of table games and slot machines, while modern casinos are often sprawling complexes that have a variety of other risks to be addressed, too. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of the casino market relating to security and surveillance technology?
After a period of rapid international expansion, the next step for Ajax Systems is to set deeper roots in each market and become more sustainable. The manufacturer of wireless security equipment will continue to extend the range of Ajax products and capabilities by responding to local requests. Smart home management options and automation scenarios will be a significant focus for the next year. Wireless security equipment The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air Established in 2011 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Ajax Systems produces wireless security equipment for end users and small-medium-sized businesses. Ajax is a complete eco-system. The devices are ready to work out of the box. There are 24 devices for protecting residential and commercial properties from intrusion, fire, and floods as well as a set of automation modules. Users treat them as gadgets that make their homes smarter. Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers as well as for security companies, according to Ajax. The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air, and can be easily expanded to cover premises of any size. IoT-based security systems “Our IoT-product approach to security systems, gadget-like industrial design, and user-friendly interfaces disrupted the market in 2016,” says Valentine Hrytsenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Ajax Systems. “After receiving global recognition in the security market, the company grew 80-fold.” Today, Ajax IoT-based security systems protect more than 200,000 people in 80 countries around the world from break-ins, fires, leaks and other threats. “Our mission is to reshape security and make it a common attribute of every household,” says Hrytsenko. Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers Ajax smart technology Ajax smart technology features a combination of reliable hardware and intelligent software. A proprietary Jeweler two-way radio protocol allows placing devices at a distance of up to 2000 meters from the hub in an open space. The system is encrypted, resistant to jamming and code grabbing. Ajax detectors feature false alarm-preventing algorithms: Haze Flow, ZOE, LISA, SmartDetect. The hubs run on a real-time operating system, Malevich OS that processes the commands and sends the alarms. Ajax Cloud service helps to control the system from anywhere in the world using native apps. Easy and seamless installation Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights" Easy installation facilitates Ajax on-boarding. The company says 67% of Ajax users purchase additional security devices within the first six months. And an average system configuration consists of nine items. “We focus primarily on the residential, small and medium-sized businesses,” says Hrytsenko. “In the residential segment, Ajax covers the needs to detect break-ins, prevent fires and floods. Ajax devices are visually appealing to fit any home and business interior seamlessly. For the small and medium-sized business, Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights, informative notifications, professional maintenance software, as well as integration of the security camera streams for centralized monitoring.” Route-to-market approach Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold. First, they develop strategic partnerships with the local professional security equipment distributors in each country. From the distributors, Ajax equipment goes to the installers, system integrators, security companies, etc. In addition, Ajax seeks to build brand recognition and actualize the concept of security by weaving it into the daily routine of a general audience. “We form a good understanding of their security needs,” says Hrytsenko. As with any new technology, there is an adoption curve for both B2B and B2C clients. Thus, the educational challenge is persistent for Ajax from country to country. Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold Wireless security systems “On a professional market, new products are often met with understandable suspicion,” says Hrytsenko. However, a huge misconception is that user-friendly equipment is either hard to customize or unreliable. Not true, he says. After testing in five accredited laboratories, Ajax devices successfully earned Grade 2 certification for compliance with the requirements of the international standard EN50131-1:2006. Grade 2 is the highest reliability grade a wireless security system can get.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding the capabilities of license plate readers and vehicle identification systems. Within a smart/safe city scenario, automatic license plate reader solutions are used to help analyze real-time video streams for site surveillance, inspection and public safety, and to offer actional information through a network of connected camera systems. Outside of law enforcement, this can include other public safety initiatives such as traffic tolls, car counting, and parking security. Vehicle recognition systems Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries Using AI to enable video cameras, Rekor Systems is a provider of vehicle recognition systems in more than 60 countries. Applications include security and surveillance, public safety, electronic toll collection, brand loyalty, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, and traffic management. AI allows Rekor’s products to recognize and read license plates, while also providing information about each vehicle, including color, make, year, and model. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software, an AI-based solution that enables any IP (internet protocol) surveillance camera to scan license plates and provide vehicle data including tag number, make, model, and color in real time with 99% accuracy, according to the company. Rekor’s products are powered by OpenALPR software Integrated solutions “Rekor's software started as an open source project, and we have done our best to keep the commercial software as open as possible,” says Rod Hillman, Chief Operating Officer, Rekor Systems. “One of the challenges we see with others in our space is a tendency to ‘close off’ and ‘silo’ their solutions. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible to deploy, integrate, and ultimately use.” Rekor has numerous application programming interfaces (APIs) and ways the solution can be integrated into partners' solutions with a software development kit (SDK). Rekor solutions can be purchased directly or through a worldwide partner network of integrators, wholesalers, and within integrated solutions such as Nokia's smart city platform. Electronic toll collection Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets While many systems are hardware-based, Rekor’s software-as-a-solution offering can turn an IP camera into an automatic license plate reader. Rekor’s solutions have viable applications within multiple markets, including law enforcement, security and surveillance, electronic toll collection, parking operations, banking and insurance, logistics, traffic management, and customer experience. “Rekor offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional LPR systems with a much higher accuracy rate at 99% allowing more cameras to be present and active at any given time,” says Hillman. “Traditional LPRs need someone to go through hours of footage to find what they are looking for while Rekor’s technology will send alerts in real time, resulting in much quicker response times.” Move Over Camera mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles to capture ‘Move Over’ violations Two-Part authentication Rekor’s products include: NUMERUS, a cloud-based solution for high-volume vehicle recognition, designed to reduce costs and increase efficiencies for the electronic toll collecting industry. Two-part authentication instantly identifies the vehicle’s make, model, color and body type along with the license plate read. Machine-learning-enabled software recognizes license plates from all 50 U.S. states, in addition to plates from more than 70 countries on six continents. Edge, an all-in-one camera and vehicle recognition system that instantly reads vehicle license plates, along with the vehicle’s make, model, color and body type. Move Over Camera, which mounts onto roadside worker’s vehicles (police, tow truck, etc.) to capture ‘Move Over’ violations. ‘Move Over’ laws state that vehicles must move over one lane and/or slow down if they cannot move over to avoid incident while roadside workers are in the shoulder lane. The camera can detect what lane vehicles are in and how fast they are moving. Violators are flagged in the system for law enforcement’s review.
A high majority of Americans (83%) are concerned about a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events such as sporting events or concert festivals. More than one in five (22% of) Americans say they have canceled plans or considered cancelling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data. Across the pond, three in 10 Britons think twice about attending large-scale events due to data or physical security issues. Although less than half of U.K. survey respondents have changed their plans to attend large events, some 45% are taking extra security precautions. Brits are as afraid of using public Wi-Fi at an event as of a physical criminal attack. These are some of the insights from the 2019 Unisys Security Index survey of more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including 1,000 in the U.S. and another 1,000 in the United Kingdom. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed Security index scores of countries Unisys gauged attitudes on a range of security-related issues and created an index based on survey results. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, Internet and personal security. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed. In contrast, the U.S. index is now at 165, considered a serious level of concern and the highest among developed countries surveyed. Globally, the index average stands at 175, with the Philippines scoring highest with an index score of 234 and the Netherlands registering the lowest concern ratings with a score of 115. Concerns about misuse of information Privacy is an area where concern is growing. “This year more than half of U.K. citizens expressed concerns about the misuse of their personal information,” says Unisys’ Global Chief Security Architect, Salvatore Sinno. Another 49% expressed serious concerns that intelligence services listen in on them through electronic devices such as mobile phones or smart speakers. The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern. Nick Aldworth, former National Counter Terrorism Co-Ordinator, tells the BBC that the government is not doing enough to ensure venues are secure. He supports a campaign for more rigorous checks at venues in the U.K., named Martyn’s Law, after Martyn Hett, a victim of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. safety Pointers while attending event Salvatore Sinno of Unisys provides the following pointers on keeping safe this summer: If planning to attend a crowded event alone, let someone know. Make sure friends or family know where you are going, when you plan to arrive and when you are expected to return. Plan ahead and check local authorities’ alerts; sign up for any travel or news alerts to receive updates on traffic or news of any disturbances. As soon as you get to an event, survey your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are and agree on a meeting place with friends in case you should get separated from the group. Know where stewards and information points are so you can speak to someone if you need to. Be vigilant for suspicious activity at an event. Don’t be afraid to report something you think is unusual, such as unattended baggage or people behaving in a suspicious or threatening way. In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Try to leave the area quickly and calmly. If you need to, follow the standard police advice of ‘Run, Hide and Tell’. Only buy event tickets from official channels or trusted websites. Update your mobile device with the latest, most secure software and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks; keep your phone charged and take along a battery charger pack. Don’t make electronic transactions at unofficial event vendors; be careful with contactless cards or making mobile transactions. “Whether it’s your physical security or the security of your data, you can take precautions around major events so you do not make it easy for criminals to take advantage,” says Sinno.
An area of technology that is shifting how we interact with our cities is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT already accounts for swathes of technology and devices operating in the background. However, we’re increasingly seeing these come to the forefront of everyday life, as data becomes critical. The decisions that this critical data is attached to must be made quickly. A living, breathing city must constantly be monitoring, assessing and utilizing data in order to ensure it keeps people safe and mobile. Delivering exciting opportunities Much like the arrival of Uber and Airbnb, the Internet of Things will deliver exciting opportunitiesThe search for an answer to the challenges of growing human urbanization is believed to exist in the smarter application of new technologies. Where once, electricity and the arrival of the elevator gave us vertical cities, today, we have the promise of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, micro-controllers (MEMS) and new materials to help manage a very crowded future. Data capture form to appear here! We are confronted with a perfect storm of risk factors and potential vulnerabilities as each of these connection points is potentially a source for a security breach. Much like the arrival of Uber and Airbnb, the Internet of Things will deliver exciting opportunities and new kinds of services, many of which we have yet to imagine. Priority control solutions However, there will be equally unimagined and unintended consequences, if only because, in highly complex systems with many connected and tightly linked elements, accidents are inevitable. “The journey to a smart city is incremental—you can’t flip a switch or force it. It requires complex integration and relentless innovation,” says Global Traffic Technologies (GTT) product manager Chad Mack. GTT provides priority control solutions that use analytics GTT provides priority control solutions that use analytics, cloud-based computing to link connected devices to improve mobility, public safety and transportation in cities around the world. GTT’s Opticom Priority Control mobility solution allows transit and public safety vehicles to request a green light at intersections, dramatically reducing the potential for intersection crashes and improving travel times and reliability. Increased connectivity “These intelligent priority management systems allow users to oversee and control the movement of vehicles that operate on a city’s streets,” Mack explained. The rise of urban centers and ‘Smart City’ initiatives enabled by big data, network of sensors and the Internet of Things bring a new set of challenges to future policing. There is now a growing consensus that technology transformation must be part of the overall solution While digital technologies have helped compress the reaction time of police all over the world, the increased connectivity can similarly be leveraged by criminals to carry out increasingly sophisticated crimes. There is now a growing consensus that technology transformation must be part of the overall solution. To keep cities and citizens safe, law enforcement must be armed with the right technology, tools, and processes to solve – or even prevent – the toughest crimes at faster rates. Proven criminal theories Many law enforcement agencies such as LAPD, Seattle and Florida Police Departments are using cutting-edge cloud-based crime prediction software to predict drug crime, gang crime, anti-social behavior and gun violence. Such crime prediction software works by analyzing data through a sophisticated algorithm that applies proven criminal theories to predict the top 10 to 20 spots where crime is most likely to occur over the next few hours. To do so, it leverages on a variety of factors, such as historical and recent crime data, real-time activity, weather forecasts, locations and other information. Once these ‘hot spots’ are identified, police officers can adapt their patrol schedule and frequency at these locations, making their presence felt in the area and thereby prevent crime from taking place.
Several video manufacturers have participated in the development of a U.K. 'Secure by Default' baseline standard to ensure cybersecurity measures are included in equipment as it leaves the factory. The standard includes ensuring that passwords must be changed from the manufacturer default at start-up, that chosen passwords should be sufficiently complex to provide a degree of assurance, and that controls are placed around how and when remote access should be commissioned. The standard aims to ensure security products are cyber- and network-secure by default and out of the box. The concept is that network video products will ship to installers in the most hardened, cyber-security-optimal form possible, with default settings that provide minimal vulnerabilities on first use. Secure by Default is a self-certification scheme that allows manufacturers to assess their systems for compliance and to apply for the U.K. Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Secure by Default mark. The mark demonstrates to installers and customers that they are a competent manufacturer who takes the security of their products seriously. The Secure By Default mark demonstrates to installers and customers that they take the security of their products seriously Axis, Bosch, Hanwha, HikVision and Milestone Systems participated in developing the standard, which was officially unveiled at the IFSEC 2019 show. “The launch of the standard is not the end of the journey, but rather the beginning of something unique, exciting and vital for the future success of video surveillance,” says cybersecurity consultant Mike Gillespie, who works with the National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales. The standard has been developed so as not to present a barrier to entry The manufacturer standard is intended to lay out the basic areas where all video surveillance systems should be secure, regardless of their intended use, whether in public space or not, says Gillespie. “This is very much intended to be an entry-level standard and has been written with the intention of providing [video] manufacturers with a minimum baseline level all should aspire to,” he says. The standard has been developed so as not to present a barrier to entry for any competent and responsible manufacturer, he adds. The Secure by Default standards form part of a wider set of cyber security proposals from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner for the UK Home Office. Adoption within the industry Hanwha Techwin has embraced Secure by Default as part of its comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. “Although we appreciate security needs to be easy to implement, we do not allow for a default password to be used,” according to Hanwha Techwin. “We consider it essential that a secure password be set up during the initial installation process, which is why we prohibit the consecutive use of the same letter or number and we encourage the use of special characters as well as a combination of letters and numbers.” Hanwha Techwin’s approach has been to make security a fundamental feature of cameras and recording devices. Cybersecurity has been taken into account at the start of the design and development process, and not just treated as an optional feature. Article 25 mandates that organizations put in place appropriate technical and organization measures Axis is aligned with the Secure by Default principles recommended by the U.K. National Cybersecurity Strategy Code of Practice. Furthermore, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes data protection and security by design and default a legal requirement. Article 25 mandates that organizations put in place appropriate technical and organization measures designed to implement data protection in an effective manner. Gary Harmer, UK and Ireland Sales Director for Hikvision, said the new Secure by Default scheme is a further positive step forward for the industry, one which Hikvision fully supports. “The process of developing these standards has been one of open collaboration between companies across the network video security industry,” he said. “It’s a truly positive and genuine initiative geared towards creating a more secure environment for all stakeholders in the network security ecosystem.”
There will be more artificial intelligence, more machine learning, video systems with more capabilities, and all of it will add greater value to our solutions. Those are among the expectations of our Expert Panel Roundtable as they collectively look ahead to the remainder of 2019. One unexpected prediction is that AI will not prove to be a game changer – at least not yet. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest surprise for security in the second half of 2019?
All schools and colleges need to address three different levels of security when considering access control. The first level is the least vulnerable of the three and concerns the perimeter entry and exit points. Here, incorporating some level of electronic access control should be a consideration, whether that is a combination of electronic and mechanical door hardware, or a complete electronic solution. An electromechanical solution, such as electric strikes, can be beneficial in the effectiveness of perimeter security as they provide greater visitor management and traffic control. Data capture form to appear here! Facilitating visitor entry Electric strikes are able to control access via keypads, cards and proximity readers Electric strikes are able to control access via keypads, cards and proximity readers. When combined with mechanical locks, they provide the benefits of unrestricted egress. The second level is more vulnerable than the first and relates to the point at which people are screened before entering the interior of the school. As this area will be designed primarily to facilitate visitor entry, it will require adequate monitoring of access control. To do this, the latches used on access-controlled egress doors can be electronically controlled from the reception area or school office. Exit or entry doors can be opened by a push from the inside and, if the entry area is also an emergency exit, electronically-powered panic bars can also provide an effective solution. More and more schools are installing visitor management systems to control who can and cannot get into the building. Access control solutions Finally, the third level – and the most vulnerable – refers to the core of the school that both students and staff occupy. These are internal hallways, corridors, stairwells, entry points and restricted areas (such as staff lounges and science laboratories). These are the areas where a school must foster the safest environments for pupils, while also providing protection as they often contain confidential information, expensive equipment or chemicals. The access control system is linked to all doors within the school building A number of different access control solutions are beneficial, whether electronic, mechanical or a combination of the two. For electronic solutions, there are two options available: remote or centralized systems. With remote lockdown systems, individual locks are activated by remote control within proximity to the door. With integrated centralized systems, the access control system is linked to all doors within the school building and locked at the touch of a button. Prevent unauthorized persons Mechanical solutions, which include a cylinder lock and key, are also suitable for places such as classrooms, as doors can be locked externally with a key or internally with a thumbturn, to prevent unauthorized persons from entering. At one university in the United States, a smart RFID wire-free access control solution has been installed At one university in the United States, a smart RFID wire-free access control solution has been installed. The SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) wire-free system pushes and pulls data from the university’s ‘hot spot’ entry points to all their offline locks. By choosing a wire-free solution, the university only had to run wires to their exterior doors. The interior doors do not require wiring as these locks are stand-alone wire-free locks. Student accommodation block Securing access to student accommodates is another concern among colleges. One university in the United Kingdom wanted a security system to protect their student accommodation; in particular, a keyless system that would grant 24/7 access to its students while also enabling campus security to monitor these activities remotely. They chose Vanderbilt’s ACT365, which keeps audit trails by monitoring and recording fob activity. When another English university sought electronic locks for its newest student accommodation block, it turned to Aperio wireless locking technology from ASSA ABLOY. They used the wireless locks to extend the Gallagher Command Center access control system to a student residence with 231 en suite rooms separated into flats for between 8 and 13 postgraduates. Aperio wireless locks are battery-powered and use less energy than wired magnetic security locks.
While security salesmen are touting megapixels and anti-passback features, they are missing an opportunity to communicate the role of technology in the broader context of risk management and incident response – and in saving lives. That’s the message of Gerald Wilkins, PSP, Vice President of Active Risk Survival. Incident response is at the core of how an enterprise reacts to risk and is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response. Effective incident response requires integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. All the elements must work together to achieve the desired outcome – to mitigate a risk using countermeasures. Capabilities of systems during emergencies I want to see us have more meaningful conversations with security directors and emergency operations planners"Equipment such as CCTV, access control and mass notification systems can provide effective countermeasures, but salesmen in the physical security market are not ‘connecting the dots’ between equipment specifications and its capabilities as part of the broader incident command system. “Historically, purchases of security technologies have not been considered in that context,” says Wilkins. “Rather, the industry’s sales pitches have been about features and capabilities – pixels or communication distances or intelligence – not about how those capabilities are useful in the specific context of emergency response.” “My goal is to change the industry,” says Wilkins. “I want to see us have more meaningful conversations with security directors and emergency operations planners.” Focusing on the Emergency Operations Plan “We are in the life safety business, and we need to have more conversations about where technology fits into the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). When was the last time you [as a security salesman] asked a client to look at their Emergency Operations Plan? No one knows the technology better than we do.” What’s missing, however, is attention to how technology is applied to risk management and response“There are so many folks in our industry who are technology gurus, who ‘get’ the technology, and are good at selling it,” he says. What’s missing, however, is attention to how technology is applied to risk management and response. “As an industry, even guys who have been in the business a long time have never heard about incident command,” says Wilkins. “How are we weaponizing technology to maximize the outcome? We don’t talk about it. We want to talk about megapixels and wide dynamic range. But when are we going to talk about how we can apply that technology to mitigate our tangible and intangible risks?” Importance of security equipment In the wake of each active shooter or other incident in the news, Wilkins looks back to consider the missed opportunities and how security equipment could have saved lives. “What technology did we have to help first responders – video, access control and paging – but they weren’t used?” he asks. An example is the San Bernandino shooting in 2015, when police officers were heard asking “has anybody found that access control card?” In effect, a law enforcement officer was asking for technology that should have been included as part of the emergency plan. Situational awareness, such as that provided by video systems, can help responders judge which areas are safe fasterSituational awareness, such as that provided by video systems, can help responders judge which areas are safe faster and provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel more time to save lives. However, video is not being viewed in that light as a part of the broader life-saving mission. “Our industry needs to sit down with a security director or operations manager and ask: How are you using technology as a resource tool that will become part of your critical response?” says Wilkins. Understanding how equipment works Technology is often not being incorporated in emergency planning, even with something as simple as a fire drill. Most fire drills are ‘one size fits all’ – every person knows where they should go and how they should exit. But what if there is a fire in a particular part of the building? Today’s fire alarms operate in zones to communicate the location of a fire, but this capability is not being used to practice a variety of resulting scenarios that could save lives. “We need to understand as an industry how our partners in law enforcement and EMS do their jobs,” says Wilkins. “We can help stakeholders in a building understand how our equipment works every day and how they can use it in a critical incident. We need to understand Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), how incident command works, and how we can help emergency responders.” Security training for salespeople I want to know everything I can know to help guys sell things that can change the outcome if something bad happens"“If a guy wants to talk about his pixels or his anti-passback, he should instead consider having a meaningful conversation with the client about best practices and how to mitigate risk. This creates a different position [for the salesman], and if there is a critical incident, something you said or did might save someone’s life.” When it comes to training and taking a more strategic approach to sales, to some extent, the security technology industry has been a victim of its own success. When business is good, security companies are less likely to look for ways to train their salespeople. “We’re in the life safety business, not in the ‘stuff’ business,” says Wilkins. “I want to know everything I can know to help guys sell things that can actually change the outcome if something bad happens.” Another problem is “we don’t know what we don’t know.”
When it comes to emergency planning and response, there is an abundance of resources to help enterprises prepare to mitigate the impact of an incident. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has devised the National Incident Management System (NIMS), aimed at defining and standardizing ways that resources can be used to manage and respond to an incident. An enterprise’s Emergency Operations Plan, or EOP, incorporates NIMS concepts and spells out what to do in an emergency. Security equipment purchases But how does an EOP relate to security equipment purchases? In the language of FEMA, enterprises should ask themselves: How do I currently ‘resource type’ my electronic countermeasures as part of my critical incident response plan? In FEMA parlance, ‘resource typing’ is categorizing resources according to capability using FEMA’s ‘Typing Library Tool’. The tool identifies technologies that can improve response. Technology purchases should be considered in the context of their role in the larger plan, says Jerry Wilkins, PSP, Vice President of Active Risk Survival. “Currently, that doesn’t happen, and we as an industry do not even speak in the same language as those who guide emergency responses to which security equipment can be a useful contributor,” Wilkins says. The National Incident Management System is aimed at defining and standardizing ways that resources can be used to manage and respond to an incident Wilkins speaks with authority based on a long career in the industry. Beyond his experience working in burglar alarms, home security, and as a manufacturer’s rep, Wilkins has expanded his expertise to the broader categories of incident command, emergency response and law enforcement. He has received FEMA IS-0100 (incident command training) and has sought to apply it to critical incidents, active shooters and other emergency situations. He has attended Solo Engagement Operator Training (SWAT school) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) military training. Responding to emergencies As a student in a broad array of disciplines, Wilkins has sought to engage the security technology industry in an important conversation: What can we do as an industry to apply technical capabilities to the question of how to respond to an emergency? Adherence to best practices can help to avoid liability – and save lives For example, CCTV is a valuable tool for situational awareness, but it wasn’t deployed in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018 until 24 minutes into the incident. “By the time they decided to use the video, [the shooter] was already gone. They had 15 high-definition cameras, but they did not know how to use the technology for situational awareness because it was not part of the Emergency Operations Plan. They could have known every move [the shooter] made if the technology had been part of the EOP,” says Wilkins. Here is another example from the Parkland shooting incident response. When responding to an incident, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) typically divides a site into three levels – hot zones, warm zones, and cold zones – based on danger levels. In the Parkland shooting, the 1200 building went ‘cold’ – meaning it was safe – as soon as the shooter left the building. But it was 58 minutes before they called it a ‘cold’ zone, thus delaying survivors’ access to emergency care that could have saved lives. Better situational awareness, provided by leveraging CCTV, would have made the difference. If OSHA puts out a white paper on how to protect a facility and you don’t do it and have an event occur, how does that look?" There are a number of other available standards, processes and other documents to guide emergency response. Adherence to best practices can help to avoid liability – and save lives. Ignoring known and well-documented best practices can leave an enterprise vulnerable in the aftermath of an incident. Understanding these principles and best practices can help security equipment companies understand how the benefits of their products can be maximized in this context. Here are some available resources: NFPA 3000, a 42-page provisional standard for responding to an active shooter, addresses all aspects of the process, from identifying hazards and assessing vulnerability to planning, resource management, incident management at a command level, competencies for first responders, and recovery. National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) has created Standards and Best Practices for School Resource Officer Programs. PASS (Partner Alliance for Safer Schools) has compiled School Safety and Security Guidelines and a School Security Checklist. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released ‘Making Prevention a Reality: Identifying, Assessing and Managing the Threat of Targeted Attacks’. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released ‘Planning and Response to an Active Shooter: An Interagency Security Committee Policy and Best Practices Guide’. S. Secret Service has released ‘Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence’. OSHA 3148 provides policy guidance and procedures to be followed related to occupational exposure to workplace violence. (OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) OSHA’s ‘general duty’ clause requires that each employer furnish to each of its employees a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm. “If OSHA puts out a white paper on how to protect a facility and you don’t do it and have an event occur, how does that look?” says Wilkins. “It’s regulatory guidance that you could have followed but didn’t.”
The basic need for public safety is one of the biggest forces driving the adoption of smart city solutions: approaches that seek to solve urban challenges through technological means. The thinking behind these initiatives is that with enough internet connectivity and real-time data, surely environmental, social, economic, and public health issues should become more manageable. However, just adding more technology is not the whole answer. Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. Cities need solutions that help find what you need and convert the ‘too much information’ into ‘actionable intelligence’ Some of those initiatives, however, like red light cameras or computerized flight passenger screening systems, have amounted to little more than ‘security theater’, which might waste limited resources and further delay the smart city transition due to over-hyped solutions and unrealistic projected return on investment. In other words, technology doesn’t necessarily result in more safety. But does this mean we are also more likely to quickly find what we need? Cities need solutions that help find what you need (e.g. a missing child or a suspect) and convert the ‘too much information’ into ‘actionable intelligence’. Data capture form to appear here! Better connectivity promotes safety There is a growing shift towards younger generations wanting to live in the city where they have access to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment. They also expect to live in a safer environment, and this is where the smart city approach comes into play with the introduction of WiFi in parks and public spaces, along with surveillance systems. These two solutions and services can now sit on the same network, thanks to better connectivity options and interference free solutions, such as mmWave wireless radios. Younger generations expect to live in a safer environment, and this is where the smart city approach comes into play with the introduction of WiFi in parks and public spaces, along with surveillance systems For example, Siklu Inc., a provider of mmWave wireless solutions, announces Smart City deployments based on Siklu’s broad E-band and V-band product portfolio previously reached, and now have likely surpassed, a milestone of 100 cities installed. Smart Cities, which were initially defined as municipalities connecting low data rate sensors for water, gas and more, have been evolving to demand high-capacity connectivity at gigabit-per-second speed. This high-bandwidth network infrastructure is needed to support new applications such as video security, public Wi-Fi backhaul, and private city network deployments. Linking AI and smart cities Dubai is an example of how artificial intelligence and smart city projects have become intrinsically linked. Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, authorities in Dubai have set out to “make Dubai the happiest city on Earth” by adopting cutting-edge smart city initiatives. Dubai Police has launched a range of public safety initiatives including Smart Police iOS apps, traffic accident and location systems, and SOS apps for wearable devices. Dubai Police shows how artificial intelligence can power new Robocop prototypes – unarmed, life-sized patrolling robots carrying facial recognition software and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR). Authorities in Dubai have set out to “make Dubai the happiest city on Earth” by adopting cutting-edge smart city initiatives NVIDIA’s Metropolis™ intelligent video analytics platform is paving the way for the creation of AI cities. Metropolis Deep Learning makes cities safer and smarter by applying deep learning to video streams for applications such as public safety, traffic management and resource optimization. More than 50 NVIDIA AI city partner companies are already providing products and applications that use deep learning on GPUs. “Deep learning is enabling powerful intelligent video analytics that turn anonymized video into real-time valuable insights, enhancing safety and improving lives,” said Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager of the Tegra business at NVIDIA. “The NVIDIA Metropolis platform enables customers to put AI behind every video stream to create smarter cities.” Smarter access control in cities Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users A smart city is one that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and resident welfare. Smart access control is an important step forward in providing technologically advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities and their respectively smart industries. With high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of the city, it is important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by business owners or managers for audits, improvements or compliance.
The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) was founded in 2008 with a goal of creating ‘plug-and-play interoperability’ among physical security devices, systems and services. Since then, the organization’s mission has both expanded to include logical security and focused more narrowly on identity, a critical aspect of security today. In recent years, PSIA has concentrated on its PLAI (Physical Logical Access Interoperability) specification, which provides a means to enable disparate physical access control systems (PACS) to communicate to each other and share employee identity data. This is especially important for companies who have made acquisitions and inherited different incompatible PACS systems. “PLAI can unify a security environment through one trusted source, even if there are multiple PACS systems,” says David Bunzel, Executive Director of the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA). Bridge between disparate PACS The PLAI specification provides a bridge between disparate PACS, allowing a single trusted source for identity management. Leading PACS vendors including JCI (Software House), Lenel, and Kastle Systems and biometric vendors including Eyelock, Idemia, and Princeton Identity, have each implemented PLAI adapters, supporting this specification. AMAG will have their adapter in the coming months, and Honeywell and Siemens have it on their road maps. At ISC West last April, PSIA was able to demonstrate five of these vendors sharing records and the ability to add and terminate an employee and have it updated across each PACS and biometric system. PSIA was able to demonstrate five of these vendors sharing records at ISC West last April The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has evolved from supporting physical security to also integrating logical security. Access to facilities and secure areas of buildings is increasingly dependent on software and hardware systems which can validate a person’s identity. “The PSIA has chosen to focus on interoperability between identity management systems and access control devices,” says Bunzel. “We have successfully demonstrated the technology, and it is now being specified by consultants, integrators and enterprise customers in actual security systems. We expect to see some large companies announcing PLAI implementations in the next quarter.” Open standards processes PSIA relies on an open standards process, with collaboration among leaders in the various parts of the security industry. Specifications are architected, discussed, drafted, and reviewed by members of the organization in technical committees. The process is dynamic, with periodic updates added, which will improve and enhance the specifications as appropriate. The PSIA has focused on identity management for enterprise customers, says Bunzel. “We have active members who make devices that support access hardware (for example, locks and biometric systems) who by design complement PACS vendors and HR management systems.” PLAI also enables a variety of services for enterprise customers that may rely on a security credential" “We continue to add more PACS and biometrics vendors to the PLAI ecosystem, expanding the value of the specification in the market,” says Bunzel. “PLAI also enables a variety of services for enterprise customers that may rely on a security credential, including printing services, parking, and facility management. In the near future, the PSIA expects to extend PLAI into elevators. There are other identity management capabilities, and the PSIA will evaluate opportunities as the market demands them,” says Bunzel. In addition to PLAI, PSIA has several ‘legacy’ specs, but they are not actively working on further iterations. PSIA could always consider new development on legacy specs if the market demanded it. Some legacy specs address video, and security cameras often work with access control systems. However, PSIA currently is leaving video to ONVIF. The near-term direction and plan for the PSIA is to focus on PLAI and its commercialization.
Security isn’t easy for schools and universities. As education institutions increasingly become vulnerable targets for threats and attacks, they face the security challenges of maintaining a welcoming and open environment while ensuring the comprehensive safety of the students, teachers and staff. The balance between providing high levels of security with a certain level of convenience becomes crucial, especially when considering the large audience schools work with – the staff, administrators, students, parents and other organizations that utilize the facilities. In addition, schools are budget-conscious and must use their resources wisely. School administrators are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is one of the organizations at the forefront of establishing security standards for schools. In 2014, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) formed PASS, which brought together a cross functional group of members including school officials, safe schools’ consultants, law enforcement and security industry experts to collaborate and develop a coordinated approach to protecting K-12 students and staff. School administrators are often contacted repeatedly by organizations with multiple safety and security products. PASS has provided valuable insights regarding an ‘All Hazards’ approach to school safety and security. Data capture form to appear here! Ensuring procedures evolve There is no guarantee that what works to increase safety and security today will also work tomorrow. Because potential threats to safety and security can and do change, it is important that whatever policies, procedures and technology a school implements today can also evolve to address those changes well into the future. It is also important that schools take into account the need to distinguish among a wide variety of possible situations to ensure the appropriate people are notified and correct procedures followed. For example, the response to an active shooter situation is going to be very different from the response to a fight that occurs in a hallway. When it comes to protecting the entry, a video intercom, mounted just outside the main door, is a key component allowing two-way voice-and-video identification with visitors Two top priorities for school security are the ability to communicate within a facility, and the ability to control access of who comes and goes. Paul Timm, vice president of Facility Engineering Associates, an independent school security consulting firm, acknowledges the value (and popularity) of video cameras for school security, but says that value is almost completely realized in terms of forensics – reacting after an incident rather than during or before. A second priority for school security is controlling access to the building Communications, specifically mass notification systems, are an important tool for school security, says Timm. Mass notification must be able to provide emergency information to people in the gymnasium, or on a field trip. A second priority for school security is controlling access to the building. When it comes to protecting the entry, a video intercom, mounted just outside the main door, is a key component allowing two-way voice-and-video identification with visitors. But a video intercom works best in conjunction with other complementary products including remote-controlled locks that allow staff to admit visitors while safely sitting behind locked doors. The object of any solution is to eliminate or delay entry of an assailant long enough for police to respond and for school administrators to communicate with teachers and campus staff so they can lock down their classrooms or evacuate, depending on the situation.
The phrase ‘eye in the sky’ is taking on a whole new meaning as the concept of home security drones becomes a plausible idea that could be realized in the not-too-distant future. It’s a possibility that came to light recently in the form of a patent that was granted to Amazon for ‘Image Creation Using Geo-Fence Data’. The patent specifies a “geo-fence, which may be a virtual perimeter or boundary around a real-world geographic area.” An unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) may provide surveillance images of data of objects inside the geo-fence. Any video captured outside the geo-fence would be obscured or objects removed to ensure privacy. Detecting break-ins and fires The Amazon patent outlines how its UAVs could perform a surveillance action at a property of an authorized party. It would be ‘hired’ to look out for open garage doors, broken windows, graffiti, or even a fire. The drone would only view authorized locations and provide information back to the homeowner. The idea is to deploy Amazon’s ‘delivery drone’ to provide surveillance of customers’ homes The idea is to deploy Amazon’s previously proposed (but not yet realized) ‘delivery drone’ to provide surveillance of customers’ homes between making deliveries. (One could say the employment situation has truly peaked when drones start taking second jobs!) In a ‘surveillance as a service’ scenario, Amazon’s customers would pay for visits on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities. (The microphone aspect seems creepy until you remember that Amazon’s Echo devices already have a microphone listening to what happens inside our homes.) A remaining obstacle for such a plan is the matter of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration regulations that restrict commercial drone operations and even hobbyist or consumer drone flights outside an operator’s line of sight. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities Amazon company officials have stressed that the plan is still in its infancy and implementation would be in the future. “The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorize monitoring of their home,” Amazon’s John Tagle told National Public Radio (NPR). Although use of drones for security is in the future, the launch of delivery drones appears to be on the nearer-term horizon. Amazon has said it hopes to launch a commercial service in a matter of months. Amazon’s competitor – Alphabet’s Wing – has already been granted FAA approval to make deliveries in the United States. Autonomous drone monitoring Another company, Sunflower Labs, is also working on security drones and has created a prototype that uses an autonomous drone to monitor activity in conjunction with a series of motion and vibration sensors located around the house. The sensors, which can detect footsteps or car engines, are placed around the home to create a virtual map, track objects and guide the drone. The ground sensors would alert a homeowner of something moving around the house. The homeowner could then elect to deploy the drone, which would stream a live video feed to a smart phone or tablet. Smart home technologies are in the process of transforming the home security marketSmart home technologies and do-it-yourself security installations are in the process of transforming the home security market. The traditional ‘alarm service’ model is barely recognizable today among all the changes and new products, from home automation to video doorbells to personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Technology-loving consumers are looking at an expanding menu of options just as they are embracing new ways to protect their homes. Instead of a call to an alarm company, a consumer today may instead view a video of a burglary-in-progress live-streamed to their smart phone. Amazon and the other Big Tech companies are already playing a role in the disruption. Home security provided by a drone (on its way to delivering a package down the street) may seem like an extreme divergence from the norm. But such is the changing world of smart homes and residential security.
In five states in the Western United States, 200 video surveillance cameras keep are keeping watch to provide early warning of wildfires. In the near future, the number of wildfire surveillance cameras will be growing dramatically. Soon there will be more than 1,000 of the cameras in California alone, keeping watch on thousands of acres at risk of destructive events like last year’s deadly Camp and Woolsey wildfires. It is a striking example of how video surveillance technology can be used effectively beyond the realm of corporate or institutional security. The wildfire surveillance cameras are providing extra eyes to avoid a disaster before it can happen. ALERTWildfire surveillance cameras The ALERTWildfire surveillance cameras are installed through a consortium of universities – the University of Nevada, Reno; the University of California San Diego; and the University of Oregon. Dozens of partners also participate in ALERTWildfire, including the National Forest Service, other government agencies, utilities and other private companies, state and local fire departments, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). Wildfire surveillance cameras can provide early warning when a fire starts and help firefighters respond quicker “It takes a lot of people, pushing in the same direction, to deploy cameras rapidly,” says Graham Kent, University of Nevada, Reno. “We are connected into the community, which is a positive thing.” The wildfire surveillance cameras can provide early warning when a fire starts and help firefighters and first responders scale the resources needed to respond. The cameras also monitor fire behavior until it is contained, enhance situational awareness during evacuations, and ensure fires are monitored appropriately through their demise. Axis Q6055-E PTZ network cameras ALERTWildfire currently uses Axis Q6055-E outdoor-ready pan-tilt-zoom network cameras that provide 1080p HDTV signals, 32x zoom and low-bandwidth compression. (Earlier versions of similar Axis camera models were also installed previously.) The camera’s robust aluminum casing can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees F, although the cameras are positioned on the tops of towers where temperatures from wildfires are not a factor. In addition to surveillance cameras, each installation site includes a range of equipment including hard power or solar power (on about a third of installations), both with battery backups. Resilient, hardened microwave/fiber networks carry video signals from the cameras to servers at University of Nevada, Reno, which makes them available on the Internet. Geolinks, an ALERTWildfire partner, provides resilient Internet connectivity to mountaintops throughout the West. Firefighters can even watch fires on their mobile devices while they are en route to a fire breakout site Mobile Surveillance Dispatchers around the West have access to video from the cameras, and fire management can move the camera views through their iPhones. Firefighters can even watch fires on their mobile devices while they are en-route to a fire. Cameras are located currently in California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. There have been 85 cameras in place for five years or so, and the number of cameras has more than doubled since the beginning of 2019. The accelerated installation schedule is courtesy of a new policy of using existing infrastructure for cameras rather than creating it from scratch. The large number of cameras on the horizon for California is being funded by utility companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. AI in video surveillance The public can view the camera feeds and often call 911 to report early warnings of fires The public can view the camera feeds and often call 911 to report early warnings of fires, thus providing a kind of crowdsourcing, a fire-warning version of “Neighborhood Watch.” In the future, artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to monitor the video feeds to provide early warning. For now, the system is largely used by 911 dispatchers to confirm reports of fires. “Cell phones are so ubiquitous, people call in fires before the AI could react,” says Kent. “We could never beat 911.” A model for early detection of wildfires is in operation in San Diego, where San Diego Gas and Electric manages an emergency center that uses sophisticated real-time modeling to predict fire events based on weather conditions, vegetation, etc., tracked on a threat map. The system enables firefighting resources to be deployed quickly at the first hint of fire and thus to avoid a larger, sweeping wildfire event. Enhancing surveillance for quick wildfires detection “If you can get on top of it quickly enough, it makes all the difference,” says Kent. “In the case of extreme conditions, 10, 20 or 30 minutes can make a big difference.” Other locations are looking to replicate the San Diego model to discover and confirm fires quickly and then reposition assets to respond. Phos-Chek long-term fire retardant, applied by air from a fixed or rotor-wing aircraft, is used to slow or stop the spread of wildland fires. Our successes have led to a demand to get more cameras out right now" Installing more cameras to provide early warning of wildfires is “a grave need in the Western states,” and the system is likely eventually to be deployed in other areas, too. Wildfires can be a challenge in non-Western states such as Florida and Oklahoma, and a similar approach could also be used to provide early warning of other emergencies, such as tornados. “Once we do the West, we will be looking to do the rest of the United States,” says Kent. Increasing demand for video cameras Currently, the biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. “Our successes have led to a demand to get more cameras out right now,” says Kent. “Funding isn’t the largest issue. The money is there to do it, but we have to be able to scale up quickly, working with partners. It’s a wild ride.” Key words for success of the ALERTWildfire system are “location, location, location” combined with “coverage, coverage, coverage,” adds Kent. “We can solve 90 percent of the problem with coverage.”
Time for an indepth review of IFSEC 2019 in London. This show had fewer exhibitors than previous shows, and the ‘vibe’ was definitely more low-key. Fewer exhibitors meant larger aisles and plenty of room to breathe, and the slower pace provided time for exhibitors to reflect (often negatively) on the return on investment (ROI) of large trade shows. There was little buzz on the first day of the show, but spirits picked up on the second day (when, not coincidentally, some exhibitors served drinks to attendees at their stands). Enterprise security solutions One eye-catcher was smart wireless security provider Ajax Systems’ stylish black stand Many exhibitors compared IFSEC unfavorably to ISC West in the United States and even to Intersec in Dubai. Others seemed willing to be lured back to Birmingham (previous location for IFSEC) to participate in the upstart competitor, The Security Event, next spring. However, not all the IFSEC 2019 reviews were negative. Vaion made the most of their small stand toward the back of the hall. They experienced brisk traffic right up until the end of the show. Happy with the response, the provider of real-time enterprise security solutions reportedly has already committed to IFSEC 2020. Other exhibitors also made the most of their space at IFSEC; one eye-catcher was smart wireless security provider Ajax Systems’ stylish black stand. Vaion made the most of their small stand toward the back of the hall Latest new products Nedap launched a new product, AEOS 2019.1, that is five time faster and more stable than its predecessor. It uses HTML5 – no more reliance on Adobe. Feedback has been good. The company has also increased its integration of open security standards (OSS). Traka showcased smart lockers, which are modular, scalable, and staff can easily replace broken equipment. Product features can be adapted to specific sectors (i.e., retail, prisons). Traka spends 30% of its revenue on research and development, developing their own engineering. The company has seen massive growth in the UK and Europe. Hanwha Techwin lured visitors into the centre of their stand with drinks and ice cream, surrounded by the latest new products. Hanwha promoted their investment in a manufacturing facility in Vietnam and showcased Wisenet cameras with enhanced 4K images, digital auto tracking, and less motion blur for clearer images. Video verification product A multi-sensor model captures wide areas with a single camera. Hanwha also offered some value-priced cameras that feature easy self-install and are swappable. Optex launched a new product called ‘the Bridge’, a video verification product that bridges CCTV on a digital video recorder (DVR) to intruder alarms. Hanwha showcased Wisenet cameras with enhanced 4K images UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter announced ‘Security By Default’, a set of minimum requirements that will guarantee users that network video security products are as secure as possible in their default settings right out of the box. Hikvision promoted their support for Secure by Default and expressed hopes the initiative would be embraced by other companies and create a new best practice for camera cybersecurity. Hikvision also promoted their retail solution, which includes on-site redaction for GDPR compliance, shelf detection incorporating artificial intelligence, and use of heat mapping to analyze customer foot traffic. Generating revenue Safety and Security Things (SAST), another IFSEC exhibitor, is in the process of creating an ‘app store’ for the security market. Striving to achieve critical mass with participation by a wide range of systems integrators and manufacturers, SAST has a goal of launching to the public in Q1 next year in time for ISC West. Hanwha Techwin is among the players that have already joined the alliance A pilot version will debut this autumn, and they already have 26 apps and six camera manufacturers toward that goal. With a staff of 120, mostly based in Munich, SAST expects to begin generating revenue in 2020 and to grow rapidly. An investment by Bosch is financing start-up operations. Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA) is creating standards and a platform to enable the sale of apps in the security market. Large industry players Hanwha Techwin is among the players that have already joined the alliance, and OSSA is seeking to add other large companies, such as Axis, Genetec and Hikvision. Engaging integrators, app developers and software providers as well as camera manufacturers will generate widespread support to ensure the initiative succeeds. Although currently most OSSA members are based in the EU and Asia, it is a global organization open to any company in the world. Many large industry players are now missing from the IFSEC show floor; the most noticeable new abstainer this year was Milestone. And the downturn seems likely to continue: Exhibitors were largely noncommittal about returning next year, although organizers were urging them during the exhibition to sign up for 2020.
As a security service provider with a rich history in manguarding, Allied Universal is launching a new technology platform to increase productivity and accountability of security officers and to transform guard service operations from an ‘observe and report’ mission to a ‘detect and respond’ function. Mark Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), says the new Heliaus platform also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data, predict outcomes, and prescribe optimum responses. The platform includes a smart phone app that guides security officers to ensure post orders are followed and provides a ‘virtual’ coach or supervisor to guide security officers throughout the day. “The walls between technology and people need to come down in the future,” says Mullison. “We need an ecosystem in which people and technology can cooperate well and respond to threats and drive outcomes.” Real-Time situational awareness Technology plays an increasing role in security and safety, but it will never replace humans"Heliaus is a step in that direction. It has two components – the mobile app used by security officers; and a cloud-based portal, like a command and control center that compiles information from the app and other inputs and performs AI analysis of data. Heliaus is an add-on for Allied Universal customers and is offered for a per-device subscription fee of $199 per month. A customer company’s managers can also access the portal for data visualization tools and real-time situational awareness, or to input data such as ‘approving’ an incident report or action. “Technology plays an increasing role in security and safety, but it will never replace humans,” says Mullison. “It will augment and enhance the workflow and make people more effective.” “We are focusing on delivering better outcomes for safety and security,” he adds. “The impacts are as broad and diverse as the clients we serve.” Customization of forms enables the system to collect and use any information that was previously collected on paper. Monitoring and Response Center (MaRC) A system is effective only to the extent that it is used, and Allied Universal has engineered the user experience to make the mobile app easy – almost fun – to use, says Mullison. Elements of ‘gamification’ drive greater user adoption. “It is designed to support the work [security officers] do and make information collection a by-product of people doing their jobs.” The system brings together rich data, AI, location-aware workflow automation, and friendly user experience design Effective AI depends on data, and Heliaus pulls data from Allied Universal’s Monitoring and Response Center (MaRC), where a cloud server integrates the company’s managed security services, including access control, video surveillance and video analytics. It also incorporates current weather information and forecasts, and information specific to the industry segment. Additional data is generated as officers enter data through the mobile app. The system brings together rich data, AI, location-aware workflow automation, and friendly user experience design. It provides insight into the drivers of risk, makes recommendations about how to reduce incidents, and, through dynamic workflow automation, ensures that those recommendations are implemented. Location awareness is a combination of the global positioning system (GPS), Bluetooth beacons, and near-field communication (NFC) tags. Improves the accuracy of responses AI understands the data and applies reasoning capabilities to predict an outcome and prescribe a response“Information is organized to facilitate AI analysis. If you have the right knowledge representation then problem-solving is easy,” says Mullison, echoing a common principle of artificial intelligence. AI works to analyze data and make predictions and recommendations to guide responses by security personnel. AI understands the data and applies reasoning capabilities to predict an outcome and prescribe a response. The AI system also learns and improves the accuracy of responses with more data and over time. Responses come much faster than older ‘trial and error’ models of analysis. Another element of Heliaus is a ‘robust workflow engine’ that ensures recommendations are carried out, either by a security professional on site or by the client. Mullison says implementation of the system can result in a 20% reduction of security and safety incidents. Multiple applications of Heliaus Heliaus is already being used by some Allied Universal customers. For example, a major Hollywood production studio is using it to identify and address workplace hazards such as stray electrical cords, dripping water hoses, etc., across a 50-acre area. In the logistics sector, Heliaus is being used to facilitate checking delivery vehicles in and out of a truckyard A manufacturer created a custom compliance application using the platform to track more than 140 unique incident types, such as monitoring elevated temperature in a truck trailer or drivers without proper identification. In the logistics sector, Heliaus is being used to facilitate checking delivery vehicles in and out of a truckyard. The flexibility of the platform can enable expansion to incorporate other technologies in the future, too. For example, sources of data for the system could include robots, drones or various Internet of Things (IoT) sensors; or workflow engines could be used to dispatch a robot or drone to handle a situation (rather than a human).
As editor of SecurityInformed.com, Larry attends industry and corporate events, interviews security leaders and contributes original editorial content to the sites. He also guides the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals. From 1996 to 2008, Larry was editor of "Access Control & Security Systems" magazine and its affiliated websites. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Georgia State University with a minor in marketing. [Pictured: Larry and wife Linda relax with SecurityInformed.com's loyal office dog, Frankie] How did you come to work in the security industry? I started in the newspaper business and then migrated to trade publishing. I realized that every profession has its own journalism microcosm, so I learned a lot about robotics and paint and adhesives before I landed in the security field. That was around 1996, and security has been the center of my professional life, and a subject of continuing fascination ever since. What is the best professional advice you have ever received? I never met the man, but a famous quote from Woody Allen is something like "80 percent of life is showing up." I find that comforting. Showing up is something I can do. And knowing that I am already 80 percent successful at the get-go has provided extra confidence in a lot of situations over the years. Quick Facts Favorite TV show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee First job McDonald's crew member Tea or coffee Neither: Diet Coke Best gift you received Dance lessons from my wife Last thing you cooked Grilled Cheese What's something few people know about you? Several years ago, after ISC West, I was killing time at the Wynn casino before going to the airport. I had put my last few dollars in a “Red White and Blue” slot machine, and I won the “mini-progressive” – more than $6,000! Having the lady count those $100 bills into my hand is a great memory of ISC West. What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? I get to hear people talk every day about something they are passionate about. I get to learn from really smart people about interesting subjects that actually matter in the world. Jekyll Island on the Georgia coast is Larry Anderson's go-to destination for a relaxing week every summer What are your interests, hobbies and passions outside security? Books, including “literary” fiction, whodunits and lawyer novels. I tend to binge-watch television on demand while on the treadmill at the gym – which takes away the guilt. My wife Linda and I go to the movies a couple of times a month. Where was your last vacation? Jekyll Island on the Georgia coast is our go-to destination for a relaxing week every summer for the last 20 years. They have houses you can rent for the week, beautiful nature walks and bike trails, huge trees draped with Spanish moss, and a smattering of history – it was where millionaires like J.P. Morgan and William Rockefeller retreated to their 25-room “cottages” in the early 1900s. There’s plenty to see and do – or not to do if so inclined!
If you’ve been paying attention over the last twelve months, you will have noticed that deep learning techniques and artificial intelligence (AI) are making waves in the physical security market, with manufacturers eagerly adopting these buzzwords at the industry's biggest trade shows. With all the hype, security professionals are curious to know what these terms really mean, and how these technologies can boost real-world security system performance. The growing number of applications of deep learning technology and AI in physical security is a clear indication that these are more than a passing fad. This review of some of our most comprehensive articles on these topics shows that AI is an all-pervasive trend that the physical security industry will do well to embrace quickly. Here, we examine the opportunities that artificial intelligence presents for smart security applications, and look back at how some of the leading security companies are adapting to respond to rapidly-changing expectations: What Is Deep Learning Technology? Machine Learning involves collecting large amounts of data related to a problem, training a model using this data and employing this model to process new data. Recently, there have been huge advances in a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. This describes a family of algorithms based on neural networks. These algorithms are able to learn efficiently from example, and subsequently apply this learning to new data. Here, Zvika Ashani explains how deep learning technology can boost video surveillance systems. Relationship Between Deep Learning And Artificial Intelligence With deep learning, you can show a computer many different images and it will "learn" to distinguish the differences. This is the "training" phase. After the neural network learns about the data, it can then use "inference" to interpret new data based on what it has learned. For example, if it has seen enough cats before, the system will know when a new image is a cat. In effect, the system “learns” by looking at lots of data to achieve artificial intelligence (AI). Larry Anderson explores how new computer hardware - the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) – is making artificial intelligence accessible to the security industry. Improving Surveillance Efficiency And Accuracy With AI Larry Anderson explains how the latest technologies from Neurala and Motorola will enable the addition of AI to existing products, changing an existing solution from a passive sensor to a device that is “active in its thinking.” The technology is already being added to existing Motorola body-worn-cameras to enable police officers to more efficiently search for objects or persons of interest. In surveillance applications, AI could eliminate the need for humans to do repetitive or boring work, such as look at hours of video footage. Intelligent Security Systems Overcome Smart City Surveillance Challenges AI technology is expected to answer the pressing industry questions of how to use Big Data effectively and make a return on the investment in expensive storage, while maintaining (or even lowering) human capital costs. However, until recently, these expectations have been limited by factors such as a limited ability to learn, and high ongoing costs. Zvika Ashani examines how these challenges are being met and overcome, making artificial intelligence the standard in Smart City surveillance deployments. Combining AI And Robotics To Enhance Security Operations With the abilities afforded by AI, robots can navigate any designated area autonomously to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior or alert first responders to those who may need aid. This also means that fewer law enforcement and/or security personnel will have be pulled from surrounding areas. While drones still require a human operator to chart their flight paths, the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) is increasing the capabilities of these machines to work autonomously, says Steve Reinharz. Future Of Artificial Intelligence In The Security Industry Contributors to SourceSecurity.com have been eager to embrace artificial intelligence and its ability to make video analytics more accurate and effective. Manufacturers predicted that deep learning technology could provide unprecedented insight into human behaviour, allowing video systems to more accurately monitor and predict crime. They also noted how cloud-based systems hold an advantage for deep learning video analytics. All in all, manufacturers are hoping that AI will provide scalable solutions across a range of vertical markets.
Our most popular articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the U.S. security market, from deep learning to protection of mobile workers, from building automation to robotics. Again in 2017, the most read articles tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 most-clicked articles we posted in 2017. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. 1. Las Vegas Massacre Demands Reevaluation of Hospitality Sector Security The Oct. 1, 2017, sniper attack from a 32nd-floor room at Mandalay Bay, overlooking 22,000 people attending a country music festival, has been compared to “shooting fish in a barrel.” When the bullets rained down, there was nowhere to hide. The attack came from outside the “perimeter” of the event, so any additional screening of attendees would not have prevented it. There are also implications of the Las Vegas massacre for the hospitality industry. Hotels and resorts such as Mandalay Bay have not generally embraced technologies like the explosives scanners or X-ray machines used at airport terminals, at least not in the United States. 2. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Ashani] Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning 3. Home Security Systems: Why You Need to Upgrade From 3G to 4G Technology [Missy Dalby] The current communication method for most home security systems is via CDMA and 3G (GSM) technologies. With the emergence of faster, better, and stronger 4G LTE technology, carriers are migrating away from old technology standards and methods towards new, more efficient ones. As such, the older technology is going dark, and soon. Manufacturers of cellular modules have stopped making them. At the end of 2018 they will stop letting customers add systems utilizing 3G radios to their channels. 4. Diving into AI and Deep Learning at NVIDIA’s San Jose Conference [Larry Anderson] Video analytics applications fall under NVIDIA's “AI City” initiative, which they describe as a combination of "safe cities" (video surveillance, law enforcement, forensics) and "smart cities" (traffic management, retail analytics, resource optimization). Depending on the application, AI City technology must function in the cloud, on premises and/or at the edge. NVIDIA’s new Metropolis initiative offers AI at every system level, from the Jetson TX2 "embedded supercomputer" available at the edge, to on-premises servers (using NVIDIA’s Tesla and Quadro) to cloud systems (using NVIDIA’s DGX). 5. Physical Security Evolves to Protect Mobile Workers [Annie Asrari] With an increasing number of employees traveling and working remotely, the days of a dedicated worker who commutes to and from a single location every day of the week are just about over. Security professionals must take a second look at their policies and procedures for employee safety. To protect employees in this new mobile world, where people, assets and brand reputation threats may face higher than normal levels of safety and security risks, businesses must focus less on securing physical, four-wall perimeters and instead take a global approach to security that focuses on protecting traveling, remote and lone workers. Businesses must take a global approach to security that focuses on protecting traveling, remote and lone workers 6. New Security Technologies Driving Excitement on Busy ISC West Day One [Larry Anderson] ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off April 5 with an expanding focus on new technologies and new applications, including some that go beyond any narrow definition of security. “Technology is disrupting the market and executives are taking our solutions beyond security,” says Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify. “They are starting with security and quickly moving to other risk and business continuity issues in the organizations. They want a clear return on investment (ROI), which we can deliver if we move from covering a limited island of ‘security’ issues and give them the value of also managing risk, safety, and operations.” 7. Optimizing Building Automation for Good Return on Investment [Minu Youngkin] Smart buildings are on the rise around the world, not only because a growing number of companies are considering their environmental impact, but also because of the dramatic cost savings that can be realized through integration. In every building that has an integrated security and access control system, an opportunity awaits to also integrate the building’s energy use, water use, ventilation and more. The key is to effectively convey the tremendous potential of this new technology to the end user. 8. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Secuirty Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson] A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. Violence will continue to challenge the healthcare sector in the future 9. The Future of Healthcare Security: Violence Response and Emergency Preparedness [Ben Scaglione and David LaRose] Violence will continue to challenge the healthcare sector in the future. Domestic violence, child abuse, behavioral health, drug and alcohol abuse will all continue to challenge hospital staff in the Emergency Department, Women’s Health, and behavioral health areas. The Hazard Vulnerability Assessments (HVA) along with facility wide risk assessments helps in defining risk severity and identifying historical patterns of violence. 10. Robot Revolution: Uncovering the Real Value of Security Robots [Steve Reinharz] The security coverage that a robot offers in the case of a shopping mall can be easily overshadowed by the fact that the machines seem to serve to entertain the population. Instead, security robots can best be utilized for more high-level roles, such as in critical infrastructure sites, corporate campuses and educational facilities, where wide, expansive spaces require continuous protection. In these locales, security can be difficult to achieve, as cost, location and lack of resources make the logistics of deployment difficult.
SourceSecurity.com’s most trafficked articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the market, from facial detection to drones, from deep learning to body worn cameras. Again in 2017, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at SourceSecurity.com in 2017 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software 1. MOBOTIX Aims High with Cybersecurity and Customer-Focused Solutions [Jeannie Corfield] With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. 2. ‘Anti-Surveillance Clothing’ Creates a New Wrinkle in Facial Detection [Larry Anderson] The latest challenge to facial recognition technology is “anti-surveillance clothing,” aimed at confusing facial recognition algorithms as a way of preserving “privacy.” The clothing, covered with ghostly face-like designs to specifically trigger face-detection algorithms, are a backlash against the looming possibility of facial recognition being used in retail environments and for other commercial purposes. 3. Drone Terror: How to Protect Facilities and People [Logan Harris] Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defense. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning 4. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Anshani] Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms 5. Body Worn Cameras: Overcoming the Challenges of Live Video Streaming [Mark Patrick] Most body camera manufacturers, that are trying to stream, attempt to use these consumer technologies; but they don’t work very well in the field, which is not helpful when you need to see what is happening, right now, on the ground. The video must be of usable quality, even though officers wearing the cameras may be moving and experiencing signal fluctuations – most mobile video produces significant delays and signal breakups. Video and audio must always remain in sync so there’s no confusion about who said what. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of the scene and support immediate decision-making by local and remote team members and support teams moving to the scene. 6. QinetiQ Demonstrates New Privacy-Protecting Body Scanner for Crowded Places [Ron Alalouff] QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down. 7. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Security Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson] A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment 8. Integrating Security Management into Broader Building Systems [Gert Rohrmann] Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organizations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment. 9. How to Use Video Analytics and Metadata to Prevent Terrorist Attacks [Yury Akhmetov] How we defend and prevent terrorism must be based on intelligent processing of information, and an early awareness of potential threats – and effective preventive action – may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making will change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. To what extent can technology investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations? 10. Next Generation Video Analytics: Separating Fact from Fiction [Erez Goldstein] ‘Next generation video analytics’ is a catchy marketing phrase, is how much substance is behind it? Video analytics as a technology has been with us for many years, but there has always been an air of confusion and mystery around it, in large part created by Hollywood movies, where every camera is connected, an operator can search the network and locate the villain in a matter of seconds. I am pleased to say that, in many respects, fact has caught up with fiction, with the newest video analytics solutions that are now on the market focusing on search and specifically real-time search. These solutions have been tried, tested and proven to help reduce search time from hours to minutes and even seconds.
In 2017, SecurityInformed.com covered topics from all corners of the physical security industry - from video surveillance, to access control, to intrusion detection and beyond. But just how much have you been paying attention to the industry this past year? Does your knowledge of the cloud soar high above your colleagues and security friends? Can you recall your facts faster than 60-fps? Are you hooked into the mainframe with your expertise in cybersecurity? Now you can find out. We have launched our SecurityInformed.com Best of the Year Quiz 2017, and this is your opportunity to prove just how much you remembered in this eventful year of security. Compiled by Editor Larry Anderson, our questions span topics as diverse as millennials, body-worn-cameras and security trade shows. So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to prove your knowledge? Are you the champion of the security trade? Take our SourceSecurity.com Best of the Year Quiz 2017 now, and be the envy of the industry!
SourceSecurity.com’s Expert Panel had a lot to say in 2015 on a variety of topics in our Roundtable discussions. Not surprisingly, the discussion topics that have generated the most interest (in terms of how much visitor traffic they generated) are the same hot topics we hear about every day in the industry. Our very most-clicked-on Roundtable discussion in 2015 was about the impact of video on privacy rights. Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of Roundtable discussions included the Cloud (twice!), the impact of IT on physical security, and the outlook for 4K cameras. Additional well-read discussions centered on expanding the benefits of security to other departments and how to improve training. Readers also gravitated to Expert Panel Roundtable discussions of more technical topics such as the value of full-frame-rate video and the effectiveness of panoramic view cameras (compared to pan-tilt-zoom functionality). Rounding out the Top 10 is a discussion of the desirability (and legal implications) of using dummy cameras. Here is a listing of the Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2015 at SourceSecurity.com, along with a “sound bite” from each discussion, and links back to the full articles. Thanks to everyone who contributed to Expert Panel Roundtable in 2015 (including the quotable panelists named below). 1. What Are The Limitations On Where Video Cameras Can Be Placed Because Of Privacy? "Use of cameras in retail applications can easily be justified in general surveillance of sales floors and shopping aisles, but cameras should only be used in changing areas to address a particularly serious problem that cannot be addressed by less intrusive means.” [Mark Pritchard] 2. Are Cloud-Based Security Systems “Safe?” "If the authentication principles are insufficient and weak passwords are allowed, it doesn’t matter how strong the encryption is. Because cloud-based systems are exposed to the Internet, they demand strong authentication and increased operational procedures." [Per Björkdahl] 3. How Does IT Affect The Physical Security Buying Decision? "Of course, we all want good value, but we must invest as necessary. If you strip everything back, the integrator's job is to deliver data. If IT and security departments can keep this objective in mind, then 'value' redefines itself." [Larry Lummis] 4. Which Non-Security Uses Of Video Are Catching On? "While video can help with quality control across the supply chain, it will be especially useful in ensuring compliance with the international adulteration rule [for food manufacturers], the rule with the last court-ordered deadline on May 31, 2016." [Don Hsieh] 5. What Is The Value Of "Full-Frame-Rate" Video? "I once took a client’s footage of a genuine street fight to check how many images per second were needed to prove who punched who – 25fps was fine but 12fps made the video evidence doubtful. Don’t forget, however many fps you choose, your shutter speed must be fast enough to prevent motion blur spoiling the details." [Simon Lambert] 6. When Is It Desirable To Use 'Dummy' Cameras As A Deterrent? "If cameras are present, there is a reasonable expectation of a secure environment in both public and private areas. If the public sees cameras and assumes they are real, they could argue that they were reliant on the protection provided by the cameras." [Dave Poulin] 7. Are Megapixel Or Panoramic-View Cameras An Effective Substitute For PTZs? "Panoramic cameras are usually static, so zooming into a scene’s details is done in software and limited by pixels in the sensor, lens quality and software such as de-warping, so clarity at the boundaries might disappoint. PTZ cameras zoom optically, magnifying long-range details significantly better." [Simon Lambert] 8. Is HD Still The Standard Of Resolution In The Market? For How Much Longer? "The 720p and 1080p HDTV remains dominant today and is expected to be for the foreseeable future. The next standards-based resolution will be 4K, which represents 8.3 megapixel, but first the industry will need to improve on bandwidth with better compression and better light sensitivity." [Fredrik Nilsson] 9. What Are The Current Limitations Of Cloud-Based Systems? "The only remaining limitations of cloud-based systems are bandwidth and connectivity to the cloud. There is more than enough bandwidth for applications like Access Control and Visitor Management, but it will take a couple more years before all high-resolution video is cloud-based.” [Paul Bodell] 10. How Can Security Training Be Improved Among Integrators And End Users? "Training should be sticky and persistent. Follow-up training such as on-line review and updated course material should be available to keep the knowledge fresh. Technology is constantly changing, as soon as training is complete the knowledge begins to go stale." [Charlie Erickson] See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here
There's nothing like a visit to the China Public Security Expo (CPSE) in Shenzhen to open your eyes to a new world of security market manufacturers and customers in the Asia-Pacific market. The show is huge by Western standards – someone told me it's five times the size of ISC West in Las Vegas. But even more than the size of the show, it was the crowd that made an impression on this first-time visitor. Huge numbers of attendees and exhibitors Think of the mass of humanity you might expect at a rock concert, or at Walmart on Black Friday. There was no space to move as you enter the show; you're swept along as part of a sweaty crowd. Fortunately, it was a little easier to maneuver once I got past the initial rush. There were some familiar Western brands – I saw Tyco and Honeywell among others – but the vast majority of the exhibitors are names unfamiliar in the West. And there are a lot of them, aisles and aisles of large, elaborate exhibits. Not waiting for attendees to approach a booth, there were people in the aisles aggressively urging you to enter a nearby exhibit, or at least to take a piece of literature. The experience was a stark contrast to the slow activity at ASIS, where exhibitors complained about lack of booth traffic. No need here to rationalise about the quality of the leads – here, it was clearly about quantity. Companies operating on a larger scale The massive scale of CPSE confirmed my initial observations from the previous couple of days as I had visited Hangzhou as well as Shenzhen. Everything seems bigger here. Large, high-rise buildings are everywhere you look, many of them recently built, across miles and miles, with more to come. Cranes dot the horizon as even more construction is under way. What these Chinese companies are achieving exceeds our tired perceptions in the West of "commoditised products" or "cheap Chinese" My host for the trip, Hikvision, inhabits two large skyscrapers in Hangzhou, and there's an adjacent third building (much bigger than the others) already under construction. When I visited their factory, I learned that they are also building a brand new (and larger) manufacturing facility that will use more automation and further expand their already huge daily output of video surveillance products. It's growth on a scale far beyond anything we're seeing anywhere else in the security marketplace. I visited some other manufacturers at the show, including Dahua, which is gearing up for a larger presence in the U.S. market; and Uniview, which is changing its global brand to UNV and is on the verge of going public. Eyeing Western markets What these Chinese companies are achieving exceeds our tired perceptions in the West of "commoditised products" or "cheap Chinese". Hikvision alone has a broad and rich range of technologies that includes intelligent systems, analytics and product capabilities that other companies often claim will be their advantage as the market becomes more commoditised. Undermining lingering perceptions of questionable Chinese quality were impressive quality control processes Hikvision displayed on the factory tours. Western markets, especially the United States, loom large in the sights of these big companies. Often the missing piece is a U.S. sales and service infrastructure. Hikvision (and other Chinese players) are growing in the U.S. market. Reflecting Hikvision's growth here is (what else?) a new building planned in California. I learned a lot on my Far East adventure; among other things, that the future of the security marketplace will be more global than ever. (And a new word, a verb: to libate.)
Strategic management of costs is important when considering video storage systems Costs are at issue when considering any component of a video system. Strategic management of costs is especially important when considering video storage systems because storage accounts for such a large cost component of networked systems. Gartner’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) As enterprise products begin to dominate the video storage market, more attention needs to be addressed to Gartner’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), says Jeff Burgess, president and CEO of BCDVideo. This concept takes it beyond the initial purchase costs, and also factors in management and support, the opportunity cost of downtime, and other productivity losses. “It’s especially true these days as more and more, video data is being analyzed for business purposes,” says Burgess. “After all, they are counting on it to run their project. The video doesn’t get recorded if the recorder is not working or continually freezing up.” ‘Cost Of Power, Pipe, And People’ Burgess urges integrators and end users to ask themselves: What is the video recorder really costing me over the course of the five-year project? It’s likely a racked solution, so in IT terminology that “costs power, pipe, and people.” “Take the people out of the mix,” Burgess says. “You should not need to roll a truck to the site every time there is an issue. Especially after a warranty service call. The system should automatically accept the replacement drive and bring the data over to it within the existing RAID settings, without the integrator’s on-site presence needed. The integrator really needs to look under the hood to see what else the system can provide other than simply being a storage box or a box of parts from multiple brands, not meant to work together.” Finding the right balance of control, performance, scalability and availability to keep up with and effectively exploit the surveillance data deluge allows organizations to avoid painful and costly upgrades Today’s intelligently-built video solutions provide the integrator with an easy-to-track cost savings over the lifespan of the project versus buying boxes on the cheap, says Burgess. “Today’s savvy integrator realises it doesn’t take many truck rolls to lose all those front-end savings, which are now eating away at their profits.” Camera With SD Cards Another cost factor is to focus more on the utilisation of the SD cards in the camera. Utilising cards within the cameras creates a very inexpensive way of adding redundancy to a solution, says Burgess, who notes that most VMS companies can pull the video from the SD cards should there be an interruption in the network or at the head end. Educate Yourself Veracity recommends asking a lot of questions to guide system design and minimize costs. What retention time do you need? What would you wish? Do you want to relay on video motion detection, or would you prefer to find a system that allows you to record low frame rate 24/7 and then increase frame rate on motion? Does your storage choice allow you to use low cost drives? Does it use a huge amount of power? Is it overly complex? “Educate yourself about the choices,” says Scott Sereboff, CEO of Veracity USA. “Look around. Consider the alternatives. You have a choice that does not include a RAID storage system with an $800-plus per terabyte price tag.” "Starting with a solution that takes minimal install and tuning, and is proven to scale well beyond current needs, future proofs the system for the short- and long-term for the customer and the integrator", says Jeff Adams, director of sales, surveillance solutions, DDN Storage solutions Balancing Performance, Capacity And Availability Finding the right balance of control, performance, scalability and availability to keep up with and effectively exploit the surveillance data deluge allows organizations to avoid painful and costly upgrades, says Jeff Adams, director of sales, surveillance solutions, DataDirects Network (DDN) Storage solutions. “Performance needs to scale to allow for increasingly demanding playback and/or analytics features. Capacity needs to scale non-disruptively as cameras are added, while resolutions and retention periods may increase over time. Availability at scale is tricky; something as simple as slow rebuild times becomes critical in larger systems – endangering availability and system data integrity.” In addition to new installations, DDN does a healthy business in replacing underpowered infrastructures that deliver on the initial requirements but fail on scaling, says Adams. The most frequent culprits when a video surveillance site fails and needs a significant replacement/upgrade include: single controller architectures, silent data corruption, data loss from secondary failures during drive rebuilds, performance impact of rebuilds, alternates to RAID6 data protection, and lack of experience scaling into the petabyte or multi-petabyte range. Many mid-range video surveillance storage “solutions” take more than a week to install and tune, and cannot handle significant scale, adds Adams. For end users, this limits the ability to add cameras, capacity and demand (playback, analytics and system consolidation). For integrators, this means a lot of “care and feeding,” and frequent completion delays up front, as well as increased support considerations throughout the life of the project. “Starting with a solution that takes minimal install and tuning, and is proven to scale well beyond current needs, future proofs the system for the short- and long-term for the customer and the integrator,” says Adams. It also keeps costs low.
Physical access control system architecture should be built to use the changing IT infrastructures of today’s organizations to their fullest It’s time to completely rethink physical access control systems with an eye toward the changing world of information technology. Today’s physical access control system architecture only leverages existing network hardware technology – it doesn’t utilize the organization’s full IT infrastructure, which includes systems providing advanced security services and sources of security-related real-time information. A close look at most organization’s IT roadmaps will show that traditional-architecture access control systems are off on a side road. Physical access control system architecture should be built to use the changing IT infrastructures of today’s organizations to their fullest. Such an approach is key to future-proofing and minimizing costs. The architecture needs to be able to keep pace with technological advancements in computing, communications and integration at the system level and the device level, providing strong security capabilities in a cost-efficient manner. Because hardware-centric, distributed intelligence can’t keep up with IT advances, an ever-widening gap exists between the capabilities, effectiveness and ease of management that a physical access control system can provide – and what today’s physical access control products can provide. Unless the concept of “putting intelligence at the door” includes all the intelligence that should be utilised to make an access decision, such an approach actually provides less security than today’s networked technologies are capable of providing. A key issue is a system’s native support for technological advances versus requiring third-party devices and middleware in a piecemeal approach to system design. With traditional hardware-centric physical access control systems, advanced features and real-time authentication and authorization capabilities could only be achieved by implementing costly third-party solutions or custom-designed applications. Cost and reliability factors have kept such capabilities out of reach for most physical access control customers, even though IT security systems have had such features for more than a decade. Until a full transition is made to next-generation architecture, existing physical access control system deployments will continue to fall further and further behind as technology advances, and will continue to have shortcomings and weaknesses At the infrastructure level, next-generation physical access control system architecture must be IT-centric, taking advantage of an organization’s existing IT infrastructure. It must be deployable throughout the enterprise like any other business application that uses networked end-point devices. At the application level, next-generation physical access control system architecture must be IT-aligned in support of the customer’s preferred approaches to identity, credential and access management (ICAM), and must be easily integrated with relevant business systems. These changes create significant opportunities for integrators and end users, offering software- and net-centricity, server-based real-time access decisions, advanced security protection, scalability, IT- and ICAM-friendly deployment, and mobile device- and smart card-friendly deployment. There are two questions to consider about making the transition to next-generation physical access control architecture: First, will your organization’s current system be satisfactory five to 10 years from now given the pace of technological advances? Second, from a cost- and security-effectiveness standpoint, is continued investment in legacy physical access control technology the smartest approach to your organization’s critical asset protection and incident response needs? Until a full transition is made to next-generation architecture, existing physical access control system deployments will continue to fall further and further behind as technology advances, and will continue to have shortcomings and weaknesses – as well as needless costs – that constitute a liability to an organization’s asset protection program. Editor’s Note: This article is based on Mr. Raefield’s answers to several questions about the access control market posed by SourceSecurity.com.
The merger of Vicon and IQinVision has been one of the more interesting business developments in the security and video surveillance markets in 2014. Wondering how the merger is working out, I spoke with Eric Fullerton, CEO, Vicon Industries Inc., at the ASIS 2014 show in Atlanta. Here are some of his comments: SS.com: What drew you to Vicon; what opportunity do you see here? Fullerton: The merger of Vicon and IQinVision was announced at the end of Q1, and I thought: What is that? My first reaction was that it’s a losing proposition - putting a struggling camera company and a struggling solutions company together. Then I started looking at it more closely. I think by putting these two companies together, we will be able to create a very strong video company that can lift video to the next level. I wanted a good challenge, and to be part of the next change in the industry by combining hardware and software and to start innovating at the edge. SS.com: What do you see as the next level of video, once it’s realized? Fullerton: Video will become the most important digital information source to an operation. Video isn’t just your security application, but it’s a digital business application that adds value to the bottom line. That’s where we want to be delivering products and solutions. We are starting to extract metadata from the cameras. You can analyze the content of video, which provides a totally different value to the video. Less than half of one percent of recorded video is actually looked at -- it’s just used to document what happened after the fact. With some of the modern cameras, like some we are already launching, there is metadata storage of each frame, all the vectors and everything that you can know. Without looking at the video you can analyze changes from frame to frame in terms of color and movement. That will add value to the use of the video. You won’t have to sit and watch it to know what it’s capturing, but you will know what’s going on by using analytic algorithms, and combining that with other digital security systems, including access control and video management. With some of the self-learning video analytics, facial recognition and other things, we are starting to analyze video with data algorithms, channelizing it, and using it as valuable input into HR and management solutions, even in manufacturing. You can get more efficiency. Video will become a valuable addition to daily operations and add value to the bottom line. SS.com: What is Vicon’s part of that – an end-to-end solution, or what? Fullerton: That’s the million dollar question. We are going to build cameras under the IQinVision brand, and have a full line of cameras. We will focus on where our core capabilities are – design and functionality. We will be outsourcing all manufacturing to China and other places that give us the right cost basis, and we will be adding our value at the high end of the camera. The camera line will be open and able to interoperate with other video management systems that we know today. "We’ll have a plug-and-playsolution at the bottom todeliver what the peoplewant at the low end – oneto 60 cameras with limitedfunctionality. At the mid-market we will have muchmore robust and functionalNVRs with more storagefor your larger installations.And then at the high end wewill a VMS-type solutionthat is cloud-enabled" On the Vicon side, today we have a proprietary VMS, which is not what the market is asking for. The emergence of Milestone as an open platform company was because end users were looking for freedom of choice and to get out of proprietary jail. We will migrate our video management platform to an open platform. We’ll have a plug-and-play solution at the bottom to deliver what the people want at the low end – one to 60 cameras with limited functionality. At the mid-market we will have much more robust and functional NVRs with more storage for your larger installations. And then at the high end we will a VMS-type solution that is cloud-enabled. We will also have a cloud solution at the low-end, residential, mom-and-pop market, with video only, no integrations. Later we’ll develop a multi-tenant cloud system for video service providers (VSPs). Going to the cloud doesn’t mean you put the video in the cloud. It means you can get the video when you need to, but also get the information you need. There will be a lot of on-camera storage. Because you have the knowledge of what’s happening in the frames (using metadata), you can pull out the data from the cloud and then decide what part of the video you need to look at. SS.com: How fast are you getting out of the analog business? Fullerton: We’re not. The analog business will have a very long tail – the last 10 to 15 years has proven that. Yes, there is some erosion of margin because of commoditization. There are benefits of analog cameras – they’re robust, they work, you can pull the cable longer than an Ethernet cable. Because of the robustness and the pricing, and some of the features, we’ll see a long tail of analog for years to come. SS.com: What impact do you see of these changes on dealer partners? Fullerton: Being successful in the security industry is to understand how business is done and what end users want. One reason IT didn’t take over is that there is much better value than anybody realized in the guidance security dealers provide end users. I strongly believe business in the security industry is done by local people, and we will migrate as a combined company to a full two-tiered distribution model. We go through distribution and security integrators, and they will be the ones doing the business with the end user. SS.com: How do you deal with preconceptions about your history as a company, and how do you re-educate the market about that? Fullerton: In the security industry, if you look at the history of how it was built, and the old boy’s network, the shadow of what you do is very long. The interesting thing is that Vicon has had IP solutions for 14 years. Everybody thinks that Vicon is an analog company. Yes, we still sell analog cameras because there’s a need in the market. Vicon has been a proprietary company. I would say the biggest fault of the company has been to try to be proprietary when the market is going the other way. That’s the big change we will make. We will be announcing that, and driving PR to let everyone know the new Vicon is an open company that gives the end user the freedom of choice and also delivers on higher value. SS.com: What is your message to the market? Fullerton: We have a 4K camera, which has been our message at the ASIS 2014 show. The management team sat down last week and said “how are we going to drive this?” “What are our values going to be?” We looked at our vision and our mission. The vision is that we believe video will become the most important digital [resource] in a company, so it will add to the bottom line, not just surveillance. Our values are built around the acronym CIPIT – Customer orientation, Integrity, Passion, Innovation and Team effort.
Commoditisation is the biggest problem facing today’s security integrators, says Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network, an electronic security cooperative encompassing some 250 electronic security systems integrators, and aligning them with over 150 vendor partners. Multi-million-dollar manufacturers are taking advantage of economies of scale to drive down pricing of many of the components our industry uses, and lower prices are poised to have a long-term detrimental impact on integrators’ business, Bozeman says. “You have to sell that many more cameras and card readers to create the same amount of revenue,” he says. “There’s a lot of danger there.” To survive the impact of commoditisation, integrators are looking to develop new business models that are not totally dependent on the installation of systems. Possibilities include recurring revenue models and sales of security services, which can provide a predictable cash flow. Recurring revenue for a systems integrator might come from longer-term maintenance contracts, or from monthly fees for alarm monitoring, access to cloud services, etc. Security services, in effect, involve an integrator providing a wider range of services to an end user customer for a monthly fee, basically allowing the end user to “outsource” its complete security operation to an integrator. Commoditisation over time will require that integrators re-think their business models, says Bozeman, but integrators will require a lot of education on how to embrace the needed transition. “Contractors don’t have that model,” he says. “They are embracing it slowly; it’s a slow migration, and we have tried to lead them in that direction. They’re picking up on it, but it’s been a herd of turtles.” On the plus side, Bozeman says proliferation of handheld devices with the ability to receive video and alarm signals is opening up a new wave of customers for integrators. He says the capabilities of hand-held devices drive visibility of the video surveillance world. The growth of lower-tech options, such as ‘baby-cams,’ is also helping “to drive interest toward professionally designed systems,” says Bozeman.
In its role to achieve “plug-and-play” interoperability for security system and device integration, the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) is looking ahead to some new possibilities in its long-term roadmap. David Bunzel, PSIA executive director, shared with me some of the active discussions among alliance members about where the next wave of interoperability initiatives may lead. Integration of wireless locks is at the top of the list, a response to the growing and evolving product category. Looking further into the future, integration of smart elevators, energy management systems and hotel management systems are part of the alliance’s roadmap. There are specific access control and integration issues related to each category. In the case of energy management systems, for example, there is demand for access control systems to be able to adjust a building’s climate system in response to whether anyone has entered the building (for example, on the weekend). Access control can also monitor overall building occupancy and optimize climate settings based on that information (especially valuable as a strategy to save energy costs and promote “green” compliance). The more our lives and technologies are interconnected, the greater the expectations for physical access control to be a part of a larger ecosystem Smart elevators are another opportunity to interface with access control, and increasingly their management is a requirement for enterprise building systems. Even more futuristic is the possibility of having an employee’s computer work station interface with an access control system. In this scenario, an employee’s desktop computer could automatically power up, open appropriate files and applications, and/or access networks to which the employee is authorized – all based on a card or biometric scan when the employee enters the building. With the increase of remote workers and companies needing fewer work stations (and seeking to reduce costs), the “hot desking” concept could continue to gain favor – and provide new benefits of interfacing with physical access control. In this case, rather than a work station assigned to each employee (even those who do not come to the office very often), the concept of a “hot desk” would allow an employer to use a smaller number of generic workstations, each available as needed when a remote worker comes into the office. When an employee comes to work (and scans his access control credential), he or she would be assigned to a specific workstation, and that desktop computer would then automatically configure itself to the employee’s specific needs and access privileges. It’s a new level of physical-logical integration, and an opportunity for the physical access control market, but interoperability challenges have to be addressed. The more our lives and technologies are interconnected, the greater the expectations for physical access control to be a part of a larger ecosystem. It appears PSIA and its members have challenges to keep them busy for years to come.
For the 20,000 or so security professionals who attend each year, ASIS International’s Annual Seminar and Exhibits is all about education. Attendees can polish their skills and update their security know-how in any of more than 200 education sessions during the yearly event. They can also learn all about the latest available security technologies and services at the massive 225,000-square-foot exhibition. Celebrities are on hand too, or at least some well-known and notable dignitaries are keynote speakers, including General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State; and John Huntsman, former Utah Governor and U.S Presidential candidate. Sharing dramatic stories of heroic rescues from recent geopolitical history, U.S. Navy SEAL Rear Admiral Scott Moore discusses team building in the context of the military’s most elite forces. These are just a few of the attractions when ASIS International presents the 60th Annual Seminar and Exhibits Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. For the fourth consecutive year, the (ISC)2 Security Congress, which focuses on issues of information and software security, co-locates with the ASIS event, thus combining physical and logical security professionals in one place (and allowing them to attend various facets of both events). ASIS International is the largest organization of security management professionals worldwide, and (ISC)2 is the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals worldwide. The focus of ASIS for the manufacturer and supplier community is the vast exhibit hall, where more than 700 companies demonstrate cutting-edge technology, products and services to security professionals worldwide The focus of ASIS for the manufacturer and supplier community is the vast exhibit hall, where more than 700 companies demonstrate cutting-edge technology, products and services to security professionals worldwide. The ASIS exhibition is one of two large security trade show events each year in the U.S. market and provides a focus for many product introductions and other commercial announcements among the manufacturing community. Although the attendee focus is on end users, there are also integrators, consultants, distributors and others who flock to the ASIS exhibit hall to see what’s new in the security market for the second half of 2014. Other highlights of the ASIS conference sessions include focus on top security concerns and need-to-know industry trends, including cyber-fraud, drones, security metrics, aviation security and many more. Education sessions reflect a range of topics, including urgent issues on everyone’s minds and in the headlines, such as mass shooting incidents, cyber-fraud, workplace violence, the safety of our food supply, and dealing with legalized marijuana, among many more. On the business side, sessions explore management issues such as internal theft and sabotage, best practices in hiring top security personnel, monitoring Internet communications, and complying with employer mandates of the U.S. Affordable Care Act. One session focuses on a new breed of security integrator emerging to address both small- and large-scale projects. “The Integrator of the Future” session identifies the largest growth markets for tomorrow’s integration professional. SourceSecurity.com Editor Larry Anderson is attending ASIS 2014 to report the latest company and product news from the 60th annual event.
The SourceSecurity.com team attended this year's IFSEC International 2014 with great anticipation to view the new innovations first-hand on show and see how the move to London would impact visitor experience. To capture the show, we have provided a summary of IFSEC in pictures above. Highlights from IFSEC 2014 We saw an overwhelming number of people and products; here is a snapshot of our IFSEC experience for 2014: FLIR SourceSecurity.com attended FLIR’s press briefing which took place on the first day of the show. FLIR emphasized that it was more than just a professional thermal camera company – the company has recently released $499 thermal cameras to the consumer industry. For FLIR, the security market is growing industry. With the acquisition of Lorex in 2012, FLIR will be introducing Lorex products under the FLIR brand (consumer side, not professional) in EMEA. At IFSEC 2014, FLIR also introduced FLIR One- its first consumer camera for the iPhone. HID Global HID Global’s Director of Technical Services, Nick Hislop, talked SourceSecurity.com through its emerging technologies in the form of leveraging Bluetooth LE and NFC. The concept is simple: to make mobile access more convenient. Nick also demonstrated how HID’s products and solutions are relevant for a number of vertical markets including Enterprise, Healthcare, Education and Finance Services. Nedap ID Ido Wentink of Nedap Identification Systems introduced SourceSecurity.com to the Nedap IDS advanced license plate recognition product, ANPR Access HD. The company also introduced uPASS Access, a backward compatibility convertor and UHF ISO Card for improved user experience for uPASS platform. The ANPR Access HD for advanced license plate recognition is a higher resolution lens than its previous release, the ANPR Access camera. Other features of the ANPR Access HD include a more powerful CCV, increased IR illumination and expanded OCR library. SourceSecurity.com’s visit to STI’s booth saw the company emphasize its importance not just within the fire industry, but within the security industry as well Security Technology International (STI) SourceSecurity.com’s visit to STI’s booth saw the company emphasize its importance not just within the fire industry, but within the security industry as well. STI is looking to get the message out there that they’re not just a fire company. Paul Machacek, Sales Team Business Developer, talked SourceSecurity.com through a number of STI’s products including STI’s Polycarbonate Protective Covers, Steel cages, Call Points & Switches and Stand-alone Alarm Systems. Samsung - Changing the face of IP On day two of the show, Samsung hosted a press conference for the global launch of its Open Platform. This new initiative gives users the opportunity to utilize third party APPs with Samsung's WiseNetIII cameras and domes. Tim Biddulph, Product Manager at Samsung, hosted the conference and offered an insight into Samsung's tag line for the show, "Changing the face of IP". Taking a lead in IP technology, Samsung is seeking to give end-users a solution that is effectively future-proof in terms of expandability and its ability to integrate with new technology in the future. Ease of use was also at the top of Samsung's agenda with its "Zero configuration" NVR solution and there was a large focus on the power of integration within different vertical markets. ASSA ABLOY ASSA ABLOY showcased a number of its access security solutions on its impressive stand. SourceSecurity.com met with Thomas Schulz who gave a comprehensive tour of the stand. From ASSA ABLOY Aperio, there was a focus on the benefits of energy saving for its customers with the Aperio range now featuring battery-powered online and offline locks, cylinders, and escutcheons. There was also ABLOY CliQ technology on show which integrates electronics and mechanics, combining mechanical ABLOY PROTEC locking solutions with low-power electronics. A number of access control solution from effeff, Mul-T-Lock, Traka and Yale were also showcased on the stand. VIVOTEK At the VIVOTEK stand, the SourceSecurity.com team were given a tour of the stand which featured their low-light solution and their latest retail solution On day one of the show, VIVOTEK hosted a luncheon in the Crown Plaza hotel, just a stone's throw from the ExCeL center. As well as enjoying a great meal, attendees were privy to the company's main focus for the coming year and its milestones and product roadmap for 2014 and beyond. The warm hosts included: Steve Ma, Executive Vice President at VIVOTEK, Brandy Lin, Team leader at VIVOTEK and Owen Chen, the Chairman of VIVOTEK. During the luncheon, VIVOTEK shared its vision of being seen as more than just a camera manufacturer, rather, as a total solution provider. The message of the importance of integration, an increased awareness of the need for reliability of products and ease of use was key on their agenda. At the VIVOTEK stand, the SourceSecurity.com team were given a tour of the stand wich featured their low-light solution and their latest retail solution, which was made up of a series of mini high definition cameras for discreetness. SALTO Salto showcased its latest wireless access control door solution, the XS4 mini. XS4 Mini includes SALTO Virtual Network SVN and wireless capability with mini installation needs. Embedded in the heart of the product is the latest microprocessor technology, ready for the connected world, open and future-proof for online connection, wireless technology and NFC. Seagate During an editorial briefing with the SourceSecurity.com team, Seagate shared their valuable knowledge of the history of storage manufacturing and stressed the importance of choosing the right storage solution for installations. With the rise of "Big Data" and increased storage needs in the surveillance market this is something which has become much more of a consideration. As one of only three storage manufacturers, Seagate's experience and know-how within the surveillance industry is vast and it hopes to push out its knowledge to the industry to ensure that people know the benefits of choosing a fit-for-purpose storage solution. Western Digital SourceSecurity.com spoke to Martin Jefferson at Western Digital, who gave a very detailed explanation of how the new WD purple surveillance hard drive had been created and why it was fit-for purpose. It was a very insightful presentation of the product and demonstrated the inherent need for the market to understand why choosing the right storage solution is vital to any installation. OptexAt the Optex stand SourceSecurity.com spoke to Aude Desbieres, who gave a breakdown of the latest offering from Optex at the show. Amongst the array of new products on the stand, Optex showcased the new analytics features of its laser Sensor, REDSCAN, and a new people counting solution developed by Giken Trastem. There was also a focus on full integration of its IP sensors with Milestone XProtectand Hawkeye mapping software and new grade 2 and grade 3 detectors. Our very own Larry Anderson also sat down with their MD Mike Shibata to discuss the company's future and development roadmap. During an editorial briefing with the SourceSecurity.com team, Seagate shared their valuable knowledge of the history of storage manufacturing and stressed the importance of choosing the right storage solution for installations Tyco Stephen Carney, Director of Product Management for Video Solutions at Tyco Security Products, set down with SourceSecurity.com to give an insight into their product roadmaps and their main focus for the coming year. He spoke on their concept of Unification which looks at integration at code level rather than simply API level. With the launch of their victor 4.5 Unified Client, they hope to give the end user a solution that is more secure and efficient for businesses and organizations that require an active surveillance environment. He also mentioned Tyco's increased focus on the end user and customer experience being at the heart of how they develop their product offering for the market. Senstar At the Senstar booth, SourceSecurity.com were given an insight by Miriam Rautiainen into Senstar's new FlexZone, a fence-mounted sensor that detects and locates intruders. The FlexZone can also locate multiple intrusions simultaneously and is scalable, thus making it an easy and flexible option no matter how big or small the installation needs to be. With FlexZone, less equipment and infrastructure is required, adding to the flexibility of the product. Furthermore, rejecting false alarms is even easier with FlexZone than with Senstar's previous offerings. Miriam also mentioned the acquisition of Optellios earlier this year, which has allowed Senstar to expand on their fiber technology portfolio. Nedap SourceSecurity.com also attended a seminar at the Nedap stand about their collaboration with EE. EE has selected Nedap's AEOS security management platform as part of their plan to expand their business throughout the UK. Since the AEOS system is completely web-based, EE employees can access it from anywhere. Traka At the Traka stand, Tanveer Choudhry, Global Marketing Manager at Traka, gave us a demonstration of their new Traka 21 - a plug and play key management system designed for small to medium size businesses. The system is very user-friendly and easy to use, as Tanveer showed us. Furthermore, a PC connection isn't necessary as the Traka 21 can operate as a stand-alone. However, the system features a USB port, which allows employees to extract user data. The Traka 21 will be available later this year.
Ever wish your smart phone could see in the dark? Sure you have, and FLIR Systems has just the gadget to make it possible. It’s the FLIR One, the “first personal thermal imaging device for consumers,” introduced earlier this year. Now available for the iPhone, with a version for select Android models coming soon, the product sells for less than $350. It allows its users to “see what the naked eye can’t.” According to the manufacturer, FLIR One “provides a visual image of minute temperature differences, giving users the power to see in the dark, observe invisible heat sources, compare relative temperatures, [and] see through smoke.” FLIR One made a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January and has been widely featured in the technology media since then. FLIR One is part of the company’s strategy of promoting greater use of thermal imaging in a variety of markets, including security, by increasing overall consumer awareness of the power of the technology. The new camera for the consumer market uses technology that will also be coming soon to a security camera near you, expanding the capabilities of video surveillance and combining the benefits of thermal and visible imaging into a single video stream. FLIR’s Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX) capability – used in the FLIR One and soon to be incorporated into security cameras – involves extracting the details of a visible image and “embossing” them onto a thermal image, says Andy Teich, FLIR CEO. The FLIR One uses both a thermal image sensor and the smart phone’s visible camera; there are two apertures. The compact device combines both of the images using MSX algorithms running in the background to calibrate and perfectly align the two images into one. The smart phone then displays a single video image that is richer in content than either one individually. The resulting thermal image includes some of the visible details – the most important ones at any rate. “[The technology] blends high-fidelity detail from a visible image with thermal for an image this is quite rich in detail,” Teich says. In the security market, for example, the image can combine a thermal image of a car in a parking lot with the ability to read the license plate number, which would be captured by a visible sensor. The “edges” created by color changes in a visible image provide detail that is combined with a thermal image. (FLIR has provided both visible and thermal cameras since its acquisition of Lorex Technology in 2012.) Teich says the MSX technology was developed for the company’s thermography business, which involves the use of hand-held cameras for temperature detection. The FLIR One is the first camera introduced outside the thermography segment. “Ultimately it will find its way into the security business,” says Teich, probably “within the next year.”
Frank De Fina put Samsung on the map related to video surveillance in the United States market. Five years ago, before the longtime Panasonic executive signed on, the Samsung brand had little traction in the U.S. surveillance market, although the Korean giant was already well known in the broader electronics market. Back then Samsung surveillance cameras were thought of as inferior to Panasonic, Sony or the other brands – if they were thought of at all. Five years later, Samsung is climbing up the market share rankings. A lot of the success can be attributed to Samsung’s technological advances and the innovation of new products they are bringing to market. The products have gotten better, true, but De Fina gets the credit for building a solid management infrastructure and expanding the distribution channels over the last five years. Now, those elements will be continuing without him. “I’m leaving the company in better shape than I found it,” said De Fina, Samsung’s executive vice-president, North America. He emphasizes that his parting with Samsung at the end of May is “amicable” and “based on personal reasons,” among them a grueling 106-mile-a-day commute. “I want the industry to know I’m taking a breather,” he said. “I want to adjust my life to better suit some of the issues I have.” “Building the Samsung brand and credibility were the main focus early on,” De Fina said. “You have to have great products, great people and success stories by customers who were willing to take a chance.” His only regret is that it took five years to accomplish the turnaround. “I wish I could have done it in two years instead of five,” he said. “Five years ago, it was literally a shell,” De Fina remembers. “There were no processes and no team. I am pleased to say I organized and built a great team. The credit for building the business goes to that team.” The success has been notable as Samsung has increased its market share in the United States and is on track to increase U.S. video surveillance sales by more than 75 percent this year over last. ”The team at Samsung is great, and I don’t want them to suffer from this (departure) being misunderstood,” said De Fina in a telephone conference call with a dozen or so security industry journalists. In the call, he deferred any mention of his possible successor to “the management at Samsung.” What’s next for Frank De Fina? One possibility is to work as a consultant, he said. “I’d like to be a business professor at Princeton (near my home), but I don’t have a degree in physics, and they would probably check,” he joked.