Boon Edam Inc., a global renowned supplier in security entrances and architectural revolving doors, has published a new whitepaper for architects and security professionals entitled, ‘The New Lobby: How Will Securing Buildings Change in a Post-Pandemic World?’ Physical security plan The publication begins by explaining the importance of creating a physical security plan that addresses and controls unauthorized entry due to tailgating, and continues with discussions around how COVID...
The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has announced that it has elected Jason Ouellette, as its Chairman and Ewa Pigna, the Chief Technology Officer for LenelS2, a part of Carrier Global Corporation, as its Vice Chairman. Standards-based digital data In addition, Peter Boriskin, the Chief Technology Officer for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas, will continue in his role as the organization’s Treasurer. The PSIA membership develops specifications for enabling standar...
Globally renowned access control manufacturer, Inner Range is offering customers the ability to identify close contacts of anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, by generating detailed reports of where the infected person has been and who else has been near them. Contact tracing The contact tracing report can be generated and shared quickly and easily. It can show which doors an infected user has passed through, how much time they spent in each area, what time the...
Most business today is conducted at the edge, with employees working from home on vulnerable, often personal, endpoint devices. As the amount of sensitive corporate data accessed by devices out of an organization’s control grows, so does the attack surface that the IT team must safeguard. In response to this complex reality, Acronis announced the development of an integrated solution for managed service providers (MSPs) designed to enhance the protection of their clients’ Citrix Wor...
‘Making things easier’ – Under this maxim, the Panomera multifocal sensor systems by video technology manufacturer, Dallmeier have guaranteed maximum image and analysis data quality with minimum camera units for ten years now. The latest generation of the Panomera S-Series features a completely new design and offers numerous innovations, from the one-man mounting concept to contactless front glass cleaning, and above all, superior video analysis capabilities. Panomera multifo...
Orange Cyberdefense, the cyber security business unit of the Orange Group, has boosted its UK executive team with the appointment of executive for three senior roles, including new Managing Director, Clive Hamilton. Global ICT experience Clive joins Orange Cyberdefense having spent more than 13 years at NTT Europe (NTT Ltd.), most recently as Managing Director. He has 30 years global ICT experience in network, cloud, data center, security and voice service. Mohammed Lateef has joined as UK Fi...
Acronis, a global provider of cyber protection, announced plans to expand its global network of cloud data centers, including new state-of-the-art facilities in Canada, New Zealand, and Bhutan. Announced at the Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020, the expansion ensures that the full range of Acronis Cyber Protection Solutions will be available to partners and organizations around the world, which is critical now that an estimated two-thirds of employees work remotely and rely on cloud-based services. Services data centers The rise of edge computing around the world means more data is now created and used away from company networks" The announcement also revealed Acronis’ plan to add an additional 100 micro data centers to its global network, which already includes collocated and managed services data centers in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and Singapore. Another new data center in Vancouver, Canada was announced earlier this month. “The rise of edge computing around the world means more data is now created and used away from company networks,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis. Cloud data centers “Micro data centers enable the efficient deployment of edge computing, particularly in emerging markets. As part of Acronis’ Global-Local Strategy, this expansion allowing us to provide the local, cost-efficient, bandwidth efficient, and low latency cloud services our global partners demand. It demonstrates our commitment to offering the cloud-based services and cyber protection that partners and users need in today’s digital world.” With Gartner forecasting that the worldwide market for cloud management and security services will continue growing more than 25% by 2022, and Technavio projecting that the global edge data center market will progress at a CAGR of almost 14% by 2024, the new cloud data centers announced will put Acronis in a strong position in both areas. Cloud-based cyber protection The expansion further enables Acronis to extend the reach of its cyber protection solutions “While reliance on cloud-based access to production data and controls has been increasing during the past several years, the pandemic accelerated its adoption worldwide among organizations,” notes Phil Goodwin, Research Director, IDC. “Developing a larger network of cloud data centers, especially in emerging markets, enables Acronis to cultivate new partners and customers who are actively seeking cloud-based data protection and security platforms and solutions.” The expansion further enables Acronis to extend the reach of its cyber protection solutions delivered through the Acronis Cyber Cloud platform, which empowers service providers to provide backup, disaster recovery, antimalware, secure workplace collaboration, and blockchain-based data authentication service - all through a single pane of glass. Data center network “Organizations across the globe rely on data in a way they never have before, which means they need IT providers like us to be ready with effective, affordable solutions,” said Martin Brought, President & CEO, Robson Communications. “Acronis understands what providers need to build our portfolio of services and keep clients protected - not just from the standpoint of the solutions they offer, but also how they price and deliver them. The expansion of their data center network will help a lot more service providers around the world keep their clients productive and protected.” Endpoint management tools Among the solutions service providers can access through the new data centers is Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. Among the solutions service providers can access through the new data centers is Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. This unique integration of backup, disaster recovery, next-gen antimalware, cyber security, and endpoint management tools recently earned the 2020 New Product Innovation Award for Data Protection from Frost & Sullivan. All of Acronis solutions are designed to address the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection, ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) of an organization’s data, applications, and systems. Cyber protection solutions Regardless of their size or geography, or whether they are collocated or managed services facilities, all Acronis data centers meet the highest standards of digital and physical security, and feature redundant power and environmental controls ensure constant (99.9%) monthly availability. Service providers interested in learning more about the global network of Acronis data centers or the full range of cyber protection solutions available via the Acronis Cyber Cloud are encouraged to contact the Acronis Partner Program team.
Genetec Inc. kicks off new podcast series with Privacy by Design Architect and former Ontario Privacy and Information Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian. Engage, the new Genetec podcast, offers thought-provoking perspectives on the impact of security technology from thought leaders and visionaries worldwide. “When we talk about privacy vs. public safety, I can assure you that it is never privacy that wins, nor should it be. But what I reject, is the proposition that privacy must suffer,” insists Dr. Ann Cavoukian in ‘First Principles’, the inaugural episode of Engage, a new podcast series hosted by Genetec Inc. Engage - A Genetec podcast Focused on exploring key industry themes with global thought leaders and spanning multiple disciplines, Engage - A Genetec podcast, will examine a broad spectrum of safety and security topics, from digital transformation in business, city, and government operations, to vital technology topics including privacy, data sovereignty, and more. It is an important perspective that resonates within the practice of physical security" In ‘First Principles’ episode, Engage hosts Kelly Lawetz and David Chauvin take on the often-controversial topic of privacy. “In the world of privacy, Dr. Ann Cavoukian is a formidable force,” said Andrew Elvish, Vice President of Marketing at Genetec, Inc, adding “While Information and Privacy Commissioner for the province of Ontario, Canada, her work on Privacy by Design sparked a global revolution on how privacy is perceived by putting the onus on providers instead of users.” ‘Privacy by Design’ Andrew adds, “Today, Dr. Cavoukian champions a pragmatic, proactive approach, which she feels is especially important in an age when more personal and behavioral information is being used to track and anticipate our activities. It is an important perspective that resonates within the practice of physical security as much as it does in the wider public.” During this interview, Dr. Cavoukian who is now Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University, talks about the importance of adopting a ‘Privacy by Design’ approach to software. She argues that the old ‘check the box’ model for privacy compliance no longer holds up, when considered in light of the type and volume of information being shared. Protecting privacy and upholding physical security When a software solution is designed from the ground up with privacy in mind, organizations don’t have to choose between protecting the privacy of individuals and their physical security, creating a win/win for the individual and the organization. Dr. Cavoukian believes that there can be a positive-sum between privacy and security. “Get rid of the ‘versus’ and let’s embrace privacy and embed it into the code of information technologies, business practices and networked infrastructure,” she adds.
The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) announced it has elected Jason Ouellette, as its Chairman and Ewa Pigna, the Chief Technology Officer for LenelS2, a part of Carrier Global Corporation, as its Vice Chairman. In addition, Peter Boriskin, the Chief Technology Officer for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas, will continue in his role as the organization’s treasurer. The PSIA membership develops specifications for enabling standards-based sharing of digital data and intelligence throughout the physical security and enterprise ecosystems. Leadership skills “Jason and Ewa are long-standing Board members with strong technology, commercial, and industry leadership skills,” said David Bunzel, Executive Director, the PSIA. “They and their companies have been important advocates for open standards in the physical security industry and also active proponents for the PSIA’s access control specification–PLAI.” As PSIA Chairman, Ouellette will work closely with the PSIA board to expand membership, commercialize its specifications, and identify industry needs for new and enhanced PSIA specifications. “Open standards are critical to large scale deployments and solving complex enterprise problems,” noted Ouellette. “With that in mind, I truly see the value that PSIA and PLAI bring to the security industry where multiple Physical Access Control Systems, Biometric solutions, and other integrations exist in the market. The PLAI specification provides a means for reducing complexity and cost in these environments with the application of open standards which provide a method to share personnel, credentials, and biometrics in a way that respects PII and security concerns. ” Assure industry compliance Pigna’s role as PSIA Vice Chairman will include defining the technical aspects of PLAI necessary to make this an effective commercial standard. This will include enhancing and promoting the PLAI specification in order to assure industry compliance and interoperability. “My involvement with PSIA and promotion of physical security standards is focused on delivering solutions to our customers that derive value from integration and interoperability,” said Pigna. “Our mission is to simplify the complex world of disparate systems and enable technical information sharing for more holistic decision making.” Access control At Johnson Controls, Ouellette leads Technology Business Development, for its Access and Video Security Products Group. He is based at the company’s Westford, Massachusetts office. Ouellette, joined Tyco International in April 1999, and has served as a customer support specialist, software engineer, engineering manager, director of R&D for the American Dynamics Intellex products and Software House Access Control products, Director of Product Management for the global access control business. In 2017, after Tyco merged with Johnson Controls, Ouellette was promoted to Product General Manager for Access Control. In 2019, General Manager for Direct to Channel Access & Video Products. Senior management positions Prior to this, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1989 to 1996 as a medical laboratory specialist and later as a computer implementation specialist. Ouellette also held positions at CDSI, and SAIC in development and network roles before coming to Tyco. At LenelS2, Pigna is the Chief Technology Officer. She started her career at IBM in Boca Raton, Florida, where she was a software engineer in the robotics group. Pigna held senior management positions at GE Security before her current role at LenelS2. She has a BS in computer science and mathematics from UCLA. Security technology and enterprise security At ASSA ABLOY Americas, Boriskin, is the Chief Technology Officer, leading the Americas innovation team. He has over twenty years’ experience working with security technology and enterprise security. In his previous roles, he was the Product Management Leader for UTC Fire & Security in their Lenel business and the Vice President of Product Management for Tyco International’s Access Control and Video Systems division. Prior to joining Tyco, Peter founded a networking company where he was owner and President. He is regularly quoted in industry publications and has authored numerous articles on physical security. Peter holds a BA from Brandeis University.
Wilson James has announced the acquisition of The Security Group (TSG) as part of a long-term strategy to provide clients with holistic solutions to their security and guarding needs. The acquisition will allow Wilson James to meet increasing demand from customers for information-led solutions they require to address security challenges across a range of sectors. Customers will now benefit from advanced security technology through a new Technology Services business unit at Wilson James. Around 200 TSG employees will be welcomed into the larger Wilson James family, an organization that has a proven track record in supporting and investing in its people. TSG's client base is primarily centred in the South East of England, includes both public and private sector organizations, and fits well with Wilson James' existing customers. Guarding operations TSG’s existing guarding operations will be managed by Barry Dawson, Managing Director for Security at Wilson James, while technology will fall under James Bauer-Mein, the new Head of Technology. James will report to Gemma Quirke, recently appointed Chief Operating Officer at Wilson James. Gemma Quirke noted: “The acquisition of TSG will allow Wilson James to provide greater value to its clients, through a combination of consultancy, technology and skilled people. We look forward to welcoming TSG clients and employees to Wilson James.” Latest security technologies Said James Bauer-Mein: “The strategic plans for the new Wilson James Technology Services department align perfectly with ours. This acquisition will enable the latest security technologies and design that TSG specialize in, to be unified with Wilson James’ exemplary standing in the security industry.” Wilson James and TSG customers will see no interruption to the high levels of service they currently experience. Longer-term, both stand to gain as TSG is integrated into the Wilson James organization, synergies are identified, and sources of greater customer value created.
ACRE, a globally renowned provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, has announced that the ACRE brands – RS2, Vanderbilt and Open Options – will launch ACT ID, a new cloud-based mobile credential application that enables organizations to utilize both iOS and Android smartphones with existing WaveLynx multi-technology readers for secure access to doors in office buildings, government facilities, healthcare institutions, schools, residences and a growing variety of enterprises. ACT ID cloud-based mobile credential solutio ACT ID features zero-touch, cloud-issued credentials for enrollment into a user’s access control system. The application does not require any subscriptions or fees, making it an extremely flexible and affordable solution that allows organizations to transition to mobile access at their own pace. “ACRE and its brands provide some of the industry’s most sought-after access control systems and solutions for customers across a variety of markets,” said Laurie Aaron, Executive Vice President, WaveLynx Technologies. Risk-free mobile access solution Laurie adds, “Through this integration, we’re able to provide additional functionality and risk-free mobile access solutions for end users to adopt as they update and expand their access control systems.” “Mobility is an integral part of the goal of forward-thinking enterprise organizations, as more organizations look for way to leverage more touchless access control and seamless visitor management tools,” said Kim Loy, Chief Product Officer, ACRE. Touchless access control solutions Kim adds, “Partnering with WaveLynx across the ACRE organization allows our brands to capitalize on this demand from the market and diversify their ability to provide secure, convenient mobile security options to partners and customers alike.”
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that it has expanded its HID SOMA chip operating system (COS) family with the addition of SOMA c016 on NXP Semiconductors' new SmartMX3 microcontroller. HID is the industry’s first to certify a native COS on NXP’s newest generation SmartMX3 platform to Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ (EAL5+). SOMA c016 integration with SmartMX3 “This accomplishment is in-line with our commitment to proposing our renowned SOMA technologies with an extended array of leading hardware platforms from which our customers can choose,” stated Manuel Deloche, Vice President of Product Management, Product Marketing & Software Engineering, Citizen Identity with HID Global. Manuel adds, “We are also proud to be the first ID solution provider to port and certify the SOMA COS on the newest P71 microcontroller, for which NXP provided excellent support.” HID SOMA chip operating system We are pleased that HID has certified their HID SOMA COS operating system on NXP's SmartMX3 platform" With a 15-year track record serving the specific needs of secure electronic documents, the HID SOMA chip operating system family has been used in some of the world’s most successful citizen identification programs since 2005, from ICAO eMRTD to digital signature applications, and has repeatedly been a top performer at various international interoperability tests. “We are pleased that HID has certified their HID SOMA COS operating system on NXP's SmartMX3 platform. The successful collaboration between NXP and HID reflects both companies’ commitment to providing secure e-government solutions,” said Pierre Rouillac, Marketing Director of Secure Identification at NXP Semiconductors. Integration with HID Integrale e-Document issuance suite Pierre adds, “This certification also establishes that the combination of our NXP P71D321 security controller and the HID SOMA COS has successfully passed the rigorous common criteria security testing.” The HID SOMA COS line-up notably integrates with HID Integrale e-Document issuance and lifecycle management suite tailored for ICAO e-Passports, multi-application national ID cards, resident permits and driver’s licenses.
Today’s environment has evolved into something that according to some may seem unexplainable. But in the context of video surveillance, this is something that we understand. Allow me to shed some light and understanding in terms of security and why it truly is a necessity. Security is not a luxury, it is a necessity. An essential practice now peaking the interests of all businesses small and large. A video surveillance system is a cost effective option that does not require monitoring fees. As business slows, temporarily shuts down or closes, an increase in vacant properties is inevitable. This pandemic will continue to put severe pressure on many businesses around the country. With so many considered non-essential, it is really sad to see how many must shutter their doors and lay off employees. Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity using a commercial grade surveillance system that supports advanced analytics, may end up saving your potential customers thousands of dollars down the road. Demand For Video Surveillance And Security Products We can certainly draw on the conclusion that security is a “need” more so than a “want”. Times like this just further cement that thought process. In today’s economic spiral, people aren’t actively looking for lighting controls or home theaters. What they look for is a way to keep their loved ones safe, protect their homes, businesses and property. In my opinion, you will see video surveillance and security product sales skyrocket in the coming months and years. It has been reported that response times for first responders may be impacted as a result of COVID-19, leaving those with bad intent more time to ransack a property knowing that law enforcement may be slow to respond. Criminals will always take advantage of the situation. All we can do as a community is use common sense, stay vigilant and watch out for one another. For some of us that may mean mitigating risks with technology. Affordable Video Monitoring Solutions Having a solution that can quickly and securely share video footage may be the difference between identifying a perpetrator and becoming a victim. Ella, a video search platform developed by IC Realtime, makes every second of video instantly searchable and shareable, either with the authorities or your neighborhood social apps. Plus it is compatible with any RTSP streaming device. To wrap this up, it’s not about pointing out the obvious, it’s really about bringing awareness as to how technologies can be implemented to provide peace of mind without breaking the bank. Video surveillance technology is a way to do that and provide added security for you, your family and your business.
The emergence of smartphones using iOS and Android is rapidly changing the landscape of the IT industry around the world. Several industries, such as digital cameras, car navigation, MP3, and PNP, have been replaced by equivalent or even better performance using smartphones. Smartphones provide increasing portability by integrating the functions of various devices into a single unit which allows them to connect to platforms with network-based services and offer new services and conveniences that have never been experienced before. These changes have expanded into the access control market. Although not yet widespread, ‘Mobile access cards’ is one of the terminologies that everyone has been talking about. RF cards used for access security are being integrated into smartphones just as digital cameras and MP3s were in the past. While people might forget their access cards at home in the morning, they seldom forget their smartphones. Using smartphones for access control increases entry access reliability and convenience. Mobile/smartphone access control A key aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction As in other markets, the combination of smartphones and access cards is creating a new value that goes beyond the simple convenience of integration enhancing the ability to prevent unauthorized authentication and entrance. People sometimes lend their access cards to others, but it is far less likely they might lend their smartphone with all their financial information and personal information – to another person. This overcomes an important fundamental weakness of RF cards. Another valuable aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction. Under existing access security systems, cards must be issued in person. Since card issuance implies access rights, the recipient’s identification must be confirmed first before enabling the card and once the card has been issued, it cannot be retracted without another separate face-to-face interaction. Mobile access cards In contrast, mobile access cards are designed to transfer authority safely to the user's smartphone based on TLS. In this way, credentials can be safely managed with authenticated users without face-to-face interaction. Mobile cards can be used not only at the sites with a large number of visitors or when managing access for an unspecified number of visitors, but also at the places like shared offices, kitchens and gyms, currently used as smart access control systems in shared economy markets. The market share of mobile access cards today is low even though the capability can offer real benefits to users and markets. While the access control market itself is slow-moving, there are also practical problems that limit the adoption of new technologies like mobile access cards. Use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology While NFC could be an important technology for mobile credential that is available today on virtually all smartphones, differences in implementation and data handling processes from various vendors prevents universal deployment of a single solution to all devices currently on the market. Accordingly, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been considered as an alternative to NFC. Bluetooth is a technology that has been applied to smartphones for a long time, and its usage and interface are unified, so there are no compatibility problems. However, speed becomes the main problem. The authentication speed of BLE mobile access card products provided by major companies is slower than that of existing cards. Enhancing credential authentication speed Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers The second problem is that mobile access cards must be accompanied by a supply of compatible card readers. In order to use mobile access cards, readers need to be updated but this is not a simple task in the access control market. For 13.56 MHz smart cards (which were designed to replace 125 kHz cards), it has taken 20 years since the standard was established but only about half of all 25 kHz cards have been replaced so far. Legacy compatibility and the need for equivalent performance, even with additional benefits, will drive adoption timing for the Access Control market. While BLE technology helps resolve the compatibility problem of mobile access cards, it can identify some breakthroughs that can solve the speed problem. Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers, and new products with these improvements are now released in the market. Making use of key improvements allows Suprema's mobile access card to exhibit an authentication speed of less than 0.5 seconds providing equivalent performance to that of card-based authentication. AirFob Patch MOCA System's AirFob Patch addresses the need for technological improvements in the access control market in a direct, cost effective, and reliable way – by offering the ability to add high-performance BLE to existing card readers – enabling them to read BLE smartphone data by applying a small adhesive patch approximately the size of a coin. This innovative breakthrough applies energy harvesting technology, generating energy from the RF field emitted by the existing RF reader – then converting the data received via BLE back into RF – and delivering it to the reader. By adding the ability to use BLE on virtually any existing RF card reading device, MOCA allows greater ability for partners and end users to deploy a technologically-stable, high performance access control mobile credential solution to their employees, using devices they already own and are familiar with. Adding MOCA AirFob Patch eliminates the need to buy and install updated readers simply to take advantage of mobile credential, lowering costs and risks, and increasing employee confidence and convenience. Growth forecast of mobile access card market in 2020 In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly Several companies have entered the mobile access card market, but they have not set up a meaningful product solution stream until 2019. In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly. Reviewing new entries into the market allows identification of the latest products that provide improving solutions to compatibility and speed problems. MOCA AirFob Patch addresses development plans in process today that overcome the legacy installed base of card readers – allowing rapid creation of an environment that can make immediate use of BLE mobile access cards. Integrated mobile digital ID With proven usability and within suitable environments, mobile access cards will also begin to make inroads into other markets, not just the access control market. In the sharing economy market, which seeks access management without face-to-face interaction, the integrated mobile digital ID led by the 'DID Alliance' will serve as a technical tool that can be used in access authentication – forging increasing links between the access control and digital ID markets.
Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back. But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behavior, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines. As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organizations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months. More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behavior of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education program. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices
Can a smart card be used securely for multiple applications (and among multiple companies)? End users are demanding such interoperability, and they also want openness to switch out their access control systems in the future without being “locked in” to one vendor. Those are the goals of the LEAF Identity consortium, a collection of companies that can share encrypted access codes for numerous applications to enable MIFARE DESFire EV2 chip cards to be used across multiple vendors. Smart card systems - more secure Almost everyone in the industry now knows that low-frequency (125 kHz) “prox” cards are not secure; in fact, low-cost cloning equipment is readily and inexpensively available. As the industry transitions to encrypted cards, challenges of interoperability persist. Keeping smart card systems more secure are encrypted “keys” – strings of 32 alphanumeric characters encoded onto the card chips. Information is exchanged via radio frequency (RF) in a challenge-response interaction when a card is presented to a reader. The most recent EV2 card enables one encrypted key to be used for up to 16 devices (and among a variety of manufacturers). LEAF consortium enables encryption sharing using protocols that ensure each manufacturer’s systems can interface with a card chip in the same way. Specifically, each card has a “shared data structure,” which means that the location of information is arranged on a card chip in a predictable and consistent manner. Member companies adhere to that structure in order to be interoperable using a single credential. There are no license fees or intellectual property rights involved. Secret key The approach involves a LEAF Custom Cryptographic (Cc), a “secret” key owned by the end user but managed by a third party. “When we present these concepts to integrators, they realize that, first, they need to get their clients to pay attention to the risks around proximity cards and to migrate to encrypted card technology,” says Laurie Aaron, Executive Vice President, WaveLynx Technologies Corp. “Then we explain the benefits of custom-owned keys and of the LEAF data structure. Then integrators can differentiate themselves by selling the value of the end user staying in control and having unlimited interoperability.” Access control manufacturer WaveLynx is implementing the LEAF concept, which is the brainchild of CEO Hugo Wendling, who saw the advantages of leveraging the ability of an EV2 chip card to authenticate access to multiple applications. Key management service WaveLynx set up the specification, maintains the website, and is involved when a manufacturer wants to become LEAF-enabled. They provide a key management service (for life) to end users based on LEAF capabilities. End users “own” the keys and can ask to share them with any other manufacturer. Sharing a key involves two key custodians (engineers), each of whom only has access to half of the encrypted key in order to keep it secure. Combining capabilities The LEAF consortium provides a way for smaller manufacturers to work together to increase their market share without putting anyone’s intellectual property at risk. Working together, smaller manufacturers can assemble systems to compete more effectively with larger manufacturers. In effect, they combine their capabilities rather than compete. LEAF Consortium partners include Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, Brivo, Eline by DIRAK, Linxens, RFIDeas, and Telaeris. Biometric partners include Idemia and IrisID. Biometric devices may either store their biometric on the card or on a central database and access it through the badge number. The LEAF standard continues to evolve in terms of where a biometric template is stored on the chip. Although the standard does not currently offer mobile credentials, mobile functionality will be available by the second quarter of 2021 (or sooner).
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be participating at ISC West in a big way. Representatives of the federal department will be taking part in more education sessions this year, and the DHS tech-scouting team will be on hand to view the latest technologies on display at the show. Exhibitors – and anyone else at the show – are invited to the “DHS Town Hall” on March 19 (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. in meeting room Galileo 1001. The aim is for DHS to engage with the technology community and provide guidance as industry innovation moves forward. In the face of growing operational demands and complex threats, the need for homeland security technology solutions continues to rise. The Department of Homeland (DHS) is seeking new ideas and partners to safeguard public trust, save lives, reduce risks, and protect the flow of commerce and goods for the community. They will share information about the department’s problem sets, capability needs and business opportunities for accelerating technology development to ensure they are keeping pace with the speed of innovation and complex threats. Speaking at ISC West DHS seeks to challenge industry partners to develop technology to enhance security operations across multiple end user missions. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will jointly speak and exhibit at ISC West. Attendees can meet DHS professionals working in cyber security, critical infrastructure, resilience, aviation security, border and port operations, and first responder capabilities. Attendees are invited to visit the DHS exhibit booth #33040 in the Drones and Robotics Zone. The DHS Town Hall on Thursday, titled “Enhancing Security and Doing Business at the Speed of Life,” will be a “call to action” for show participants to help secure the future. DHS seeks to become more agile and to pursue new pathways to do business in a fast-moving world. Through strategic partnerships, DHS is mobilizing the innovation community to safeguard the public trust. Security sessions DHS will also be participating in these sessions at ISC West, March 17-20 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, Nev: You Say It’s Going to Change the World? Tues., March 17, 9:45 a.m., Sands 302. Security relies on anticipating what comes next and staying a step ahead. How will 5G increase secure capabilities and reduce threats from bad actors? How will blockchain secure personal and financial identity and when will quantum computing render all encryption obsolete? How is DHS investing in counter-drones? How does AI change the security landscape? The New Federal Security Landscape – Are You Prepared? Wed., March 18, 1 p.m., Sands 302. The federal security landscape is evolving alongside the private sector. What are the new high-risk areas of concern and how are emerging threats (cyber, UAS) changing the way federal facilities are protected? How are these new risks balanced against traditional ones? How is the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) responding? DHS panelists will discuss. CISA Special Guest Speaker at SIA Interopfest. Wed., March 18, 4 p.m., Sands 701. Daryle Hernandez, Chief, Interagency Security Committee, DHS, Infrastructure Security Division, will provide insights to complement the technology interoperability demonstrations. Enhancing Security Through UAS Technology, A DHS Perspective. Thurs., March 19, 11:30 a.m., Venetian Ballroom. What is DHS doing today to prepare for a future of increased visualization and automation? New questions are emerging around capabilities and vulnerabilities. Emerging technologies like AR, Next Gen Sensors, and UAS, provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with tools to become more responsive and adaptive to new threats.
There is a growing trend towards more outsourcing of the monitoring function among security companies. Technology developments are accelerating and increasing the need for monitoring companies to invest. The barriers to entry are higher than ever. These are some of the trends covered in a discussion at Securing New Ground 2019 titled ‘Monitoring: New Models and New Monetization Strategies’. A panel of monitoring company executives addressed topics centered on how the industry is changing and evolving. New entrants in the monitoring space New entrants in the monitoring space face barriers to entry, in particular the need for more investment"“New entrants in the monitoring space face barriers to entry, in particular the need for more investment in infrastructure and expertize,” said Spencer Moore, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Rapid Response Monitoring. ”Because of the expense of new technologies, more full-service monitoring companies are outsourcing the monitoring function to existing wholesale monitoring companies.” “The cost of entry has gone up, and companies are trying to preserve capital,” agreed Jim McMullen, President/COO at COPS Monitoring. “Larger companies are realizing wholesale monitoring does a better job from a customer service viewpoint. We are more focused on monitoring and the quality of service. It takes a lot of money to keep up with the cyber world,” added McMullen. Wholesale monitoring companies Wholesale monitoring companies are finding that they need petabytes of storage space, among other expensive requirements. “The trend is toward technology evolving quicker, and that often requires investment and training in a monitoring center,” said Daniel Oppenheim, CEO of Affiliated Monitoring. “Because trying out new technology is so important, wholesale monitoring centers often find that they serve as a ‘laboratory’ to experiment with newer technologies. Limited trials often expand later to broader outsourcing of a company’s monitoring services”, said Oppenheim. Automated Secure Alarm Protocol “What people miss out on is that monitoring is quite complex, and there are specialized services and skillsets, and barriers to entry from a regulatory perspective,” said Moore. Adding value to the monitoring function is The Monitoring Association’s ASAP-to-PSAP service Adding value to the monitoring function is The Monitoring Association’s ASAP-to-PSAP service. The national service saves time, improves accuracy and increases efficiency in communications between monitoring centers and public safety answering points (PSAPs). The service uses the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). Public Safety Answering Points Up to 60 PSAPS have joined the program, although the low number is misleading, given that a single PSAP could represent the ‘City of Houston’. (There are an estimated 6,000 total PSAPs nationwide). It has taken six to eight years to develop the program from its genesis to where it is today, when more participation is finally creating a critical mass. Technology is fundamentally changing monitoring companies. “We used to be a services company powered by a little bit of technology, but we’re now moving toward a technology services company,” said Moore. Critical ‘filtering service’ Monitoring provides a critical ‘filtering service’ between public requests for emergency service and those tasked with providing the services. In effect, monitoring centers work with manufacturers to make them more resilient to false alarms. Monitoring companies also provide a human touch in a time of need, and emotional empathy. Today, emergency information is being transmitted to PSAPs electronically, which saves time and money. The current low-taxation environment means there are fewer resources for municipal governments, so cost savings make a difference. Monitoring, a specialized skillset Increasingly, monitoring is becoming a business that requires a more specialized skillset Increasingly, monitoring is becoming a business that requires a more specialized skillset. Regulation, and the need for increasing investment, is driving consolidation. “With a decreasing number of monitoring companies, there are fewer customers for software developers and other tools. Less outside innovation makes it more likely monitoring centers will have to ‘go it alone’ and develop software and other tools internally,” said Oppenheim. Importance of monitoring systems “In effect, consolidation will serve to limit technology choices, and to increase the need to in-source a lot of expertize”, agrees Moore. Tying monitoring systems into other software systems is another continuing challenge. “People want our system tied into their system,” said McMullen. “I have two people who focus full time to tie our systems into other systems. There will be more computers talking to computers.”
G4S is the globally renowned integrated security company with operations in approximately 85 countries. At the core of the business is G4S Integrated Security, which combines expertise, security professionals, technology and data analytics. G4S Integrated security G4S delivers integrated security around the world with the last six months having brought significant change for the company. The sale of the conventional cash business has enhanced strategic, commercial and operational focus and strengthened the company’s financial position. G4S is transforming, with an intensified focus on integrated security solutions strategy. They are winning business faster and growing stronger than ever before. Through the launch of the global G4S Academy, the organization is offering an opportunity to share knowledge and work more collaboratively with customers. Sector specific solutions and a global approach to risk and investment in technology are delivering clear benefits to customers and differentiating G4S’s offering in the security market. Below are some examples of G4S Integrated Security delivered to customers around the world. G4S Americas In the United States, one of G4S Americas’ Security and Risk Operations Center helps prepare for, monitor and respond to threats from one central location. The Security and Risk Operations Center, based in Florida, provides integrated security solutions by seamlessly combining monitoring capabilities, data analytics, enterprise risk intelligence and global response services. Through actionable data and valuable insights, G4S experts are able to identify threats early and respond quickly. Their technology enabled intelligence-gathering and data analytics enable customers to know immediately when incidents occur. They also allow the organization to support customers by optimizing spend, mitigating risk and enhancing their security programs. G4S Europe & Middle East The diverse team of highly-trained security professionals has adapted to the changing security climate At a Critical National Infrastructure site in southwest England, G4S’s connected security professionals use technology and data to assess threats, manage incidents, and keep a large workforce safe. The diverse team of highly-trained security professionals has adapted to the changing security climate and conduct automated fever screening, as people enter their site. Specially trained security professionals use the best technology, including G4S’s proprietary software RISK360, on this complex, long-term project. G4S RISK360 proprietary software G4S RISK360 proprietary software allows the team to manage incidents, instantly share information, and detect patterns and trends. The training of connected security professionals is tailored to the site. They are setting the gold standard on securing critical infrastructure. In 2019, the Singapore Government asked the industry to prioritize technology over manpower through ‘Outcome Based Contracting’. G4S won an important contract to secure 62 schools using the Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessment (TVRA) Solution. Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessment Solution TVRA risk-based solution combines access control, biometric time and attendance with patrol and response The TVRA (Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessment) risk-based solution combines access control, visitor management systems, biometric time and attendance with patrol and response, incident reporting, and remote CCTV monitoring. G4S security professionals and Security Risk Operations Center are in control of the situation, at all times, using cutting edge technology and data analytics. These are just some of the ways by which G4S is securing the world. G4S Africa In South Africa, G4S security integration of risk consulting, security professionals and technology, for a global FMCG brand, is underpinned by the organization’s data analytics. G4S security professionals protect valuable goods that are delivered all over the country. From the G4S Security and Risk Operations Center near Johannesburg, experts use G4S RISK360 proprietary software to enable secure and reliable deliveries. The security software provides critical data and analysis that is then used to monitor and deploy resources to the highest risk areas. This data is continually shared with the customer, laying the foundation for a partnership that is building a more secure future.
Custom Consoles announces the completion and delivery of Steelbase Lite desks and a MediaWall video monitor display mounting system for the Agricultural Development Bank of Ghana (ADB). Commissioned by Virtual InfoSec Africa, the new installation is situated at ADB's headquarters in Ghana's capital city, Accra. "We were looking for a production partner with a good understanding of video technology, able to produce robustly built and ergonomically efficient control room furniture," says Bondzie Acquah, VP Operations at Virtual Infosec Africa. “With its long experience of the security business and proven ability to meet the demands of heavy industry, Custom Consoles was the logical choice both for the desks and the display mounts. Based on SteelBase Lite and MediaWall, we were able to integrate a complete system into a compact 8 by 5-meter room while at the same time ensuring that all staff could function safely and effectively. Computer equipment is housed in ventilated desk frames with easy front and rear access via black-finished lockable doors for routine technical maintenance." Video display screens Largest of the two desks is a 5.1-meter wide by a 1-meter front-to-back four-bay in-line unit designed for simultaneous use Largest of the two desks is a 5.1-meter wide by a 1-meter front-to-back four-bay in-line unit designed for simultaneous use by up to four operators. Two 24-inch video display screens are mounted in front of each work position on individually adjustable support arms. The desk is located 70 centimeters forward of a 5.2-meter wide MediaWall giving a clear view of eight 55-inch Samsung video display screens mounted in a four wide by two high configuration. Front to back depth of the MediaWall is just 50 centimeters. The second desk is a single-bay dual-screen unit measuring 1.5 meters wide by 1-meter front-to-back. This is configured for use by a supervisor. Both desks are finished in rust-colored Marmoleum with black PVC edging and silver anodized aluminum legs. The supervisor's desk faces a 76-centimeter high printer support unit with a 60 by 60-centimeter top surface, height-adjustable shelf and integral cable tray. Control room consoles "SteelBase, SteelBase Lite and MediaWall continue to be in strong demand for a very wide range of process control, security and corporate applications," says Custom Consoles' Sales Manager Gary Fuller. "We are very pleased to have worked with Virtual InfoSec Africa on this project and look forward to partnering with them in the future." A variant of Custom Consoles' long-established SteelBase series, SteelBase-Lite is a compact structured desking system which can be configured from 1.2-meter wide powder-coated modules and Marmoleum finished work surfaces, providing a self-assembly hard-wearing ergonomic solution for control room consoles. Panels and ventilation SteelBase Lite comes complete with two VESA mounts per module, mounted on height adjustable beams SteelBase Lite comes complete with two VESA mounts per module, mounted on height adjustable beams. Additional design features of the SteelBase Lite range include hinged removable access doors, 19-inch equipment racking, heavy cable management, power distribution panels and variable-speed ventilation fans. Worktops can be configured to suit individual client requirements. All elements of SteelBase and SteelBase Lite are guaranteed against component failure for five years of normal use. SteelBase-Lite is designed to conform to ISO 9241 part 5, ISO 11064 Part 4 and EN 527 Parts 1, 2 and 3. MediaWall monitor displays First announced in 2006, Custom Consoles' MediaWall allows flat-screen monitor displays of practically any width to be constructed from standard horizontal and vertical support elements. MediaWall can be used as a fully self-supporting structure or coupled directly to the studio wall. Individual screens can be positioned so that the edges meet exactly to form a continuous horizontal display limited only by the boundary of the monitor panel. All wiring is fully concealed and can enter or leave the structure at any desired point. MediaWall is available in any required element widths.
Sonitrol, the globally renowned provider of verified electronic security solutions, has announced that CMS Corporation, an award-winning construction contractor, relies on one of Sonitrol’s newest offerings, Sonitrol Network Protection. CMS Corporation’s scope of services encompasses new construction, renovations, fueling systems, and energy and sustainability projects for a wide range of commercial and federal government clients. The company’s projects are approximately 70% Federal and 30% civilian undertakings. Upgrading network security According to CSO Online, the average small business loss when a network has been breached is US$ 170,000 According to CSO Online, the average small business loss when a network has been breached is US$ 170,000. CMS Corporation’s management knew that they needed to upgrade their network security in an effective, comprehensive and cost-effective manner. Matthew Wilson, Director of Information Technology at CMS Corporation, was impressed with Cisco’s reputation, and he was aware of their Cisco Meraki software. He chose Sonitrol Network Protection as the preferred network security solution because it offered a world-class solution provided by a known and trusted provider, Sonitrol. SB/MBEs more vulnerable to cyber-attacks The company, CMS Corporation’s Bargersville, Indiana Office is a two-story administrative space with a large workshop and fabrication area, and a large detached workshop/storage area. Small Business and Minority-Business Enterprises (SB/MBEs), like CMS Corporation, are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, because their relatively small size means that they have a lower IT budget and resources. Furthermore, with CMS Corporation’s large number of federal government contracts, effective cyber security is essential to the company’s continued growth and success. Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification compliance Due to upcoming Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance, federal contractors are required to tighten their network security to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). “Cisco Meraki products enable us to have proactive insight into our network activity to help ensure compliance with current and new federal regulations,” Matthew Wilson explained. Sonitrol Network Protection Wilson was attracted to Sonitrol Network Protection’s ease of deployment, auto mesh VPN and seamless scalability Wilson was attracted to Sonitrol Network Protection’s ease of deployment, single pane of glass administration, auto mesh VPN, and seamless scalability. These features are powered by the Cisco Meraki products and solutions, installed by CMS Corporation, which include: MX68CW, MS120-8 FP switch, and four MR36 access points. They also have a handful of Z1 and Z3 devices in remote construction trailers that are able to support the software. In addition to topline network protection from potentially daily cyber-attacks and ransom-ware attacks, Wilson and his colleagues are now learning post-deployment that Sonitrol Network Protection offers a host of additional security features and benefits. Cisco Meraki and Sonitrol intregation Wilson noted, “Cisco Meraki and Sonitrol are a winning combination and Sonitrol’s knowledgeable, courteous installation staff made the transition to our powerful, new network protection quick and easy.” Sonitrol Network Protection, powered by Cisco Meraki, can protect any size company’s network, devices, and data from daily cyber-threats and attacks. Firewall and intrusion protection The solution provides firewall protection, intrusion protection and prevention, ransom-ware protection, anti-phishing, malicious file scanning and more, thereby protecting businesses from huge monetary and data losses. It is cloud-based and managed from a single dashboard GUI, making managing ones network easy. Sonitrol Network Protection solution also provides robust business management tools: content/URL filtering, application-aware traffic control, guest WIFI access, analytics and heat mapping, and custom reporting options. The technology stays current with automatic firmware and security patches, and it works within a connected ecosystem, delivering security on Day 1 of implementation.
iSpace Environments, a Minneapolis-based commercial furniture and technology dealership, is now using Carousel Digital Signage software to promote its services and amplify its message throughout its showroom as part of a technology upgrade and renovation. A longtime Carousel Digital Signage reseller, iSpace provides furnishing and technology design and integration services to clients in the corporate, higher education, healthcare, and automobile retail sectors. As organizations re-open following the COVID-19 pandemic, iSpace is helping clients reconfigure their workspaces to comply with the new health and safety regulations. Their interior transformation adheres to these compliance standards and demonstrates how furniture and technology can create safe, comfortable work environments. Content creation and management Showing the technology creates awareness of what AV technology offers for workplace design" iSpace is now using Carousel Cloud software to communicate health and safety guidelines, welcome messaging, visitor information, and examples of how clients can apply digital signage to their own environments. All visual messaging is distributed to flat panel televisions and video walls throughout the building, leveraging Carousel Cloud’s interoperability with Apple TV devices to simplify and centralize media playout. iSpace’s AV experts demonstrate the software’s capabilities during tours, including multi-display support, Apple TV interoperability, and ease of use including simplified content creation and management. Communicate competitive advantage “Showing the technology creates awareness of what AV technology offers for workplace design,” said Nate Pesch, Technology Sales Manager at iSpace Environments. “Our customers aren’t always aware of our technology-related products and services, and Carousel Cloud helps us communicate our competitive advantage.” Pesch confirms that the digital signage content they show to visitors often opens the conversation to broader possibilities. “The Carousel content always looks visually impressive and provides an opportunity to share our expertise around technology integration,” he said. “We have many examples of becoming a one-stop shop for customers.” Standalone server infrastructure Those conversations then lead to Carousel Cloud’s benefit in workspace communications. Carousel Cloud gives users the flexibility of being able to update content at any time and from anywhere - a benefit that Pesch says is increasingly critical during as business operations continue to change. He also points to the cost-reducing benefits of Carousel Cloud, which eliminates the traditional expense of a standalone server infrastructure. Instead, Carousel Cloud software is deployed on the organization’s existing IT infrastructure and can use common Apple TV devices or BrightSign media players (including the BSN.cloud platform) on the playout side. Use built-in templates One organization’s safety protocol may different from another, but everybody wants to feel safe" “Carousel software is easy to learn, so an organization lacking in-house design resources can use built-in templates to create content,” said Pesch. “That’s important these days as many content managers are working from home. With Carousel Cloud, content managers can make changes remotely. We can also show how easy it is to use these templates across different aspect ratios, as we display the content on portrait screens, landscape screens, and video walls in our showroom and meeting spaces. It’s very powerful.” iSpace Environments, which has remained open through the pandemic as an essential business, is seeing an increase in traffic as organizations consider how life in the workplace will change. With organizations across the globe updating facilities in accordance with new regulations, many customers are aiming to create environments that communicate how safety is their top priority. Organization’s safety protocol “We’re helping people get back to business any way we can, whether it’s with screen dividers on desks, furniture reconfigurations, or digital signage to communicate the proper safety measures,” said Pesch. “Businesses and schools need to show that they’re thinking about safety, and digital signage is one way to communicate that they’re doing something about it. One organization’s safety protocol may different from another, but everybody wants to feel safe. Digital signage is one of the most effective ways to communicate these messages.”
Samson Security has adopted SmartTask to support the rapid growth of the business, which has seen the company treble in size in less than a year. The workforce management software is initially being used for electronic proof of attendance, across more than 400 security officers and engineers that deliver a wide range of services, including manned guarding, mobile patrol, alarm response and FM services. Advanced guarding management and monitoring “We needed an advanced guarding management, monitoring and reporting solution that could adapt and expand to our changing requirements as we grow,” explains John Richards, Operations Director at Samson Security Ltd. John adds, “Our mobile and manned services now span the North West, the Midlands and North Wales, so SmartTask will give us the visibility and control needed to coordinate and protect our team, while maintaining our excellent service standards.” SmartTask workforce management software Samson Security selected SmartTask because of the simplicity and flexibility of the system SmartTask will replace a previous time and attendance solution, which no longer met the needs of the business. Having undertaken a review of the marketplace, Samson Security selected SmartTask because of the simplicity and flexibility of the system. The app-based nature of the system means that employees can use the software via a personal or work smartphone, while providing the opportunity to use additional functionality such as patrol monitoring and electronic forms. Security guards are using either a SmartTask-enabled smartphone or an onsite landline to accurately record the start and end times, as well as any required check calls. The app captures a timestamp and GPS location for accurate customer reporting and SLA monitoring for alarm responses. Controlled access Samson Security also uses the control room dashboard at its National Command Center to gain complete visibility of any exceptions, while mobile and office managers have controlled access for their individual areas of responsibility. John adds, “We are already exploring other ways of using SmartTask, which will enable us to consolidate much of our employee scheduling and workforce management requirements into a single system. We have set up bespoke smart forms, so will shortly be rolling out electronic incident reporting to our team, replacing our existing paper-based process.” Scalable, flexible solution He further said, “The scalable and flexible nature of SmartTask means we can take a phased approach, avoiding operational disruption and not overburdening our internal resources.” Paul Ridden, Chief Executive Officer of SmartTask commented, “We have developed our software to meet the precise needs of security and FM companies now and in the future. Possessing high levels of configurability and scalability, backed by first-rate service and support, SmartTask can support the long-term success of our customers in-line with their business and operational priorities.”
SMARTContactless, a value-added distributor for contactless solutions, ABS Technology and STid have been selected by INIT Innovation in Transportation Inc., a US provider of intelligent transportation systems for public transit, to create new cellphone access control for its employees and visitors. STid Mobile ID, pictured, from the access control product company STid, is a Bluetooth access control reader. Common supported credential technologies are MIFARE, MIFARE DESFire EV1/EV2, NFC and STid’s cellphone credentials using smartphone and Bluetooth for communications. The solution includes a free cellphone app, the latest multi-technologies Architect Blue readers, and offline and online programming tools. Mobile Access INIT Innovation in Transportation Inc. has installed numerous STid’s Architect Blue readers at doors and entrances to secure their new Corporate head offices. Employees and visitors use STid’s patented identification mode features and can access the building or other sensitive entrances within the offices, without taking their smartphones out of the pocket or bag. Jamie Thomas, Systems Engineer for ABS technology in Virginia Beach, Virginia, says of the STid Mobile ID: “This Bluetooth reader has so much technology built into it; it’s future proof, easy to install and program.” Feedback on the cellphone access has been positive and INIT USA Inc. is exploring the STid Mobile ID’s options to remotely assign and revoke cellphone credentials to employees and visitors over the air. Access control solution INIT USA Inc. Director of IT, David Page said: “As a provider of innovative technology to our public transit customers, INIT desired an access control solution which mirrored our innovative technology solutions, matched our company culture, and was simple to install and administer. In addition, we wanted the ability to start with a small proof of concept and eventually grow it as this type of technology inevitably transitions to a fundamental employee expectation instead of a bleeding edge innovation.” RFID reader solutions Robert Gailing, President of SMARTContactless, STid’s US Distributor said: “STid is really leading the market with innovative RFID reader solutions for security-minded professionals and end-users. The new STid Mobile ID reader solution, with its five methods of cellphone credential presentation using the smartphone and customizable distance to 60 feet, there is virtually nowhere the reader cannot be utilized throughout any access control deployment.” According to Vincent Dupart, CEO of STid, this new implementation is a testament of the growing smartphone adoption that merges security and convenience. “We are pleased that both INIT USA Inc. employees and managers are enjoying the experience. We are also proud to work with strategic partners like SMARTContactless, offering high-quality customer support to promote our cellphone access solution. The ability to use smartphones for high-security access control is becoming increasingly important, as these devices are part of our everyday lives in the business workplace.”
Round table discussion
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?
Statistically speaking, incidents of terrorism are unlikely to impact most businesses and institutions. However, the mere possibility of worst-case-scenario attacks is enough to keep security professionals awake at night. Compounding the collective anxiety is the minute-by-minute media coverage when an attack does occur. The immediacy of the shared experience of global tragedy impacts us all – including security system decision-makers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market?
Employee turnover is a problem for many companies, especially among younger employees who have not developed the philosophy of employer loyalty that was common in previous generations. Nowadays, changing jobs is the norm. The idea of spending decades working for a single employer seems almost quaint in today’s economy. However, excessive employee turnover can be expensive for employers, who are looking for ways to keep their brightest and best employees happily toiling away as long as possible. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can the physical security market promote better employee retention in a competitive employment environment?