Physical security, security integration, video, access control, security market trends
Round table contributions
Delivering on customer expectations is a basic tenet of success in the physical security market. However, meeting expectations may be an elusive goal, whether because customer needs are not communicated effectively or because equipment doesn’t perform as promised. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what if a customer expects more than a security system can deliver?
Passwords are one of the most familiar elements of information systems, but also one that can be overlooked or underutilized. New alternatives are emerging, and the role of passwords is evolving in the age of the Internet of Things. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the role of passwords changing in physical security systems?
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.
Articles by Larry Anderson
Facial recognition continues to be a political football and a target of privacy activists in the United States. For example, San Diego has suspended its use of facial recognition scanners by law enforcement after a campaign by civil rights groups. The San Diego Tactical Identification System (TACIDS) program included a database of facial recognition scans shared by 30 local, state and federal agencies. A California law, passed in the fall, puts a three-year moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition technology. A proposal in Congress would prohibit use of biometric recognition technology in most public and assisted housing units funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), thus protecting the more than two million public housing residents nationwide from being “over-surveilled.” The “No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act” is supported by the NAACP, the National Housing Law Project, National Low-Income Housing Coalition, National Action Network, Color of Change, and the Project on Government Oversight. The problems of Facial Recognition "Studies that show that facial recognition systems may misidentify many individuals including women and people of colour" A letter from seven members of Congress to HUD Secretary Ben Carson questioned the use of facial recognition in federally assisted housing because it “could be used to enable invasive, unnecessary and harmful government surveillance of…residents.” The letter cites studies that show that facial recognition systems may misidentify many individuals including women and people of color, thus “exacerbating vulnerabilities that marginalized groups already face in life.” In June, Somerville, Mass., became the second U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces. The first was San Francisco. A coalition of organizations and trade associations has issued a letter to Congress outlining concerns with “blanket prohibitions” or moratoriums on facial recognition technology and listing beneficial uses for public safety, national security and fighting fraud. The Security Industry Association (SIA) is part of the coalition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. A letter from seven members of Congress to HUD Secretary Ben Carson questioned the use of facial recognition in federally assisted housing Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to thwart identity thieves" The letter says: “While polls consistently show that Americans trust law enforcement to use facial recognition technology responsibly, some groups have called for lawmakers to enact bans on [the] technology. While we agree that it is important to have effective oversight and accountability of these tools to uphold and protect civil liberties, we disagree that a ban is the best option.” Development and guidance As alternatives to outright bans, the letter proposes expanded testing and performance standards, develop of best practices and guidance for law enforcement, and additional training for different uses of the technology. “Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to fight human trafficking, thwart identity thieves and improve passenger facilitation at airports and enhance aviation security,” says Don Erickson, CEO of SIA. “SIA believes this advanced technology should be used in a safe, accurate and effective way, and look forward to working with Congress to help the U.S. set the example on how to ethically and responsibly govern this technology.” SIA has produced a document called “Face Facts: Dispelling Common Myths Associated with Facial Recognition Technology.”
Look who’s talking about the top issues in the physical security industry in 2019. Our website’s Expert Panel Roundtable discussions in 2019 reflected some of the most timely and important topics in the industry. The very most-clicked-on Expert Panel Roundtable discussion in 2019 was about the year before – reviewing what caused disruptions in 2018. The second most popular was about 2019, the year ahead. Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of roundtable discussions included what makes a good security salesperson, the need for greater cybersecurity awareness, and how millennials are changing the industry. Here is a roundup of the Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2019, 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 2019 (including the quotable panelists named and linked below). 1. What caused the most disruption in 2018 in the physical security space? “The industry is in the midst of a dynamic technology revolution, and we are seeing increased use of security solutions that leverage machine-based learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics. This past year, the market embraced these emerging technologies, with a myriad of solutions now being embedded with these capabilities, including IP cameras, access control systems, security robots, and drones.” – Travis Deyle, Cobalt Robotics 2. What technology trend will have the biggest impact on physical security in 2019? “IoT (Internet of Things) will continue to make us more efficient. We’re already seeing the increased integration of IoT devices into enterprise-level solutions. The rise in city-living is also putting pressure on infrastructure, so it will become increasingly important for the truly smart and safe city to move beyond a vision into reality.” – Jamie Barnfield, IDIS 3. What are the security challenges of hospitals and the healthcare industry? “Preventing security incidents is a priority and a challenge for healthcare directors. Traditionally, the success of a healthcare facility’s safety program has been equated to the number of issues that warranted a response; though, the simple number of emergency responses is not helpful in preventing the same situations from occurring again.” – Julie Brown, Johnson Controls 4. What characteristics do salespeople require in the physical security industry? “To be a good salesperson, you must understand each customer’s needs and help them solve their problems. In physical security, this need is typically some kind of risk mitigation – guarding themselves and their organizations against threats, danger and liability. This makes the conversation more fraught than if you were selling a business product such as lighting, HR software or insurance, since ultimately you are talking about people’s lives and livelihoods.” – Dave Whitis, Boon Edam 5. How does security technology make our schools safer? “IP-based physical security solutions can help deliver safer environments so that students, staff, and faculty can focus on learning. Video surveillance provides a live and recorded visual representation of what’s happening across a school and can readily be called upon to access important information during an investigation. Electronic access control on doors and barriers not only regulates who goes where, but also provides protection for property and assets.” – Terry Schulenberg, Genetec 6. Is greater awareness helping to increase cybersecurity? “On a daily basis, we hear of widely publicized cybersecurity incidents which affect our customer’s businesses, peace of mind, and assets. This new world is one the physical security industry has not been familiar with. What follows these well-publicized events is frustration and confusion, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. Confusion then leads to application of ineffective security tools or, worse, inaction.” – Drew Alexander, STANLEY Security 7. What security markets are likely to embrace AI? “Transportation seems to be the market that could benefit the most from embracing artificial intelligence. As it relates to people tracking, AI could single out deviating behavior, such as someone walking against the flow of rush-hour traffic, and in turn could initiate a real-time response so authorities can determine whether or not intervening is necessary.” – Per Björkdahl, ONVIF 8. How are Millennials changing the security industry? “Over the last few years, we’ve seen the Millennial generation have a profound impact on the security industry, and this is largely due to the fact that those born in this time period have a very knowledgeable and in-depth experience with technology. Millennials are accustomed to smart devices, automation and at-your-fingertips accessibility, which has created new and unfamiliar demands when it comes to security systems and solutions.” – Ron Virden, ACRE 9. What are the mainstream uses for thermal cameras? “Thermal cameras have been the go-to solution for perimeter protection applications for decades. This year, we’re seeing more integrations of thermal cameras with other solutions like radar to improve redundancy, long-range detection and alarm verification for airports and other large sites. Thanks to new technology partnerships and thermal offerings, customers are seeing the value of thermal beyond traditional use cases.” – Fredrik Wallberg, FLIR Systems 10. How do software improvements drive physical security? “Software improvements ultimately drive greater interoperability among technology partners and system integration in physical security solutions. From a surveillance standpoint, software is also increasingly used to enhance system performance and overall longevity by identifying anomalies. For example, to ensure video data is preserved and not lost, customers are using health monitoring software on surveillance hard drives.” – Jessica Burton, Seagate Technology
“Open systems” has been a security industry buzzword for decades, although reality has sometimes diverged significantly from the ideal. The current state-of-the-art in open systems provides a multitude of benefits to increasingly complex physical security systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to elaborate: What is the impact of open systems on physical security?
Across the security industry, power supplies are too often an afterthought and the first item in an access control system to be value-engineered. However, when the power supply fails on a high-end access control device, the system becomes a very expensive paperweight. Fortunately, there are now power supply units available that can enhance system reliability by providing remote diagnostics and real-time reporting and analytics. There is also a mistaken perception that all power supplies are the same, says David Corbin, Director of ASSA ABLOY’S Power Management Strategic Business Unit. Access control and security applications Power supplies today are more important than ever for access control and security applications The fact is, a properly designed unit for today’s market must have a wide input range, a myriad of features, interface to network, have adequate transient protection, good surge capability and a demonstrated quality level for mission critical reliability, he says. “Power supplies today are more important than ever for access control and security applications,” says Corbin. “From heavy snowstorms in the Midwest and East Coast to the two million Californians that experienced unprecedented power outages, extreme weather conditions have created chaos for millions over the past few months. These events have resulted in students being locked out of schools, hospitals darkening and electronic keypads or card readers shutting down. With events like these on the rise, and an increased reliance on the technology we use to get in and out of the spaces we occupy, power supplies are critical for keeping systems up and running and people safe and secure.” ASSA ABLOY's LifeSafety Power’s FPO Intelligent Power Supplies and Helix Redundant Power Systems Installing right power supplies ASSA ABLOY has a range of products within the power supplies category, including LifeSafety Power’s FPO Intelligent Power Supplies and Helix Redundant Power Systems. ASSA ABLOY’s acquisition of LifeSafety Power in September expanded the company’s offering of smart integrated access control power solutions for OEMs, integrators and end-users. Other ASSA ABLOY power supply products include Securitron AQ Series Switching Power Supplies, and eco-friendly, linear, plug-in and solar power supplies, as well as Power over Ethernet (PoE). Access control is crucial to security and life safety, says Corbin. And without power, any protective system is useless. When the right power supplies are installed correctly, the system will have built-in backup power that will be triggered during an outage. Dependable power supplies, with regularly replaced and appropriately sized backup batteries, are critical to keeping occupants safe in an emergency event. Other ASSA ABLOY power supply products include Securitron AQ Series Switching Power Supplies Periodic testing of the battery When it comes to extreme weather conditions, the result of a power outage can lead to hazardous situations for employees, patients, residents and students, he says. Buildings that require power to gain access can leave people stranded outside or locked inside. “When access controls are disabled, intruders can easily enter buildings without notice, affording the opportunity for interruptions to power distribution, water supplies and other necessary public utilities,” says Corbin. Preparation for the next big power outage should include the sizing of power supplies to the system requirement with a reasonable safety factor for foreseeable system expansion and a battery set that is sized for operating the system for a period of time greater than the planned requirement, he says. Using a ‘smart’ power supply provides early warning of an impending failure; and consistent, periodic testing of the battery set keeps the system in peak operating condition. Predictive maintenance of access control Predictive analytics and data harvesting can help with predictive maintenance of access control Redundancy ensures that power remains available in the event of a failure, regardless of whether it is a blackout situation or a failure of the power supply itself, says Corbin. “In critical power installations where redundancy is vital, the system must have a properly sized and maintained backup battery,” says Corbin. “Additionally, further redundancy can be achieved via products like our Helix systems that provide for seamless switching between two different power supplies in the event of an electrical failure of one of the power supplies.” Corbin also notes there is a growing want and need for more data and analytics in the access control field. End users increasingly expect access control systems to be able to integrate with building information systems. Predictive analytics and data harvesting can help with predictive maintenance of access control and building systems. For example, intelligent power supplies can identify problems before they happen – such as performing periodic, automated battery tests and then notifying a central monitoring location and/or a facility manager of a battery that needs replacement. Lock operation can also be monitored on a real-time basis for failure or impending failure of a secured door opening, he says.
Security’s intersection with consumer electronics is on view at CES 2020, the world’s largest technology event, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The giant show features more than 170,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 1,100 industry thought-leaders featured on the CES stage. A range of technologies will be on display, from artificial intelligence (AI) to 5G, vehicle technology to AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), robotics to home automation. Security plays a prominent role, too.The impact of this event for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy" Smart home market on the forefront The smart home market is a major focus. “For the smart home market at CES this year, we expect to see numerous announcements regarding home awareness,” says Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst at IHS Markit. “This will include brands offering up additional analytics for consumer security cameras with a focus on edge-based solutions.” “The impact of this [event] for the smart home could be about delivering home analytics and enhancing privacy through cloudless architectures and new electronic door lock approaches,” he adds. An example of cloud analytics is the Resideo Home app, introduced in December, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security. Resideo promises a “simplified and integrated smart home experience.” Video is also prominent at the show. “For cameras, we can expect to see more cameras focused on the outdoor space and possibly new form factors for video doorbells,” says Kozak. Familiar security industry brands exhibiting at CES 2020 include ADT, Ring, August Home and Yale (both part of ASSA ABLOY), Bosch and Alarm.com. Focus on Cybersecurity In 2020, companies will continue to focus on solutions for protecting consumer data" Cybersecurity is an aspect of many of the devices on display at CES. “Device security and data privacy play a key role in the adoption of connected devices,” says Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Consumer security concerns for smart home products will continue to be a barrier to adoption in the U.S. and Europe, and these concerns can actually intensify with device adoption-71% of U.S. smart home households are concerned about cybersecurity. In 2020, companies will continue to focus on solutions for protecting consumer data. One big area of interest is protection on the network router, providing whole home solutions, which are very appealing to consumers.” “At CES we will see the traditional players introducing new DIY (do-it-yourself) products, as well as new players announcing new product features, services, and partnerships,” Parks adds. Smart access control Smart locks will be among the security products at CES 2020. For example, PassiveBolt, a lock company, will show the Shepherd Lock, a touch-enabled smart lock with enhanced security through sensors and AI. The add-on lock converts existing locksets into touch-activated devices. Another lock manufacturer is Kwikset, whose door locks and door hardware include Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks, Bluetooth-enabled smart locks, keyless and keyway-less locks and connected home technology. Video doorbells, including industry-innovator Ring, have been a hit in the consumer market. At CES, Ring will expand the mission to make neighborhoods safer by creating a “Ring of Security” around homes and communities with a suite of home security products and services. The “Neighbors by Ring” app enables affordable, complete, proactive home and neighborhood security. Homeguard offers a range of affordable CCTV solutions for home and small business DIY CCTV demonstrations DIY security systems are another market. Homeguard is a leading DIY consumer brand offering a range of affordable CCTV solutions for home and small business, including wired and wireless CCTV kits, smart cameras, home alarm systems and wire-free HD CCTV kits. Swann Communications is also at the forefront of surveillance and monitoring with new products developments including wire-free HD cameras and doorbells, professional CCTV video surveillance systems, and 1080p full HD systems with “True Detect” heat and motion sensing. AVTECH, and subsidiary YesGo Tech, will demonstrate a compact Wi-Fi home security set, a series of special cameras with face recognition, thermal detection and license plate recognition, customized central management software and a university ID tag that is compatible with access control, OEM and ODM opportunities. Security and automation solutions D-Link’s home networking, security and automation solutions will help consumers connect, view, share, entertain, work and play. SECO-LARM, manufacturer of a Room Occupancy Monitor that shows whether a room is in use, has a line of keypads and proximity readers with built-in Bluetooth for convenient access. Another smart home security solutions provider, Climax Technology, integrates wireless security, home automation, energy management, home emergency monitoring and live visual monitoring. Personal safety mobile application Manufacturers are positioning outdoor cameras as deterrents to theft before a burglary happens" WaryMe designs and develops a personal safety mobile application to improve a user’s security in public places, schools, transports and companies by addressing major risks such as terrorism attacks, intrusion, fire and even industrial accidents. An all-in-one mobile application integrates alerting, crisis management and mass notification features. “Market players are looking to expand beyond established smart home devices like smart thermostats and networked cameras to products like smart water leak detectors, smart pet feeders, and smart air purifiers,” says Elizabeth Parks. “Manufacturers are positioning outdoor cameras as deterrents to theft before a burglary happens. This trend is part of a broader security marketing effort to extend the perimeter of home security beyond traditional home access points.” “Familiarity with smart home devices lags behind familiarity with smart entertainment products; it even lags that of smart speakers, which are quite new in the market,” adds Parks. “In 2020, we will see players working to advance the visibility and marketing around device integration, and specifically focus on use case scenarios around safety, security, and convenience, which have always been the primary drivers of adoption of these types of products.”
Most customers interface with their financial institutions using automated teller machines (ATMs), which have security issues. However, there are solutions available to combat all current security threats, and the cost of protection is coming down. The ATM industry is therefore in a position to minimize losses, while ensuring consumers continue to get the vital cash they need to lead their daily lives. It is important for the ATM industry to constantly innovate to meet new security challenges. So what innovations are we going to see in the next five years? Contactless technology Contactless technology will be a great help against ATM skimming, in which criminals steal personal information at ATM machines. Contactless is already being used in some European countries, and the number is increasing. Not having to insert a card into the ATM removes the opportunity to trap cards and also gets around the problem of “foreign” devices installed to read cards. So contactless technology, which some saw as the end of cash, can help make ATMs and cash more secure. Data capture form to appear here! Not having to insert a card into the ATM removes the opportunity to trap cards Biometrics are certain to be used increasingly to bolster ATM security. Finger, palm, vein, iris and facial recognition all have potential in this respect. Any of these may in the future be used with or without cards, PINs and one-time codes. Speed of operation in relation to biometrics could ultimately govern their use at ATMs. There may also be privacy issues that need to be addressed. The ATM vestibule environment must add security with proper security and surveillance equipment. ATM vestibules, or lobbies, are installed for many good reasons. For one, more convenient, 24/7 locations equals better customer retention for a bank, offering comfort and convenience. 24/7 access to ATMs, night drops, coin counters, online banking kiosks, and other self-service solutions are very much in demand. Second, ATM vestibules protect customers from inclement weather and provide a more comfortable banking environment (however, vagrancy can be an issue; therefore ATM vestibules should require card access). Security and surveillance solutions can’t just be for show. ATMs and crime A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. The protection of ATMs ATMs in supermarkets and pharmacies tend to be targeted because they may not be as well-protected, and store personnel likely would not know who is authorized to work on the ATM. In contrast, anyone approaching an ATM at a bank location would be more likely to be challenged. ATM jackpotting originated back in 2010 when Barnaby Jack, a New Zealand hacker and computer expert, demonstrated how he could exploit two ATMs and make them dispense cash on the stage at the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas. Since then, malware has been created and made available on the “Dark Web” that can instruct an ATM to dispense all its cash on demand. ATM jackpotting ATM jackpotting is a combination of a physical crime and a cyberattack ATM jackpotting is a combination of a physical crime and a cyberattack. Typically, a criminal with a fake ID enters a grocery shop or pharmacy posing as an ATM technician, then uses a crowbar to open the top of the ATM – the “top hat” – to gain access to the personal computer that operates the machine. Once he or she has access to the PC, they remove the hard drive, disable any anti-virus software, install a malware program, replace the hard drive and then reboot the computer. The whole operation takes about 30 seconds. The malware then enables the thief to remotely control the ATM and direct it to dispense all its cash on command. If a legitimate customer approaches the machine in the meantime, it can operate as usual until activated otherwise by the malware. Catch up on part one and part two of our banking security mini series.
Two of the most familiar names in the physical security market – Pelco and Panasonic – underwent ownership changes during 2019. Consolidation continued on multiple other fronts. Security service companies, video companies and access control companies were all among the entities involved in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity during the last 12 months. In short, the industry landscape continues to transform in response to a changing market. Here's a look at the Top 10 M&A stories in 2019: 1. Pelco Acquired by Private Equity Firm Transom Capital Pelco Inc. was acquired in May by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm, from Schneider Electric. Since the acquisition, Transom Capital has been working with Pelco’s management and employees to define and direct the next chapter of the iconic company. Pelco maintains its headquarters in Fresno, Calif., and has a presence in Fort Collins, Colo., near Denver, and a sales office in the New York area, not to mention many global employees who work remotely. 2. Panasonic Spins Off Security Business Electronics giant Panasonic sold off 80% of its video surveillance business to a private equity firm but is retaining 20%, and the new company will continue to use the well-known Panasonic brand. The move is aimed at reinvigorating a business challenged by competition from Chinese companies and lower video prices. Polaris Capital Group Co. acquired 80% of the outstanding shares of the new security systems business. 3. Qognify Acquires OnSSI and SeeTec 2019 began with the acquisition of IP video management software (VMS) company On-Net Surveillance Systems (OnSSI), including SeeTec in Europe. Backed by the global investment firm Battery Ventures, Qognify completed the acquisition in the final days of 2018. With Qognify, OnSSI and SeeTec operating under one umbrella, the company provides VMS, video analytics, PSIM and critical incident management for mid-market and enterprise organizations. 4. Busy Year for Acquisitions at Allied Universal Security services company Allied Universal had an active year in acquisitions, beginning in April with the acquisition of integration company Securadyne Systems in Dallas. There was an additional acquisition announced in each of the next four months: Point 2 Point Global Security, Dallas, in May; security services company Cypress Private Security in June, services company Shetler Security Services in July , and Midstate Security in August. Allied Universal announced two more acquisitions in November – low-voltage integrator Advent Systems Inc. in Chicago and Vinson Guard Service in Louisiana. Also in November, Allied announced a transformational merger with SOS Security. In December, Allied Universal acquired APG Security, South Amboy, N.J. 5. Motorola Continues Video Push with VaaS Acquisition Following its acquisition of Avigilon in 2018, Motorola Solutions continued to build its presence in the security market in 2019 with the acquisition of VaaS International Holdings, Inc. (VaaS), a data and image analytics company. Motorola Solutions paid $445 million in a combination of cash and equity for the company, which includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. 6. ACRE Acquires Access Control Companies Open Options and RS2 Open Options is an open architecture access control company headquartered in Addison, Texas; and RS2 is an open systems access control provider in Munster, Ind. ACRE, global provider of security systems, wrapped up acquisition of both firms in 2019, after announcing the Open Options deal in the waning days of 2018 and following it up with the RS2 announcement in the spring. ACRE’s portfolio now consists of Vanderbilt, Open Options, RS2 and ComNet. 7. Assa Abloy Expands Capabilities with LifeSafety Power Lock and access control giant ASSA ABLOY acquired LifeSafety Power in September, providing a complement to the access control portfolio. The plan is to incorporate LifeSafety Power’s knowledge of power supply and consumption throughout the ASSA ABLOY access control line. LifeSafety Power was established in 2009 and has some 65 employees. The main office is located in Libertyville, Illinois. 8. Distributor Anixter Going Private and Selling to CD&R Anixter International Inc., a distributor of network and security solutions, electrical and electronic solutions and utility power solutions, entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) to be acquired in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $3.8 billion. The transaction will result in Anixter becoming a private company and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020. Under the terms of the merger agreement, CD&R-managed funds will acquire all the outstanding shares of Anixter common stock for $81.00 per share in cash. (It has been reported that a new bidder has also emerged, although Anixter is resisting – stay tuned.) 9. Alarm.com Expands Commercial Offering with OpenEye Acquisition Alarm.com has announced a majority-stake acquisition of OpenEye, a provider of cloud-managed video surveillance solutions for the commercial market. OpenEye is optimized for enterprise-level commercial customers requiring expansive video recording capabilities, in addition to remote viewing, administration and diagnostic reporting. Combined with the Alarm.com for Business offering, service providers partnered with Alarm.com now have solutions to accommodate commercial accounts of any size. 10. ADT Makes Multiple Acquisitions, Sells Canadian Operation Another North American security giant, ADT Inc., also had a busy year in mergers and acquisitions. In February, ADT acquired LifeShield, a pioneer in advanced wireless home security systems. In June ADT continued expanding capabilities and geographic reach via Red Hawk Fire & Security, ADT Commercial with the asset purchase agreement of Security Corporation, a commercial security integrator headquartered in Detroit, Mich. In November, ADT Commercial purchased Critical Systems, which specializes in enterprise-class fire alarm, fire suppression, life safety and integrated building security solutions for high-rise properties, healthcare campuses and data, manufacturing and distribution facilities in Atlanta. In October, ADT announced an agreement to sell its Canadian operations to TELUS Corp.
The physical security industry is moving fast. Evolving risks, new technologies and business changes all converged and had a profound impact on the industry in 2019. Looking back at our top articles of the year – as measured by those that received the most “clicks” at our website – provides a decent summary of how the industry evolved this year. Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2019 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. Schneider Electric to Sell Pelco to Private Equity Firm Schneider entered exclusive negotiations with Transom Capital Group, a U.S.-based private equity firm, to sell the Pelco business unit. Pelco is a security industry stalwart and global specialist in the design, development, and delivery of end-to-end video surveillance solutions and services including cameras, recording and management systems software. 2. High-Tech Drones, Robots and Counter-Drone Solutions on Display From robots to drones to counter-drone solutions, a range of new technologies [was] displayed at ISC West 2019. The Unmanned Security Expo [included] a dedicated complimentary education theater for attendees offering sessions on a range of topics. Also included [were] demos of the best UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), UGVs (unmanned ground robotics and vehicles) and autonomous systems on the market. 3. Hikvision and Dahua Banned from Buying U.S. Exports In effect, inclusion on the “entities” list restricts the export of equipment to the two companies because of their alleged involvement in “human rights violations and abuses” related to a Chinese government campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against minority groups. Hikvision and Dahua have contracts to sell equipment that provides video surveillance capabilities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. 4. The many faces of today's facial recognition technology Used proportionately and responsibly, facial recognition can and should be a force for good. It has the ability to do a lot more to increase security in the future. From street crime to airport security, all the way through to helping those battling addiction, the technology can take security and operations to new heights. 5. Security Industry Trends to Be Led by Focus on Cyber Security In 2019 With a more open, connected environment come cyber-risk and data privacy concerns – which is why, in the Security Industry Association’s 2019 Security Megatrends, cybersecurity’s impact on the physical security industry ranks number one on the list. Cybersecurity is affecting all areas of the industry landscape, from security implementation to attracting top talent to the workforce. 6. Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP): The Gold Standard for Access Control Installations The Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP) is now the industry’s gold standard for physical access control installations. It was designed to offer a higher level of security with more flexible options than the aging, de facto Wiegand wiring standard. OSDP, first introduced in 2011 by the Security Industry Association (SIA), continues to evolve with significant manufacturer input. 7. Honeywell Embracing AI, Reinvesting in Video Portfolio Although uses for artificial intelligence (AI) are still emerging in security, Honeywell sees an important role for AI in building a connected system to ensure the safety and security of a building, and more importantly, its occupants. AI allows end users to go beyond monitoring activity on a surface level to really understand the scene – from who exactly is in the area to what they might be doing. 8. A Secured Entrance Is the First Defense Against an Active Shooter What the majority of venues [of recent active shooter incidents] have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. 9. Debunking the Myths of the Security of Access Control Systems One of the areas where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smart cards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. 10. At Chubb Fire and Security, Ethics is a Core Concept with Practical Impact Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process.
Kurt Takahashi, the new CEO of Pelco, says he will provide collaborative leadership to help build the Pelco team, work together hand-in-hand with team members, remove barriers and lead the company forward. He brings industry experience and relationships to the new post that will translate into new opportunities. Takahashi joins Pelco from AMAG Technology, where he served as President for the last couple of years. Earlier, he had stints at ADT, Tyco and Quantum Secure, where he was Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This was an opportunity to join a brand that has deep, rich and far-reaching history,” says Takahashi. “I couldn’t resist the opportunity to come into a company such as Pelco and be able to make a difference.” Improving the fundamentals Takahashi acknowledges that Pelco has slipped in the last 10 years from its position as a market-leading brand. To address the situation going forward, the company must “improve fundamental things,” he says. Those fundamentals include keeping the customer first, putting the right people in the right roles, and executing technical support well. Keeping the customer first, putting the right people in the right roles, and executing technical support well “We have to provide customer service from when we receive an order, to acknowledging it, to processing it and shipping the order,” says Takahashi. “Another piece is to deliver revisions to a product in a faster time period and introduce new products to the market in a timely way. In terms of market presence, we learn that people haven’t really heard from Pelco in a while. We have to get in front of integrators and consultants more aggressively than we have in the past.” “It’s up to us to prove that we belong and can sustain and support customers moving forward,” he adds. “We will get new opportunities, but we will need to execute them. If we do that, we will grow.” Brand optimism Takahashi sees more reasons for optimism. “In spite of the problems, we are a big company with thousands of customers, a massive footprint, 10 offices around the world and people in over 40 countries. We are a strong, known brand around the world. These are a great foundation to grow from; we just have to execute better.” These are a great foundation to grow from; we just have to execute better Pelco’s new parent company, Transcom Capital Group, was another reason Takahashi was attracted to the position. He says Transom is led by “amazing professionals” that specialize in “transformational culture and how to diffuse best practices in an organization.” At Pelco, Transom has already led surveys, workshops and focus groups throughout the organization to create a vision, mission and values covering how the company wants to present itself in the market. From those values will emanate new process and policy improvements to move the company in the right direction. New visions and missions The company’s new, collectively developed vision is “to make the world safer.” The mission is “to deliver distinctive video solutions and world-class customer experiences.” The company’s new, collectively developed vision is “to make the world safer.” The company’s culture is built on six values: innovation and excellence, customer focus, integrity, respect and recognition, collaboration, and ownership. “We believe this is what will help drive our culture moving forward, and it’s the mindset of all of us as one team with one goal that will give us something to be proud of,” says Takahashi. “As we move into the new era of Pelco, you will see excitement internally and externally,” he adds “Everybody’s really eager to see Pelco come back and be a significant player.” Three horizons to success The idea is to look inward and improve on the current, successful product lines Takahashi sees three horizons that summarize the company’s path to future success. The first horizon is to focus on the fundamentals of what the company does today. The idea is to look inward and improve on the current, successful product lines, such as the VideoXpert video system and on-board video analytics. The second horizon will be to look at ways to advance the current feature set, whether “to build, partner or buy.” Building partnerships will be part of that success, such as the partnerships they are already building with Briefcam and Anyvision. The third horizon will be to expand their innovation, based on feedback from end users, dealers and consultants. “I want to get very deeply connected with our customer base,” says Takahashi. “Are we on the right path? Should we explore other partner relationships? We need to bring those minds together to expand our vision.” The focus should be on solving three business problems – mitigating risk, ensuring compliance and saving money. Looking ahead to ISC West in the spring, Takahashi expects Pelco to emerge as a more proactive company that is eager to engage. “We have a lot of stories to communicate, and we have not been as active as we should,” he says.
It is an exciting time at German intelligent video company MOBOTIX, which has launched a next-generation platform that builds on their legacy of video at the edge while opening up the system to third-party partners that can build even more capabilities. MOBOTIX unveiled the new M7 platform and M73 camera at the MOBOTIX Global Partner Conference in Mainz, Germany, in October. MOBOTIX M7 is a powerful, decentralized and secure modular IoT-video system based on deep learning modules. The feedback has been “overwhelming,” says MOBOTIX CEO Thomas Lausten. The new technology will also be featured in the United States at the 2020 MOBOTIX Partner Summit in Hollywood, Fla., in January. A different video surveillance "What you see is a different way of doing video surveillance,” says Lausten. “Our focus on the edge is the difference between us and other companies.” The new MOBOTIX 7 open solution provides an “edge platform” that can be used for a variety of applications, which are provided as “apps” that leverage the platform’s hardware for specific uses, from object detection to face detection to people counting. The new M75 high-end camera incorporates the new platform. The MOBOTIX application programming interface (API) makes it possible for hundreds more apps to be developed over time Currently there are 19 apps available to empower various applications, and availability of the MOBOTIX application programming interface (API) makes it possible for hundreds more apps to be developed over time. If a MOBOTIX partner creates a new app for a specific project, “now he can use it not just for one project but can put it in the app store and sell it all over the world,” says MOBOTIX CTO Hartmut Sprave. Field Programmable Gate Array The new MOBOTIX platform uses Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) integrated circuits that provide flexibility and versatility to be adapted to a variety of needs, from deep learning, to higher resolution, or to use with a variety of sensors, such as color, black-and-white or night vision cameras, temperature sensors or microphones. “We can literally include any sensor requested by the market,” says Lausten. The new camera can also be used for age analysis, crowd management or traffic analysis. It can even be used for fire or biohazard detection, incorporating thermal sensors and deep learning. MOBOTIX have added to their legacy of video with a next generation platform Partnerships MOBOTIX developed its new platform in conjunction with Konica Minolta, which owns a majority share of the German manufacturer. The combined knowledge of the two companies created the new platform, with most of the engineering done in Germany. Konica Minolta provided an object detection algorithm, for example, and deep learning capabilities that are being used with the cameras. The two companies are also developing the business together. “They are rolling out our technology on their website throughout the world,” says Lausten. “We are basically part of a global development organization.” MOBOTIX developed its new platform in conjunction with Konica Minolta The new platform is also completely compatible with legacy MOBOTIX systems: “We have added what we need to what we have,” says Lausten. Cybersecurity is a top priority for MOBOTIX. “With our camera, everything is under our control, every single line of code, and we do all the penetration testing and everything is safe,” says Sprave. In fact, MOBOTIX won the French "Trophée de la Sécurité 2019" Gold Award in the cybersecurity category for the MOBOTIX Cactus Concept, which refers to the fact that all the modules in the MOBOTIX system have “digital thorns” that protect them from unauthorized access. End-to-end encryption is used with no blind spots. Driven by cybersecurity Stronger cybersecurity and a focus on edge devices makes MOBOTIX inherently more cybersecure than a system of networked low-cost cameras, each of which could present a possible cyber-vulnerability. Stronger cybersecurity and a focus on edge devices makes MOBOTIX inherently more cybersecure The flexibility of the MOBOTIX platform expands its utility beyond security to include broader business functions. For example, the same camera that can detect criminals with face recognition can track where people are moving in a retail store, and even analyze age or demographics of customers to track buying patterns. “Cameras are required to think and process at the edge, and that is where we see a lot of focus going, driven by cybersecurity,” Lausten says. Lausten sees opportunity for even faster growth in the U.S. market, where they already have 30 or 40 partners. In the near term, there will be large opportunities provided by the U.S. trend toward “Chinese skepticism,” and cybersecurity concerns that have plagued the lower-cost Chinese imports. MOBOTIX products are proudly “Made in Germany.”
Delivering on customer expectations is a basic tenet of success in the physical security market. However, meeting expectations may be an elusive goal, whether because customer needs are not communicated effectively or because equipment doesn’t perform as promised. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what if a customer expects more than a security system can deliver?
In the banking world, the threat of unwanted intrusions into premises leading to loss of property and even risk to life is always present. Small wonder then that banking institutions take so much care over their security systems and also over their choice of suppliers for those products. In the retail banking sector, requirements for intrusion detection and related security measures are necessarily more stringent and more specialized than in most other areas of business and commerce. Data capture form to appear here! The banks clearly need to work with suppliers whose integrity is beyond question. They should also be looking for organizations that can offer expert advice, gained through their knowledge of design and manufacturing security products. Systems need specialist installer partners in order to provide a seamless solution. Systems need specialist installer partners in order to provide a seamless solution The special requirements of the banking sector These supplier organizations must also fully understand the special requirements of the banking sector and, ideally, should be able to demonstrate proven experience in that sector. They must also be willing and able to work with the bank as a partner, to find better ways of addressing old threats and to develop effective measures to counter new ones. Video is a big component of providing security, and variable lighting conditions pose a persistent challenge in video surveillance applications such as large banks and financial institutions. Typically, these venues include an abundance of windows. The resulting excessive light can damage video image quality, by flooding the image plane of the surveillance camera. Dramatic differences between light and dark areas complicate the ability of video cameras to view someone standing in the shadows. A contrasting lack of windows at teller stations can result in dim lighting, equally damaging video image quality, in critical surveillance areas where clear, detailed images are needed the most. Stark contrasts between white and black levels in video images can obliterate faces and finer details of a subject when in a darker area. Particularly, this happens when a person is amid dark internal lighting, with his/her back to the sun. Data capture form to appear here! A new network architecture When upgrading a bank’s digital security system, a new network architecture needs to be created. Usually, this means switching from DVRs to NVR servers. As a result, network switches attach to the camera allowing for easier future system expansion. Along with the newly gained scalability, throughput performance on servers can achieve significantly higher levels. Servers, networking and workstations provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects, regardless of size. Servers, networking and workstations provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects Implementing a complete video solution with high-performance servers, modern networking protocols and powerful workstations is now possible in financial institutions, even for small projects. Servers, networking and workstations provide enterprise-quality performance for all financial projects, regardless of size. Software is also part of the solution. A new software platform helps banks and credit unions simplify, modernize, and automate security, surveillance and fraud investigations across their enterprise. The platform eases the daily challenges security investigators face. It simplifies and reduces the time to access live and recorded video through an intuitive interface, empowering users to quickly find the data needed to eliminate risks while increasing productivity. With an enhanced user experience, investigators can reduce training time, align investigation workflow, streamline video sharing, and focus on more critical tasks. The fraud and security challenges banks contend with can be overwhelming, but prompt action is necessary to limit the damage that can greatly affect customers, employees, and the brand. When an incident occurs, investigators must turn to innovative security tools to be able to swiftly locate and analyze data. But these solutions are typically complex to use and manage. Investigators must turn to innovative security tools to be able to swiftly locate and analyze data Changing work environments The changing work environment of financial institutions is impacting security needs. A credit union in Australia operates an innovative, modern working environment that utilizes flexible workspaces in place of traditional desks. Staff are not allocated a specific desk but instead choose where they wish to sit each day. To facilitate the operation of the flexible work environment and provide employees with storage for their personal effects (work-related material is stored elsewhere), the credit union uses banks of brightly colored lockers that are managed by electronic access control. Using Gallagher’s smartcard, multi-technology T20 and T10 readers on each locker bank, staff badge their access card to open their allocated locker. With the readers communicating with Gallagher’s Command Center software management platform, the credit union has a simple-to-operate, customizable system that enables staff to carry just one card on site. Read part one and part three of our banking security mini series.
Cloud applications are an everyday facet of business these days, exemplified by systems such as Office 365, Salesforce.com and Dropbox. The physical security market is also embracing the cloud after overcoming some initial concerns and thanks to improvements in cloud offerings. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are likely to embrace the cloud?
Using computed tomography (CT) security technology for cabin baggage screening at airports can eliminate the need for passengers to remove liquids and laptops from their bags, thus helping to make the security process easier and more efficient. As the latest in checkpoint scanning technology, CT provides 3D images with much more information to improve threat detection capabilities so decisions by the operator can be resolved quickly and more accurately, without the need for manual search. The whole experience is better and safer for everyone. The use of computed tomography The Netherlands were the first to introduce CT at the checkpoint and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States plans to install 145 units in its airports by the end of the year. Australia is already installing and using CT at some of its airports. The United Kingdom is the first country to mandate use of CT for screening cabin baggage, and it is expected that the EU will also mandate this type of technology in the near future. It is expected that the EU will also mandate this type of technology in the near future The process of deploying CT is another level in the evolution of passenger screening and aviation security. Since 9/11, the traveling public has become increasingly educated about aviation security, says Steve Revell, Senior Director of Aviation CT at Rapiscan Systems. “What passengers expect is courtesy, professionalism and, most of all, to be able to travel safely without fear of harm,” he says. “Each level of security we have seen introduced over the years, I believe, shows commitment from all stakeholders to meet these key deliverables.” Rapiscan Systems' 920CT Rapiscan Systems' 3D cabin baggage screening system, 920CT, utilizes patented Dual-Energy technology and a sophisticated algorithm to provide the highest level of automatic detection of highly dense items, as well as automatic detection of explosives based on the most stringent global regulatory requirement. It also has a truck wheel design and contactless power and data transfer, both of which reduce maintenance costs and downtime and make the 920CT more efficient and robust. Rapiscan's 920CT provides the highest level of automatic detection Rapiscan’s 920CT is equipped with advanced software and detection algorithms that are designed to be upgradeable. With 3D volumetric imaging, the 920CT is superior to 2D systems as it provides improved visualization of potential threats. It has also been engineered to integrate seamlessly with Rapiscan’s TRS tray return solution to create a more efficient checkpoint experience, for both passengers and staff. “As a manufacturer, we strive to provide the very best quality service and equipment we can – working closely with regulators and airports alike to ensure the evolution and expansion of air travel is both collectively understood and fit for purpose,” says Revell. Portfolios and partnerships Rapiscan has a wide portfolio of products and capabilities. However, one company cannot do it all. “For this reason, we will always look to best-of-breed technologies that complement our offerings and provide a cohesive solution and, more importantly, long-term partnership,” says Revell. “The partnership deliverable is what drives the future. Our mission is one of an open platform that invites other technologies to work in conjunction with ours and integrate in such a way that can provide meaningful reports and controls systems to our clients, driving core efficiencies and security enhancements.” Our mission is one of an open platform that invites other technologies to work in conjunction with ours “The efforts borne by each of the key stakeholders is done for one very important and aligned reason, to ensure to the very best of our abilities that passenger safety is put first, is always put first and is done in the most courteous, professional way possible, without any undue inconvenience,” he adds. Increasingly, airports are asking for suppliers’ systems to talk to each other. Many airports have security screening equipment from multiple manufacturers and want to put images from these into a single, searchable database, to track missing items, improve productivity and efficiency, or comply with regulations. The Digital Imaging and Communication for Security (DICOS) is an industry standard that defines an interoperable data format for integration of security screening technologies across multiple vendor platforms. It facilitates the development and use of improved security screening technologies and third-party software. Rapiscan’s 920CT supports DICOS, and the company is working with multiple vendors to help create a single platform for airports.
We live in an age when private customer data is constantly under attack from hackers. Cyber-threats have taken a front seat in the line-up of primary risks facing banks and financial institutions. The fact that cyber-attacks are becoming more prevalent isn't the only issue; they're also becoming more complex and therefore harder to address. And although the convenient interconnectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT) creates many advantages for financial institutions, there is also an increased risk to dangerous threats. Data capture form to appear here! The impact of cyber heists Money taken in cyber heists, both in banking and elsewhere, was estimated at $3 trillion According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the amount of money taken in cyber heists, both in banking and elsewhere, was estimated at $3 trillion overall for 2015, and this substantial amount is expected to double by 2021. In today’s environment, banks, credit unions, and financial organizations of all types are primary targets for hackers. But it’s not just the monetary loss that these businesses need to be concerned about — there is also a threat to the brand, customer trust, and employee safety. Banking surveys Banking choices are influenced by how secure consumers feel when conducting transactions, either in their local branch, at an ATM or online. In one survey, a vast majority of consumers (98%) felt most secure when conducting transactions at their local banking branch, compared with 92% when conducting transactions online and 85% using a mobile phone app. Further, 90% of consumers said they feel safer when they can see video surveillance cameras in their bank or credit union and would choose a financial institution with surveillance over one without, all other things being equal. Here are some other key findings from the survey: Half of consumers have walked away from an ATM without conducting their intended transaction because someone was loitering in the vestibule 60% of consumers noticed a fraudulent transaction before their financial institution, leaving plenty of opportunity for banks and credit unions to be more proactive when it comes to identifying and notifying customers about potential fraud “Banks and credit unions recognize that today’s consumers want a mix of in-person and online banking service options and have very high expectations when it comes to security and customer service,” said Peter Strom, President and CEO, March Networks, which provides security systems for banks. To increase security, biometric solutions are replacing PINs at physical ATMs To increase security, biometric solutions are replacing PINs at physical ATMs and providing a more fool-proof form of identification for banking security. Ways to increase banking security Popular use cases include a) PIN replacement at physical ATMs; b) proof-of-presence (such as pension benefit distribution) that requires liveness detection; c) more easily authenticating multiple transactions during a single ATM session; d) incorporating biometric information directly into a smart device; and e) the ability to leverage investments in biometric enrollment databases across multiple applications. An example of the latter is when fingerprint authentication on mobile devices used for payments and secure mobile banking is also used in conjunction with enrolled information for authentication at an ATM. The availability of interoperable authentication devices would permit cross-bank usage and pave the way for many new applications in the future. By enrolling a citizen’s fingerprints and then creating an ecosystem in which these transactions are strongly tied to that individual’s biometrics, the potential for fraud and identity theft approaches zero, and the process is simple and convenient for users. Read part two and part three of our banking security mini series.
Nigel Waterton recently joined cloud video company Arcules to lead the sales and marketing efforts as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He brings to the task the benefit of 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organizations. Waterton joins Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. We caught up with the new CRO to discuss his position and to reflect on how industry changes are impacting integrators and manufacturers. Q: What fresh insights do you bring to Arcules from your previous positions? Waterton: Generally, most manufacturers don’t understand the business model of the integrator. And if they do, their programs don’t necessarily help achieve their goals. Since most manufacturers use integrators to get to the end user, they are often disconnected from truly understanding the customer, their organization’s business and its impact on the value of the security program. In my previous role, I spent most of my time bridging the gap between these two worlds. It gives me a great platform for understanding how to achieve that with Arcules. Q: How is ‘Chief Revenue Officer’ different from your previous jobs? I have the responsibility of driving innovation for the companyWaterton: While the title is different, the ultimate role I’m in isn’t too different from previous roles that I’ve held in my career. I have the responsibility of driving innovation and strategy for the company, as well as serving as a leader for the sales and marketing team and developing a sales and marketing strategy for the company. This position allows me to build on what I’ve learned throughout my career from an end-user and integrator partner perspective and brings that expertise into the fold of this young, fresh, innovative company that’s paving the way for cloud-based innovation in the marketplace. Q: Is there an industry-wide ‘culture clash’ between the IT-centric nature of cloud systems and the physical security market? How can it be managed? Waterton: Adopters from the IT and physical security worlds are a little at odds over the software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as a result of a disconnect with how the cloud is defined in both spaces. A lot of people and companies are creating their own notion of what cloud and SaaS mean. And without a common nomenclature in place, there is a lot of confusion among all users. Similarly, there is a clash among integrators around how to monetize the SaaS offering. This gap can be closed through increased awareness, education and the reiteration of how ubiquitous the cloud already is in our everyday lives. Q: From the integrator perspective, what is the impact of a transition to a cloud/SaaS model on how revenue is managed in the increasingly service-oriented security market? Waterton: Transitioning to a cloud/SaaS model shifts the mindset of the integrator significantly, as the focus changes from project-centric to more customer service-based impact. Becoming more service-minded creates a greater awareness of what the client’s needs are on a day-to-day basis and how that can be improved over time. When operating with a per-project focus, it can be difficult to create a more long-term impact on an organization. With a cloud-based, service-oriented model, integrators now have the ability to manage client expectations in real-time, which greatly increases their value proposition. Q: What about from the end user perspective? Waterton: There are so many benefits from the end user perspective, including the ability to remove the process of a large investment in capital expenditures (CapEx) and shift to a more manageable, predictable operational expenditure (OpEx). Not only does this allow organizations to adjust as needs change; it also prevents being locked into a long-term solution that might not be able to move with the speed of the company as it scales. That being said, the main benefit is the ability of SaaS/Cloud services to drive innovation and introduce new features as they’re introduced without additional investment from the end user. Q: What impact does the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model have on the operations/management/cashflow of a supplier/manufacturer company? Waterton: Traditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS modelTraditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS model for many of the same reasons integrators struggle. They must sell the board and possibly their investors on a new valuation model as well as revenue recognition model. That is constraining their innovation in the market. Oddly enough RMR from a manufacturer’s perspective is very similar to the integrator model in that cash flow is more predictable in nature. An RMR model allows a company to grow strategically and innovate constantly, expanding and adjusting to cater to client needs on a daily basis while also providing the ability to look ahead and ensure we’re meeting the needs communicated to us in the market now and into the future. Q: What will be the biggest challenge of your new position at Arcules (and how will you meet the challenge)? Waterton: One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing — and one that will have a significant impact on my role — is the challenge of market adoption of SaaS/cloud services, as well as the awareness about why cloud is a significant part of the future of the industry. There’s also an opportunity to shift the conversation within Arcules from tech-focused outcomes to becoming practitioners of risk-based outcomes. We have to focus on the risk model for organizations, not technology. If we truly understand the risks to the organization, the tool will become apparent. Answering the questions: Why does a retailer lose product? Why does a facility experience vandalism? We have to understand the sociology of it because that’s how we can address what the service does in the marketplace. Q: Taking the various elements into consideration, what will the ‘physical security industry’ look like five years from now? Waterton: In sum, wildly different. It’s much different than what it was five or even 10 years ago, and with each leap, the industry has moved forward. Products are maturing, bandwidth is improving and the knowledge that we have is exponentially more advanced. There is increasing use of outside perspectives aimed at shaking up the ‘this is how it has always been done’ mentality that many organizations have suffered from. It’s going to look very different five years from now, and cloud-based initiatives will be the key to the success of many organizations.
The UK Government has been working to reduce the risks associated with illegal drone use since a high-profile incident at UK’s Gatwick Airport in December 2018, when a drone sighting triggered a three-day shutdown of the UK’s second busiest airport, disrupting the travel plans of 140,000 people and affecting 1,000 flights. To address growing security threats by drones, the UK Government has released its ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’. ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’ This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring" “This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring,” says Brandon Lewis, the U.K. Minister of State for Security. “It will provide the security the public and drone users require to continue to enjoy the benefits of leisure and commercial drone use and facilitate the growth of the drone industry.” “Given the challenge posed by rapid advances in drone technology and the potential threat, the strategy will provide overarching direction to our efforts,” says Lewis. The strategy focuses on ‘small drones’, those weighing less than 20 kg (44 pounds). Countering malicious use of aerial drones The UK Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy centers on mitigating the highest-harm domestic risks resulting from malicious use of aerial drones. They are: Facilitating terrorist attacks, such as modifying commercially-available drones to conduct reconnaissance or attacks. Facilitating crime, especially in prisons, where drones are currently used to deliver contraband. Disrupting critical national infrastructure, such as airports, where a malicious incursion using a drone can have serious safety, security and economic consequences. Potential use by hostile state actors. Maximizing benefits of drone technology The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards Over the next three years, the strategy will seek to reduce the risks posed by the highest-harm use of drones while maximizing the benefits of drone technology. It will develop a comprehensive understanding of evolving risks and take a “full spectrum” approach to deter, detect and disrupt the misuse of drones. The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards. Further, promoting access to counter-drone capabilities and effective legislation, training and guidance will empower the police and other operational responders. Tactical response to drone-based threats Because technology is rapidly evolving, the response needs to keep pace, according to the strategy document. Lewis adds, “We will therefore work to understand how drone-based threats might evolve in the future, both at the tactical and strategic levels.” The strategy will be to build an end-to-end approach to tackling the highest-harm criminal use of drones. It will also work to make it easier to identify malicious drone use against a backdrop of increased legitimate use. Legal drone operators will be required to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and to pass an online competency test before flying a drone. Retailers who follow a specific set of safety guidelines when selling drones will be designated ‘DroneSafe’. Unmanned traffic management system The government is working toward future implementation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system, which provides a means of preventing collisions between unmanned aircraft and other manned or unmanned aircraft. The current strategy includes early planning for the system. An Industry Action Group will ensure a continuing relationship with the drone industry and help to improve existing counter-drone measures and identify new opportunities, such as use of ‘Geo-Fencing’ to restrict drones from flying in certain areas. Regulating commercial and domestic drones The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace The strategy will seek to communicate the UK’s security requirements to the counter-drone industry and to encourage a thriving sector that is aware of, and responsive to, the needs of government. Regulating drones is the responsibility of two UK government departments. The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace, while the Home Office has overall responsibility for domestic counter-drone activity. Fast-evolving drone and counter-drone technology Also, the Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has been involved in reducing the vulnerability of sensitive sites, including airports. New performance measures will track the strategy’s success. Due to the fast-evolving nature of drone and counter-drone technology, the intent is to review and, if necessary, refresh the strategy in three years.
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
As security embraces IT-centric solutions, it can provide business value over and above security. Now in charge of managing a variety of data – e.g., from video platforms – a company’s security function has access to a range of new metrics. While security may use video to analyze a security event, machine learning can analyze the same data for other business capabilities, such as quality control or when a policy has been breached. “It’s the same camera, but with dual purpose,” says Matt Kushner, President of STANLEY Security. STANLEY Security, one of the largest integrators with a global footprint, has positioned itself at the center of the industry’s transformation by information technology (IT) and the Internet of Things. “Security will become an expanded business partner with corporations,” Kushner comments. In response to the trend, STANLEY is hiring more IT-oriented technicians and salespeople within the IT community and who can “speak at the C-level,” Kushner comments. Sonitrol is the most recognised brand by law enforcement for verified response Data centers, higher education and logistics STANLEY manages very large, multi-national clients. As a consequence, the STANLEY security organization has some of the best and brightest minds for enterprise-class security. To maintain that level of talent, STANLEY is committed to education. “We bring them into the family and focus on education, such as IT and IoT training. That’s critical in a world where unemployment is less than 3%. Finding good people, growing good people, and retaining good people – we do that exceptionally well at STANLEY,” says Kushner. STANLEY’s strong vertical markets including data centers, higher education, and logistics. They are also strong in multi-location installations (such as banking.) STANLEY has a big footprint throughout North America and Europe. PACOM access control and 3xLOGIC cloud-based solutions In addition to STANLEY’s core integrator business, the company also manages several manufacturing brands such as PACOM access control and 3xLOGIC cloud-based solutions. Mergers and acquisitions have been commonplace in the integrator spaceBeyond its company-owned integrator locations under the STANLEY brand, the company also owns Sonitrol, the strongest brand in the market for verified response with 65 franchises in North America. Sonitrol is the most recognized brand by law enforcement for verified response. Mergers and acquisitions have been commonplace in the integrator space, and Kushner says that STANLEY is “open and actively looking for properties that fit our commercial growth strategy.” He notes that STANLEY focuses on the commercial side of the market, where there are good margins and continuing growth. They pay less attention to the residential side which is “being heavily disrupted.” Strong partnerships with manufacturers STANLEY has strong partnerships with several manufacturer partners, through which they bring new breakout technologies to market from emerging companies. An example is Evolv Technology, a manufacturer of gun and bomb detection technology. “We see them as a leading provider of the technology, and they are, in my mind, a very disruptive provider,” says Kushner. STANLEY is also collaborating with a company – to be announced – that provides a unique gunshot detection technology, he says. STANLEY is also cooperating with dormakaba to implement Switch Tech, a Bluetooth wireless core that can replace any standard mechanical lock core. Existing locks can be transformed into electromechanical locks in minutes. STANLEY is also developing a tight integration with Lenel’s mobile credentialing system. STANLEY is also cooperating with dormakaba to implement Switch Tech GSX 2019 and ISC West 2020 At the recent GSX 2019 show in Chicago, Kushner says STANLEY heard a lot about cybersecurity, especially customers wanting to make sure they are investing in cyber-hygiene and who are looking to expand into providing cyber protection. “In concert with cyber-hygiene, they are looking for health monitoring or assurance that network devices are operating properly,” he says. “They want to ensure their security platforms are cyber-secure and up to date with the latest software versions.” STANLEY is also a big proponent of cloud offerings, and Kushner hints at a big announcement at the upcoming ISC West show in Las Vegas of additional cloud offerings and/or partnerships. “There will be a variety of new solutions to be introduced, including hosted solutions and applications that benefit both security and that add new value to businesses overall.”
Technology is expanding passenger screening functions and other capabilities at airport security checkpoints. For example, Smiths Detection is exploring the concept of a security checkpoint that integrates biometric identity management with screening solutions, says Richard Thompson, Global Market Director Aviation, Smiths Detection. Biometrics is the “unique identifier’” for passengers, and through integration of biometrics directly into the checkpoint, passengers can be matched with their luggage trays to enable real-time risk-based screening (RBS). The system is now able to trigger differentiated workflows for each passenger and their bags. Risk-based screening Risk-based screening optimizes security operator resources through enhanced screening of passengers who represent a higher risk, while passengers deemed to be low risk enjoy a more seamless journey.Passengers deemed to be low risk enjoy a more seamless journey Easily integrated with existing infrastructure, biometric checkpoints deliver operational efficiencies and a competitive advantage to airports through accelerating the screening process, thus enabling a more seamless free flow of passengers. Passenger and tray identification Through passenger and tray identification, new data insights can also be gathered to inform decision-making. Advanced data analysis based on flights, airlines or destinations could be utilized by airlines and security authorities. For example, airlines could monitor passenger flow through security for specific flights or track the number of trays per flight to predict overhead compartment capacity. Checkpoint data could also be combined with hold luggage screening results or shared with transit and arrival airports to better inform security assessments. Advanced data analysis based on flights, airlines or destinations could be utilized by airlines and security authorities Advanced screening of carry-on baggage Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX offers advanced screening of carry-on baggage using Computed Tomography (CT), an advanced X-ray technology originally intended for medical applications, which allows for detailed, layered 3D images to be rotated and dissected. Electronic devices and liquids do not need to be removed from baggageThis enables detailed detection, meaning electronic devices and liquids do not need to be removed from baggage, thus expediting screening and further improving the passenger journey. Smith Detection’s iLane.evo is an automatic tray return system. By delivering a steady flow of trays, it plays a critical role in streamlining the screening process and delivering increased throughput; optimized operational costs; and an improved passenger experience. AI for Object Recognition In other trends, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in aviation security is on the rise due to the exponential growth in computing power. It has the potential to significantly boost the performance of screening equipment – allowing for the deployment of new object recognition functions at the checkpoint, which could pave the way for a more automated, alarm-resolution-only passenger screening. Smiths Detection has developed a family of smart algorithms, called iCMORE, which use machine learning to reliably detect prohibited or dangerous goods in baggage, including weapons, to reduce the burden on image analysts and improve screening outcomes.
One of the common characteristics of trade shows is booths with walls and walls of new products. Sometimes exhibitors seem intent on displaying everything in their portfolio, even though the displays appear cluttered and may not be welcoming. In an age of system sales, in particular, the emphasis on products can seem off kilter. Discussions with exhibitors at this year’s GSX show reveal a new awareness of the need for less cluttered booths, but the equipment walls persist. Here’s a review of Day 2 from the show floor. Allegion embraces more open booth design At GSX 2019, Allegion is among the exhibitors embracing a new, more open booth design that encourages engagement with customers and puts less emphasis on product displays. Discussions at the Allegion booth have centered around the value proposition and lower complexity of network-connected access control systems. The approach has been gaining a higher profile at Allegion since the company acquired Isonas, whose system configuration involves a reader-controller connected to the network via power-over-Ethernet cable. “Customers are also asking about Bluetooth technology and mobile applications,” said Jonathan Mooney, Allegion sales leader. Allegion is looking to deploy the Isonas software in other products in their portfolio; it will be offered in the range of Schlage wireless locks by the middle of 2020.The benefit of the cloud and network is to remove a lot of complexity and unnecessary costs for access control" “The benefit of the cloud and network is to remove a lot of complexity and unnecessary costs for access control,” said Mooney. Bosch offers complete security solution Bosch is introducing 55 new products at GSX 2019, but when it comes down to it, the company’s overarching message is not about individual products but about how they can be combined into a larger system. “At the end of the day, the message from Bosch is ‘how do I create a complete security solution?’” said Paul Garms, Bosch Director, Regional Marketing Security. “That’s what we are trying to demonstrate: How do all these things integrate?” Most of interest to attendees are actual demonstrations, which are a unique aspect of the trade show experience. “It’s nice at a show where we can really demonstrate what we are talking about when we say ‘integrated solution,’” said Garms. “And people can say, ‘oh yeah, if I trip this video analytic, the speaker will warn me I am approaching a restricted area.’ Or, when the manager signs in on the intrusion panel, now the associate can access a door he wasn’t able to before. It’s that integration and the complete solution that resonates. People are also interested in new products. At a show, they like to see them in operation.” At the Bosch booth, there is a big wall that illustrates some integration possibilities. An array of cameras was among the 55 new products introduced by Bosch, which also emphasized systems. Machine learning and advanced video analytics One implementation featured on the wall is Bosch’s Camera Trainer machine learning system. The system can “train” a camera to recognize a car in a parking lot, for example. Among the new Bosch products is the Autodome 7000i, the next generation of a best-selling camera, now with H.265 encoding and analytics such as line crossing. There is also an outdoor panoramic camera that is adjustable to 180-degree or 360-degree views. The new, less expensive 3000i series cameras provide an affordable option with edge analytics and Bosch’s data security protection included. Integration from Honeywell as well as 'the big picture' At Honeywell Security Group, Senior Product Manager G. Eric Green said the show seems to be much better attended than last year, “and we have had a lot of interest in our products.” Even end-user attendees typical of the GSX show are interested in the details of technology, as well as “the bigger picture,” commented Green. “Some of our booth visitors want to get into the weeds,” he said. “They say they want this piece of hardware. But they also also interested in the big picture. How things are interacting is very important.”Honeywell announced the 30 Series IP cameras, which can be used as part of video systems that comply with National Defense Authorization Act Section 889" “Most customers have installed products from other vendors that they expect us to work with. So integration is always at the top of the list. Can you work with these guys? Do you have an API? Do you support this piece of equipment? We always hear that a lot,” said Green. “There are customers who want best-in-breed products, but they’re not necessarily concerned about that coming from one manufacturer,” he said. “Other customers want ‘one throat to choke.’ When something goes wrong, they don’t want any finger-pointing.” Web-based security console and frictionless access control Honeywell is showing a beta version of its Pro-Watch 5.0 product, which is coming out in Q1 next year. It is an integrated security console that provides a map view of access control, video management, intrusion and other third party systems. The web-based platform offers access to each element, all controlled by permissions. “We are also building in an incident workflow engine that allows an operator to see exactly what steps he should take when something occurs as defined by the supervisor or a security director,” said Green. “It can literally walk you through, and it is completely freeform. Whatever you want it to say, it will say. This works in conjunction with access control, video, and all the things we talk to.” The Honeywell booth was a busy place on day two of GSX 2019 Another new Honeywell product is the OmniAssure Touch reader, a “frictionless” device that can read a credential off a smart phone in a user’s pocket. The user merely touches the reader, and it scans the area for a nearby mobile device that is authorized, and you can walk through the door. Honeywell also announced the 30 Series IP cameras, which are encrypted and can be used as part of video systems that comply with National Defense Authorization Act Section 889. They are made in Taiwan. Arcules' cloud security solution “There are fewer people here at GSX 2019, but we have seen a lot of really big companies looking for a cloud service,” said Andreas Pettersson, CEO of cloud video company Arcules. At previous shows, questions about the cloud often seemed out of curiosity. Now, potential customers are more decisive: They say “we want to move to the cloud.” Pettersson theorized that concerns about a possible weakening economy may prompt some companies to avoid the large capital expenditure of procuring a new on-premise system and instead opt for the minimal investment needed for a cloud system. Monthly operating expenses of a cloud system are also predictable and more easily managed, said Pettersson.At previous shows, questions about the cloud often seemed out of curiosity. Now, potential customers are more decisive Arcules is proactive on the subject of cybersecurity and has a two-page handout that summarizes the cybersecurity advantages of their system. They are eager to talk about cybersecurity as it relates to cloud systems, said Pettersson. He said that, in his experience, on-premise systems tend to have more cybersecurity issues, whether because ports are left open or a firewall is implemented incorrectly. Users may also seek to bypass the firewall — a dangerous practice that is not an option with cloud systems. Security patches may not have been implemented; in a cloud system, such updates are pushed out automatically. The recurring monthly revenue (RMR) aspect of cloud systems are a windfall to integrators who embrace the cloud. “One integrator said he went on vacation for the first time in years because he had the extra money coming in,” said Pettersson. Control room integration from Vistacom "We're still fairly new to GSX, as our first show was 5 years ago, but what we have noticed is that the show continues to attract valuable attendees and drive critical conversations around what companies like ours must bring to the table in order to be successful in this space," said Dan Gundry, Director of Sales and Marketing, Vistacom. "We've had so many chances to learn from and share with potential customers and partners, and as a result, we continue to forge great relationships.” Vistacom is highlighting its control room integration and the value enterprise organizations can gain from implementing one in their facility. The company works alongside end-user customers and security integrators to build a command center space, taking into account video wall display technology, operator consoles and furniture, audio and lighting considerations, as well as temperature and more, in an effort to optimize these centers. Stay tuned for the full GSX 2019 show review.
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.