Commercial security system
Zenitel, a provider of intelligent critical communication solutions, is pursuing its growth strategy in the EMEA region and specifically in Southern Europe through the launch of a new Center of Excellence (CoE) in Spain. Zenitel has appointed its longtime partner in Spain, COINTEL SL, to this role in the Iberian market. Partnership with Cointel COINTEL SL, based in Bilbao, will consolidate Zenitel’s presence and will continue to build a strong and sound ecosystem network. Cointel b...
Standards and compliance perform a critical, if underappreciated, role for security and facility managers. They set a quality baseline for locking and security hardware. They help customers quickly compare attributes across products. An insurance provider probably requires security to meet relevant standards. Taking a short-cut could prove an expensive mistake, should the worst happen and one needs to claim. Importance of meeting standards “Not all affordable mechanical locking meets ev...
Security specialist Mul-T-Lock has unveiled a new, integrated branding strategy to boost brand recognition and create clear product hierarchies for consumers, with the aim of driving sales for locksmiths. The new branding strategy includes a united logo, new platform names, an updated color scheme, and premium-designed new packaging to integrate each of Mul-T-Lock’s patented platforms creating a stronger association between the brand and the hierarchy of its products. Structural renaming...
SALTO access control hardware has achieved a huge milestone in having its SPACE readers and controllers certified to EN 60839 standard. This important standard provides guidelines for those responsible for establishing and planning an electronic access control system (EACS) both in terms of levels of protection and levels of performance necessary to provide the degree of physical access (entry and exit) access control and protection considered appropriate for an installation. Products certifie...
SAFR from RealNetworks, Inc. announced a new version of SAFR, the world’s foremost facial recognition solution for live video, offering accurate, fast, unbiased face recognition and additional computer vision features. SAFR version 3.4 introduces new passive liveness detection and anti-spoofing features, for both masked and unmasked faces, to enhance security for face biometric authentication solutions. The new version also includes SMS watchlist alarms. Passive Liveness Detection SAFR&...
Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is s...
Euralarm, the globally renowned fire and security solutions organization, has announced support for a resolution of the European Parliament that asks for quick solutions from the European Commission to improve the standardization of construction products, while also pushing for a transition to a sustainable and more circular economy. Standardization of products MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) have recently called in the resolution, adopted with 686 votes in favor (4 votes against and 5 abstentions), on the European Commission to find a quick and viable way, in order to improve and speed up the standardization process for construction products. Of the 444 existing harmonized standards for construction products, only 12 new ones have been issued, since the Construction Products Regulation was adopted in 2011, hindering the free movement of products in the European Union. Construction Products Regulation With 686 votes in favor of the resolution, the European Parliament has taken a clear position on the upcoming revision of the regulation by the European Commission. “The Construction Products Regulation must be made fit for the future with a view to digitalization and sustainability,” said rapporteur Christian Doleschal. Prior to the decision-making process for the European Parliament, the chair of the Euralarm Fire Section presented a paper on the ‘Impact of the Construction Products Regulation on Standardization’ in the active fire safety industry. The presentation was held during an Informal meeting of the Working Party Technical Harmonization (Construction Products) of the German EU Council Presidency - Construction Products Regulation.
Metrasens, a company in advanced detection systems for security and safety applications, announced the launch of its next-generation detection system, Cellsense Ultra with Xact ID intelligent detection technology. This reimagined detection system features expertly designed software algorithms and machine learning to boost all-around detection performance while introducing data collection, reporting, and systems integration. Key features Metrasens has seized the opportunity and created the technology, pushing the detection system category to new limits. Through these achievements, Cellsense Ultra offers its users: Xact ID™, an intelligent detection platform underpinning the software algorithms, machine learning, and sensor design to produce next-generation system performance 70% greater overall detection compared with the current market-leading technology, enabling greater confiscation of threat items Zone indication, designed and developed to be the most accurate on the market and most intuitive with LED light indicators evenly distributed across the whole vertical distance of the system to improve secondary screening efficiency Improved mitigation of environmental interference, which translates into fewer false alarms and increased screening location options Data collection and reporting, giving both operational intelligence and event tracking of the last 100,000 events to manage usage and compliance A cyber-secure network interface, enabling centralized event log analysis, operating reporting, covert alert notification, and remote system setup A PCAP, rugged, touchscreen GUI interface with user access restrictions to protect against unauthorized tampering System integration capability to connect data output with other management or security systems A future-ready solution, designed to continue evolving over time additive performance, features, and functionality Contactless screening, allowing staff to maintain a safe social distance from those being screened for the utmost attention to safety Digital transformations “Metrasens has been at the forefront of revolutionizing security technology and changing the status quo in contraband detection. Cellsense Ultra with Xact ID demonstrates our capability and determination to push detection systems further and further, and expanding their utility for our customers”, said Dr. Simon Goodyear, Chief Executive Officer for Metrasens. “By taking a 360-degree view of our customer’s greatest challenges we have been able to innovate smarter, creating a thoughtful digital transformation we believe will exceed expectations.” Goodyear continued, “Doing so during a pandemic and continuing to reinforce contactless screening methods makes this a great time for this product to reach the market. Our customer pilot programs have been very successful and we are now excited to make Cellsense Ultra available more widely.” Cellsense Ultra with Xact ID is initially available in the US for correctional facilities, courts, and related applications. Other regions to follow.
Hikvision, an IoT solution provider with video as its core competency, hosted the 2021 AI Cloud Summit in HangZhou on 29-31 March. The theme of the summit was ‘Building on AI's Momentum’ and there was a focus on how AIoT technologies help unlock the full potential of digital transformation. Keynote speech “Will technologies serve industries or will technology change industries? We firmly choose the former model. Hikvision has kept close communications with different industries to learn their needs, and we have optimized our technologies and products accordingly to create value for customers and communities,” said Hu Yangzhong, CEO of Hikvision, in his keynote speech at the summit. Application in various industries Hikvision has built a complete technical architecture, from perception, to data fusion, and to application. Hikvision’s solutions have been applied in a wide variety of industries - such as energy, metallurgy, financial services, education, healthcare, as well as in commercial enterprises, and communities - empowering digital transformation in all of them. During the summit, several Hikvision customers presented how the combination of AI and IoT has helped to drive their digital transformation. Intelligent recognition Companies leverage Hikvision’s AI to enhance the safety and management of communities For instance, in the property service industry, some leading companies have been leveraging Hikvision’s AI capabilities to implement intelligent recognition under various scenarios, such as parking, firefighting, and facility monitoring, which enhances the safety and management of communities. In the energy industry, AI and IoT are essential forces to drive the building of digital grids. With the application of Hikvision’s AI technologies, intelligent inspections over power grids can be realized. Upgrading IoT and AI Platform “’IoT+AI’ is an important path to support digital transformation, and Hikvision is working together with a broad range of industry players to build the bridge between the physical and digital worlds,” said Xu Ximing, Senior Vice President of Hikvision. At the summit, Hikvision announced the upgrade of its AI Open Platform, which can help users to more easily create their own intelligent algorithms based on specific business needs. Meanwhile, through Hikvision’s Hardware Open Platform, third-party algorithms can also be installed in Hikvision’s hardware devices, which bring a greater variety of intelligent functionalities to industries. Efficient camera quality For instance, a large air conditioning manufacturer has trained a bespoke algorithm with the AI Open Platform and deployed it in Hikvision’s cameras to help check the integrity of its products. Once the camera records that a specific component is missing, an alarm will sound to remind quality inspectors to re-check the product, greatly increasing the efficiency of quality checking. More than 5,000 Hikvision customers, industry leaders, academic experts, and partners participated in this summit, which provides a unique opportunity for sharing industry and technology knowledge, experience, and ideas.
Wavestore is introducing an updated version of its open-platform and highly secure Linux-based Video Management Software (VMS). Wavestore v6.26 enables bounding boxes and polygons to be rendered directly in the WaveView client. This can greatly improve situational awareness by instantly drawing operators’ attention to objects of interest. In this release, ONVIF analytics metadata from Bosch cameras are supported and other data sources will be added in future releases. Improved system efficiencies and diagnostics Simplifying the system set up is key to improving efficiencies and so with 6.26, the company has added the ability to enroll multiple cameras simply by using a “from-to” address range. Multiple ranges can be added in this manner, and for more complex network configurations it can even include an address range that sits outside of any of the subnets of the server network interfaces. Suitable routing would still be required. System security is one of the top priorities, so with the 6.26 release comes the requirements to change the install password on the first login. In addition, there is no default user account created along with a configurable lockout if there are repeated failed login attempts. The addition of disk write rates for each disk in the server statistics data has vastly improved system diagnostics. The configuration file can now be sent automatically in response to an event, such as a system fault, to enable speedy resolution of problems on-site. New opportunities “One of Wavestore’s many strengths is its rapid retrieval of video, no matter what sizes of images are being recorded or their retention time. Now we are building on that foundation to add many new capabilities which will combine to make the platform a truly intelligent Video Management Solution,” said Julian Inman, Product Director for Wavestore. “The first of these, introduced with 6.26, is the highlighting of objects of interest along with the storing of object type and position metadata. Subsequent releases will continue this exciting journey; using this data to enable powerful event and graphical searching capabilities”.
As part of its 2021 Cyber Protection Week activities, Acronis, a global company in cyber protection unveiled a new, no-cost version of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, its award-winning service provider solution. The new licensing makes it more profitable for service providers to design and offer a comprehensive cyber protection services portfolio with little to no upfront costs. With this announcement, the company’s current Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud will be extended with cyber protection capabilities – including the company’s best-of-breed backup, award-winning anti-malware, and protection management – and renamed Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. “Using separate tools to address different IT requirements and counter cyber threats is a complicated, inefficient, and costly way for service providers to operate,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis. “By unifying data protection, cybersecurity, and protection management in one, any service provider can eliminate the complexity and management headaches while improving security. With this new licensing model for Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, our partners can deliver superior cyber protection services to their clients at little to no upfront cost.” Ensuring cyber protection By adding advanced protection packs, MSPs gain the flexibility to deliver the optimum level of cyber protection Featuring a set of essential cyber protection capabilities included at no cost or on a pay-as-you-go basis, the new version of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud enables MSPs to build services at little to no upfront expense, ensuring 100% coverage of clients' workloads with cyber protection.MSPs can also expand their service portfolio to meet client requirements and market demand with advanced protection packs that extend their capabilities. By adding advanced protection packs such as Advanced Backup, Advanced Security, Advanced Disaster Recovery, and Advanced Management onto of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, MSPs gain the flexibility to expand and customize their services to deliver the optimum level of cyber protection for each client and every workload. One-stop cyber solution Installed with one agent and managed through one console, the centralized management of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud ensures MSPs can fully protect their clients without having to juggle multiple solutions. A single pane of glass provides the visibility and control needed to deliver comprehensive cyber protection – from creating local and cloud-based backups to stopping zero-day malware attacks with advanced AI-based anti-malware and antivirus defenses that are VB100 certified.“Acronis’ new licensing model is simplified and their pricing is only getting better for the feature set that Acronis provides on a single agent,” said Matt Couch, UIT Project Engineer at Fisher’s Technology. “Additionally, the onboarding webinar was easy to follow and I feel confident that Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud provides our clients with the most cost-effective and secure solution on the market.” Power of integration The announcement comes as Acronis announced the findings of its annual 2021 Cyber Protection Week survey, which surveyed 4,400 IT users and IT professionals from around the world. One of the key findings was that more solutions do not mean more protection – 80% of organizations now run as many as 10 solutions simultaneously for their data protection and cybersecurity needs, yet more than half of those organizations suffered unexpected downtime last year because of data loss.Acronis has long recognized the cost, efficiency, and security challenges that arise from deploying multiple solutions, which is why the company pioneered the field of cyber protection, integrating cutting-edge cybersecurity, best-of-breed backup, and protection management in a single solution. To ensure service providers can build their cyber protection service easily, efficiently, securely, and profitably, Acronis’ new licensing model is effective March 31.
The UK Cyber Security Council, the self-regulatory body for the cyber security education and skills sector, has announced that the Formation Project to create the Council has been completed, allowing the UK Government-mandated Council to officially become an independent entity, fully and only accountable to its trustees. UK Cyber Security Council The Council will champion the cyber security profession across the United Kingdom, providing broad representation for the industry, accelerating awareness, and promoting excellence in the profession. The Council will champion the cyber security profession across the United Kingdom It will do this by delivering thought leadership, career tools, and education resources to the cyber security sector and those seeking a career in the industry, alongside helping influence government, industry, and academia, with the aim of developing and promoting UK cyber security excellence globally and growing the skills base. The Formation Project Dr. Claudia Natanson, Chair of the Council’s Board of Trustees, said “The Formation Project has put down solid foundations on which the Council can build and that is what the Council is able to, and will do, from today. The next few months will be especially busy, as we are now able to hire and start work on gaining traction and momentum, across and beyond the profession.” She adds, “We’ll also be engaging with the Government to ensure the delivery of the standards and governance needed to ensure a strong cyber security profession, now and in the future. The trustees assure all those involved in the Council to date of our maximum efforts to take their work forward.” Near-term tasks for the UK Cyber Security Council include: The appointment of a permanent leadership team, who will work with the Board of Trustees to establish the Council as a leader in the profession, influencing its standing and reputation within the UK and globally; and The recruitment of personnel to take forward the work of the Formation Project on elements of the Council’s remit, including recognition for cyber security practitioners, professional ethics, diversity, and inclusivity in the profession, and thought leadership Cyber Security Alliance Volunteers from the members of the Cyber Security Alliance have put their heart and soul into the Formation Project" Dr. Claudia Natanson also thanked the Cyber Security Alliance and the member organizations that supported the Formation Project. Dr. Natanson said, “For twenty months, scores of volunteers from the 16 forward-thinking organizations of the Cyber Security Alliance have devoted countless hours to getting the Council to this date. We cannot thank them enough, because without them there would be no Council. In the teeth of a pandemic, to reach this date with the Council on schedule is remarkable.” Dr. Budgie Dhanda, Managing Director of 3BDA and Co-Chair of UK Cyber Security Council Formation Project, said “The volunteers from the members of the Cyber Security Alliance have put their heart and soul into the Formation Project, and the members of the Alliance itself have supported their staff all the way. We’re all very proud of what we’re handing over today and look forward to its evolution into a fully functioning, effective Council to represent our profession through the changes ahead.” Protecting UK against cyber threats Dr. Bill Mitchell OBE, Chair of the Cyber Security Alliance, said “Today marks a significant milestone for the many people, who are today and will be in the future, handed the enormously important task of protecting the United Kingdom and its economy from cyber threats that undermine the foundations of modern society. He adds, “Handing over the Council to its trustees is the culmination of over four years of commitment to a shared vision and shared values of public benefit from 16 organizations that came together in recognition of the breadth of skills and disciplines that go into this task.” CYBERUK cyber security conference Dr. Bill Mitchell OBE further adds, “Now a new profession for the UK can be officially recognized and supported. The Alliance remains fully committed to supporting the new Council and ensuring it succeeds at the pace and with the reach that the UK needs, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and find our place outside the European Union.” The Council has been invited by the NCSC to participate at CYBERUK, the UK government’s flagship cyber security conference in May 2021. It will outline some initial plans at the event.
Q: Mr. Seiter, Mr. Ekerot, you both joined Bosch Building Technologies’ business unit Video Systems & Solutions as Senior Vice Presidents in March 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic was just beginning. How did your business unit get through 2020? Magnus Ekerot: The crisis was also felt at Bosch. At the same time, demand has risen for solutions that keep businesses open and protect people's health. We offer corresponding video solutions that can make a significant contribution to containing the pandemic. Michael Seiter: Overall, we managed the past year well despite the challenges and have been growing again since the third quarter compared to 2019. We see good opportunities for further growth in 2021. Q: Has the Corona crisis again accelerated the development of smart technologies in the security technology market, and does the security market in contrast to most industries benefit from the crisis more than it suffers? Michael Seiter: The Corona crisis has definitely demonstrated that the future lies in data-driven solutions. Thanks to our product development strategy already being based on this, we at Bosch were very quickly able to develop new products for the ‘New Normal’ and to expand existing products accordingly. To give one or two examples: in cooperation with Philips, we very quickly developed a people counting solution for retail operations – smart Philips displays in conjunction with smart cameras from Bosch that provide protection for staff and customers. The In-Store Analytics software solution was also implemented with additional features. Shop owners can now make decisions based on customer movement data such as “Where do we position products to avoid queues or crowds?” HTD involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature The latest highlight is the Bosch Human Skin Temperature Detection solution, in short HTD. This involves a touch-free monitoring system to accurately and speedily identify people with heightened skin temperature at control points in offices, factory floors, or airports. The benefits of previously existing solutions on the market are sometimes called into question. Competitors are often unable to deliver what they promise because, for example, the measured temperature of the skin does not correspond to the core temperature of the person, or fluctuates, due to environmental influences. Therefore, we developed a software-based solution that, in compliance with GDPR, first allows people with potentially elevated body temperatures to be filtered out, and in a second step, allows medical personnel to perform a more targeted fever measurement. Q: You see a lot of potential for the video security industry in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. What specific opportunities do you mean, and how are you leveraging these technologies at Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: Bosch has committed itself fully to an “AIoT” – AI meets IoT – strategy. The development of AI algorithms and software, in general, is at Bosch significantly driven in the security space. By AIoT, we specifically mean the networking of physical products and the deployment of artificial intelligence. With AI we aim to enable clients to understand events at an ever-deeper level and predict them in the future – the keyword being predictive – so that they can act proactively. This is particularly important for health and safety. An example is the Intelligent Insights solution where the user can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area. Q: From your point of view do you have an advantage over other suppliers when it comes to AI-based products in the video arena? Michael Seiter: The analysis and utilization of video data have long been front and center with us. Since 2016 we’ve been following the strategy of offering AI applications in the form of integrated intelligent video analytics as a standard in our network cameras. Data such as color, object size, object speed, and direction are all measured. Simply put, you can say this is seeing and understanding – which is the principle behind smart security cameras. Today it’s much more a question of intelligent, data-based solutions than collecting high-quality pictures and storing them for the record. Bosch has been investing heavily in AI for years, from which we can benefit greatly in our area. In the first quarter, for example, we will launch a vehicle detector based on deep learning that is already running on our cameras. This will create significant added value for our customers in the area of intelligent traffic control. Q: Mr. Ekerot, what advantages do customers have in AI-based video security from Bosch? Magnus Ekerot: A key advantage is strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms A key advantage is our strong customer focus with tailored solutions that are at the same time modular and scalable through new AI algorithms. Take the example of Camera Trainer, a machine learning software that can be directly uploaded to Bosch network cameras. The camera is thus trained up on recognizing objects and situations – tailored to the specific needs of our customers. If the camera detects the defined scenario, it performs a predefined action in real-time – for example, a count or an alarm. The latest example is our new camera platform Inteox. As a completely open camera platform, Inteox combines Bosch's intelligent video analytics with an open operating system. This allows programmers to develop specific software applications - or apps - for various application purposes. These can then be loaded onto cameras – the same principle as an app store for smartphones. To sum up, Bosch AI applications support customer-specific needs related to data analysis while enabling totally new applications within and beyond the video security market. Q: Can you name a specific current project where Bosch has deployed an AI-based solution? Magnus Ekerot: A current ground-breaking project using our smart cameras is being implemented as a pilot in the USA. Smart Ohio enables users to configure more intelligent traffic flows and thus ensure mobility, safety, and the efficient use of roads today and tomorrow. The new vehicle detector mentioned by Mr. Seiter also plays a central role here. Our overall goal is to provide connected smart sensor solutions for public and private transportation agencies to enable them to operate their roads safely and efficiently. The Intelligent Insights can anticipate potentially dangerous situations, for instance in maintaining social distance and a maximum number of people numbers in any one area Q: Mr. Seiter, you have been involved with the topic of mobility for some time. What experience from your previous job in the automotive business of Bosch might help you when it comes to further develop the video portfolio of Bosch Building Technologies? Michael Seiter: There's a lot to tell. First of all, the development of core algorithms for video-based solutions, whether for autonomous driving, for vehicle interior monitoring, or for our Bosch Building Technologies video systems, all come together at Bosch's Hildesheim location. This gives us considerable synergies and allows us to bring R&D results to market faster and more flexibly. Essentially, assisted driving systems use AI algorithms that process ever-increasing volumes of video data. Attempts are being made to imitate the human being and enable the vehicle to understand better the surrounding environment with its ‘eyes’. This predictive capability is especially critical with autonomous driving. For example, key questions include: “How should the car respond and what could potentially happen next?” “What kind of environment does it find itself in?” etc. There are many activities in this area at Bosch that in my new role in security we can also strongly benefit from. I am now bringing a lot of this experience and existing R&D achievements to Bosch Video Systems & Solutions, which also results in further synergies with our mobility division: At Stuttgart Airport, autonomous driving is already being implemented together with Mercedes-Benz and the parking garage operator Apcoa as part of the "Automated Valet Parking" project, or AVP for short, in which intelligent video systems from Bosch Building Technologies are making a significant contribution. Mr. Ekerot, you have a lot of experience in the video security area. Where do you position Bosch Building Technologies now in this market and what specific goals are you pursuing? Magnus Ekerot: Our clients are looking for reliable partners and products. We are a strong brand; you can rely on Bosch products. Bosch is a thought leader in video and a pioneer in AI applications in this field since 2016. Data security is everything to us: Our products conform to the EU’s GDPR regulations. Beyond that, we have an extensive camera portfolio that complies with the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for video security devices. This enables our portfolio to be deployed for example within US government buildings. We are planning to conclude more software maintenance agreements with our clients in 2021. These deliver investment and future security for our customers and include for example a ‘patch guarantee’ along with regular updates with new functionalities. This is the first step in a comprehensive plan to access new revenue channels for us and our partners delivering the best technology and excellent service to the end-user! Overall, many new products will be launched this year and this trend will intensify. Our goal is to establish new product families that follow a simple principle: “The development and delivery of disruptive, predictive video solutions that every user can trust because of the underlying sustainable forward-thinking mindset.” It’s been much discussed of late that Bosch is one of the very first companies globally that operates on a CO2-neutral basis. How does sustainability impact your business? Magnus Ekerot: IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection Our IoT solutions are actually sustainable and contribute to environmental protection. For example, our cameras are sustainable in that they remain up-to-date through software updates and needn’t be constantly exchanged for new ones. Our systems demonstrate sustainability also operationally as they can be managed remotely. System integrators don’t need to be physically present, thus avoiding unnecessary travel with its accompanying emissions. All in all, Bosch Building Technologies develops ways to accompany and support our clients in reaching their climate goals via new technologies. This can be done, for example, through improved energy efficiency, the total cost of ownership models, organizing and simplifying the supply chain, and helping our customers meet their social responsibilities. The Power of Bosch helps us here to leverage company-wide research to be two steps ahead, a shade faster, when it comes to new technologies and initiatives that our and future generations will benefit from. I should also say that I am personally very proud to work for a company that set an ambitious climate goal for itself and achieved it! Can you already share a preview of your technology innovations in 2021? Michael Seiter: We see great market potential for our cameras that use artificial intelligence and can be updated flexibly throughout their lifecycles. I have already mentioned the deep learning-based vehicle detector in our cameras. More such solutions – also for other applications where object and person recognition are important – will follow in the course of the year. And the best part is: with AI, the more data we collect and the more intelligently we use it, the better the solutions become and the more added value they bring to the customer. This will revolutionize our industry! Another example is our cloud-based solutions, for example for alarm monitoring. Here, we can now also integrate third-party cameras and, building on this, offer and jointly develop our intelligent software-based solutions. This gives our customers more opportunities to take advantage of the opportunities created by AI. The trend towards integration of the various security technologies seems to be driven mostly by the rapid progress in software development. Does this affect full-range suppliers such as Bosch and what specific plans for fully integrated security solutions do you have for the future? Michael Seiter: Naturally, this suits us as a full-scope supplier. Bosch solutions are deployed in many cross-domain client projects. We have experts for the different domains under one roof and a strong brand with the same quality promise for all areas. Nevertheless, it is always also about specific domain excellence. Only when you master all different areas and have profound and proven expertise in each of them you can succeed in integrated cross-domain projects. The respective business units craft their future strategies and innovation roadmaps with this in mind – as we do in the field of Video Systems & Solutions. Our business unit offers fully integrated Bosch video solutions that can be extended and operated on open systems. This is why we drive open platforms such as Inteox, to offer customers from a wide range of industries the right solutions. Our Bosch Integration Partner Program that we launched in 2012 is also heading in this direction – every product can be integrated into multiple other systems and VMS solutions. In summary: At Bosch, we are both a one-stop-shop, but also an open-system, meaning we offer customers maximum flexibility in their choice of products and services.
For decades, cable theft has caused disruption to infrastructure across South Africa, and an issue that permeates the whole supply chain. Here, Ian Loudon, international sales and marketing manager at remote monitoring specialist Omniflex, explains how new cable-alarm technology is making life difficult for criminals and giving hope to businesses. In November 2020, Nasdaq reported that, “When South Africa shut large parts of its economy and transport network during its COVID-19 lockdown, organized, sometimes armed, gangs moved into its crumbling stations to steal the valuable copper from the lines. Now, more than two months after that lockdown ended, the commuter rail system, relied on by millions of commuters, is barely operational.” Private security firm Despite this most recent incident, cable theft is not a new phenomenon to sweep South Africa Despite this most recent incident, cable theft is not a new phenomenon to sweep South Africa. In 2001, SABC TV broadcast a story following two members of a private security firm working for Telkom, a major telecoms provider. In the segment, the two guards, working in Amanzimtoti on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, head out to investigate a nearby alarm that has been triggered. They reach a telecoms cabinet and discover that it has been compromised, with the copper cable cut and telephone handsets strewn across the ground. In the dark, they continue to search the area when one of the guards discovers the problem: 500 metres of copper wire has been ripped out. In their haste, the thieves have dropped their loot and fled. Widespread cable theft Had they managed to get away, they would have melted the cable to remove the plastic insulation and sold the copper to a local scrap dealer for around 900 Rand, about $50 US dollars. For the company whose infrastructure has been compromised, it may cost ten times that amount to replace and repair the critical infrastructure. The disappointing takeaway from this story is that two decades on from this incident the country still faces widespread cable theft, whether it’s copper cables from mines, pipelines, railways, telecoms or electrical utilities. In fact, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that cable theft costs the economy between R5–7 billion a year. The answer to the problem must go further than the existing measures used by companies. Detect power failure Most businesses already invest in CCTV, fences, barriers and even patrol guards, but this is not enough. Take the mining sector, for example. These sites can be vast, spanning dozens of kilometres - it’s simply not cost effective to install enough fences or employ enough guards or camera operators. As monitoring technology gets better, the company has seen site managers increasingly use cable alarms in recent years that detect when a power failure occurs. The idea is that, if one can detect a power failure, they can detect whether the cable has been cut The idea is that, if one can detect a power failure, they can detect whether the cable has been cut. The problem is though: how does one distinguish the difference between a situation where a cable has been cut intentionally and a genuine power outage? Power outages in South Africa are an ongoing problem, with the country contending with an energy deficit since late 2005, leading to around 6,000 MW of power cuts in 2019. Remote terminal units Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the company that generates around 95 per cent of South Africa’s power has already warned of further blackouts as the company works to carry out repairs to its power plants. According to a statement on the company’s website, “Eskom spends in the region of R2 billion a year replacing stolen copper cables." The result is that criminals take advantage of the gaps in power to steal cable, timing their robberies to coincide with the published load shedding schedules. The basic alarms used to detect power outage won’t recognize the theft because they register a false-positive during a power cut. By the time the power comes back on, the deed has been done and the criminals have gotten away with the cable. The good news is that recent breakthroughs in cable monitoring technology are helping tackle just this problem. New alarms on the market now combine sophisticated GSM-based monitoring systems that use battery powered remote terminal units. Legitimate supply chain Unlike the basic alarms that look for the presence or absence of power, these new systems monitor whether the cable circuit is in an open or closed state. In the event of a power outage, the unit continues to run on battery power and can detect if a cable has been cut, sending a priority SMS alert to the site manager immediately, giving them a fighting chance to prevent a robbery in progress. Beyond the opportunistic theft carried out by petty criminals, the theft of copper cables forms a wider problem Beyond the opportunistic theft carried out by petty criminals, the theft of copper cables forms a wider problem across the supply chain in South Africa. In recent years, the combination of unscrupulous scrap dealers, the alleged involvement of large scrap processing companies and lax penalties meant that much of the stolen copper ended up back in the legitimate supply chain. However, recent changes in the law have sought to take a tougher stance on copper theft. Alarm monitoring technology According to the Western Cape Government, “The Criminal Matters Amendment Act, regulates bail and imposes minimum offences for essential infrastructure-related offences." The act, which came into effect in 2018, recommends sentencing for cable theft, with the minimum sentence for first-time offenders being three years and for those who are involved in instigating or causing damage to infrastructure, the maximum sentence is thirty years. It seems to be working too. In January 2021, the South African reported that a Johannesburg man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for cable theft in Turffontein. While the longer-term outlook is a positive one for industry, the best advice for businesses seeking to alleviate the problem of cable theft in the immediate future is to invest in the latest cable-theft alarm monitoring technology to tackle the problem and make life difficult for criminals.
Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centers, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or apartment. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behavior which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to program new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via mail to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organization we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist program to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behavior growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioral insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.
Many employers faced a need to ramp up hiring of drivers to meet a higher demand for product deliveries and transportation logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the demand for drivers, employers had to make quick hiring decisions while also ensuring products were still being delivered in a timely fashion. Safe work environment Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and contractors. It is therefore important to limit exposing drivers to risk, to put in place proper safety and security protocols, and to clearly outline them in company policies. Whether an employee or contractor, these drivers represent the brand they work for. If they do not adhere to company-mandated safety and security rules, because the business did not make them aware or they intentionally did not comply by acting with malice, this can put the drivers, other employees, customers and the company at risk financially, legally and with regard to their reputation. Adherence to safety protocols Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business" “This need to hire drivers quickly resulted in many businesses lowering their standards and accepting certain risks to meet the increased demand. Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business, potentially leading to harmful events and a damaged brand reputation,” stated Thomas Kopecky, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Ontic Technologies (Ontic), a unified protective intelligence software platform. In the conversation presented below, Kopecky outlines the safety and compliance requirements needed to manage the risks while meeting the demand for drivers. Q: What risks do employers face as they ramp up hiring to meet higher demand for drivers? Thomas Kopecky: There have been instances in which a transportation contractor with multiple violations has simply established the business under a new name but continues to operate dangerously. Hastily hiring such a firm without proper enhanced vetting increases the risk from a safety, as well as a business continuity standpoint. Having to terminate a contract and replace a contractor midway can also have significant financial repercussions. In addition to problems created by executing too quickly, employers are now required both to mitigate their own general liability risks and to manage the perceived risk they may create due to the pandemic. For example, if a delivery driver tests positive for COVID-19, there is the potential they have also exposed customers. Employers must consider contactless delivery or other methods and protocols to mitigate this presumed risk of the pandemic. Q: What are the elements of safety and compliance involved in onboarding new drivers? Thomas Kopecky: When onboarding new drivers, corporations must think about more than clean background checks and adequate infrastructure. Whether employees or contractors, organizations must focus on what other risks the drivers bring with them. As part of this review, an open source scrub should be conducted at the outset to discover the driver’s online activity. Through this exercise, a whole host of questions can be addressed including, for example, whether their morals and values align with those of the company. Are they involved with fringe or radical interest groups? Do their actions conflict with the culture of the organization, and could they have a negative impact? These are all questions that employers should be considering when hiring new drivers or contracting a new company. Q: What tools are available to help companies vet their driver fleets and how can these tools make a difference? Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags Thomas Kopecky: To vet their driver fleets, corporations can use several tools and resources that will strengthen the organization’s overall security. Ideally this is a software platform that brings all this information into one place so vetting, real-time data and concerning activities are not siloed but can be connected in order to assess potential risks and threats. Logically, businesses should consider reviewing Department of Transportation Records, which allow organizations to check whether drivers are licensed and appropriately insured. Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags, such as whether an organization is delinquent or no longer functioning in a given state. Finally, it’s beneficial to review civil records as these can highlight any active or past cases associated with an organization. This includes fraud, bankruptcy, poor business practises, and more. Q: What should be the standard methodology to investigate and collect data on new driver programs? Thomas Kopecky: Corporate culture and company policies impact the level of vetting required (determined by company policy), which varies from business to business. Quite often, most valuable investigative content is associated with an actual fleet company owner and not a recently created business entity so it behooves corporations to research this information first. Then verify the information provided is correct, and whether any other conflicting information exists. As previously noted, employers should review civil and criminal records at the state level and cases at the federal level, as it is often the fleet company or owner involved in litigation that could reflect negatively on a brand. Media coverage and consumer complaints are another critical source for negative mentions that may not always appear in public records. You should also ask if the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this contract or driver; and if they were once a provider and are now re-applying, is it under a new name? If the answer is yes to either question, it will be necessary to check DOT records for adequate licensing or insurance coverage to ensure providers applying under a new name aren’t trying to circumvent the vetting process. Q: What are the privacy concerns, and how can potential employers ensure they do not violate issues of privacy as they vet drivers (and/or other employees)? Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner Thomas Kopecky: Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Employers often dictate their own guidelines and requirements from company to company. Companies must ensure they follow the law and handle data used for vetting driver fleets in a manner compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When utilizing software platforms, those that aggregate public record data in real-time and efficiently to provide actionable insights will be key for protecting corporate driver fleets and businesses overall. Q: How is addressing these issues different in the case of a contracted service versus a company employee? Thomas Kopecky: Addressing these issues will vary from company to company, but it will be important for clients' legal counsel to help interpret the law in the respective state they operate in and make this final determination. This will help shape policy and the employer’s compliance requirements in the area of operation. In some jurisdictions, contractors are vetted and treated like employees who are protected by FCRA. In contrast, there are more broad interpretations of what level of vetting and continuous monitoring can take place on contractors versus employees in other jurisdictions. Q: What is at risk if companies fail to address these issues? Thomas Kopecky: If companies fail to address security issues with managing their driver fleets, they risk major liability, business continuity and brand reputation. Every employee and contractor is in essence an ambassador of the brand, and in many instances, they are the only customer-facing representative for the enterprise. Imagine you are a contractor driving for a major delivery service. If you were to get into an accident and tragically kill someone driving their branded truck, the repercussions of that accident would harm the brand as opposed to the small contracting company by which you are employed. This can have a disastrous impact on the enterprise, both from a reputation and financial standpoint. When proactive steps are not taken to evaluate fleet companies or their owners, this can be viewed as negligence. Consider another example: A brand hires a driver company that has committed fraud while operating under another company’s name. What is the brand’s cost to conduct an initial onboarding assessment of this company versus the cost of investigating an issue, terminating the contract, and dealing with any potential litigation that might follow? The latter is clearly the financial burden. Corporations must proactively address risk associated with their driver fleets to mitigate risk before it occurs. Q: What is the biggest misconception (in the industry and/or the public at large) about employee vetting requirements? Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company Thomas Kopecky: We have passed the days where everything is all about criminal background checks and instant alerts when a driver receives a DUI. We are entering a world where business continuity and resiliency are necessary. Companies are so reliant on contracted services or seasonal employee pools that if that roster of operators were found to be unsuitable, the business itself would not meet the demands of its customers. Before the digital age, people only understood the driver vetting process to be based around a search of felony convictions. Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company from a different vantage point. Employers must begin to think about litigation history, negative media coverage and vocal social platforms, history of poor business practices or fraud, and more. These are factors that need to be considered for a business to mitigate risk and maintain continuity of service in an era where timeliness and instant gratification are highly valued.
Honeywell Commercial Security is among the companies working to develop security systems that are more proactive than reactive. “Our biggest opportunity moving forward is the ability to have security solutions that do a better job of detecting and predicting threats,” says Tim Baker, Global Marketing Director, Honeywell Commercial Security. Greater use of analytics and intelligence can reduce human error and simplify processes by providing a more unified view for greater situational awareness. Artificial intelligence and deep learning "We’re reaching a maturity level in terms of algorithms and hardware to drive new capabilities in a cost-effective way,” he says. Baker sees a continuing interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning in the physical security market, used in video analytics and also for intrusion and access control. "We have challenged ourselves to move from reactive solutions to develop a set of proactive solutions that determine potential security threats before they happen,” he says. An overarching theme is the need to focus operator attention on “what matters” rather than requiring operators to keep track of the growing number of sensors in newer systems. A remaining hurdle is to streamline the deployment of analytics systems, which can require expensive customization during the commissioning phase. Credential-enabled access control reader The reader can support any card format and also enables “frictionless” access control That’s where Honeywell is investing and focusing its attention, seeking when possible to “pre-teach” algorithms based on data gleaned from a large installed base. Fortunately, there will be plenty of data from a growing variety of sites to build from. Honeywell offers a full ecosystem built around enterprise security needs and a second ecosystem built around the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In the enterprise space, the trend is toward smarter edge devices, such as Honeywell’s OmniAssure Touch, a cellphone credential-enabled access control reader. The reader can support any card format and also enables “frictionless” access control. A user can gain access by touching the reader, with no need to take his or her smart phone (which has the credential) out of their pocket. The reader is fully backwards compatible, which is a Honeywell hallmark. Honeywell’s OmniAssure Touch can support any card format and also enables “frictionless” access control. Designed to be cloud-enabled On the enterprise software side, Honeywell has invested in further development of their Pro-Watch access control system and MAXPRO VMS (video management system), tying them together into a single security console, along with intrusion and other systems such as human resources (HR) data. For the SMB market, Honeywell is building and expanding their MAXPRO Cloud system. As existing hardware has evolved to be cloud-enabled, the company has also been introducing new control products that are designed from the ground up to be cloud-enabled. Honeywell’s biggest vertical markets include banking, healthcare, gaming, energy infrastructure and airports The new MAXPRO Intrusion system, which can be configured over the cloud, will be introduced in the first quarter. MAXPRO Access, to be introduced in late November, can be deployed using an embedded web interface, a cloud interface, or as an on-premise solution. On the NVR side, an embedded NVR works alongside Honeywell’s new 30 Series video cameras, providing secure and encrypted end-to-end connection. Networked security system A challenge for Honeywell is to keep up with broader trends happening in the industry, whether geopolitical (e.g., relations between China and the United States) or regulatory such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Baker acknowledges an industry-wide increase in awareness about cybersecurity, driven largely by the enterprise market. IT departments are getting more involved in the purchasing decision; indeed, the chief information officer (CIO) is often the ultimate decision-maker. In response, Honeywell is emphasizing “cybersecurity by design” from the beginning to the end of a project. Also, they are using white-hat hackers to test products before they are released into a live environment. “We are doing everything we can to make sure products are cybersecure,” says Baker. Honeywell’s biggest vertical markets include banking, pharmaceutical, healthcare, gaming, energy infrastructure and airports. NDAA-compliant video cameras Compliance is a common thread throughout the verticals. Honeywell sells to the government mostly in the access control and intrusion space and built around their Vindicator networked security system. (They also introduced the line of NDAA-compliant video cameras, made in Taiwan, at the recent GSX show.)
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, present a range of threats, from the careless and clueless to the criminal. While many incidents may seem harmless, the threat to any location at any time depends on a range of factors. Drones are inexpensive for criminals to buy or make, and there are continuously improving battery, airspeed, and payload capabilities. UAVs can also fly without an RF signal to jam or hack. Fortunately, sensor technologies including radar are available for security agencies and personnel to protect assets and the public. Radio-Wave Signals Radar works as a deterrent by sending out a radio-wave signal using a transmitter antenna, and a small portion of that signal reflects off objects in its path and returns to a receiver antenna. The highest performing radars use an antenna technology called Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA), which enables all-electronic reconfiguration of the antennas. When an AESA radar detects an object, it can ‘focus’ its antennas to track the object, in much the same way as the zoom on a camera does. Multiple objects can be tracked while continuing to scan. Kirkland, WA-based Echodyne offers a radar product that brings these ESA capabilities to non-military security applications at commercial price points. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array Echodyne’s ESA Radar Echodyne says they are reinventing radar price-performance for security applications in the ground (people, vehicles) or air (counter-UAS) domains. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array (ESA) radar that is affordable for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental customers. The company is backed by high profile investors, including Bill Gates, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, NEA, and Lux Capital. “Radar is a sensor,” says Leo McCloskey, Echodyne VP Marketing. “It is most applicable when security professionals can both understand its capabilities and define risk assessment and deployment requirements that call for those capabilities. Our customers are primarily security system integrators and consultancies, which integrate the performance of radar into a sensor array that meets mission requirements.” Radar Technology For Border Surveillance Echodyne was selected by the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to demonstrate the performance of its radar technology for border surveillance applications. The radar was deployed both in fixed remote surveillance towers and as a lightweight rapid deployment kit for field agents. Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities. “We set out to build the world’s best compact, solid-state ESA radar sensor, and we are demonstrating that we’ve reached that objective,” says McCloskey. “We’re excited to introduce these capabilities for other security applications.” Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities MESA Technology Echodyne’s proprietary technology provides a small true electronically scanning array (ESA) radar. Unlike expensive Active ESA (AESA) phased array radars, MESA requires no physical phase shifters, thus reducing the cost, size, weight, and power by several orders of magnitude while maintaining all the benefits of fast ESA radar. Echodyne combines its MESA technology with an intelligent software suite, Acuity, to produce a configurable, software-defined radar for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental security applications. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications “Technology seems to make everything more available to more people over time,” says McCloskey. “What is a retail product today will be a purchased self-assembly kit tomorrow and an improvised self-made drone the following day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is diligently at work on creating rules for safe UAV operation, though any final rules remain some distance off. As drone volumes increase, delineating friend from foe in the airspace requires clear legal and regulatory frameworks, which are nascent but would help distinguish the threat of nuisance flyers from illegal overflight.” Radar Sensor For Security Applications “Detecting and tracking airspace objects of interest is imperative for airports, chemical plants, oil and gas installations, refineries, water and energy utilities, stadiums and other public spaces”, says McCloskey. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications. “As with any product, our applicability will depend on variables like location, terrain, risk assessment, and existing security technologies,” says McCloskey. “Our mission is to deliver the very best radar sensor for security applications.”
Optilan, the security and communications company for the energy, infrastructure, pipeline, and rail sectors, has been appointed by Limak to deliver communications and security systems on the Jubail - Riyadh Water Transmission System in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Optilan has been selected by Limak, the Principal Contractor for the state-run Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), which owns the water transmission system. Upon completion, it will be one of the largest water transmission systems in the world. Leak detection systems Optilan will support Limak in delivering this project by providing the necessary security and communications systems, which will ensure the safe and efficient operation of the water system. Optilan will define the basic layout, design and construction requirements Optilan will define the basic layout, design and construction requirements and guarantee performance, by providing key leak detection systems so that the two 88” pipes will be able to transport 1.2 million m³ of potable water per day, once implemented. Optilan will leverage its expertise in Critical National Infrastructure and precisely list the required key equipment, including the main data, and the necessary functions for the 412 km long twin pipeline. Leak detection systems Optilan will also provide Limak with a further range of services including: Design, documentation Project management Procurement Building cabinets LAN and WAN networks FAT Leak detection systems Third-party intrusion detection Testing and commissioning at site This is the latest in a series of international project wins for Optilan This is the latest in a series of international project wins for Optilan as it gears up for another year of strategic growth. In the last year, Optilan, which is backed by private equity firm Bluewater, has secured contracts within critical infrastructure, rail, and renewables sectors that span from the UK, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Critical infrastructure projects Optilan has been appointed by Limak on the basis of its proven expertise and its successful track record of delivering high profile critical infrastructure projects, globally. Bill Bayliss, CEO of Optilan, says: “We’re delighted to announce we’ll be supporting Limak on the state-owned Jubail - Riyadh Water Transmission System. As we ramp up for another year of growth, we’re committed to demonstrating our communications security Critical National Infrastructure expertise globally.” “We’re proud that our strong success record led Limak to appoint Optilan for, what will be, one of the world’s largest water systems. With this project in our portfolio of work, we’re on track to successfully achieve our key strategic aims, and continue on with our global expansion.”
Check Point Research (CPR) discovered new malware on Google’s Play Store that spreads via WhatsApp messages. The malware is designed to automatically respond to incoming WhatsApp messages on the victim’s device, using content that the malware downloads from a remote server. Hidden in fake Netflix app CPR found the malware hidden in a fake Netflix application on the Play Store called FlixOnline, which promised unlimited entertainment from anywhere in the world. If successful, the malware enables its threat actors to perform a range of malicious activities, such as spreading additional malware via malicious links, stealing credentials and data from users' WhatsApp accounts, and spreading fake or malicious messages to users. WhatsApp contacts and groups, for example, work-related groups. Malware spreading through link The malware was designed to be wormable, meaning it can spread from one Android device to another after a user clicks on the malicious link in the message and downloads the malware. It works like this: Victim installs the fake FlixOnline app from Google’s Play Store which contains the malware The malware changes permissions on the user’s device to enable automatic responses to new notifications on WhatsApp The malware responds to every WhatsApp message the victim receives with an automatic reply crafted by the threat actors In this campaign, the response was a fake Netflix site that phished for users credentials and credit card information Automated response The malware sent the following automatic response to its victims incoming WhatsApp messages, attempting to lure others with the offer of a free Netflix service: 2 Months of Netflix Premium Free at no cost For REASON OF QUARANTINE (CORONA VIRUS)* Get 2 Months of Netflix Premium Free anywhere in the world for 60 days. Fake service within the application CPR found the malware hidden within an application on Google Play called FlixOnline CPR found the malware hidden within an application on Google Play called FlixOnline. The app turned out to be a fake service that claimed to allow users to view Netflix content from around the world on their mobiles. However, instead of allowing the mobile user to view Netflix content, the application is actually designed to monitor a user’s WhatsApp notifications, sending automatic replies to a user’s incoming messages using content that it receives from a remote server. Innovative hijack technique Aviran Hazum, Manager of Mobile Intelligence at Check Point Software said, “The malware’s technique is new and innovative, aiming to hijack users. Whatsapp account by capturing notifications, along with the ability to take predefined actions, like dismiss or reply via the Notification Manager.” “The fact that the malware was able to be disguised so easily and ultimately bypass Play Store’s protections raises some serious red flags. Although we stopped one campaign using this malware, the malware may return hidden in a different app.” Mobile security solution Users should be wary of download links or attachments that they receive via WhatsApp or other messaging apps The Play Store’s protections can only go so far, so mobile users need a mobile security solution. Luckily, we detected the malware early, and we quickly disclosed it to Google who also acted quickly. Users should be wary of download links or attachments that they receive via WhatsApp or other messaging apps, even when they appear to come from trusted contacts or messaging groups. If you think you’re a victim, we recommend immediately removing the application from devices and changing all passwords. App taken down by Google CPR responsibly disclosed its findings to Google. The malicious application was subsequently taken down by Google. Over the course of two months, the FlixOnline app was downloaded approximately 500 times. CPR has shared its research findings with WhatsApp, though there is no vulnerability on WhatsApp’s end. Security Tips for Android Users Install a security solution on your device Download applications only from official markets Keep your device and apps up to date
Strong price pressure combined with high-quality requirements - the beverage and bottle industry faces the classic dilemma of many industries. This is also the case in the quality control department of a French manufacturer of plastic caps. Reliably detecting cracks and micro-cracks on plastic caps in 40 different colors and shades running at high speed on a production line is a real challenge. APREX Solutions from Nancy, France has successfully achieved this goal with the help of image processing technology and artificial intelligence. The basic images are provided by a USB 3 industrial camera from IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH. System inspection SOLOCAP is a subsidiary of La Maison Mélan Moutet, "flavor conditioner since 1880" and manufactures all types of plastic caps for the food sector at its industrial site in Contrexéville. Among them, a top-class screw cap suitable for any glass or PET bottle. The presence of a clampable lamella ring arranged around the bottle collar enables a simple, fast, absolutely tight, and secure seal. However, the slats must be reliably and extremely carefully checked for cracks, tears, and twists during production. This is the only way to guarantee absolute tightness. The previous inspection system could not meet these high requirements. APREX Solutions realized the new solution with artificial intelligence individually on the basis of in-house software algorithms. The necessary specifications were developed in advance in cooperation with the customer. This also included several inspection stages, one of which, for example, was the reject control to avoid false reports. Implementing of AI solution Four control levels with several test points guarantee a reliability rate of over 99.99% The introduction took place in two phases: First, the specific "SOLOCAP application" was trained with the help of the intelligent APREX Track AI solution. The software includes various object detectors, classifiers, and standard methods that operate at different levels. Networked accordingly, they ultimately deliver the desired result tailored to the customer. Four control levels with several test points guarantee a reliability rate of over 99.99%. In the second step, this application was implemented in the production line right after the first assembly run with APREX Track C&M. The latter was specially developed for the diverse image processing requirements in the industrial sector. This includes, among other things, the control and safeguarding of a production line up to the measurement, identification, and classification of defects in the production environment. The software suite delivers the desired results quickly and efficiently, without time-consuming development processes. Ready to use After a short training of the AI methods, the complete system is ready for use at the customer. In the case of SOLOCAP, it combines an IDS UI-3280CP-C-HQ industrial camera, powerful ring illumination, and a programmable logic controller (PLC) to provide comprehensive control over all inspection processes. At the same time, it records all workflows in real-time and ensures complete traceability. Only one camera is needed for this. However, APREX TRACK C&M could handle up to 5 cameras. High-resolution images “The difficulty of this project consisted mainly in the very subtle expression of the defects we were looking for and in the multitude of colors. With our software suite, it was possible to quickly set up an image processing application. Despite the complexity," explains Romain Baude - founder of APREX Solutions. The image from the camera provides the basis for the evaluations. It captures every single cap directly in the production line at high speed and makes the smallest details visible to the software. Easy integration of camera The USB 3 industrial camera provides excellent image quality with extraordinarily low noise performance The UI-3280CP-C-HQ industrial camera integrated into the system with the 5 MP IMX264 CMOS sensor from Sony sets new standards in terms of light sensitivity, dynamic range, and color reproduction. The USB 3 industrial camera provides excellent image quality with extraordinarily low-noise performance - at frame rates up to 36 fps. CP stands for "Compact Power". This is because the tiny powerhouse for industrial applications of all kinds is fast, reliable, and enables a high data rate of 420 MByte/s with low CPU load. Users can choose from a large number of modern CMOS sensors from manufacturers such as Sony, CMOSIS, e2v, and ON Semiconductor with a wide range of resolutions. Plug and play Its innovative, patented housing design with dimensions of only 29 x 29 x 29 millimeters makes it suitable for tasks in the fields of automation, automotive, medical technology and life sciences, agriculture, logistics as well as traffic and transport, among others. Screwable cables ensure a reliable electrical connection. Due to the IDS-characteristic plug & play principle, the cameras are automatically recognized by the system and are immediately ready for use, as Romain Baude confirms, "The excellent color reproduction of the UI-3280CP-C-HQ and its high resolution of 5 MP were decisive factors for us in choosing the camera. At the same time, the model enabled a quick, uncomplicated integration into our system." Outlook Anthony Vastel - Head of Technology and Industry at SOLOCAP - sees a lot of potential in the new inspection system, "APREX's AI-based approach has opened new doors for our 100% vision-based quality control. Our requirements for product safety, but also for reject control, especially in the case of false reports, were quickly met. We are convinced that we can go one step further by continuing to increase the efficiency of the system at SOLOCAP and transferring it to other production lines." AI offers quality assurance, but also all other industries in which image processing technology is used, new, undreamed-of fields of application. It makes it possible to solve tasks in which classic, rule-based image processing reaches its limits. Thus, high-quality results can be achieved with comparatively little effort - quickly, creatively, and efficiently. APREX Solutions and IDS have recognized this and offer solutions with intelligent products that make it easier for customers to enter this new world.
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, today shared the results of its ‘Physical Security in EMEA 2021’ report, based on insights from over 1,500 physical security professionals. The report takes a closer look at how physical security teams across Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are leveraging technology to manage both short-term needs and long-term priorities. The findings offer useful insights for those responsible for developing their organization’s own infrastructure and security strategies. 2020 has refocused priorities The realities of COVID-19, and the subsequent shift to work at home, have emphasized the value of technology that can provide greater insight and control. As a result, video analytics, access control, and identity management were all identified as strategic technologies for 2021. “Last year we saw a seismic shift in the way companies approach security. The access control boom within facilities showed that the physical security industry is capable of streamlining innovative solutions—particularly when there’s a demand for enhanced safety. As we enter a new chapter, the industry must continue to adapt to changing requirements and invest in the latest enabling solutions to help make our workplaces safer, healthier, and more secure,” said Cyrille Becker, Managing Director of Europe at Genetec. Cybersecurity is a strategic priority Cybercrime is primed to reach record heights in 2021, with the rise of work-from-home and the growing adoption of IoT Cybercrime is primed to reach record heights in 2021, with the rise of work-from-home and the growing adoption of IoT. Against this backdrop, 67% of respondents are planning to prioritize the improvement of their cybersecurity strategy in 2021. “The rise of cybercrime has highlighted cyber and physical security measures can no longer be treated as separate conversations. Physical security professionals must partner with their counterparts in IT to understand the true limits of the security perimeter and mitigate against risk. This requires solidifying a resilient cyber-physical security framework, to ensure trusted devices are integrated into the network and subsequently configured, updated, and managed throughout their operational life,” said Christian Morin, Vice President of Cloud Services and CSO at Genetec, Inc. Accelerating adoption of cloud and hybrid cloud Physical security departments have traditionally been slower to adopt the cloud; however, the survey results indicate the situation is rapidly changing. Almost two-thirds of respondents reporting the pandemic has somewhat (51%) or greatly (12.5%) accelerated their cloud strategy in relation to physical security. “The unprecedented shift to remote work and the resulting need for supporting technology, has highlighted the importance of cloud computing and, if business leaders had not been convinced of its benefits before, they are likely to be now,” added Morin. Survey methodology In January 2021, Genetec EMEA surveyed physical security professionals based in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Following a review of submissions and data cleansing, 1,550 respondents were included in the sample for analysis.
Essence SmartCare, part of IoT solutions provider Essence Group announced that ADT Security Australia, provider of security monitoring services, has selected its Care@Home Enhanced Telecare Services Platform to expand ADT’s health and wellness services offering in Australia. ADT Security Australia is part of Johnson Controls, the company in smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings. This partnership was facilitated in conjunction with HSC Technology Group. It will enable ADT to enhance its senior care offerings in Australia by providing a new range of assistive services through Essence’s Care@Home solution, under the banner of ADT Home Assure. The rollout of Essence’s technologies will allow ADT Security Australia to offer breakthrough telecare services to seniors using state-of-the-art technology and utilizing the LTE network. This announcement comes as the senior population is set to grow rapidly in Australia with the proportion of seniors who are over the age of 75 to grow from 33 percent to 55 percent in the next 30 years, and annual revenue for home-based care and services of around $4.5 billion AUD. Seamless health monitoring The unified telehealth and care platform enables monitoring at any level and through any type of caring device “We are honored to be joining forces with ADT Security Australia, one of the largest security and safety solutions providers, to enable them to provide the best care and protection to Australian seniors,” said Barak Katz, general manager for Essence SmartCare. "Our unified telehealth and care platform enables monitoring at any level and through any type of caring device for a wide range of health conditions, both at home or on-the-go – all through one connected Care@Home smart platform.” Essence SmartCare’s award-winning Care@Home platform is an aging-in-place product suite, providing seamless health monitoring solutions that enable seniors to live independent lives while providing their families with peace of mind. Leveraging a variety of advanced technologies, including deep AI capabilities, to ensure the safety of seniors, the platform comprises an integrated suite of services, including continuous monitoring of daily activities, advanced fall detection, and voice-activated alerts to facilitate real-time communication with caregivers and emergency services providers. "At ADT Asia Pacific, our mission is to protect the lives of our customers and their assets across the region by providing the highest quality solutions and services leveraging best-in-class partners," said David Kirubi, Vice President, ADT Asia Pacific. "Essence’s Care@Home solution presents a substantive and unique industry value proposition in enabling this mission, for the benefit of our customers while ensuring peace of mind for their loved ones and carers."
Reiknistofa bankanna (RB) is a provider of mission-critical IT systems for Icelandic financial institutions, responsible for the country’s central clearance and settlement system and a number of multi-tenant core banking solutions. It also operates an e-invoicing and e-payment system for corporates and consumers. It is jointly owned by the three main Icelandic banks, two saving banks, the Icelandic Savings Bank Association, and the three main payment card processors in Iceland. RB’s clients are the Central Bank of Iceland and other financial institutions as well as the government and public entities. With solutions operated in multiple data centers and in a shared multi-bank environment, RB sought a flexible technology partner that could ensure the highest levels of operational security, cost efficiency, and resilience. Traditional access control systems RB had traditionally protected its datacentres and offices via disparate video and access control systems. These siloed technologies must be operated and maintained separately, creating a convoluted and inefficient user experience. They were also very old, and maintenance was becoming both a financial and an operational issue. Sourcing reliable technical support and compatible hardware when something went wrong were becoming increasingly difficult, with replacement parts often taking at least two weeks to arrive. Something needed to change to prevent the corresponding disruptions to security and operations. Upon inheriting responsibility for the security infrastructure Geir Sæmundsson, Datacentre Manager at RB set out a clear vision for the requirements across all of RB’s facilities. “I wanted a unified all-in-one system that wouldn’t restrict my hardware choices going forward. The system needed to deliver long-term value so I wasn’t prepared to limit RB’s options to just one manufacturer of security cameras or door readers.” Need for modern access control solution RB required a modern, reliable system that brought video and access control into a single solution – all displayed easily for operators to understand what was happening, when; to provide business-wide value. Mr. Sæmundsson, therefore, approached Hafliði Jónsson, a security consultant to advise on the enabling technologies that could best support these ambitions. Upon consultation, it quickly became apparent that a Genetec solution, driven by Security Centre 5.9 was the optimal choice. As an open platform, it could simplify daily security operations and allowed for further integration with RB’s heating and cooling systems. As an open platform, with native video and access control capabilities, it could simplify daily security operations and allowed for further integration with other tools such as RB’s heating and cooling systems. Furthermore, it would enable RB to undertake a phased evolution of its infrastructure, relieving budget pressures without delaying implementation timelines. For example, RB initially retained all of its existing security cameras and is upgrading to newer more sophisticated Mobotix devices over a period of 3 years. “From day one we wanted a unified system which could help our teams understand the situation, quickly; alerting them if anything required their attention. The Genetec solution does just this and is allowing us to build in customized alerts so we gain business intelligence – providing us with better ROI.” – Geir Sæmundsson, Datacentre Manager at RB Easy installation and operation Since bringing its security solutions under one system, RB has been able to provide operators with customized dashboards that quickly alert them to matters requiring their attention. For example, an unauthorized access attempt or sudden rise in temperature inside the data center generates a notification within Security Centre for an employee in the monitoring room to respond to and investigate. The ease of the transition and the ease of use of the solution means that RB is planning to install the Genetec solution into its offices soon also, as the business is keen to have one solution across all of its buildings – yet are compatible with a range of integrated technologies. Direct communication fuelling a brighter future the solution has been immensely successful, and RB is looking ahead to a bright future with Genetec. The process of implementation and configuration was shorter than anticipated and as a fully cloud-based system, the process of adding new devices or facilities to the network has proved very straightforward. Direct control over systems One year into its operation RB is running its system autonomously with little need to call in external support. One of the key reasons for this is the ability of RB and its system integrator Hafnes Ehf to communicate directly with Genetec rather than having to go through a third party – as was the case with its previous security platform. “Given the high-security requirements of RB’s data centers I was keen to cut out any middlemen to ensure any integration issues could be more quickly and easily resolved” commented system integrator Hafliði Jónsson. “RB has saved a lot of time and money as this direct relationship gives RB much more control.” Geir Sæmundsson, Datacentre Manager at RB, commented, “The time savings delivered by Genetec has been immense. The fact it’s plug and play, and therefore up and running in a matter of hours is fantastic. Added to the fact it’s easy to install and we get lots back from the system, it’s been a worthwhile investment, especially as it can evolve with us, and allows us to move at our chosen speed.” With the initial requirements met, RB is now exploring ways to extract further value from its unified platform. Introducing Genetec ClearID The fact it’s plug and play, and therefore up and running in a matter of hours is fantastic Next on the roadmap is the introduction of Genetec ClearID that will streamline the process of managing facility access requests and automate the creation of monthly client access reports. Making use of the access control infrastructure already in use throughout the facility, Genetec ClearID allows authorized visitors to easily request and be granted appropriate access in line with RB’s security and compliance policies and the individual’s access rights. With the roll-out of the unified Genetec platform also expected to extend to future datacentres and RB’s offices, it seems the partnership is set to go from strength to strength. “RB is the backbone of Icelandic Financial Services. We can’t afford to have security breaches or downtime, as it’s not just us that will be affected. We needed a failsafe solution, and so far, Security Center and Genetec have enabled this. Considering its ease of use, deep integration, and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over years to come”, concluded Sæmundsson.
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
As a subset of the larger economy, the security industry is bound to feel the effects of an economic downturn. Such was the case in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic undermined economic growth and presented a brand new set of challenges to business. The security industry has been able to pivot toward emerging opportunities, but that success has been offset by broader economic challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact, positive or negative, has the larger economy had on the security marketplace in 2020?
Should security spending be a one-time capital expense or as an ongoing operating expense? At first glance, the question appears to be an accounting issue with little impact on the actual equipment or systems involved. However, as security professionals seek to cost-justify new systems, the question may be central to providing the “best security for the money” and a system that fits the company’s continuing needs. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Should security be a capital expense (CAPEX) or an operating expense (OPEX)? Is the trend shifting and what is the impact?