Barco, a globally renowned professional visualization solutions firm, has announced the release of WallConnect Cloud, a new cloud-based remote monitoring and management platform for its video walls portfolio. WallConnect Cloud WallConnect Cloud allows system integrators to monitor and diagnose their installed base of video walls, enabling them to remotely check the status, diagnose and control a number of critical parameters. This results in higher operational efficiency, faster problem-solvin...
Device Authority, a global provider of identity and access management (IAM) for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the latest version of its KeyScaler platform which includes enhanced device connectivity, secure data storage and support for Microsoft Azure Sphere. In today’s evolving technology-driven world, security needs to be architected into IoT devices from the moment of inception and requires a robust foundation to deliver secure updates throughout the device lifecycle. Devices...
IDEMIA, the globally renowned provider of Augmented Identity and Identity Management solutions, has announced the appointment of Andrew Boyd to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for IDEMIA National Security Solutions. Andrew Boyd will be responsible for the over-all strategic growth and leadership of the team, delivering state-of-the-art technology solutions that support national defense, national security, and the classified missions’ space. Security and Intell...
Alcatraz, a developer of autonomous access control products, announced it has joined the NVIDIA Metropolis Software Partner program and is leveraging the NVIDIA Jetson Edge AI platform to create a real-time machine learning and computer vision multi-sensor embedded system. Alcatraz offers the Rock, a touchless and secure physical access control platform that works with any access control system, delivering an autonomous solution on the edge. It replaces or augments badging as a credential with...
Vanderbilt, a global provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announced the launch of their VCredential cloud-based credential management platform. Following the introduction of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) reader family in conjunction with ACT Enterprise in October 2019, Vanderbilt’s increased expansion in this market responds to the continuing trend toward virtualization and a shift toward touchless door access. VCredential is a cloud-based credential management platform...
As the media often reports, the world of cybersecurity can be seen like the ‘Wild West’. There’s now a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to the web, making this a hot topic. Among these devices are security cameras. IoT devices are computers that use software that makes them vulnerable. As the famous cybersecurity evangelist Mikko Hypponen says, "If a device is smart, it's vulnerable!" Hypponen is right. On a daily basis, new vulnerabilities are found in...
Synology Inc. has announced the launch of DiskStation DS1621xs+ NAS, redefining performance expectations in a compact tower form-factor. Pairing a quad-core Xeon processor, together with ECC memory and onboard 10GbE, the DS1621xs+ raises the bar for high-performance data storage and management. Super-fast micro-server The DS1621xs+ shares a powerful Xeon processor found in some of the best datacenter bound devices, but now also in an 11.5L chassis. Over 3.1 GB/s seq. read and 1.8 GB/s seq. write performance ensures that systems can tackle larger data sets and handle more users, even quicker than before. It is also paired with ECC memory for maximum dependability. Together with Btrfs and comprehensive data backup options, the DS1621xs+ ensures data remains always secured. 10X faster networking Six internal 3.5" bays provided enable up to 96 TB of raw storage space capacity Six internal 3.5" bays provided enable up to 96 TB of raw storage space capacity. When that's not enough, there is an extended storage option of up to 256 TB, on-demand, by adding on two additional DX517 expansion units for a total of 16 drives. The DS1621xs+ also includes two M.2 2280 slots for blazing-fast NVMe cache, so that storage can go over 20X faster without sacrificing any bays. Finish content creation projects, big backup tasks, and anything that needs fast file transfers quicker with built-in 10GbE slot. Slot in an additional 10GbE card to speed up and tackle high-resolution network rendering projects or provide even faster transfer performance for multiple virtual machines. Powered by Synology DSM Synology DSM simplifies difficult and cumbersome processes, while still giving users ample control over decisions that matter, ensuring data management remains easy. Users can create their personal on-premises cloud with Synology Drive and protect data located on PCs, virtual machines, SaaS, and more with Synology Active Backup suite.
Boldon James Ltd, a globally renowned technology solutions company providing data classification and military messaging solutions that enable customers to effectively protect data, enforce controls and manage data distribution, has announced that it has partnered with Deep Secure, a renowned UK cyber security firm, delivering malware-free, policy enforced data to protect against cyber-attacks and data non-compliances. This new strategic alliance will deliver protective governance and safe information exchange in any organization’s messaging and content environment. Technology alliance The new partnership aims to utilize Boldon James Ltd’s best-of-breed data protection and governance solutions, which will be augmented with Deep Secure’s Threat Removal and Policy Enforcement solutions to present clean data at the application layer, in addition to deep content inspection policy enforcement, applying configurable content policies to pass, block, quarantine or modify content in email. The combined solution enables protectively marked data to have added domain boundary checks on metadata and labeling in messages and attachments. Additionally, it provides dominance checks on over-classification as well as forty-nine different inspections across every piece of content. Enhancing data security We are excited to partner with Deep Secure to bring innovative, ground-breaking technology solutions" “We are excited to partner with Deep Secure to bring innovative, ground-breaking technology solutions to our enterprise and commercial customers,” said Keith Vallance, Head of Product at Boldon James. Keith adds, “Deep Secure policy enforcement and threat removal solutions will complement our strategic focus to deliver advanced data classification and will further enhance our position in both military and government messaging domains and commercial data classification. Our joint efforts with Deep Secure will enable us to pioneer the future of data classification.” Data governance and data loss prevention The partnership will see organizations benefit from a complete messaging solution that provides protective governance around data throughout its lifecycle, further enhancing implemented tools, such as data loss prevention (DLP), data discovery and data governance. “This partnership will allow us to expand our addressable markets by providing customers with integrated solutions that increase the efficiency of their IT infrastructure and security,” said Daniel Turner, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Deep Secure, adding “We’ll aim to work closely with Boldon James to address solutions that deliver material benefits for our enterprise and commercial customers.”
ONVIF, the renowned global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, is announcing that it is now live on GitHub, an online open source development platform. The repository at github.com/onvif/specs will help drive the development of ONVIF network interface specifications. “By having a repository on GitHub, ONVIF is making its interface specification development process more accessible, transparent and efficient,” said Per Björkdahl, Chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee. “We encourage ONVIF members and the global developer community to go to our GitHub site and contribute to the standardization work of supporting greater feature interoperability and innovation.” Physical access control systems The ONVIF GitHub site provides the source files of ONVIF specification-related documents ONVIF interoperability specifications are already publicly available as open standards and are implemented by more than 400 manufacturers of IP surveillance cameras, video management software and physical access control systems to enable communication between conformant devices and clients from different vendors. Opening the development of network interface specifications to the greater developer community will allow for input from other industries, such as IoT, artificial intelligence, cloud services and other technology domains. The ONVIF GitHub site provides the source files of ONVIF specification-related documents, including schema files, which describe the XML framework of specific ONVIF features and functions. Advanced video streaming Developers with an active GitHub account may propose changes via so-called pull requests. A dual license scheme enables ONVIF to publish these extensions and enables further evolution by the open source community. Changes ultimately accepted by the ONVIF Technical Committee will be published on the ONVIF public website. The GitHub platform enables greater automation and efficiency by automating key areas of the process The GitHub platform enables greater automation and efficiency by automating key areas of the process. This includes removing the manual handling of change requests via a ticket system, and automatically merging accepted changes into a development branch, which eliminates the need for a dedicated editor to update the network interface specification files. Physical security products Over the course of its 11-year history, ONVIF has also developed several profiles (groupings of certain functionalities derived from established ONVIF network interface specifications) that enable the performance of a set of features: Profile S for streaming video; Profile G for video recording and storage; Profile C for physical access control; Profile Q for quick installation, Profile A for broader physical access control configuration and Profile T for advanced video streaming. While profile development is not open sourced, ONVIF widely expects that specification contributions realized via open source will support the development of future profiles. Founded in 2008, ONVIF is a renowned and well-recognized industry forum that is committed to driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organization has a global member base of established camera, video management software and access control companies, and nearly 19,000 profile conformant products.
Sectigo, a renowned provider of automated digital identity management and web security solutions, announced the launch of its PKI Risk Assessment Tool designed to help medium and large enterprises assess their exposure to essential security risks. The resource provides IT and cybersecurity professionals with a brief questionnaire, then produces a custom report that evaluates the organization’s risk level across 8 different Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) use cases, so that teams can focus on critical vulnerabilities. Protect valuable assets The PKI Risk Assessment Tool, available now for any enterprise to download at no cost, determines the risk level for each specific use case independently, making the approach unique to Sectigo and the security market as a whole. The new Sectigo PKI Risk Assessment Tool helps educate IT professionals about the many use cases for PKI and its benefits, and where vulnerabilities lie, so that they can future-proof their cryptography, reduce the risk of outages or breaches, and keep security standards high. Though PKI has been around for years, its applications in the enterprise have evolved exponentially" “Though PKI has been around for years, its applications in the enterprise have evolved exponentially with the likes of DevOps, IoT, IAM, making the need for automation and crypto agility greater than ever,” explained Tim Callan, Senior Fellow at Sectigo. “We are proud to provide the industry with this unique resource so that IT professionals can better uncover the risks they face and then make well-informed business decisions to protect their most valuable assets.” Combined software development In recent years, PKI solutions have evolved to become even more versatile, harnessing automation, orchestration, scalability, crypto-agility, and visibility. The PKI Risk Assessment Tool identifies a risk level for the current environments that are applicable to most modern businesses, focusing on 8 important use cases: Web servers - Web and application servers hosting either external or internal applications Email - Enterprise email systems for employees Networked devices - Computers and mobile devices connected to the enterprise network IoT devices - Computing devices and mechanical and digital machines with the ability to transfer data over the enterprise network Application development - Development of proprietary software applications for either external or internal use DevOps Environment - Combined software development and information-technology operations environment using containers Key management in public cloud - Third-party cloud PaaS or IaaS environment hosting external or internal applications SSH-based server management - Control of employee access to services through SSH Keys Protect digital identities The PKI Risk Assessment Tool is particularly useful for Sectigo customers. While Sectigo Certificate Manager seamlessly deploys and automates lifecycle management of PKI certificates across all use cases, the tool helps enterprises prioritize which use cases put them at the most risk so that they can take action to protect digital identities across users, applications, web servers, IoT devices, and more.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned provider of smart security and sustainable building solutions, has announced the introduction of the latest generation of the Tyco American Dynamics victor/ VideoEdge security solution, which offers powerful features, such as Intelligent Person Search, Area Occupancy, new Event Management hub, 64-bit client, and NVR Network Interface Card bonding for increased bandwidth. victor/ VideoEdge solution The Tyco American Dynamics victor/ VideoEdge security solution features new victor/ VideoEdge AI to give security operations and personnel an advantage over potential threats with shortened response times and more accurate intelligent search capabilities. These advanced AI capabilities equip customers with a comprehensive, intelligent security solution for high accuracy, and far greater power, giving their businesses a superior advantage against any potential threat. Powerful AI and analytics Powerful AI and analytics are now combined and integrated with victor/ VideoEdge Powerful AI and analytics are now combined and integrated with victor/ VideoEdge to strengthen operational efficiency and effectiveness. The security solution detects suspicious objects and abnormal behavior effectively to identify trends that help mitigate threats, and pinpoint exact location of alarms on maps, so as to arm security teams with life-saving details. With powerful, automated and forensic search capabilities, powered by Tyco AI, victor/ VideoEdge users are able to save time when precious minutes matter. Cyber Solutions Product Security Program standards compliance All of the company’s products are analyzed, tested and are required to meet or exceed the rigorous standards of the Johnson Controls Cyber Solutions Product Security Program. This holistic approach is aimed at providing peace of mind to customers. Johnson Controls’ security mindset begins at initial design concept and is supported through deployment, including a rapid incident response to meet the comprehensive and evolving cyber security environments.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned smart and sustainable building solutions company, has announced that it is introducing a reliable, cyber-hardened IP edge access control device for up to four doors. One of the most powerful, flexible and secure edge access controllers, Tyco Software House iSTAR Edge G2 provides effortless upgrades from existing edge controllers, is OSDP compatible and supports embedded high assurance FICAM operation without additional third-party hardware, making it an ideal solution for both government and commercial users. iSTAR Edge G2 iSTAR Edge G2 offers an optional Power over Ethernet (PoE) module that provides ample power for two doors, while also allowing the controller to leverage existing network infrastructure to reduce installation costs. Additionally, iSTAR Edge G2’s firmware provides users an advanced access control feature set, including OSDP and peer-to-peer clustering and allowing a local database of up to one million cardholders. Overall system reliability is increased with iSTAR Edge G2 by providing localized decision-making at each door. The controller offers a robust local cardholder database of more than one million personnel records and local alarm and event buffering in the event communication to the host is interrupted. Advanced hardware-based cyber security protection iSTAR Edge G2 provides advanced hardware-based cyber security protection by utilizing TEE iSTAR Edge G2 provides advanced hardware-based cyber security protection by utilizing Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), a secure, isolated environment within its CPU that runs in parallel to the main Linux OS. This guarantees confidentiality and integrity of the code and data loaded within the device. TEE provides reliable storage of keys and other cryptographic materials, and manages a secure boot process to guarantee authenticated sources for hardware and software. Designed to drastically reduce installation and startup costs, iSTAR Edge G2 can directly replace its predecessor, iSTAR Edge, as hardware configurations and connection points remain the same. Coupled with a built-in database conversion tool within C•CURE 9000, this offers existing iSTAR Edge users a seamless transition to the latest technology. Minimum installation and servicing costs By controlling and powering all access control devices at the door, installation costs are minimized. A rechargeable coin cell battery for the real-time-clock (RTC) and the use of super-caps to provide power for graceful shutdowns when power is lost further help to minimize service needs, further reducing costs. Additionally, iSTAR Edge G2 features a more secure web interface for remote diagnostics, increasing its user-friendly remote servicing options. Users will be able to remotely manage and fix performance issues anywhere in their facility from any location.
Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities? As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are also seeing demand for thermal imaging technology increase. New technology like this combined with more of these always-on systems being rolled out, means organizations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data and there are some key trends you can expect to see as a result of this evolution. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyze it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. Edge computing and smart security As public cloud adoption grew, companies and organizations saw the platform as a centralized location for big data. However, recently there’s been opposition to that trend. Instead we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. There is one main reason for this change in preference: latency. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralized data center hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure. UHD and storage AI-enabled applications and capabilities, such as pattern recognition, depend on high-definition resolutions such as 4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD). This detailed data has a major impact on storage – both the capacity and speeds at which it needs to be written, and the network. Compared to HD, 4K video has much higher storage requirements and we even have 8K on the horizon. As we know, 4K video has four times the number of pixels as HD video. In addition, 4K compliant video supports 8, 10, and 12 bits per channel that translate to 24-, 30- or 36-bit color depth per pixel. A similar pattern holds for HD — more color using 24 bits or less color using 10 or 12 bits in color depth per pixel. Altogether, there is up to a 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080 pixel video. Larger video files place new demands on data infrastructure for both video production and surveillance. Which means investing in data infrastructure becomes a key consideration when looking into smart security. Always-on connectivity Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more. Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralized recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to the safety and security of hospital patients and staff. For this reason, microSD cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps. Thermal imaging Health and safety is the number one priority for all organizations as people return to work and public spaces. Some organizations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organizations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices. Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means requirements of the supporting data infrastructure improve to match that, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation. Companies need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy for the future.
The modern working world has evolved dramatically over the last few decades - from how and when we work, to the places we work from. Widespread internet connection advances, alongside the growth of cloud-based shared working platforms, have not only created the possibility for increasingly flexible working arrangements, but also fueled a desire to do so – particularly among millennials. The preference for flexible working has now created a widespread need for more agile workforces, saddling IT departments around the world with the task to maintain ‘business as usual’ without compromising corporate privacy. With flexible working forecasted to stay for the long haul and passwords increasingly under scrutiny, evaluating alternative secure authentication methods to keep companies’ data and networks safe is important to protect these ‘new normal’ ways of working. The end of the humble password? A recent report by Raconteur found that the most common method of authentication for securing the digital aspects of workplaces is passwords. Unfortunately, however, between phishing, hacking and simple guesswork, passwords are easily compromised – a problem that is only getting worse, with IT professionals reporting an increase in phishing attacks in the last few years. Once compromised, passwords can be used to enter untrusted apps or websites and, worst and most commonly of all, give rise to even greater data breaches. Between phishing, hacking and simple guesswork, passwords are easily compromised Alongside security concerns, 6 in 10 people worry about forgetting their passwords and, according to a recent Balbix study, 99% of people reuse the same password across different work accounts. This, undoubtedly, is a side effect of the increasingly complex character requirements implemented by many enterprises. This stress and effort leads to frustrated employees, but, more worryingly, forgotten passwords can also cost IT departments millions of dollars a year. In our flexible, hyper-connected world, it is clear then that the humble password is no longer effective. Additional or alternative layers of authentication are needed to help enterprises maintain their workplace security in a more convenient and cost-effective way. Smarter workplace authentication with biometrics Often, hacking incidents involve the use of stolen credentials. One authentication solution that could bring an end to these large-scale hacking attacks is biometrics, as unique biological traits are extremely hard to steal and spoof. In addition to being a more secure method to authenticate users and prevent fraud in companies’ networks, it is also possible to layer biometric modalities to create a highly convenient and secure multi-modal authentication solution for sensitive areas or information. Spoofing two biometric modalities, such as fingerprint and iris, in the same attack is virtually impossible, but that doesn’t mean this level of security needs to impair the UX. After all, you can put your finger on a touch sensor, while at the same time glancing at a sensor. For businesses, biometrics can be used in a wide variety of use cases, from securing laptops and applications to authenticating employees at secured access and entry points. It can also be used to add frictionless layers of additional security to any aspect of current security systems, such as key fobs or USB sticks, or to access personalized settings or employee accounts when using shared devices, such as a printer system. This way, beyond playing a role in securing the modern workplace, biometrics can also give employees greater flexibility and convenience over how, when and where they work. Privacy and biometrics - explained Many employers and employees worry about safeguarding privacy in the workplace. Considering biometric data is highly personal, it is no wonder, then, that many are concerned about collecting this data for the purpose of workplace security and what liabilities this may expose them to. For businesses, biometrics can be used in a wide variety of use cases, from securing laptops and applications to authenticating employees Employers must adhere to the relevant workplace privacy laws, such Europe’s GDPR, and this duty extends to biometrics, of course. But, providing biometrics is implemented in line with best practice, it can actually protect employees’ privacy far more effectively than its predecessor, passwords. When employers use an on-device approach, their employees can rest assured no one will be able to access or steal their biometric data, as all biometric data is stored and processed on the device - whether that is a laptop, smartphone, USB stick or key fob. Removing the need for data to ever enter the cloud, this also removes the technical and legal complexities of managing a biometric database and, if a key fob is lost for example, all parties can rest assured there is no chance of anyone else being able to use it. A win-win. Precisely because biometric data is so difficult to steal and spoof, adding biometric authentication to end-point devices can considerably reduce data breaches to keep both sensitive employee and corporate data safe and secure. Reimagining workplace security As people work more flexibly, systems are shared more frequently, and attacks get smarter, it is clear to see that passwords alone are no longer enough to secure the modern-day workplace. Adding biometric authentication to end-point devices can considerably reduce data breaches Now is the time to reassess the physical and logical access control infrastructure. To keep personal and corporate data safe, it is crucial to add new and additional authentication methods to the security infrastructure. Luckily, the benefits of biometrics are often far simpler to realize than many enterprises imagine. The beauty of biometrics is its combination of both security and convenience. Compared to other forms of authentication, biometrics offers considerably stronger protection and an enhanced UX that can easily be integrated into existing enterprise security infrastructure – without the need for huge biometric databases to manage or fear. So, whether to replace outdated passwords or as part of a multi-modal authentication system, biometrics can play an important role in pushing workplace security into a new era for both physical and logical access control.
COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown saw an unprecedented demand for cloud-enabled technologies across Europe. Such services enabled people to stay connected and allowed some businesses to relocate personnel and continue to operate successfully. With enterprise-focused video conferencing mobile app downloads showing a weekly 90% increase in comparison to pre-COVID-19 figures, it’s clear that cloud services have proven invaluable in these challenging times. Now, as the benefits to business of cloud technology become apparent, and the grip of COVID-19 begins to loosen, senior decision makers must consider the learnings from the past few months and look to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs or become more agile in the long term. Digital transformation presents some enticing advantages for those companies that have been slow to adapt. The physical security industry, traditionally video surveillance cameras (CCTV) and access control, will have witnessed how cloud infrastructure is not only cost effective and safe, but is a force multiplier for connecting platforms, services and people with potent business benefits. The future is VSaaS and ACaaS In today’s modern, connected world, dated technologies are giving way to their cloud-enabled successors, video surveillance as-a-service (VSaaS) and access control as-a-service (ACaaS). In this context, cameras and readers are added to a network as IoT devices that bring security systems up to date and represent a vital component in any modern, cyber-secure digital strategy. Frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings But better security is just one benefit of a much greater system that can bring real value. Built in analytics, for example, that utilize the data from network video cameras and smart access control devices, produce valuable business insights that help to inform and automate decision making. In the recent pandemic, frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings; while occupancy tools have helped retailers adhere to strict government guidelines on social distancing. And as more security equipment becomes connected to the wider IT network, the advantages have not been lost on the IT industry that is expressing more than a passing interest in the adoption and management of such systems. Morphean recently conducted a survey of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe, with the purpose of providing clarity around their security purchasing intent in the 2020s. Findings revealed that as many as 84% of IT managers are currently using or considering VSaaS or ACaaS systems, pointing to an appreciation of the convergence of physical security and IT security, and a willingness to embrace systems when integrated with IT in the cloud. An adaptable business model with recurring revenues Of course, it is not just the IT industry that is changing mindsets towards hosted physical security. As a result of COVID-19, end customers are demanding it too and found it easier to scale at speed when business circumstances changed. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on premises, a hosted solution offered greater dexterity as operational challenges around the pandemic arose. Businesses were able to customize and scale quickly to meet ongoing need without the need for large upfront capital investment, instead, paying for the convenience as-a-service out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost. This is the proven business model of cloud, yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. VSaaS is still alien to installers and integrators used to selling hardware on narrow margins, reliant on existing financial arrangements with distributors to fund new equipment. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licences rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities. This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the crisis. Instead, convenient and recurring monthly payments will have put the installer on a firmer footing and guaranteed ongoing vendor support backed by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades to ensure delivery of a high quality service that’s always up to date and online. What is driving your digital strategy? VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution Cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. CEOs and CIOs within the physical security reseller industry must learn the lessons and apply the learnings to drive their businesses forward in the ‘new normal’ where hosted security solutions must surely play a major part to expand their offering to a wiser customer base. Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, and a chance to forge new business relationships to face the challenges of an ever changing world.
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.
As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com has adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimize impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilizing webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts. Helping customers remain connected Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Alarm.com is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged. The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, Alarm.com is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely “Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson. “Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.” Do-It-Together solutions Alarm.com partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson. Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call. Alarm.com’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs. End users can validate the Alarm.com Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app Alarm.com Smart Gateway For example, the Alarm.com Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says. Shift to the cloud Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.” End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Alarm.com Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through Alarm.com’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximize lifetime account value. “We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”
The next step in the journey of digital transformation, the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies (5G) will have an enormous impact on mankind, and on every industry including security. In short, 5G will disrupt the way we live and work. To discuss the changes, we presented our questions to Benoît Jouffrey, VP 5G Expertise at Thales, which is at the forefront of the transformation with an emphasis on trust and security. Following are his responses. Q: In layman's terms, what is the difference between 4G and 5G ecosystems as they relate to opportunity, flexibility and choice in networking tools? Jouffrey: Compared with largely one-size-fits-all 4G services, the 5G ecosystem will provide organizations with much greater choice and flexibility in the way they communicate over mobile networks. The network slicing capabilities of 5G means that business can have their own independent networks, with each one customized to their unique requirements and backed up by service-level agreements (SLA). Another aspect of 5G will be the ability to drive latency between UE (User Equipment) and network down to below a few milliseconds, which will massively boost the performance and scalability of enterprise applications. Q: How can these capabilities drive a company's digital operations? 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently Jouffrey: 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently: they can rely on a higher density of connected devices exchanging more information in a better timeframe. Due to these slicing capabilities, 5G networks allow for much greater personalization than 4G networks. This means that businesses could benefit from this personalized network, tailored to their portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, and not be necessarily expected to rely on a one-size-fits-all network. By combining the unique capabilities of 5G with the insights derived from analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, enterprises will be in much better stead to run their operations efficiently and securely. Q: How might 5G impact the use of cloud systems? Jouffrey: 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have a small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate. Q: How can one provide trustworthy 5G lifecycle management for IoT devices? Jouffrey: Trustworthy IoT lifecycle management is an end-to-end approach from the secure provisioning of keys within the devices, to the proper identification of the users, from the authentication on the network or the network slice, to the secure handling of the data either at stored or in motion. Resources need to be invested long before this to qualify the business model, in prototyping, as well as prototype testing. Most organizations don’t have the resources to counter all the security challenges of their 5G IoT deployments. Businesses will often end up choosing between navigating a risk-laden 5G environment, with inadequate or incomplete trust mechanisms, or outsourcing these requirements. When looking at outsourcing, companies must choose a provider with expertise in digital security, ensuring 5G IoT deployments have data protection and connectivity credentials built in, together with end-to-end data protection solutions such as encryption – protecting data in the device, network, and cloud at rest and in transit. Q: How can wireless modules address new 5G IoT use cases? Wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular Jouffrey: As IoT considerations are integrated into the 5G ecosystem, wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular. 5G modules support different characteristics to earlier generations – the 5G use cases are much more complex, varied, from high-end use cases requiring high data usage and throughput, such as for industrial routers, to low-throughput, energy consumption optimized devices, as required for some IoT sensors. At the end, compared to the largely one-size-fits-all approach that preceded it, 5G will increase the demand for vertical-tailored wireless modules. Importantly, these wireless modules need to support new data protection and security features that go well beyond conventional compliance to 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. Due to the extent of personalization within 5G networks, wireless modules must also offer providers and customers greater security as well as agility all along the device lifespan. Q: What are the new data protection challenges posed by 5G, and how can they be addressed? Jouffrey: The 5G era presents exciting opportunities, as well as security challenges. The greatest risks to enterprise data on 5G networks – including eavesdropping, man-in the middle attacks, denial of services, loss or compromisation of data – were already known in 4G. The 5G standards have looked at providing answers to these threats and come with some noticeable improvements, such as the encryption of the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI), otherwise known as the Subscription Permanent Identifier in 5G. But what’s different with 5G is the threat surface area, due notably to the variety of devices that will be used over these 5G networks and the underlying technologies used for the deployment of the networks, such as cloud native virtualization. On top of this, it’s the first generation of cellular to launch in an era of global cyber-crime, funded by organized crime and states alike. So, whilst enterprises should look to the ecosystem of telecom operators and cloud providers, vendors, and system operators to help understand the opportunities presented by 5G – this same ecosystem needs to guide them in countering any new risks that the 5G architecture may pose. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset using encryption. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset Q: What new roles can the 5G embedded universal integrated circuit card (eSIM) endorse in network authentication? Jouffrey: 5G is the first generation of cellular to launch in a buoyant eSIM market. The eSIM will be key in supporting network slicing authentication and security, enabling enterprises to leverage their credentials to pre-select network slices. However, to support secure authentication for mobile networks that may require the usage of different authentication algorithms over time, these 5G eSIMs must support this flexibility of usage of multiple authentication and authorization credentials. With this capability built into these eSIMs from the start, mobile operators can remotely swap the authentication algorithm either for a dedicated primary authentication, or in a definitive way, thanks to key rotation management, thus maintaining a trusted environment.
Verkada, the provider in cloud-managed enterprise building security, announced the release of its environmental sensor product line and its initial product, the SV11. The announcement comes on the heels of Verkada’s recent Series C funding and successful launch of its access control line, further establishing the company as the provider of the operating system for modern, integrated buildings. Monitoring “Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.” The SV11 is a simple-to-deploy, powerful sensing device that provides enhanced visibility into what is happening in a physical space. The cloud-managed device seamlessly integrates with Verkada’s enterprise video security solution, allowing organizations to review context and quickly associate sensor events with relevant video footage. Real-time insights and proactive alerts The interface delivers real-time insights and makes it easy to respond to proactive alerts or conduct investigations into past incidents. Customers across a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and hospitality, have already deployed the SV11 to monitor: Air quality: Protect one's environment from invisible threats like gas and chemical leaks, or detect illicit activities like vaping and smoking. Temperature and humidity: Monitor changes in temperature and humidity that may damage expensive infrastructure, materials, or food and medical supplies. Motion and occupancy: Detect motion or occupancy in bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private areas where cameras are not appropriate. Noise levels: Detect activity or disturbances without violating privacy. Receive and manage alert notifications remotely “The ability to deploy Verkada's sensor in our network closets has provided us with complete visibility into what’s happening in those rooms,” said Rick Palandro, Security and Facilities Operations Engineer at Fox Rothschild LLP. “With Verkada, I'm now able to receive and manage alert notifications remotely the moment temperature rises above a specific threshold. I can instantly mobilize the team to respond to HVAC issues. We’ve shifted from a reactive approach that often resulted in damaged equipment to a proactive one that ensures our equipment is always operating properly.” Monitoring preventative and predictive maintenance Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing" “Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing that helps us stay ahead of the curve on environmental improvements across our plant facility,” said Frank McKinney, COO and Plant Manager of Carolina Ingredients. “By pinpointing where we can set up both preventative and predictive maintenance, we can closely monitor and optimize air quality, efficiency of our HVAC units, and behaviors in the plant, which enables us to more effectively manage the business and deliver quality ingredients and superior blending services that support our customers.” Integration with video monitoring solution "We installed the environmental sensor across campuses in areas like bathrooms that are difficult to properly monitor and are therefore likely places for inappropriate activity such as vaping," said Marty Oliver, Director of Technology at Godley Independent School District. "Paired with Verkada's video monitoring solution, the SV11 provides a new level of visibility into what's happening in those spaces without infringing on students' privacy, giving principals, superintendents, and office administrators a more holistic understanding of student activity in school." Environmental sensor The introduction of the environmental sensor follows accelerated business growth in Q2 2020, highlighted by: Sixty-five percent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth (compared to Q1 2020), including new deployments with Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Rubrik, NextGen America International expansion with new Sales operations in Sydney and Latin America and deployments with Heinemann Australia, Lifeview Residential Care, and Transportes Canales A projection to double headcount by year-end 2020 (compared to year-end 2019) Expansion of its global channel partner program to more than 1,500 resellers The launch of its Access Control solution, which oversold in the first quarter of general availability and surpassed projected sales by more than 400 percent The release of the Bullet Series of hybrid cloud cameras as well as new features as part of a COVID-19 Response Suite, including People Heatmaps, Person of Interest Notifications, and Crowd Notifications Smart buildings The launch of the SV11 is the next step towards Verkada delivering on its vision to power the modern, integrated building. With security cameras at its core, Verkada is expanding its product offering with new applications such as access control and sensors to deliver the infrastructure that runs safer, smarter buildings.
Installation company Nessence recently integrated Vanderbilt’s ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management system with Mobile BankID in Sweden. Mobile BankID is a citizen identification solution that allows companies, banks, and government agencies to authenticate and conclude agreements with individuals over the internet. The integration with ACT365 comes together to solve a brief put forward by the supermarket chain, ICA Sweden. Web API for integration Tobias Olofsson, Project Sales Manager at Vanderbilt, explains that ICA Sweden is a retailer with a focus on food and health, and they wanted to be open earlier in the morning and later in the evening. “It would be too expensive to hire staff to stay open during these times in smaller locations. This is because the number of customers shopping early in the morning or late at night is minimal. But the store wants to be able to provide its customers with this value-added service,” says Olofsson. ACT365 was the perfect solution for this project due to its easy deployment, easy operation To solve this, the supermarket wanted to open unmanned and needed a solution to allow customers to enter the store in a functioning and approved manner by the insurance company. In Olofsson’s opinion, ACT365 was the perfect solution for this project due to its easy deployment, easy operation, and a smooth web API for integration. Increased accessibility and convenience “The success of this project means it is now possible for shoppers to open the supermarket’s entrance door by digitally signing into the Mobile BankID on their phone and presenting it to the ACT365 reader located on the outside of the door,” states Olofsson. Moreover, good accessibility is maintained as all customers do not need to have specific cards or tags for the access system to be able to enter the supermarket. “A new modern solution has been developed to facilitate trade for private individuals, especially in smaller towns where food stores do not tend to stay open for as long as in the big cities. This project has resulted in increased profits for the supermarket, as well as increased accessibility and convenience for its customers,” concludes Olofsson.
Evolv Technology announced that Hersheypark® is using Evolv’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based, touchless security screening system as part of the much-loved theme park’s robust COVID-19 safety measures. Hersheypark was originally created by businessman and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey more than 110 years ago as leisure grounds for employees of Hershey's Chocolate Factory. Embodying the passion of its namesake, the park is dedicated to its global reputation as a safe, fun family destination offering something entertaining for everyone, regardless of age. Hersheypark welcomes millions of guests annually and was recently honored by the 2020 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards. Evolv Express™ Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour Evolv is involved in the digital transformation of physical security, one that is touchless and addresses the ‘new normal’ threat of pandemic viruses as well as concealed weapons. Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour - 10 times faster than legacy approaches such as metal detectors, hand wands and manual inspections. The system enables Hersheypark to facilitate social distancing at its security checkpoints while minimizing person-to-person interaction-requiring no stopping, no emptying of pockets or removing bags. Park guests simply walk through naturally, alleviating potential long lines at their entrances while greatly reducing contact between guests, employees and security staff. By using Evolv Express, organizations have been able to optimize the performance of their security teams while reducing screening expenses by as much as 70%. Renovated main entrance Following state mandates related to the pandemic and an abundance of caution, Hersheypark’s opening was delayed until July 3, which marked the debut of the park’s completely renovated main entrance designed to provide a stress-free, welcoming experience for guests. A component of a 23-acre “Hershey’s Chocolatetown” development and park expansion, the Evolv Express systems are located at Hersheypark’s new main entrance. Health and safety The health and safety of our guests, team members and our community are core to our brand" “Hersheypark prides itself on providing family fun in a clean, green and safe environment where our guests can relax and enjoy the day together,” said Garrett Gallia, vice president of communications and corporate relations at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “The health and safety of our guests, team members and our community are core to our brand and our most important commitment to all those who choose to honor us with a visit or work as a member of our team. Using Evolv’s touchless security screening platform is a perfect example of Hersheypark’s forward-thinking application of digital technology. Evolv Express is designed to grow with us to meet the current and future safety needs of our guests and employees, which we view as a significant benefit over traditional solutions.” Response to Evolv Express at Hersheypark has been uniformly positive. Guests welcome how rapid and unobtrusive the process is while making them feel even safer. Optimizing staff resources The park’s security professionals emphasize how easy it is to learn and use the system The park’s security professionals emphasize how easy it is to learn and use the system while optimizing their staff resources. With metal detectors, it typically takes the park four to five seconds per person for the screening, regularly followed by hand searching of bags or other personal items. With Evolv Express, most guests now stroll through at their normal pace not even realizing the screening process is occurring and then begin their day of fun and relaxation. The park’s security team estimates a four-to-five times improvement in the number of guests screened per hour using the system when compared to metal detectors or other dated approaches. The frictionless experience that precludes unnecessary physical contact registers high on the list for everyone. Security screening process Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience" “We knew our former security screening process would provide challenges in the pandemic environment,” said Jason White, managing director of corporate safety and security at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “We’d already been evaluating how we could improve on our guest screening process and had piloted Evolv Express last fall because the system could accommodate thousands of people an hour in a frictionless, no-stop flow. As we began formulating the security screening aspect of our pandemic reopening strategy, it was clear that Evolv Express was the best solution that could meet our requirements. Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience that largely eliminates manual bag checks. The responsive customer support and working relationship we have with the Evolv team is just as phenomenal as their product.” Touchless security screening Deployed worldwide, Evolv’s touchless security screening systems have been used to screen more than 50 million individuals in an expedient, respectful manner. In addition to Hersheypark, customers include Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, L.L. Bean, Wynn Las Vegas, Georgia Aquarium, Set Jet, Oakland International Airport, two South Carolina school districts, the Biltmore Estate and hundreds of others. “Navigating the path to reopening requires an employee-and-customer-first commitment to safety, combined with the vision to embrace new policies, procedures and technologies,” said Evolv Technology Chief Executive Officer Peter George. “Hersheypark embodies that approach and it has been wonderful to see their security leaders like Jason White helping peers at other venues understand what’s required in this new normal. We’re thrilled to be working with such a visionary team.”
RCP21, a pioneering Community Interest Company (CIC), has used SmartTask to help set up and manage an in-house security operation at Langthwaite Business Park in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire. The workforce management software was adopted to coordinate a full-time team of officers, tasked with protecting 120 businesses located at the site, without the need to increase management and administrative resource within the organization. SmartTask has since enabled RCP21 to deliver a superior security service in the most reliable and efficient manner. Workforce management solution “As managing agents of Langthwaite Business Park, we had previously outsourced the security requirements, but we took the decision to bring the service in-house,” explains Nicola Parker, Operations Manager at RCP21. “We recognized the need for a proven workforce management solution that would underpin our security solution moving forward. SmartTask has given us the visibility and control needed to deliver our service and provide customers with complete peace of mind.” SmartTask is used to manage RCP21’s full-time team at Langthwaite Business Park that provides a range of security services including CCTV monitoring, mobile patrols and keyholding and alarm response. SmartTask-enabled smartphones are used to scan 32 checkpoint tags around the site, so RCP21 has full visibility of mobile patrols that take place. Submit incident reports SmartTask has proved to be a hugely useful tool that is delivering value across our security operation" The software’s SmartForm functionality also enables security officers to electronically view their daily tasks; complete vehicle safety checks; and submit incident reports. In particular, the incident reporting tool allows a security officers on patrol or responding to an alarm response to capture all essential information, including any photo evidence, via a smartphone. This means RCP21 has an electronic record of any incident in real-time, so it can take immediate and appropriate action as well as share relevant details to the customer. Monthly performance reports can be taken from SmartTask, while incident data is included within the business park’s newsletter to provide information in relation to crimes and incidents on the park. Mobile workforce management “SmartTask has proved to be a hugely useful tool that is delivering value across our security operation. The software is simple and easy to use by all staff involved and is effective in enabling us to monitor and deliver our security services to a very high standard,” concludes Parker. Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask: “Our cloud-based employee scheduling and mobile workforce management software is highly configurable and scalable, making it an ideal solution for any security operation. Whether you are a top 30 security company or a small in-house team, it is possible to take advantage of SmartTask’s user-friendly, feature-rich functionality to better plan, manage, deliver and report on your security services.”
Protecting commercial properties is complicated and goes beyond safeguarding people and property. Security professionals respond to the needs of the business, staff, contractors, and visitors and deal with the realities of property damage, theft, and disgruntled employees. Ava helps the team react to anomalies and policy enforcement in real-time. Instead of merely investigating incidents, organizations can take the necessary steps to prevent them. Spotlight brings relevant feeds to the operator’s attention and triggers real-time alerts to address threats before they escalate. Leverage integrated video and audio analytics to give an enhanced understanding of the camera feeds. Respond to loitering challenges, access anomalies, theft incidents, fires, and more. Identifying suspicious people Smart Search allows operators to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image. Recovering lost or stolen objects, identifying suspicious people like unescorted visitors, investigating health incidents or damage to the property, performing cleaning crew inspections now take minutes instead of hours. Combine with access control to identify tailgating or fire or active shooter scenarios To gain occupancy insights, operators can leverage Ava Aware’s unique Map view with Smart Presence. By adding floor plans and maps of premises, people and vehicles appear as dots in their precise on-site locations. Operators can see live footage as they move on the cameras’ fields of view. Combine with access control to identify tailgating or fire or active shooter scenarios. Connect Ava Aware to the cloud to achieve easy and simple deployment and access from anywhere in the world. Share links of recorded video with team members, claim investigators, and law enforcement, regardless of whether they have admin access to Aware or not. Get a secure download of video files in a standard mp4 format with digital watermarking for authenticity. Key benefits delivered are as follows: Integrate with existing cameras Hundreds of hours saved in forensic searches Add access control to extend capabilities Video & metadata storage remain on-premises Full site survivability and local access Increase operational productivity and reduce facility costs Distribute heat and cooling efficiently, optimize cleaning and workplace productivity through hot-desking insights Use people flow insights to manage people and vehicle queues efficiently Automatically decrease storage demands from all the recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Pay for what is needed, when it is needed, without the hassle of complicated licensing Up to 200 cameras per Ava appliance— small footprint support for larger facilities One-click Ava Dome and Ava 360 camera configuration Encrypted media at rest and in transit Automatic firmware updates Digital watermarking to prevent tampering Simple subscription model without hidden costs or analytics add-ons With a simple licensing model, Vaion always includes services and software upgrades. They no longer have to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
Today’s medical institutions have a large number of patients who require constant supervision, risk malpractice and patient negligence claims, need to ensure hygiene compliance, and find solutions for the high security and video storage costs. When faced with limited high administrative costs, government funding, or recession, intelligent video security solutions can help hospitals relieve the pressure. Choose Ava Unified Security (formerly Vaion) to reduce liability claims, detect threats proactively, improve operational efficiency, and provide surgery documentation for educational purposes. Why Ava? Anomaly detection and analysis in real-time Ava’s pervasive, integrated video analytics use self-learning to give an enhanced understanding of all of the user’s cameras’ feeds. The staff can use the dynamic Video view with Spotlight that brings only the relevant feeds to their attention. In unusual activity cases, the operators can immediately respond when a high-risk patient leaves his room unattended or visitors are wandering in prohibited areas. Increased situational awareness Add maps of the user’s facilities and rooms to keep track of high-risk patients, visitors, and staff and their exact location. Maps include Smart Presence, a capability that lets the users track them as they move through their facilities. Combine with access control to locate patients and staff in critical moments. Administrators can also have a clear picture across their locations to improve patient care and daily operations. Quick search within minutes for insurance claims Operators can find visual evidence to prove or disprove liability claims fast and accurately or if hygiene protocol compliance is followed correctly. Smart Search allows personnel to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image. The vcore VMS integrates with access control systems through the generic access control API. It is possible to get a clear picture of historical entries and exits of patients and staff and the video associated with it. Sharp images and integrated audio analytics Equipped with directional acoustic sensors, Ava vcam Dome and Pano notify security and healthcare professionals instantly when loud noises, screaming, glass breaking, and gunshots occur. The cameras also deliver unmatched video quality required to provide recordings for scientific presentations, research, and education. vcam is suitable for different settings, from parking lots and storerooms to patient wards and operating rooms. Key benefits, delivered: Build from existing investment while retaining privacy Integrates with existing cameras Hundreds of hours saved in forensic searches Add access control to extend capabilities Video and metadata storage remain securely on-premises Full site survivability and local access Safe and reliable environment Capture every detail at all times with discreet security cameras Monitor high-risk patients at all time with remote monitoring Enable preventative action through immediate response time Improve operations and services Save storage and money Automatically decrease storage demands from all of the user’s recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Support both on-premises and cloud within a single deployment Up to 200 cameras per Ava vserver appliance - small footprint support for larger facilities Simplicity and compliance One-click Ava vcam configuration Encrypted media at rest and in transit Automatic firmware updates Digital watermarking to prevent tampering Simple subscription model without hidden costs or analytics add-ons Simple and flexible licensing With a simple licensing model, Ava always includes services and software upgrades. The users no longer have to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
Round table discussion
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?
Cloud systems are among the fastest-growing segments of the physical security industry. The fortunes of integrators can improve when they embrace a recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model, and cloud systems are expanding the services and features manufacturers can provide, from remote diagnostics to simplified system design. But for all the success of cloud systems, there remains confusion in the market about the exact definition of “cloud.” Or does there? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is “the cloud?” Is there agreement in the market about what the term means?