Utility, Inc., (Utility Associates, Inc.) announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office issuance of patent 10,812,755 for additional BodyWorn camera technology. Patent for BodyWorn cameras The patent covers mounting a BodyWorn camera in a holster that is embedded inside a body armor vest, duty shirt, winter coat or other garment with the camera lens fastened and aligned to provide a clear field of view through an opening in the garment. Embedding the camera within an article of clot...
The opportunity for businesses to take full advantage of the meta-data captured by AI cameras has been significantly enhanced with the introduction of 3 new Wisenet NVRs. The feature-rich NVRs, which offer up to 400Mbps network camera recording, are able to read the AI metadata, enabling operators to quickly and accurately search video for objects and attributes associated to them. Introduced at the same time as the 64 channel XRN-6410B4 and sharing the same features, the Wisenet XRN-3210B4 has...
Cobwebs Technologies (Cobwebs) has launched the only available, fully automated web investigation platform capable of unified identity resolution to the corporate security market. The ability to work in stealth mode and bridge the digital and physical world will boost the corporate security team’s threat intelligence and mitigation capabilities. The law enforcement grade platform’s AI and machine learning (ML)-powered algorithms’ ability to extract targeted intelligence from...
Smarter Security, uniquely differentiated and recognized as a global provider of intelligent entry and access control solutions, proudly welcomes a new member to its continuously expanding team. Kevin Kolego was recently announced Director of Federal Solutions Sales to drive sales initiatives within the Federal Government space. Kevin brings a tremendous amount of leadership and sales expertise, as well as vast knowledge and understanding of the US Government’s procurement process includi...
Smiths Detection, a globally renowned threat detection and security technology solutions company, has announced that it has developed the capability to detect synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as Spice or K2, with its IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution. Detecting synthetic cannabinoids This development comes following an extensive R&D process and testing trials with major correctional institutions around the world and expands the IONSCAN 600 existing detection library of explosives...
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a renowned provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, has released its cybersecurity predictions for 2021; detailing the key security challenges that organizations will face over the next year. Check Point states that the effects of the changes introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a key focus for organizations’ IT and security teams. 81% of enterprises have adopted mass remote working for their employees, with 74% planning...
Understanding and predicting human behavior is one of the biggest challenges facing modellers of both pandemics and cyber risk, a new report from CyberCube concludes. According to the report, which sets out to understand the lessons both pandemic and cyber modellers could learn from each other, the potential for political decisions and the public’s response to affect the duration and severity of both types of events is critical to successful modelling. Partnership The report, which includes comments by experts from Munich Re and contributions from pioneering pandemic modelling firm Metabiota, finds that the ways in which modellers represent the complex interactions between human-created risks will be key to building effective models. Even though pandemics originate from pathogens, the report notes, the challenge is how models can illustrate the range of outcomes based on individual and societal reactions that impact the spread of the disease or cyber threat. Viruses, contagion, and tail-risk modelling cyber risk in the age of pandemics, also finds that lack of data is a brake on progress for both types of modellers. Since the start of the twentieth century, there have been fewer than twelve major global pandemics. There have also been very few significant systemic cyber events, although there have been thousands of cyber incidents since the emergence of the Internet and connected technology. This has not provided a wealth of data to assess the potential impact of such events. Methodology and data challenges Oliver Brew, CyberCube’s Head of Client Success, said “It’s clear that lessons can be learnt and applied to cyber risk modelling from understanding how pandemic models have evolved."Even though there are differences between computer and human viruses, parallels are emerging in the modelling "As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, even though there are differences between computer and human viruses, parallels are emerging in the modelling, the methodologies, and the data challenges.” He added “There is real value in learning from interdisciplinary teams in how to balance the needs of accuracy and precision in developing models to meet the market needs. At a minimum, the need for a creative, but reality-based imagination to represent forward-looking risks is critical.” Accumulation risk Dr. Hjalmar Böhm, Senior Actuary, Epidemic Risk Solutions, a dedicated epidemic risk solutions business unit at Munich Re, said “In both cyber risk and pandemics, there is a need to consider accumulation risk. For example, a pandemic is a key consideration for life insurers and a high mortality event could create a significant economic loss.” “A solid approach to controlling accumulation risk exposure needs to be the basis for every business model for epidemic risk insurance.” Pandemic and cyber systems are connected Nita Madhav, CEO of Metabiota, added “There are parallels with modelling the global spread of a disease and how cyber systems are connected - both are network issues. The impact of mitigation risk and early action can potentially make a difference.” “Furthermore, you can be asymptomatic with COVID-19; similarly, you may not know if a cyber intruder has already infiltrated your network.” Conclusion The report concludes that addressing current limitations in data collection will improve the value and insight these models can provide to the insurance and life insurance markets. Another common theme is that both cyber risk and pandemics are unencumbered by geographic boundaries.
Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a renowned provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, has published its latest Global Threat Index for October 2020. Researchers reported that the Trickbot and Emotet trojans continue to rank as the top two most prevalent malware in October, and that the trojans have been responsible for the sharp increase in ransomware attacks against hospitals and healthcare providers globally. File-encrypting ransomware The FBI and other U.S. government agencies recently issued a warning about ransomware attacks targeting the healthcare sector, warning that the estimated one million-plus Trickbot infections worldwide are being used to download and spread file-encrypting ransomware such as Ryuk. Ryuk is also distributed via the Emotet trojan, which remains in 1st place in the Top Malware Index for the fourth month in succession. Ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations and hospitals in October increased by 36% in EMEA Check Point threat intelligence data showed that the healthcare sector was the most targeted by ransomware in the U.S. in October, with attacks increasing by 71% compared with September 2020. Similarly, ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations and hospitals in October increased by 36% in EMEA and 33% in APAC. Support remote workforces “We’ve seen ransomware attacks increasing since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, to try and take advantage of security gaps as organizations scrambled to support remote workforces. These have surged alarmingly over the past three months, especially against the healthcare sector, and are driven by pre-existing TrickBot and Emotet infections." "We strongly urge healthcare organizations everywhere to be extra vigilant about this risk, and scan for these infections before they can cause real damage by being the gateway to a ransomware attack,” said Maya Horowitz, Director, Threat Intelligence & Research, Products at Check Point. Top malware families This month, Emotet remains the most popular malware with a global impact of 12% of organizations The research team also warns that “MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution” is the most common exploited vulnerability, impacting 43% of organizations globally, followed by “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass” and “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-13756)” with both impacting 42% of organizations globally. (The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month.) This month, Emotet remains the most popular malware with a global impact of 12% of organizations, followed by Trickbot and Hiddad which both impacted 4% of organizations worldwide. ↔ Emotet - Emotet is an advanced self-propagating, and modular trojan. Emotet was once used as a banking trojan, and recently has been used as a distributer of other malware or malicious campaigns. It uses multiple methods for maintaining persistence and evasion techniques to avoid detection. In addition, it can be spread through phishing spam emails containing malicious attachments or links. ↔ Trickbot - Trickbot is a dominant banking trojan constantly being updated with new capabilities, features and distribution vectors. This enables Trickbot to be a flexible and customisable malware that can be distributed as part of multi purposed campaigns. ↑ Hiddad - Hiddad is an Android malware which repackages legitimate apps and then releases them to a third-party store. Its main function is to display ads, but it can also gain access to key security details built into the OS. Top exploited vulnerabilities This month “MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution” is the most common exploited vulnerability, impacting 43% of organizations globally, followed by “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass” and “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-13756)” with both impacting 42% of organizations globally. ↔ MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution - Remote code execution vulnerability exists in MVPower DVR devices. A remote attacker can exploit this weakness to execute arbitrary code in the affected router via a crafted request. ↔ Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass (CVE-2018-10561) - An authentication bypass vulnerability that exists in Dasan GPON routers. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability would allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive information and gain unauthorized access into the affected system. ↑ HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-13756) - HTTP headers let the client and the server pass additional information with an HTTP request. A remote attacker may use a vulnerable HTTP Header to run arbitrary code on the victim machine. Top cellphone malwares This month Hiddad is the most prevalent cellphone malware, followed by xHelper and Lotoor. Hiddad - Hiddad is an Android malware which repackages legitimate apps and then releases them to a third-party store. Its main function is to display ads, but it can also gain access to key security details built into the OS. xHelper - xHelper is a malicious application seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and display advertisement. The application is capable of hiding itself from the user and reinstalling itself in case it is uninstalled. Lotoor - Lotoor is a hack tool that exploits vulnerabilities on Android operating system in order to gain root privileges on compromised mobile devices. Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence, the largest collaborative network to fight cybercrime which delivers threat data and attack trends from a global network of threat sensors. The ThreatCloud database inspects over 2.5 billion websites and 500 million files daily, and identifies more than 250 million malware activities every day. The complete list of the top 10 malware families in October can be found on the Check Point Blog.
Grappling with risks prompted by COVID-19 and escalating violence, Americans prefer modern, touchless security screening systems over legacy metal detectors. They expect their schools, workplaces and ticketed venues to ensure social distancing and would abandon their plans rather than enter a facility with crowded security lines. These and other insights were released by Evolv Technology based on a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll. The survey was conducted online with more than 1,500 American adults who have a personal stake in the security screening experience: consumers who attended ticketed events in 2019 (n=506), parents of school-aged children (n=712), and workers at large factories, warehouses and distribution centers (n=504). Physical security measures Americans rate COVID-19 and the overall pandemic response as a top issue facing the country (83% say they are very or somewhat concerned). This did not, however, diminish their concerns about social violence, responding that they are very or somewhat concerned about mass shootings (83%), street crime (81%) and protest-related civil unrest (81%). All three groups believe that the risk of public violence is getting worse (70%) and nearly 3 in 10 (28%) express that they felt unsafe going out in public. Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) Americans value the general sense of safety that physical security measures provide Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) Americans value the general sense of safety that physical security measures provide, and over half (54%) believe there is deterrent value in those measures. Significant majorities also agree, though, that traditional metal detector screening measures introduce unacceptable risks in the pandemic environment. Metal detector screening Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) feel that metal detectors create long lines, and two-thirds (67%) feel that metal detectors create crowds that violate social distancing guidelines. A majority also believe that metal detectors require belongings to be touched by a security guard (70%), require pat down searches (52%), generate too many false positives (58%) and force families to separate during screening (57%). When asked to consider how specific safety and security measures affected their likelihood of returning to venues and facilities, nearly 9 in 10 (87%) of Americans said were likely to return if touchless security screening was in place. A majority of Americans surveyed say they would prefer touchless security screening (52%) over metal detector screening (48%) if given a choice between the two at identical events. Touchless security screening COVID-19 marks the end of the era for traditional metal detector security screening" Touchless security screening that allows visitors to walk through with bags and pocket contents intact was preferred over metal detector screening that requires separate bag checks and emptying pockets before screening. “For most venues and facilities, COVID-19 marks the end of the era for traditional metal detector security screening,” said Evolv Technology CEO Peter George. “The pandemic has pushed frustration with crowding and hands-on bag checks beyond the boiling point. However, there is a way forward. Visitors are saying they’ll come back to venues if they see security screening that preserves social distancing. Our customers are successfully reopening with touchless security screening and everyone is loving the new experience.” Enabling social distancing Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour Evolv Technology Co-founder Anil Chitkara and Erica Parker, managing director at The Harris Poll, will review the research results and discuss the implications for workplaces, schools, ticketed venues and other facilities on the November 12 episode of Evolv’s Digital Threshold Live webcast series. Evolv is the digital transformation of physical security, one that is touchless and addresses the ‘new normal’ threat of pandemic viruses as well as concealed weapons. Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour – 10 times faster than legacy approaches such as metal detectors, hand wands and manual inspections. The system enables social distancing at entrances and other security checkpoints while minimizing person-to-person interaction—requiring no stopping, no emptying of pockets or removing bags. Touchless security screening systems People being screened simply walk through naturally, alleviating potential crowding and long lines while greatly reducing contact between guests, employees and security staff. Deployed worldwide, Evolv’s touchless security screening systems have been used to screen more than 50 million individuals in an expedient, respectful manner. Organizations optimize the performance of their security teams while reducing screening expenses by as much as 70% Customers include Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, L.L. Bean, Wynn Las Vegas, Oakland International Airport, two South Carolina school districts, Hersheypark, Set Jet, the Biltmore Estate, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and hundreds of others. By using Evolv Express, organizations optimize the performance of their security teams while reducing screening expenses by as much as 70%. School-Aged children This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Evolv Technology from September 18 – October 3 among 1,502 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who are parents of school-aged children (n=712); work in large (at least 100 on-site employees) factories, warehouses, or distribution centers (n=504); or who attended an event at a ticketed venue in 2019 (n=506). This population represents approximately 60% of the US general population. Results are weighted to be representative of population under study based on US census population targets on education, age-gender, race/ethnicity, region, and income.
Renowned risk management company, SmartWater Technology Limited (The SmartWater Group), has teamed up with Vantage England & Wales to help protect its agricultural customers from rural crime. As a result of the partnership, SmartWater Technology, a division of The SmartWater Group, will supply forensic marking liquid for Vantage’s Trimble agricultural portfolio, including advanced navigation and machine control systems designed specifically for farming use. SmartTrace liquid Each Trimble product comes with a bottle of SmartTrace liquid with a unique forensic code. All the user needs to do is to apply this to their asset using the syringe provided and register the individual code on the national database. Also provided with the SmartTrace liquid are deterrent stickers that can be applied to each of the Trimble brand products. If in the event a stolen item is recovered it can instantly be tracked back to its owners via the database, which is accessible to the police. Gary Higgins, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of SmartWater Technology division, stated “We are delighted to be working with and supporting Vantage England and Wales with this industry first venture. Valuable assets will now be forensically marked, making them uniquely identifiable and therefore less attractive to thieves.” SmartWater forensic solution We chose SmartWater as it is used in many industries including banking, retail and construction" Gary adds, “With hundreds of criminal convictions to date and a 100% conviction rate in court, criminals are aware of the power of SmartWater to categorically link them to their crimes.” Mark Griffiths, National Sales Manager at Vantage England & Wales Ltd, said “We at Vantage needed a deterrent to protect our customers’ equipment, we chose SmartWater as it is used in many industries including banking, retail and construction. Being able to apply a product meeting specification for these industries and bringing it to UK agriculture made complete sense and has been well received by our customers.” Compliance with HO Forensic Science Code of Practice Mark adds, “Our product association with SmartWater will not only deter thieves, but it gives our customers confidence that we can support them throughout the process should the worst happen.” SmartWater forensic solution is currently the only system that is compliant with the HO Forensic Science Regulators Code of Practice, which means it is admissible in Court as evidence. Rural crime in England hit an eight-year peak last year, rising by 9% on the previous year. Costing businesses around £46m in losses, the rise was partially driven by organized gangs targeting expensive vehicles, such tractors and quad bikes.
DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), is highlighting the importance of safety – and legal responsibilities – for owners of automated products through a series of free two-hour Zoom seminars. The first seminar, held on 23rd September, and delivered by DHF’s Senior Training and Compliance Officer, Nick Perkins, offered a guide for owners and managers of industrial doors, garage doors, powered gates and traffic barriers, including vehicle/loading bay doors, and vertically acting shutters over pedestrian access areas. BSI Standards Publication In outlining the requirements, Nick referred to BSI Standards Publication, BS EN 12453:2017: Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates – safety in use of power operated doors – Requirements and testing methods, whereby systems should be ‘safe, appropriately maintained, and left in a safe condition following maintenance’. In assisting this process, and in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive, DHF has devised a graded system of potential safety issues as being either ‘safety critical’ or ‘requiring improvement’, with red indicating that installations with safety critical defects should not be restored to service by the maintenance company, and amber indicating that these installations could be restored to service but only under client/owner instruction. Legal minimum levels of protection Nick also explains the legal minimum levels of protection with regards to moving parts, and the overall legal requirements of the owner, whether an individual or company. In commenting on DHF’s first seminar, Dean Starkey, Chartered Building Surveyor, MRICS, said: “I found the session both interesting and informative; it reinforces the need for specialist knowledge and expertise in this area to protect building users and managers.” Safety and compliance “Safety and compliance remain at the very heart of everything we do at DHF and we are delighted to continue to work for our members – and beyond – despite the on-going COVID-19 restrictions,” said DHF’s Head of Commercial Operations, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “We are very pleased to have received such positive feedback from those who attended the first free Zoom seminar in September and will be rolling out these safety seminars on a regular basis, with the next one scheduled for the New Year. This is an exclusive offer for customers of DHF members.”
LocoMobi World is pleased to introduce BriskPark, their new parking access and revenue control solution that offers ten new innovative products. First up is the BriskPark Smart Gate. Most parking applications start with a simple gate. As a recognized company in LPR (License Plate Recognition) and Payment Technology, they decided to make the gate as smart as all of their products at the best value in the market. BriskPark smart gate solution BriskPark is a slick & quick access gate is ideal for toll and parking applications. It has advanced safety features with many smart options as it is embedded with the WorldStream Cloud Management Portal, giving users the power to know and control from anywhere in the world. BriskPark is a slick & quick access gate is ideal for toll and parking applications The durable, slim, and lightweight BriskPark Smart Gate can withstand years of weathering blackouts and rebounds, and can be customized to users’ needs with a standard folding arm gate or fence gate that reaches up to 23’. Best of all it is easy to install and set up. Benefits & Features Ultra-responsive collision detection – Gate goes back up as soon as the arm touches any object. Extremely fast with adjustable directional speed. Easy to manually override with built-in hand crank. Never trap people inside – Battery backup to keep operating with an option to stay open when battery power is low. Remote sites have ability to charge on solar power or use the backup charger. Automatic open on power loss – Eliminates 24 hour on-site personnel for emergency override. Optional feature: Telescopic arm with adjustable length. Smart Options Embedded with WorldStream Cloud Portal: The power to know and control from anywhere in the world. Current status of gates (open/close) with report of all opening/closing. Remote control from anywhere in the world with the option to remotely lock position. Use caller ID and a dedicated phone number to allow approved phone numbers to open the gate. Connect to fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and more – Automatic open and control lights and other electronic devices. Gate will send commands if needed when opening or closing. Alert when the gate is open for more than a set period of time or other issues. Camera to show the view from the gate and record image each time gate is opened.
AI has opened doors to many transformation opportunities and increasingly minimised many risks -- personal and economic -- that are alarming today. And illicit trade is one of those pains AI can offer a promising solution against. Illicit trade is a serious threat and problem that affects governments and societies on every level. While governments lose financial funds in tax revenues, thriving businesses are losing potential customers, and customers are getting tricked into purchasing counterfeit, low-quality products. Transnational organized crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion through transnational criminal organizations, complicit corrupt facilitators, and other threat areas. The list of criminal activities is long and involves such horrific crimes as trafficking of narcotics, opioids, arms, humans, fake medicines and other counterfeit and pirated goods; illegal tobacco and alcohol; illegally-harvested timber, wildlife, and fish; pillaged oil, diamonds, gold, and other natural resources and precious minerals; stolen antiquities; and other contraband or valuable items sold across streets, social media, online marketplaces, and the dark web. In short, illicit trade is a contributing cause to large-scale insecurity and instability across markets. AI-driven technologies Here is where revolutionary AI-driven technologies come in, with their capability to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. There are a few ways that AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. Transnational organized crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents -- often billions of pages of documents -- in a short period of time. Among these documents widely in circulation, most have an unstructured and inconsistent format -- from invoices to insurance documentation -- are a complex system to tackle; in this whirlwind of pages, the likelihood of non-compliant and misrepresented figures to go by unnoticed. But this is also where AI can thrive as solutions become a necessity, enhancing humans’ capabilities of identifying fraud risks in the early stages. Relying on natural language processing, the technology can begin interpreting the text from the scanned and digitised documents in order to process trade information at high speed. In this context, AI-powered solutions are capable of comparing, contrasting document information and identify anomalies worth looking into further. By automating a large portion of the process, AI-driven technology allows the staff to focus on more pressing, high-involvement issues that require human judgement while saving time on the time-consuming manual work of analyzing documents by hand. Identifying covert interactions between criminals As criminal networks become increasingly intricate in their illegal operations, cutting-edge AI technology is crucial in the battle against it. In 2019, EU launched a project with the goal to deploy advanced AI technology and robots to identify smuggling across the borders of Portugal, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. With the help of AI, it will be possible to send drones and autonomous vehicles to the most dubious border areas in order to enforce border control and detect smugglers quickly and efficiently. Illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals The issues the EU is trying to address through the project include drug and weapon smuggling, as well as human trafficking. From tight border control tracking crossings to communication monitoring to identify covert interactions between criminals on both sides of the border, the project is one among many that will expand the scope of solutions to the illicit trade problems today. AI’s contribution is significant on many levels: from predicting crime and threats to safeguarding public health and safety (in face of human trafficking, counterfeit medicines, and toxic products), these are simply inklings of major shifts that AI technology promises for the future of the battle against illicit trade. So why is fighting illicit trade so crucial? Here are a few reasons why AI’s role in fighting this global issue is crucial. In a world where customers run the risk of being deceived and tricked into buying counterfeit products, companies who provide the original products suffer through the loss of revenue and market share. The same companies are also robbed of their intellectual property and proprietary data. Furthermore, people who are employed in these companies run the risk of losing their jobs as a result of revenue and market share loss. And finally, the last straw is the loss of brand integrity and reputation to the need to compete with low-quality, sometimes even dangerous counterfeit products. Just like a domino effect, illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals. And it’s time for AI to step in and stop it.
Recently contacted by your credit card company because of a data breach or were you a victim of identity theft? Many of us have either been affected by identity theft or know someone who has been affected. Many consumers are seeking a secure environment that is also user-friendly. Businesses are seeking the same, with absolute certainty, that only valid users can access critical data. How can your company tackle these security and usability requirements while ensuring customer satisfaction? Today's three primary biometric modalities are fingerprint, facial and iris, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses but due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, touchless is highly preferred. Any company claiming their technology is best for all applications is likely being disingenuous. The key is to first prove a biometric is required, and once decided, the following five steps will help select the best biometric modality and supplier. Today's three primary biometric modalities are fingerprint, facial and iris, and each has its own strengths and weaknessesBiometrics can provide a mechanism to tackle these issues head-on by moving from what you know (password) and have (ID card) to who you are (your biometric), which dramatically increases the level of security while also being user-friendly. But how is the best biometric modality selected for an upcoming product? User interaction Start by defining the planned customer usage model, including the typical user, normal or desired interaction, and product in-field environment and placement, as well as any strategic plans. Think through the clothing the users will wear (e.g., face masks), the height of the users, hygiene requirements and opt-in requirements. Decide how quickly the biometric must respond and test this during the POC testing. The better the enrollment image (template), the better the matching performance and overall user experience. Biometric storage Start by defining the planned customer usage model, including the typical user, normal or desired interaction, and product in-field environment and placement, as Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, touchless is highly preferredwell as any strategic plans. Think through the clothing the users will wear (e.g., face masks), the height of the users, hygiene requirements and opt-in requirements. Decide how quickly the biometric must respond and test this during the POC testing. The better the enrollment image (template), the better the matching performance and overall user experience. Cost and security Start by selecting which product lines will use the biometric and establishing the desired price point(s). Decide how the biometric will fit into the product and get bulk pricing to understand unit costs at volume. Software is typically handled as a license fee and often negotiable. The production cost per unit decreases as volumes increase. Choose the biometric modality that best meets functional and security requirements while hitting the targeted price. The biometric security level required depends on the assets being protected and the matching usage model. A 1:1 model, such as a cellphone, may be fine with a low-security biometric application. However, in a 1:N model, such as airport security, requires a more secure biometric such as iris. To select the best biometric for the product, compare each company's false acceptance rate (FAR) and false rejection rate (FRR). FAR indicates the biometrics ability to keep intruders out, while FRR indicates the biometrics ability to allow enrolled users in. Ensure that all biometric companies being considered can provide this information at a minimum. It is better to get each company's detection error trade-off (DET) curve, which shows how FAR and FRR vary relative to each other. Criminal activity Hackers and criminals are always trying to break technology, including biometrics. Be certain each technology has robust presentation attack detection (PAD), which ideally is third-party certified. Understand what if any personally identifiable information (PII) needs to be captured, and decide how the PII will be handled, including who will manage the data (i.e., your company, the biometric supplier or another third party). Be certain that whoever controls the PII uses the latest encryption standards and employs techniques to secure this data in memory, crossing the network and in the biometric database. Understanding the European GDPR Compliance standards if applicable will also be important. Supplier consideration Each supplier being considered should be evaluated throughout the POC testing process. Ensure the supplier is trustworthy, provides good customer support and meets its commitments. Evaluate the supplier's engineering capability and support model to ensure it can support any desired design changes and support your Be certain each technology has robust presentation attack detection (PAD)engineers to deliver the best functioning product. Selecting the best biometric for your exact use case will take some time and effort, but it has the potential to grow your business and delight your customers. Do not shortchange the process and go with the cheapest solution without doing some research. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
This year has been characterized by uncertainty and extraordinary strain, which has fallen heavily on all manner of key workers. Alongside our celebrated healthcare professionals, carers and the emergency services, those working in essential retail have proved themselves to be the backbone of our society during this challenging period. As people try to grasp onto normality and cope with the unexpected changes taking place in every aspect of their lives – including the way they are allowed to shop – it’s no surprise that tensions are now running higher than ever. Retail crime was already on the rise before the pandemic struck, with the British Retail Consortium finding that at least 424 violent or abusive incidents were reported every day last year. The Co-op recently reported its worst week in history in terms of abuse and antisocial behavior, with 990 incidents of antisocial behavior and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July. 990 incidents of antisocial behavior and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July To manage the increased risks currently faced by retail employees, businesses must adopt new initiatives to safeguard their staff. Growing numbers of retailers including the Co-op and Asda have equipped their in-store and delivery staff with body worn cameras to enhance safety and provide them with peace of mind, as well as to discourage altercations from taking place at all. Traditional tech Body worn cameras are nothing new and have been used within the law enforcement industry for years. Traditional devices are record-only and can be used to record video evidence able to be drawn upon ‘after the fact’ should it be needed as an objective view of an event and who was involved. These devices can also be used to discourage violent or verbally abusive incidents from occurring in the first place. If a customer is approached by an employee, they are likely to think twice about retaliating if they know their interaction is being recorded. This stance is supported by research from the University of Cambridge that found the use of body worn cameras improves the behavior of the wearer and those in its vicinity, as both are aware of the fact it can act as an objective ‘digital witness’ to the situation. However, record-only body worn cameras do leave much to be desired. In fact, the same University of Cambridge study found that, in the case of law enforcement, assaults against officers wearing these devices actually increased by 15%. This could be attributed to those being recorded being provoked by the presence of the camera or wanting to destroy any evidence it may hold. Out with the old, in with the new Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more Fortunately, there is a better option. Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more. Live-streaming capabilities are able to take ‘after the fact’ evidence one step further and provide the wearer with ‘in the moment’ safety and reassurance. With these devices, if a retail employee is subject to a volatile situation with a customer, they can trigger live video to be streamed back to a central command and control room where security officers will be able to take the most appropriate course of action with heightened and real-time situational awareness. Having access to all of the information they could need instantly will enable security personnel to decide whether to attend the scene and diffuse the situation themselves or to take more drastic action if needed, before any harm has been caused. This capability is especially valuable for lone workers who don’t have access to instant support – such as delivery drivers, in-store or warehouse staff and distribution operators to name a few. The pandemic has also doubled the number of consumers who do their regular grocery shopping online, leading to potential supply and demand issues resulting in unhappy customers. Live-streaming body worn cameras rely on uninterrupted mobile connectivity to excel, as they are not connected to any physical infrastructure. To minimize the risk of the live video stream buffering or freezing – a real possibility for delivery drivers who can be working anywhere in the country – retailers should look to deploy devices capable of streaming in real-time, with near zero latency footage, even when streaming over poor or constrained networks. To get the most out of their tech, retailers should also look to implement devices that can be multi-use and can be deployed as a body worn camera or a dashcam to record any incidents that may occur while driving. Novel threats This year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from While not to the same extent, retail workers have always been subject to a level of potential physical or verbal abuse. However, this year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the cause of many of the new threats facing employees, but is also a threat in itself. To mitigate this, retailers should look to introduce remote elevated temperature detection cameras in their stores, which analyze body temperature and sound an alarm when somebody’s temperature exceeds a certain threshold – as this could indicate the presence of a potential fever. When deployed on the same cellular network as live-streaming enabled body cameras, these tools can be linked to a central command center and the alarms viewed remotely from any connected device. This means a network of cameras can be monitored efficiently from a single platform. Ensuring the protection and security of retail workers has come to the fore this year. With the risk of infection in high-footfall locations, such as supermarkets, and the added pressure that comes with monitoring and enforcing safety guidelines, retail staff are having to cope with a plethora of new challenges. Retailers should adopt innovative technologies within their stores and delivery trucks, such as live-streaming enabled body cameras and remote elevated temperature screening solutions, to minimize the threat faced by their employees and provide them with instant support and reassurance should it be required.
The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus is changing work environments to an unprecedented degree. More employees than ever are being asked to work remotely from home. Along with the new work practices comes a variety of security challenges. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Covid-19 concerns Concerns about the coronavirus have increased the business world’s dependence on teleworking. According to Cisco Systems, WebEx meeting traffic connecting Chinese users to global workplaces has increased by a factor of 22 since the outbreak began. Traffic in other countries is up 400% or more, and specialist video conferencing businesses have seen a near doubling in share value (as the rest of the stock market shrinks). Basic email security has remained unchanged for 30 years Email is a core element of business communications, yet basic email security has remained unchanged for 30 years. Many smaller businesses are likely to still be using outdated Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) when sending and receiving email. “The default state of all email services is unencrypted, unsecure and open to attack, putting crucial information at risk,” says Paul Holland, CEO of secure email systems provider Beyond Encryption. “With remote working a likely outcome for many of us in the coming weeks, the security and reliability of our electronic communication will be a high priority,” says Holland. The company’s Mailock system allows employees to work from any device at home or in the office without concerns about data compromise or cybersecurity issues. Acting quickly and effectively As the virus spreads, businesses and organizations will need to act quickly to establish relevant communication with their employees, partners and customers surrounding key coronavirus messages, says Heinan Landa, CEO and Founder of IT services firm Optimal Networks. Employers should also enact proper security training to make sure everyone is up to speed with what’s happening and can report any suspicious online activity. Reviewing and updating telework policies to allow people to work from home will also provide flexibility for medical care for employees and their families as needed. Scammers, phishing, and fraud An additional factor in the confusing environment created by the coronavirus is growth in phishing emails and creation of domains for fraud. Phishing is an attempt to fraudulently obtain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card information by disguising oneself as a trusted entity. Landa says homebound workers should understand that phishing can come from a text, a phone call, or an email. “Be wary of any form of communication that requires you to click on a link, download an attachment, or provide any kind of personal information,” says Landa. Homebound workers should understand that phishing can come from a text, a phone call, or an email Email scammers often try to elicit a sense of fear and urgency in their victims – emotions that are more common in the climate of a global pandemic. Attackers may disseminate malicious links and PDFs that claim to contain information on how to protect oneself from the spread of the disease, says Landa. Ron Culler, Senior Director of Technology and Solutions at ADT Cybersecurity, offers some cyber and home security tips for remote workers and their employers: When working from home, workers should treat their home security just as they would if working from the office. This includes arming their home security system and leveraging smart home devices such as outdoor and doorbell cameras and motion detectors. More than 88% of burglaries happen in residential areas. When possible, it’s best to use work laptops instead of personal equipment, which may not have adequate antivirus software and monitoring systems in place. Workers should adhere to corporate-approved protocols, hardware and software, from firewalls to VPNs. Keep data on corporate systems and channels, whether it’s over email or in the cloud. The cyber-protections that employees depended on in the office might not carry over to an at-home work environment. Schedule more video conferences to keep communication flowing in a controlled, private environment. Avoid public WiFi networks, which are not secure and run the risk of remote eavesdropping and hacking by third parties. In addition to work-from-home strategies, companies should consider ways to ensure business cyber-resilience and continuity, says Tim Rawlins, Director and Senior Adviser for risk mitigation firm NCC Group. “Given that cyber-resilience always relies on people, process and technology, you really need to consider these three elements,” he says. “And your plan will need to be adaptable as the situation can change very quickly.” Employees and their employers Self-isolation and enforced quarantine can impact both office staff and business travelers Self-isolation and enforced quarantine can impact both office staff and business travelers, and the situation can change rapidly as the virus spreads, says Rawlins. Employees should be cautious about being overseen or overheard outside of work environments when working on sensitive matters. The physical security of a laptop or other equipment is paramount. “It’s also important to look at how material is going to be backed up if it’s not connected to the office network while working offline,” says Rawlins. It’s also a good time to test the internal contact plan or “call tree” to ensure messages get through to everyone at the right time, he adds.
At a major music festival, a fan in the crowd aggressively leapt over a barricade to approach a famous artist. Personnel from Force Protection Agency immediately implemented extrication protocol to shield the artist from physical harm, quickly reversed course and calmly led the client away from the threat. Force Protection Agency (FPA) personnel intentionally did not engage the threatening fan in any way, as local venue security personnel were present and tasked with apprehending the rogue fan. FPA’s efforts were directed expressly toward the protection of the client, avoiding unnecessary escalation or complications and minimizing physical, visual, and legal exposure. Dedicated to the safety of clients Force Protection Agency is a unique, elite-level agency inspired by a vision for excellence and innovation Specializing in protecting celebrities and high-net-worth individuals, Force Protection Agency is a unique, elite-level agency inspired by a vision for excellence and innovation, and dedicated to the safety and success of clients. The agency was formed in 2017 by Russell Stuart, a California State Guard officer and security and entertainment industry veteran. The agency is the culmination of 20 years of experience in the fields of security, military, emergency management, logistics and technology, media and entertainment, and celebrity management. We interviewed Russell Stuart, Founder and CEO of Force Protection Agency (FPA), which has been called “the Secret Service of Hollywood,” for his insights into providing security for celebrities. Q: What unique need in the marketplace do you seek to serve, and how are you qualified to serve it? Stuart: The needs of celebrity and high-net-worth clients are complex and constantly changing. When dealing with a high-profile individual, discretion is paramount, extensive communication is required, and adaptation is ongoing. A critical objective is anticipating and planning for all types of potential negative scenarios and preventing them from even starting, all while not disrupting the normal course of operation of the client's day or their business. Force Protection Agency is poised to serve these needs by innovating and intelligently managing the planning, procedures, and personnel used in every facet of protecting the client’s interests and achieving their objectives. Q: What is the typical level of "professionalism" among bodyguards and security professionals that protect celebrities? Why does professionalism matter, and how do you differentiate yourself on this point? Stuart: Professionalism is an overall way of approaching everything to do with the business, from recruiting, to training, to making sure the right agent is with the right client. Nothing matters more; polish and precision are not only critical to mission success, but also support the comprehensive best interest of the client while preventing costly collateral damage and additional negative consequences. True “professional protective services" is intelligent strength and proper execution, not emotional or reactionary violence. Unfortunately, the latter is frequent among many celebrity bodyguards, and often incurs extremely expensive and even dangerous repercussions. Q: Your company has been described as "the Secret Service of Hollywood." How true is that comparison, and how does your work differ from (e.g.) protecting the President? Force Protection Agency prides itself on providing its services with discretion, precision, and poise Stuart: Totally true, and for this reason: the keys to success in protection are prioritization, and planning. Most people fail to even recognize the first, negating any level of effort given to the second. Establishing the true needs and the correct priority of objectives for each individual client and situation, and firmly committing to these without deviation, are what distinguishes both government secret services and Force Protection Agency from the vast majority of general security firms. Also, the term “secret service” implies an inconspicuous yet professional approach, and Force Protection Agency prides itself on providing its services with discretion, precision, and poise. Q: What is the biggest challenge of protecting celebrities? Stuart: The very nature of celebrity is visibility and access, which always increases risk. The challenge of protecting a high-profile individual is facilitating that accessibility in a strategic and controlled manner while mitigating risk factors. A client’s personal desires and preferences can often conflict with a lowest risk scenario, so careful consideration and thorough preparation are essential, along with continual communication. Q: How does the approach to protection change from one celebrity (client) to another? What variables impact how you do your job? Stuart: The approach is largely determined by the client’s specific needs, requests and objectives. The circumstances of a client's activities, location, and other associated entities can vastly disrupt operation activities. A client may prefer a more or less obvious security presence, which can impact the quantity and proximity of personnel. Force Protection Agency coordinates extensively with numerous federal, state, and municipal government agencies, which also have a variety of influence depending on the particular locations involved and the specific client activities being engaged in. Q: Are all your clients celebrities or what other types of "executives" do you protect – and, if so, how are those jobs different? Stuart: Force Protection Agency provides protective services for a wide range of clients, from the world’s most notable superstars to corporate executives and government representatives. We also provide private investigation services for a vast variety of clientele. Force Protection Agency creates customized solutions that surpass each individual client’s needs and circumstances. The differences between protecting a major celebrity or top business executive can be quite different or exactly the same. Although potentially not as well known in popular culture, some top CEOs have a net worth well above many famous celebrities and their security needs must reflect their success. Q: What is the role of technology in protecting famous people (including drones)? Technology is crucial to the success of security operations Stuart: Technology is crucial to the success of security operations and brings a tremendous advantage to those equipped with the best technological resources and the skills required to maximize their capabilities. It affects equipment such as communication and surveillance devices like drones, cameras, radios, detection/tracking devices, GPS, defensive weapons, protective equipment, and more. Technology also brings immense capabilities to strategic planning and logistical operations through the power of data management and is another aspect of Force Protection Agency operation that sets us apart from the competition. Q: What additional technology tools would be helpful in your work (i.e., a “technology wish list”)? Stuart: The rapidly growing and evolving realm of social media is a massive digital battlefield littered with current and potential future threats and adversaries. Most mass shooters as of late have left a trail of disturbing posts and comments across social media platforms and chat rooms that telegraphed their disturbing mindset and future attacks. A tool that could manage an intelligent search for such threats and generate additional intel through a continuous scan of all available relevant data from social media sources would be extremely useful and could potentially save many lives. Q: Anything you wish to add? Stuart: Delivering consistent excellence in protection and security is both a vital need and a tremendous responsibility. Force Protection Agency is proud of their unwavering commitment to “Defend, Enforce, Assist” and stands ready to secure and satisfy each and every client, and to preserve the life and liberty of our nation and the world.
The UK Government has been working to reduce the risks associated with illegal drone use since a high-profile incident at UK’s Gatwick Airport in December 2018, when a drone sighting triggered a three-day shutdown of the UK’s second busiest airport, disrupting the travel plans of 140,000 people and affecting 1,000 flights. To address growing security threats by drones, the UK Government has released its ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’. ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’ This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring" “This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring,” says Brandon Lewis, the U.K. Minister of State for Security. “It will provide the security the public and drone users require to continue to enjoy the benefits of leisure and commercial drone use and facilitate the growth of the drone industry.” “Given the challenge posed by rapid advances in drone technology and the potential threat, the strategy will provide overarching direction to our efforts,” says Lewis. The strategy focuses on ‘small drones’, those weighing less than 20 kg (44 pounds). Countering malicious use of aerial drones The UK Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy centers on mitigating the highest-harm domestic risks resulting from malicious use of aerial drones. They are: Facilitating terrorist attacks, such as modifying commercially-available drones to conduct reconnaissance or attacks. Facilitating crime, especially in prisons, where drones are currently used to deliver contraband. Disrupting critical national infrastructure, such as airports, where a malicious incursion using a drone can have serious safety, security and economic consequences. Potential use by hostile state actors. Maximizing benefits of drone technology The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards Over the next three years, the strategy will seek to reduce the risks posed by the highest-harm use of drones while maximizing the benefits of drone technology. It will develop a comprehensive understanding of evolving risks and take a “full spectrum” approach to deter, detect and disrupt the misuse of drones. The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards. Further, promoting access to counter-drone capabilities and effective legislation, training and guidance will empower the police and other operational responders. Tactical response to drone-based threats Because technology is rapidly evolving, the response needs to keep pace, according to the strategy document. Lewis adds, “We will therefore work to understand how drone-based threats might evolve in the future, both at the tactical and strategic levels.” The strategy will be to build an end-to-end approach to tackling the highest-harm criminal use of drones. It will also work to make it easier to identify malicious drone use against a backdrop of increased legitimate use. Legal drone operators will be required to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and to pass an online competency test before flying a drone. Retailers who follow a specific set of safety guidelines when selling drones will be designated ‘DroneSafe’. Unmanned traffic management system The government is working toward future implementation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system, which provides a means of preventing collisions between unmanned aircraft and other manned or unmanned aircraft. The current strategy includes early planning for the system. An Industry Action Group will ensure a continuing relationship with the drone industry and help to improve existing counter-drone measures and identify new opportunities, such as use of ‘Geo-Fencing’ to restrict drones from flying in certain areas. Regulating commercial and domestic drones The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace The strategy will seek to communicate the UK’s security requirements to the counter-drone industry and to encourage a thriving sector that is aware of, and responsive to, the needs of government. Regulating drones is the responsibility of two UK government departments. The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace, while the Home Office has overall responsibility for domestic counter-drone activity. Fast-evolving drone and counter-drone technology Also, the Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has been involved in reducing the vulnerability of sensitive sites, including airports. New performance measures will track the strategy’s success. Due to the fast-evolving nature of drone and counter-drone technology, the intent is to review and, if necessary, refresh the strategy in three years.
ZeroEyes, the only AI-based platform focused solely on weapons detection, has been selected by the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) of Wisconsin to help improve security on its campuses. ZeroEyes proprietary solution ZeroEyes’ proprietary solution will identify visible guns if present and send alerts to school administrators and security personnel within three to five seconds, helping to stop violent threats before they occur. KUSD is the third-largest school district in Wisconsin, with over 21,000 students and 4,200 employees in 23 elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools and five charter schools. Integration with IP security cameras ZeroEyes currently integrates with KUSD’s IP security cameras to help detect visible weapons and serve as a proactive measure to prevent any violent threats on campus. When ZeroEyes positively detects a weapon, the platform sends a notification to school administrators, school resource officers and local 911 dispatch, ensuring the school can enact security protocols and give first responders real-time information to help prevent active shooting tragedies and save lives. Enhancing staff and students’ security “It’s a grim reality that active shootings happen in schools across the country, and we’ve needed to understand and implement the solutions that can keep our students, staff and visitors safe,” said Kevin Christoun, Maintenance, Environmental and Safety Manager at KUSD. Kevin adds, “At KUSD, we have a multi-layered security approach that includes the most effective and innovative technologies and resources, and ZeroEyes’ platform clearly supports our strategy.” Weapons detection solution ZeroEyes proprietary and comprehensive datasets focus exclusively on weapons detection Founded by a group of former Navy SEALs and military veterans, ZeroEyes proprietary and comprehensive datasets focus exclusively on weapons detection, to actively monitor and detect for visible weapons. ZeroEyes also trains and collaborates with customers and local first responders to conduct extensive pilots before its solution is fully implemented. In the future, KUSD plans to roll out additional installations to remaining schools in the district. Effectively countering active shooting incidents “ZeroEyes was founded upon the realization that a proactive solution was needed to help keep people safe, with real-time information to adequately address violent threats and prevent mass shooting tragedies,” said Dustin Brooks, Vice President of Education at ZeroEyes. Dustin adds, “KUSD focuses on providing a safe and productive learning environment to its students and faculty, and we’re honored to provide a 24/7 solution that supports their goals.”
Slovakian integrator RYS, recently deployed a system that provides a textbook example of how RFID access control can concretely improve people’s lives every day. Before automatic access control was introduced there, a Bratislava apartment building, known as ‘The Pentagon’, had suffered a reputation as a place to avoid. Drug dealers, vandals, and a similar criminal element were a chronic presence, leaving residents constantly feeling unsafe in their own homes. Idesco customer RYS was contracted to design and deploy an RFID access control system to better guarantee safety and enhance the residents quality of life. Access control readers The system even restricts access to the building’s waste bins, ensuring their use only by its RFID tag-holding residents With over 30 years specialized experience in residential building access control, Rys designed a solution and chose Idesco to supply the over 100 readers to be deployed. Today, those 7 C 2.0 and 8 CD 2.0 readers control both first floor access and section/hallway entrances on each floor. Elevator readers restrict residents’ access to their own floors. The system even restricts access to the building’s waste bins, ensuring their used only by its RFID tag-holding residents. Simultaneously, the entire system collects real time data about access events, including unclosed doors or unauthorized access attempts, to help strengthen prevention and control. Due to the building’s history of vandalism, Rys recognized the importance of choosing readers capable of withstanding malicious impacts, not merely high IP67 protection from moisture, dust and dirt, but Idesco’s high, IK-09/10 impact durability (10-20 joules). Better tampering protection Marcela Benuskova, RYS assistant project manager, comments that Idesco’s optical tamper proved better than many other readers whose manufacturers rely on mechanical tampers. Whereas alarms should be sent whenever a reader is intentionally mishandled, mechanical tampers trigger false alarms more often than those cued optically. Marcela continues, “Idesco’s team is so nice to work with; they always respond fast, with a friendly, professional and positive attitude. Any technical question or problem gets looked at, given proper thought and action. They have always been open to, and repeatedly implemented, product changes we asked for. For example, they provided a special 8 CD 2.0 Compact reader module for our door phone, and customized orange lenses for our Basic readers. Product deliveries have always been timely and in proper condition. In short, Idesco has been a very reliable supplier for us, with great customer support. Additionally, their high quality, modern readers offer unique features such as RS232 connections, optical tampers, great security, all in addition to their high IK and IP ratings”, maintains Rys’ Marcela Benuskova. Engineering for future needs “They not only use the most modern technology but engineer for future needs. This lets us design new features in our access control systems. Despite their readers’ durability and reliability, they still look fresh and modern while still having the latest security features. This is exactly what we want from readers upon which we will build our systems. Even better, their stable pricing policy and frame order option greatly supports our own planning and product marketing cycles”, Marcela explains. She closes, “The technical solutions Idesco and Rys implemented, combined with the efforts of an excellent crisis management team, triggered almost unbelievable changes inside that apartment building. Our access control not only strengthened crime prevention immediately, but also empowered law enforcement in discouraging unwanted or illegal activity. As that building’s security increased, the market value of individual flats began trending upward. Today, the building’s residents feel more safe; they have actually started thinking positively about their community’s future.”
Gough & Kelly, a provider of security products and services across the north of England, has expanded the use of SmartTask to enhance its patrol monitoring and performance reporting capabilities at a second office in Yorkshire. The company has rolled out the workforce management software to its operation in Leeds, having already achieved significant operational improvements at its York business. “SmartTask has proved to be an invaluable tool across our manned guard, keyholding and alarm response services, especially on our contract with City of York Council, so our aim is to replicate this success at our Leeds operation,” explains Richard Cuff, Senior Operations Manager at Gough & Kelly. “When the roll-out is complete, we will be using the software for a team of 150 static and mobile security officers working across 100s of private and public sector locations. This will enable us to further streamline administrative processes, while enhancing the customer experience.” Simplicity of the software Initially, Gough & Kelly adopted SmartTask following a request from a customer, a boarding school in Yorkshire, for a patrol management system that would provide peace of mind that security activity was taking place. The company previously used a system that was not cloud-based and required the use of heavy and cumbersome data collectors, so they took the decision to explore alternative app-based options. SmartTask was selected because of the simplicity of the software and the breadth of information it provides. The use of the software has since been expanded to cover the entire York operation, providing an essential tool to its main contract with City of York Council. In 2018, Gough & Kelly secured a 10-year extension for the provision of security services covering almost 100 Council sites, made up of a diverse range of locations including offices, commercial buildings, libraries, hostels, museums, recycling centers and vacant properties. SmartTask was an important part of the retender process due to its responsive, evidence-based and KPI reporting functionality. Electronic incident report An electronic incident report can be submitted with additional details of identified damage and photo evidenceUsing a SmartTask-enabled smartphone, static security officers scan a tag at the start and end of each patrol to capture the length and time, while an electronic incident report can be submitted with additional details of identified damage and photo evidence. Meanwhile, mobile supervisors, responsible for alarm response and keyholding services, scan a tag to confirm proof of attendance. This creates a GPS location and timestamp, so Gough & Kelly can monitor response times and ensure they are meeting customer KPIs. Weekly and monthly reports Typically, Gough & Kelly is measured on completion of tasks, attendance and response times, so SmartTask generates weekly and monthly reports that are tailored to individual customer requirements. Incident reports are also supplied by 10 am the next-day, having previously been issued next-day by close of business, representing an improvement of up to eight hours. In addition, the centralized reporting system via SmartTask enables the company to compare performance levels at different sites, identifying operational trends and areas of improvement. Single software platform “SmartTask has certainly made our lives easier because of all the key information that is available within a single software platform. Not only does it give us added visibility and control centrally, but also simplifies operational processes for our remote workforce, removing previous paper-based systems. It has also allowed us to enhance our staff welfare checks, providing an added layer of protection and an effective way of addressing issues,” concludes Cuff. Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask commented: “We have developed a highly advanced, configurable and easy-to-use guard management, monitoring and reporting solution that puts our customers in complete control. The software can be tailored to meet individual requirements and achieve a host of efficiency, performance and compliance benefits, generating proven value and creating a point of differentiation.”
Genetec Inc., a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced that City Council District E in New Orleans has taken an innovative approach to address illegal dumping using Security Center, the unified security platform from Genetec. Countering illegal dumping menace Illegal dumping is a problem in most cities around the world, but enforcing laws to prevent it can be quite difficult and resource-intensive. To catch culprits in the act, law enforcement and other city staff have to physically watch known sites and wait to spot illegal dumping activity. Most city officials know that's an impossible task, as officers can't be everywhere all the time, and offenders take full advantage of that reality. New Orleans’ RTCC and Sanitation Department has begun installing a network of cameras at known dumping sites In response, New Orleans City Council District E Councilwoman, Cyndi Nguyen, has taken a hands-on approach tackling illegal dumping head-on as a part of a larger push toward revitalising the community she serves. Nguyen’s team, working in partnership with New Orleans’ Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) and Sanitation Department has begun installing a network of cameras at known dumping sites. All cameras are portable so they can be moved to new dumping hotspots as needed. Genetec security technology platform deployed “This security technology from Genetec certainly helps re-enforce the message I’m putting out there, that we can and will enforce illegal dumping offenses in District E. We also have this great partnership with the Sanitation Department, our local Police Department, and the RTCC, and that’s extending out into our community as well,” said New Orleans City Councilwoman, Cyndi Nguyen. She adds, “I am working hard to get more residents and businesses involved in supporting these initiatives, because keeping our city safe and clean is a shared responsibility.” Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) The Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) already uses Security Center to manage its citywide public safety improvement initiatives. To help monitor illegal dumping activities, the Crime Center’s IT department also set up an event-to-action rule in the Security Center platform to processes motion detection in a defined zone of the camera’s field of view. As soon as motion is detected, the security system bookmarks it and notifies IT staff As soon as motion is detected, the security system bookmarks it and notifies IT staff so that they can evaluate the situation and determine if collection of the debris is warranted. The system also takes a snapshot of the video and emails it to designated personnel on the team, so as to enable them to identify and investigate any potential dumping perpetrators, and take appropriate action. Crime detection with video evidence In an example of a recent case, this event-to-action led to the arrest of a repeat offender who had previously been convicted and sentenced for dumping 14,000 tires. All snapshots and video evidence were securely shared with the New Orleans Police Department so as to enable them to quickly identify the perpetrator, apprehend him and complete their investigation. “Without this technology, finding these offenders comes down to chance or it could take a police officer hours and hours of investigative work. Instead, it took us minutes to set up the event-to-action in Security Center, and just about two days from the time we were notified about this offender to the time we were able to apprehend him,” said Bill Wood, IT Supervisor at New Orleans’ Real Time Crime Center (RTCC). Bill adds, “We love working with the Genetec Security Center security platform. It’s very user friendly and helps us cut down that investigation time exponentially.”
Verkada, the provider in cloud-managed enterprise building security, announced the release of its environmental sensor product line and its initial product, the SV11. The announcement comes on the heels of Verkada’s recent Series C funding and successful launch of its access control line, further establishing the company as the provider of the operating system for modern, integrated buildings. Monitoring “Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.” The SV11 is a simple-to-deploy, powerful sensing device that provides enhanced visibility into what is happening in a physical space. The cloud-managed device seamlessly integrates with Verkada’s enterprise video security solution, allowing organizations to review context and quickly associate sensor events with relevant video footage. Real-time insights and proactive alerts The interface delivers real-time insights and makes it easy to respond to proactive alerts or conduct investigations into past incidents. Customers across a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and hospitality, have already deployed the SV11 to monitor: Air quality: Protect one's environment from invisible threats like gas and chemical leaks, or detect illicit activities like vaping and smoking. Temperature and humidity: Monitor changes in temperature and humidity that may damage expensive infrastructure, materials, or food and medical supplies. Motion and occupancy: Detect motion or occupancy in bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private areas where cameras are not appropriate. Noise levels: Detect activity or disturbances without violating privacy. Receive and manage alert notifications remotely “The ability to deploy Verkada's sensor in our network closets has provided us with complete visibility into what’s happening in those rooms,” said Rick Palandro, Security and Facilities Operations Engineer at Fox Rothschild LLP. “With Verkada, I'm now able to receive and manage alert notifications remotely the moment temperature rises above a specific threshold. I can instantly mobilize the team to respond to HVAC issues. We’ve shifted from a reactive approach that often resulted in damaged equipment to a proactive one that ensures our equipment is always operating properly.” Monitoring preventative and predictive maintenance Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing" “Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing that helps us stay ahead of the curve on environmental improvements across our plant facility,” said Frank McKinney, COO and Plant Manager of Carolina Ingredients. “By pinpointing where we can set up both preventative and predictive maintenance, we can closely monitor and optimize air quality, efficiency of our HVAC units, and behaviors in the plant, which enables us to more effectively manage the business and deliver quality ingredients and superior blending services that support our customers.” Integration with video monitoring solution "We installed the environmental sensor across campuses in areas like bathrooms that are difficult to properly monitor and are therefore likely places for inappropriate activity such as vaping," said Marty Oliver, Director of Technology at Godley Independent School District. "Paired with Verkada's video monitoring solution, the SV11 provides a new level of visibility into what's happening in those spaces without infringing on students' privacy, giving principals, superintendents, and office administrators a more holistic understanding of student activity in school." Environmental sensor The introduction of the environmental sensor follows accelerated business growth in Q2 2020, highlighted by: Sixty-five percent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth (compared to Q1 2020), including new deployments with Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Rubrik, NextGen America International expansion with new Sales operations in Sydney and Latin America and deployments with Heinemann Australia, Lifeview Residential Care, and Transportes Canales A projection to double headcount by year-end 2020 (compared to year-end 2019) Expansion of its global channel partner program to more than 1,500 resellers The launch of its Access Control solution, which oversold in the first quarter of general availability and surpassed projected sales by more than 400 percent The release of the Bullet Series of hybrid cloud cameras as well as new features as part of a COVID-19 Response Suite, including People Heatmaps, Person of Interest Notifications, and Crowd Notifications Smart buildings The launch of the SV11 is the next step towards Verkada delivering on its vision to power the modern, integrated building. With security cameras at its core, Verkada is expanding its product offering with new applications such as access control and sensors to deliver the infrastructure that runs safer, smarter buildings.
Monitoring campuses to protect students, parents, and staff means balancing proactive measures with effective response to incidents. Ava Unified Security (previously Vaion) helps one identify unwanted events like vandalism, intrusion, loitering, parking violations, or people involved in suspicious acts so that one can focus on what truly matters: delivering positive academic experiences. Anomaly detection in real-time Powered by Spotlight™, the dynamic video view with instant notifications draws attention to the relevant video feeds with potential risks. Identify intruder break-ins, loitering, guns, or unauthorized vehicles in real-time. Operators can switch between live and playback with the click of a button. Smart Presence™ depicts people as dots on maps and live footage of persons of interest. Combine with access control to monitor hallways for a complete picture of loitering, theft, or even active shooter scenarios. Gain insights on occupancy counting in classrooms and libraries for better energy efficiency. Accurate search and integrated audio analytics Smart Search™ allows operators to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image Smart Search™ allows operators to search by appearance, events, objects, similarity, or image. Recovering lost or stolen objects, such as laptops or vehicles, identifying suspicious people inside or just outside campus, locating missing students now take minutes instead of hours. With the same or fewer resources, operators can provide compelling evidence and mitigate liability risks. Ava Dome and Ava 360 perform perform exceptionally well either indoors or outdoors and in any lighting conditions making them suitable for different settings, such as classrooms, assembly halls, sports halls, or dormitories, and blend discreetly as interior fixtures. The integrated audio analytics identifies sound patterns and sends instant alerts in cases of broken glass, screaming, and gunshots. Key benefits Build from existing investment while retaining privacy Integrate with existing cameras Add access control to extend capabilities Video & metadata storage remain on-premises Full site survivability and local access Save storage and money Automatically decrease storage demands from all the recordings Reduce bandwidth consumption on critical links with AI-based optimization Pay for what one needs, when one needs it, without the hassle of complicated licensing Safe and welcoming environment Capture every detail at all times with discreet security cameras Increase situational awareness Enable preventative action through immediate response time Collaboration and flexible licencing Globally access live feeds and recordings Share video links with law enforcement authorities to facilitate ease of investigations Maintain the integrity of records with video watermarking With a simple licensing model, Ava always includes services and software upgrades. One no longer has to worry about integration charges, operator charges, API fees, or the complexity between small, medium, large, and enterprise services.
Round table discussion
School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?
We are all more aware than ever of the need for cybersecurity. The Internet of Things is a scary place when you think about all the potential for various cyber-attacks that can disrupt system operation and negatively impact a customer’s business. Because most physical security systems today are IP-based, the two formerly separate disciplines are more intertwined than ever. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can cybersecurity challenges impact the physical security of a company (and vice versa)?
Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems?