Delta Scientific, global manufacturer of counter-terrorist vehicle control systems used in the United States and internationally, has announced that traffic access control professionals can now set up MP5000 portable barriers on concrete, asphalt, compacted soils or vegetation in 15 minutes or less to provide certified M50 stopping power against unauthorized vehicle access. Original models provide M40 protection while the new MP5000 models stop 15,000 pound (6804 kg) medium-duty trucks traveling at a speed of 50 mph (80.4 kph). M50 rated portable barrier system "Significantly, we are releasing the first M50 rated portable barrier system to the world at a time when military grade portable protection is imperative," emphasizes Keith Bobrosky, Delta Scientific senior vice president. He adds, "With over 2,000 working units in the field over the past decade, this portable barrier has proven its capabilities to clients throughout the world. Especially important to our government customers and select commercial clients, high security professional can now protect assets that have traditionally required an M50 rating with a portable product." Deployed for international events and military facilities security The MP5000 is available in 12-, 16- and 20-foot openings. It is easily towed behind a truck or other vehicle to its location where it sets up in less than fifteen minutes. Once it has performed its duty, it is quickly packed up and towed to its next project. The MP5000 is self-contained and battery powered. It has been seen at G20 meetings, presidential inaugurations, papal parades, international embassies, municipal parades, Mardi Gras, stadiums and other civilian locales from the United States to Australia and is especially popular at forward operating military bases from Afghanistan through the rest of the world.
It seems like every day there is another school or public shooting incident in the US. It dominates the news and has become a point of stress and fear for many Americans. According to the US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2018 alone, there were 27 incidents across 16 states resulting in 213 casualties. There is a great deal the security industry can do to prevent such violent incidents and preserve life. Protection Layers In general, protection should be built in layers focusing on the outer perimeter, the building perimeter (entry points) and interior spaces. Electronic access control can provide preventive measures to reduce access in these layers Electronic access control can provide preventive measures to reduce access in these layers. In fact, the National Training School’s Electronic Access Control 14-hour online course has been recently updated with active shooter preparedness in mind. Building security In commercial buildings, this entails having different levels of access throughout the building to prevent individuals from going where they shouldn’t. All visitors should be directed to a single monitored entry point, preferably an area that restricts access to the rest of the building. Security access can be restricted to certain times of day to prevent employee access to the building when they should not be there. Temporary badging should provide limited and timed access that automatically disables when no longer needed. Implementing electronic access control When implementing electronic access control or any security system, installers need to work with the owner and authorities to develop policies and procedures for building lockdowns and evacuations. They can then work to create secure paths of exit. Even in public access buildings, many of the same requirements could be applied and buildings could use alarms to engage added security in the event of a shooter. Life safety systems When designing systems, installers will need to work with the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to ensure that they do not create additional life safety concerns, especially as it relates to fire. Imagine having the ability to limit a shooter’s access to other parts of a building and restrict how they move When creating secure exit paths, installers will likely need to provide egress access to all doors to allow emergency exit. Also, most AHJs will require a Knox Box, or something similar, to provide keyed access for emergency responders. When designing access control systems to be secure, always remember code states, ‘No Special Knowledge Required.’ - NFPA 101, 18.104.22.168.3 [‘18] -IBC 1010.1.9 [‘18] Limiting shooter access Imagine having the ability to limit a shooter’s access to other parts of a building and restrict how they move. This could give individuals what could be lifesaving extra moments. As an industry, we should keep these ideas in mind as we tackle security scenarios for job proposals and design. ESA’s National Training School has updated its online Electronic Access Control course — a 14-hour course, followed by a two-hour examination, providing broad training and information to successfully design and install electronic access control systems.
ShotSpotter, Inc., global provider of security solutions that help law enforcement officials identify, locate and deter gun violence and active shooter incidents, has announced an updated version of ShotSpotter Missions – an AI-driven crime forecasting and patrol management software tool. Acquired from HunchLab in late 2018, today’s product release represents ShotSpotter’s first set of enhancements as it extends its penetration into this emerging category. ShotSpotter Missions The new enhancement to ShotSpotter Missions enables current and future ShotSpotter gunshot detection customers to regularly and accurately update crime and gunfire forecasts so that law enforcement agencies can better plan patrol missions. Updates are scheduled to happen every 24 hours as gunfire events unfold and as patrol shifts consistently monitor ShotSpotter coverage areas across their city. Agencies can then filter the data by date, time, area, and patrol or special task force units ShotSpotter Missions also includes a new report to help command staff better understand their patrol resources engagement. The new report shows which officers executed missions, and when, where, and what tactics the officers used during each mission. The report also includes the total available missions, total mission sessions, total minutes in mission, and number of officers on a shift. Agencies can then filter the data by date, time, area, and patrol or special task force units and then print or download into Excel. Crime prevention software “This first new release of ShotSpotter Missions since our acquisition of HunchLab is incredibly exciting and is just the beginning,” said Ralph A. Clark, ShotSpotter CEO and President. “We believe we have the opportunity to redefine and grow the crime forecasting category with the help of our customers and make crime prevention software a valuable tool within law enforcement.” The updated version of ShotSpotter Missions will be available August 1. Gunfire forecasts are only available when used in conjunction with ShotSpotter’s gunfire detection service. ShotSpotter Missions is also available as a standalone solution to forecast many other crime types beyond gunfire.
SV3, the cloud-based visitor, vehicle and vendor management system from Building Intelligence, has received SAFETY Act Certification, the highest level of accreditation awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for anti-terrorism technologies, making it the only visitor and vehicle management solution to achieve this level of federal recognition. “By using technology to secure loading docks and parking garages, as well as providing a smart method for managing vehicle access to secure areas, the SV3 platform from Building Intelligence enables the protection of people and property – the very core of DHS' mission,” said the Hon. Dr. Thomas A. Cellucci, former and first Chief Commercialization Officer of the Executive Branch of the United States. Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology Specifically, all three major components of SV3, the visitor, vehicle and vendor modules, have been awarded the SAFETYAct certification status as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT). The certification is valid until April 2020 when it will be eligible for renewal and is retroactive for sales as early as 2015. “Meeting the standards for certification under the SAFETY Act is a demanding and challenging process that not all companies are capable of achieving and requires specific demonstration of how vendors develop and maintain their technology to achieve SAFETY Act Certification,” said Akmal Ali, principal at Catalyst Partners and a former Deputy Director of the DHS Office of SAFETY Act Implementation. “SV3 not only helps fulfill that mission, but also plays an important part in assisting venue operators in their own pursuit of SAFETY Act, which is important to our country's mission of creating a stronger public-private partnership in the fight against terrorism.” Downstream liability protections "This is a major validation of our SV3 technology and our effort and commitment to our clients and business partners," said Jeffrey C. Friedman, CEO of Building Intelligence. "The SAFETY Act Certification, the highest-quality standards available, assures our current and future clients that they are able to downstream liability protections in the event of a terrorist attack.”
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology Overview And Early Adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations At Critical Infrastructure Sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial Applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation And Advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New Market Opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-Sensor Thermal Solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
Governments and corporations face crisis events every day. An active shooter terrorizes a campus. A cyber extortionist holds a city for ransom. A hurricane washes away a key manufacturing facility. Not all critical events rise to the level of these catastrophic emergencies, but a late or inadequate response to even a minor incident can put people, operations and reputations at risk. Effective Response Plan In 2015, for example, the City of Boston experienced several record-breaking snowstorms that forced the city to close the subway system for three days. The extreme decision cost the state $265 million per day and was largely attributed to a lack of preparation and an inadequate response plan by the transportation department. The reputation of the head of the transportation department was so damaged by the decision she was forced to resign. Being able to better predict how the storms would impact the subway system’s aging infrastructure – and having a more effective response plan in place – could have saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars (not to mention the transit chief’s job). A comprehensive critical event management strategy begins before the impact of an event is felt and continues after the immediate crisis has ended. This full lifecycle strategy can be broken into four distinct phases – Assess, Locate, Act and Analyze. Assessing Threats For Prevention Security teams might have complained about not having enough intelligence data to make accurate predictionsIdentifying a threat before it reaches critical mass and understanding how it might impact vital assets is the most difficult challenge facing security professionals. In the past, security teams might have complained about not having enough intelligence data to make accurate predictions. Today, the exact opposite might be true – there is too much data! With crime and incident data coming from law enforcement agencies, photos and videos coming from people on the front line, topics trending on social media and logistical information originating from internal systems it can be almost impossible to locate a real signal among all the noise and chatter. Being able to easily visualize all this intelligence data within the context of an organization’s assets is vital to understand the relationship between threat data and the individuals or facilities in harm’s way. Social Media Monitoring Free tools like Google Maps or satellite imagery from organizations like AccuWeather, for example, can help understand how fast a storm is closing in on a manufacturing facility, or how close an active shooter is to a school. Their usefulness, however, is limited to a few event types and they provide only a very macro view of the crisis. Data from building access systems, wifi hotspots, corporate travel systems, among others, can be used to create a profile Critical event management (CEM) platforms, however, are designed specifically to manage critical events of all types and provide much greater visibility. Internal and external data sources (weather, local and national emergency management, social media monitoring software, security cameras, etc.) are integrated into these platforms and their data is visualised on a threat map. Security teams can quickly see if there are actual threats to the organizations or communities they are protecting and don’t lose time trying to make sense of intelligence reports. The more they can see on a ‘single pane of glass,’ the faster they can initiate the appropriate response. Locating A Threat Once a threat has been deemed a critical event, the next step is to find the people who might be impacted – employees/residents in danger, first responders and key stakeholders (e.g., senior executives or elected officials who need status updates). Often, this requires someone on the security team to access an HR contact database and initiate a call tree to contact each person individually, in a specific hierarchical order. This can be a time-consuming and opaque process. There is no information on the proximity of that person to the critical event, or if a person has skills such as CPR that could aid in the response. Ensuring ahead of time that certifications, skill sets, or on-call availability is included with contact information can save valuable time in the middle of a crisis response. Going even further, data from building access systems, wifi hotspots, corporate travel systems, among others, can be used to create a profile of where a person just was and where he or she might be going in a CEM platform. This information can be visualized on the threat map and help determine who is actually in danger and who can respond the fastest. The emergency response then becomes targeted and more effective. Security teams can quickly see if there are actual threats to the organizations or communities they are protecting Acting And Automating The third step is to act and automate processes. If there is a tornado closing in on a town, for example, residents should not have to wait for manual intervention before a siren is activated or a message sent out. Organizations can build and execute their standing operating procedures (SOPs) fully within a CEM platform. Sirens, alarms, digital signs and messages can all be automatically activated based on event type, severity and location. Using the tornado example, an integration with a weather forecasting service could trigger the command to issue a tornado warning for a specific community if it is in the path of the storm. Summon Security Guards Warning messages can be prepared in advance based on event type so there is no chance of issuing a misleading or unclear alert Warning messages can be prepared in advance based on event type so there is no chance of issuing a misleading or unclear alert. All communications with impacted individuals can be centralized within the platform and automated based on SOP protocols. This also includes inbound communications from first responders and impacted individuals. An employee confronted by an assailant in a parking garage could initiate an SOS alert from his or her mobile phone that would automatically summon security guards to the scene. Conference lines can also be instantly created to enable collaboration and speed response time. Additionally, escalation policies are automatically engaged if a protocol is broken. For example, during an IT outage, if the primary network engineer does not respond in two minutes, a designated backup is automatically summoned. Eliminating manual steps from SOPs reduces the chance for human error and increases the speed and effectiveness of critical event responses. Analysis Of A Threat Looking for ways to better prepare and respond to critical events will not only improve performance when similar events occur again It’s not uncommon for security and response teams to think that a critical event is over once the immediate crisis has ended. After all, they are often the ones pushing themselves to exhaustion and sometimes risking life and limb to protect their neighbours, colleagues, community reputations and company brands. They need and deserve a rest. In the aftermath of a critical event, however, it’s important to review the effectiveness of the response and look for ways to drive improvements. Which tasks took too long? What resources were missing? How many times did people respond quickly? With a CEM platform, team performance, operational response, benchmarking data and notification analysis are all captured within the system and are available in a configurable dashboard or in after-action reports for analysis. Continuously looking for ways to better prepare and respond to critical events will not only improve performance when similar events occur again, but it will also improve response effectiveness when unforeseen events strike. Coordinate Emergency Response Virtually every organization has some form of response plan to triage a critical event and restore community order or business operations. While many of these plans are highly effective in providing a structure to command and coordinate emergency response, they are reactive in nature and don’t account for the full lifecycle of a critical event – Assess, Locate, Act and Analyze. Whether it’s a large-scale regional emergency or a daily operational issue such as an IT outage, a comprehensive critical event management strategy will minimize the impact by improving visibility, collaboration and response.
Facial recognition has a long history dating back to the 1800s. To track down criminals, such as infamous bandits Jesse Woodson James and Billy the Kid, law enforcement would place “Wanted Alive or Dead” posters advertising bounties and soliciting public cooperation to help locate and even apprehend the alleged criminals. In addition to the bounty, these posters would include a photo and brief description of the crime, which would then be circulated to law enforcement agencies around the country and displayed in every US Post Office to speed up apprehension. Facial Recognition Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology have led to the widespread use of computerised facial recognitionToday, technology such as social media, television and other more specialized communication networks play a more influential role in the recognition process. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology, including the development of Machine Learning capabilities, have led to increased accuracy, accessibility and the widespread use of computerized facial recognition. The significance of this means that facial recognition can occur on an even larger scale and in more challenging environments. This article will explore key milestones and technological advances that have resulted in the modern incarnation of facial recognition, before discussing the capabilities of cutting-edge “one-to-many” technology which is increasingly being used by counter-terror defense, police and security forces around the world. Technology Inception And Developments The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour, which was considered very impressive at the time The 1960s marked the start of computerized facial recognition, when Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe developed a way to classify faces using gridlines. Bledsoe’s facial recognition still required a large amount of human involvement because a person had to extract the co-ordinates of the face’s features from a photograph and enter this information into a computer. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour (each face took approximately 90 seconds to be matched) which was considered very impressive at the time. By the end of the 1960s, facial recognition had seen further development at the Stanford Research Institute where the technology proved to outperform humans in terms of accuracy of recognition (humans are notoriously bad at recognizing people they don’t know). By the end of the century, the leading player in the field was a solution that came out of the University of Bochum in Germany – and the accuracy of this technology was such that it was even sold on to bank and airport customers. From this stage on, the facial recognition market began to blossom, with error rates of automatic facial recognition systems decreasing by a factor of 272 from 1993 to 2010 according to US Government-sponsored evaluations. The aim for facial technology is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware Modern Usage Of Facial Recognition Fast-forward to the modern day and facial recognition has become a familiar technology when using applications such as the iPhone X’s Face ID capability or MasterCard Identity Check, passport e-gates at airports and other security and access control points. These solutions implement a consensual form of identity verification, as the user has a vested interest in being identified. This is a “one-to-one” facial recognition event, one person in front of the camera being compared to one identity either on a passport or the app. In these scenarios, the hardware is specifically developed for the application at hand, therefore technically much easier to accomplish. Facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments The safety and security world brings a much more complex problem to solve – how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve. It’s even more challenging when the aim is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware. And unlike in the 1960’s where identifying a face every 90 seconds was acceptable; the safety and security market requires near instant feedback on who a person matched against a watchlist is. Security And Safety Applications The idea behind all facial recognition technologies is broadly the same: you start with an image of a person’s face (ideally a high quality one, although machine learning means that to a point we can now even use video without reducing accuracy). A fully front facing image is best, think a passport photo, but machine learning and new software has made this more flexible. An algorithm converts this image into a numeric template, which cannot be converted back to an image and so represents a secure one way system. Every numeric template is different, even if it started out as an image of the same person, although templates from the same person are more similar than templates from different people. The accuracy of facial recognition continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments What happens next sounds simple although the technology is extremely complex: templates of people’s faces are taken in real time and compared to those in the database. The technology identifies individuals by matching the numeric template of their face with all the templates saved in a database in a matter of seconds or milliseconds. To put this into perspective, imagine you are at the turnstiles of a busy train station looking for a person on the run. Today’s facial recognition technology would be able to identify that person should they pass in view of a CCTV camera, as well as notify the police of any additional persons of interest, whether they are a known terrorist or missing vulnerable person on an entirely separate watch list. Because of technical progression, facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments, from identifying barred hooligans attempting entry at a football stadium or helping self-excluded gamblers at casino to overcome addiction. Real-Time Assessments The latest evolution of facial recognition pits the technology against an even more challenging application – directly matching individuals from body worn cameras for real time recognition for police officers on the beat. This capability equips first responders with the ability to detect a person from a photo and verify their identity with assurance. The broader implication for this means that every interaction, such as stop and search or arrest, can be supported by real-time facial recognition which will see cases of mistaken identity driven down on the streets. First responders can now for the first time be deployed and furnished with the ability to identify wider groups of people of interest with a degree of accuracy that previously relied only on the fallible human memory. As the accuracy of the technology continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments, its ability to support government initiatives and law enforcement means the debate about the lawful and appropriate use of facial recognition must be addressed. Facial recognition should not be everywhere looking for everyone, but when used properly it has the potential to improve public safety and we should make the most of its potential.
As the deal/no deal prospects of Brexit are tossed in a whirlwind of UK and EU politics, the uncertainty of the back-and-forth has broadly impacted general economic trends, and by extension, the physical security market. The new deadline for a Brexit agreement is October 31, already postponed six months from the scheduled April 12 departure date. Numbers show that Britain’s GDP shrank in the second quarter, possibly reflecting fewer exports because of Brexit uncertainty. And beyond the current indecision lies the long-term impact of a possible change in trading status between the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Other issues include capital flow and labor mobility. Brexit uncertainty leading to security concerns Loss of shared information with the EU will make the UK less safe “Companies … are unclear about their future,” comments Martin Warren of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. “Companies are making decisions now about jobs, supply chains, headquarters and asset locations, incurring significant, and possibly unnecessary, cost and upheaval.” Warren fears the destructive effects of a ‘no deal’ outcome and hopes politicians will break the deadlock and restore business confidence. Security implications of Brexit extend beyond economics. Loss of shared information with the EU will make the UK less safe. Extradition across EU borders will be more difficult, and exchange of data such as fingerprints and vehicle registrations is at risk. The Irish border after Brexit is of particular concern to security professionals. Countering threat of international terrorism Robert Hall of London First and Alison Wakefield of Security Institute say the security impact of departing the EU will be long lasting and profound. “In security terms, the UK will still have to contend with international terrorism, transnational crime and the global movement of people, all challenges that require wide scale cooperation.” They add that leaving the EU will require “a significant investment in people, resources and databases to cope with the anticipated volumes of traffic through ports, airports and tunnels.” Analyst company IHS Markit earlier commented about the impact on the security industry of Brexit’s drag on the UK economy, “Access control, intruder and fire alarm markets typically track construction rates closely and are forecast to be affected most. However, a large cut to infrastructure spending would be just as damaging to the video surveillance market.” UK security companies Prefer ‘soft exit’ from EU If a ‘soft exit’ trade deal is not negotiated, the UK would have to revert to WTO trade rules If a ‘soft exit’ trade deal is not negotiated, the UK would have to revert to World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rules, which means tariffs on trade between the UK and the EU, says IHS Markit. There are five British-based access-control and intruder-alarm vendors supplying the European market in significant quantity – each with revenue exceeding $10 million. IHS Markit estimates these companies combined account for less than 10 percent of total European, Middle-Eastern and African (EMEA) market revenues for both industries. Uncertain future of UK security marketplace Asset protection specialist VPS Security Services has warned that the ongoing Brexit saga will likely lead to a rise in vacant commercial and residential properties as developers and investors are more reluctant to move forward with their UK real estate strategies. Seemingly endless machinations and shifting proposals are making the eventual outcome of Brexit very much a guessing game. Uncertainty translates into a volatile and changing outlook, and the eventual impact on the broader economy is an open question. As a reflection of that economy, the security marketplace will inevitably feel the economic impact, too, not to mention the new security challenges likely to ensue.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 saw 323 mass shooting incidents as of November. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016, with ‘mass shooting’ defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. A variety of gunfire detection solutions and other technology approaches seek to address the problem. ShotSpotter SiteSecure and ShotSpotter SecureCampus provide critical outdoor infrastructure protection against active shooter attacks. SiteSecure delivers critical information such as the number of shots fired, a detailed map of the airport or transportation facility, with the shooting location clearly identified. SiteSecure also provides law enforcement and transportation facility management with real-time information that can be useful to identify and address false alarms and reduce mass panic. Gunfire detection and precise shooter location Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, ShotSpotter SecureCampus provides gunfire detectionShotSpotter SecureCampus solution is a gunfire detection system designed to provide outdoor coverage at university and school campuses. Designed for college campuses and K-12 schools, SST SecureCampus provides gunfire detection, precise location, and number of shooters to first responders and school personnel, enabling faster response to an incident. Data capture form to appear here! Gunshot detection can offer tremendous benefits in mitigating active shooting incidents occurring in a public facility or commercial environment. Data shows that active shooter attacks often begin outside a building and then progress indoors. Thus, the first line of defense for security professionals lies outside a facility, in a zone of protection surrounding it or comprising the entire outdoor area of a larger facility of many buildings. audio solutions for perimeter security Video cameras are effective surveillance tools in the event of a shooting incident, but they are not able to capture everything. Deploying audio solutions can automatically flag incidents not caught on camera, as well as alert central station guards of what surveillance zones need to be closely monitored. Audio analytics solutions for aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. They are the next generation of monitoring; equipping security teams with critical information and enhancing perimeter security. End users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognizing duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. As a result, end users can identify high-risk situations in real-time and prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen. Artificial intelligence to detect weapons A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification through a designated VMS. Security staff can then verify the alert, effectively reducing the reaction time of first responders. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in object recognition, AI weapons detection offers an efficient alternative to gunshot detection to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognize firearms in different shapes, sizes, colors, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing camera systems, analyze the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Audio analytics, processed inside a video camera, are another approach that can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritize responses from police and emergency personnel. Detecting audio levels and alerting operators Operators can be notified of abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measuresThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom-configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customisable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
A week of mass shootings this summer has again spotlighted the horror of gun violence in public spaces. A 19-year-old gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on July 28, injuring 13 and killing four (including the gunman). In El Paso, Texas, less than a week later, a lone gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 others. In Dayton, Ohio, a day later, a gunman shot 26 people during a 30-second attack, killing 9 and injuring 17. Rising active shooting incidents Beyond the grim statistics are three distinct incidents, linked only by the compressed timeline of their occurrence. Still, there is a tendency to want to find a pattern: Why do these incidents happen? How can we prevent them? In total, 91 people were killed and 107 more were injured in locations such as workplaces, schools, and public areas One attempt to analyze trends and commonalities among mass shooting incidents is a research report published by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) titled “Mass Attacks in Public Spaces – 2018.” Looking at the totality of major mass attacks last year, the report seeks to find patterns that can shed light on the attacks and suggest strategies to prevent and mitigate future incidents. Mass shootouts Between January and December 2018, 27 incidents of mass attacks – in which three or more persons were harmed – were carried out in public spaces within the United States. In total, 91 people were killed and 107 more were injured in locations such as workplaces, schools, and other public areas. The National Threat Assessment Center report considered all the mass attack incidents in 2018 and analyzed some trends and statistics: Over half (59%) took place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., and 63% of the attacks ended within 5 minutes of when they were initiated. Most of the attackers were male (93%); the youngest was a 15-year-old student and the oldest was 64. Nearly a fourth of the attackers (22%) had substance abuse problems, and half (48%) had a criminal history, whether violent or non-violent. About two-thirds (67%) experienced mental health symptoms, commonly depressant and psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations or delusions. Almost half (44%) had been diagnosed with a mental illness prior to the attack. The main motives were domestic, personal or workplace grievances (52%); followed by mental health/psychosis (19%); 22% had unknown motives. Most (85%) of attackers had at least one significant stressor in their lives in the last five years; 75% had experienced stressors that occurred in the previous year before the attack. Personal stressors included the death of a loved one, a broken engagement of physical abuse. Work- or school-related stressors included losing a job, being denied a promotion, or being forced to withdraw from classes. More than half of attackers (56%) experienced stressors related to financial instability. Personal issues such as homelessness or losing a competition were also stressors. Nearly all the attackers (93%) engaged in prior threatening or concerning communications. Most of the attackers (78%) also exhibited behaviors that caused concerned in others. For the majority of the attackers (70%), that concern was so severe that others feared specifically for the safety of the individual, themselves, or others. The Secret Service report also analyzed the overall impact of several factors: Mental health and mental wellness - Mental illness, alone, is not a risk factor for violence, and most violence is committed by individuals who are not mentally ill. Two-thirds of the attackers in this study, however, had previously displayed symptoms indicative of mental health issues, including depression, paranoia, and delusions. Other attackers displayed behaviors that do not indicate the presence of a mental illness but do show that the person was experiencing some sort of distress or an emotional struggle. The importance of reporting - Since three-quarters of the attackers had concerned the people around them, with most of them specifically eliciting concerns for safety, the public should be encouraged to share concerns they may have regarding coworkers, classmates, family members, or neighbors. Need for a multidisciplinary threat assessment approach - There is a need to standardize the process for identifying, assessing, and managing individuals who may pose a risk of violence. Law enforcement and others are taking steps to ensure that those individuals who have elicited concern do not “fall through the cracks.” Law enforcement personnel should continue developing close partnerships with the mental health community, local schools and school districts, houses of worship, social services, and other private and public community organizations. Threat assessment Threat assessment refers to a proactive approach to violence prevention, an investigative model Many of the resources to support the threat assessment process are already in place at the community level, but require leadership, collaboration, and information sharing to facilitate their effectiveness at preventing violence, according to the report. ‘Threat assessment' refers to a proactive approach to violence prevention, an investigative model originally developed by the U.S. Secret Service to prevent assassinations. It has since been adapted to prevent all forms of targeted violence, regardless of motivation, including K-12 school shootings and acts of workplace violence. When implemented effectively, a threat assessment generally involves three key components: Identify, Assess and Manage. Identify, Assess and Manage Public safety entities rely on people who observe concerns to identify the individual to law enforcement or to someone else with a public safety responsibility. In educational settings or workplaces, concerns may be reported to a multidisciplinary threat assessment team that works in conjunction with law enforcement when needed. The responsible public safety entity is then tasked to assess the situation to determine how they can manage any risk of violence posed by the individual.
King’s College London, based in the center of London in UK, is a world-leading university and a founding college of the renowned University of London. One of the oldest universities in England, it was established by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, receiving its Royal Charter in the same year. Campus security, access control King’s College London had been using a variety of access control products to control and manage security across its multiple campuses. Its key requirement was a standardized access control system that could operate college-wide and be scaled to include new buildings and establishments. Also, considering the college campus is based in the heart of London, the threat of terrorism and active shooter incidents is a major concern for KCL, especially in more recent times where attacks have taken place extremely close to college buildings and campus. With thousands of students and employees to protect, the need to adopt the latest security features is essential in order for the college to keep all areas secure, in particular student accommodation, high security labs and research facilities. Gallagher access control solution Gallagher’s access control products were easily integrated with King’s College’s existing systems With Gallagher technology already successfully deployed in isolation at the university’s Guy’s and Strand campuses, it made sense to select Gallagher as the access control platform of choice for the entire college. Gallagher’s access control products were easily integrated with King’s College’s existing systems, including staff and student databases, and sources for cardholder information. This included the college’s enterprise Identity Management system, called FIM, which provides daily updates on joiners, movers and leavers to allow accurate decision-making by the security team. Additionally, Gallagher products were integrated to work alongside SITS, the college’s student management system, providing rapid updates of new students so that individual ID cards can be issued once the registration process is complete. Gallagher Mobile Connect app KCL has also invested in new mobile technology, with Gallagher readers that can be accessed via a mobile phone using the Gallagher Mobile Connect app. This will allow students and staff to conveniently access designated areas, control lighting, visitor access, and more. While it is still early days for the college using this technology, the system is adaptable and provides the ability to add features that meet future requirements. The overall benefits of the Gallagher security solution deployed at King’s have proved significant. Nick O’Donnell, Director of Estates and Facilities at King’s College London, says the Gallagher solution “improves service to King’s College’s facility users, especially its students, and reduces the college’s reputational risk by removing technical barriers to comprehensive security management.” Streamlining multiple security systems Streamlining the differing security systems used by individual campuses by introducing a college-wide standardized system has highlighted many additional advantages, including a considerable reduction in costs for training, special projects and operator skills. Gallagher integrations allow extra security features to connect to Gallagher Command Center Gallagher integrations allow extra security features to connect to Gallagher Command Center, creating a central administration system that keeps things simple to manage. Integrating with Aperio, for example, ensures doors are locked when people leave the room – providing peace of mind that rooms won’t be accidentally left open over night or during the weekend. Student and staff ID management Gallagher’s proven technology has boosted King’s College’s confidence in its electronic system. When there are alerts, the university’s security services can consult a single system and react quickly. Card holders are also now registered on one system, allowing tighter management of passes. Overall, the college reports fewer system failures, with better decision-making between its numerous estates and libraries, while multi-site students, staff and visitors have experienced easier card management.
There is a saying that ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’, and the Dallas, Texas police department is no exception. The city of Dallas is ranked in the top 10 cities in the U.S. in terms of population, at 1.2 million people. The Dallas Police Department is the ninth largest municipal police force in the U.S., based on 3,012 sworn officers. It is led by Chief of Police, U. Reneé Hall. The department is located in the Jack Evans Police Headquarters building, which was built in 2003. It is 358,000 square feet, has six floors, is spread over a three-acre site, has a separate 1,200 car parking garage and a two-acre, open parking lot for additional visitor parking. Prior to 2003, the department was housed in the circa 1914 former City Hall Building. Preventing terrorist attack and hazards Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant to help design the building to resist terrorist attacksThe Jack Evans Police Headquarters building was under construction when 9/11 terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Buildings in New York. That event was preceded by the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing in April 1995. Therefore, security was a concern in its design. Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant – McClaren, Wilson, and Lawrie Architects of Phoenix – to help design the building to resist a terrorist attack and isolate potential hazards. The building also needed to control visitor traffic and access. On an average month, there are 5,000 public visitors to the Jack Evans building. In addition, shots fired at police buildings nationally are not uncommon, says Paul M. Schuster, Senior Corporal/Facilities Management for the Dallas Police Department. Ready to anticipate dangerous crimes “For the most part they are random, single shot drive-by shootings. Often, the officers are unaware that the building has been shot at, until they find a bullet hole in the brick or glass. Increasingly, police tend to be a symbol of government and some citizens see that as a visible target to lash out at. Police officers are trained to expect the routine types of calls, such as domestic violence, traffic accidents, and other crimes. Yet they must be flexible to anticipate the non-routine that can be dangerous and change in a heartbeat.” On June 13, 2015, after midnight, a 35-year-old male placed a duffle bag with a remote-controlled bomb to detonate later between cars in the parking lot of the headquarters building. The suspect then began shooting continuously at the lobby windows. Officers responded to the scene, a vehicle chase began, and the incident ended outside the city. Luckily officers in the lobby took cover and were not injured. Conducting building security assessment The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weaponsFollowing that incident, the Dallas Police Department conducted a security assessment of the building and also at seven patrol stations throughout the city. The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weapons. Gensler Architects and Guidepost Solutions, LLC developed the solutions and plans. “Yesterday we were concerned about handguns, today we are worried about rifles, and the idea of terrorism is always present with outright attack or bombs,” Schuster notes. “The police officers and police staff only want a place that is safe and where they can do their good work.” Funding of $1.3 million was approved to upgrade the lobbies of the seven patrol stations to withstand rifle rounds, and $1.9 million to improve headquarters lobby security, and to upgrade an aging security system. Turner Construction Company and Convergint Technologies, LLC conducted the renovations and security technology integration. Challenges in upgrading lobby security Visitors were allowed free entry into the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to other floorsThe headquarters’ lobby was initially designed as a two-story glass-walled structure, with an information desk and public records service windows. Visitors were allowed free entry into the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to other floors. “The challenge in upgrading lobby security was the two-story lobby entrance glass. The glass was not bullet rated, due to budget constraints. Changing the front of the building to support ballistic rifle-rated glass would have caused extensive time, exposed the inside of the lobby to weather, and would not have solved all of the security issues,” Schuster says. “In addition, there were concerns about keeping an ‘open’ and friendly service concept in mind and ensuring that the lobby would not resemble a ‘fortress’,” Schuster notes. Bullet-rated glass and bullet resistant wall The solution was to keep the existing exterior unchanged and focus on adding a layer of security once a person enters the lobby. Visitors now enter the headquarters and immediately proceed to a side room where security screening is conducted. Once inside the screening room, the visitor has belongings x-rayed, and they walk through a metal detector A new secondary wall with bullet-rated glass and solid bullet resistant wall materials was constructed inside the lobby to channel visitors to the room. Once inside the screening room, which also has bullet resistant walls, the visitor has belongings x-rayed, and they walk through a metal detector. In the event that anyone was to produce a gun and begin shooting, the incident could be contained inside that room. Tourlock 180+90 security revolving door Once a visitor has been cleared, they proceed into the main lobby via a Boon Edam Tourlock 180+90 security revolving door. This automatic, four-wing door is the most advanced, security revolving door in the Boon Edam product range that offers maximum throughput, allowing users to enter and leave the building simultaneously. In the event that a large number of persons try to force their way into the facility, the Tourlock 180+90 will determine that more than one person is trying to enter and will reject the person and lock out any others from entering. Once a visitor is ready to leave the lobby and exit the building, they pass through another Boon Edam Tourlock 180+90 that leads to a vestibule with exterior swinging doors. In the event that someone tries to go back into the lobby from the front vestibule area, without going through the security screening room, the Tourlock security revolving door will reject their entry. Preventing tailgating and piggybacking The Boon Edam security revolving doors accurately prevent both tailgating and piggybackingThe Jack Evans Headquarters security upgrades for the lobby improved security and still kept the best aspects of the lobby design, including the antique police car, and the overhead police helicopter. The Boon Edam security revolving doors accurately prevent both tailgating and piggybacking, and provide the department with maximum security while controlling traffic flow. “While it would be great to have a building totally open to the public and then add security as needed, such is not the world we live in anymore,” Schuster adds. Future security plans include exterior site security upgrades to the patrol stations and the headquarters to include security fencing with card access controls for fleet and employee vehicles at each of the sites.
Everbridge, Inc., the global pioneer in critical event management, announced that it has been awarded a multi-year contract to support the deployment of Australia’s next-generation national early warning system. In combination with Australia’s major telecommunications companies, the Everbridge Public Warning solution will be used to power Emergency Alert in Australia, providing population-wide alerting to help reach the country’s over 25 million residents and approximately 9 million annual visitors. If residing within an area where a sudden, critical event occurs such as fire, extreme weather or a terror attack, residents and visitors to Australia will receive location-based SMS notifications on their mobile phones, in addition to smart phone mobile app notifications and fixed line voice alerts, among other modalities. Supports first responder communications Everbridge Public Warning leverages telecom infrastructure to reach everyone within a geographic areaEverbridge Public Warning leverages existing telecom infrastructure, with no opt-in required, to reach everyone within a geographic area to reduce disaster risk, support first responder communications, and analyze disaster communication effectiveness for subsequent mitigation activities. “Our Public Warning solution enables government organizations and public safety agencies to immediately connect with every person in an affected area during a critical event regardless of nationality, residency or mobile telephone handset type,” said Jaime Ellertson, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Everbridge. “Australia has served as a model example for population-wide alerting and emergency preparedness over the past decade, and we are honored to support them on the evolution of their national system.” The next-generation system is scheduled to become operational in 2020.
Police forces recognize biometrics as a potentially critical tool to improving the quality and efficiency of policing across the globe. As part of a diverse Digital Authentication strategy, automated facial recognition surveillance is becoming an integral part of our digital policing, with the UK Home Office planning to invest a huge £97 million into a broader biometric technology approach to safeguard our streets. Automated facial recognition surveillance Digital fingerprint-based authentication is still widely regarded as having a higher level of maturity However, the latest court case against the South Wales Police as well as the Amazon backlash over the sale of its technology to the US police has highlighted that acceptance of the use of biometric technology as much as the maturing of the technology is important to achieve the expected benefits for the police. Digital fingerprint-based authentication is still widely regarded as having a higher level of maturity, has an implicit acceptance linked to the identity of the individual and delivers a lower false positive result. Facial recognition, when used as a stand-alone biometric, suffers from the risk of challenge or refusal to accept as in the case of the challenge to the South Wales Police pilot program. In addition, gender and racial bias as well as scenarios such as poor lighting and individuals wearing accessories impacts on reliability. Advancements in biometrics There is clearly a need to focus on how biometrics, as technology matures, can support identity verification at scale and to gain widespread public acceptance as part of a wider digital policing initiative according to Jason Tooley, Chief Revenue Officer at Veridium. Jason comments: “Police forces around the world are looking to integrate the latest advancements in technology to enhance public security and cut costs, and biometric solutions are integral to this movement. With the maturing of biometrics techniques and many different scenarios to address, it’s imperative to use the right biometrics for the right requirements and to create a strategy that facilitates the use of multiple biometrics. We would advocate an approach that abstracts the identity verification and digital authentication processes from the services and creates a biometric platform to match the specific requirements of the police and the public.” Fingerprint recognition Fingerprint, being the most mature and widely used has biometrics, has high levels of acceptance today" He adds, “There are current barriers to the acceptance of biometrics which will be overcome as trust in the technology becomes the norm. Fingerprint, being the most mature and widely used has high levels of acceptance today and is easily adopted by police and public. It requires public acceptance and doesn’t work for wider surveillance techniques but for individual verification, police moving to a digital fingerprint capture mechanism rather than physical has great benefits and the public are more likely to be accepting of enrollment. Facial recognition would be a surveillance at scale solution but the challenges of maturity and external factors as well as public acceptance are challenges to be overcome in the future.” Jason continues, “It is imperative for police forces to take a strategic approach as they trial biometric technologies, and not solely focus on a single biometric approach. With the rapid rate of innovation in the field, an open biometric strategy that delivers the ability for the police to use the right biometric techniques for the right requirements will accelerate the benefits associated with digital policing and achieve public acceptance by linking the strategy to ease of adoption.”
Round table discussion
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?
When security topics become a part of current events, it is usually in a negative light. Security generally only becomes news when it fails, sometimes in a dramatic, high profile and tragic way. However, security failures can also shed light on lessons learned and opportunities to improve. Working toward better security can translate into the purchase of more goods and equipment supplied by our market. For additional insights into the intersection of security and current events, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Good news or bad news? How do news reports and/or current events influence the general public’s opinion of physical security?
Hospitality businesses work to provide a safe and pleasant customer experience for their guests. Hotels offer a “home away from home” for millions of guests every day around the world. These are businesses of many sizes and types, providing services ranging from luxury accommodations to simple lodging for business travelers to family vacation experiences. Hospitality businesses also include restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues. Security needs are varied and require technologies that span a wide spectrum. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?