Abloy UK has released a white paper to explore how the critical infrastructure sector can unlock the potential of smartphones in the workplace to improve employee mobility, job satisfaction and productivity. Despite consumer usage of smartphones increasing significantly over the last decade, many organizations haven’t been as quick to tap into the uses and benefits that smartphones can provide. Smartphones, an extension of IT infrastructure Abloy recognizes that smartphones should be an...
SmartTask, a UK-based developer of cloud workforce management solutions, has announced the availability of its mobile operations app. Fully integrated smartphone app streamlines mobile patrols, alarm response callouts, and keyholding for security officers and controllers helping demonstrate BS7984 compliance. Designed specifically for UK security services providers in collaboration with the UK security industry, SmartTask mobile operations keep field officers in contact with the control room....
Utility, Inc., (Utility Associates, Inc.) announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office issuance of patent 10,812,755 for additional BodyWorn camera technology. Patent for BodyWorn cameras The patent covers mounting a BodyWorn camera in a holster that is embedded inside a body armor vest, duty shirt, winter coat or other garment with the camera lens fastened and aligned to provide a clear field of view through an opening in the garment. Embedding the camera within an article of clot...
Acronis, a globally renowned company in cyber protection and data security solutions, has announced an update of its Acronis True Image 2021 that incorporates a professional-grade vulnerability assessment tool into the personal cyber protection solution. Scanning operating systems and applications Individuals and home office users can now scan their operating systems and applications for exploitable vulnerabilities and get recommendations on effectively closing those security gaps. Users can...
Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a foremost provider of cybersecurity solutions, has announced that it has become a strategic partner of FinTech Scotland, an independent not-for-profit body jointly established by the private sector and the Scottish Government. Check Point solutions bring a practical boost to cybersecurity awareness and engagement with Scottish fintech firms. The collaboration will offer industry-leading security solutions and education and training resources to hel...
PSA, a large consortium of professional systems integrators, announced the addition of Qumulex, to its Managed Security Service Provider Program (MSSP). Qumulex offers a cloud-based, unified access control and video surveillance solution for physical security integrators that serve commercial markets. Modern progressive web app “Qumulex designs products that make the transition from legacy systems to the cloud, easier and more manageable,” said Tim Brooks, Vice President...
Enterprise PKI Manager in DigiCert ONE from DigiCert, Inc., a globally renowned provider of TLS/SSL, IoT and PKI solutions, supports security for today’s increasingly remote workforces via certificate automation to authenticate employees and their devices at scale, and encrypt data. Working from home is here to stay, with Gartner reporting that 74% of CFOs are looking to shift some employees to permanent remote work. Digital certificates are a proven, widely adopted solution for strong authentication and are well supported by a variety of devices, platforms and operating systems. Many organization, including the world’s best brands, use private CA systems within their networks, relying on manual certificate management that often leads to errors or shutdowns and overworked teams. Offers smart automation Enterprise PKI Manager makes it easy for organization to manage and use digital certificates to secure all employees, devices and data that connect to the network, and it can be deployed as a customer-managed on-premises or cloud solution, or managed by DigiCert. “Enterprise PKI Manager offers the smart automation and integration capabilities enterprise organization need to safely support workers wherever they choose to connect to the network,” said DigiCert SVP of Product Brian Trzupek. Mobile device management Enterprise PKI Manager offers a flexible, unified approach to PKI management at scale “Customizable and compatible with a variety of mobile device management solutions, Enterprise PKI Manager enables our customers to manage their entire remote workforce and devices from one PKI system to better protect users and their devices, as well as the data, email and applications that they rely upon.” Enterprise PKI Manager offers a flexible, unified approach to PKI management at scale. With Enterprise PKI Manager, organization can enable digital signing for large volumes of users and devices quickly, utilizing a containerized, cloud-native architecture that rapidly deploys digital certificates on-demand. Cloud-native architecture Enterprise PKI Manager gives organization the ability to: Enable API-based automated device and user enrollment with digital certificates Integrate with leading MDM/UEM platforms for secure device enrollment and management Secure emails with authentication and encryption via S/MIME certificates Enable secure document signing across the organization's physical and virtual network environments Integrate with the other DigiCert ONE workflow managers for secure code signing for software and IoT device security DigiCert is continually innovating to develop comprehensive solutions for work-from-home and remote access use cases, and integration initiatives are in place with a variety of pioneering MDM, UEM and smart card partners. Enterprise PKI Manager is built on DigiCert ONE, a PKI management platform developed with cloud-native architecture and technology to be the PKI infrastructure service to solve today's security challenges. Device certificate management Released in 2020, DigiCert ONE offers multiple management solutions and is designed for all PKI use cases. Its flexibility allows it to be deployed on-premises, in-country or in the cloud to meet stringent requirements, custom integrations and airgap needs. It also deploys extremely high volumes of certificates quickly using a robust and highly scalable infrastructure. DigiCert ONE delivers end-to-end centralized user and device certificate management, a modern approach to PKI to provide trust across dynamic IT architectures.
ComNet, Communication Networks of Danbury, Connecticut, a USA-based manufacturer of fiber optic transmission and networking equipment and an ACRE brand, announced that ACRE has acquired Razberi Technologies and the product line will be added to and sold under the ComNet brand and portfolio of products. ComNet will now be selling Razberi products through its established channels. Intelligent video appliances The Razberi product line of intelligent video appliances, automated security software, and health monitoring software is designed to protect and monitor IP-based surveillance systems and complements the ComNet line of innovative network communication solutions. The Razberi appliance allows cameras, access control points, and other devices to add layers of protection while lowering the threat of cyber security risks to businesses. According to Tom Galvin, Razberi founder and Chief Product Officer, “We’re excited to join with ComNet and add more value to their deep network product line. ComNet can now offer a more comprehensive infrastructure for video transmission, storage, management, and cyber security.” Open video surveillance platform Bringing Razberi Technologies into the ComNet product portfolio made sense on many levels" Razberi’s open video surveillance platform includes intelligent appliances combined with automated cyber security and health monitoring software. In combination with a wide range of top third-party video management software (VMS) applications and IP cameras, enterprises can flexibly deploy a best of breed solution that reduces their total cost of ownership and reduces the likelihood of a costly cyber breach. “Bringing Razberi Technologies into the ComNet product portfolio made sense on many levels,” said Andrew Acquarulo Jr., ComNet’s Chief Executive Officer and President, adding “ComNet has strongly considered adding an enhanced surveillance product line that would make a significant impact on the market and bring a measurable improvement to any application. We believe Razberi is that product.” Enhancing cyber security and securing business networks ComNet believes the Razberi product line is a cost-effective solution and its cyber security products can complement ComNet’s emphasis on securing business networks. “With the intense focus on cyber security, the unique Razberi products directed to cyber threats, CameraDefense and ApplianceDefense now combined with ComNet Port Guardian, present a formidable defense against unauthorized network access,” said Skip Haight, ComNet Vice President of Marketing, adding “Our position is that if you are concerned about the long-term success of your application, choosing ComNet ensures it will be.”
Ping Identity, the intelligent identity solution for the enterprise, was recognized as one of the 25 Highest Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies To Work For During the COVID Crisis in a list released by Battery Ventures, a global investment firm and cloud investor, with data specifically provided by Glassdoor, the provider of insights about jobs and companies. The list highlights 25 publicly traded companies—all business-to-business, cloud-computing companies--where employees reported the highest levels of satisfaction at work during the first six months of the pandemic, according to employee feedback shared on Glassdoor. Critical technology systems The distinction placed Ping Identity at number 18 with an overall company rating of 4.4. The broader average across Glassdoor is 3.5. Ping Identity’s senior-leadership rating was 4.5, compared to the Glassdoor average of 3.2, while its positive business-outlook rating—indicating the percentage of employees who believe their employer’s business will get better in the next six months—was 80%. That compared to an average across Glassdoor of 51%. This is the fourth year Battery has issued a version of its highest-rated cloud companies list This is the fourth year Battery has issued a version of its highest-rated cloud companies list, along with a related ranking of the 25 Highest Rated Private Cloud Computing Companies to Work For. The rankings—which this year hinged on how companies are handling issues like remote workforces and the broader economic downturn--highlight the global trend of businesses increasingly turning to the cloud to run critical technology systems and software, instead of using on-premise systems. Digitizing customer businesses “Cloud CEOs have had to stay unbelievably focused, resilient and nimble over the last eight months, working in conditions they likely never expected,” said Neeraj Agrawal, a Battery general partner who specializes in cloud investing. “The best CEOs are listening to employees and making tough decisions that will continue to move their companies forward. We’re heartened that so many of these B2B companies are surviving and even thriving during COVID, as they’re providing technologies to serve the new, pandemic workforce, as well as solutions that are digitizing customer businesses faster than ever. Every company that made the list this year should view it as an honor to be included.” Widespread employee network Companies with high employee satisfaction often post stronger financial performance A Glassdoor economic research study, as well as other third party studies, show that companies with high employee satisfaction often post stronger financial performance. “At Ping, we take pride in fostering a culture of transparency and trust,” said Andre Durand, CEO, Ping Identity. “Over the years the team has grown in size, yet, the values and supportive ethos remains unchanged. It’s meaningful to have our achievements in shaping an employee-first culture recognized, but particularly impactful to receive the positive feedback from our widespread employee network.” Highly rated companies Glassdoor noted that employees at these highly rated companies commonly mention in online reviews that they enjoy working for mission-driven companies with strong and unique company cultures; employers that promote transparency; and companies with experienced senior leaders who regularly and clearly communicate with employees. For instance, according to one anonymous employee review of Ping Identity on Glassdoor. Ping identity is a great company to work for with great office culture. A wide range of different products, both on-prem and SaaS offerings, provides a lot of opportunities and interests, and outstanding, transparent, and open minded leadership allows everyone at every level to express themselves, bring in their work/management styles, and contribute.
AlgoSec, a provider of business-driven network security management solutions, announces that AlgoSec CloudFlow, its cloud-native solution that is designed to deliver complete visibility and management of security control layers across enterprise cloud estates, is now available in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors (ISVs). AWS Marketplace makes it easy for organizations to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving them a further option to benefit from AlgoSec CloudFlow. Central policy management CloudFlow provides organizations with instant visibility and in-depth risk analysis and remediation. CloudFlow provides multiple unique capabilities such as cloud security groups clean-up, as well as central policy management, allowing organizations to efficiently manage multiple similar security controls in a single policy. This strengthens enterprises’ cloud security postures and ensures continuous audit-readiness. With the addition of CloudFlow in AWS Marketplace, customers can benefit from simplified sourcing and contracting, as well as consolidated billing, ultimately resulting in cost savings. The new listing also gives organizations the ability to apply their use of AlgoSec CloudFlow to their AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) spend commitment. Ensuring continuous security CloudFlow extends end-to-end automation of security policy management to multi-cloud estates" “Getting comprehensive visibility and management of security across cloud environments is one of the biggest security challenges that enterprises are facing today. Organizations need an efficient, automated security management approach to ensure consistent security across their hybrid-cloud estates,” said Eran Shiff, VP Product at AlgoSec. “As a cloud-native solution, CloudFlow extends end-to-end automation of security policy management to multi-cloud estates. This drives agility while ensuring continuous security for next-generation enterprise environments. We’re delighted to give our customers an additional way to procure CloudFlow via AWS Marketplace.” Troubleshooting connectivity issues The addition of AlgoSec CloudFlow in AWS Marketplace is the latest development in the relationship between AlgoSec and AWS. AlgoSec CloudFlow, which is part of the AlgoSec Cloud offering, integrates seamlessly with AlgoSec’s Security Management Solution, providing efficient and easier management of complex, heterogeneous networks. Organizations can define and enforce security across their entire network environment, using a cohesive security policy to assess risk and troubleshoot connectivity issues and change management problems.
Briefcam, the industry’s renowned provider of Video Content Analytics and Video Synopsis solutions, has announced that its advanced video analytics software platform will serve as the analytics engine for Verizon’s Intelligent Video solution. Intelligent Video solution The comprehensive monitoring service from Verizon helps law enforcement and security teams keep public and private facilities secure with near real-time, actionable data from video content. The combined solution enhances the ability for these organizations to protect lives and property in remote locations and in the city centers - equally. This includes critical infrastructure from dams and power plants to oil refineries and transportation systems. Advanced video analytics The full solution leveraging BriefCam provides advanced video analytics, including near real-time and forensic video analysis, and trends in data through dashboard visualization, enabling rapid acceleration of video investigations. “Leveraging its renowned network, Verizon is creating a best-in-class solution to enable the protection of all facilities in a community whether in the city center or on the edge of town,” said Gili Rom, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, BriefCam. Gili adds, “Bringing together Verizon’s wireless infrastructure with our advanced video analytics and other industry leading technologies allows security professionals to remotely optimize situational awareness while reducing time and resource investments.” Leveraging robust analytics software The solution was built to provide advanced analytics and benefits for an improved experience Verizon Intelligent Video leveraging BriefCam’s robust analytics software offers a comprehensive, bundled video management solution for cloud or wireless access that includes software licensing, installation, administration, training, and support. The solution was built to provide advanced analytics and benefits for an improved experience. BriefCam delivers the ability to monitor and analyze multiple sites remotely from a single interface and the insights needed to fully prevent or investigate and resolve issues. Automated video analysis Verizon Intelligent Video automates video analysis with an easy-to-use interface so that users can quickly drill down, and filter objects based on a wide range of object classifications, attributes, and behaviors. This accelerates investigations and helps users attain situational awareness sooner, to derive operational intelligence from video. The powerful solution makes it possible to do more with fewer monitoring, intelligence, and investigative resources.
Interface Security Systems, a managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announces a new offering that enables its restaurant, retail and hospitality customers to communicate with their patrons via SMS and MMS text messages. Using their regular published business telephone number, businesses can have real-time two-way text conversations with their guests, inform them when their orders are ready to be picked up, or when their room is ready. Patrons can place orders, ask questions, and inform restaurants when they are waiting outside the store or restaurant for their order. Android mobile devices Available as a component of the Interface UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) offerings, the new text messaging app does not require businesses to equip their employees with new mobile devices or give out private numbers in order to communicate with customers. Multiple employees can access message threads across multiple devices Using the ‘Persistent Message’ feature, all messages are securely maintained in the cloud and can be accessed by any iOS or Android mobile device, tablet or computer. Multiple employees can access message threads across multiple devices. This prevents loss of message history and important information with the ability to maintain access on new devices should one of the devices crash or even run out of battery. Text messaging application Designated employees can login to the business text messaging application using single sign-on credentials, turn alerts on or off, search messages, manage settings, and more. “We are excited to work with our partners at Star2Star to expand our UCaaS suite of services with a new Business Text Messaging app.” “Our integrated mobile and desktop text messaging solutions will enable our customers to provide seamless service to their customers by using their existing business phone numbers. The cloud-based design provides flexibility in deploying this service and the persistent message feature offers ease of use across multiple devices,” said Tom Hesterman, SVP of Product Development at Interface Security Systems.
Nowadays, everything seems easier in the matter of surveillance. Sophisticated technology safeguards our valuables for us without asking for anything in return. But what if it’s not true? What if it comes with a price? Video surveillance systems are a popular way to keep the property under constant control. It’s not rare that the technological sophistication of these systems puts us in awe. They make us feel, and be, safe. Yet, there are doubts when it comes to ensuring privacy. And these worries are understandable. Privacy abusers wait around every corner. Some of the fish for data coming from our monitoring systems. Should we then give up and go back to the in-person property guarding? Not really. Countless advantages make an intelligent video surveillance system worth trying. How to find the best solution within the video surveillance systems? Which system is the most secure in protecting us from the threats of privacy abuse: in-house processing unit, or the cloud? Desire for safety Every human wants to feel safe. At the bottom of Maslow's "Needs Hierarchy," there are two most essential points. We desire to fulfill our physiological necessities - the need for food, water, warmth, and rest. In the second place, also fundamental is a need for security.Security doesn’t only mean keeping burglars away from the property Today's fast-paced world changes its outer expression, yet the significance of security is constant. We crave to feel safe and we are ready to do a lot to achieve it. The core truth to begin with when it comes to security is its definition. Security doesn’t only mean keeping burglars away from the property. If it did, we would be content with any camera surveillance system, regardless of its privacy threats. The issue is more complex. Humans value their privacy. Not only keeping our valuables safe but also being away from the sight of others matters to us. We put efforts to protect our privacy, whether it comes to houses, businesses, or sensitive data. Data privacy Why is it so important? Ongoing cases of privacy invasions prove that data finds "new owners" very fast. These data takeovers can result in a major inconvenience and robbery on a large scale. Main privacy threats are information collection, processing, dissemination, and invasion. We want to protect data obtained by video surveillance systems. Privacy and security are sometimes compared to water and oilThese are, for example, video registrations, times of entrance to the property, number and identities of visitors, etc. Privacy and security are sometimes compared to water and oil. They say you can have security but you’ll lose privacy. They say you can have privacy, but you’ll lose security. These common convictions inspired a new generation of companies to create privacy-first security solutions. They are, in other words, security systems focused on not sacrificing privacy. Cloud-based systems Most of the time, popular video surveillance systems but at the same time insecure when it comes to privacy are running on the cloud. There has been a long discussion about its safety and it continues to raise privacy concerns. These systems too often fail in ensuring privacy, and they are vulnerable to hacking. Ring, Nest, and other home security companies experienced compromising mishaps on a large scale. It's not a secret that some cloud-based companies partner up with police departments. Also, if your data is too available, tech companies can sell it to advertisers.Data uploaded onto the cloud is exposed for anyone to meddle with Data uploaded onto the cloud is exposed for anyone to meddle with. According to the book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism_ The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff “Nest takes little responsibility for the security of that information and none for how other companies will put it to use. In fact, University of London legal scholars Guido Noto La Diega and Ian Walden, who analysed these documents, reckon that were one to enter into the Nest ecosystem of connected devices and apps, each with their own equally burdensome terms, the purchase of a single home thermostat entails the need to review nearly a thousand contracts.” Security and privacy vanish once a smart home system enables remote access. In-house processing units It all leads to the conclusion that keeping data in the in-house processing unit is safer and more private. It keeps us away from the eyes of governments, corporates, advertisers, and hackers. And since the market is proactive, solutions in that department came fast. Thanks to the advances to the internet of things (IoT), edge computing, and machine learning, it will be possible in the near future to find different surveillance private-secure systems on the market. A privacy-centered "architecture" processes and stores camera footage inside the propertyThey will combine the most advanced technology with sophisticated privacy protection. In the in-house option, a privacy-centered "architecture" processes and stores camera footage inside the property. For example, one Seattle-based startup is working on a solution that uses specialized IP cameras that work in groups with an edge computing device. An AI (artificial intelligence) algorithm analyses all the footage taken by the cameras. Once it detects anomalies, it notifies the final user. Those systems don't upload any of the customers' data to the cloud, they keep privacy and all the information at the customer's home. The in-house processing unit can learn to differentiate what its user marks as important. The system captures and saves only those pieces of information. Smart surveillance systems To give an example: users who wish to know when their dog is outside can set the cameras to detect it. If they wish to turn a blind eye to burglars, they are free to do it. Smart surveillance systems work with facial matching and pose detection technology. They can detect individuals that haven’t logged on to the system. This tool respects an ethical protocol. It isn’t sensitive to a specific gender, race, or age. Its purpose is to detect behavior identified as suspicious without targeting individual identities. By identifying people who aren’t a part of your daily routine, the system cuts any kind of security risk. The in-house processing unit video surveillance systems "do the watching" for you. The newest in-house processing unit video surveillance systems will sharpen the feature of crucial importance - privacy protectionThat revolutionises the way we think about security. The system that integrates all the security visual sensors into the “brain” of the system is the smartest and safest idea on the market. This “brain” later decides whether to notify the user about the potential danger or let it go. It deletes every irrelevant piece of data on the spot. This kind of cognitive machinery saves both your time and bandwidth. Thanks to them, you get rid of unnecessary alerts. The newest in-house processing unit video surveillance systems will sharpen the feature of crucial importance - privacy protection. The newest technology offers a plenitude of sophisticated surveillance methods. Our task is to choose the right one. The one that not only protects our properties and valuables but also our privacy.
One of the biggest trends in security and technology today is centered around solutions that take advantage of the wealth of connected security systems and devices powering the organizations all over the world. As the number of cloud-powered systems and sensors have massively grown in recent years, security leaders in the private and public sectors have started to look at ways to leverage the data from these devices to better the lives of employees, customers, and residents. But while the dream of creating a smarter, safer environment remains the top priority for organizations throughout the world especially as they continue to face the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, a myriad of factors hold security leaders back from implementing more advanced technologies across their infrastructures. AI as a disruptor of physical security One of the main reasons being that the advent of these cloud based technologies indubitably generate massive amounts of data that hamper any practical use by security professionals and often times create cognitive overload and paralysis by analysis. A myriad of factors hold security leaders back from implementing more advanced technologies across their infrastructures Organizations face the challenge of trying to answer numerous questions using the big data generated by the various systems and technologies. How are they going to handle the influx of information that all these disparate systems generate? How can it be analyzed to extract any useful information or insight? What IT security controls are put in place to safeguard the data? How can the data be effectively curated and funneled to the right people at the right time? How can we make our security footprint be more proactive rather than constantly reactive? The answer is artificial intelligence. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Improving your competitive advantage Today, all divisions of an enterprise are trying to leverage AI and big data to improve their competitive advantage and bottom line, including accounting, sales and marketing, material sourcing, and research and development. We need to ensure that the physical security industry realises they can significantly benefit from better, faster, and more accurate intelligence from the now unstructured, bottomless silos of security data; only then will this result in positioning physical security from a primarily reactive business to a revolutionary new proactive environment. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry and adoption is growing at a rapid rate As an industry, we need to focus on reinventing how security personnel and safety resources are allocated in the public safety and corporate security industry. And it all has to start with intelligence derived from big data using AI. Security leaders in the physical security and law enforcement industry can combine multiple data sources with predictive and prescriptive analytics and artificial intelligence to inform and dynamically deploy personnel, assets, and technologies. This approach drives automation of their current manual processes to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their entire security operations. Intelligently predicting the future? Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right; you can look into the future. By grabbing a hold of this AI-powered crystal ball, decision-makers can perform long-term strategic planning and informed day-to-day operational decision making. And what’s more, AI powered platforms are software-based, often delivered using as-a-service business models that empower security personnel to go beyond traditional static business intelligence visualization and reporting systems to transformative dynamic, predictive and prescriptive decision-making environments. Today’s platforms are also not your traditional, old school, expensive PSIMs; they are cost-effective, configurable to your needs and dare we say, easy to operate. Every security leader I have spoken with lately want to extend AI to their security programs. They don't always know precisely where AI will fit, but they understand the need to operationalise more of their security practices. The overall why is that we should all work collaboratively to help organizations across the globe leverage the tools available to transition away from a reactive stance and gain informed insight into the future where we are truly prepared for and one step ahead of what is coming down the road.
For bricks and mortar retailers, there’s no going back to how it was anytime soon. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, they had been fighting a fierce battle against online shopping and significant e-commerce players. The high street has done a pretty good job of evolving over the years. From its humble beginnings in the late 19th century to its boom in the late 20th, it’s constantly adapted to meet changing consumer needs. The risk to retail But, it’s now reported to be at risk. Sales and footfall started to dwindle decades ago. The dawn of internet shopping in the mid- 2000s saw numbers drop even more dramatically. Indeed, we have heard and seen reports repeatedly on ‘the death of the high street.’ Footfall went down to virtually zero, thanks to this year’s nationwide lockdown Making matters worse, footfall went down to virtually zero, thanks to this year’s nationwide lockdown. Even Primark, the international ‘hero of the high street,’ saw their average £650m in weekly sales nosedive to nothing without an online presence. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Primark for one came back fighting, and is now expected to hit £2bn by the end of the year. "After a period of store closure, we are encouraged by the strength of our sales," it’s owner AB Foods said in its latest trading update. And continued: "In the latest four-week UK market data for sales in all channels, Primark achieved our highest-ever value and volume shares for this time of year." The threat of new restrictions As we come to a ‘pivotal point’ in the fight against COVID, with threats of new restrictions, it’s time to think about what the next generation of our high streets will look like. The current crisis gives us some clues: it’s local, it’s data-driven and it’s tech-enabled. Crucially, it’s proven to work. The digital high street One of the biggest changes the high street has had to adjust to is the digital revolution. New technologies have massively disrupted the way we spend. 82% of consumers now shop online, compared with just 53% ten years ago, with more than half of people aged 65 and over saying they shop online. Age is no longer a barrier. That’s meant that not only have in-store sales dropped, but shopping patterns have become erratic and harder to predict. From opening times to managing stock and staff – everything has had to adapt. We had to pivot quickly to create an online model The issue was exacerbated over lockdown, as consumers had little choice but to shop online. Digital retailers struggled with resources to fulfill orders, case in point was the endless wait times for supermarket delivery slots. But together, we managed to evolve. As nimble businesses, we had to pivot quickly to create an online model that could operate in conjunction with traditional stores, either via click and collect or similar operatives. And now, we are reaping the rewards. Countless high street pubs and restaurants are now allowing customers to order online and finding ways with new openings to take orders online and deliver a table service. It’s undoubtedly an adjustment, and one that will be easier for some to make than others – but those that can establish an omnichannel presence now will be in a strong position for the future. Online versus the high street Historically, in-store has come second to online for a lot of retailers: even those with omnichannel strategies tend to treat the in-store experience like something of a second-class citizen. Now’s the time to change that. The new online stores that have popped up are unlikely to go anywhere, even once lockdown ends. Their success is proof that getting online and in-store more aligned is an opportunity for, not a threat to, the high street. There needs to be the removal of the ‘physical versus online experience’ for brands, and instead blend the two together, which is made possible through mobile technology. Digital transformation grants a huge opportunity for traditional retail. And no better an example than Amazon, the poster child of online retail. Amazon had previously acknowledged the value of a physical retail channel and had opened physical locations for its books and fresh produce business streams. In August 2020, post COVID-19 lockdown, it has continued with its plan to open thirty physical stores in the UK. High street trends Alongside digital, many trends that were perhaps bubbling under the surface of the retail high street have now made their way to the forefront of securing the new landscape. Sustainable shopping has been accelerated by the crisis. In the last couple of years, retailers’ attention has shifted to focus on making their supply chain and working practices eco-friendlier and socially responsible. Lockdown and our post-retail experience has seen a call for shopping and supporting our local businesses Lockdown and our post-retail experience has seen a call for shopping and supporting our local businesses. Shoppers are more engaged with their local high street now and visiting it more than ever before. Motivated by the instinct to protect their local community. Data has also been key to the new high street. This works both ways, as shoppers are now more informed and in control than ever before. The power of smartphones and increased data coverage has lead to simple but powerful capabilities, like being able to run a price comparison quickly and conveniently. Since a majority of consumers now operate with the ‘mobile mindset’, gone are the days when they will settle for what’s available. Surviving in this new world To survive in this new world, data can support creations of compelling omnichannel experiences. It can help to build loyalty based on customer values, wants and needs. And, it allows ways for retailers to understand how customers are moving around the high street to better predict their requirements. Data proves a holistic view of how, where and when customers spend. Knowing where consumers spend time in store and in which department, demonstrates an understanding of their interests and purchasing choices. Knowing these preferences, creates the foundation for any great customer experience. The technology-led high street In theory, with so many different opportunities for the high street, it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. To deliver in practice, retailers need to lay the foundations for more efficient operations, to meet consumer demands quickly, efficiently, and cost (and time) effectively. Technology arguably holds the key to the challenges of raising standards. And it’s in small ways that it can make a difference. For example, instead of keeping customers waiting while members of staff hunt for a charged-up tablet device to look for stock levels or product information, an automated retail asset management solution means this essential knowledge is right at hand. Even seemingly simple processes can be automated to deliver service and improved business efficiency. For example, on average, it takes staff members six minutes to find a key or working device. That is equal to 42 minutes in productivity time every week for each employee, which can cause losses of up to £40,000 a year. This is where an effective key management system minimizes downtime and cuts unnecessary costs. Traka is supporting businesses, including Primark and leading department stores, to implement new strategies for the critical control of access to key and equipment, enabling more effective use, and in turn quicker customer response times. Asset management solutions With a fully automated asset management solution in place, valuables such as keys, cash trays, stock and equipment (e.g. handheld scanners) can be monitored and maintained. A full audit trail with real-time reporting means retailers can see exactly who has removed which device, when it was taken and when it has been returned. This results in staff becoming more accountable and equipment being utilised more efficiently, eliminating the need for arduous and costly manual administration. Reshape the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and breathe new life into the high street By streamlining processes and effectively protecting business assets, Traka supports in-store retail in their ambition to becomes a ripe opportunity to “innovate, delight and create stronger ties with customers.” And become an integral touchpoint in the future of commerce, helping retailers to adapt to the new retail landscape. In summary, there’s the opportunity to reshape the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and breathe new life into the high street. The industry needs future-focused visionaries who can provide a fresh perspective and reinvigorate bricks-and-mortar retail in the years to come, utilising tools available to them to enhance their proposition to the new post-lockdown consumer.
Close collaboration with customers has been a hallmark of the physical security industry for decades. And yet, less ability to collaborate face-to-face to discuss customer needs has been a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. “True innovation, which comes from close collaboration with customers, is more difficult to achieve remotely,” said Howard Johnson, President and COO, AMAG Technology, adding “Not being able to visit in person has not been helpful. Kurt John, Chief Cyber Security Officer at Siemens USA, adds “We need to plan intentionally with a strategic approach for collaboration and innovation.” Securing New Ground virtual conference Security experts from three manufacturers reflected on the impact of COVID-19 on the physical security industry Security experts from three manufacturers reflected on the impact of COVID-19 on the physical security industry at a ‘View from the Top’ session, during the Securing New Ground virtual conference, sponsored by the Security Industry Association. Their comments covered business practices during the pandemic and the outlook for technology innovation in response. “We had to pivot quickly on business models and create a cross-portfolio team task force to discuss how we can leverage technologies to help customers [during the pandemic],” said John, adding “We are having outcome-based conversations with customers about their businesses and operations, and how we can combine short-term benefits with long-term growth and flexibility.” But some of those conversations are happening from a distance. Results-oriented approach in remote work environment After the pandemic took hold, Siemens shifted rapidly to remote work and embraced other infrastructure changes. “We had to refocus and lead with empathy, flexibility and trust,” said John, adding “We gave our staff flexibility to set their hours and used a results-oriented approach.” There is also a social element missing in the work-from-home model. “Virtual coffee machines do not replace being there in person,” said Pierre Racz, President and CEO, Genetec, adding “Small talk about the weather is important psychological elements.” Positives in using multi-factor identity management He predicts that, in the future, office hours may be reduced, but not floor space, with space needed for in-person collaboration and long-term social distancing. Employees will come to the office to do collaborative work, but can work from home to accomplish individual tasks that may be ‘deferred’ to after-hours, when the kids have been fed. When the pandemic hit, Genetec had resumed 95% of their operations within 36 hours, thanks to their use of multi-factor identity management. They did not suffer from malware and phishing issues. “Multi-factor is really important so that well-engineered phishing campaigns are not successful,” said Pierre Racz. Shift to ‘Zero Trust’ model All three panelists noted a coming skills gap relating both cyber security and systems integration Remote working technologies are shifting to a ‘zero trust’ model, in which access to systems is granted adaptively based on contextual awareness of authorized user patterns based on identity, time, and device posture. For example, an office computer might have more leeway than a home computer and a computer at Starbucks would be even less trusted. The approach increases logical access security while providing users their choice of devices and apps. Skills gap in cyber security and systems integration A growing skills gap has continued throughout the pandemic. “Where we have vacancies, we have struggled to find candidates,” said Howard Johnson. All three panelists noted a coming skills gap relating both cyber security and systems integration. New technologies will clearly require new skills that may currently be rare in the workforce. Cyber security will become even more important with growth in new technologies such as AI, machine learning, 5G and edge computing. A workforce development plan is needed to address the technologies and to enable companies to pivot to new business needs, said John. Adoption of temperature sensing solutions From a technology viewpoint, Johnson has seen attention shift to the reception area and portal, away from touch technologies and embracing temperature sensing as a new element. There have also been new requests for video and audio at the portal point, to create methods of access and egress that do not require security personnel to be present. “Some customers are early adopters, and others are waiting for the market to mature before investing,” Howard Johnson said. “Security companies have been faced with the need to respond rapidly to their customers’ needs during the pandemic, but without seeming like ‘ambulance chasers’,” said Pierre Racz. In the case of Genetec, the company offered new system capabilities, such as a 'contamination report', to existing customers for free. Move to a hybrid and flexible work environment In the new normal, the pendulum will swing back to the middle with more flexibility and a hybrid approach" An immediate impact of the pandemic has been a reduction in required office space, as more employees have worked from home, raising questions about future demand for office space. “The pendulum tends to swing to the extremes,” said Kurt John, adding “In the new normal, the pendulum will swing back to the middle with more flexibility and a hybrid approach.” “Users will be much more careful about letting people into their space, which requires more policies and procedures,” said Lorna Chandler, CEO, Security by Design, who participated in a panel at Securing New Ground about how the pandemic is changing commercial architecture and access control. “Users should also be careful in the rush to secure premises from COVID-19 that they don’t violate HIPAA laws or create other potential liabilities,” adds Chandler. Continuum of mechanical and electromechanical devices Mark Duato, Executive Vice President, Aftermarket, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, said a “Continuum of mechanical and electromechanical devices is needed to protect premises and ensure convenient operation of an access control operation.” “First and foremost, the immediate reaction to the impact of COVID-19 is to rush to educate and invest in technologies to increase the ability to analyze people,” said Duato, who also participated in the access control panel. Shift to touchless, frictionless access control “The move to touchless, frictionless access control “is really a collaboration of people, process and technology,” said Valerie Currin, President and Managing Director, Boon Edam Inc., adding “And all three elements need to come together. Touchless and frictionless have been in our market for decades, and they’re only going to become heightened and grow. We’re seeing our business pivot to serve markets we have not served in the past." More and more data is a feature of new systems, but is only helpful when it is analyzed. “We all live in a world of data, or IoT and sensor technology,” said ASSA ABLOY’s Mark Duato, adding “But we don’t want to be crushed by data. Data is only helpful when you can reduce it to functional benefits that will help us innovate. We have to take the time to squeeze the value out of data.”
Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with cloud video creates systems that are smarter, safer and more cost-effective. Furthermore, adding AI capabilities can widen the advantage gap of cloud video systems compared to on-premise systems, especially for cost-conscious end users. “We strongly believe the total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud systems is more affordable,” says Ken Francis, President of cloud video surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks. “And introducing really powerful AI will expand the cost differences.” Combining AI and cloud video To finance realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video, Eagle Eye Networks has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end users,” says Francis. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyze their video data however they wish The system sends captured video to the cloud, where a variety of AI or video analytics systems can extract valuable data from the captured video. Eagle Eye offers an application programing interface (API) to enable integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyze their video data however they wish. Delivering lower costs In addition to offering integration with third-party systems, Eagle Eye is investing in its own AI development, and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. As new technologies become part of the Eagle Eye platform, customers benefit from lower costs because of economies of scale. Keeping the emphasis on development of cloud systems, Eagle Eye also offers customers maximum flexibility in choosing their cameras. Eagle Eye’s on-premise cyber-hardened “bridge” can connect to almost any camera from thousands of manufacturers, including those connecting with HD-over-coax. The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the need for end users to view their premises remotely, and in the process has highlighted shortcomings of their existing video systems. As a result, video manufacturers - including Eagle Eye Networks - are seeing a surge in end users updating their systems. Cloud video surveillance Given the costs of installing and maintaining hard drives for local storage (and additional challenges during a pandemic lockdown), more end users are opting to use cloud systems. In effect, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating installation of cloud video surveillance. “Our industry is the most resilient in the world,” says Francis. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then COVID slowed everything down As a whole, 2020 has been a successful year for the cloud system provider. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then the COVID lockdown slowed everything down. During the second quarter, their revenue from setup fees and appliances fell by 35% or so, but subscriptions increased slightly including customers looking to keep watch over their shuttered businesses. Temperature alerting solutions The third quarter saw another big uptick in business; August and September were booming, and not just from projects that were delayed from Q2. There has also been a spike in customers looking to apply temperature alerting solutions, says Francis. In uncertain economic times, cloud systems require around 40% less up-front costs, and provide flexibility to eliminate the system (and the expense) at any time without losing a large financial investment. Cloud video has reached a tipping point in the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, among other locales, but the technology lags in some other geographic areas such as France. Driving adoption is availability and cost of sufficient upload speed and bandwidth. In addition to Eagle Eye’s branded growth, the company also provides the OEM engine behind a half dozen or so cloud systems offered by other manufacturers. Backing multi-site enteprises About eight years old, Eagle Eye Networks has focused squarely on the small- and middle-sized business (SMB) market, especially multi-site businesses such as retail, banking and healthcare. They also work with local governments and K-12 schools. Moving forward, the company will seek to expand more into multi-site enterprise customers, some of which have 1,000 locations around the world and need to store their video locally to meet regulatory requirements. Multi-site businesses, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff Multi-site businesses, especially, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff. As Internet connectivity becomes less expensive than installing new cable infrastructure, cloud systems will become more attractive to large campus environments such as colleges and airports, says Francis. The advent of 5G connectivity will also be a plus. All Eagle Eye products are NDAA compliant. Premium support services Further expanding its services, Eagle Eye Networks is poised to launch “Premium Support Services,” in which the cloud provider’s employees will proactively monitor and service customer sites for a minimum additional monthly fee. The cloud structure enables most problems to be addressed and solved remotely without needing to send personnel to a site. The new investment from Accel, a funding partner of top-tier tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify, is Accel's first investment in the security industry. In addition to investing in AI, Eagle Eye also plans to leverage the funding to expand into new regional markets with new data centers and additional staff in business development, sales and support roles.
If one employee stands less than six feet away from another employee, a fob attached to a lanyard around his or her neck emits an auditory beep – an immediate reminder to observe social distancing. If an employee were to be diagnosed with COVID-19, a cloud-based database provides a record of who at the company the sick employee had contact with. These capabilities of HID Location Services ensure social distancing and provide contact tracing to enable companies to return to work safely. They have been deployed in a pilot program at HID Global’s Corporate Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Social distancing using a BLE beacon 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. To ensure social distancing, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is emitted from an employee’s fob 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. The building area covered by each reader constitutes a “zone,” and the system records when two beacons are signaling from the same zone, which indicates contact between employees. In effect, the system records – historically and forensically – who was near whom (and for how long) using the zone-based approach. “In the workplace, we provide organizations with visibility into the location of their workforce,” says Mark Robinton, Vice President, IoT Services Business Unit at HID Global. Pilot program spans variety of environments By documenting where a sick individual moved in the building, the system also can guide any need to close off a certain area for deep cleaning. Instead of quarantining a whole building, a company could quarantine a small subset of employees who were likely exposed. Importantly, the system only reports data, while management makes the actual decisions about how to respond. The site of the pilot program is the 250,000-square-foot HID Global facility in Austin, which includes a variety of environments, including manufacturing areas, an executive suite, cubicles, a training area, a cafeteria, and lobbies. This spectrum of use cases enables the pilot program to evaluate how the system works in various scenarios. The building in Austin has two floors, plenty of natural lighting and emphasises sustainability in its design. HID Location Services ensure social distancing and provide contact tracing Pilot starts small and expands For the pilot program, 80 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. The fobs emit an audible beep, which employees have overwhelmingly said they prefer. Observers overseeing the pilot program have documented employee reaction and comments. It emits a blinking LED light, which can be seen by the offending co-worker There were challenges in setting up the pilot program remotely to ensure fewer employees were on site during the pandemic. The equipment was provisioned in Florida and then shipped to the Austin location. Fine-tuning was required to adjust the signal strength of the BLE beacons. The badges were initially more powerful, but the strength was dialed back to be comparable to the fobs and within the six-foot social distancing range. Signal strength is also a variable in diverse environments – the 2.4 Ghz signal tends to reflect easily off metal, so adjustments in signal strength are needed in a factory setting, for example, versus a collection of cubicles. “This facility is large enough and diverse enough that it provides great test results and quality data to analyze,” says Dean Young, Physical Security Manager at HID Global. “Our employees are eager to be part of the pilot to demonstrate that we use the technologies we provide to our customers, and they want to help us stay in compliance with social distancing and contact tracing.” Ensuring privacy while protecting employees HID Global’s headquarters had approximately 425 employees before the coronavirus pandemic lowered the number drastically to include only essential workers. As more people return to work, additional fobs and badges are being issued to expand the scope of the pilot program. The program is also incorporating contact tracing of suppliers and others who visit the facility. Except when triggered by contact among employees, locations are not recorded. Each employee’s location is always available in real-time (e.g. in case of an emergency), but they are not “tracked.” Through BluFi placement and geofence capabilities, the system closes off private areas where location should not be monitored, such as a rest room. Geofencing also identifies when employees enter and/or exit the area covered by the pilot program. Although each beacon is associated with an employee, the employee’s identity is not part of the data stored in the cloud, so there are no privacy concerns. Data is completely anonymized, and no personally identifiable information (PII) is stored in Bluzone. Other computer systems in a company, such as a human resources (HR) program, can privately and securely store the identities associated with each beacon. Other applications for HID location services In addition to social distancing and contact tracing applications, HID Location Services offer other use cases ranging from asset tracking and employee safety/security to location analytics. For example, the system can analyze room usage for better building management and operational efficiency. It can also quickly find people in emergency situations. These use cases ensure continued value for a system even after concerns about social distancing and contact tracing have faded. The system can analyze room usage for better building management and operational efficiency Another big selling point is the ability of a company to be better prepared in case of a future pandemic, or a second wave of this one, says Robinton. The HID Location Services social distancing and contact tracing applications will be available at the end of Q3 and will be rolled out through HID Global’s existing integrator channel. Vertical markets likely to embrace the technology include healthcare, where hospitals need to track patients as they come in and to know which other patients or staff they may have been exposed to. The financial sector is another likely market, as is manufacturing, which is looking to avoid the prospect of shutting down an entire plant. It’s better to address the three or four people who were near a sick employee than to shut down the plant. In the hospitality industry, fobs can be used to signal duress by the housekeeping staff.
One of the largest public train operators in the United Kingdom, Southeastern Rail Network, now relies on a smart video security solution from Bosch Security Systems to secure twelve train depots, including five unmanned locations, against theft and intrusion. The fully digital video surveillance system presents a significant upgrade to the British train operating company, which provides train services between London, Kent and parts of East Sussex and transports 6, 40,000 passengers each weekday on its 392 trains. built-in Intelligent Video Analytics Powered by cameras featuring built-in Intelligent Video Analytics, the solution was installed and configured to the specific requirements at the train depots by Bosch integration partner, Taylor Technology Systems Ltd., over the course of six months. Video security system relies on machine learning algorithms to automatically sound alarms on security threats Fully operational at all twelve locations, the video security system relies on machine learning algorithms to automatically sound alarms on security threats, such as intruders and perimeter breaches. Beyond security applications, the system also tracks important metadata on the arrival times of trains, while also monitoring deliveries at the train depots, among other AI-assisted functions that it carries out. IP-based cameras with Starlight technology The cameras portfolio installed across the twelve depots replaces an analog legacy solution with IP-based security cameras from the Flexidome, Dinion, and Autodome product lines of Bosch Security Systems. These smart cameras include Bosch’s Intelligent Video Analytics capabilities as a built-in feature, ensuring that the most relevant video data can be precisely applied to the requirements of the train depots. Because night-time security and surveillance is critical, especially at the five unmanned train depots on the network, the Bosch cameras rely on Starlight technology to provide full intelligent analytics at night and in low light levels. The Starlight technology supports color filtering down to a light level of only 0.0077 lux, so as to deliver detailed monochrome images where other cameras show no image at all, and guard against intruders and unauthorized entry around the clock. Featuring digital ‘trip wire’ to counter false alarms Highly resilient against false alarms, the smart cameras can detect movement at the perimeters of the train depots using a digital ‘trip wire’. In case of a security breach, the system alerts Southeastern Rail Network’s watch personnel, who can view live camera footage, as well as recordings of incidents for heightened situational awareness and total perimeter security. Instead of relying on the pre-configured capabilities, such as vehicle tracking and more, security personnel can also use the built-in camera trainer function to ‘teach’ new functionality, such as detecting certain types of objects or situations. Remote video recordings storage with Divar recorders Recordings from the depots are safely stored and managed remotely with Divar recorders in encrypted format As an integral part of this end-to-end Bosch security solution, recordings from the depots are safely stored and managed remotely, using Divar all-in-one recorders in encrypted format. When looking at the bigger picture, the video security solution adopted by Southeastern Rail Network is part of an industry-wide evolution from cameras as mere video capturing devices to smart sensors capable of collecting rich metadata. Insights beyond security This metadata unlocks unique insights beyond security, including video analytics at the train depots that support applications such as monitoring deliveries to onsite buildings, providing access to personnel and logging the arrival and departure times of incoming trains. The system thereby not only ensures that all train depots remain fully guarded and protected 24/7 against criminal access, but also provides a data-based foundation to keep efficiency gains and cost savings on track in the long run.
Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT), The Dome, required a new solution that would protect several areas, including one of the largest gym’s in Doncaster, The Fitness Village. Vanderbilt ACT365 system DCLT had a specific brief for this project that specified enhancing the staff and customer experience, while simultaneously providing access control solutions to restricted areas from the general public, members, and staff alike. Oliver Law Security (OLS) Ltd. did not hesitate to recommend the Vanderbilt ACT365 system. ACT365 is not only a fully cloud-based solution, but also offers a flexible solution for installation and management that OLS identified as a key ingredient to meet DCLT’s project brief. API Integration In addition to DCLT’s security requirement, OLS also realized ACT365 as an ideal solution for this task, given the product’s very focused API integration. Thanks to the ACT365 interface, OLS was able to integrate DCLT’s gym management system to enable single-source data to be used to populate the access control system, keep records up-to-date, and enhance customer experience. For instance, previously, the older system had taken up to 3-5 seconds to validate members and open the entry turnstiles. Once the API interface had been achieved, this validation is now done instantly through ACT365 and allows members with active memberships through the entry points without any minimal delay. Game-changer security solution According to Oliver Law Security, using ACT365 and its API interface is a game-changer for this type of project The scope of this project, although not significant in the number of doors, was a very technical project with integration into SQL server and a third-party membership system with the potential for thousands of would-be users. According to Oliver Law Security, using ACT365 and its API interface is a game-changer for this type of project. With multiple updates per day, the access control system is always fully populated with the correct, validated members ensuring DCLT’s premier venue, The Dome, is protected against memberships that have lapsed. Cloud-based off-premise solution The system is entirely cloud-based offers an off-premise solution with no additional new servers required or PC’s running software. Through the ACT365 app, DCLT’s site administrators can manage the system for staff. The beauty of the interface is once the schedule runs, all information is autonomously sent to the ACT365 database, meaning adding new memberships, updating memberships, or revoking access is seamless, not tying up staff verifying and administering the membership/access control systems respectively. Commenting on the project, Oliver (Ollie) Law, Managing Director of Oliver Law Security (OLS) Ltd., stated “We didn’t hesitate to recommend the Vanderbilt ACT365 system. As a Vanderbilt Gold Integration Partner, this is our go-to product, and for Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, the flexibility and scalability of the product was best placed to grow with their business.” He adds, “We are fully committed to working and growing with Vanderbilt, and we look forward to other projects of this nature in the future.”
In the fast-growing legalized cannabis industry, extensive security measures are a necessity. VIVOTEK, the pioneering IP surveillance provider has collaborated with Existo, a collective of cannabis industry professionals, to establish an IP surveillance solution for a cannabis cultivation facility in Northern Michigan, the United States. The results not only exceeded the state of Michigan’s expectations to allow for licensing at the state level but are also user friendly and add a level of comfort concerning building security to the owners. Why VIVOTEK? The state of Michigan has placed stringed demands on-camera coverage and recording quality for this industry, so a camera system is essential for the licensing of this business. Challenges in the project were related to distances within the building, coverage in unique spaces, and varying climates and light exposure within indoor grow rooms. Existo chose VIVOTEK and a total of 70 of its indoor and outdoor security solutions, network video recorders (NVR), and video management software (VMS) to monitor the cannabis cultivation facility. CC9381-HV Panoramic network camera In the grow room, which includes a long hallway with tight spaces and climate concerns, 7 VIVOTEK 180-degree panoramic network cameras, the CC9381-HV were installed to combat high contrast lighting environments and armed with WDR Pro function to ensure 24/7 surveillance coverage. SD9364-EHL Speed dome camera For exterior corners, 4 VIVOTEK SD9364-EHL speed dome cameras were utilized. The camera is adopted VIVOTEK's Smart IR II technology which is specifically designed to provide a superb low light image in the most challenging situations. FE9181-H Fisheye and FD9380-H Fixed dome cameras Due to its high-quality imagery at a cost-effective perspective, 14 FE9181-H fisheye cameras and 40 FD9380-H cameras were installed throughout the rest of the indoor and outdoor facility. ND9541 NVR and apps VIVOCloud and iViewer app provide users with an open, flexible, and intelligent NVR for video surveillance applications The facility is also utilizing VIVOTEK’s 16-CH ND9541 Linux-based embedded standalone NVR to set up and manage advanced IP surveillance systems with ease. It also supports remote and mobile access, via VIVOCloud and iViewer app, for both iOS and Android handheld devices, providing users with an open, flexible, and intelligent NVR for seamless use in small to medium-sized video surveillance applications. Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) acclamation In the end, the outcome not only met but surpassed all expectations and goals. The system was complimented as the highest quality in terms of coverage and camera quality by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) enforcement agent during the state licensing walkthrough. Surpass expectations “The flexibility we gain from the quality and variety that VIVOTEK offers pays off tenfold in our business because there is no standard building design for cannabis businesses,” said Chris Hernandez, Existo director of operations. “Unique buildings with unique layouts but with highly standardized expectations put forward by state licensing expectations can be a stumbling block for many cannabis businesses. Our ability to utilize VIVOTEK’s solutions allows us to create systems that exceed state expectations while still being used to achieve safety goals set internally by our customers.”
Stuart Codack, Information Security Manager and Steve Roberts, Head of IT at West Midlands Trains (WMT), gave an inside look into working with SureCloud’s cyber security team. As an operator of essential services and part of the critical national infrastructure, West Midlands Trains (WMT) are constantly reviewing the service that they provide and the supporting processes to ensure that they are giving customers the very best service. WMT will routinely carry over 200,000 passengers over any of the 1300 services per day, operating from London to Liverpool and predominately in the West Midlands area. Aligning to business objectives While providing the best service possible, the business is responsible for making upgrades While providing the best service possible, the business is responsible for making upgrades, as part of their commitment to the Department for Transport and agreed set of objectives defined within the organization’s committed obligations. These could range from large projects to developing stations, such as Wolverhampton, upgrading and enhancing the trains’ capacity, or providing more technical solutions to allow customers to purchase tickets and view train services online. Key cyber security challenges Understanding the emerging and constantly evolving threats to the rail is critical to ensure that WMT provide an efficient and responsive technical solution for the services operated. They operate within a number of frameworks, most significantly the Network Information Systems (Directive) provided to Operators of Essential Services (OES), and also feed in elements of both ISO27001 and NIST. The Department for Transport, in conjunction with the National Cyber Security Center, enctheages a mature cyber security posture, and closely monitor and assess assurance levels. This approach challenges WMT constantly and places high demands on the enterprise to deliver and maintain a strong cyber security posture. Understanding where any actual or potential weaknesses are helps in directly applying restheces to protect systems and maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability. Often overlooked, recognizing where WMT have achieved success has also helped to justify continued and future spending to senior management, by assuring them that a proactive cyber security strategy is worth the investment. SureCloud cloud-based platform Chosen for their professionalism during the tender stage, SureCloud comfortably convinced the decision makers of their technical capability, flexibility and willing attitude to join the business on their jtheney, as opposed to other vendors providing the essentials with hidden costs introduced as additional extras. The SureCloud platform provided WMT with clear visibility of testing outcomes Another key benefit that helped SureCloud stand out from the rest was the technology-enabled services approach, which utilizes SureCloud’s platform to underpin the service delivery. The cloud-based platform has provided a forum for WMT, in which work streams can be identified and allocated to third-party vendors. The business allows remediation work to be assigned and worked on concurrently. The SureCloud platform provided WMT with clear visibility of testing outcomes and helped to establish the evidence and patterns of work that supports the various questions across the frameworks that call for continual service improvement, while demonstrating a proactive response to aspects of ISMS has been invaluable. Benefits of the Cyber security-as-a-Service package Support was measured against the requirements of the organization and was provided on-demand and willingly offered up throughout all stages of the agreement, with no signs of wavering support on completion of any of the work packages. The penetration testing has provided a great deal of insight and visibility into areas that needed improvement while assuring other areas where the business had demonstrated some good practices. The results were well presented via the platform with the context that allowed the team to define the risk, and if any action would be needed to mitigate or reduce those risks. The level of expertise was fantastic, with identified areas supported by impacts and potential solutions. Effective cyber security program Overall, West Midlands Trains are very satisfied with their investment in the SureCloud tech-enabled services, and have already recommended SureCloud to a number of partners based on the work conducted. West Midlands Trains are passionate about managing an effective cyber security program and the business will continue to work with SureCloud in the future.
Allot Communications Ltd., a global provider of innovative network intelligence and security-as-a-service (SECaaS) solutions for communication service providers (CSPs) and enterprises, has announced that a Tier-1 telecom operator in APAC has selected Allot HomeSecure to provide consumers with zero touch clientless cyber security and parental control services, to protect the CPEs/routers and devices in their homes. HomeSecure solution The HomeSecure solution will be deployed in CPEs provided to consumers by the operator, and in the operator’s cloud-native environment. The services are expected to be made available to millions of the operator’s fixed broadband customers. The operator has ordered an enterprise-wide perpetual license from Allot. According to the Microsoft Security endpoint threat report 2019, the malware encounter rate in APAC was 1.6 times higher than the global average. In light of these conditions, Allot HomeSecure gives telecom providers in APAC a unique opportunity to deliver zero-touch, fully automated services that protect their customers while generating supplemental revenues. Security for home IoT and smart home devices Allot HomeSecure provides security for home IoT devices and smart appliances Allot HomeSecure provides security for home IoT, smart appliances, and the devices connected to the home network. It integrates into the existing home router with the addition of a thin software client that provides home network visibility, cyber security and parental controls without the need for any configuration by the consumer. Allot HomeSecure uses AI to identify and profile connected home devices and to detect and act upon anomalous device behavior. HomeSecure has the option to be managed from an easy-to-use app for every household that gives consumers control over their network security and parental controls. “Our customer in APAC sees anti-malware protection for all home-connected devices and parental controls as basic requirements for any offering they provide to their millions of fixed broadband customers. HomeSecure gives them a single zero-touch clientless solution that satisfies both of these demands,” said Ran Fridman, EVP Global Sales at Allot.
Interface Security Systems, a pioneering managed services provider that delivers managed network, business security and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, recently provided Thrive Restaurant Group, one of Applebee’s largest franchisees in the US, with scalable network, communications and security services. Business security systems platform The new solutions include a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades, 4G/LTE wireless capability, unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and a secure and standardized business security systems platform. As a significant update to Thrive’s outdated legacy systems, the new Interface solution unclogs productivity bottlenecks and gives the flexibility the restaurant chain needs to address changing customer preferences. Managing multiple network and voice providers We needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice, and security for all locations" With 81 restaurants across the United States, Thrive found itself struggling with challenges common to many geographically distributed businesses, including managing multiple network and voice providers, dealing with outdated CCTV hardware, and a lack of accountability from vendors. “With 81 restaurants across ten states, we needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice, and security for all locations,” explains Brian Houchin, Director of IT for Thrive Restaurant Group. Troubleshooting technical issues When it came to managing vendors, Thrive simply had too many. Troubleshooting technical issues was challenging as it was difficult to pin accountability on a specific vendor. In addition, tracking invoices, service credits and administering multiple vendors was an inefficient and time-consuming exercise every month. Outdated hardware and changing regulations also posed a challenge. Unreliable CCTV equipment left the restaurants, employees and customers vulnerable to security risks on-premises. Constantly evolving Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance rules meant Brian Houchin had to devote hours of his limited bandwidth to keep up with the latest changes and updates, so that Thrive could avoid major penalties and security threats. With the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupting Thrive’s business, restaurant staff found it challenging to handle sudden spikes in call volumes, as they had to work with a legacy phone system that was not scalable. The lack of 4G wireless coverage, outside of the restaurant premises made curbside pickup and take-out services impossible to manage. Secure, scalable network and communications Thrive turned to Interface to implement a secure, scalable network and communications backbone that would unclog the productivity bottlenecks and give the flexibility the restaurant chain needed to cater to changing customer needs. Interface implemented a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades to guarantee seamless connectivity between all of Thrive’s locations. To deliver a better guest experience for customers calling in with their orders and enabling curbside pickup and payment, Interface rolled out a 4G/LTE wireless network that also doubled up as a backup when the primary network failed. UCaas with cloud-based VoIP implemented With managed network services from Interface, Brian and Thrive never have to worry about PCI compliance With managed network services from Interface, Brian and Thrive never have to worry about PCI compliance. Interface also implemented unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and auto-attendant features for Thrive’s locations to seamlessly route high volumes of customer calls to their dedicated order center. “We wanted to take the call-in experience out of the individual restaurants and put it into the hands of professionals who weren’t in a hurry to get off the phone,” explains Brian Houchin, adding “The VoIP service from Interface lets us take additional orders, dramatically improving our customer experience and increasing revenue.” Deploying secure video surveillance platform To solve the limitations of Thrive’s legacy CCTV infrastructure, Interface delivered a secure video surveillance platform with easy remote viewing from any location and simplified access management to boost restaurant security. Thrive’s partnership with Interface has allowed the restaurant group to focus more on their growth strategy and long-term plans. By consolidating their SD-WAN, UCaaS, CCTV and 4G/LTE services with Interface, Thrive gets real accountability without having to deal with the vendor run-around. Perhaps the greatest advantage is Thrive’s ability to aggressively expand, confident that Interface’s 24/7 managed services will always be ready to support their growth. “We’ve had a chance to test out multiple vendors for network, communications and business security and Interface definitely has provided us the best experience,” concludes Houchin.
Round table discussion
Video storage has been a challenge since the days of VCRs and videotape. Storing images is a central need for any video systems, especially one that is focused on the forensic and investigative aspects of video. Today, digital video is stored on hard drives and even in the cloud. Increasingly, video is considered “data” that drives a variety of video analytics and even artificial intelligence (AI) applications. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in video storage?
New software developments have dominated technology innovation in the physical security industry for years, making more things possible to the benefit of integrators and end users. However, hardware is another important piece of the puzzle. No matter how great your software, the system doesn’t perform unless the hardware works too. In our enthusiasm over software developments, let’s not overlook the latest in the hardware world. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do hardware improvements drive better physical security?
The first half of 2020 has been full of surprises, to say the least, and many of them directly impacted the physical security market. The COVID-19 pandemic created endless new challenges, and the physical security market has done our part to meet those challenges by adapting technology solutions such as thermal cameras and access control systems. In the second half of 2020, we can all hope for a return to normalcy, even if it is a “new normal.” In any case, technology will continue to play a big role. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which technologies have the greatest potential to disrupt the security industry in the second half of 2020?