Leonardo and Northrop Grumman Corporation (Northrop Grumman) have announced their intention to jointly pursue opportunities in the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) domain. Drawing on Leonardo’s expertise in rotorcraft and Northrop Grumman’s capabilities in advanced aeronautics, and next-generation autonomous uncrewed aerial systems, the companies will focus on jointly addressing global opportunities in the VTOL UAS market. Leonardo - Northrop Grumm...
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that it is the world’s first ticketing solution provider with a software development kit (SDK) that is fully certified and compliant to Calypso HCE standards, for secure and convenient mobile ticketing on smartphones. SDK certified to Calypso Standards The certification specifies how to protect ticket data stored in the mobile device’s wallet, helping transport operators to effectively fight fraud,...
The sensor solution provider HENSOLDT is supplying a mobile system for tactical radio reconnaissance to two NATO countries. A corresponding order worth a two-digit million Euro sum has now been signed. The system for monitoring and analyzing enemy radio traffic includes digital broadband receivers, compact direction finders, and high-performance software for real-time signal evaluation. The core elements of the system are integrated into armored vehicles or designed to be portable so that troop...
Surveillance monitoring for small and medium-sized sites could be a tough challenge at night. Options are often limited to day/night cameras and low-light cameras (sometimes referred to as Starlight cameras). These devices continue to provide color images when lighting levels reduce up to a point but switch to black and white when they deteriorate further. But to maintain color images in low light conditions with these cameras, other aspects of the image – such as noise and definition &nd...
Infilect Technologies, a globally renowned visual intelligence company, based out of Bangalore, India, has named Naresh Sethi as their Chief Growth Evangelist, to take the helm of their global growth expansion plans. business transformations expert Naresh Sethi is a distinguished global strategic leader and champion in driving digital & business transformations for major consumer goods brands. He is currently the Chairman at VST industries, an Indian public conglomerate, associated with Br...
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) provides new and profitable opportunities for increasing organizational, financial and operational performance. For instance, the retail and logistics industries can benefit from the superior RFID technology. RFID readers and solutions DENSO WAVE EUROPE (Denso Wave), member of the Toyota Group, has developed and deployed various RFID readers and solutions, which are used for inventory management, in-store product movements at the POS, for warehouse managem...
ASSA ABLOY has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands (SPB) for a purchase price of MUSD 4,300 on a cash and debt free basis. Spectrum Brands’ Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI) division is a renowned provider of security, plumbing, and builders’ hardware products to the North American residential segment, with a diversified product offering of locksets, faucets, and builders´ hardware. Hardware and Home Improvement Hardware and Home Improvement has a varied portfolio of innovative products, including patented SmartKey technology Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI) has a varied portfolio of innovative products, including patented SmartKey technology and electronic, smart and biometric locks. Key brands include Kwikset, Baldwin, Weiser, Pfister and National Hardware. HHI has strong, established relationships with a variety of customers, including large home improvement centers, wholesale distributors, home builders, online retail channels and home automation providers. For the fiscal year ending September 2020, HHI’s net sales were MUSD 1,342, with adjusted EBITDA margin of around 19%. HHI is headquartered in Lake Forest, California, with some 7,500 employees worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in the United States of America, Mexico, Taiwan, China and the Philippines. Transformation from mechanical to digital solutions “HHI is an excellent addition to the ASSA ABLOY Group and constitutes an important strategic step in developing our residential business in North America. This acquisition advances our strategy to strengthen our position, by adding complementary products to the core business and it will further accelerate the transformation from mechanical to digital solutions,” said Nico Delvaux, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASSA ABLOY. Nico Delvaux adds, “I look forward to welcoming HHI and all of its employees into the ASSA ABLOY Group.” Lucas Boselli, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY and Head of the Americas Division, said “The acquisition of HHI brings strong, well-known brands and high-quality, innovative products to the residential portfolio for ASSA ABLOY in North America, complementing our current business with a passionate and experienced team.” Technology platform and innovation focus Lucas Boselli adds, “Our technology platform and innovation focus supplements HHI’s current offerings and provides an exciting opportunity for us to deliver superior value to consumers.” “After stewarding this asset for the past decade, the Board of Directors and I are confident that ASSA ABLOY is uniquely positioned to take our HHI business and team members to the next level of performance and achievement. I am personally excited to see the innovation and exciting new products that this transaction will unlock for future generations,” said David M. Maura, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. Background of the HHI acquisition HHI complements ASSA ABLOY, in terms of both product offering and geographic scope ASSA ABLOY has tremendous respect for the achievements of HHI, which is a great company with a proven track record. HHI complements ASSA ABLOY, in terms of both product offering and geographic scope, with well-known brands, a strong culture and values, high quality products and skilled employees, managed by a professional team. HHI constitutes a strategically important step in developing ASSA ABLOY’s residential business in North America, supplementing the company’s strong reputation for innovation on the commercial side. HHI brings a deep knowledge of the residential business and adds complementary products, technology and solutions. Major consumer brands added to portfolio HHI adds established consumer brands in North America, including Kwikset, Baldwin, Weiser, Pfister and National Hardware, to our brand portfolio. ASSA ABLOY can bring technological innovation to consumers, which are using HHI’s access to new retail channels, such as home builders and DIY retail. HHI’s large installed base and great consumer reputation provides an excellent opportunity, to grow their electro-mechanical and digital access solutions. HHI has a long track record of innovation, especially within SmartKey technology, which will complement ASSA ABLOY´s offering. ASSA ABLOY expects strong synergies, the largest components being their increased product offering, advances in technology, distribution and procurement. The EBIT synergies are expected to reach around MUSD 100 in 2025. Focus on residential space in North America HHI focuses on the residential space in North America, which is highly attractive, underpinned by favorable macro trends, such as recent strong home sales, housing starts, an aging housing stock and increased consumer focus on home repair and re-modeling. HHI will become part of the Opening Solutions Americas Division of ASSA ABLOY. Financing of the acquisition and financial terms ASSA ABLOY maintains its commitment to a strong investment grade credit rating profile The transaction will be fully funded by existing cash and new debt. ASSA ABLOY maintains its commitment to a strong investment grade credit rating profile. The total consideration for the acquisition of HHI amounts to MUSD 4,300, on a cash and debt free basis. For the fiscal year ending September 2020, HHI’s net sales were MUSD 1,342, with adjusted EBITDA margin of around 19%. Based on publicly available financial information for 2020, for both HHI and ASSA ABLOY, the acquisition of HHI will add around 14% to ASSA ABLOY´s consolidated sales. The operating margin effect for ASSA ABLOY is initially expected to be dilutive. The acquisition will be accretive to EPS from the start. Total purchase price of MUSD 4,300 reflects a multiple of 14x expected fiscal year 2021 (30 September), adjusted EBITDA of the HHI segment. The purchase price net of the present value of tax benefits represents a multiple of approximately 10x adjusted EBITDA, including synergies. Conditions for the transaction The transaction is conditional upon regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021. ASSA ABLOY has agreed to pay a termination fee of MUSD 350 in certain circumstances, if the transaction agreement would be terminated and required regulatory approvals would not have been obtained. ASSA ABLOY is being advised by BofA Securities as exclusive financial advisor, and Linklaters LLP and Hogan Lovells as legal advisors. A conference call will be held at 08:00 am (CET), on Thursday, September 9, 2021. During the conference call, ASSA ABLOY´s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - Nico Delvaux, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) - Erik Pieder and the Head of the Americas Division - Lucas Boselli will describe the acquisition and respond to questions related to the transaction deal.
The demand for video surveillance in perimeter applications is increasing as risks evolve. A recent report by MarketsandMarkets projects that the perimeter security market will grow from $61.3 billion in 2020 to $96.5 billion by 2026. The rise in perimeter intrusions, theft, cross-border terrorism, illegal immigration, and other threats significantly impacts the rising demand for innovative solutions that transform security response into proactive mitigation. Prioritizing video data To that end, Oyla’s CEO, Srinath Kalluri, and Rob Hile, GC&E Sales Manager will host an exclusive live webinar on Thursday, September 16th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET to discuss the most advanced technologies that better protect and elevate an organization’s security. Organizations and agencies around the globe are prioritizing video data Organizations and agencies around the globe are prioritizing video data and looking to adopt a more proactive approach to security. In addition to learning what solutions to invest in that will provide the most protection at the best price, webinar attendees will gain insight into: How to better prepare and deter security threats in real-time to address growing risks. What industries are benefiting from better perimeter protection. The tried-and-true methods of perimeter security and introducing the newer technologies, like sensors, LiDAR, and other AI-based solutions. How to develop the right multi-layered perimeter security strategy. Delivering better insights Per Oyla CEO Srinath Kalluri, protecting perimeters and borders is one of the most challenging environments in the world and utilizing the right technology is essential to delivering better insights for better security. Oyla fuses powerful visualization technologies into a single, cost-effective form factor and provides reliable analytics, giving organizations the insight they need to secure people and assets.
Panasonic i-PRO EMEA is using The Security Event 2021 in Birmingham, one of Europe’s first large-scale security events, to be held face-to-face in 15 months, to share news about the newly-founded independent company that has been transferred from Panasonic. Gerard Figols will be leading the security market expansion of the new company, as it becomes an independent organization from Panasonic, effective October 1, 2021. innovative i-PRO products Gerard Figols, who moves from heading Panasonic’s European Total Security business unit, will use the company’s new agility to quickly respond to market developments, delivering more high-quality products, in shorter development times and at good value for money. The objective is to make innovative i-PRO products more available and accessible and increase overall competitiveness. Aligned with these goals, Panasonic i-PRO EMEA also aims to lead the widespread AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology adoption in the security camera market, by making AI the new standard. The Security Event 2021 At The Security Event 2021, i-PRO has expanded its line-up with 4 new AI-capable outdoor models At The Security Event 2021, i-PRO has expanded its line-up with 4 new AI-capable outdoor models, with 2 MP resolution in bullet and dome shape. The current AI-capable portfolio includes cameras starting at 2 MP resolution, up to 4K, in order to give all businesses access to the advantages of AI. i-PRO plans to triple the number of cameras in the range, over the next 6 to 12 months. Besides the advantages of cost savings, system reliability, and flexibility, at the same level of accuracy as server-based systems, i-PRO AI-driven cameras are open systems that enable any developer to work on their own apps, to run on the cameras. AI-driven outdoor camera models “In order to underline our new direction and the evolution that the company is going through, combining expertise of more than 60 years of industry know-how, with innovative open technology, like AI, we will also begin to use i-PRO as the standalone product identity from April 1st, 2022,” said Gerard Figols, currently Head of Panasonic’s European Total Security business unit. He adds, “It will be the same quality products, introducing additional innovation from the i-PRO brand and its value to bring the product to the next stage in this new era.”
Staff is the most important and expensive resource for most businesses. Business owners are aware that they should manage their workforce more effectively, to get the most out of their investment, as the price increases of labor. Sophisticated time and attendance solutions can manage everything needed remotely now. The CrossChex Cloud solution can secure data and provide advanced control, and access to rota planning and time management. Listed below are 5 reasons why enterprises should choose a cloud-based time and attendance system: Save hours of communication and eliminate spreadsheets Cloud-based time and attendance systems eliminate spreadsheets, by providing a browser-based website to manage any plan. One can create a shift for staffs’ absents and their duty time within a screen, instead of paperwork. CrossChex Cloud will post new features in the future that enable monitors to set holidays and vacations for employees and staff, and use them by creating a shift on their own. It will save more time on communication and paperwork. Protect sensitive data Employees get their money paid mostly based on how many hours they have worked and this data is sensitive, as it connects to individual pay rates. The cloud-based time and attendance solution makes sure that no users can edit or view this data, besides the authorized personnel. Prevent time fraud or payroll abuse Manual processes, such as timesheets or manager-approved overtime are open to abuse, fraud or honest mistakes. Buddy punching is also a big problem that decreases productivity. CrossChex Cloud eliminates these problems, by connecting with the biometric solutions, so as to ensure that employees can no longer buddy punching for others, after their employer chooses a face recognition time and attendance system. Get reports at fingertips One of the key benefits of a time and attendance solution is the ability to be able to generate a report in one touch. In CrossChex Cloud, users can generate a report that includes employees and their attendance records, including duty time, actual work time and their attendance status. Increase employee trust in the organization It has been perceived, historically, that time and attendance systems were used only to reduce the cost of payroll. But, in recent years, many employees and trade unions have not only accepted the use of such systems, but also demanded the use of a time and attendance system to protect employees from being exploited. CrossChex Cloud CrossChex Cloud is a globally renowned time and attendance solution. It can cooperate with most biometric products from Anviz, so as to provide and meet any requirements of an organization. Whether it’s a small business that wishes to record the time and attendance of their employees or a global enterprise that wants to centrally and remotely manage a complex workforce, CrossChex Cloud can offer all the features needed.
The 2021 International Security Conference is set to host an impressive line-up of security experts from the British Transport Police, Global Secure Accreditation Ltd, City of London Police and more, when it makes its debut at the International Security Expo 2021, taking place from September 28 - 29, 2021. Split across two days, the new CPD-certified conference will cover important sector-specific challenges and practical case studies looking at Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), aviation and transport, night-time economy, public sector and major events/stadiums. Day 1: CNI, transport and aviation Sponsored by Adani, day one of the conference will be dedicated to CNI, transport and aviation. With significant changes, such as the rapid expansion of healthcare facilities and the changes in the volume of traffic through airports, and along the rail networks, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many might argue that the security landscape has shifted too. The conference aims to examine where things have changed and the shifting priorities, which are challenging security decision-makers. Robert (Bob) Quick, Founder and Director of Global Secure Accreditation Ltd will kick off the first session, taking a deep dive into the proposed travel risk standard, ISO 31030 certification and how it can help drive improvements in safety and security, in fields of travel and hospitality. In this session, he will discuss how these sectors should respond to emerging travel risks and create a best practice approach. Use of behavioral detection Regardless of whether it’s aviation or rail, a key aspect of transport security is the ability to recognize unusual behavior Regardless of whether it’s aviation or rail, a key aspect of transport security is the ability to recognize unusual behavior, among passengers and staff. In a session on operational deployment and use of behavioral detection, Darren Stanton, The Human Lie Detector, will be joined by Richard Foreman, Director of Profile Aware Ltd, to outline the importance of behavioral detection and how the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) developed their behavioral detection model. Promising a fun and interactive discussion, they will carry out a series of practical exercises, so as to offer tips and teach attendees, some basic techniques in protective security. Session on cyber-crime and the railway industry Other highlights on day one of the conference include Richard Gentile, Detective Constable at British Transport Police, delivering a session on cyber-crime and the railway industry. In this presentation, Richard will use examples to discuss domestic and international cyber threats, the impact on the railway and its supply chain, as well as the solutions and preventative measures that can protect organizations. Day 2: Night-time economy, public sector, events/stadiums Crowded places are the most challenging areas to protect and the new Protect Duty (Martyn’s Law) brings a mandated responsibility to those in charge, for the first time. Set to have an immense impact on the physical security community, the second day of the conference, sponsored by Patriot One, will aim to help security professionals prepare for this legislation and understand their strengths, and weaknesses, when combined with other current legislative requirements. A session on protecting complex public spaces from vehicle ramming attacks (VRA), delivered by Christian Schneider, Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Advisor at IniBsp / Germany, HVM Advisors, will open the second day of the conference. Ultimately improving protection, his session will explore the increasing role and flexibility of contemporary security from thoroughly elaborated HVM-Schemes, and how multi-purpose driven progress is positively affecting the global application of HVM measures. Introduction to hostile reconnaissance Bill Nelson, Managing Partner at Rose Associates, will take a closer look at the key components of the night-time economy Referencing recent case studies, Sergeant Peter Lucas, Community and Business Engagement, National Project Servator Team, at the City of London Police, will focus on how operations, community engagement and communications can be used to disrupt hostile activity at major events, with an introduction to hostile reconnaissance. Elsewhere, Bill Nelson, Managing Partner at Rose Associates International Ltd, will take a closer look at the key components of the night-time economy, the risk-generating threats these components face and how these risks can be mitigated. Night-time economy Speaking about what attendees can expect from his upcoming session, Bill Nelson stated, “I’ll start by defining exactly what we mean by the night-time economy, looking at the various components that make up the night-time economy, and the threats which generate risk. We’ll also look at what’s being done today to mitigate these risks and what we can do going forward to enhance this process.” Bill Nelson adds, “What we shouldn’t forget is that the night-time economy is estimated to generate some six per cent of the UK GDP. In pre-pandemic terms, that’s around £123 billion, so surely that is something we should be looking after.” Session on integrated security concepts of operations Other highlights from the second and final day of the conference include Pete Dalton, Protective Security & Major Event Consultant at PAD Command Consultancy, who will deliver a session on integrated security concepts of operations for major events. Through this session, attendees will be able to gain a better understanding of the threats to major events, as well as how to develop an integrated command, control, communication and coordination structure, for event management and incident response.
Jose Saez has been appointed as Portico Safe’s new Project Manager to spearhead the company, Portico’s latest security offering. He joined the specialist provider of high quality, tailored guest services’ this summer, in order to lead Portico Safe, Portico’s security offering that is designed to complement existing front-of-house services, or become the singular point of welcome. Portico Safe Portico Safe facilitates guest arrival and departure journeys, with a soft, yet secure approach. From operations to training, compliance and governance, Jose Saez will oversee all security contracts and will be responsible for up-skilling Portico’s front of house colleagues, so they have the right tools and knowledge to thrive in the security industry. Jose Saez’s career in hospitality and facilities management has spanned more than 10 years, with over six years’ experience in operations roles. Prior to joining Portico, he was the Account Manager for CIS Security’s front of house division, overseeing the security firm’s front-of-house contracts. He managed a team of 70 employees, including SIA license receptionists, across a wide portfolio of London contracts, ranging from public sector to high-end corporate clients. Vast project management experience Portico is all about empowering people and I’m excited to support this in a security capacity for Portico Safe" Jose Saez also previously held account and project management positions with Mitie, a renowned facilities management and professional services company, and Rapport, a boutique provider of guest services. Jose Saez, the Project Manager for Portico Safe at Portico, said “Portico is all about empowering people and I’m excited to support this in a security capacity for Portico Safe.” Concierge experience with a security mindset He adds, “Portico’s front-of-house teams naturally have heightened awareness of people, impeccable attention to detail and dedication for delivering service excellence, so security awareness skills will be easy to teach and develop, with such a fantastic workforce. And that is our unique selling point, we provide a real concierge experience, with a security mindset built-in.” Paul Jackson, Managing Director at Portico, stated “As organizations return to the workplace Portico Safe will be fundamental in safeguarding people. Jose’s wealth of security experience and guest services expertise made him the natural choice for this role. We welcome Jose to the Portico family.” End-to-end security service Portico Safe will deliver an unrivalled blend of security protocol and guest service as one. With highly trained, SIA certified ‘Portico Security Operatives’ (PSO), the new offering will provide an end-to-end experience, a security service that can tackle security threats today and tomorrow while creating an inviting and engaging workplace.
Household adoption of smart home systems currently sits at 12.1% and is set to grow to 21.4% by 2025, expanding the market from US$ 78.3 billion to US$ 135 billion, in the same period. Although closely linked to the growth of connectivity technologies, including 5G, tech-savvy consumers are also recognizing the benefits of next-generation security systems, to protect and secure their domestic lives. Biometric technologies are already commonplace in our smartphones, PCs and payment cards, enhancing security without compromising convenience. Consequently, manufacturers and developers are taking note of biometric solutions, as a way of leveling-up their smart home solutions. Biometrics offer enhanced security As with any home, security starts at the front door and the first opportunity for biometrics to make a smart home genius lies within the smart lock. Why? Relying on inconvenient unsecure PINs and codes takes the ‘smart’ out of smart locks. As the number of connected systems in our homes increase, we cannot expect consumers to create, remember and use an ever-expanding list of unique passwords and PINs. Indeed, 60% of consumers feel they have too many to remember and the number can be as high as 85 for all personal and private accounts. Biometric solutions strengthen home access control Biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control Doing this risks consumers becoming apathetic with security, as 41% of consumers admit to re-using the same password or introducing simple minor variations, increasing the risk of hacks and breaches from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, continually updating and refreshing passwords, and PINs is unappealing and inconvenient. Consequently, biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control. Positives of on-device biometric storage Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint recognition uses personally identifiable information, which is stored securely on-device. By using on-device biometric storage, manufacturers are supporting the 38% of consumers, who are worried about privacy and biometrics, and potentially winning over the 17% of people, who don’t use smart home devices for this very reason. Compared to conventional security, such as passwords, PINs or even keys, which can be spoofed, stolen, forgotten or lost, biometrics is difficult to hack and near impossible to spoof. Consequently, homes secured with biometric smart locks are made safer in a significantly more seamless and convenient way for the user. Biometric smart locks Physical access in our domestic lives doesn’t end at the front door with smart locks. Biometrics has endless opportunities to ease our daily lives, replacing passwords and PINs in all devices. Biometric smart locks provide personalized access control to sensitive and hazardous areas, such as medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, safes, kitchen appliances and bike locks. They offer effective security with a touch or glance. Multi-tenanted sites, such as apartment blocks and student halls, can also become smarter and more secure. With hundreds of people occupying the same building, maintaining high levels of security is the responsibility for every individual occupant. Biometric smart locks limit entry to authorized tenants and eliminate the impact of lost or stolen keys, and passcodes. Furthermore, there’s no need for costly lock replacements and when people leave the building permanently, their data is easily removed from the device. Authorized building access Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door, but also throughout the entire building, such as washing rooms, mail rooms, bike rooms and community spaces, such as gyms. Different people might have different levels of access to these areas, depending on their contracts, creating an access control headache. But, by having biometric smart locks, security teams can ensure that only authorized people have access to the right combination of rooms and areas. Convenience of biometric access cards Additionally, if building owners have options, the biometric sensors can be integrated into the doors themselves, thereby allowing users to touch the sensor, to unlock the door and enter. Furthermore, the latest technology allows biometric access cards to be used. This embeds the sensor into a contactless keycard, allowing the user to place their thumb on the sensor and tap the card to unlock the door. This may be preferable in circumstances where contactless keycards are already in use and can be upgraded. Smarter and seamless security In tandem with the growth of the smart home ecosystem, biometrics has real potential to enhance our daily lives, by delivering smarter, seamless and more convenient security. Significant innovation has made biometrics access control faster, more accurate and secure. Furthermore, today’s sensors are durable and energy efficient. With the capacity for over 10 million touches and ultra-low power consumption, smart home system developers no longer have to worry about added power demands. As consumers continue to invest in their homes and explore new ways to secure and access them, biometrics offers a golden opportunity for market players, to differentiate and make smart homes even smarter.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centers have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterized by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services. Data centers classed as CNI As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). As land continues to surge in value, data center operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites. Complex security needs One misconception when it comes to data centers is that physical security is straightforward One misconception when it comes to data centers is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex. On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localizing security devices to operate independently of the main data center. Face value How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders. The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial. So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously? Security comes first These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks. Checkpoints Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD). Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern. High maintenance Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance. Importance of testing physical security parameters Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security. They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away. Accessibility When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted. The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency. Volume control Data centers don’t generally make the best neighbors. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents. Secure and soundproof perimeter As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities. As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility. For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through. A fair façade A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance. Better protected The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications. Countering varied security threats Data centers are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC. By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.
Everyone in security understands the significance of events, such as trade shows, road shows, seminars, galas and meet-and-greets. Whether virtual or in-person, these gatherings are important for a number of reasons. Role of security events For start-ups and high-profile manufacturers alike, security events have been the place to display new products, interact with key customers and strengthen existing partnerships. They serve as a forecast for evolution, showcasing the latest advancements in security technologies and organizing educational seminars, dedicated to these topics. From a workforce standpoint, security events have also acted as a microcosm of the security industry From a workforce standpoint, security events have also acted as a microcosm of the security industry. While traditionally there has been a lack of representation of women and minorities at these events, there have been many changes. Now, there are initiatives in place to strategically cultivate more diversity, which bodes well for the industry’s future moving forward. The role of representation When I first entered the industry as an account executive in the mid-1990s, it was clear to me that it was primarily men who were the decision makers and stakeholders. It was men who spoke at these conferences, discussing key trends in the marketplace. Early on, I realized that if a woman wanted to succeed in a career in this industry, she would have to go to great lengths to prove her value, to earn the respect of her colleagues. And that was just to get a seat at the table. Twenty-five years ago, a woman in a C-suite or leadership position was an even rarer sight. More women representation in senior executive roles However, I have seen the security industry come a long way. In the decades since I entered it, my cause has been advocating for change and I can proudly say that we’ve made a lot of progress. More women are in management and senior executive roles at security companies today than ever before. When I walk into the room for a meeting, I’m not the only woman. There are a handful of us now. More women are speaking on panels and giving keynote sessions at security seminars and conferences. Moreover, there has been a tangible shift in the industry to champion women and diversity in the workforce. This is clearly seen by the creation of groups to advocate for these causes. In March of 2018, the Security Industry Association (SIA) launched its Women in Security Forum, in order to support the participation and growth of women in the industry. SIA Women in Security Forum As a group that offers programs, professional development opportunities and networking events for women, the SIA Women in Security Forum has done a lot of work to encourage and support women, which is one of the reasons I chose to join. Through the group’s initiatives, such as the SIA Progress Award, female-led ISC West panels and the SECURE Perspectives column, women are gaining a platform for discussion and influence. Groups like these set a new standard of inclusivity. The importance of visibility In recent years, there have been a number of exciting milestones and achievements for women across all industries I have always believed in the power of role models. When you see someone who looks like you, can do something you didn’t believe you could do yourself, your thinking inevitably changes. That’s why representation is so crucial, as if women don’t see other women in positions of prominence, it can be harder to pursue audacious goals. In recent years, there have been a number of exciting milestones and achievements for women across all industries, from entertainment to government. In 2017, Warner Brother’s Wonder Woman, both headlined and directed by a woman, became one of the highest growing superhero origin films of all time, earning about US$ 822 million worldwide. In the 2018 U.S. mid-term election, more women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate than ever before, according to CNBC. In 2020, the people of the U.S. elected their first female Vice President. All of this serves to change the narrative about women and reinforce that our ideas, initiative and expertise play an instrumental role in the positive growth of this country. Representation, a powerful psychological tool In summary, when it comes to the security industry and key events, it’s important for organizers to proactively plan who’s being featured, who’s leading education sessions, who’s handing out awards and more. Representation is a powerful psychological tool that can either empower and embolden, or marginalize and discourage. Embracing and celebrating diversity will only better the security industry, and lead to greater success.
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera AI performance and integration to multi-imager and single-imager IP cameras. Both of these SoCs are manufactured in the ‘5 nm’ manufacturing process, bringing performance improvements and power savings, compared to the previous generation of SoCs manufactured at ‘10nm’. CV5S and CV52S AI-powered SoCs The CV5S, designed for multi-imager cameras, is able to process, encode and perform advanced AI on up to four imagers at 4Kp30 resolution, simultaneously and at less than 5 watts. This enables multi-headed camera designs with up to four 4K imagers looking at different portions of a scene, as well as very high-resolution, single-imager cameras of up to 32 MP resolution and beyond. The CV52S, designed for single-imager cameras with very powerful onboard AI, is the next-generation of the company’s successful CV22S mainstream 4K camera AI chip. This new SoC family quadruples the AI processing performance, while keeping the same low power consumption of less than 3 watts for 4Kp60 encoding with advanced AI processing. Faster and ubiquitous AI capabilities Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions" “Security system designers desire higher resolutions, increasing channel counts, and ever faster and more ubiquitous AI capabilities,” explains John Lorenz, Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Computing, at Yole Développement (Yole), a French market research firm. John Lorenz adds, “Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions for meeting the growing demands of the security IC (integrated circuit) sector, which our latest report forecasts to exceed US$ 4 billion by 2025, with two-thirds of that being chips with AI capabilities.” Edge AI vision processors Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S edge AI vision processors enable new classes of cameras that would not have been possible in the past, with a single SoC architecture. For example, implementing a 4x 4K multi-imager with AI would have traditionally required at least two SoCs (at least one for encoding and one for AI), and the overall power consumption would have made those designs bulky and prohibitively expensive. By reducing the number of required SoCs, the CV5S enables advanced camera designs such as AI-enabled 4x 4K imagers at price points much lower than would have previously been possible. “What we are usually trying to do with our SoCs is to keep the price points similar to the previous generations, given that camera retail prices tend to be fairly fixed,” said Jerome Gigot, Ambarella's Senior Director of Marketing. 4K multi-imager cameras “However, higher-end 4K multi-imager cameras tend to retail for thousands of dollars, and so even though there will be a small premium on the SoC for the 2X improvement in performance, this will not make a significant impact to the final MSRP of the camera,” adds Jerome Gigot. In addition, the overall system cost might go down, Gigot notes, compared to what could be built today because there is no longer a need for external chips to perform AI, or extra components for power dissipation. The new chips will be available in the second half of 2021, and it typically takes about 12 to 18 months for Ambarella’s customers (camera manufacturers) to produce final cameras. Therefore, the first cameras, based on these new SoCs, should hit the market sometime in the second half of 2022. Reference boards for camera manufacturers The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK" As with Ambarella’s previous generations of edge AI vision SoCs for security, the company will make available reference boards to camera manufacturers soon, allowing them to develop their cameras based on the new CV5S and CV52S SoC families. “The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK that is already available on our previous generations SoCs, which makes the transition easy for our customers,” said Jerome Gigot. Better crime detection Detecting criminals in a crowd, using face recognition and/or license plate recognition, has been a daunting challenge for security, and one the new chips will help to address. “Actually, these applications are one of the main reasons why Ambarella is introducing these two new SoC families,” said Jerome Gigot. Typically, resolutions of 4K and higher have been a smaller portion of the security market, given that they came at a premium price tag for the high-end optics, image sensor and SoC. Also, the cost and extra bandwidth of storing and streaming 4K video were not always worth it for the benefit of just viewing video at higher resolution. 4K AI processing on-camera The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm. By enabling 4K AI processing on-camera, smaller objects at longer distances can now be detected and analyzed without having to go to a server, and with much higher detail and accuracy compared to what can be done on a 2 MP or 5 MP cameras. This means that fewer false alarms will be generated, and each camera will now be able to cover a longer distance and wider area, offering more meaningful insights without necessarily having to stream and store that 4K video to a back-end server. “This is valuable, for example, for traffic cameras mounted on top of high poles, which need to be able to see very far out and identify cars and license plates that are hundreds of meters away,” said Jerome Gigot. The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm Enhanced video analytics and wider coverage “Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S SoCs truly allow the industry to take advantage of higher resolution on-camera for better analytics and wider coverage, but without all the costs typically incurred by having to stream high-quality 4K video out 24/7 to a remote server for offline analytics,” said Jerome Gigot. He adds, “So, next-generation cameras will now be able to identify more criminals, faces and license plates, at longer distances, for an overall lower cost and with faster response times by doing it all locally on-camera.” Deployment in retail applications Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once Retail applications are another big selling point. Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once (e.g., in a mall), to provide not only security features, but also other business analytics, such as foot traffic and occupancy maps that can be used later to improve product placement. The higher resolution and higher AI performance, enabled by the new Ambarella SoCs, provide a leap forward in addressing those scenarios. In a store setup, a ceiling-mounted camera with four 4K imagers can simultaneously look at the cashier line on one side of the store, sending alerts when a line is getting too long and a new cashier needs to be deployed, while at the same time looking at the entrance on the other side of the store, to count the people coming in and out. This leaves two additional 4K imagers for monitoring specific product aisles and generating real-time business analytics. Use in cashier-less stores Another retail application is a cashier-less store. Here, a CV5S or CV52S-based camera mounted on the ceiling will have enough resolution and AI performance to track goods, while the customer grabs them and puts them in their cart, as well as to automatically track which customer is purchasing which item. In a warehouse scenario, items and boxes moving across the floor could also be followed locally, on a single ceiling-mounted camera that covers a wide area of the warehouse. Additionally, these items and boxes could be tracked across the different imagers in a multi-headed camera setup, without the video having to be sent to a server to perform the tracking. Updating on-camera AI networks Another feature of Ambarella’s SoCs is that their on-camera AI networks can be updated on-the-fly, without having to stop the video recording and without losing any video frames. So, for example in the case of a search for a missing vehicle, the characteristics of that missing vehicle (make, model, color, license plate) can be sent to a cluster of cameras in the general area, where the vehicle is thought to be missing, and all those cameras can be automatically updated to run a live search on that specific vehicle. If any of the cameras gets a match, a remote operator can be notified and receive a picture, or even a live video feed of the scene. Efficient traffic management With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself Relating to traffic congestion, most big cities have thousands of intersections that they need to monitor and manage. Trying to do this from one central location is costly and difficult, as there is so much video data to process and analyze, in order to make those traffic decisions (to control the traffic lights, reverse lanes, etc.). With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself. The camera would then take actions autonomously (for example, adjust traffic-light timing) and only report a status update to the main traffic control center. So now, instead of having one central location trying to manage 1,000 intersections, a city can have 1,000 smart AI cameras, each managing its own location and providing updates and metadata to a central server. Superior privacy Privacy is always a concern with video. In this case, doing AI on-camera is inherently more private than streaming the video to a server for analysis. Less data transmission means fewer points of entry for a hacker trying to access the video. On Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S SoCs, the video can be analyzed locally and then discarded, with just a signature or metadata of the face being used to find a match. No actual video needs to be stored or transmitted, which ensures total privacy. In addition, the chips contain a very secure hardware cyber security block, including OTP memory, Arm TrustZones, DRAM scrambling and I/O virtualization. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to replace the firmware on the camera, providing another level of security and privacy at the system level. Privacy Masking Another privacy feature is the concept of privacy masking. This feature enables portions of the video (say a door or a window) to be blocked out, before being encoded in the video stream. The blocked portions of the scene are not present in the recorded video, thus providing a privacy option for cameras that are facing private areas. “With on-camera AI, each device becomes its own smart endpoint, and can be reconfigured at will to serve the specific physical security needs of its installation,” said Jerome Gigot, adding “The possibilities are endless, and our mission as an SoC maker is really to provide a powerful and easy-to-use platform, complete with computer-vision tools, that enable our customers and their partners to easily deploy their own AI software on-camera.” Physical security in parking lots With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot One example is physical security in a parking lot. A camera today might be used to just record part of the parking lot, so that an operator can go back and look at the video if a car were broken into or some other incident occurred. With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, first of all, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot. Additionally, it will be able to detect the license plates of all the cars going in and out, to automatically bill the owners. If there is a special event, the camera can be reprogrammed to identify VIP vehicles and automatically redirect them to the VIP portion of the lot, while reporting to the entrance station or sign how many parking spots are available. It can even tell the cars approaching the lot where to go. Advantages of using edge AI vision SoCs Jerome Gigot said, “The possibilities are endless and they span across many verticals. The market is primed to embrace these new capabilities. Recent advances in edge AI vision SoCs have brought about a period of change in the physical security space. Companies that would have, historically, only provided security cameras, are now getting into adjacent verticals such as smart retail, smart cities and smart buildings.” He adds, “These changes are providing a great opportunity for all the camera makers and software providers to really differentiate themselves by providing full systems that offer a new level of insights and efficiencies to, not only the physical security manager, but now also the store owner and the building manager.” He adds, “All of these new applications are extremely healthy for the industry, as they are growing the available market for cameras, while also increasing their value and the economies of scale they can provide. Ambarella is looking forward to seeing all the innovative products that our customers will build with this new generation of SoCs.”
Following its recent acquisition, Vidsys will continue to operate, now as an ‘An ARES Security Company’. The Vidsys brand is known worldwide for its PSIM (physical security information management) solution and the acquisition will accelerate the next generation of products that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance their value to Vidsys clients and the overall market. ARES Security Corporation has developed and deployed security and public safety software solutions for the past 20 years, solving complex physical security challenges. Their AVERT security software solution supports the full lifecycle of physical security operations: risk and technology assessment and design, training, and intelligent real-time incident response. AVERT security software AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost. Clients are in many market segments including Corporate, Military, Government, Power, Data Centers, Transportation and Ports. Vidsys’ PSIM will immediately be improved by incorporating AVERT C2 (Command & Control), allowing clients access to expanded capabilities and an advanced technical roadmap. “Over time we will migrate the Vidsys technology to our state-of-the-art, multi-tenant SaaS architecture that includes secure, multi-site data sharing, an updated library of connectors, and integration to the AVERT digital twin, artificial intelligence/machine learning and automation capability,” said Ben Eazzetta, ARES Security Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Technical roadmap for upgrading to AI-PSIM platform “We are a client-centric company, and we will continue to support Vidsys clients,” stated Ben Eazzetta, adding “We will focus initial efforts towards closing any required and promised capability gaps and offer a significantly improved technical roadmap for the platform to be upgraded to AI-PSIM.” Additional AVERT products will be made available to Vidsys clients in a ‘cost-effective way’. They include technology for assessment and design, virtual tabletop and virtual reality training and enhanced AI and robotics capability surrounding the digital twin. A ‘digital twin’ is a digital representation of a physical object. Rapid incident response and robotic sentries interfaces ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation for rapid incident response ARES has a strong market position in several verticals that require a robust and automated next-generation AI-PSIM. The ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation that enable rapid incident response and incorporate advanced features, such as interfaces to robotic sentries. “These capabilities, along with a more automated deployment process, will allow Vidsys to scale their acquisition of customers across key verticals in which ARES is already active. This automated deployment process will also open new opportunities to work with system integrators who have shied away from PSIM projects in recent years,” stated Ben Eazzetta. Optimizing security operations ARES believes the physical security market is underserved by technology that optimizes operations. Ben Eazzetta adds, “All of our products are designed to optimize security operation, and the acquisition of Vidsys allows us to accelerate the development of the next generation PSIM that is adaptive and intelligent, powered by AVERT’s AI, and Modeling and Simulation system.” Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors, providing an integrated real-time incident response system powered by a rules engine. Together, the AVERT/Vidsys solution seeks to transform the way security operations centers (SOCs) operate and respond to emergencies. Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors Managing security at multiple sites Ben Eazzetta said, “There’s no denying that some in the security industry see PSIM as a four-letter word. But PSIM exists because it meets a need in the security operations center that cannot be met by either video management or incident management systems. It is critical that PSIM evolves to meet the rapidly changing demands of enterprise clients.” He adds, “Our clients need to manage security at multiple sites, each with different security plans and threats, they need adaptive rules engines to manage complex incidents and emergency responses, and they need automation to seamlessly command and control all security assets, including robotic assets.” Flexible and intelligent software Future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation “The future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation that enables very rapid incident response and incorporates advanced capabilities such as interfaces to robotic sentries,” said Ben Eazzetta. He adds, “To achieve this, we are replacing the brittle, difficult-to-configure rules engine of today’s PSIM with machine learning and AI capabilities that can produce automated/optimized responses or recommendations in near real time.” SaaS-enabled and remotely hosted system The systems will be SaaS-enabled, remotely hosted and easily configurable to reduce the cost and time of deployments for large enterprise implementations and easily supported by end-users, and system integrators. In a post-Covid-19 world, it is critical that enterprise security software solutions be adaptive, intelligent, automated and offer the ability for disparate teams to share information and collaborate in a meaningful way, while responding to incidents and emergencies in real-time. The ARES/Vidsys offering is a lifecycle solution that meets the needs of enterprise security operations. Next-generation of AI-PSIM “ARES has always pushed the needle of what is possible with our AVERT solution, ever since development of our digital twin technology began in 1999 to protect our nation’s nuclear stockpiles,” said Ben Eazzetta, adding “Today, we continue to innovate with the next generation of AI-PSIM.” So what’s ahead for ARES and Vidsys in 2021? “A lot of Zoom calls!” laughs Eazzetta, adding “We are excited to leverage the decades of hard work that both teams have put into our solutions. We all realize the fantastic opportunity we have been given to create a next-generation AI-PSIM and to open new markets for all of our products and solutions.” He adds, “Combining the two companies will lead to improved development/support capability and significantly improved roadmaps for our clients. We will provide immediate ROI for clients by lowering deployment costs and leveraging the entire suite of products to provide more immediate value while continuing to deliver as promised, like ARES always does.”
The coronavirus pandemic had a monumental impact on all aspects of the business world, including the security industry. However, amid the gloom and doom, many security professionals also saw opportunity: New ways the industry’s products could be applied to address the challenges of coping with the virus. This article will review some of those opportunities, based on our reporting throughout the year and including links back to the original articles. During and after the pandemic, security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe as employees return to work. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. Role of thermal cameras These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices - like ventilation and temperature controls - and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. Thermal surveillance, a mainstay of traditional physical security and outdoor perimeter detection, began being deployed early in the pandemic to quickly scan employees, contractors and visitors as part of a first line of defense to detect COVID-19 symptoms. These systems provide flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices These systems provide flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices. Thermal cameras can be a tool for detecting fever, but any use of the technology for this purpose is full of qualifications and caveats. Importantly, how the camera system is configured makes all the difference in whether temperature readings are accurate, and the downside of inaccurate readings is obvious - and potentially deadly. Temperature detection systems FDA guidelines limit how the cameras are used, not to mention guidance from other regulatory/government bodies such as the CDC. One of our Expert Roundtable panelists compares the market to a “wild west scenario,” and almost all the panelists are clear about how customers should approach the market: Buyer beware. There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system. Customers need to know what questions to ask to ensure they maximize the accuracy of body temperature detection systems. Rise of contactless Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favor are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. "Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Facial recognition system Another contactless system that benefits from concerns about spread of COVID-19 is facial recognition. New advancement in software, specifically in the areas of algorithms, neural networks and deep learning and/or artificial intelligence (AI), have all dramatically improved both the performance and accuracy of facial recognition systems, further expanding its use for an increasing number of applications. A low-tech solution - the face mask - became a leading preventative measure during the pandemic. But, a high-tech solution is necessary to ensure that everyone is wearing them. Cameras powered by artificial intelligence can now identify whether or not people entering a facility are wearing facemasks and help enforce adherence to mask mandates. This technology is proving to be a cost-effective solution that reduces risks of confrontations over masks policies and gives managers the data they need to document regulatory compliance and reduce liability. Smart video analytics Other technology approaches, including artificial intelligence (AI), were also brought to bear during the pandemic. The German data analytics powerhouse G2K, for example, has developed a Corona Detection and Containment System (CDCS) that is ready for immediate use in record time. Detection takes place in combination with AI-supported data analysis to specifically identify virus hotspots and distribution routes, as well as to identify other potentially infected persons. One specific AI application fuels the reopening of the world and successfully keeps the spread of the virus abated One specific AI application fuels the reopening of the world and successfully keeps the spread of the virus abated. A “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. Enforcing social distancing Several applications have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. The site of one pilot program is the 250,000-square-foot HID Global facility in Austin. For the pilot program, 80 HID Location Services readers were installed in a wide area in the facility, including a variety of environments. Initially 30 badges and 30 fobs, all BLE-enabled, were issued to employees. If a badge identifies another nearby beacon (suggesting a social distancing failure), it emits a blinking LED light, which can be seen by the offending co-worker. To ensure social distancing, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is emitted from an employee’s fob (or from a badge that has the same functionality). The beacon communicates peer-to-peer with a beacon emitted by another employee’s fob or badge to alert if the location of the two employees is less than six feet apart. For contact tracing, the beacons communicate via a nearby “reader” (a BluFi BLE-to-Wi-Fi gateway) to the Bluzone cloud-based software-as-a-service. COVID-19 White Papers In addition, we published several White Papers in 2020 that addressed various aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. They included: The top five security lessons learned that apply across all industries navigating COVID-19. Using video analytics to keep staff, visitors and customers safe by enforcing social distancing. How antimicrobial treatment on door handles and levers can reduce disease spread. How companies can put in extra precautions that will continue to grow and adapt with their environment over the long-term. Determining the practicalities and capabilities of today's thermal cameras to accurately detect body temperature.
Customers shopping in Scotch & Soda clothing will have soon a much stronger chance of finding and purchasing the right trousers, skirt, jacket, or shirt, thanks to the retailer’s new three-year partnership with renowned RFID solutions provider, Checkpoint Systems. RFID labels for inventory accuracy Checkpoint Systems will tag, on average, 10 million Scotch & Soda garments with the latest generation of RFID labels per year, providing it with improved inventory accuracy across its estate. By utilizing this technology, the retailer will gain full, real-time visibility of its entire stock holding, ensuring its omni-channel services, including ‘click & collect’, are optimized. Scotch & Soda has been using Checkpoint Systems’ clothing labels for more than 10 years Scotch & Soda, which operates 166 stores in more than 70 countries, has been using Checkpoint Systems’ clothing labels for more than 10 years. Now, the fashion brand is going a step further in its collaboration, by incorporating the latest generation of RFID labels, featuring the high performing Njord label with the Impinj M750 Chip, onto all its merchandise worldwide. Scotch & Soda and Checkpoint Systems partnership Scotch & Soda has expanded the relationship with Checkpoint Systems, as they are a trusted partner that could deliver this project, within just 8 weeks’ time. With the implementation of this new technology, Scotch & Soda will be able to match its stock to the demands of its consumers. This means that the retailer will be able to have the right stock, at the right place, at the right time, in order to serve its customers, regardless of the channel they chose to shop. To be able to optimize stock holding to this level results in omni-channel retailing becoming seamlessly coordinated, enabling stores to optimize services, such as click & collect. Checkpoint RFID labels Rik Kok, the Global Director of Procurement and Real Estate for Scotch & Soda, said “Thanks to Checkpoint Systems' latest RFID labels, we know exactly how many medium blue trousers are still in our distribution centers in Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany, for example, or how many extra jackets our shops in Japan need from our summer collection.” Rik adds, “In this way, we are not left with a large surplus of unsold items, at the end of a season and we can provide every consumer with the garment he or she wants, through his or her most preferred sales channel.” Getting the right garments online and in shops faster Thanks to Checkpoint Systems’ RFID labels, shop staff can now replenish stock quickly Imagine shopping and wanting a garment, but are told that the size or color is no longer available. Scotch & Soda believe this should never happen and thanks to Checkpoint Systems’ RFID labels, shop staff can now replenish stock quickly and coordinate it with the entire supply chain, right from manufacturer to distribution center, to shops and pick-up points. Rik Kok said “Thanks to RFID technology, we know how many garments we have of what size and color, and where they are in our chain. This means, we can immediately help the consumer find the right garment. This also applies to when they buy clothes from us online. We refer the customer to the nearest click & collect, or buy & pick up point, where the desired garment is located, or they pick it up in our shop that is on their daily route.” Change in customer buying trends Geert den Hartog, the Key Account Director - Apparel at Checkpoint Systems, said “2020 has changed the buying behavior of consumers worldwide. Shoppers no longer just buy clothes in a physical shop or online. They buy through their preferred channel, as and when it is convenient for them. If retailers want to grow, they will have to accommodate their consumers with this omni-channel behavior.” He adds, “RFID ensures that shops can perfectly align e-commerce, click & collect and other online services. This improves customer loyalty by ensuring that the experience in enjoyable, from mobile/desktop browsing through to collection or delivery.”
A busy Scottish ferry terminal has become a safer place for workers and passengers, following the installation of new state-of-art remote-operated, mobile gates at the port. SentriGates The two remote-controlled, solar-powered traffic control gates - SentriGates were installed earlier this year, to control the speed and flow of heavy goods vehicles, boarding P&O Ferries at the port, located in Cairnryan, near Stranraer, in Scotland. The SentriGates, provided by globally renowned safety and security barrier manufacturer, and supplier, Hardstaff Barriers, safely control HGVs that are waiting to use the weighbridge, before boarding the ferry. Mobile gates installed by G4S The mobile gates are operated by a key fob, allowing ferry terminal staff to open and close the gate remotely The mobile gates are operated by a key fob, allowing ferry terminal staff to open and close the gate remotely, from a distance of up to 150 meters away. Since the gates were put in place, by G4S Secure Solutions UK, which manages the security at the port, the working environment has become noticeably safer at the port. Steve Murrell, the Area Supervisor of G4S Secure Solutions UK, said “The Barriers have been in use here since May of this year and have become a very useful tool. We are currently using the barriers to control the speed and flow of HGVs through our weighbridge check-in and entrance.” Creating a safe working environment Steve Murrell adds, “In doing so, this has allowed us to create a safe working environment for our Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs operatives to complete their duties (in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol) effectively.” SentriGate is in place in a number of locations including construction sites, demolition and land reclamation sites, waste recycling centers, distribution facilities and weighbridges.
Government regulations mandate that all bottles of solution complete a rigorous sterilization process through an autoclave. Bottles of the solution must be sterilized at a temperature of 120°C for at least 10-15 minutes. Consequently, the production process must have strict documentation and control. If any batch is questioned in terms of having successfully completed the sterilization process, the entire batch must be discarded. Considering a bottle of the solution may cost around $110 and a tray contains around one hundred and sixty 3 ml bottles, a complete tray that must be discarded because of doubt has a value of $17,600 that is literally thrown away. Safer medication With RFID tagged metal trays Pierrel-Ospedali is able to identify the number of trays completed autoclave process With the introduction of RFID tagged metal trays as Returnable Transport Item (RTI), Pierrel-Ospedali is now able to trace when a tray of bottles enters the oven (tray ID is reconciled with entry time/date stamp) and exits the autoclave. The tray is now instantly and accurately identifiable as having completed the autoclave process. Before this process was in place, all information was entered by hand. This method was frequently prone to human error and more often than none would result in entire trays of the solution being scrapped because they could not be verified as having been properly sterilized. Operational efficiency Moreover, RFID tags such as the Xerafy Nano X-II are able to survive the harsh temperature of an autoclave for extended periods of time, compared to a manual tracking process such as a paper barcode or even a conventional mount on-metal RFID tag, could never have survived repeated cycles through the autoclave. In addition, the accuracy and completeness of the RFID tray tracking system allow the allocation of only one employee to manage the process versus two to three with the manual process.
To keep an automotive manufacturing operation running 24 hours a day, auto manufacturers have utilized Kanban systems, lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing (JIT) however these business processes require tracking of the inventory and materials within a manufacturing facility. Manufacturers that truly want to automate the replenishment process utilize automatic identification such as RFID to create real-time visibility into their manufacturing and inventory management process. One such automatic RFID replenishment system is from MSM Solutions called PortalTrack. This automated RFID and customizable software solution provides real-time visibility without disrupting workflow and can be seamlessly integrated into current manufacturing processes. Accurate inventory control The end result also provides for more accurate inventory control and will prevent lost revenue in mission-critical applications. MSM's PortalTrack system was successfully implemented in an automotive production site of a premium car manufacturer. MSM Solutions was able to work within the existing process flows without disrupting work in process and tailoring its PortalTrack Software to provide the required reporting and metrics that enabled real-time visibility for more informed decision making. As an automotive manufacturer, maintaining production without interruption is paramount As an automotive manufacturer, maintaining production without interruption is paramount. Having accurate real-time visibility allows the customer to know exactly what they have on hand, along with its precise location. PortalTrack enables visibility throughout the entire internal supply chain, thus enabling employees to make smarter decisions faster to insure production keeps running. Integrated RFID solution The goal of the premium car manufacturing project was to provide an automated real-time visibility solution utilizing RFID to track and visually report work in process replenishment inventory to maximize uptime for a mission-critical 24x7 automotive manufacturing operation. The manual processes currently in place relied too much on human intervention resulting in production delays, inaccurate inventory counts, and lost revenue. After an initial site assessment of a premium car manufacturer, MSM Solutions provided the customer with a completely integrated RFID solution. What drove this integration was finding a durable metal mount hard tag that provided reliable read ranges up to 20', develop a network strategy that entailed not directly interfacing the hardware and software components with the customer's network but utilizing an IoT Network solution to manage the RFID read data, reduce deployment time, and provide a secure independent network. Cloud-Based software MSM Solutions was able to overcome all of these challenges using their cloud-based software Also, it is important to note that the traditional ways of running hardware and software solutions directly on a customer's network are becoming increasingly more stringent due to security concerns, infrastructure costs, lack of IT resources and complexity of deployment. However, MSM Solutions was able to overcome all of these challenges using their cloud-based software and IoT network technology which takes the burden off of internal IT support, reduces costs, has zero maintenance for the end-user, along with providing security, and allowing for rapid deployment. With a new car rolling off the line roughly every 80 seconds it is imperative that the right parts and the right counts be at each designated work station in the process. The parts replenishment process flow for the production facility works in a continuous cycle with parts flowing from the supply side of the facility to the manufacturing lines. Target inventory level Parts are placed on racks and assigned to a specific part number with a specific count per rack. The racks are equipped with durable metal mount RFID tags that identify the part number. Once the racks are loaded, multiple racks are then hooked to an automated tug which moves the parts from the supply side to the manufacturing lines. Each part number has a target inventory level that must always be on hand in the manufacturing facility As the tug travels, it passes 2 sets of RFID fixed readers and antennas; one set of RFID readers monitors inbound inventory to the manufacturing lines and another set of RFID readers monitors empty racks returning from manufacturing back to the supply side to be reloaded. Each part number has a target inventory level that must always be on hand in the manufacturing facility. As items enter the manufacturing side via the automated tug, the RFID tags are read and the inventory is automatically increased. Flat-panel monitors On the other hand, as empty racks exit the manufacturing side the RFID tags are read again, and the inventory is automatically deducted. The real-time inventory counts are displayed on large monitors throughout the facility and on a web-based dashboard for viewing on any device. Once a date was determined for the physical install of RFID, MSM Solutions installed all the readers, cabling, mounts, cellular devices, and flat-panel monitors in a 2-day period. The PortalTrack customized software solution was live within 24 hours of the hardware installation. One key metric that was uncovered by MSM Solutions during this process was that once the system was in place, they were able to provide some travel and real-time analytics that drastically changed the customer's stated expectations. Real-time visibility The return on investment for the system was less than three months For example, the customer's perceived expectation for a particular parts cycle rate from supply-side to manufacturing was deemed to be on the replenishment cycle of ‘X’ when in reality the system showed the real cycle rate was ‘Y’. This was a key discovery in that MSM Solutions found parts that were not being replenished at the required cycle rate, parts that were not moving at all, and others that were traveling on paths that went against the workflow. The net gain of having real-time visibility into the production flows instantaneously allows management to react and institute the corrective measures so that production stays on schedule and replenishment efforts remain focused on the most critical parts at any given time. The return on investment for the system was less than three months and the project continues to expand to more applications within the facility. Internal security protocols A few key requirements for this installation were that the entire solution needed to operate independent of the customer's network based on internal security protocols, limited available IT support, infrastructure concerns, and the need for rapid deployment. MSM Solutions bundled the company's new RFID module with its existing solutions MSM Solutions was able to customize a cloud-based Cradlepoint IOT Network coupled with the PortalTrack software that provided a solution that was secure, completely manageable outside the 4 walls, reduced the infrastructure costs, required no internal IT support, and was easily deployable and expandable. By eliminating the manual data entry system, MSM Solutions bundled the company's new RFID module with its existing solutions. The result provided a fully automated system of goods receiving, automatic inventory updating, real-time visibility of production line consumption, and automated warehouse and vendor replenishment. Target inventory level The products and technologies suggested to the premium car manufacturing company included Zebra FX7500 readers, Times 7 5010 flat panel antennas, CradlePoint IoT devices, Xerafy Cargo Trak RFID hard tags, and 50" flat-panel commercial monitors. In many cases, customers have asked about dashboards that can easily display a real-time visual inventory report. The visual inventory report created by Portal Track is represented by 3 columns. Column A shows the actual real-time inventory count for a part on hand in manufacturing and provides a visual representation with a real-time count and a color code of either green (target level met or exceeded) or red (inventory level low) when compared to the target inventory level. Column B displays the target count for an item to always be maintained in manufacturing, and column C displays the total count of all the racks available for an item. Improving inventory accuracy RFID adoption rates in the auto industry are steadily increasing and the applications are expanding RFID adoption rates in the auto industry are steadily increasing and the applications are expanding. Traditional barcode technologies rely too much on human interaction and are no longer sufficient in today's data-driven global economy. Having access to real-time information and analytics drives informed decision-making that results in less downtime, increased sales, improved inventory accuracy, and knowing an item's location instantly. RFID and PortalTrack enable connectivity that allows companies to identify, track, count, and manage all of their assets from point of origin to point of sale. Due to the success of this initial project, MSM Solutions is piloting a new supplier-level project with the same automaker. For this project, MSM's PortalTrack software manages the printing and encoding, reading, and analytics for an estimated 500,000 supplier totes that will be read at the receiving dock doors at the automotive manufacturer.
Officers used to spend up to 15 minutes each shift recording the serial number from every radio, shotgun, citation printer, and other equipment. Before an officer of the Richardson (Texas) Police Department goes on patrol, he or she is responsible for verifying that everything that belongs in the squad car is there. Officers spent up to 15 minutes each shift recording the serial number from every radio, shotgun, citation printer, and other piece of equipment in the vehicle. Recording serial numbers The time that used to be spent looking for assets and recording serial numbers can now be spent on patrol, because of an RFID system that completes the pre-shift inventory process in seconds. “In less than a minute the officer is ready to roll,” says Richardson Police Chief Jimmy Spivey. “You multiply 15 minutes a day saved by all the officers every day of the week, and the system is a massive time saver.” A secure Xerafy RFID tag has been permanently affixed to each in-vehicle asset A secure Xerafy RFID tag has been permanently affixed to each in-vehicle asset. The officer coming on shift uses a handheld computer with an integrated RFID reader to do a quick sweep of the vehicle. Using a software application developed by GlobeRanger, the reader automatically identifies all the assets in the vehicle and records their serial numbers plus a time/date stamp of the transaction. Integrated RFID reader The transaction updates the chain-of-custody record in real-time so the Richardson PD always has a record of which officer last had every specific piece of equipment. More importantly, the application issues an alert if any assets that are supposed to be in the vehicle are missing, so they can be located or replaced prior to the officer going on patrol. "Most assets that are missing aren't really lost, they're just misplaced. For example, an officer may have brought a piece of equipment in from the squad car instead of leaving it there," says Captain Danny Martin of the Richardson Police Department. More efficient method The certainty of knowing for sure whether we do or do not have an asset is a huge benefit" "The next office would come on duty, do the inventory, and would see that something was missing. We would look for it and try to track down the previous officer that used the car, which was time-consuming. Now we can find a lot of assets just by doing a sweep of the locker room. With the RFID system, there is no confusion. We know that this officer had this asset at this time - no ifs, ands or buts. The certainty of knowing for sure whether we do or do not have an asset is a huge benefit." The Richardson PD extended RFID tracking to its cars after successfully using the technology to manage uniforms. Because of growing concerns about police impersonators, and with a goal to enhance accountability, the Department desired a more efficient method to track uniforms. Asset tracking system “Old pieces didn’t always get turned in when officers were issued new ones,” says Martin. “After a while, our record-keeping systems got out of synch and it was hard to tell just what was out there. We periodically had to have all officers bring in all their uniform pieces for a manual inventory, which was a big project.” GlobeRanger is a longtime pioneer in developing a variety of tracking systems The Richardson PD began working with GlobeRanger, which happens to be headquartered nearby, to automate the process. GlobeRanger is a longtime pioneer in developing a variety of tracking systems that have been used by organizations around the world. It provided its GR-AWARE-PD™ asset tracking system to the Richardson PD and worked with the department to find the best RFID tags for uniform tracking and to get all uniform items tagged. Expanding RFID tracking Now when new shirts, jackets, or other items are issued, the officer presents his ID card, which is scanned along with the apparel item to associate it to the specific officer. The system has greatly improved record-keeping accuracy while saving time, which led the department to explore other ways to take advantage of the technology. There were challenges in expanding RFID tracking from garments to squad cars because it involved a much greater variety of assets. Garments are relatively easy to identify with RFID and many tags have been developed specifically for that purpose. In contrast, shotguns, computers, radios, radar guns, and other equipment kept in cars are made from a larger range of materials and often include metal, which can cause interference for general-purpose RFID tags. RFID tag suppliers GlobeRanger selected Xerafy to help it find the best tags and adhesives for the Richardson PD project The heat inside unattended squad cars routinely exceeds 120°F (49°C), which can also cause problems for RFID tags and the adhesives used to attach them. GlobeRanger works with several RFID tag suppliers. Because of the demanding, read-on metal requirements, GlobeRanger selected Xerafy to help it find the best tags and adhesives for the Richardson PD project. With more than 6,000 tagged assets in the program, the Richardson Police Department is using several types of Xerafy tags, including: XS Dot On, an IP 68-rated on-metal tag that measures only 0.24 x 0.1 inch (6 x 2.5 mm) that is used on cell phones; XS Dash On, a 0.48 x 0.12 x 0.09 inch (12.3 x 3 x 2.2 mm) on-metal tag the Richardson PD uses for tracking voice recorders; Pico series tags are used on a variety of assets. The compact tags are IP 68 rated and have different size options; Nano X-II tags for larger assets where more space is available; Titanium Metal Skin smart labels that are only 0.22 inches wide and 0.03 inch thick, which is small enough for use on handguns and IT assets where a low profile is essential. Unique serial number All tags come pre-encoded with a unique serial number. They are permanently attached to in-vehicle assets in a variety of ways. For example, tags are permanently sealed inside the stocks of shotguns so they cannot be removed and do not affect the feel of the weapon. Citation printers and other assets can have tags applied directly to the surface Citation printers and other assets can have tags applied directly to the surface. Regardless of the asset or where the tag is located, the Richardson PD is getting extremely accurate and responsive RFID reads, enabling officers to complete the inventory in just a few seconds. There are typically between 10 and 16 patrol officers deployed on each of the three daily shifts. Developing similar systems By saving approximately 15 minutes per shift per day, using RFID for asset inventory is saving the Richardson Police Department 7.5 to 12 hours a day – about the equivalent of a patrol shift. The system has worked so well in squad cars that the department now plans to expand it to its in-building assets. “Going around with clipboards and pens isn’t ideal,” says Martin. “We are stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, and we want to use our resources as efficiently as we can. RFID has proved to be very effective for that.” “RFID technology is just fabulous. We know where every asset is,” says Spivey, who has hosted visitors from several other police departments that are interested in developing similar systems. “This is going to be the way police departments manage their assets in the future.”
Passive RFID tags and mobile readers are cutting 70 percent of the time needed at this French nuclear power plant to locate tool containers, and 80 percent of the time needed to prepare regulatory reports. The Fessenheim nuclear power plant in the Alsace region of France has dozens of large, portable metal containers that store maintenance tools and equipment. The containers and their tool content are subject to numerous internal and regulatory controls for tool safety and security. The facility operator must know the location of all materials at all times, track and record all container movements, and provide regular audit reports. The Center Nucléaire de Production d’Electricité (CNPE) Fessenheim facility joined the growing number of nuclear power facilities to implement the NexCap® system from Nexess to automate its container management, tool tracking, and reporting processes. Nexess is an RFID integrator specialist for the energy and aerospace industries that is headquartered in Sophia Antipolis, France. RFID-based mobile assets management system Micro X-II tags withstand the shock and vibration from rough handling plus exposure to the elements The NexCap Mobile Assets Management system at CNPE’s Fessenheim facility uses Xerafy Micro X-II UHF RFID tags to identify and audit storage containers, record all movements and locations, provide picking, and put-away instructions to workers over a wireless LAN connection. The system also collects location and status data for reports and regulatory filings and supports materials management and maintenance operations. CNPE estimates the container tracking system will: Reduce the time spent looking for containers by 70% Reduce the time needed to prepare regulatory filings by 80% Improve forklift driver productivity 60% Improve storage space efficiency by 50% Micro X-II tags were a good choice for the Fessenheim facility because they are applied directly to metal containers, which are moved with forklifts and may be stored outdoors. The tags withstand the shock and vibration from rough handling plus exposure to the elements.
Round table discussion
Cost is a reality to be managed. No matter how powerful or desirable a technology may be to a customer, the sale often comes down to the basic question: Can I afford it? And affordability extends not just to the purchase price, but to the cost of technology over its lifespan. In addition to advances in technology capabilities, the security industry has also achieved inroads to make its offerings more worth the cost. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the physical security industry doing to make more affordable and cost-effective technology solutions for end users?
Perimeter security is the first line of defense against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
In the past few weeks, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel has brightened, providing new levels of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Dare we now consider what life will be like after the pandemic is over? Considering the possible impact on our industry, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies will be most useful in a post-pandemic world?
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