HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that it is the world’s first ticketing solution provider with a software development kit (SDK) that is fully certified and compliant to Calypso HCE standards, for secure and convenient mobile ticketing on smartphones.
SDK certified to Calypso Standards
The certification specifies how to protect ticket data stored in the mobile device’s wallet, helping transport operators to effectively fight fraud, by preventing tickets from being duplicated, transferred or altered.
“Calypso Networks Association (CAN) is pleased to issue to the HID SOMA Atlas 4Digital SDK, this first certificate of compliance, with the security requirements established for the HCE Calypso mobile ticketing application. This solution offers transport operators flexible, fast and secure solutions that comply with the principles of the most stringent mobile security programs,” said Philippe Vappereau, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Calypso Networks Association (CNA).
Open standard for contactless ticketing applications
Calypso Host Card Emulation (HCE) standard extends the success of CNA standards to mobile devices
Relied on by public transportation networks and cities around the world, Calypso is an open standard for contactless ticketing applications, in which Calypso cards and NFC mobile phones are used.
The Calypso Host Card Emulation (HCE) standard extends the success of CNA standards to mobile devices and the Calypso HCE Security Certification (CHSC) combines a state-of-the-art evaluation methodology, with the most stringent requirements of mobile security programs.
Security-by-design approach for identity solutions
“Being at the forefront of achieving this certification underscores HID’s long-standing commitment to a security-by-design approach, to building trusted identity solutions for our customers,” said Cesare Paciello, the Vice President, Events & Mobility Solutions with HID Global.
Cesare Paciello adds, “Following HID’s world’s first certification for Calypso Light in 2018, this new industry-first milestone positions HID to continue leading the way for public transportation networks to implement next-generation automated fare collection solutions. In addition to delivering advanced security to safeguard against cloning, eavesdropping and other cyber threats, the HID SOMA Atlas 4Digital SDK enables easier, more streamlined mobile ticketing.”
Mobile tickets, powered by HID SOMA Atlas 4Digital SDK
Mobile tickets, powered by the HID SOMA Atlas 4Digital SDK, can be used with Near-Field Communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones, just like any paper or card-based tickets that meet the Calypso standard. The HID SDK also enables transport operators and authorities to greatly expand the range of devices that customers can ‘tap to pay’ for travel using Android smartphones and other NFC devices.
Additionally, passengers can also use their mobile devices to add funds (‘top-up’) their Calypso-based transport cards, making it even easier to pay and use public transport, while minimizing physical contact.
HID Events & Mobility Solutions
HID Events & Mobility Solutions provide end-to-end ticketing solutions, including transportation ticketing terminals, data capturing software, key management capabilities, RFID paper tickets, smart card tokens, smart wristbands, and other components. Its multi-application operating systems can be integrated with existing hardware.
Videx has added a series of new features to its IPure IP range, expanding the versatility of the system in providing a high-quality entry solution for a wide range of buildings.
The Videx IP system is an expandable system that can be customized to suit a range of entry needs, accommodating up to 42 apartments using conventional call button modules and vandal-resistant panels or a digital call panel option able to call up to 10,000 apartments. All entrance panels are available with voice annunciation to aid visitors during the call progress and proximity access control.
New features of IPure IP range
The new features include a 7” touch screen handsfree video monitor, a 3.5” touch screen handsfree video monitor, an audio IP telephone, and the Cloudbox which allows additional programmable input/output to be added to the system as well as being a gateway to using the app in apartments which don’t have a video monitor.
The new hands-free video monitors complement the existing 3.5” touch screen video phone with the handset. Up to 16 devices can be included in each apartment with advanced cascading flexibility if required.
IP controlled entry solution
The benefit of IP tech is that it doesn’t require dedicated infrastructure and can be used on existing networks "
James Gray, National Sales Manager at Videx, said, “IP controlled entry is one of the most convenient and flexible solutions available.”
“The huge benefit of IP technology is that it doesn’t require dedicated wiring infrastructure and can be used on existing networks. These networks can be shared with other technologies such as CCTV, building management and many others including FTTH/PON infrastructures.”
“By adding even more features to our IP offering, we’re offering great flexibility and greater convenience. A new user interface has been introduced which complements the look and feel of the system across all platforms and can also be rolled out to existing systems through a firmware upgrade.”
Customizing systems using PC wizard
“What’s more, our IP system is managed through a simple PC wizard program which allows the installer or engineer to completely customize the system to the building’s requirements. The wizard will detect all the devices on the system allowing each to be set up as required and will also advise of any new firmware available.”
“Using the wizard, the system can be connected to the cloud allowing users of the iOS and Android apps to receive calls recall entrance panels with video and activate any of the outputs.”
Streamlining video systems
SIP is allowed to be integrated into third-party SIP telephone systems
SIP is supported across the range allowing it to be integrated into third-party SIP telephone systems.
For further integration, the door panels include an RTSP server allowing video to be streamed to third-party systems and HTTP API to be used by third-party systems.
The 7” monitor with full touch screen also has several added features which build on the vast range of features already offered on other video monitors in the range.
These include third-party camera integration using RTSP with support for H264 & H265, home automation integration, picture in picture viewing, a built-in webserver to access event logs, captured images, and videos to playback, and an optional Wifi connection. Further features can be added with a simple firmware upgrade.
Cloud-based video surveillance company Cloudview has appointed George Georghiou as Marketing Manager. George comes with a breadth and depth of experience in the video surveillance and electronic security industries, most recently as Global Marketing Manager for Corsight AI, who specializes in advanced facial recognition software.
Previously he was EMEA Marketing Manager at Tyco/Johnson Controls, where he worked across their video surveillance, access control, and intrusion brands. He also ran the promotion of the company’s corporate sponsorship of the British Superbike team Tyco BMW.
Growth and innovation
He said, “I am delighted to join Cloudview at a time of significant growth and innovation. The future is extremely bright and I am looking forward to adding my experience to the wealth of talent already within the company.”
Keith Cornell, CEO of Cloudview, said, “George brings additional depth and industry experience to our highly capable branding, digital marketing, and events team. This marketing force causes Cloudview to ‘punch above its weight in the market and assists our sales team in closing customers to our VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a Service) cloud CCTV security offering.”
Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business, has become a certified and approved partner for Honeywell Gent. Honeywell Gent is known for its innovative fire detection and alarm systems and exclusively supplies its products and equipment to partners selected for their ability to deliver the highest quality of service.
As a newly approved partner, Evolution has been recognized for its expertise and will be able to offer Honeywell Gent products as part of its design, supply, commission, installation, and maintenance service offering.
Opportunities and benefits
Nigel Hyson, Fire Sales Manager at Evolution, says the partnership will provide new opportunities and benefits for the business, “Honeywell Gent is one of the most respected technology providers in the fire industry, and to be an approved integrator is a tremendous accolade.”
“Adding their cutting-edge products and renowned training services will create a greater level of expertise within our team, opening up a number of new possibilities including access to new market verticals and sectors, expanding our service and maintenance capabilities, as well as creating more rounded supply proposals to suit all scales of project size and complexity for new and existing customers.”
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centers have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterized by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services.
Data centers classed as CNI
As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).
As land continues to surge in value, data center operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites.
Complex security needs
One misconception when it comes to data centers is that physical security is straightforward
One misconception when it comes to data centers is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex.
On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localizing security devices to operate independently of the main data center.
How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders.
The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial.
So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously?
Security comes first
These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks.
Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD).
Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit
These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern.
Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance.
Importance of testing physical security parameters
Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security.
They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away.
When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted.
The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency.
Data centers don’t generally make the best neighbors. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents.
Secure and soundproof perimeter
As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing
So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities.
As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility.
For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through.
A fair façade
A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance.
The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications.
Countering varied security threats
Data centers are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC.
By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.
Cloud-based technology can reduce IT costs, streamline application management and make infrastructure more flexible and scalable. So, it’s no surprise that cloud video surveillance solutions (also known as video surveillance as a service or VSaaS) are gaining momentum in a big way. In fact, according to recent reports, the VSaaS market is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% by 2025.
But some company owners may wonder – what services does a cloud model deliver and is such a solution right for my business? This article aims to help you determine what cloud video surveillance solution is right for your business and the benefits you can enjoy if you decide to deploy a VSaaS solution.
Full cloud-based recording vs cloud-managed
First, a bit of clarification on cloud video surveillance models, as definitions can vary from provider to provider. A full cloud-based recording solution is one in which both video recording and management are done offsite (for example, cameras streaming directly to the cloud). While this model can be a good option for some, many large enterprise businesses simply don’t have the bandwidth capacity or network resources required to upload all of their videos to the cloud. Even with the bandwidth capacity, this can be a cost-prohibitive model when hundreds or thousands of IP cameras are involved.
A full cloud-based recording solution is one in which both video recording and management are done offsite
But that doesn’t mean enterprise businesses can’t take advantage of cloud-managed video surveillance. With this solution, video recording and storage happen on your premises (with network video recorders (NVRs) or a video management system (VMS)), but the video management aspect is handled in the cloud by a third-party provider, usually as a subscription-based service. The provider hosts the central video server overseeing your on-premises devices.
Some providers also allow you to back up portions of the video to the cloud, so you can store and share video evidence or select clips needed for investigations. This model combines the performance benefits of local recording with the convenience and cost savings of the cloud.
Centralized video surveillance solution
Perhaps the greatest benefit of using this type of cloud-managed video surveillance solution is centralization. Because all of your devices are centrally managed in the cloud, you don’t have to travel to a distant location to update a recorder or camera’s software – it’s all done remotely by the provider from a central location.
This can save you both time and money, especially since it’s necessary to consistently monitor the configuration settings on cameras and NVRs to ensure they’re correct and functioning properly. If your hardware malfunctions and it isn’t detected immediately, instances of lost video can occur. And business owners know that losing video evidence of theft or fraud could have significant consequences to the efficiency and effectiveness of an investigation.
Round the clock monitoring
Some providers monitor for changes in cameras’ field of view, so if a camera is blocked or moved, you’ll be alerted
With a cloud-managed model, you can rest assured that if a camera goes down or another technical issue arises, the provider will know and will handle it immediately so you can avoid unnecessary truck rolls, which can be costly. Some providers will even monitor for changes in your cameras’ field of view, so if a camera is blocked or moved, you’ll be alerted right away.
This type of around-the-clock monitoring eliminates your need for an in-house data center and the IT staff necessary to maintain the video system. This is particularly important if you don’t have the infrastructure or the personnel to host your own video networking equipment.
You can also save time with the deployment of your video surveillance solution since your provider will get your system up and running quickly. There’s no need to worry about setting up or configuring the central server or any application software – it’s all taken care of by your provider.
Flexible and cost-effective
In many cloud-managed solutions, you can also skip the large upfront capital cost of a video surveillance investment and pay a monthly fee for all of these services. This is particularly helpful if it’s difficult for your organization to make large capital investments. You may or may not have to invest in onsite devices (cameras and NVRs), depending on the provider you choose. Some providers will allow you to finance your hardware, while others will want you to purchase it upfront.
Many cloud providers also offer robust web clients for viewing video and conducting investigations remotely
Many cloud providers also offer robust web clients for viewing video and conducting investigations remotely. These do not require any local downloads, which saves you time and money by avoiding the need for additional IT resources. It also alleviates worrying about whether or not you have the latest version, as the clients are automatically updated.
And if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on video analysis, some cloud-managed models offer predefined reports on what’s most important to you. For example, a list of potentially suspicious transactions matched with video – so you can quickly scan to investigate.
Getting the right solution
Determining whether a cloud-managed video surveillance solution is right for your business is a big decision involving many factors, including your business’s size, bandwidth, and network infrastructure, and overall budget for physical security. By considering the points above, the hope is that you can more easily determine which model is best for your business.
Access control and management of trusted identities are the building blocks of security, safety, and site management policies for many businesses and organizations. The current pandemic has compounded this with the introduction of new policies and regulations, particularly around social distancing and contact tracing.
Most organizations will have some form of legacy access control in place, ranging from the most simplistic options, such as locks and keys, to technology-based systems. The issue with legacy systems of any type is that risks, just like technology, evolve. What was secure, convenient, and efficient a few years ago is often found wanting as the threat landscape changes.
The standards governing the development and testing of physical access control systems (PACS) have also evolved to improve security and product interoperability. An example is the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), introduced 10 years ago as an alternative to the antiquated and vulnerable Clock-and-Data and Wiegand protocols. However, when it comes to planning infrastructure upgrades or implementing new tools, businesses must carry out due diligence to ensure the solutions are future-proof and deliver the expected level of security.
Vulnerabilities and challenges
In the early 1980s, Clock-and-Data and Wiegand protocols were widely adopted as the de-facto standard for interoperability between access control readers and physical access controllers. Those de-facto standards were later formalized and adopted into industry standards by the Security Industry Association in the 1990s.
Wiegand is unencrypted and unable to protect from “man in the middle” attacks and vulnerabilities
There were weaknesses, though, Wiegand is unencrypted and unable to protect from “man in the middle” attacks and vulnerabilities from the reader to the controller. Not only that, but Wiegand delivers limited range options and is operationally inefficient. It is also easy to target via its learnable language and a host of hacking devices available via online sources.
Furthermore, the retrofitting installation alongside a legacy system is complicated for integrators and expensive for organizations, as most readers require dedicated home-run wiring. Extensive wiring on a large-scale project, such as a school or corporate campus, results in considerable — often prohibitive — costs for the installation of a PACS.
Legacy access control protocol
Despite the well-publicized vulnerabilities and weaknesses, Wiegand is still one of the most common protocols in legacy access control, with estimates indicating it is used in more than 90 percent of installed systems.
This not only presents issues about physical security but also raises concerns relating to the protection of personal data. Access control systems not only contain information about who can and cannot use certain doors.
OSDP is a communication standard
Modern systems include a wide range of personal data, ranging from qualifications and certifications of individuals, home contact details, and even medical conditions or HR and employment information. With the potential fines associated with GDPR breaches, companies need to take this concern seriously.
These weaknesses pushed the security industry to adopt a new protocol: Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP). This access control communications standard was developed by Mercury Security (now part of HID Global) and HID Global in 2008, and donated, free of intellectual property, to the Security Industry Association (SIA) to improve interoperability among access control and security products.
Since then, it has been adopted as a standard by SIA, becoming the first secure, bidirectional reader/controller protocol to be governed by a major standards body in the security industry. In 2020 OSDP reached an additional milestone in becoming an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard.
Why implement OSDP as a standard?
OSDP is the only protocol that is secure and open for communication between readers and controllers
The growth of networked devices, such as video and access control products, has led to an increased demand for converged solutions. Businesses and organizations recognize the value of implementing an integrated solution to enhance security and add value to technology investment.
OSDP is the only protocol that is secure and open for communication between readers and controllers and is also being widely adopted by industry-leading reader and controller manufacturers. It is an evolving, ‘living standard,’ making it a safer, more robust, future-proof option for governing physical access control systems. OSDP offers important benefits:
1) Increased security
Implementing OSDP standards can increase security, as OSDP with Secure Channel Protocol (SCP) supports AES-128 encryption that is required in U.S. federal government applications. Additionally, OSDP constantly monitors wiring to protect against tampering, removing the guesswork since the encryption and authentication are predefined.
2) Bidirectional communication
Early on, communication protocols such as Wiegand were unidirectional, with external card readers sending information one way to a centralized access control platform. OSDP has transformed the ability for information to be collected, shared, and acted upon with the addition of bidirectional communication for configuration, status monitoring, tampering, and malfunction detection, and other valuable functions. In fact, OSDP is the only open, non-proprietary, bidirectional, secure protocol for communication between card reader and physical access controller.
3) Open and interoperable
OSDP adds new technology that enhances its ability to protect incoming and outgoing data collection
OSDP supports IP communications and point-to-point serial interfaces, enabling customers to flexibly enhance system functionality as needs change and new threats emerge. They also can proactively add new technology that enhances their ability to protect incoming and outgoing data collection through a physical access control system.
4) Reduced installation costs
OSDP’s use of two wires (as compared to a potential of 11 wires with Wiegand) allows for multi-drop installation, supervised connections to indicate reader malfunctions, and scalability to connect more field devices.
Daisy-chaining accommodates many readers connected to a single controller, eliminating the need to run home-run wiring for each reader, and the use of a four-conductor cable achieves up to 10x longer distances between reader and controller than Wiegand while also powering the reader and sending/receiving data.
5) User friendly
OSDP gives credential holders greater ease of use, with audio and visual feedback such as colored lights, audible beeps, and the ability to display alerts on the reader.
For security administrators, managing and servicing OSDP-enabled readers also becomes increasingly convenient, as OSDP-enabled readers can be remotely configured from network-connected locations. Users can poll and query readers from a central location, eliminating the cost and time to physically visit and diagnose malfunctioning devices.
Unlimited application enhancements
OSDP streamlines installations and upgrades while saving organizations the expense of replacing readers
OSDP supports advanced smartcard technology applications, including PKI/FICAM and biometrics, and other enhanced authentication protocols used in applications that require Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliance and interactive terminal capabilities. Audio-visual user feedback mechanisms provide a rich, user-centric access control environment.
OSDP offers advantages for users, administrators, and integrators, alike. It adds security and real-world efficiencies, and its interoperability ensures that organizations can use systems from numerous manufacturers as they invest in infrastructure that maximizes the protection of critical data.
For our part, HID Global’s range of HID Signo readers is OSDP verified, ensuring they offer the intended interoperability and security for secure bidirectional communication and provide an easy migration from Wiegand devices. In a campus environment, OSDP streamlines installations and upgrades while saving organizations the expense of replacing readers if a new access control solution is implemented. There are also service and maintenance benefits as OSDP encourages continuous monitoring of system uptime and allows for remote configuration of -- or upgrades to -- a reader.
Cost savings upon system upgrade
Integrators can also capitalize on the introduction of OSDP by encouraging open standards, which can, in turn, help them build new customer relationships and win more projects.
Although upgrading to access control systems that adhere to OSDP standards is a significant initiative, the range of benefits outweighs the cost of upgrading. Increased security coupled with business efficiencies adds value for those administering the system and a high level of interoperability ensures users can deploy systems from numerous third-party manufacturers.
Integrators who understand the benefits of OSDP can also help their customers support both current and future technology requirements. When a site’s needs change, OSDP offers significant cost savings as the open functionality makes adding new devices easier and reduces the expense of requiring all readers to be replaced if a new solution is installed. Businesses and organizations transitioning to OSDP will also enhance value in terms of operational costs such as servicing and maintenance.
BIM (building information modeling) provides a process for creating and managing information during the building lifecycle and beyond. BIM is often equated with 3D modeling of construction projects, but the visual component is just part of the value of BIM.
Additional data, such as specifications and other documentation, is also part of the process, underlying the visual aspects, helping to drive decision making and providing immediate access to detailed information about all facets of the building process.
Incorporating BIM systems
For the last six years, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions has worked with specification writers and architects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) to make it easy to incorporate ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions doors, hardware, and security solutions into BIM systems.
Everyone on a project can work together in the interactive and information-rich BIM environment. BIM tools are also used by contractors, distributors, facility owners, and security consultants.
BIM information relating to doors, hardware, and security solutions is available in the cloud
BIM information relating to doors, hardware, and security solutions is available in the cloud with the company’s Openings Studio BIM software. This improves the process of door scheduling and visualization and enables customers to focus on the design, installation, and management of openings.
“If you have up-to-date information inside the BIM model, you can reduce mistakes and misunderstanding in the building industry,” says Marc Ameryckx, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ BIM Manager for the EMEIA region.
“It helps to eliminate mistakes before they happen or as early as possible in the building process. The earlier, the less it costs. We provide data as soon as possible in the process.” (ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions also has comparable systems available in other regions of the global company.)
Centralized data in BIM 3D model
Expanding the data available in BIM provides additional value compared to merely providing “BIM objects” that can be incorporated into a BIM 3D model. The combination of BIM modeling and the underlying specifications boosts the quality of the project and its key to success, says Marc Ameryckx.
Even after the building is complete, the BIM model is still valuable, providing a repository of “as-built” information that can be used by building managers and security professionals tasked with operating and maintaining the building.
For example, if a lock needs to be replaced, retrofitting is simpler because all the information about the lock and existing installation is available in a centralized data file.
Revit and ArchiCAD
A widely used BIM software is Revit from Autodesk, a program that brings architecture, engineering, and construction disciplines into a unified modeling environment to drive more efficient and cost-effective projects.
Another BIM software program is ArchiCAD, developed by the Hungarian company Graphisoft. Openings Studio™ added a plugin for ArchiCAD this year, in addition to Revit.
Tailor-made information security solutions
We provide tailor-made information security solutions with various hardware on projects with more doors"
“We can provide tailor-made information security solutions with various hardware on projects with more doors, adding more flexibility,” says Marc Ameryckx. “Customers do not need to be the experts on the products because we provide expertise as part of our specifications.”
For example, how often do building mistakes occur because of a misunderstanding about the electrical needs of a lock and the wrong cabling is installed? The problem is especially expensive if it is discovered only after the walls are complete. Providing complete data about the electrical lock as part of a BIM system avoids the snafu.
Another example is the specification of a deadbolt lock on a door that operates with an electric strike. The deadbolt undermines the intended operation of the electric strike and can interfere with escape routes in case of an emergency. The mistake becomes obvious in the BIM environment and can be rectified before consequences impact the real world.
Data addition to Opening Suites site
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions is continuously expanding the data it provides at the Opening Suites site, covering additional functionality and more components including the door, cabling, and electrical connections.
Hardware sets are linked to specific doors in the BIM models, including all the details of various components, including article numbers, technical sheets, electrical requirements, all depending on customer expectations.
Physical equipment includes QR codes that can be scanned by a smartphone to provide information on the door (A cellphone app is in development).
More details and more data
Experienced BIM consultants work with the Openings Studio software on projects ranging from single doors to large buildings with many doors.
Data will be more and more important, and there will be more data inside BIM models
Adding more data and detail to the BIM process at the level of each door expands the usefulness of BIM, which has historically been focused on broader issues such as structural work and HVAC. “Openings Studio™ provides all the data to integrate doors and security in the BIM process,” says Marc Ameryckx.
The higher level of detail may be a new aspect even for customers who already use BIM software. “Data will be more and more important, and there will be more data inside BIM models,” says Marc Ameryckx. In the future, the use of “digital twins” could expand the capabilities even further; for example, the software could simulate escape routes in case of fire. More data makes more things possible.
When 150,000 video surveillance cameras get hacked, it’s big news. Even if the main reason for the hack was to make a point. Even if the major consequence is bad publicity for a video company (and, by extension, the entire video surveillance industry).
The target of the hack was Silicon Valley startup Verkada, which has collected a massive trove of security-camera data from its 150,000 surveillance cameras inside hospitals, companies, police departments, prisons and schools. Previously, Verkada has been known for an aggressive sales approach and its intent to disrupt the traditional video market.
The data breach was accomplished by an international hacker collective and was first reported by Bloomberg. The reported reasons for the hack were “lots of curiosity, fighting for freedom of information and against intellectual property, a huge dose of anti-capitalism, a hint of anarchism – and it’s also just too much fun not to do it,” according to Bloomberg.
Tesla amongst those impacted
The “fun” included access to a video showing the inside of a Florida hospital, where eight hospital staffers tackled a man and pinned him to the bed. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffsA view inside a Tesla warehouse in Shanghai, China, showed workers on an assembly line. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffs. There are even views from Verkada security cameras inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than 20 people in 2012.
In a “security update” statement, Verkada reports: “Our internal security experts are actively investigating the matter. Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented additional security measures to restrict account access and further protect our customers.”
Hacking was possible due to built-in feature
The hacker group was able to obtain “root” access on the cameras, meaning they could use the cameras to execute their own code, reports Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hackingUsing that access, they could pivot and obtain access to the broader corporate network of Verkada’s customers or hijack the cameras and use them as a platform to launch future hacks, the hackers told Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hacking, as it was a built-in feature.
Elisa Costante, VP of research for cybersecurity firm Forescout, calls the Verkada security camera hack "shocking."
"Connected cameras are supposed to provide an additional layer of security to organizations that install them,” she says. “Yet, as the Verkada security camera breach has shown, the exact opposite is often true. [It is worrisome that] the attack wasn't even very sophisticated and didn't involve exploiting a known or unknown vulnerability. The bad actors simply used valid credentials to access the data stored on a cloud server.”
Super Admin account had access to all cameras
Hackers gained access to Verkada through a “Super Admin” account, allowing them to peer into the cameras of all of its customers. They found a username and password for an administrator account publicly exposed on the internet, according to Bloomberg. The hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada.Hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada
The results could have been worse, says Costante. "In this case, the bad actors have seemingly only resorted to viewing the footage these cameras have captured. But they are likely able to cause a lot more damage if they choose to do so, as our own research team has discovered. We were able to intercept, record and replace real-time footage from smart cameras by exploiting unencrypted video streaming protocols and performing a man-in-the-middle attack. This effectively gives criminals a virtual invisibility cloak to physically access premises and wreak havoc in the real world.”
Impact on broader video surveillance industry
The impact of a well-publicised cyber-attack on the broader video surveillance industry is also a concern. “As an industry, and as manufacturers in physical security, we cannot take these hacks lightly,” says Christian Morin, CSO & Vice-President of Integrations & Cloud Services, Genetec. “The potential broad-reaching impact of these hacks on physical security systems, including providing a beachhead to facilitate lateral movement onto networks, resulting in data and privacy breaches or access to critical assets and infrastructure, cannot be overstated. It is our responsibility and duty to users of our technology to prioritise data privacy and cybersecurity in the development, distribution, and deployment of video surveillance systems.”
Widespread government and healthcare use
The Verkada cameras are in widespread use within government and healthcare, which are by far the company’s most dominant verticals. Lesser verticals for them are manufacturing, financial and retail.The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously
Verkada’s line of hybrid cloud security cameras combines edge-based processing with the capabilities of cloud computing. Cameras analyse events in real-time, while simultaneously leveraging computer vision technology for insights that bring speed and efficiency to incidents and investigations. Command, Verakda’s centralised web-based platform, provides users with access to footage they need. Motion detection, people analytics, and vehicle analytics enable searches across an organization to find relevant footage.
The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously: “We are passionate about developing products that enhance the security and privacy of organizations and individuals. We believe that well-built, user-friendly systems make it easier to manage and secure physical environments in ways that respect the privacy of individuals while simultaneously keeping them safe.”
Convergint Technologies’ rapid growth has come through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions — they have acquired 35 companies since 2014. Growth has been a focus since day one when the founders started the systems integration company with 10 colleagues in a basement.
Today, the diverse company includes more than 5,000 employees globally. As technology has advanced and business practices have evolved, Convergint’s core values and beliefs have guided their path forward.
Convergint’s culture is a critical aspect of the company, from the executive level to frontline colleagues. “It is essential that the companies we look to acquire and develop partnerships with directly align with our people-first, customer-centric, inclusive culture centered on colleagues and customers,” says Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies.
“This approach has allowed us to maintain and grow our number of colleagues across our acquisitions and enables us to continue being our customers’ best service provider.”
Many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition A simple but important consideration as Convergint grows through acquisitions is: No two companies are the same. While some integration practices can be standardized across the company, many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition, says Mathes. “Our objective is not to come in and immediately implement change. We want to build on what has already been successful within the local market and share our learned experiences. There is plenty we can learn from each other and create a much better organization.”
Mathes says that Convergint’s view of a successful acquisition is that 1+1=3. “The end result is always much more impactful than what we anticipated,” he says. “Every acquisition brings with it an experienced leadership team, dedicated and skilled colleagues, vertical market and technological expertise. Most acquisitions are in geographies where we do not already operate, so with every acquisition, we increase our capability to serve our customers much better.” Also, the network of Global Convergint Technology Centers (CTCs) helps expand clientele, and the Convergint Development Center (CDC) offers new support capabilities allowing acquisitions to grow at a very high rate.
Are there more acquisitions to come? Mathes says Convergint is always open to further expanding its footprint across the globe, improving its ability to service customers, deepening their technical expertise, and continuing to expand service offerings across the current and new vertical markets. However, the current focus remains on several key factors: service to colleagues, customers, and communities.
“While obviously, acquisitions fuel our growth, the addition of these organizations to Convergint has really improved our ability to service clients on a global basis,” says Mathes. Acquiring ICD Security Solutions in Asia, for example, made Convergint a pioneer in that market for U.S.-based multi-national companies.
Meeting customers demand
“Convergint does not weigh market conditions when making an acquisition decision,” says Mathes. Rather, they are primarily focused on meeting or exceeding their customer’s needs on a local to a global level. They see acquisitions as a potential way to extend their geographic reach so they can be closer to customers.
An acquisition might also expand technological or vertical market expertise. “The end goal is for us to enhance our service capabilities by attracting and retaining talented colleagues and leaders to better service our customers,” says Mathes.
Enhancing and expanding services
Convergint identifies how to leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options“Economies of scale” have not been a consideration. They have never sought to acquire companies and restructure them in the process, for example. Rather, each company brings forth a unique skillset, is carefully vetted by the executive team and provides purpose in the company's mission and vision for the future.”
“Frontline colleagues are Convergint’s most valuable assets,” says Mathes. Rather than restructuring and eliminating skilled, knowledgeable colleagues, Convergint identifies how they can leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options for customers. “Our colleagues and their skill sets are our competitive advantage—they remain an essential element to our success,” says Mathes.
Demand for integrator services
“We continue to experience a growing demand for innovative solutions across electronic security, fire alarm, and life safety,” says Mathes. “As companies innovate further and rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, and cloud solutions, we expect to see an increased demand for integrator services. Our customers demand a local service provider who is responsive and can meet their needs, which is why Convergint aims to be its customers’ best service provider.”
This year, Convergint is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 2021, they will continue to focus on the same critical components that have dominated since day one taking care of colleagues, customers, and the communities where they operate.
Globally renowned sensor solutions provider, HENSOLDT and L3Harris Technologies have joined forces to develop new capabilities for NATO’s Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) program. Both companies have signed a joint strategic cooperation agreement, to combine their respective skills in the areas of platform-independent mission solutions.
HENSOLDT - L3Harris Technologies
In the frame of the cooperation, HENSOLDT, with its proven track record in developing and manufacturing sensors, and mission systems, will contribute, among other things, capabilities in the areas of active and passive sensors, sensor data fusion and network management capabilities.
L3Harris and HENSOLDT with their respective strengths are ideally suited to offer NATO the optimum solution"
“Next-generation surveillance requires an intelligent approach to platform-independent, networked high-end sensors, AI-based date exploitation and dissemination,” said Jürgen Halder, the Head of Strategic Projects at HENSOLDT’s Spectrum Dominance Division.
Jürgen Halder adds, “L3Harris and HENSOLDT with their respective strengths are ideally suited to offer NATO the optimum solution.”
Open systems and multi-function solutions
“Our team will explore open systems, multi-function solutions and data-centric concepts to sustain the NATO Alliance’s military advantage from 2035 and beyond,” said Dave Johnson, the Vice President (VP) of Strategy, Integrated Mission Systems, at L3Harris Technologies.
L3Harris Technologies and HENSOLDT are part of an international team that brings together NATO nations’ industrial expertise in surveillance and control. This team will analyze the risks and feasibility of technologies, and components within its systems of systems approach, in order to enhance the NATO Alliance’s capabilities, to the year 2035 and beyond.
Enhancing efficiency of future NATO operations
L3Harris Technologies’ international teammates share a common vision, which is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of future NATO military operations, through the procurement and integration of a multi-domain (AFSC) capability, which is centered on the data enterprise.
The volume of data necessary to solve crimes continues to rise across the United Kingdom and sharing information quickly is instrumental in solving cases. With this in mind, NICE has announced that it’s NICE Investigate digital evidence management solution is now helping connect businesses and police forces.
NICE Investigate system
NICE Investigate system enables enterprises and police forces to work collaboratively on investigations, in order to speed the delivery of justice, by ensuring fast, seamless sharing of CCTV video and other digital evidence. Two major UK retailers have already embraced the initiative, by registering their thousands of CCTV cameras with the NICE Investigate system.
The initiative is being driven in part by the National Business Crime Centre, a UK resource created out of Home Office Police Transformation Funding, to improve the partnership between the business community and police. Boots UK, the largest pharmacy health, safety and beauty chain in the United Kingdom, with 2,336 stores nationwide, is among the first retailers to join, along with a large UK supermarket chain.
Sharing video with UK police forces
When businesses register with NICE Investigate, they’re able to easily share videos with UK police forces
When businesses register with NICE Investigate, they’re able to easily share videos with participating UK police forces. Currently, 15 UK police forces and organizations, including Hampshire Constabulary, are actively using the NICE solution to manage digital evidence and conduct investigations.
Iona Blake, the Security and Incident Manager at Boots UK explained, “We have a large number of stores, with both internal and external CCTV cameras, for investigating all types of crimes and incidents.”
She adds, “The addition of the NICE Investigate technology allows Boots to engage in the right level of data sharing, with local police forces. For us, it’s all about how can we get better at reporting crimes. In addition to improving efficiency and saving time, this program has really changed the dynamic of our relationship with the police. Boots may be the first to use the NICE platform, but I’m sure, we will not be the last, as more retailers and police forces come on stream.”
Swift video evidence collection
Patrick Holdaway, Superintendent at City of London Police and Lead for the National Business Crime Centre said, “NICE Investigate provides a great opportunity for police forces and businesses to work together, to ensure the swift collection of evidence, allowing the police to bring offenders to justice, as effectively as possible.”
Chris Wooten, the Executive Vice President, NICE, stated “The need for businesses and police forces to work together is greater than ever. The volume of crime is rising and getting digital evidence into the hands of police investigators can be a time consuming, drawn out, manual process, requiring officers to travel to the business location, to copy and collect the evidence. With lean budgets and forces short-staffed, time is limited. NICE Investigate helps businesses and police forces break through this log jam, by removing the time-consuming manual processes.”
One-stop, cloud-based solution
NICE Investigate stores the contact details for each participating business, along with the geo-location of each CCTV camera
NICE Investigate is a one-stop, cloud-based solution for transforming manual processes around the collection, management, analysis and sharing of all types of digital evidence. With NICE Investigate, the entire process of requesting and sending CCTV video is done electronically. Participating businesses register their cameras in NICE Investigate and can share CCTV video evidence securely and electronically.
NICE Investigate stores the contact details for each participating business, along with the geo-location of each CCTV camera. When a crime occurs, investigators can view camera locations on a map and instantly send out an electronic request for the relevant CCTV footage.
Video evidence files are cyber secure
Upon receiving the request, the business uploads the video file(s) into NICE Investigate’s secure portal. As they are uploaded, video files are virus-checked, automatically converted to a playable format and deposited into an electronic case file, where they are available to the investigator for viewing.
NICE Investigate is currently being by used more than 50,000 investigators and police officers around the world.
Property developers and residents at luxury apartment development - Live Oasis Deansgate, are the first to benefit from an all-encompassing building automation system, which is operable from one single app, designed by GET Dynamic, in partnership with Comelit and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions.
Smart mobile-first solution
The new smart mobile-first solution, being debuted at Live Oasis in Manchester, enables property owners, YPP Lettings and Management Company Ltd, to more efficiently manage the 60-apartment site, via cloud-based technology.
Apartment owners can also control all aspects of their home, including video entry calls, door opening and apartment automation, using just one single resident building application.
Live Oasis Deansgate
Located in the aspiring Deansgate district, Live Oasis is designed for students and young professionals
Located in the aspiring Deansgate district, Live Oasis is designed for students and young professionals. With fully furnished studio, one- and two-bed apartments, it also features a concierge service, together with on-site security, all available for residents through the working week and supported by 24-hour CCTV.
YPP Managing Director, Omar Al-Nujaifi, said “Manchester is a vibrant, creative and innovative city, and our latest development offers apartments for a modern generation of residents, who are not only looking for a stylish abode, but somewhere that is technology rich, sustainable and a connected place to live.”
Access control and digital key functionality
He adds, “For this to occur, we worked with each company, right from pre-project launch to achieve the desired, integrated result. GET Dynamic specified Comelit to provide fully-functional video door entry, without compromising on style or security, together with advanced access control and digital key functionality by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, all now operable from the main building app, ResiCentral.”
Omar further stated, “The result is a unified experience that encompasses all the smart living features, expected by our future residents. The uptake of usage of the platform provides us with a unique window, into how we can better our delivery in the future.”
Built-in smart hub and app capability
Residents can benefit from the built-in smart hub and app capability, in order to control door entry security and access control, together with lighting, TV, blind automation and room temperature monitoring, and benefit from additional features, such as air quality, energy efficiency and occupancy monitoring.
GET Dynamic’s Group CEO, James Baird, said “Our technology and platform is capable of bringing together every aspect of smart building automation in one system. Controlled by a single bespoke app, available in both iOS and Android, additional options provide customizable in-room tablet and streamlining, with our very own automation products.”
Partnership with Comelit and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions
When selecting our specialist security partners, we have a long-established relationship with Comelit"
He adds, “When selecting our specialist security partners, we have a long-established relationship with Comelit and know its video door entry systems are well-designed, robust and offer the latest smart video technology.”
James further said, “The same is true for ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions. When brought together, Live Oasis presented the perfect opportunity to integrate the complete security operation into our app and offer an all-encompassing solution for a more enhanced user experience.”
Integration with ResiCentral platform
The virtual door entry and access control was integrated into the ResiCentral platform, with ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions’ technology for the building’s access control solutions, from perimeter protection to individual apartments. This also includes the ability for residents to gain convenient access to their accommodations, by using personal devices as a secure digital key.
Comelit, with whom GET Dynamic has a close working partnership, was responsible for the IP door entry system installed at Live Oasis, operating from its renowned VIP technology. The system specified comprised two module video VIP entrance panels, together with a multi-user gateway, to allow for visual and audio individual apartment access.
Smart home automation
Stephen Wragg, Comelit’s Business Development Manager, said “Live Oasis is a development that really epitomizes the bustling and vibrant nature at the heart of Manchester, being a city where work and lifestyle balance is central to a commitment to evolve faster and smarter, with modern technology and community spirit.”
He concludes, “Right from the specification process, the objective was to utilize latest smart solutions, to enable property owners and residents alike, a unified mobile experience. This is where ResiCentral, together with the advances of home automation, inclusive of Comelit’s video door entry, combined to provide a single cloud-based solution. The result helps property developers create safer, smarter buildings and at the same time, enhance the resident experience, taking all-inclusive mobile capability to a whole new level.”
Founded in 2010, Avolon is the third-largest aircraft leasing company in the world with 824 aircraft and 145 customers in 62 countries. Its new global headquarters in Dublin is comprised of 6,967 sq m (75,000 sq ft) of secure office space across six floors that houses its IT, catering, legal, and communications departments.
Need for a centralized monitoring solution
Avolon’s new premises in the upscale Ballsbridge area of Dublin provided an opportunity for the company to rethink its approach to building security.
Avolon was looking for an innovative, flexible solution that could be personalized to individuals, easily accessed, and managed remotely. Additional requirements included: the need to provide different levels of security clearance in different areas of the building, the ability to manage individual security clearances, the facilitation of access outside of the usual workday, and secure parking lot access for employees and visitors.
As a global company, Avolon wanted a solution that could be deployed worldwide to provide a consistent experience for its employees, regardless of their location.
HID’s flexible access control solution
Powered by Seos® technology, the solution uses BLE and iCLASS® readers to create a secure access control solution
Avolon partnered with systems integrator Summit Security Systems Ltd and deployed HID Cellphone Access at its Dublin headquarters. Powered by Seos® technology, the solution uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and iCLASS® readers to create a secure, convenient, and flexible access control solution for its headquarters.
The building’s security system enables credentials on smartphones via an app rather than on physical access cards and uses iCLASS SE® cellphone-enabled readers installed at points of access.
Key benefits of a cellphone access system include:
Employees are less likely to forget smartphones, which they always carry than an access badge
Security clearances are more efficient and easily changed because security status is provisioned to an app
A cloud-based central control system provides security administrators with easy oversight, access to a complete set of metrics, and the ability to manage a network of premises around the globe
Employing various access control measures
Avolon has implemented a range of different solutions for different parts of its premises that can vary by time of day. For example, elevators utilize access control measures to ease the flow of people within the building during work hours, while assuring that after-hours access is more controlled.
Employees simply twist their iOS or Android™ phones when they approach the parking readers to gain entry
The ease-of-use and security also extend to the parking lot, which benefits from HID’s “Twist and Goes” feature. Employees simply twist their iOS or Android™ phones when they approach the parking readers to gain entry.
Avolon encourages its employees to cycle to work and has extended cellphone access to a secure employee bike parking area that links directly into the shower and changing facilities.
Advantages of Cellphone access solution
The HID Cellphone Access Solution provides many advantages over the previous card-based system including after-hours access (vital to a 24/7 business like Avolon), ready access to secure rooms, and easy management of security clearances. With HID Cellphone Access, fine-grained security access for a global network of offices is controlled centrally through a cloud-based portal.
Access levels can be set on an individual basis so they are very flexible and can be modified as needed.
“Using a cellphone is much more convenient than access cards. People forget their access cards, but their cellphone is with them all the time,” said Allan Dawson, facilities project manager at Avolon. “It’s much more efficient. For example, we now have much lower instances of people leaving the perimeter and having to ask for re-entry because they’ve left their pass in the office.”
Worldwide installation of physical access solution
In the future, Avolon anticipates expanding its new physical access solution across its global campuses. “As well as deploying in our Dublin head office we have also deployed in our New York, Florida, and Hong Kong offices,” said Dawson.
“The benefit of using a global platform means our people can travel between offices with their security status intact and ready to go for each location.”
Cost is a reality to be managed. No matter how powerful or desirable a technology may be to a customer, the sale often comes down to the basic question: Can I afford it? And affordability extends not just to the purchase price, but to the cost of technology over its lifespan.
In addition to advances in technology capabilities, the security industry has also achieved inroads to make its offerings more worth the cost. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the physical security industry doing to make more affordable and cost-effective technology solutions for end users?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is simultaneously an emerging technology, a common term in popular culture, and a buzzword in the security industry. But these aspects of the term can lead to misunderstanding in the marketplace. AI technology is continuing to emerge, but what is the reality today? How do depictions of AI in popular culture impact how it is understood in the real world of security? As a buzzword, at what point does marketing hype garble our understanding of reality? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the misconceptions about AI in security?
The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day.
We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why?