Core to Cloud, an innovative cybersecurity solutions provider that enables secure digital business in a world of growing threats, announced the recent appointment of Phil Howe as Chief Technology Officer. Phil Howe joined the business to drive forward several new technology initiatives, working closely with customers to ensure that their needs are met, but more importantly that they stay one step ahead of the cyber-criminals. Particularly in the current post-pandemic environment, where there ha...
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions announces an update to its camera registry module for Genetec clearance™ (clearance) a digital evidence management system that facilitates collaboration between public safety agencies, corporate security departments, businesses, and the public. Video evidence is an invaluable tool to help investigators review events, assist the public, and solve crimes. However, the meth...
Actuate, the globally renowned provider of automation and intelligence software for smart security camera systems, has announced that it has closed its Series A financing of US$ 8 million to expand the capabilities of its computer vision technology and build on the company’s growing portfolio of customers. The funding round was led by Tribeca Venture Partners and joined by Scribble Ventures, OCA Ventures, and Context Ventures, with additional support from existing investors, including Bli...
In the past, security managers were primarily concerned with global terrorism. That has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the health of passengers at airports. Even if the number of passengers remains at a low level in many airports, surveillance won’t become any less complex. In fact, the opposite is true. Hygiene regulations raise new requirements for passenger processing and control. Reason enough for security managers to rethink airport security methods and evaluate how s...
ComplyAdvantage, a data technology company transforming financial crime detection announced a new early-stage anti-money laundering (AML) program aimed at growth-focused startups called ComplyLaunch™. The program provides qualified startups with free access to the company’s award-winning AML and Know Your Customer (KYC) tools and resources needed to uncover and reduce the threat of money-laundering activities so they can onboard new customers with lower risk and greater trust. ...
Hanwha Techwin, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, has announced the immediate availability of a new range of easy to install and affordable Public View Monitors (PVMs) designed to help retailers deter crime. Wisenet PVMs The new Wisenet PVMs offer a complete built-in SSL-connected 2-megapixel camera, eliminating the need for system integrators to install and connect a separate supporting camera. With a choice of 10”, 27”, and 32” (inches) monito...
Just like other industries around the globe, the patience of parking operations management has been tested, as the usage of parking facilities in urban and suburban settings fluctuated widely over the past year, due to local health and safety, and occupancy restrictions. As the overall industry looks to spring back from the COVID-19 levels, it is also simultaneously looking to transition from traditional analog and on-premise managed operations to solutions that digitize parking operations and provide a more contactless experience. Digitization of parking management Investments in digital tools, such as platforms that employ computer vision technologies are one solution helping to speed up this digitalization through better management of parking lot occupancy levels, eliminating paper ticketing systems, parking barriers and other traditional physical elements of commercial parking. One area in particular that is gaining steam is the deployment of smart cameras, which can perform functions from license plate recognition (LPR) to traffic flow detection, and speed as well as a host of other utilities. These capabilities are particularly useful in surface lots and parking structures in environments, such as airports and sporting venues, to large retail or corporate parking areas. Migration to sophisticated technologies Peter Park has helped many parking operations begin to migrate to more sophisticated technologies Munich-based Peter Park, a software developer of parking management solutions, has helped many parking operations begin to migrate to more sophisticated technologies, by connecting different digital services, such as payment apps, e-charging systems, and navigation providers to further increase the security and automation. The company operates in more than 50 different sites throughout Germany and logs more than 25,000 transactions every day. Peter Park’s cloud-based offering is based on the use of automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR), which often requires specialized license plate recognition cameras to identify a specific vehicle, detect the duration of stay, and integrate with online payment systems for a fully digital parking experience. Smart cameras with intelligent onboard analysis Instead of LPR cameras, the company is using new smart cameras with powerful microprocessors to fuel intelligent onboard analysis, via multiple video analytics applications on the camera. Based on an open IoT platform from Security & Safety Things GmbH, these cameras can be equipped and flexibly re-equipped with a variety of applications, including license plate recognition, analytics to detect the presence of smoke, fire, ice, and spills or other hazards within the parking environment, and other ready to install applications that fit the most pressing needs of parking management. “We cannot only use the best application for the computer vision task, but we can also pick and combine the best camera types of different suppliers for each setup, taking full use of the broad spectrum of different camera features such as zoom control, as an example,” said Maximilian Schlereth, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of Peter Park. Smart vehicle routing Cameras outfitted with parking management apps can help to direct traffic flow The reduction or elimination of parking gates and ticketing machines can have positive impacts on staffing levels within parking management and drastically reduce hardware purchase, and maintenance costs of the parking gates and ticketing devices. Additionally, cameras outfitted with parking management apps can help to direct traffic flow, by analyzing the que of vehicles waiting to enter the facility and pairing them to available spaces or recognizing when a particular parking area is full. They can also assist in controlling the flow of traffic at peak times, in order to prevent jams and long waits at exits or identify the vehicles of VIPs or season ticket holders at an event venue and route them accordingly, to the appropriate parking lot. Parking lot monitoring and incident detection Smart cameras can also help to manage people, providing valuable security and visitor management functions. Crowd detection analytics can detect the formation of a crowd in the stadium parking lot, before it escalates into a post-game brawl and people counting analytics can detect the number of occupants within each vehicle entering a parking area, to better determine anticipated attendance of an event or daily occupancy level of a corporate office location. Analytics can also detect individuals holding weapons and selectively transmit related imagery to help remote operators or on-site security personnel assess and address the situation.
The first inter airport CONNECT event, taking place online from 20 – 21 April 2021, provides a much anticipated trade and networking event for the global airport community, which has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. inter airport CONNECT inter airport CONNECT is a two-day online trading, networking and webinar event for airport professionals. Visitors can virtually meet relevant exhibitors, browse informative product presentations and follow webinars on current industry trends. Similar to a live event, there are several options for visitors to get in touch with exhibitors, drop their business card at the virtual stand, pre-book meetings with exhibitors or instantly contact exhibitors, as they browse the virtual stand. The time duration of the online event, which will take place from April 20 to April 21, 2021, is from 8 am to 4 pm GMT. Visitors can participate for free and the platform is open for registration and pre-booking of meetings. Virtual meetings with exhibitors The inter airport CONNECT match-making functionality is now available to arrange pre-booked meetings In current times of travel restrictions, staying in touch with customers and suppliers is key, to stay up-to-date with latest trends and to discuss upcoming development projects. The inter airport CONNECT match-making functionality is now available to arrange pre-booked meetings, with all meetings taking place from 20 – 21 April live, on the inter airport CONNECT platform. Arranging for a meeting is very easy and intuitive, with no third-party software required. Visitors simply need to login, fill in their profile with their interests and they can start searching for exhibitors to send out meeting invites. Webinar program with airport industry experts The online event will feature a daily program of webinars by industry experts that will provide an opportunity to gain useful insights into the latest market developments, as well as technical expertise concerning new industry applications and solutions. Key players from the industry, as well as trade bodies, will provide exclusive insights into latest technologies and case studies on subjects, such as the Smart Airport, sustainability and many more. The conference language is English. The webinar program consists of two days filled with sessions, covering a vast variety of topics and speakers from key leaders in the industry. The two-day webinar schedule includes: On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 09:30 - 10:00 - GATE InnoAirport – the first real-life platform for the airport industry – GATE e.V. and Sittig Technologies GmbH. 10:20 - 10:50 - Despite drop in demand, innovative solutions abound for a smarter airport – Proavia – French Pavilion. 11:10 - 12:10 - British Aviation Group: Innovation in Sustainable Airports – British Aviation Group, Mott MacDonald, Egis, Wood Group UK Ltd, Grimshaw Architects, and Logika Consultants. 12:30 - 13:00 - The Italian way to excellence in the airport industry – Air Tech Italy and One Works, OCEM Airfield Technology, as well as SITTI. 13:10 - 13:22 - Airport Market Intelligence for a New Reality - Momberger Airport Information. 13:30 - 14:00 - Electrification of Ground Support Equipment with Plug & Play Battery Solutions from Webasto - Goldhofer AG and Webasto Thermo & Comfort SE. 14:30 - 15:00 - Zero-Emission Refueling Vehicle Technologies – A Greener Recovery – Titan Aviation. On Wednesday, April 21, 2021 09:00 - 09:40 - Recovery through Revolution - Mott MacDonald. 10:00 - 10:30 - Simultaneous Development of 14 Airports in Greece - FRAPORT Greece. 11:00 - 11:30 - Green, Smart, Safe, and Efficient Airports - An ambitious and challenging path towards a sustainable aviation system - Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML). 12:00 - 13:00 - Connected Airport – How ‘digital twins’ can optimize asset operation – GATE e.V., Loclab Consulting, Esri Deutschland GmbH, and T-Systems International GmbH. 13:30 - 14:00 - GATE - idea givers for global air travel - BEUMER Group/GATE e.V., Airsiders GmbH. 14:15 - 14:26 - Protect Precious Fuels for Safer Aircraft - Parker Hannifin EMEA Sàrl. 14:30 - 15:00 - Check-in with Ammeraal Beltech & Megadyne – Ammeraal Beltech.
EUSAS recently organized a successful online European Conference on the topic ‘Artificial intelligence in fire detection and security – without the hype’. It showed once again the importance of technological development for an industry that endeavored to protect lives with particular relevance to the fire and security industry. The conference opened with a discussion on what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is. The general concepts as well as the history and starting blocks of AI were discussed. Also, the current application fields for AI in Smart Living, as well as important requirements for the realization of intelligent Smart Living services, were presented. Focal point for the fire industry were the presentations during the session on the benefits and opportunities of AI for fire detection and security. Artificial Intelligence and Fire Safety In his presentation, Guillermo Rein of the Imperial College London presented an innovative fire protection system that combines building sensors, computer modeling, and artificial intelligence (AI). It is called The Fire Navigator and aims to forecast the movement of a fire inside a large building, providing the fire brigades with essential information about flames and smoke ahead of time. It bridges the gap between fire safety and Building Information Modeling by making use of the data already produced by high-rise building sensors such as smoke and heat sensors. A fast and simple cellular automata model assimilates sensor data, and via inverse modeling and genetic algorithm techniques, it uncovers the ignition location, time, flame spread rate and smoke velocity. A test case with synthetic data was shown for a real iconic building in London. The Fire Navigator concept would be specially suited for the protection of higher-risk buildings like high-rise and hospital, or key infrastructure like tunnels and power plants. Sensor technology Paul van der Zanden, General Director of Euralarm, elaborated on the connection between AI and the fire industry. He took a holistic approach by defining AI as ‘’Technology used to add value and/or improve the outcome of an existing or new process/system’’. The fire industry has a wide scope and covers many aspects. Within Euralarm fire safety is seen as an ecosystem and therefore fire safety should be part of the development process. The question is if one can use other future spin-off developments from the AI world for the fire safety world Assuming that everything is done in the design to prevent a fire from starting there still is a chance that a fire incident will happen. A key factor that defines the impact of this incident is time. Timely detection and sensitivity for unnecessary alarms have a relation with each other. Both factors can be improved by using new technologies including AI technologies. The question is if one can use other future spin-off developments from the AI world for the fire safety world. The introduction of new sensor technologies available could be one of these spin-offs. With an example from AI sensor technology development, Paul van der Zanden showed how future fire detection can be brought to the next level. AI-related vulnerabilities In his presentation, Ibrahim Daoudi of CNPP presented the vulnerabilities related to the use of artificial intelligence on security/safety products. There are mainly 3 categories of vulnerabilities. The first category consists of adversarial attacks where the aim is to generate data sufficiently modified to mislead the model. The second category concerns physical attacks. It is in fact based on adversarial attacks but applied to real objects. The third category is the traditional attacks on information systems leading to the poisoning of the model itself or its training data. All three the vulnerability categories were discussed and explained. Temporal Deep Learning A new way to detect and localize smoke within such sequences was presented, called cell-wise classification Utilizing temporal information is crucial to detect smoke in video sequences. In his presentation, Andreas Wellhausen of Bosch Sicherheitssysteme GmbH presented the work on temporal approaches based on Deep Learning that are applied to Video Smoke Detection. Two methods were elaborated. Firstly, a combination of convolutional neural networks (CNN) and long-short-term-memory networks (LSTM), secondly the inflated 3D architecture (i3D), which consists of 3D convolutions. These are two state-of-the-art approaches to extract spatial and temporal information out of video sequences. A new way to detect and localize smoke within such sequences was presented, called cell-wise classification. Furthermore, the advantage of temporal approaches over CNN methods, which are commonly used for detection problems in Computer Vision, was shown. Training AI on synthetic data Philip Dietrich of Bosch Sicherheitssysteme analyzed the idea of using synthetic data to train Deep Learning Systems for Video-Based Smoke Detection algorithms. Compared to real data, gathering a large-scale database is significantly easier for synthetic data. It was shown how Deep Learning networks can be trained on synthetic videos. The results were compared with real data. Experimental results support the hypothesis, that domain adaptation improves the generalization of real data As a means of bridging the domain gap between real and synthetic data, the concept of domain adaptation will be introduced. By forcing networks to extract similar features from real and synthetic data respectively, potential artifacts in synthetic data may not be learned by the network. Experimental results support the hypothesis, that domain adaptation improves the generalization of real data. Legislation and outlook While the rapid adoption of AI creates exciting new opportunities for industry and individuals alike, it also poses an important question: does current laws apply to AI? Tadas Tumėnas of Orgalim discussed if and how this new technology should be regulated. He outlined the state of play of AI in Europe. He focused on the definition of AI which should be the essence of the EU legislative framework and presented the Commission’s work related to AI. In the last presentation Lance Rütimann, chair of the Fire Section of Euralarm, said that if the fire safety industry does not take on the task of working with legislators, regulators, and standardization bodies in defining the aforementioned regulatory landscape, then someone else will. This is because the use of Artificial Intelligence to protect lives and assets makes good sense. Understandably, the path ahead is not clear, and there are many, many questions. The fact that the results of the work of the fire safety industry makes the world a safer place for millions of people is the best motivation to set the focus on a new horizon.
BCD International, the global video data infrastructure manufacturer comprised of BCDVideo, Video Storage Solutions (VSS), and BCDOEM, announced its Harmonize iDRAC plug-in integration with Milestone Systems XProtect® video management software (VMS). iDRAC, which stands for Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller, is a health monitoring agent for secure remote and local server management, powered by Dell Technologies, that resides on BCD servers and appliances. BCD has taken the iDRAC service and tightly integrated it with XProtect® so that hardware events, notifications and alarms are now presented within the VMS. Now, end-users and system integrators can monitor iDRAC features, such as hard disk status, temperatures, fan speed and power supplies, through XProtect®. BCDVideo and VSS appliances will be available with the Harmonize iDRAC plug-in with XProtect® beginning May 2021. BCD Harmonize iDRAC API Continuing to expand its technological prowess from its foundation in 1999 as a provider of high-availability IT servers to Fortune 500 companies to the pioneering provider of purpose-built video appliances in the surveillance security market, BCD remains committed to delivering the best user experience and value to its customer base. BCD achieves this by adding integrations that are available only through BCD’s purpose-built appliances, as standard features on all of its related appliances. The Harmonize iDRAC plug-in for XProtect® is just one of the notable offerings under BCD’s Harmonize portfolio of software solutions. How the integration works is BCD’s Harmonize software suite ingests the iDRAC API and listens for specific events, such as drive failure, and shares this critical system information in real-time to operators. The integration ultimately empowers end-users and system integrators to be ahead of failures and proactively manage any server crashes that may happen. It also gives them insight as to how well or poor the server resources are being utilized by being able to monitor central processing unit (CPU) and random access memory (RAM) consumption. Milestone’s XProtect This has been the missing link for the complete visibility of the health of the Milestone solution" “The BCD Harmonize iDRAC plug-in with Milestone’s XProtect® software is a game changer,” said Andrew Hubble, Managing Director, APAC at BCD International. “BCD’s unique innovation completes the integrated relationship of the BCD appliance and the XProtect® software to provide the ability to receive alarms from both BCD’s appliance and Milestone’s software via the XProtect® graphic user interface.” “This has been the missing link for the complete visibility of the health of the Milestone solution. Additionally, the Harmonize iDRAC plug-in now gives users basic configuration of the BCD appliance along with Milestone’s software, providing better return on investment, competitiveness, and user experience for customers and their supporting system integrators.” As video is mission critical, there has been strong demand for remote server management and health monitoring technologies from a single application across the industry. Any issue that arises from the video surveillance platform should be handled with the same importance as a camera tamper event, a door forced the issue in an access control system, or complex analytics setting. Those events are immediately pushed to an operator. With the Harmonize iDRAC plug-in, operators using XProtect® will now be able to immediately see and respond to storage issues before failure or other catastrophic events occur via the same screen as they are live viewing the site.
Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a pioneering provider of cyber security solutions globally, has published its latest Global Threat Index for March 2021. Researchers report that the IcedID banking trojan has entered the Index for the first time, taking second place, while the established Dridex trojan was the most prevalent malware during March, up from seventh in February. First seen in 2017, IcedID has been spreading rapidly in March via several spam campaigns, affecting 11% of organizations globally. One widespread campaign used a COVID-19 theme to entice new victims into opening malicious email attachments; the majority of these attachments are Microsoft Word documents with a malicious macro used to insert an installer for IcedID. Once installed, the trojan then attempts to steal account details, payment credentials, and other sensitive information from users’ PCs. IcedID also uses other malware to proliferate and has been used as the initial infection stage in ransomware operations. Evasive trojan “IcedID has been around for a few years now but has recently been used widely, showing that cyber-criminals are continuing to adapt their techniques to exploit organizations, using the pandemic as a guise,” said Maya Horowitz, Director, Threat Intelligence & Research, Products at Check Point. “IcedID is a particularly evasive trojan that uses a range of techniques to steal financial data, so organizations must ensure they have robust security systems in place to prevent their networks being compromised and minimize risks. Comprehensive training for all employees is crucial, so they are equipped with the skills needed to identify the types of malicious emails that spread IcedID and other malware.” CPR also warns that “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-13756)” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 45% of organizations globally, followed by “MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution” which impact 44% of organizations worldwide. “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass (CVE-2018-10561)” is on third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 44%. Top malware families *The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month. Recently, Dridex is the most popular malware with a global impact of 16% of organizations, followed by IcedID and Lokibot affecting 11% and 9% of organizations worldwide respectively. ↑ Dridex - Dridex is a Trojan that targets the Windows platform and is reportedly downloaded via a spam email attachment. Dridex contacts a remote server and sends information about the infected system. It can also download and execute arbitrary modules received from the remote server. ↑ IcedID - IcedID is a banking Trojan spread by email spam campaigns and uses evasive techniques such as process injection and steganography to steal user financial data. ↑ Lokibot - Lokibot is an Info Stealer distributed mainly by phishing emails and is used to steal various data such as email credentials, as well as passwords to CryptoCoin wallets and FTP servers. Top exploited vulnerabilities Currently, “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-13756)” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 45% of organizations globally, followed by “MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution” which impacts 44% of organizations worldwide. “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass (CVE-2018-10561)” is in third place with a global impact of 44%. ↑ 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. ↑ 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) - authentication bypass vulnerability 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. Top mobile malwares Hiddad took first place in the most prevalent mobile malware index, followed by xHelper and FurBall. 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 - A malicious application seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and display ads. The application is capable of hiding itself from the user, and can even reinstall itself after being uninstalled. FurBall - FurBall is an Android MRAT (Mobile Remote Access Trojan) which is deployed by APT-C-50, an Iranian APT group connected to the Iranian government. This malware was used in multiple campaigns dating back to 2017 and is still active today. Among FurBall’s capabilities are; stealing SMS messages and mobile call logs, recording calls and surroundings, collecting media files, tracking locations, and more. 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 3 billion websites and 600 million files daily and identifies more than 250 million malware activities every day.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the agenda and speaker lineup for Part 1 of the 2021 SIA GovSummit, its annual public policy and government security technology conference. SIA GovSummit 2021 will be held as a three-part virtual conference, with sessions held on April 28, June 9 and Sept 21, 2021. SIA GovSummit 2021 Each year, SIA GovSummit brings together government security leaders with private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and local agencies. The 2021 virtual conference will examine emerging policy trends, the government’s technology needs and changes in the risk environment that shape the development of products and advanced systems integration. Government use of security technology SIA GovSummit delivers high-quality insights and information on how government uses security technology" “SIA GovSummit delivers high-quality insights and information on how government uses security technology to meet evolving challenges and succeed across a wide spectrum of missions,” said Jake Parker, Senior Director of Government Relations at SIA. Jake adds, “With this new three-part virtual format in 2021, we look forward to offering the program to a wide spectrum of interested attendees and delving even deeper into the most important issues for federal, state and local government security practitioners.” Full-day virtual conference program Part 1 of the 2021 virtual conference will be held as a full-day program on Wednesday, April 28, kicking off at 10 a.m. EDT, with a keynote presentation from U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Katko will share insights on security challenges and how we can address them as a nation. Additional session topics will include: The American Rescue Plan’s impact on deployment of safety and security technologies What the DOD Cyber security Maturity Model Certification means for contractors and security suppliers The role of the SAFETY Act under the Biden administration Protecting public buildings against violent civil unrest Lessons learned from the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, Tennessee Facility safety, COVID-19 and identity and facility management technologies Audio security technology’s use in government facility applications Speakers for the virtual event include: William Braniff, Director, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Daryle Hernandez, Chief, Interagency Security Committee, Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security David Kelly, Deputy Director, Security Management Group, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Anna Mansueti, Director of Diversity and Gender Equity, Platinum East Gabriel Russell, Regional Director, Federal Protective Service Free event for all government staff This event is free for all government employees, including U.S. and international federal, state, county and municipal-level staff, plus all military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. SIA GovSummit is considered a ‘widely attended gathering’ and complies with all relevant event guidelines. Each industry attendee can choose to register for the April 28 session only or purchase an All Access Pass to unlock all three GovSummit events for a discounted rate.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyze more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analyzed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analyzing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as license plate reading, behavioral analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fiber-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
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.
Growth is accelerating in the smart cities market, which will quadruple in the next four years based on 2020 numbers. Top priorities are resilient energy and infrastructure projects, followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. Innovation in smart cities will come from the continual maturation of relevant technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) and edge-to-cloud networking. AI and computer vision (video analytics) are driving challenges in security and safety, in particular, with video management systems (VMSs) capturing video streams and exposing them to various AI analytics. Adoption of disruptive technologies “Cities are entering the critical part of the adoption curve,” said Kasia Hanson, Global Director, Partner Sales, IOT Video, Safe Cities, Intel Corp. “They are beginning to cross the chasm to realize their smart city vision. Cities are taking notice and have new incentives to push harder than before. They are in a better position to innovate.” “Safety and security were already important market drivers responsible for adoption of AI, computer vision and edge computing scenarios,” commented Hanson, in a presentation at the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) 2021. She added: “2020 was an inflection point when technology and the market were ripe for disruption. COVID has accelerated the adoption of disruptive technologies in ways we could not have predicted last year.” Challenges faced by cities Spending in the European Union on public order and safety alone stood at 1.7% of GDP in 2018 Providing wide-ranging services is an expanding need in cities of all sizes. There are currently 33 megacities globally with populations over 10 million. There are also another 4,000 cities with populations over 100,000 inhabitants. Challenges for all cities include improving public health and safety, addressing environmental pressures, enabling mobility, improving quality of life, promoting economic competitiveness, and reducing costs. Spending in the European Union on public order and safety alone stood at 1.7% of GDP in 2018. Other challenges include air quality – 80% of those living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed World Health Organization (WHO) limits. Highlighting mobility concerns is an eye-opening statistic from Los Angeles in 2017: Residents spent an average of 102 hours sitting in traffic. Smart technology “The Smart City of Today can enable rich and diverse use cases,” says Hanson. Examples include AI-enabled traffic signals to help reduce air pollution, and machine learning for public safety such as real-time visualization and emergency response. Public safety use cases include smart and connected outdoor lighting, smart buildings, crime prevention, video wearables for field agents, smart kiosks, and detection of noise level, glass breaks, and gunshots. Smart technology will make indoor spaces safer by controlling access to a building with keyless and touchless entry. In the age of COVID, systems can also detect face mask compliance, screen for fever, and ensure physical distancing. 2020 was an inflection point when technology and the smart cities market were ripe for disruption, Kasia Hanson told the MIPS 2021 audience. Video solutions Video workloads will provide core capabilities as entertainment venues reopen after the pandemic. When audiences attend an event at a city stadium, deep learning and AI capabilities analyze customer behaviors to create new routes, pathways, signage and to optimize cleaning operations. Personalized digital experiences will add to the overall entertainment value. In the public safety arena, video enables core capabilities such as protection of people, assets, and property, emergency response, and real-time visualization, and increased situational awareness. Video also provides intelligent incident management, better operational efficiency, and faster information sharing and collaboration. Smart video strategy Intel and Milestone provide video solutions across many use cases, including safety and security Video at the edge is a key element in end-to-end solutions. Transforming data from various point solutions into insights is complicated, time-consuming, and costly. Cities and public venues are looking for hardware, software, and industry expertise to provide the right mix of performance, capabilities, and cost-effectiveness. Intel’s smart video strategy focuses around its OpenVINO toolkit. OpenVINO, which is short for Open Visual Inference and Neural network Optimization, enables customers to build and deploy high-performing computer vision and deep learning inference applications. Intel and Milestone partnership – Video solutions “Our customers are asking for choice and flexibility at the edge, on-premises and in the cloud,” said Hansen in her presentation at the virtual conference. “They want the choice to integrate with large-scale software packages to speed deployment and ensure consistency over time. They need to be able to scale computer vision. Resolutions are increasing alongside growth in sensor installations themselves. They have to be able to accommodate that volume, no matter what causes it to grow.” As partners, Intel and Milestone provide video solutions across many use cases, including safety and security. In effect, the partnership combines Intel’s portfolio of video, computer vision, inferencing, and AI capabilities with Milestone’s video management software and community of analytics partners. Given its complex needs, the smart cities market is particularly inviting for these technologies.
Many employers faced a need to ramp up hiring of drivers to meet a higher demand for product deliveries and transportation logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the demand for drivers, employers had to make quick hiring decisions while also ensuring products were still being delivered in a timely fashion. Safe work environment Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and contractors. It is therefore important to limit exposing drivers to risk, to put in place proper safety and security protocols, and to clearly outline them in company policies. Whether an employee or contractor, these drivers represent the brand they work for. If they do not adhere to company-mandated safety and security rules, because the business did not make them aware or they intentionally did not comply by acting with malice, this can put the drivers, other employees, customers and the company at risk financially, legally and with regard to their reputation. Adherence to safety protocols Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business" “This need to hire drivers quickly resulted in many businesses lowering their standards and accepting certain risks to meet the increased demand. Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business, potentially leading to harmful events and a damaged brand reputation,” stated Thomas Kopecky, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Ontic Technologies (Ontic), a unified protective intelligence software platform. In the conversation presented below, Kopecky outlines the safety and compliance requirements needed to manage the risks while meeting the demand for drivers. Q: What risks do employers face as they ramp up hiring to meet higher demand for drivers? Thomas Kopecky: There have been instances in which a transportation contractor with multiple violations has simply established the business under a new name but continues to operate dangerously. Hastily hiring such a firm without proper enhanced vetting increases the risk from a safety, as well as a business continuity standpoint. Having to terminate a contract and replace a contractor midway can also have significant financial repercussions. In addition to problems created by executing too quickly, employers are now required both to mitigate their own general liability risks and to manage the perceived risk they may create due to the pandemic. For example, if a delivery driver tests positive for COVID-19, there is the potential they have also exposed customers. Employers must consider contactless delivery or other methods and protocols to mitigate this presumed risk of the pandemic. Q: What are the elements of safety and compliance involved in onboarding new drivers? Thomas Kopecky: When onboarding new drivers, corporations must think about more than clean background checks and adequate infrastructure. Whether employees or contractors, organizations must focus on what other risks the drivers bring with them. As part of this review, an open source scrub should be conducted at the outset to discover the driver’s online activity. Through this exercise, a whole host of questions can be addressed including, for example, whether their morals and values align with those of the company. Are they involved with fringe or radical interest groups? Do their actions conflict with the culture of the organization, and could they have a negative impact? These are all questions that employers should be considering when hiring new drivers or contracting a new company. Q: What tools are available to help companies vet their driver fleets and how can these tools make a difference? Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags Thomas Kopecky: To vet their driver fleets, corporations can use several tools and resources that will strengthen the organization’s overall security. Ideally this is a software platform that brings all this information into one place so vetting, real-time data and concerning activities are not siloed but can be connected in order to assess potential risks and threats. Logically, businesses should consider reviewing Department of Transportation Records, which allow organizations to check whether drivers are licensed and appropriately insured. Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags, such as whether an organization is delinquent or no longer functioning in a given state. Finally, it’s beneficial to review civil records as these can highlight any active or past cases associated with an organization. This includes fraud, bankruptcy, poor business practises, and more. Q: What should be the standard methodology to investigate and collect data on new driver programs? Thomas Kopecky: Corporate culture and company policies impact the level of vetting required (determined by company policy), which varies from business to business. Quite often, most valuable investigative content is associated with an actual fleet company owner and not a recently created business entity so it behooves corporations to research this information first. Then verify the information provided is correct, and whether any other conflicting information exists. As previously noted, employers should review civil and criminal records at the state level and cases at the federal level, as it is often the fleet company or owner involved in litigation that could reflect negatively on a brand. Media coverage and consumer complaints are another critical source for negative mentions that may not always appear in public records. You should also ask if the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this contract or driver; and if they were once a provider and are now re-applying, is it under a new name? If the answer is yes to either question, it will be necessary to check DOT records for adequate licensing or insurance coverage to ensure providers applying under a new name aren’t trying to circumvent the vetting process. Q: What are the privacy concerns, and how can potential employers ensure they do not violate issues of privacy as they vet drivers (and/or other employees)? Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner Thomas Kopecky: Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Employers often dictate their own guidelines and requirements from company to company. Companies must ensure they follow the law and handle data used for vetting driver fleets in a manner compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When utilizing software platforms, those that aggregate public record data in real-time and efficiently to provide actionable insights will be key for protecting corporate driver fleets and businesses overall. Q: How is addressing these issues different in the case of a contracted service versus a company employee? Thomas Kopecky: Addressing these issues will vary from company to company, but it will be important for clients' legal counsel to help interpret the law in the respective state they operate in and make this final determination. This will help shape policy and the employer’s compliance requirements in the area of operation. In some jurisdictions, contractors are vetted and treated like employees who are protected by FCRA. In contrast, there are more broad interpretations of what level of vetting and continuous monitoring can take place on contractors versus employees in other jurisdictions. Q: What is at risk if companies fail to address these issues? Thomas Kopecky: If companies fail to address security issues with managing their driver fleets, they risk major liability, business continuity and brand reputation. Every employee and contractor is in essence an ambassador of the brand, and in many instances, they are the only customer-facing representative for the enterprise. Imagine you are a contractor driving for a major delivery service. If you were to get into an accident and tragically kill someone driving their branded truck, the repercussions of that accident would harm the brand as opposed to the small contracting company by which you are employed. This can have a disastrous impact on the enterprise, both from a reputation and financial standpoint. When proactive steps are not taken to evaluate fleet companies or their owners, this can be viewed as negligence. Consider another example: A brand hires a driver company that has committed fraud while operating under another company’s name. What is the brand’s cost to conduct an initial onboarding assessment of this company versus the cost of investigating an issue, terminating the contract, and dealing with any potential litigation that might follow? The latter is clearly the financial burden. Corporations must proactively address risk associated with their driver fleets to mitigate risk before it occurs. Q: What is the biggest misconception (in the industry and/or the public at large) about employee vetting requirements? Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company Thomas Kopecky: We have passed the days where everything is all about criminal background checks and instant alerts when a driver receives a DUI. We are entering a world where business continuity and resiliency are necessary. Companies are so reliant on contracted services or seasonal employee pools that if that roster of operators were found to be unsuitable, the business itself would not meet the demands of its customers. Before the digital age, people only understood the driver vetting process to be based around a search of felony convictions. Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company from a different vantage point. Employers must begin to think about litigation history, negative media coverage and vocal social platforms, history of poor business practices or fraud, and more. These are factors that need to be considered for a business to mitigate risk and maintain continuity of service in an era where timeliness and instant gratification are highly valued.
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.
Digital Barriers, a globally renowned provider of edge-intelligent surveillance and security technologies, reveals its collaboration with the Future Farms Cymru project, run by North Wales Police. Real-time surveillance solutions Digital Barriers has equipped a farm in North Wales with its real-time surveillance solutions, to demonstrate the role that sophisticated technologies can play in cutting the cost of rural crime, estimated by the National Farmers Union to have reached 54 million pounds in 2019. Rural areas and farmland can be inherently difficult environments to secure. However, Digital Barriers’ scalable and flexible solutions are designed to work in demanding conditions, such as remote and vulnerable locations. AI-based edge analytics Digital Barriers’ video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring Proven and trusted within the military and defense domain, Digital Barriers’ state-of-the-art video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring, thereby protecting people, places, and assets. The first technology being showcased as part of Future Farms Cymru project is a live streaming body worn camera for the enhanced protection of lone workers. If an incident occurs, the wearer can press the urgent assistance button, which transmits video and a live GPS location back to a designated monitoring center, providing immediate response. EdgeVis Shield The second is EdgeVis Shield, a combination of easy-to-deploy ground sensors that can be used to secure vast perimeters, including farmland containing high value assets. The autonomous system automatically detects when irregular behavior occurs around a perimeter, sending alerts and live video, if a trespasser or vehicle approaches. PC Dewi Evans of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team commented on the announcement, “In recent years, we are increasingly seeing rural communities and businesses being targeted by criminals. Therefore, it is vital that rural businesses employ the right security methods to protect their assets. Criminals need to know that the farm they’re targeting could be equipped with this cutting-edge technology and they will be almost certainly caught.” Countering rise in rural crime Neil Hendry, Vice President EMEA at Digital Barriers, said, “I am happy that our technology is being used on the front line in the fight against rural crime. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected businesses of all shapes and sizes, with farmers struggling to protect themselves against criminal activity.” Neil Hendry adds, “Future Farms Cymru is an important initiative, and we are delighted to be able help shape and support the future food and farming policy, with our robust video surveillance technology.”
ClanTect and ePm have signed a partnership agreement for the sale and servicing of ClanTect’s next generation Motion Detection systems (also referred to as ‘heartbeat’ detection systems) for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Detecting humans in vehicles ClanTect’s systems are used to detect the hidden presence of people inside vehicles and are deployed within a wide range of organizations in the Border Security, Prisons and Critical Infrastructure markets. Customers include globally renowned organizations, such as the UK Border Force and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Her Majesty’s Prison Service in the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands of clandestine operatives and fugitives are detected by ClanTect each year, with hundreds of lives being saved. Ultra-sensitive sensors Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle ClanTect’s systems are based on sound and vibration technology. Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle. The system is extremely fast (approx. 60 seconds for a vehicle search), it is very easy to use, the search process is fully automated, and, unlike X-Ray and some other technologies, it is completely safe for both the operator and for the stowaway. ClanTect’s system is extremely accurate. It utilizes a unique ‘blocking’ capability, which eliminates any nearby surrounding noise from outside of the vehicle. Compact 2nd generation systems With the launch of their 2nd generation systems, ClanTect provides smaller and more compact devices, which are now fully wireless, thereby making them easy to deploy in ad-hoc outdoor roadside locations, even in windy weather conditions. Professor Steve Daley, Managing Director of ClanTect commented, “Our systems can enable the UAE authorities to meet some of today’s most pressing security challenges, such as human trafficking, the protection of critical infrastructure and the security of custodial facilities.” Protection of critical infrastructure Steve Daley adds, “We have also ensured that our systems have been thoroughly tested to meet the challenging environmental conditions faced in the UAE.” Hadi R Omer, Director of Sales & Marketing (Systems & Solutions) at ePm said, “Here at ePm, we have been serving the needs of government and commercial customers since the 1980’s, including the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police, UAE Armed Forces, Dubai Customs, and ADNOC. We feel that ClanTect’s technology perfectly complements our existing portfolio of security products and offers tremendous operational capabilities for public and private sector organizations across the UAE.”
BIRD Aerosystems, the globally renowned developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information, and Observation (ASIO) solutions, has been awarded a new contract by the Czech Republic Air Force. Under the contract, BIRD Aerosystems will provide additional AMPS-MV systems with the patented MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) for the Czech Air Force’s Mi-17 fleet. This project is a part of the overall modernization plan of the Czech Mi-17 transport helicopter fleet. AMPS-MV systems with patented MACS BIRD’s AMPS are already operational on the Czech Air Force Mi-17 helicopters and have been successfully deployed in different conflict zones, including Afghanistan. This contract comes after BIRD Aerosystems having conducted an overall upgrade to the Czech’s existing AMPS systems earlier this year, which provided enhanced functionality to the MILDS UV detection sensors and the MCDU Mission computers. As part of the current contract BIRD Aerosystems will provide the Czech Air Force its AMPS systems with the MACS sensor, which ensures that no false alarms will be detected and the system will react only to validated real threats. Ronen Factor, the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BIRD Aerosystems, said “We appreciate the confidence placed in our AMPS solution by the Czech Air Force, who decided to purchase additional systems for its Mi-17 fleet. Equipped with BIRD’s AMPS-MV solution with the MACS sensor, they can rest assured knowing that their aircraft and crew are safe, even when flying in automatic mode in the most complicated conflict zones.” Airborne Missile Protection System The AMPS system is known to automatically detect, verify, and foil missile attacks BIRD Aerosystems’ Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS) provides the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against all known Surface to Air Missiles (SAM), including MANPADS, laser beam rider threats, and radar-guided missiles. The AMPS system is known to automatically detect, verify, and foil missile attacks through the effective use of counter-measure decoys (flares and chaff) that jam the missile’s IR (Infrared) seeker and protect the aircraft. MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) is an advanced semi-active confirmation radar, which significantly reduces the false alarm rate of the overall missile warning system. Queued by a suspected threat, MACS points towards it and performs a doppler-based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat. By doing so, MACS provides the most effective filtering of all known natural and human-made types of false alarms that are typically detected by electro-optical sensors, and ensures that only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon. Fully operational, BIRD’s AMPS-MV with the MACS sensor is provided as a turn-key solution that includes design, installation, integration, certification and support, and is certified by major aircraft manufacturers.
Bosch Building Technologies has installed an intrusion alarm system at the UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuangdi in the city of Xi'an, China. Several hundred TriTech motion detectors are deployed to protect the 16,300-square-foot museum against theft and damage. These detectors prevent costly and time-consuming false alarms under challenging environmental conditions while providing detection reliability of real alarms. Because of the highly efficient intrusion detection system, the museum can dispense entirely with physical protective barriers such as glass walls, allowing visitors to directly experience their clay heroes. “The cooperation with Bosch is an excellent showcase of modern high-tech protection of historic buildings. Bosch intrusion alarm systems help to upgrade the security level of these unique historic sites,” says Ren Xuxin, Project Manager of Xi’an Terracotta Warriors and Horses Pit Security Upgrade Project. Intelligent alarms protect millennia-old warriors As wall detectors, the TriTech motion detectors protect the pits where the terracotta warriors are located. Because these pits collect large amounts of dust that could cause false alarms, the intelligent sensor data fusion algorithm in each of the rugged detectors checks potential alarms with a PIR sensor and microwave Doppler radar for a consistent result. The area to be protected is thereby also secured from above by ceiling-mounted TriTech motion detectors. These detectors are located 4.8 meters above the museum floor, yet operate accurately and reliably. They thus exceed the range of standard ceiling detectors by more than two meters. The TriTech motion detectors provide round-the-clock protection for the museum In the event of a security breach, the Bosch G-Series system controller sends an alert, including the location of the triggered detector, in less than two seconds to the security team in the control room, which uses live images from a video system to verify the alarm. Round-the-clock protection In most cases, tourists trigger an alarm when they cross a threshold to retrieve their cameras or smartphones that have accidentally fallen into the pit. In doing so, there is a risk of damage to the terracotta warriors, but even if real criminals should ever get into the act, the system is ready. The TriTech motion detectors provide round-the-clock protection for the museum. Due to their discreet design, the detectors are unobtrusive and thus do not interfere with the museum experience. In accordance with the museum operator's list of requirements, the intrusion detection system protects not only the museum, including the perimeter, as well as the visitor areas of the mausoleum but additionally the cultural treasures currently stored in the unmanned warehouse.
Aiphone Corporation (Aiphone), the renowned international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products, has installed its IX Series intercom system at the Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey. Roselle, like many educational facilities across the country, found itself relying on outdated technology and the inability to communicate from classrooms to a main office or centralized security location, a safety risk in any educational institution. IX Series IP Video Intercom System The high school was awarded a grant through the state of New Jersey to implement security improvements. The school chose an Aiphone IX Series Peer-to-Peer IP Video Intercom System, which included two master stations, two video door stations, and 43 audio sub stations to connect each of its classrooms. This new system allows the school’s front office staff to respond to visitor access requests at the main entrance, while also making visual confirmation before admitting anyone inside the building. To handle access requests, the school is equipped with two touchscreen master stations, one located at the front office and the other in the principal’s office. Building-wide pre-recorded notification The Aiphone IX Series can send a pre-recorded notification building-wide An invaluable feature for the school is that it allows teachers to communicate directly to the front office, so that they can also quickly initiate a lockdown to the entire school, in case of an emergency. The Aiphone IX Series can send a pre-recorded notification building-wide, there by alerting students and staff of any threats and providing instructions on what to do next. “With the previous system being unable to talk back to the main office, teachers were left in a bad spot if they ever had to reach an administrator for an emergency,” said Roselle Catholic High School Principal, Tom Berrios, adding “With these improvements, the teachers now feel more secure with what’s going on in the building and they have an easier way to communicate.” ‘Hot button’ capability “This feature is considered a ‘hot button’ capability, because it allows the school to create a pre-recorded message for emergencies,” said Ed Maffey, President of Maffey’s Security Group, the systems integrator tasked with the installation. Ed Maffey adds, “With one push of a button, a pre-recorded message will play continuously and can be used for a variety of scenarios, including fire drills, emergency evacuations, and lockdown situations.”
In the latest testing phase for the Emergency Services Network (ESN) project with the Home Office, Frequentis has successfully demonstrated the additional voice and data feature set. The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) is delivering the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) critical communication system, which will replace the current TETRA-based Airwave system with a new LTE-Mission Critical Services (LTE-MCx) 3GPP based radio communication system in Great Britain. Life-saving data ESN will transmit fast, safe and secure voice, video and data across the 4G network and give first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline. Frequentis is working directly with the Home Office on the development of a gateway, which will connect Frequentis multimedia communications platform 3020 LifeX to the new ESN. The gateway will provide an Airwave-comparable feature set, and, once ready, will be installed and tested within the Ambulance Radio Program (ARP), a reference customer of Frequentis' and which is working closely with the Home Office. The two recent successful test demonstrations against ESN have allowed Frequentis to show the Home Office the intermediate progress of the project. Participation took place remotely, allowing the momentum of the project to continue despite the challenges of COVID-19. Frequentis 3020 LifeX We are pleased to be able to adapt LifeX to fit the needs of ESN in order to further support emergency services operators" "Testing this time included group call, private call (in/out), ambient listening, status message, emergency calls, text messages and broadcast, all of which were successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of the teams. In addition, we will be delivering functionality to support interworking between existing Airwave and ESN to provide a smooth transition for our customers as they move to the ESN network, allowing both networks to be used in parallel. We are pleased to be able to adapt LifeX to fit the needs of ESN in order to further support emergency services operators in their challenging role," says Andy Madge, Managing Director Frequentis UK. The Frequentis 3020 LifeX is already being implemented for a number of police and emergency services organizations across Great Britain on Airwave, and worldwide, and will be compatible with ESN in due course. The gateway development, supported by subcontractor, Nemergent, will ensure that control room operators using the Frequentis LifeX platform have access to a fully approved and easy-to-use interface into ESN for all mission-critical communications. LifeX has been designed to allow emergency services operators to maximize the benefits of multimedia communications, and when next-generation 999 (NG999) becomes a standard it will also allow members of the public to share images and videos of incidents that can be analyzed in real-time.
Round table discussion
When technology performs a required task effectively, there is little reason to upgrade to the ‘next big thing’. In this regard, the physical security market is notoriously slow to change. Much of yesterday’s most robust and dependable equipment is still in place at thousands of customer sites, still performing as well as the day it was installed. However, there comes a point when any technology becomes outdated. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies are becoming outdated or obsolete?
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)?
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