System Surveyor has upgraded its intelligent system design platform created to digitize and streamline the industry’s historically manual approach to site surveys and design. Driven by customer feedback, these upgrades include expanded product catalog capabilities and enhanced Google Earth functionality.
Expanded product catalog
Both updates augment the virtual, collaborative elements central to System Surveyor and used by security professionals, deemed “essential critical infrastructure workers” by the Department of Homeland Security.
Using System Surveyor, everyone involved in a project is literally collaborating from the same digital page"
“Security professionals stand in the gap, and we designed these updates to improve their efforts to protect and maintain our critical infrastructure,” said Chris Hugman, CEO of System Surveyor. “Using System Surveyor, everyone involved in a project is literally collaborating from the same digital page, whether in person or online, to design and deliver higher quality projects faster.”
System Surveyor platform
Systems integrators, security hardware manufacturers, and other physical security professionals are increasingly using the System Surveyor platform, replacing out-dated, paper-based methods or cumbersome CAD programs. The mobile, cloud-based application enables extended teams to collaborate in one system of record, from site survey, bidding, and design to product selection, deployment, and maintenance.
Manufacturers in particular seek to help their customers specify the best products in System Surveyor during initial system planning. To that end, System Surveyor has made it easier to choose products in the platform. Customers can now add their own product lists into the application’s Searchable Product Catalog. This includes up to 500 items per system type: video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire alarm, access control, healthcare, AV, and more. All system types are now included at no additional cost.
Enhanced accuracy and design process
System Surveyor users such as integrators can make site walks more efficient or design remotely via web conference
The ability to add precise products immediately improves accuracy and speeds up the design process. It can also provide a general budget estimate based on the devices added to the plan.
System Surveyor users such as integrators can make site walks more efficient or design remotely via web conference. Tablet in hand or online, they can collaborate visually with the customer, swiftly select the right products for each specific requirement, and instantly add them to the digital site survey to view together.
Superior Google Earth functionality
In addition, users can now capture a Google Earth satellite image directly from the System Surveyor application and start designing in minutes. Integrators can save time during a site walk and spend more quality time with the customer. Sales teams can begin a system design more quickly and work with prospective clients using detailed satellite images. Whether in the field or online, clients can create more sales faster and prevent multiple trips to a customer site.
“System Surveyor enables our clients to take a more professional approach to system design, engage customers earlier in the process, and more accurately capture their expectations up front,” said Hugman.
“Tips for Remote System Design & Virtual Site Surveys”
System Surveyor’s collaborative capabilities help teams maintain continuity in their processes"
Chris adds, “And during this era of limited personal contact and social distancing, System Surveyor’s collaborative capabilities help teams maintain continuity in their processes and provide a positive customer experience. In some cases, end users are doing site walks themselves using System Surveyor and then working with their system integrator online.”
Discover “Tips for Remote System Design & Virtual Site Surveys” in this on-demand Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/uvuvhc7.
Mobile, SaaS-based platform
The System Surveyor mobile, SaaS-based platform enables everyone involved in system design, installation, and maintenance to collaborate on an unprecedented scale. Working together in one system of record, professionals can better plan and manage the systems’ organizational processes, including video surveillance, access control, fire alarm, IT, building automation, AV, healthcare, and much more.
The System Surveyor API is available upon request for customers wishing to integrate the platform with other enterprise systems or applications.
With the Government directives brought into action earlier this week, Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has had to change certain aspects of their working practices, while also ensuring that it doesn’t impact negatively on the registered firms and the level of service that the company provides to customers.
SSAIB is fully aware of the uncertainty and worry that our firms will be facing at this difficult time"
Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alex Carmichael said, “SSAIB is fully aware of the uncertainty and worry that our firms will be facing at this difficult time, but we would like to remind each and every one of you that we are here to support you and we want to work together with you all - as we’re all in this together until a resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found.”
He adds, “Therefore, I just want to provide you with an update as to what we are doing to keep our firms and our staff safe, while still being able to provide SSAIB certification and comply with our own requirements for United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation.”
Ensuring safety of office staff
The company has taken the decision to close the SSAIB office to ensure the safety of the office staff. All members of staff have been issued with everything they need in order to work from home, so the ‘office’ will still be fully manned remotely - until such time as these latest Government restrictions are relaxed – and the company will be doing all that it can to ensure that there is no interruption in service, during what is a big transition period.
Carmichael further said, “As you will all be aware, our auditors are out in the field day in, day out visiting you all for your initial or annual inspections. However, again, to try and avoid – or limit – the spread of this virus, we have started rolling out remote audits and the hope is to have them fully up and running by Monday March 30.”
Supporting registered firms
He adds, “This will allow us to carry on with our certification requirements, while ensuring that the health and wellbeing of our registered firms and our auditors is not compromised in any way. Our auditors are still here to help you and, if you are worried about your audit or are unsure as to what you need to have in place in order to be able to be audited remotely, please give us a call on 0191 296 3242 and we can pass a message on for them to get in touch with you to discuss your issues.”
SSAIB understands that this is a situation that is unprecedented in its scale and no one has ever found themselves in before, so the company will do their best to answer all queries that people might have with regards to this pandemic.
COVID-19 FAQs accessible via official online portal
SSAIB has put up a list of COVID-19 FAQs accessible via the Registered Firms’ portal of the SSAIB’s website
The company has put up a list of COVID-19 FAQs accessible via the Registered Firms’ portal of the SSAIB’s website and these will continue to be updated as and when new information is released. Therefore, should anyone have an issue or question that is not covered already, please get in touch and not only will they be resolved, but also added to the list so that it can – potentially – help anyone else looking for the same answer(s) as well.
SSAIB is fully aware of the impact of COVID-19 on people’s jobs and livelihoods. Should anyone find that they are struggling to make a payment, through no fault of their own, please contact the company’s helpline as soon as possible – as it gives SSAIB the best chance of providing immediate support to the people concerned.
Carmichael concluded, “We really are doing our best to manage a very difficult situation, so we thank you for your patience, understanding and support at this time. As we do everything in our power to carry out providing third-party certification to you all, your positive comments to our staff really do make all the difference.”
IDIS has further enhanced its IDIS Center VMS, adding new features and functions targeted at small to mid-sized enterprises and multi-site customers.
Organizations can build powerful centralized monitoring solutions, quickly and easily, when implementing IDIS Center together with the wide selection of IDIS DirectIP cameras and powerful NVRs. These deliver customer lifecycle savings of 50% or more compared with server-based solutions, thanks to reduced installation time, no upfront or ongoing license fees, easier maintenance, and the industry-beating IDIS Ultimate Warranty.
IDIS Center VMS
Important new features now included with the cost-free, license-free IDIS Center VMS include MapVue
Important new features now included with the cost-free, license-free IDIS Center VMS include MapVue, an easy-to-use search function that speeds up operator navigation across building layouts and floor plans. Its intuitive interface helps users to view live and play back video streams across multi-camera systems, while maintaining an overview perspective of their facilities’ layouts and camera positions.
MapVue also provides easy bookmarking, allowing operators to search the recorded data for persons and activity of interest. Bookmarked footage can then be saved in an Excel file, creating a library of video clips.
Instant Meta Filtering (IMF) capabilities
IDIS Center users can also now benefit from IDIS Instant Meta Filtering (IMF) capabilities without any licensing or maintenance fees when using the new range of IDIS 6000 Series Edge VA (EVA) cameras. IMF speeds up incident investigations from days or hours to mere minutes. It allows operators to easily collate footage and scan hours of recorded video, from multiple streams, to pinpoint the movements and last-known locations of persons or vehicles of interest.
“With these innovative features, IDIS Center is delivering great new benefits and further improving value for our customers,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America.
IDIS For Every Network (FEN) technology
Surveillance configured with IDIS Center at its heart also ensures greater cyber security
Surveillance configured with IDIS Center at its heart also ensures greater cyber security, because devices mutually authenticate and eliminate the need to for passwords to be entered manually. In addition, IDIS For Every Network (FEN) technology lets engineers connect sites to a control room or other centralized monitoring environment with one-click configuration.
IDIS Center gives users all the essential features they need to centrally and locally manage surveillance operations. These include live video and remote playback, real-time notifications of events, panic recordings, device system logs, and authority access set by individuals or groups.
Plus, its user-friendly interface is not only appreciated by security operatives but also praised by non-specialists, including teaching staff, healthcare professionals, and store managers who regularly need to access surveillance to investigate incidents quickly and efficiently.
“Thousands of customers worldwide are benefitting from the low cost of ownership that IDIS Center offers,” Myung adds. “With the ability to register up to 1024 devices, IDIS Center is powerful enough for medium to large sites. It’s particularly beneficial to multi-site retailers that are tasked with the dual challenge of reducing shrinkage while keeping operating costs low.”
Hanwha Techwin America, global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, has announced that Hanwha’s Wisenet L series cameras are now compatible with the Genetec Stratocast cloud-based video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS).
Through this technology partnership, customers across a broad range of industries will now be able to reap the benefits of an easy to install true-cloud solution whether they want to support hybrid-cloud deployments, add new cameras in remote locations, or serve the needs of small and mid-sized installations in a cost-effective way.
Integration with Stratocast cloud-based VSaaS
Stratocast cloud-based video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) requires no software installation, port forwarding or network setup, and allows organizations to significantly reduce installation and on-going maintenance costs, making it an ideal solution for sites where IT staff, resources, and budget are limited.
To make the enrolment process easier than ever before, customers can simply scan a QR code to bring L series cameras into the Stratocast portal in one simple step instead of logging into multiple webpages.
Enhanced cyber security
We are offering a solution that is cyber secure, cost-effective and easy to install"
"We are pleased that Hanwha is first to market with a Stratocast-ready QR code enrollment option,” said Oktay Yildiz, Product Line Manager for Genetec Stratocast. “At Genetec, we believe strongly in building a network of trusted partners that have our customers’ cyber security best interests at heart. By extending our deep strategic partnership with Hanwha into the cloud, we are offering a solution that is cyber secure, cost-effective and easy to install.”
Wisenet L series cameras
The Wisenet L series cameras are very affordable surveillance cameras with essential features ideally suited for the needs of small and mid-size installations. The broad line-up includes fixed and varifocal lens, and bullet, dome and vandal-resistant dome cameras that are designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
“With the L series now Stratocast-ready, and other camera families soon to follow, we will be offering our joint customers a comprehensive line-up of video surveillance solutions, that satisfy the needs of projects across a wide range of market sectors, from small/medium businesses and retail chains to city-wide surveillance,” said Ray Cooke, Vice President – Products, Solutions and Integrations at Hanwha Techwin America.
News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime.
What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.
Concerns of facial recognition
With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include:
Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”.
Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization.
Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images”
The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used:
Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be.
Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings.
Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent.
In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again.
Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”.
One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”.
Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password.
A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes.
AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place.
Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk.
Access is king
In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications.
CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling.
Hackers lie in wait
Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.
But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights.
As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on
Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline.
CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise.
Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behavior, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.
As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings.
Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network.
Notorious hacking attempts
And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information.
In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organizations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.
More speed less haste
In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behavior of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results.
There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education program. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices
A person infected with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infects an average of 2.5 other people within five days. You do not need to be a mathematician to realize that early detection of infected people is key to successful pandemic containment.
The aim of effective containment strategies is therefore not so much to reduce the number of absolute cases as it is to extend the time frame within which they occur.
Without effective containment measures, the virus spreads rapidly and is beyond the capacity of the health care system. However, if infection rates can be minimized through early detection and rapid, targeted identification of further infections, cases will continue to occur over a longer period of time and remain within the capacity of the health care system.
Identifying, testing and results
For example, the goal of many countries is to carry out as many Corona tests as possible to quickly identify infected people. It is then necessary to identify and reach potentially-infected people and isolate them in quarantine. This is a tried and tested procedure. But this method also costs valuable time in the fight against the virus and has many unknowns. The determination of a concrete test result alone sometimes takes up to 48 hours due to limited laboratory capacity. Added to this is the imprecise and slow procedure for determining contact persons. Or do you still remember exactly who and where you shook hands with in the last ten days - and could you provide information on this?
Security technology to the rescue
When it comes to the time factor, security technology can be a great help. Thermal imaging cameras and temperature sensors, for example, can help to detect a person with elevated body temperatures. Fever can also be one of the symptoms in those infected with the Coronavirus. At neuralgic points such as airports and train stations, or at entrances to hospitals, thermal imaging cameras can quickly reveal which people have fever. Presumably infected people can be easily separated and asked about other symptoms. Physical security technology can make a great contribution here.
Dr. Frank Gillert, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Wildau, Germany states, however, as one of the leading scientists for logistics-centric security research, he demands "rapid innovation in dealing with situations like COVID-19 should be a priority". He sees enormous potential in the possibilities of IT and artificial intelligence; "We should use the disruptive changes that are currently taking place and that are challenging global orders to strengthen the significance in IT infrastructure development and also in security technology development.“
The goal in a global crisis
And he is right: In global crises such as the Corona pandemic, security-related deficits become apparent and space is created for technical innovations. The goal of governments and companies is to restore security and save human lives as quickly as possible.
The German data analytics powerhouse G2K, for example, has developed a Corona Detection & Containment System (CDCS) that is ready for immediate use in record time. Detection takes place in combination with AI-supported data analysis to specifically identify virus hotspots and distribution routes, as well as to identify other potentially infected persons.
When developing the system, the focus was on two questions: How do I detect a suspected infected person in crowded environments and even more importantly, how do I quickly and comprehensively determine the person's contacts and previous whereabouts, and find correlations and patterns in this information? The data experts of the Berlin-based company found the answer in the combination of physical security technology and their existing data analytics platform.
The G2K system
The system is based on G2K's scalable IoT platform "Situational Awareness Builder" (SAB), which is already in use in several projects worldwide and sets standards in process automation and process optimization, including security management.
As soon as a person with fever is detected by the system, he or she can be immediately screened to avoid contact with other people and thus prevent possible new infections, i.e. to interrupt the chain of infection.
For this purpose, stationary thermal imaging cameras or smartphones equipped with a temperature sensor accessory can be used. The potentially infected person must now be registered and referred to a doctor or hospital for further specific diagnostic measures. The entire process is covered by a mobile G2K application.
A combination of security and medicine
The platform can bring together available hospital capacity, infection reports, movement and contact profiles and provide an excellent picture of the source of infection. Thus, medically necessary isolations can be implemented quickly.
At the same time, infected patients can use the app to document their recovery and become actively involved. All this data is centrally managed and analysed, using deep learning methods. This provides crisis managers with a single monitoring, control and resource management tool that enables immediate action to be taken to combat the spread of the virus and gives officials full transparency on the status of the pandemic.
Karsten Neugebauer, founder and CEO of the company behind the solution, explains his commitment as follows "A few weeks ago we too were faced with increasing difficulties due to the Corona crisis. As we have a strong presence in Europe in particular, we had to struggle with postponed project starts and limited resources". But instead of burying their heads in the sand, G2K's dedicated team decided to declare war on the virus."
"In our entrepreneurial duty, we, therefore, decided to use our available technology and equip it to fight COVID-19. Our team has been working day and night over the last few weeks to expand our software platform to enable us to contain the pandemic quickly and effectively. Politicians must now immediately push ahead with the unbureaucratic implementation of prevention and control measures such as our CDCS to ensure the stability of our public systems," demands Karsten Neugebauer.
The pandemic continues
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads from continent to continent, researchers around the world are working to develop antidotes to the virus. As long as this has not been found, the spread of the virus must be slowed down internationally. Only by this can system-relevant infrastructure be held consistently.
Combining modern physical security technology with platform technology and artificial intelligence provides an excellent possibility to slow down the current and for sure, future pandemics.
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.”
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.
HID Global is introducing a new “flagship” line of access control readers as successors to the iCLASS line. The new HID Signo readers will support 15 different credentialing formats and communicate using the latest NFC (near field communication), BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and OSDP (Open Supervised Device Protocol) standards. HID Global says the new readers will simplify integration to more secure and mobile credentials.
HID Global has invested in a “future-proof” approach that both accommodates a variety of current market needs and can adapt to embrace new technologies as they come onto the market. The new line incorporates “all the hardware you need,” combining the capabilities of older generations of readers into a single product.
Simplifying the choice of readers
The new reader line seeks to simplify the choice of readers in a time when a variety of trends is complicating the access control market, from cloud systems to mobile access to identity management.
“We are simplifying the way we bring our products to market, and baking it all into our readers,” says Harm Radstaak, HID Global Vice President and Managing Director. “If an installer takes a reader out of the box and mounts it on the wall, it just works.”
We are simplifying the way we bring our products to market"
In designing the product, HID sought feedback from channel partners, installers, consultants and end users on how the new readers would function. In addition, the company sought advice from architects on the design of the product. Aesthetics and industrial design elements were a priority because they ideally reflect the quality and “promise” of how the product will perform.
Cybersecurity is another emphasis. The readers store cryptographic keys and process cryptographic operations on certified EAL6+ secure element hardware, and custom authentication keys can be used for organizations who prefer that level of control. EAL6+ certification is a designation of the Evaluation Assurance Level of an IT product or system (the highest score is EAL7). Signo also includes a velocity checking feature designed to mitigate and thwart brute force attacks.
“The new Signo line is a continuation of the journey we have been on,” says Radstaak. “It is the natural succession of what we have been doing for years, and it underlines our position in the market.” By natively supporting mobile credentials, the new product line reinforces HID’s commitment to mobile systems, which the company first brought to market in 2014. Signo readers also include Enhanced Contactless polling to support mobile credentials in Apple Wallet.
Embracing the OSDP standard, which was created in 2008, also addresses the growing customer need for bi-directional, secure communications. There is built-in support for OSDP Secure Channel as well as legacy Wiegand communication for organizations seeking to transition.
Signo incorporates support for most credential technologies globally, including Seos, credentials with HID’s Secure Identity Object, and a variety of 125kHz legacy technologies such as Indala and Prox.
The flexibility and openness of Signo is a response to the acceleration of new technologies entering the access control market. “If you look at new technologies in general, our market has been slow in adopting them,” says Radstaak. “However, with new entrants in the market, new technologies, new device manufacturers and artificial intelligence (AI), I believe the market is adopting new technologies much faster than before. Users are much savvier.”
Administrators will be able to remotely configure and diagnose readers
Radstaak says he expects market adoption of the new readers will be fast. “Customers have been waiting for this platform,” he says. “This has been a tremendous investment for HID Global, and it underlines our position in the market with its open platform, simplicity and future-proofing. We are prepared for whatever comes next technology-wise.”
With Signo readers, administrators will be able to remotely configure and diagnose readers as well as monitor status through a centrally managed and connected reader ecosystem.
As a member of the FiRA Consortium, HID Global has advocated bringing new technology to market based on the “fine ranging” capabilities of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which has applications in detection of the precise location or presence of a connected device or object. It’s the kind of technology that Signo platform’s “future-proofing” approach is geared to accommodate. “As the capability unfolds, we will be there to adapt,” says Radstaak.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be participating at ISC West in a big way. Representatives of the federal department will be taking part in more education sessions this year, and the DHS tech-scouting team will be on hand to view the latest technologies on display at the show. Exhibitors – and anyone else at the show – are invited to the “DHS Town Hall” on March 19 (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. in meeting room Galileo 1001. The aim is for DHS to engage with the technology community and provide guidance as industry innovation moves forward.
In the face of growing operational demands and complex threats, the need for homeland security technology solutions continues to rise. The Department of Homeland (DHS) is seeking new ideas and partners to safeguard public trust, save lives, reduce risks, and protect the flow of commerce and goods for the community. They will share information about the department’s problem sets, capability needs and business opportunities for accelerating technology development to ensure they are keeping pace with the speed of innovation and complex threats.
Speaking at ISC West
DHS seeks to challenge industry partners to develop technology to enhance security operations across multiple end user missions. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will jointly speak and exhibit at ISC West.
Attendees can meet DHS professionals working in cyber security, critical infrastructure, resilience, aviation security, border and port operations, and first responder capabilities. Attendees are invited to visit the DHS exhibit booth #33040 in the Drones and Robotics Zone.
The DHS Town Hall on Thursday, titled “Enhancing Security and Doing Business at the Speed of Life,” will be a “call to action” for show participants to help secure the future. DHS seeks to become more agile and to pursue new pathways to do business in a fast-moving world. Through strategic partnerships, DHS is mobilizing the innovation community to safeguard the public trust.
DHS will also be participating in these sessions at ISC West, March 17-20 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, Nev:
You Say It’s Going to Change the World? Tues., March 17, 9:45 a.m., Sands 302.
Security relies on anticipating what comes next and staying a step ahead. How will 5G increase secure capabilities and reduce threats from bad actors? How will blockchain secure personal and financial identity and when will quantum computing render all encryption obsolete? How is DHS investing in counter-drones? How does AI change the security landscape?
The New Federal Security Landscape – Are You Prepared? Wed., March 18, 1 p.m., Sands 302.
The federal security landscape is evolving alongside the private sector. What are the new high-risk areas of concern and how are emerging threats (cyber, UAS) changing the way federal facilities are protected? How are these new risks balanced against traditional ones? How is the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) responding? DHS panelists will discuss.
CISA Special Guest Speaker at SIA Interopfest. Wed., March 18, 4 p.m., Sands 701.
Daryle Hernandez, Chief, Interagency Security Committee, DHS, Infrastructure Security Division, will provide insights to complement the technology interoperability demonstrations.
Enhancing Security Through UAS Technology, A DHS Perspective. Thurs., March 19, 11:30 a.m., Venetian Ballroom.
What is DHS doing today to prepare for a future of increased visualization and automation? New questions are emerging around capabilities and vulnerabilities. Emerging technologies like AR, Next Gen Sensors, and UAS, provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with tools to become more responsive and adaptive to new threats.
The State of Illinois has enacted a ‘stay at home’ order effective as of Saturday, March 21, at 5pm to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This means all residents are mandated to ‘remain at home’ and only essential businesses may remain open to provide critical services. Everybody fully supports this measure as it will hopefully slow the spread of the virus.
Securing critical infrastructure
Under the order, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has mandated that all Illinoisans stay in their homes except as needed to maintain continuity of business critical operations. This coincides with Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21): Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience that advances a national policy to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure.
BCD plays an important role in the information technology sector. The sector's complex and dynamic environment makes identifying threats and assessing security vulnerabilities difficult and requires that these tasks be addressed in a collaborative and creative fashion, especially as it directly affects both the public and security infrastructure.BCD plays an important role in the information technology sector
Working with security integrators and OEMS
In addition, it is imperative to maintain the supply chain in this unprecedented time of need. They work hand-in-hand with a number of security integrators and OEMs that work directly with the Federal Government. Most importantly, they supply life safety equipment that is used by first responders to help and keep them safe.
Therefore, BCD Illinois build centers will remain open and operational, as the support technicians and engineers will remain available to continue to support all customers to fulfill the critical technology needs of the nation’s federal, state and local governments, healthcare facilities, and education, industrial and financial services sectors. It has also been notified that all shipments to US States currently in "stay at home" status may be delayed by the freight carriers; this includes the State of Illinois.
BCD build centers
Jeff Burgess, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at BCD said, “We continue to implement strict precautionary measures in all our logistics and integration centers, in accordance with government and public health requirements, to reduce risk for colleagues who are performing their duties. Our Illinois-based technical operations will continue as long as we can confidently protect the health and well-being of these dedicated two dozen team members. All other BCD staff will continue working from home until further notice.”
Link11, renowned European firm in the field of cyber-resilience and cyber security, is offering its DDoS protection solutions free of charge to public sector health, government and public education organizations during the highly contagious phase of COVID-19.
Public sector organizations are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and the availability of critical public infrastructures is more important than ever as people look for genuine sources of information related to the virus outbreak.
Remote working policies
Governments all over the world have taken necessary actions to lower COVID-19’s spreading curve, including implementing remote working policies, resulting in significant growth in internet traffic, leading to an increased risk of social engineering, business email compromise, ransomware and DDoS attacks.
According to Link11’s research, during the three-week period Monday 17 February to Monday 9 March, Link11’s Security Operation Center (LSOC) defended 20,349 minutes of attacks (over 2,860 hours), which is more than 30% up compared to the 15,612 minutes of attacks mitigated during the same period in 2019.
Link11 Cloud Protection Platform
Marc Wilczek, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Link11 said, “It takes only a small effort these days to overload servers and online services, and organizations need to protect their infrastructures. To help them deal with the evolving threat landscape, Link11 is offering government, public health and education organizations a solution that proactively identifies, blocks, and mitigates DDoS attacks within the Link11 Cloud Protection Platform, free of charge until September 2020.”
Link11’s integrated Cloud Security Platform ensures cyber-resilience of the entire IT infrastructure
On Sunday 15 March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suffered a cyber-attack, designed to slow the agency’s services amid the government’s rollout of a response to coronavirus, with the aim of overloading HHS servers. Officials assume a hostile foreign actor was behind this campaign.
Cloud-based DDoS protection
Traditional on-premise DDoS defenses, which are still widely used, and load-balancing products, are not able to protect individual websites, APIs or cloud applications against Layer-7 attacks, as these malicious data tsunamis can create big damage with little total bandwidth, bringing everything to a standstill instantly.
Cloud-based DDoS protection, such as Link11’s integrated Cloud Security Platform, uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, strict automation and real-time analytics to ensure cyber-resilience of the entire IT infrastructure and application landscape supporting hybrid as well as cloud-native deployments.
The Government of Jersey has appointed SureCloud to manage its government-wide cyber security transformation program, which aims to maintain the reputation of Jersey as a safe place to work and live.
The new two-year deal forms part of the government’s Cyber Security Strategy, announced in 2017, to enhance its cyber resilience during its period of modernization.
Cyber Security Strategy
The Government of Jersey provides key operational services to more than 106,000 citizens and 7,000 businesses in Jersey. All of its services, including tax, healthcare, waste management, social services and education, depend on the security and availability of IT and Operational Technology (OT) systems.
The financial services and tourism industries also heavily rely on the availability and security of the government’s services.
Cyber Security Program Management Service
SureCloud to deliver a Cyber Security Program Management Service, includes establishing governance
SureCloud will deliver a Cyber Security Program Management Service which includes establishing governance and reporting processes for all elements of the government’s cyber security program. This will involve providing risk and issue management, program governance, information security processes as well as financial, quality and information management.
It will also coordinate, lead and communicate business change across cyber security projects. This will be led by a dedicated Program Director who will proactively manage the day-to-day management of the government’s cyber security program and proactively monitor overall progress, as well as resolving any risks and issues that may arise.
Cyber Security solutions
“The Government of Jersey wants the island to remain a stable and attractive place to live and do business, in both the physical and digital world,” comments Ben Jepson, Vice President of Risk Advisory at SureCloud. “Cyber security is a prerequisite for this, which is why the government is investing in this cyber security programme. With our experience, knowledge and hands-on team, we are confident we can help them enhance their cyber security and move their transformation programme forwards.”
The Cyber Security Program Management Service, which launches on 3rd March, will be delivered in two 12-month tranches. The first is split into six distinct projects: Program Management, Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), Governance Improvement, Identity and Access Management, Asset Management and People Security. The second includes preparing for, and developing, procurement documentation for tranche two projects.
Cyber Security expert
Stuart Powell, CISO at Government of Jersey, concludes, “As we embark on a period of extensive change and modernization, cyber security is a critical enabler for delivering government services to the citizens and businesses of Jersey. We were impressed with SureCloud’s offering for improving our cyber security capability in quality and scale as well as their Program Director who we are looking forward to working with.”
The new Courtyard by Marriott hotel at London’s Luton Airport is being protected with the latest, cybersecure video surveillance technology from IDIS. The complete end-to-end solution, from Korea’s video equipment manufacturer, is enabling trouble-free remote 24/7 monitoring, ensuring improved service efficiency, safety and security for guests.
IDIS DirectIP® technology was chosen for its ease of installation and use together with the reassurance of multi-layered protection against cybersecurity risks. Although the installation team from DGS Systems had never previously worked with IDIS technology before, they found that it lived up to its true plug-and-play promise.
Providing impressive recording capability
IDIS DirectIP® made it easy to set up the three IDIS NVRs to provide impressive recording capability
Despite having almost 100 cameras to set up - including 74 full-HD IR domes and 17 vandal resistant full-HD IR domes – one-click network configuration allowed the engineers to work rapidly, connecting devices easily and not needing to manually enter passwords for each one. This not only reduced installation time but ensured greater protection against network infiltration by minimizing the likelihood of human error, which can occur when passwords need to be written down and entered manually.
Encryption technologies and NVR firewalls together with proprietary protocols and file structures make IDIS surveillance solutions less vulnerable to attacks than many common open architecture components. IDIS DirectIP® made it easy to set up the three IDIS NVRs (32-channel DR-6332PS-S) to provide impressive recording capability and meet the customer’s requirement for three months’ storage of all footage.
Protecting building exteriors
The NVRs’ 370Mbps throughput ensures no latency on live footage and high-quality image capture in full HD. Most of the cameras are used for incident investigation, although with the hotel’s service areas now covered, operational efficiency has been improved too.
The hotel’s owner also wanted to protect the car parks and building exteriors to reduce the risk of crime
For example, routine checks on the rooftop plant room can now be handled remotely, rather than in person, which is particularly useful during adverse weather conditions. The hotel’s owner also wanted to protect the car parks and building exteriors to reduce the risk of crime, and shortly after the system was completed, a gang of opportunist scrap-metal thieves was recorded stealing cables from the site.
Handling rapid variations in brightness
The IDIS full-HD IR domes provided video evidence that was key to a successful police investigation, delivering pin-sharp images in all lighting conditions and easily handling rapid variations in brightness and shade thanks to their true wide dynamic range (WDR). “The IDIS solution was very installer-friendly and easy to configure,” says Dariusz Surowy of DGS Systems UK, confirming that the same technology is now being used on more sites.
Grzegorz Surowy, MD of DGS Poland, agrees: “It has rapidly proved how well it works with successful incident investigations.” Meanwhile, James Min, Managing Director, IDIS Europe comments that IDIS solutions are designed to be easy to install, simple to use, and to give the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). “For busy hotels such as the Courtyard by Marriott at Luton, they provide the perfect tool for safety, security and more efficient management.”
We live in an era of Big Data. Surrounded by a flood of information, more companies are looking for ways to analyze that information (data) and systematically extract intelligence that can help them operate more efficiently and profitably. The data obsession has extended to the physical security industry, too, where large amounts of data have historically been a little-used byproduct of our access control and even video systems. But the picture is changing. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact are data analytics having on the security market?
Utilities are an important element of critical infrastructure and, as such, must be protected to ensure that the daily lives of millions of people continue without disruption. Protecting utilities presents a unique range of challenges, whether one considers the electrical grid or telecommunications networks, the local water supply or oil and gas lines. Security technologies contribute to protecting these diverse components, but it’s not an easy job. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting utilities?
The new year is several weeks old, so it is safe to say that many of our New Year resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Despite the limited success of our personal resolutions, the new year is a great time to take stock, look ahead, and plan to make 2020 the best year yet. Thinking about our industry as a whole, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What should be the security industry’s “New Year’s resolution?”