Physical security, security integration, video, access control, security market trends
Round table contributions
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.
Rapid technology innovation in the physical security market comes with it a commensurate need to dispose of older systems as they are replaced. Some technologies can help minimize the waste, providing, for example, the ability to use existing coaxial cable with newer IP video systems. However, absent the ability to reuse equipment, how should integrators manage disposal of systems at end-of-life? Here are some responses from our Expert Panel.
Articles by Larry Anderson
The role of video surveillance is expanding, driven by all the new ways that video – and data culled from video – can impact a business. As a growing population of video cameras expands into new fields of view, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most unusual application of surveillance cameras you have seen recently?
There is a growing trend towards more outsourcing of the monitoring function among security companies. Technology developments are accelerating and increasing the need for monitoring companies to invest. The barriers to entry are higher than ever. These are some of the trends covered in a discussion at Securing New Ground 2019 titled ‘Monitoring: New Models and New Monetization Strategies’. A panel of monitoring company executives addressed topics centered on how the industry is changing and evolving. New entrants in the monitoring space New entrants in the monitoring space face barriers to entry, in particular the need for more investment"“New entrants in the monitoring space face barriers to entry, in particular the need for more investment in infrastructure and expertize,” said Spencer Moore, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Rapid Response Monitoring. ”Because of the expense of new technologies, more full-service monitoring companies are outsourcing the monitoring function to existing wholesale monitoring companies.” “The cost of entry has gone up, and companies are trying to preserve capital,” agreed Jim McMullen, President/COO at COPS Monitoring. “Larger companies are realizing wholesale monitoring does a better job from a customer service viewpoint. We are more focused on monitoring and the quality of service. It takes a lot of money to keep up with the cyber world,” added McMullen. Wholesale monitoring companies Wholesale monitoring companies are finding that they need petabytes of storage space, among other expensive requirements. “The trend is toward technology evolving quicker, and that often requires investment and training in a monitoring center,” said Daniel Oppenheim, CEO of Affiliated Monitoring. “Because trying out new technology is so important, wholesale monitoring centers often find that they serve as a ‘laboratory’ to experiment with newer technologies. Limited trials often expand later to broader outsourcing of a company’s monitoring services”, said Oppenheim. Automated Secure Alarm Protocol “What people miss out on is that monitoring is quite complex, and there are specialized services and skillsets, and barriers to entry from a regulatory perspective,” said Moore. Adding value to the monitoring function is The Monitoring Association’s ASAP-to-PSAP service Adding value to the monitoring function is The Monitoring Association’s ASAP-to-PSAP service. The national service saves time, improves accuracy and increases efficiency in communications between monitoring centers and public safety answering points (PSAPs). The service uses the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). Public Safety Answering Points Up to 60 PSAPS have joined the program, although the low number is misleading, given that a single PSAP could represent the ‘City of Houston’. (There are an estimated 6,000 total PSAPs nationwide). It has taken six to eight years to develop the program from its genesis to where it is today, when more participation is finally creating a critical mass. Technology is fundamentally changing monitoring companies. “We used to be a services company powered by a little bit of technology, but we’re now moving toward a technology services company,” said Moore. Critical ‘filtering service’ Monitoring provides a critical ‘filtering service’ between public requests for emergency service and those tasked with providing the services. In effect, monitoring centers work with manufacturers to make them more resilient to false alarms. Monitoring companies also provide a human touch in a time of need, and emotional empathy. Today, emergency information is being transmitted to PSAPs electronically, which saves time and money. The current low-taxation environment means there are fewer resources for municipal governments, so cost savings make a difference. Monitoring, a specialized skillset Increasingly, monitoring is becoming a business that requires a more specialized skillset Increasingly, monitoring is becoming a business that requires a more specialized skillset. Regulation, and the need for increasing investment, is driving consolidation. “With a decreasing number of monitoring companies, there are fewer customers for software developers and other tools. Less outside innovation makes it more likely monitoring centers will have to ‘go it alone’ and develop software and other tools internally,” said Oppenheim. Importance of monitoring systems “In effect, consolidation will serve to limit technology choices, and to increase the need to in-source a lot of expertize”, agrees Moore. Tying monitoring systems into other software systems is another continuing challenge. “People want our system tied into their system,” said McMullen. “I have two people who focus full time to tie our systems into other systems. There will be more computers talking to computers.”
Gallagher Security, a division of Gallagher Group, a privately-owned New Zealand company, is a global presence in integrated access control, intruder alarm and perimeter security solutions. Gallagher entered the global security industry in the 1990s with the purchase of security access control business Cardax. In the last several decades, the company has leveraged its experience in electric fence technology to develop a variety of innovative solutions used to protect some of the world's most high-consequence assets and locations. Solving business problems Among Gallagher’s recent innovations is the Security Health Check, a software utility that enables customers to run an automated check on their Gallagher Command Centre security system. To get an update on the company, we interviewed Richard Huison, Gallagher’s Regional Manager for the U.K. and Europe, who says he has a passion for technology and solving business problems. Huison says working in the industry for more than 20 years has shown him you can never stop evolving and adapting. Q: What are Gallagher's points of differentiation versus competitors? Huison: Gallagher’s strengths are in solving business problems outside of the normal access control and intrusion detection solutions. Enforcing company policy through compliance and competency is what really matters to business continuity. Using Gallagher Command Centre to oversee the security, health and safety and compliance brings true business value to the client who benefits from reduced costs and risk to the success of their growth and strategy. Q: What is the biggest challenge for customers in the security market, and how does Gallagher help to meet that challenge? Huison: A great solution fit is key. Where most fail is choosing a solution that does not meet the needs of the client in 10 to even 20 years’ time. As businesses evolve and grow, so must the security solution. In a recent conversation, a client had to replace a 300-door access control system that was no longer supported. ‘Why Gallagher?’ they asked. The answer: ‘If you had chosen Gallagher 10 years ago, we would not be having this conversation.’ Ensuing the system you choose is legacy-compliant is king. Gallagher’s brand is well known for protecting Critical National Infrastructure Q: Please describe Gallagher's geographic presence in the UK and Europe. Huison: Gallagher’s brand is well known for protecting Critical National Infrastructure. They choose to adopt our solutions because we meet the highest levels of resilience against cyber-attacks. Our ability to modernize legacy systems ensures the maximum return on investment with minimal disruption to business continuity. Gallagher solutions cover a broad mix of verticals, with strengths in high security, education and large corporate entities. Our Channel Partner network is continually growing so more clients can benefit from the diverse and powerful Gallagher Command Centre software. Q: Describe how Gallagher is typically integrated into larger systems. Huison: Our systems offer the flexibility of being standalone or globally networked via our Multi-Server environment. Most integration happens logically where data is pushing into our Command Centre database. The single point of truth allows for minimal data errors and efficiencies around manual input. The total cost of ownership is greatly reduced in allowing the system to work for the client and not the other way round. Over and above this, Integration into other solutions brings that rich data back to one software front end. Q: What is Gallagher's biggest challenge and how will the company seek to meet that challenge? Huison: Our biggest and continual opportunity is being a relentless innovator. We are not short of ideas and how we are bucking the trends with our solutions. Broadcasting these messages is not always easy in the digital age. This is why Gallagher is investing heavily in more shows, publications and specific vertical conferences globally. Q: What is the market's biggest misconception about Gallagher? Huison: Our brand is known for perimeter solutions with our monitored Pulse Fence. What many forget is we have a very powerful access control and integrated intrusion detection solution that meets Government standards around the world. We are unique in that all three can be controlled via one software platform that is cyber-resilient and infinitely configurable to suit many verticals. Q: What is your message to the security market? Huison: Many see Gallagher as only suitable for large and complex sites. I openly challenge our audience, speak to us and you may find we can provide an Enterprise Level solution that is delivered on budget and provide an outstanding return on investment for the client. Our pedigree of 80 years shows we never stop innovating and building that trusted advisor status with many lifelong clients.
Tools such as standard operating procedures (SOPs) and checklists ensure that every factor is considered when installing a physical security system – or do they? Security system installations are detailed projects, and any overlooked detail is a missed opportunity to make the system better. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most overlooked factor when installing physical security systems?
Industry experts predict that sensors in the home will reach a level of sophistication never considered in early versions of Smart Home. These devices will know when the house is empty and be able to shut off heating and cooling systems. Smart phone with geolocation will then tell it when the owner is on their way back so it can start adjusting the temperature to a comfortable level. And, it won’t just be lights that turn on and off. Sensors in washing machines will know that clothes have been put inside and will start the cycle at a time when costs are at a lower level. The Smart Home market is also driving innovation in the form of Bluetooth low energy (BLE)-enabled locks for external doors on homes and adding mobile credential use to their offering. This in turn is driving volume in the wireless lock sector and having a positive impact on volumes and pricing in the commercial locking market. Data capture form to appear here! Wireless home automation As the home automation industry has expanded with an ever-growing number of devices and services, companies are placing bets on which wireless protocols will dominate. The past few years the leaders have been Z-Wave and ZigBee. Companies are also using a variety of other standards including Crestron’s Infinet, Insteon, and proprietary technologies such as Lutron’s ClearConnect. The home automation industry has expanded with an ever-growing number of devices and services The popular ZigBee and Z-Wave short-range wireless technologies have proven ideal for the kinds of home-area networks that are becoming prevalent. Based on the IEEE’s 802.15.4 personal-area network radio standard, ZigBee is an open wireless standard. Z-Wave was developed by Zensys (later acquired by Sigma Designs) as a proprietary wireless standard. Z-Wave’s wireless mesh networking technology allows nodes to communicate with each other directly or indirectly through available relays if they’re within range. Out of range nodes can link with each other to access and exchange information. A Z-Wave network can have up to 232 nodes. Some companies have sought to hedge their bets out of a desire to be more “manufacturer agnostic.” Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are gaining popularity with new low-power variations of these standards. Smart doors and their benefits Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities. Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. While smart video surveillance solutions that can impact home automation are still in nascent stages, the potential is immense. Modern video analytics and surveillance technology have the capability to offer convenience to the connected homeowner and lower energy consumption. By determining the optimum lighting, heating and cooling needs of a connected home, smart video surveillance technology can drive down energy-related costs significantly. Smart cameras will also have an impact on the need for DVR/NVR products in an automated home, as analytics-driven video surveillance solutions that generate large amounts of data will reduce the need for these devices. Another emerging element in home security is the use of drones The resolution of an advanced radar sensor Smart video surveillance technology can drive down energy-related costs significantly Today, the resolution of an advanced radar sensor is high enough to enable not only presence detection, but also to provide advanced features for security, automation and well-being, all in one. Imagine for example, that the security sensor installed in an elderly parent’s home could also detect a fall having occurred, monitor the breathing of a baby or even leaks in the wall. Due to the unique field of view that radar provides as well as the multi-functional potential, this technology will be the key to the awaited convergence of smart home functionalities and minimization of home devices. A radar sensor’s accuracy and its ability to support wide functionality and applications are determined initially by its resolution, which is based on two key factors: bandwidth and number of channels. The wider the bandwidth and the more channels the radar supports, the more accurate the data received. Imagine the difference between a 1990s television model and a 4K 2018 television model: As the resolution is ever improving, the sharper and more detailed is the image. Drones as a security mechanism Another emerging element in home security is the use of drones. An Amazon patent outlines how its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could perform a surveillance action at a property of an authorized party. It would be “hired” to look out for open garage doors, broken windows, graffiti, or even a fire. The drone would only view authorized locations and provide information back to the homeowner. The idea is to deploy Amazon’s previously proposed (but not yet realized) “delivery drone” to provide surveillance of customers’ homes between making deliveries. In a “surveillance as a service” scenario, Amazon’s customers would pay for visits on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities. Catch up on part one and part two of our smart home mini series.
Penetration testing of physical security systems is used to evaluate if a company’s security measures operate as intended. From a technology angle, penetration testing (pen testing) assesses whether the totality of the systems operate as designed, rather than testing each individual component. Does the system work with the officers, the policy and procedures that are in place? A session at ISC East, Nov. 20 in New York, will address the need for and benefits of penetration testing (also known as red teaming). The session, titled “We Sneak into High Security Buildings and Get Paid for It,” will be presented by Michael Glasser, President, Glasser Security Group. He has two decades of experience providing security design strategic planning, implementation oversight, auditing and penetration testing. “Penetration testing determines whether people and systems are providing the protection you think they are,” says Glasser. Various system components should come together into a solution that works for the client. People, technology and architecture are all components of successful security systems. His motto: “Stop guessing and starting testing." Test-driving security systems “You can compare it to driving a car,” says Glasser. “You want to be sure the brakes work and the engine works, but then somebody has to test-drive the car.” Stop guessing and starting testing" The concept of penetration testing goes back to the Cold War, when the military had “Red Teams” and "Blue Teams,” competing squads that used their skills to imitate attack techniques enemies might use. More recently, the term “pen testing” has become common in the cybersecurity industry, often referring to “white hat” hackers that test the effectiveness of cybersecurity measures. Applying the concept to physical security in corporate America brings the concept full circle. “People think their controls work, but they realize they really need to see if it all works together,” says Glasser. Pen testing in corporate America “You can go to any military base or nuclear power site and you see pen testing,” says Glasser. “But often it doesn’t happen in corporate America.” Sometimes physical pen testing is approached as an extension of cybersecurity testing because addressing physical threats is an element in cybersecurity, too. “It’s the same service, except to make sure the physical house is in order,” says Glasser. Glasser’s session will be among the SIA Education@ISC East presentations scheduled at the education theaters on the show floor at ISC East, Nov. 20-21 at the Javits Center in New York. The process If you believe the movies, Glasser’s job is all fun and excitement, like a “bunch of kids having fun.” The reality is more mundane, he says. “People think it’s fun, but it’s work, not fun.” The process is front-loaded with weeks of research and surveillance to determine possible vulnerabilities before attempting a break-in. Research is based on threat modeling: What is a company worried about? Who is the bad guy? What do they want to do? What are the threats? The process is front-loaded with weeks of research and surveillance to determine possible vulnerabilities Among other tools, Glasser uses Open Source Intelligence (OINT), which is collection and analysis of information gathered from public, open sources, such as media, the Internet, public government data, etc. Glasser comes from a physical security industry family – both his mother and father were employed in the security industry – and he attended his first ISC East show in the 1990s when he was 11 years old. As a security consultant and security expert witness for more than 20 years, he has previously spoken at GSX and various ASIS International events.
The success of smart homes began with professional security providers offering bundled packages, focused mostly on security monitoring. However, due to the cost of professional contracts, consumers began to embrace the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. Despite the challenges and opportunities that come with professional and DIY approaches, the momentum of smart home growth depends on these two approaches working symbiotically. Smart home systems In 2017, there were about 122 million smart home devices shipped globally, according to IHS Markit. The retail channel represented about 62 percent of all device shipments in 2017 and will represent about 70 percent in 2021. Despite the increased demand for professional installation, the “do-it-for-me” approach, most the volume remains with ad-hoc purchases. This includes a consumer video camera or a smart thermostat purchase from a retailer. Data capture form to appear here! When a consumer wants to add devices to an existing professionally installed system, they often will buy products from retail. Flexible service offerings and pricing are already taking shape across smart home offerings. DIY installed smart home systems such as Scout Alarm already offer no contract monitoring. Professional monitoring companies are already offering no contract pricing, and providers such as Comcast are looking to pilot programs for just video monitoring, bundled with Internet for a low monthly fee. Home automation system Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller Options for financing are also going to become commonplace. Smart home equipment is expensive, even when attempting to outfit a modest size home (2,500 square feet). Immediate access to services is becoming more critical. This means consumers should be able to access on-demand service options directly from a mobile device to activate or deactivate professional monitoring. Lastly, pricing still needs to come down for many smart home devices, but there is a threshold. For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to communicate wirelessly with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. Residential security According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. For example, with their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchases. There are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” Full-time monitoring DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchase and installation of professionally installed systems What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Instead of paying for monthly monitoring, homeowners can install a web cam, access from a smartphone or tablet and essentially do their own security monitoring. The downside of this approach is readily apparent. Without full-time monitoring, homeowners can easily miss the break-in or the aged parent who falls and can’t get up. Near-field communication Until they log on and take a look, there’s no central station to send medical aid or call the police. Connecting door locks and other devices to the Internet can also open a door to hackers, if the infrastructure isn’t properly protected. The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined. For example, Apple recently expanded near-field communication (NFC) support to include the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format), which will likely accelerate the adoption of smartphones for access control credentialing. In another recent development, Amazon acquired Blink, a home security camera startup that offers wireless home security systems. The acquisition aligns with Amazon’s effort to offer more home devices. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household Traditional security features For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market that want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Missed part one of our smart home mini series? Read it here.
Honeywell Commercial Security is among the companies working to develop security systems that are more proactive than reactive. “Our biggest opportunity moving forward is the ability to have security solutions that do a better job of detecting and predicting threats,” says Tim Baker, Global Marketing Director, Honeywell Commercial Security. Greater use of analytics and intelligence can reduce human error and simplify processes by providing a more unified view for greater situational awareness. Artificial intelligence and deep learning "We’re reaching a maturity level in terms of algorithms and hardware to drive new capabilities in a cost-effective way,” he says. Baker sees a continuing interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning in the physical security market, used in video analytics and also for intrusion and access control. "We have challenged ourselves to move from reactive solutions to develop a set of proactive solutions that determine potential security threats before they happen,” he says. An overarching theme is the need to focus operator attention on “what matters” rather than requiring operators to keep track of the growing number of sensors in newer systems. A remaining hurdle is to streamline the deployment of analytics systems, which can require expensive customization during the commissioning phase. Credential-enabled access control reader The reader can support any card format and also enables “frictionless” access control That’s where Honeywell is investing and focusing its attention, seeking when possible to “pre-teach” algorithms based on data gleaned from a large installed base. Fortunately, there will be plenty of data from a growing variety of sites to build from. Honeywell offers a full ecosystem built around enterprise security needs and a second ecosystem built around the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In the enterprise space, the trend is toward smarter edge devices, such as Honeywell’s OmniAssure Touch, a cellphone credential-enabled access control reader. The reader can support any card format and also enables “frictionless” access control. A user can gain access by touching the reader, with no need to take his or her smart phone (which has the credential) out of their pocket. The reader is fully backwards compatible, which is a Honeywell hallmark. Honeywell’s OmniAssure Touch can support any card format and also enables “frictionless” access control. Designed to be cloud-enabled On the enterprise software side, Honeywell has invested in further development of their Pro-Watch access control system and MAXPRO VMS (video management system), tying them together into a single security console, along with intrusion and other systems such as human resources (HR) data. For the SMB market, Honeywell is building and expanding their MAXPRO Cloud system. As existing hardware has evolved to be cloud-enabled, the company has also been introducing new control products that are designed from the ground up to be cloud-enabled. Honeywell’s biggest vertical markets include banking, healthcare, gaming, energy infrastructure and airports The new MAXPRO Intrusion system, which can be configured over the cloud, will be introduced in the first quarter. MAXPRO Access, to be introduced in late November, can be deployed using an embedded web interface, a cloud interface, or as an on-premise solution. On the NVR side, an embedded NVR works alongside Honeywell’s new 30 Series video cameras, providing secure and encrypted end-to-end connection. Networked security system A challenge for Honeywell is to keep up with broader trends happening in the industry, whether geopolitical (e.g., relations between China and the United States) or regulatory such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Baker acknowledges an industry-wide increase in awareness about cybersecurity, driven largely by the enterprise market. IT departments are getting more involved in the purchasing decision; indeed, the chief information officer (CIO) is often the ultimate decision-maker. In response, Honeywell is emphasizing “cybersecurity by design” from the beginning to the end of a project. Also, they are using white-hat hackers to test products before they are released into a live environment. “We are doing everything we can to make sure products are cybersecure,” says Baker. Honeywell’s biggest vertical markets include banking, pharmaceutical, healthcare, gaming, energy infrastructure and airports. NDAA-compliant video cameras Compliance is a common thread throughout the verticals. Honeywell sells to the government mostly in the access control and intrusion space and built around their Vindicator networked security system. (They also introduced the line of NDAA-compliant video cameras, made in Taiwan, at the recent GSX show.)
Securing New Ground, the security industry’s annual executive conference this week in New York, offered food for thought about current and future trends in the security marketplace. Highlights from SNG 2019 included keynote remarks from security leaders at SAP, Johnson Controls and the Consumer Technology Association, discussions on how CSOs mitigate security risks, topic-focused thought leadership roundtables and a lively networking reception. Top trends observed at the event include cybersecurity, data privacy, facial recognition and artificial intelligence. A "View from the Top" session covered the need for companies to consider responsible use and ethics around technology; responsibility should extend throughout the organization. A panel of security leaders emphasized the need to understand the diversity of risks that end users face. As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands connectivity, the inputs, outputs and "attack surface" also expand. It's critical to have security "baked" into products themselves, and also to undertand the mission of the organization being protected, the context and correlation. Technologies transforming security market Keynote speaker Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, listed the many technologies that will impact the consumer electronics market – and the security market – in the near future: artificial intelligence (AI), voice recognition, the transition to 5G and self-driving cars.As the Internet of Things expands connectivity, the inputs, outputs and "attack surface" also expand “What we're seeing today is a huge turning point in where the world is going,” said Shapiro, whose organization presents the giant CES trade show each year in Las Vegas. “It’s not just about jobs and technology, but who we are and how we address fundamental human rights.” Privacy is a component of human rights, but “in the world of AI, there is a tradeoff between innovation and privacy”. Balance between security standards Shapiro sees Europe as representing one extreme of privacy, epitomized by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which he sees as stifling innovation. Meanwhile, China is pushing innovation using massive amounts of data with no regard to privacy. The United States, therefore, should look for a balance that acknowledges the inevitability of innovation while respecting privacy and realizing it is “always situational.”With new technologies, biometric ID and cybersecurity issues, your business is in a strong and growing place" Too much concern for privacy comes at a cost, Shapiro said. “Privacy zealots are killing facial recognition, step by step by step,” he said. “Regulators should not throw away the baby with the bathwater. Every technology in history has been used to cause evil and to do good. Throughout history any new technology could have been banned and made illegal.” Shapiro offered encouraging words to the security marketplace, even in the wake of large tech firms such as Amazon entering the market. “With new technologies, biometric ID and cybersecurity issues, your business is in a strong and growing place,” he said. “There is opportunity. There will be increasing new things people want, and always new threats. People will want what you're providing, which is physical and technology security in their facility.” Scott Schafer, Chairman of the Board of the Security Industry Association (R), interviewed Steve Jones, CEO, Allied Universal, on stage about the importance of merging technology with security officers Allied Universal CEO Steve Jones discussed holistic approach Steve Jones, CEO, Allied Universal, was interviewed on stage about the importance of merging technology with security officers for a holistic approach to securing a facility. “Today, customers are asking us to look at their facility holistically and asking: What is my best approach?” said Jones. A holistic approach includes protecting people, the facility, intellectual property (IP), and how to handle visitors. Manguarding perspective on security Allied Universal looks at security from a manguarding perspective and also from a technology perspective, based on their daily experience managing security for 40,000 customer sites across the United States and Canada.Allied Universal has a new handheld technology platform that uses AI “We are in a unique position in the channel,” said Jones. “We know the stats at any customer site. We know the last time there were repairs on cameras, which card reader is malfunctioning, how long the systems company takes to respond to a call. We are at these locations 24/7 and have an intimate relationship with customer. We are a significant influencer in the decision-making process. We have an opportunity to have a voice, and to build a business around it.” Predictive security “We are looking for technology that will enhance the security of the customer,” said Jones, including situational awareness and analysis of data to predict patterns. Allied Universal has a new handheld technology platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data, predict outcomes, and prescribe optimum responses. Workforce development – hiring and training new employees – is a big issue for Allied Universal, which last year interviewed more than a million applicants to find around 100,000 employees. They are targeting every demographic, and last year hired 33,000 veterans. The company is using technology to help with the massive recruiting effort, including AI to analyze applicant qualifications and a computer-generated avatar to conduct the first online interview. Future security challenges Jones sees the rapid increase in the homeless population in the United States as one of the biggest security challenges of coming years. The rapid increase in the US homeless population is one of the biggest security challengesMany businesses face the prospect of homeless individuals living in front of their buildings, possibly using drugs or approaching customers. “It has become a real threat,” he said. “When they are living in front of your buildings, in many cases, there are ordinances that allow them to be there so the police will not get involved. It falls on the facility owner and private security to address the problem. Given the large homeless population we have now during good economic times, I don’t know what it will look like in an economic downturn.” Human side of security An SNG session on the human side of security observed that people are the biggest source of vulnerability. Companies should foster a "safety climate" in which security is integral to operations and viewed as something that helps employees rather than create hassles. Human resources is now a technology field and should work together with security to achieve shared goals. At the consumer and small business level, cybersecurity must also be top-of-mind and built into a security companies' DNA. SNG attendees heard about opportunities to move beyond providing products and devices to providing experiences, by partnering with customers to protect what matters most to them. While a bit of inconvenience comes along with security, products should be built in a way that is easy to use, with security baked in. The results are systems people are comfortable engaging with every day. Securing New Ground is presented by the Security Industry Association (SIA).
Products are the building blocks of the security industry. Historically much of the industry’s sales effort has been focused on highlighting product features and functionality. At the end of the day, however, an end user is less interested in the performance of any individual system component than in the system as a whole. Lately, the industry has embraced a changing sales approach by emphasizing systems rather than products. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the benefits of a transition from selling security products to selling security solutions?
ISC East continues to flourish as the Northeast’s largest security trade show. Focused on the big Tri-State market and overall Northeast sector vs. the flagship ISC West event in Las Vegas in the spring, the International Security Conference & Exposition at New York’s Javits Center will be held Nov. 20 and 21. “Anybody who has been to the show has commented and seen the growth,” says Mary Beth Shaughnessy, Event Director, ISC Events at Reed Exhibitions. Ninety new exhibitors When the show opens, there will be around 90 new exhibitors, including Gunnebo, Mobotix, Liftmaster, Cypress Integration Solutions, SAFR from Real Networks and Security Brands. Because it is a regional show, some large companies have smaller exhibits that feature their local and regional personnelLarger exhibitors at the show include Brooklyn Low Voltage Supply (distributor), Axis Communications, DoorKing Inc., NAPCO Security Technologies, and All American Monitoring. Because it is a regional show, some large companies have smaller exhibits that feature their local and regional personnel eager to meet with security professionals from the Northeast corridor. ISC East will be co-located with the Infosecurity ISACA North America Expo and Conference. The combination provides a comprehensive approach to physical and cyber security products and services. Rapid growth in past three years The audience at ISC East is unique – about 90% of attendees do not attend ISC West. The show has seen rapid growth in the past three years, and attendees report a new energy and passion among exhibitors and attendees. By every measure, the show will be bigger than last year, while maintaining the intimate, smaller vibe of a regional show. A “Crack the Tap” cocktail reception will be held at the end of the first day on the show floor. A charity activity on the ISC East show floor will be presented in partnership with Mission 500, an organization that works to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis. At the Mission 500 booth which will be adjacent to the Main Stage, each exhibition attendee will be invited to create a “care package” of essential hygiene items that will be delivered to children and families in need, in partnership with Volunteers of America - Greater New York. Attendees may write a note of encouragement to be included in the package they assemble. Event will highlight security startups A Nov. 20 (Wednesday) session at ISC East will highlight startup companies in a format reminiscent of television’s “Shark Tank.” Four finalists will take to the main stage and provide a seven-minute pitch about their new product or service. After the “Tech Tank” presentations, audience members vote live on their mobile app for their top choice, and the winner will be announced during the “Crack the Tap” cocktail reception.Four finalists will take to the main stage and provide a seven-minute pitch about their new product or service “It’s a program that allows attendees to see and hear about cutting edge technologies,” says Nicole Miller, Senior Conference Manager, ISC Security Events. The four finalists, chosen from more than 40 exhibitor submissions, are Arrow Labs’ MIMS Smart Watch for mobile incident management; Cepton Technologies’ Helius Smart LiDAR System; SAFR from RealNetworks’ Facial Recognition system, and ZeroEyes’ Weapons Detection and Active Shooter Mitigation Platform. New partnership with ASIS New York Beginning in 2020, ISC East will be combined with the ASIS New York chapter’s annual conference and expo, which was held in May this year. Starting next year, the events will be rolled into one industry-wide expo and education event geared to serving the total security industry in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut). In 2020 there will be an enhanced education program along with the combined event next fall. In recognition of the new partnership, ISC East is involving the ASIS NYC chapter in this year’s show, too, with a booth on the show floor, and promotional logos and signage. The ASIS chapter will have a table at the SIA Honors Night event on Nov. 20. “We are really involving them this year to show we are working together and partnering going forward,” says Shaughnessy.
In addition to providing the Northeast’s largest security trade show, ISC East will include free conference sessions and keynote speeches right on the show floor and several paid workshops. The Nov. 20-21 event at New York’s Javits Center will also include vendor solution sessions from Axis Communications, Hikvision and NAPCO. Wide variety of paid workshops An advantage of the International Security Conference & Exposition in New York is that much of the programming is complimentary to registered attendees, and location of the sessions on the show floor means attendees don’t have to leave the exhibition to take in a session. The paid workshops include technology sessions about cyber terminology for physical security integratorsThe paid workshops include an Active Shooter Workshop and technology sessions about cyber terminology for physical security integrators; and basic installation and configuration of video surveillance solutions. An OSDP (Open Supervised Device Protocol) Boot Camp Short Course will also be offered. As a smaller show, the topics of ISC East conference sessions are broader and of more general interest, rather than organized into focused “tracks” as at ISC West. Attendance at sessions can provide continuing education (CE) credits with organizations that partner with ISC East – one credit for each hour-long session. Attendees can use their Certificate of Attendance from any session to self-report their education hours to relevant industry bodies: ALOA (AEU education credits), ASIS (CPE continuing professional education credits) and NICET (CPD Continuing Professional Development points). An advantage of the International Security Conference & Exposition in New York is that much of the programming is complimentary to registered attendees Keynote sessions at the Main Stage The Main Stage will be the venue for keynote sessions delivered by Deanne Criswell, Commissioner, New York City Emergency Management (on Day 1 – Nov. 20); and Angela Stubblefield, Chief of Staff at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (on Day 2 – Nov. 21). The two SIA Education@ISC East educational theaters on the show floor will be booked up both days with a variety of interesting topics. A new session covers penetration testing for physical security, presented by Michael Glasser of Glasser Security Group. A session on LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors will be presented by Frank Bertini, UAV and Robotics Business Manager, Velodyne LiDAR. Another popular topic is Safe Cities, and FLIR will present a session on moving from secured to smart cities with intelligent, connected systems. New addition is Active Shooter Workshop The Active Shooter Workshop is a new addition to the ISC East program. It has been a popular session at ISC West for three years now. At ISC East, presenters of the workshop will be David LaRose, System Director Public Health, Lee Health; and Ben Scaglione, Director of Healthcare and Security Programming, Lowers and Associates. At the end of the workshop, an additional hour of programming will be the “Stop the Bleed/Save a Life” session presented by Jerry Wilkins, Co-Owner of Active Risk Survival. The Main Stage will be the venue for keynote sessions delivered by Deanne Criswell, Commissioner, New York City Emergency Management, and Angela Stubblefield, Chief of Staff at the Federal Aviation Administration Woman in Security event A Women in Security Forum breakfast event will be held on Nov. 21 (Thursday). It’s the second annual event and this year will focus on diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace of the future. Valerie Anderson, President of Boon Edam, will lead a discussion on “Diversity 2.0: Next Steps for Creating an Empowered Workforce”Moderator Valerie Anderson, President of Boon Edam, will lead a discussion on “Diversity 2.0: Next Steps for Creating an Empowered Workforce.” Panelists are Lisa Terry of Allied Universal, Andrew Lanning of Integrated Security Technologies, Elaine Palome of Axis Communications and Dawne Hanks of Milestone. The Women in Security event is likely to attract up to 100 attendees. SIA’s Women in Security is an active organization, with monthly meetings and a newsletter that recognizes prominent women in the security industry. “It’s really a group for both men and women,” says Mary Beth Shaughnessy, Event Director, ISC Events at Reed Exhibitions. “There are many programmes, recruiting efforts, and professional and networking opportunities. They are a robust group of people who are active in making a difference. It’s important to support women in the security industry, which is 95% male, and to develop a new generation of women to be a part of the industry’s future.” The keynote addresses at ISC East will also highlight two high-profile women.
The boundaries between the smart home market and security market at large are narrowing. Amidst a wave of expansion, suddenly everything is becoming digital. Home automation has been around for close to 30 years but hasn’t really hit it big because integration hasn’t been that simple. Now that the Internet of Things has stepped into the market, home automation is really taking off. As technology in the smart home market advances, the gap between the residential and professional security markets is growing smaller. Additional revenue for security industry There will continue to be more opportunity for interoperability, and home automation will continue to grow and eventually become a norm. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions, have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras and other products suffice for their security. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. Data capture form to appear here! Residential security solutions Growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that" The trend has no doubt accelerated in the last couple of years. New collaborations are being made between audio-video (AV) suppliers and security solution providers. The clientele of high-end AV products is becoming increasingly concerned with home security and property protection. So, in recent months, the requirement for residential security solutions has been increasing as technical solutions can go hand in hand with AV installers’ capabilities and client base. “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” says Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum. "This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” Pressure to upgrade security standards Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation, security is seen as a solution some consumers are looking for. Another security aspect of home automation is cybersecurity, in particular how it applies to various IoT devices in the home. Now as connected devices gather personal information from realms long considered private and protected – the bedroom, the kitchen counter, the nursery – the risks are higher than ever. All of the data that various devices and sites have collected can be combined, shifted and then exploited by marketers or even stolen by hackers. Both manufacturers of smart home products and the companies that install them are feeling pressure to upgrade security standards. They are moving to set policies that will regulate who has access to data and how it is used. Ease of installation Advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies A recent revelation that some “smart TVs” might be listening to conversations and transmitting them to "third parties" caused an uproar. These sets have voice activated features that enable users to change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the internet by speaking to the screen or remote. The fine print in privacy policies contains warnings that general conversations are also being heard, and one company even told owners to turn off this function if they were concerned. Another impact of smart homes on the security marketplace is to raise expectations about the capabilities of commercial systems. Products made today for residential applications are very high quality, easy to install (do-it-yourself, or DIY), and have very rich feature sets. End users expect their commercial solutions to have a similar ease of use and ease of installation. Geofencing in commercial applications The quality of video that people are seeing at home is motivating some legacy commercial customers to finally move to IP video from lower resolution analog cameras. A higher percentage of commercial customers use cellphone applications to view integrated video and access control data. People’s experience with smart thermostats has them asking for geofencing in some commercial applications. In short, advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies. Read part two of our smart home mini series here.
Qumulex is a new startup with a mission to provide physical security integrators a transition path to embrace the technology of the cloud and a subscription-based business model. Qumulex’s products seek to provide capabilities to embrace the cloud without an integrator having to turn their back completely on the ‘transactional revenue’ of installing new systems. As the transition happens, Qumulex offers a product line that supports any mix of systems from on-premises to the cloud. The flexible deployment model – enabling a cloud installation, an on-premise installation or any combination – is one of the ways Qumulex seeks to differentiate itself in the market. Installing fully on-Premise system The Qumulex cloud-based platform uses a gateway device located on-premises to which local cameras are connected The system is designed so that an integrator can install a fully on-premise system and then later ‘flip a switch’ and transition to a cloud model, says Tom Buckley, VP Sales and Marketing. The Qumulex initial 1.0 system launch is currently entering its final beta test. Full commercial availability is expected in the first quarter of 2020, which the company will highlight in a bigger 20x20 booth at ISC West next year. The Qumulex cloud-based platform uses a gateway device located on-premises to which local cameras are connected. Ensuring cybersecurity, the gateway provides a ‘firewall’ of sorts to avoid any cybersecurity threat from entering an enterprise through a vulnerable IP camera. The system is designed to be ‘cloud-agnostic’ and to work with any public or private cloud, using Docker software and ‘containers,’ a standard unit of software that packages code and all its dependencies so an application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. At launch, the Qumulex system will use the Google cloud. Greater situational awareness The open platform approach will enable users to assemble best-of-breed solutions Another point of differentiation for the new platform is a unified access control and video surveillance environment – both are part of the same program. Access control can drive video events and vice versa for greater situational awareness. A unified system avoids having to integrate separate systems. A big emphasis for Qumulex is ease of use. They have designed the user interface to be as simple and intuitive as possible, using consumer-oriented systems such as Nest and the Ring Doorbell as a model of simplicity. Finally, the open platform approach will enable users to assemble best-of-breed solutions. Keeping it simple, the system offers native integration with only the major camera manufacturers that represent most of the market: Axis, Hanwha, Arecont, Panasonic, Vivotek and Sony. Longer-Term storage Other cameras can be included using the ONVIF interface. On the access control side, the system will initially be compatible with Axis door controllers, Allegion wireless door locks and ASSA ABLOY Aperio wireless door locks. Future versions of the software will seek to integrate HID Edge and Vertx and eventually Mercury panels. The gateway device may incorporate only a solid-state drive (SSD) for buffering Qumulex is taking a ‘mobile-first’ approach. The software is designed as a ‘progressive web app,’ which means is it is adaptable to – and fully functioning in – any smart phone, mobile device, laptop, or on a desktop computer with multiple monitors. The gateway device may incorporate only a solid-state drive (SSD) for buffering, or as many hard drives as the customer wants for storage. Short-term storage is available in the cloud, but local hard drives may be used for longer-term storage which can get expensive given the monthly fees of cloud storage. Using third-Party server To manage the variety of scenarios, Qumulex will offer a line of gateways and recorders, or a customer can use a third-party server along with Qumulex, which is an open system. Qumulex will use a manufacturer’s representative sales model and has already signed up 11 rep firms covering the United States (the initial target of the launch). The company has been spreading the word among integrators, too, first at the ISC West show last spring, when 98 integrators saw demonstrations of the system at a suite in the Palazzo. Another 48 integrators saw the system at ESX in Indianapolis in June. At the recent GSX show in Chicago, Qumulex had a booth on the show floor, where they scanned 450 badges that yielded 176 unique integrators. Entering the physical security market Qumulex just closed a second round of funding, which does not include any ‘institutional’ money Buckley estimates there are around 10,000 total security integrators in the United States that sell products similar to theirs at their price point. They are working to build their database to reach out to those integrators. (Exacq had more than 4,500 dealer/integrators before it was sold to Tyco/Johnson Controls.) Qumulex is the third company to enter the physical security market by the same team that launched two other successful startups in the last 20 years: Exacq Technologies (sold to Tyco in 2013) and Integral Technologies (sold to Andover Controls in 2000). Both previous companies were built around a need to help the integrator community transition to newer technologies. Qumulex just closed a second round of funding, which does not include any ‘institutional’ money. The first round of investment involved only the founders, and the second round added some ‘angel’ investors to the mix. The funding allows more flexibility and control over the company’s timeline and the evolution of the product’s feature set, free of outside mandates, says Buckley.
A larger proportion of cyberattacks in the first half of 2019 can be attributed to electronic criminals (eCrime adversaries) compared to state-sponsored or unidentified attacks. CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company that provides the CrowdStrike Falcon endpoint protection platform, observes that 61% of targeted cybersecurity campaigns in the first half of 2019 were sourced from eCrime adversaries, compared to 39% from other sources. Technology was the top vertical market targeted by cyber-attacks in the first half of the year CrowdStrike Falcon Overwatch platform The eCrime portion more than doubled since 2018, reflecting an escalation of criminal players in search of more and larger payouts. The trend is among the information presented in CrowdStrike’s Overwatch 2019 Mid-Year Report: Observations from the Front Lines of Threat Hunting. Falcon OverWatch is the CrowdStrike-managed threat hunting service built on the CrowdStrike Falcon platform. Technology was the top vertical market targeted by cyber-attacks in the first half of the year, followed by telecommunications and non-governmental organizations (including think tanks). Other targets (in decreasing order) were retail, financial, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, gaming, entertainment and engineering. Hospitality disappeared from the list so far this year, although Crowdstrike expects an increase in intrusions aimed at the hospitality industry to put it back in the top 10 by the end of the year. Intrusion adversaries In terms of intrusion adversaries, the top players so far in 2019 are Spiders (eCrime) and Pandas (China). Regarding initial access techniques, the most common remain, in order of prevalence, valid accounts, spear-phishing and exploitation of public-facing applications. 2009 is proving to be an active year with a significant increase in eCrime and the inter-relationships occurring across different groups as they strengthen their organizations, forge alliances and expand their footprint. Need for a proactive security posture Basic hygiene form the foundation for a strong cybersecurity program Many of the techniques used by eCrime actors are easily defensible through strong security products and a proactive security posture, says CrowdStrike, which recommends the following measures to help maintain strong defense in 2019: Be attentive to basic hygiene such as user awareness, asset and vulnerability management, and secure configurations, which form the foundation for a strong cybersecurity program. User awareness programs can combat the continued threat of phishing and related social engineering techniques. Asset management and software inventory ensures that an organization understands it footprint and exposure. Vulnerability and patch management can verify that known vulnerabilities and insecure configurations are identified, prioritized and remediated. Multifactor authentication (MFA) should be established for all users because today's attackers are adept at accessing and using valid credentials. A robust privilege access management process will limit the damage adversaries can do if they get in and reduce the likelihood of later movement. Implementing password protection prevents disabling or uninstalling endpoint protection that provides critical prevention and visibility for defenders. Countering sophisticated cyber attacks As sophisticated attacks continue to evolve, enterprises face more than a "malware problem" As sophisticated attacks continue to evolve, enterprises face more than a "malware problem." Defenders should look for early warning signs that an attack may be underway, such as code execution, persistence, stealth, command control and lateral movement within a network. Contextual and behavioral analysis, when delivered in real time via machine learning and artificial intelligence, effectively detects and prevents attacks that conventional "defense-in-depth" technologies cannot address. "1-10-60 rule" in combating advanced cyber threats CrowdStrike recommends that organizations pursue a "1-10-60 rule" in order to effectively combat sophisticated cyberthreats. That is, they should seek to detect intrusions in under one minute; to perform a full investigation in under 10 minutes, and to eradicate the adversary from the environment in under 60 minutes. A source at CrowdStrike said "Meeting this challenge requires investment in deep visibility, as well as automated analysis and remediation tools across the enterprise, reducing friction and enabling responders to understand threats and take fast, decisive action."
Video, access control and visitor management are among the technologies that are enabling greater safety and security at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Video surveillance systems enable hospital management and security professionals to know what goes on in and around a medical facility. Recording images in high resolutions (megapixels and gigapixels) is becoming more and more important in healthcare, says Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director – Access Control, Tyco Security Products. Video event management software Video analytics are now being leveraged for patient tracking, asset tracking, and operational purposes If an incident occurs in a medical facility, the security staff has to be able to identify faces easily and accurately. Storage and costs have to be considered, of course. With technology improving and prices decreasing, video solutions can even be used for purposes beyond traditional security. For example, video analytics are now being leveraged for patient tracking, asset tracking, and operational purposes, and captured video can be used to defend against liability claims. What’s next? Video analytics will continue to be a valuable addition to any surveillance infrastructure due to its ability to address patient needs, operational efficiencies and early risk detection, says Brandon Reich, Senior Director of Surveillance Solutions, Pivot3. Through video event management software (VEMS), hospitals can customize the statistics that are relevant to their individual buildings or campuses without having to spend extra time or money on rigorous employee training. Data capture form to appear here! Real-Time access control security updates Furthermore, once healthcare facilities are able to digitize all of their patient records, secure any of their ingress and egress points with real-time access control security updates, and fully transition from analog to IP video surveillance cameras, VEMS systems that house analytical software will be able to multiply the benefits offered to hospitals, not just in real time, but in planning ahead for future risk, expansion and safety protocols. It is vital to implement integrated and innovative access control solutions With large, complex facilities, directors of security at hospitals struggle with controlling access to various levels of the facility, according to Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. To manage the risks that hospitals face and ensure a comprehensively protected atmosphere for patients and staff, it is vital to implement integrated and innovative access control solutions. For example, ease of access with controlled entrances is vital to medical crash teams, as is the need for a zonal access control lockdown in the event of a contagious disease outbreak. Strict access limitations Different hallways, rooms, floors and waiting areas within a hospital require different amounts of restriction, and sensitive materials, such as medical files, controlled substances and sterile environments (such as operating and procedure rooms) all necessitate an additional layer of protection. Access control in particular has advanced significantly to offer healthcare facilities the ability to control access remotely, through mobile applications, confirm identity quickly and easily and program varying levels of access for visitors, patients, doctors and staff. One area that is recently experiencing rapid growth – and drastic change –is the securing of narcotics within healthcare facilities, says Robert Laughlin, CEO and Chairman, Galaxy Control Systems. In the past, all medicine was controlled in a central pharmacy located somewhere in the hospital or health facility. These pharmacies were highly secured areas, with strict access limitations; only authorized staff could get near the medicine stocks. Fiber optic communication lines For vehicle access control, medical centers and hospitals prefer beam barricades and shallow foundation barriers To improve the speed of delivery, and to have the necessary medicines ready at hand for in-patients without retaining a large delivery staff, the current trend is to have distributed pharmaceutical closets or carts that hold medicines much closer to the intended patients. For vehicle access control, medical centers and hospitals prefer beam barricades and shallow foundation barriers, according to Gregg Hamm of Delta Scientific. Manual beam barricades are installed at the Fort Bragg Veterans Administration Hospital in North Carolina to shut down certain areas of the facility when a higher alert is sounded. They will stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph. The Navy Hospital in San Diego uses high speed, high security and very shallow foundation barricades to control all vehicles going in and out of the facility. With their extremely shallow foundation, they obviate the concerns of interference with buried pipes, power lines and fiber optic communication lines. They will stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph. At the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, even stronger shallow foundation barriers are used for traffic control and protection. These barriers will destroy a 65,000-pound (5.4 million foot-pounds) dump truck traveling 50 mph and continue to stand. Physical access control systems Controlling visitors to hospitals and healthcare facilities can directly impact security Controlling visitors to hospitals and healthcare facilities can directly impact security. Traditional methods of visitor management, such as paper visitor logs and handwritten badges are insufficient given today’s variety of security challenges. A hospital using paper-based systems cannot easily cross-check information, confirm patient information, check visitor names against up-to-date watch lists, or visually confirm identity. An increasingly popular and important application is secure and simplified visitor management, integrated with the physical access control systems (PACS). Today’s visitor management systems enable the screening, badging and tracking all visitors or, at a minimum, those visiting critical areas or during ‘after hours’ periods, Quickly identify inappropriate visitors One other growing technology is the ability to link to internal or governmental watch lists, to quickly identify inappropriate visitors before they gain access to the facilities. For example, Visitor Management systems can be configured to perform a Sex Offender search in both Children’s Hospitals and Pediatric areas, further decreasing the likelihood that someone of the list could gain access. Wayfinding is indoor navigation to guide a person step-by-step on the way to a desired destination HID Global and Phunware Inc. are addressing the need of healthcare institutions to deploy standardized technology to provide a better wayfinding and visitor engagement experience inside the hospital, across campus and even in parking lots. The companies are collaborating to improve the experience for hospital patients and visitors to find their way within medical facilities, using wayfinding on their mobile phones. Wayfinding is indoor navigation to guide a person step-by-step on the way to a desired destination. Enterprise-Level mobile wayfinding “It’s easy for visitors and patients to get lost in hospitals, and every time they do it puts appointment times and patient satisfaction at risk,” says Rom Eizenberg, Vice President of Sales, Bluvision, part of HID Global “With our location-aware app on a mobile device, we equip the visitor to get instant, turn-by-turn navigation that creates a better experience than that which is currently available on the market.” HID’s healthcare IoT solution-enablement platform simplifies the delivery of real-time location of clinicians, patients and devices. The platform is enabled by Bluvision (part of HID Global). Phunware’s Multiscreen-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform also provides enterprise-level mobile wayfinding, engagement, data and more for other vertical markets, including retail, residential, hospitality, media and entertainment and more .Missed the rest our healthcare mini series? Read part one here and part two here.
The task of protecting shared spaces, such as offices and schools, has become increasingly complex, particularly with ever-rising political tensions and the difficulties of assessing threats for schools, workplaces and law enforcement. Given the randomness of when and where a violent person may strike, those who manage facilities need an emergency plan, as well as robust training, detection and awareness. To gain more insights into dealing with such threats, we interviewed John Torres, President of Security and Technology Consulting, Guidepost Solutions. Guidepost Solutions is a global team of investigators, security and technology consultants, and compliance and monitoring experts. They provide security design and consulting, investigations, and compliance and monitoring leadership for critical client needs. Torres has extensive investigative and security experience. Previously, he served as the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. His background includes more than 27 years of experience providing investigative and security management for the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, including serving as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Q: Why is it difficult for schools, workplaces and law enforcement to assess threats of violence? How can they differentiate between a threat and a non-threat? Torres: With mobile technology and social media, threats are more than just physical. Schools are often not screening student social media accounts and are restricted in what they can and cannot monitor due to privacy laws. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcement, providing training and increasing awareness of potential threats or abnormal behavior. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcementEmerging tools include software that allows monitoring of students’ school-issued email and file storage accounts. Communications software and apps provide real-time notification of emergency messages to students, parents, employees and the community to provide critical instructions during an emergency. The combination of training and new tools has enabled trends and threatening language to be identified and appropriate authorities notified. Q: What tools and/or insights can Guidepost Solutions add to the mix? What are the elements of a “comprehensive risk assessment?” Torres: Comprehensive risk assessments include adopting a tiered approach to assessing the school or office and the surrounding environment. A typical approach includes site perimeter review, identifying gates, fencing, vehicle barriers etc., the parking lot, building exterior, interior paths of travel and individual classroom measures. Review and observation of systems including mass notification, video surveillance, access control, intrusion and visitor management, etc. are critical to ensure that they are equipped to maintain functionality in the event of power loss etc. As an insight, always engage with people, they have the knowledge of each unique facility. Elements we can add to the mix include assessments, physical security improvements and mass notification systems, as well as emergency response training, operational policies and procedures, and behavior analysis. Q: How can the elements of a risk assessment be translated into recommendations of specific technologies or processes (such as video surveillance and/or access control)? Torres: Risk assessments often drive and identify the need for technologies to be implemented into the security programs of schools, business or places of mass gathering, such as stadiums, convention centers and houses of worship. Risk assessments often drive the need for technologies to be implemented into places of mass gatheringRisk assessments help identify weaknesses in security procedure and then often support phased security enhancement programs as funds become available for investment. Each entity is different, and stakeholders should be included. For example, video surveillance may be a priority at one location but controlling the main point of entry may be more important at another. Technology and process recommendations must meet the operational needs and support the goals of the security team and operational managers. Q: How can the risk of an incident be mitigated and lives protected? Torres: While multiple steps are helpful, all of them in combination are key to implementing a comprehensive security plan. They include: Assessments – physical, cyber and procedural Physical Security Improvements – visitor management, fencing and barriers, locks and cameras Emergency Response Training – law enforcement coordination; muscle memory response Mass Notification Systems – current software, clear concise directives, testing Operational Policies and Procedures – termination, evacuation, communication, intervention Behavioral Analysis. Q: What are the elements of behavior analysis? Torres: They include things like changes in appearance and behavior, including social media behavior, and isolation from family or friends. They also include studying or taking pictures of potential targets, and real or perceived bullying. An individual may advocate violence or hate, and/or consume violent extremist information/propaganda. He or she may talk about traveling to places that sound suspicious, and/or have an obsession with weapons. Q: What is the role of training? Torres: Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schools, be it a fire drill, earthquake, lockdown, active shooter situation, etc. Training and drills educate those present, including employees and staff, with information about actions that may save lives and reduce casualties in a real emergency. Training should hold people responsible and set standards for acceptable behavior. Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schoolsThere should be a plan that is implemented, including practice and drills. You should also provide training and communication skill building classes. Develop intervention strategies. Work with HR and legal (and others as appropriate). Finally, document everything. Q: What challenges still remain? Torres: Cultural and behavioral change remains at the forefront of schools and businesses when addressing safety and security measures. A large percentage of violent acts may be preventable if a bystander shares his/her concerns with the proper authorities. According to the FBI, perpetrators exhibited behavioral indicators in 93% of incidents. And bystanders had prior knowledge in 81% of school attack incidents and 80% of terrorist-inspired behaviors or activities before an attack. Q: What progress are you seeing? Torres: With each tragedy that occurs, leaders are engaging with safety and security head on. There is a shift in schools and businesses to engage with professionals that can help them understand what they do not know. Simple things such as improved communication and enforcement of policies and procedures can have a tremendous positive impact on an organization’s security posture. Assessments and technology upgrades are important and effective, but it all starts with acknowledging the need to provide and maintain safe and secure environments for students, employees and the community.
Could millions of burglar and fire alarm control units be recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission? That could be the upshot when the independent agency of the U.S. government rules on a 'Complaint of Non-Conforming Products' investigation requested on behalf of a consultant/forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to the devices. Breaching security standards Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. Specifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure.The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products Typically, the CSPC evaluates such requests and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year. IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category. Recalling alarm control units The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. They include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry. The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.”These non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard" Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming. Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.
Securing large campus environments can be particularly demanding and requires a range of technology solutions. In effect, a campus may represent a dozen or more individual facilities to be secured, in addition to protecting the overall environment. Seeking more insight into the number and variety of needs of securing a campus, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting large campus environments?
Private video systems are offering new sources of evidence for police investigations. Growing popularity of private camera registration schemes are facilitating police department access to video captured by cameras in homes and businesses for use in their investigations. Camera registration programs are organized locally by individual police departments but have common features and operation. By registering their camera systems, citizens and business people provide information to a confidential database listing any cameras police can quickly access in the event of a crime. Knowing which cameras may be near a crime scene avoids police having to go door-to-door in search of possible video footage. Because perpetrators are more careful and aware of possible video coverage in and around a crime scene, video to solve a crime may also come from a camera several blocks away. The best evidence may not be of the crime scene itself but video of nearby pathways and streets. Today’s camera systems also provide information such as location, date and time that can help an investigation Ability to record and retain video Access to cameras can also provide additional viewing angles to provide police new leads such as type of car, clothing, etc. Another benefit is possible use of a camera’s view to help locate lost children, elderly or disabled persons. In addition to actual video, today’s camera systems also provide information such as location, date and time that can help an investigation or be used as evidence in court. Basic requirements for participating video systems are exterior-facing cameras and the ability to record and retain video. It is important to note that registering a camera system with a local police department does not provide active surveillance or a “live feed” of video. Video is only shared after a crime has been committed and when the police request specific video as possible evidence. Registration of camera systems is voluntary Registration merely enables a police department to know where accessible cameras are located. Police then arrange viewing of video footage after the fact by communicating with the camera owners; if a police visit to a residence might pose an additional risk for any reason, camera video today can often be accessed remotely. Registration of camera systems is voluntary; a state-wide proposal in New Jersey in 2015 calling for mandatory camera registration faced privacy backlash and was later amended to make registration voluntary. Collected information is typically the name of the camera owner, contact information, an address where the cameras are located; how many cameras are at the location, the area recorded by the cameras and how the footage is saved. Police arrange viewing of video footage by communicating with the camera owners Residential security camera Portland, Oregon, launched its CrimeReports camera registration program in 2017, part of its wider effort to get residents involved in fighting crime. In Philadelphia, the police department has been registering cameras since 2011 under its SafeCam program. The Philadelphia Department of Commerce offers a payment, up to $3,000, to reimburse business owners who install cameras and register them with the police. Camera registration is yielding results. Baltimore’s Citiwatch camera registration system has had a direct impact on criminal apprehension. The San Luis Obispo, California, Police Department reports a high success rate identifying suspects in cases where additional video evidence exists because of the camera registration program. In Fort Worth, Texas, last May, a residential security camera played a role in capturing a kidnapping suspect. Privacy concerns and community feedback Many of the camera registration schemes have localized branding or acronyms, such as the S.C.R.A.M. (Security Camera Registration and Mapping) program of Milton, Georgia; the C.A.P.T.U.R.E. (Community and Police Team Up to Record Evidence) program of New Braunfels, Texas; or the RockView program of Rockville, Maryland. The idea is based on willing participation of public citizens in helping law enforcement do their jobs Privacy concerns and community feedback prompted Vancouver, Washington, to suspend a camera registration program for weeks until it could be re-launched earlier this year. Although cities seek to protect information about the locations of cameras, it might be subject to disclosure because of public records laws. Law enforcement and crime prevention Registration of cameras is another aspect of involving the community in law enforcement and crime prevention, not unlike the commonplace Neighborhood Watch programs. The idea is based on willing participation of public citizens in helping law enforcement do their jobs. Making video footage available provides important evidence in much the same way a witness to a crime would hopefully testify if asked. By multiplying the availability of cameras that could view elements of a possible crime, the idea is also akin to the modern concept of “crowdsourcing” – the practice of obtaining information or input by enlisting a large number of people. Local jurisdictions stipulate that registrants in the program should not be construed as agents and/or employees of the police department. There is also a crime prevention element to the programs, in addition to helping police do their jobs better and more efficiently. Some camera registration programmes provide stickers or yard signs to let the neighborhood know that their security cameras are helping to fight local crime.
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.