Could the data that the access control system generates reveal priceless business insights? In many businesses, the answer is affirmative. The problem is how to analyze that data quickly and accurately to bring valuable, digestible business benefits.
As reported by the Houston Chronicle, ‘Data is at the core of nearly every business decision made. A new Reporting & Analytics Tool for CLIQ access control systems enables security and facility managers to extract, visualize and analyze the data from their own premises.
CLIQ wireless access control system
ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ is a wireless access control system based on programmable electronic and electromechanical keys, cylinders, and padlocks. The system can be managed securely from anywhere with an internet connection via the CLIQ Web Manager (CWM).
The CWM’s new tool makes all system data easy to understand and to export, and share with staff and stakeholders across the business. If data really is the ‘new oil of the digital economy, this new tool helps CLIQ wireless access control customers tap it efficiently.
CWM Reporting & Analytics Tool
The new CWM Reporting & Analytics Tool streamlines decision-making, informing it with data drawn from the security system. It also frees security managers from their desk, with all of the tool’s data and functionality available inside the Amazon QuickSight app for Apple and Android systems.
Any authorized person within the organization can access its valuable insights, from anywhere in the world.
Visual dashboards for faster analysis
A clear, visual layout helps managers to spot relevant data and any anomalies, at a glance
This new tool helps an access control system to do more than just keep people and assets safe. Data that the system generates every day can contribute to business success.
A clear, visual layout helps managers to spot relevant data and any anomalies, at a glance. A bespoke dashboard offers a rapid system overview, in order to help identify the most used keys, view heat and cold maps of lock usage, and spot keys whose access has been denied most often, for example.
Granular, single lock, and key level
Drilling down to a more granular, single lock or key level helps managers identify who is using which openings and when, and decide whether staff or contractors have the appropriate access rights. These tasks become simpler and even instant.
At a glance, the tool helps security managers track a relevant business activity. They will spot critical patterns in weekly or monthly access use, so as to help plan maintenance schedules more efficiently, for example, among many more bespoke insights into what is happening on site.
Access management integration with process software
The new Reporting and Analytics Tool is available as a simple subscription add-on to new or current CWM users. CWM already enables a wide range of security workflows, including real-time access management.
It can integrate access management with existing business process software to build a single interface, which controls everything. Now, its new Reporting & Analytics Tool can help businesses make smarter, better, data-informed decisions.
Allegion US, a globally renowned provider of security products and solutions, has announced that it has received federal government approval for its Schlage Multi-Technology (MT-485) Readers, when paired with the LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system.
Schlage MT Readers
Schlage’s MT Readers simplify access control solutions by recognizing magnetic stripe, proximity, Schlage smart card and NFC-enabled smart devices with a firmware update, ensuring a seamless transition to high-security smart technology in the future.
The readers are fully OSDP compliant, when ordered with RS-485 and have an open architecture platform, which is designed to work with industry standards and common access control system interfaces, fitting a variety of placement needs.
LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system
LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system offers rich feature and operability enhancements
The LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system offers rich feature and operability enhancements, while also extending its cloud compatibility, integration capability and convenience.
LenelS2 is the first partner to complete certification for the Government Service Administration’s (GSA) Approved Product List (APL), with the OnGuard system paired with Allegion’s Schlage MT Readers. This integration allows for expanded access to key government clients.
Easy-to-deploy, interoperable solution
“As federal agencies are only permitted to procure qualified products and services listed on the GSA APL, we’re happy to be able to offer this integration that provides an easy-to-deploy, interoperable solution for government facilities,” said Terry Collins, Director of Government Sales at Allegion.
Terry adds, “The integration is FIPS 201-2 compliant for easy procurement, with a quick-connect design for easy installation, OSDP for efficient software updates and meets the highest testing standards in place.”
Security standards compliance
Following rigorous government and third-party security vulnerability and interoperability testing for the Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) program, the integrated solution meets the commercial compliance, consistency and alignment requirements for the functional needs of the government ICAM implementer.
The Schlage Mullion Reader and Single Gang Reader are now on the APL and have been authorized for use by the federal government.
Federally approved integration
“Our government clients demand the highest standards, which drives us to continually innovate with leading players like Allegion, to offer the very best in access control,” said Derek Greenland, Director of Federal Government Solutions at LenelS2.
This federally approved integration is part of the next wave in Allegion's mission to work with major providers in the government sector, to spearhead smart lock and mobile access adoption, making seamless, all-encompassing security the new standard.
Williams Racing is pleased to welcome Vuzion, a UK-based cloud distributor, as the Acronis #CyberFit Delivery Partner, in line with the Cyber Protection Partnership between Williams and Acronis that was renewed earlier this year.
Since Williams and Acronis first partnered at the start of the 2018 Formula One season, Acronis has helped the team manage growing volumes of data without compromising the security and flexibility mandated by the sport.
Williams has benefited from Acronis Cyber Protect since 2020, a unique AI-enhanced solution that integrates data protection with cybersecurity, preventing cyberattacks and helping the team avoid downtime. Acronis uniquely combines automation and integration, ensuring the prevention, detection, response, recovery, and analysis needed to safeguard all workloads while streamlining protection efforts.
Acronis technology is designed to address the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) challenges of modern organizations at the highest levels of business and competitive sport.
The Vuzion logo will be proudly displayed on the FW43B for eight races throughout the season, the first of which will be the Monaco Grand Prix. Vuzion and Acronis strive to provide the very best service to power the ultimate cyber protection for their customers
Tim Hunt, Chief Marketing Officer for Williams Racing, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vuzion to Williams as Acronis’ #CyberFit Delivery Partner. The values we share with Acronis, to push technology and innovation is pivotal to both parties. Introducing Vuzion as Acronis #CyberFit Delivery Partner helps drive continuous improvement that we are all working towards and I look forward to working with Vuzion as the team embarks on its next chapter.”
Michael Frisby, Managing Director, Vuzion, commented: “At the heart of Vuzion’s values, is a passion to be the best partner we can be each day for our vendors and resellers. We are only successful if our partners are successful! Our #Cyberfit Delivery Partnerships with Acronis and, by extension, our shared commitment to the Cyber Protection Partnership with Williams, are tied to that philosophy.”
Powering cyber protection
Vuzion has the spirit of a Formula One competitor, where you must be the best you can be, every day. Like Williams Racing, Vuzion is continually pushing for marginal gains in how its team and systems operate.
Just as Williams focuses on finding every tenth of a second in performance, so Vuzion and Acronis strive to provide their joint resellers, the very best service to power the ultimate cyber protection for their customers.
Delivering the finest services
Jan-Jaap Jager, the Board Advisor and Chief Revenue Officer at Acronis added: “We are proud to support one of the most iconic Formula One teams on the grid together with Vuzion. Motorsport depends on data-driven decisions in the office and on the track. With Vuzion’s support of our partnership, we’ll ensure Williams receives the best technology and service to maximize their #CyberFit potential.”
The Security Industry Association (SIA) announces the creation of the Security Industry Cybersecurity Certification (SICC), a new industry credential developed by SIA with support from PSA Security Network and Security Specifiers and the first-ever certification focused specifically on cybersecurity and physical security convergence.
The SICC program is designed for security industry professionals and assesses and validates the core competencies these individuals must possess to effectively perform roles involving key facets of cybersecurity.
Supporting security installations
“In today’s converged world, it is essential to support security installations according to best practices for both electronic security and cybersecurity,” said Pierre Trapanese, chair of the SIA Board of Directors and CEO of Northland Controls. “By earning the new SICC credential, industry professionals will ensure they have the hands-on experience and deep understanding of physical security and cybersecurity convergence needed to offer more comprehensive security solutions that better serve their customers.”
The SICC is intended for security industry professionals who perform or provide technical support for the installation, networking, configuration and/or specifying of electronic security/low-voltage technology devices. These individuals may include lead/senior service technicians, lead/senior installers, technical project managers, security systems designers, technical support engineers, security specifiers and consultants, IT and cybersecurity managers, chief technology officers, network administrators and product managers.
To earn the SICC credential, individuals must apply and take a certification exam
“The new SICC was born out of the recognition that the security of installed systems depends on the knowledge and qualifications of those who install and configure them,” said Ray Coulombe, founder and managing director of Security Specifiers. “This certification is an important step in the provisioning of cyber-secure systems.”
To earn the SICC credential, individuals must apply and take a certification exam. Each applicant is required to have a minimum of two years of experience directly related to or technically supporting the installation, networking, configuration and/or specifying of electronic security/low-voltage technology devices.
Cyber certification program
“The daily news underscores the critical importance of cybersecurity awareness, hygiene and training,” said Ric McCullough, president of PSA Security Network and chair of the SIA Executive Council. “This new cyber certification program specifically and proactively addresses those important concerns with a cyber certification designed especially for our security industry. PSA is proud to be an active co-contributor to this program.”
On Tuesday, May 25, SIA will host a 30-minute virtual information session, during which interested parties can learn more about the SICC program. The information session will cover what makes the SICC unique compared to other cybersecurity credentials, the benefits of earning the certification, core requirements to earn the SICC and how the application and testing process works. Applications will be accepted to test for the SICC credential beginning Tuesday, June 1.
Display solutions play a key role in SOCs in providing the screens needed for individuals and teams to visualize and share the multiple data sources needed in an SOC today.
Security Operation Center (SOC)
Every SOC has multiple sources and inputs, both physical and virtual, all of which provide numerous data points to operators, in order to provide the highest levels of physical and cyber security, including surveillance camera feeds, access control and alarm systems for physical security, as well as dashboards and web apps for cyber security applications.
Today’s advancements in technology and computing power not only have increasingly made security systems much more scalable, by adding hundreds, if not thousands, of more data points to an SOC, but the rate at which the data comes in has significantly increased as well.
Accurate monitoring and surveillance
This has made monitoring and surveillance much more accurate and effective, but also more challenging for operators, as they can’t realistically monitor the hundreds, even thousands of cameras, dashboards, calls, etc. in a reactive manner.
Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making
In order for operators in SOC’s to be able to mitigate incidents in a less reactive way and take meaningful action, streamlined actionable data is needed. This is what will ensure operators in SOC truly have situational awareness. Situational awareness is a key foundation of effective decision making. In its simplest form, ‘It is knowing what is going on’.
Lacking situational awareness is often one of the primary factors in poor decision making and in accidents attributed to human error.
Achieving ‘true’ situational awareness
Situational awareness isn’t just what has already happened, but what is likely to happen next and to achieve ‘true’ situational awareness, a combination of actionable data and the ability to deliver that information or data to the right people, at the right time.
This is where visualization platforms (known as visual networking platforms) that provide both the situational real estate, as well as support for computer vision and AI, can help SOCs achieve true situational awareness
Role of computer vision and AI technologies
Proactive situational awareness is when the data coming into the SOC is analyzed in real time and then, brought forward to operators who are decision makers and key stakeholders in near real time for actionable visualization.
Computer vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence that trains computers to interpret and understand digital images and videos. It is a way to automate tasks that the human visual system can also carry out, the automatic extraction, analysis and understanding of useful information from a single image or a sequence of images.
There are numerous potential value adds that computer vision can provide to operation centers of different kinds. Here are some examples:
Face Recognition: Face detection algorithms can be applied to filter and identify an individual.
Biometric Systems: AI can be applied to biometric descriptions such as fingerprint, iris, and face matching.
Surveillance: Computer vision supports IoT cameras used to monitor activities and movements of just about any kind that might be related to security and safety, whether that's on the job safety or physical security.
Smart Cities: AI and computer vision can be used to improve mobility through quantitative, objective and automated management of resource use (car parks, roads, public squares, etc.) based on the analysis of CCTV data.
Event Recognition: Improve the visualization and the decision-making process of human operators or existing video surveillance solutions, by integrating real-time video data analysis algorithms to understand the content of the filmed scene and to extract the relevant information from it.
Monitoring: Responding to specific tasks in terms of continuous monitoring and surveillance in many different application frameworks: improved management of logistics in storage warehouses, counting of people during event gatherings, monitoring of subway stations, coastal areas, etc.
Computer Vision applications
When considering a Computer Vision application, it’s important to ensure that the rest of the infrastructure in the Operation Center, for example the solution that drives the displays and video walls, will connect and work well with the computer vision application.
The best way to do this of course is to use a software-driven approach to displaying information and data, rather than a traditional AV hardware approach, which may present incompatibilities.
Software-defined and open technology solutions
Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need
Software-defined and open technology solutions provide a wider support for any type of application the SOC may need, including computer vision.
In the modern world, with everything going digital, all security services and applications have become networked, and as such, they belong to IT. AV applications and services have increasingly become an integral part of an organization’s IT infrastructure.
Software-defined approach to AV
IT teams responsible for data protection are more in favor of a software-defined approach to AV that allow virtualised, open technologies as opposed to traditional hardware-based solutions.
Software’s flexibility allows for more efficient refreshment cycles, expansions and upgrades. The rise of AV-over-IP technologies have enabled IT teams in SOC’s to effectively integrate AV solutions into their existing stack, greatly reducing overhead costs, when it comes to technology investments, staff training, maintenance, and even physical infrastructure.
AV-over-IP software platforms
Moreover, with AV-over-IP, software-defined AV platforms, IT teams can more easily integrate AI and Computer Vision applications within the SOC, and have better control of the data coming in, while achieving true situational awareness.
Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people, at the right time, in order to address security incidents and challenges.
Situational awareness is all about actionable data delivered to the right people
Often, the people who need to know about security risks or breaches are not physically present in the operation centers, so having the data and information locked up within the four walls of the SOC does not provide true situational awareness.
hyper-scalable visual platforms
Instead there is a need to be able to deliver the video stream, the dashboard of the data and information to any screen anywhere, at any time — including desktops, tablets phones — for the right people to see, whether that is an executive in a different office or working from home, or security guards walking the halls or streets.
New technologies are continuing to extend the reach and the benefits of security operation centers. However, interoperability plays a key role in bringing together AI, machine learning and computer vision technologies, in order to ensure data is turned into actionable data, which is delivered to the right people to provide ‘true’ situational awareness.
Software-defined, AV-over-IP platforms are the perfect medium to facilitate this for any organizations with physical and cyber security needs.
The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates that fraud costs the United Kingdom approximately £190 billion every year. The private sector is hit the hardest and loses around £140 billion a year, while the public sector loses more than £40 billion, and individuals lose roughly £7 billion.
The effects of fraud can be devastating on both individuals and organizations. Companies can suffer irreversible damage to reputation and be forced to close, and individuals can experience significant personal losses. Everyone should be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves against fraudulent activity.
Fraud detection technology
Fraud detection technology has advanced rapidly, over the years and made it easier for security professionals to detect and prevent fraud. Here are some of the key ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising fraud detection - with insight from Tessema Tesfachew, the Head of Product at Avora.
An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected
An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected. According to Tessema Tesfachew, “Autonomous monitoring and anomaly detection specifically, have made detecting fraudulent activity faster and more accurate. Machines can monitor data 24/7 as it comes in, build patterns of behavior that take into account seasonality and shifting trends, and identify events that don’t fit the norm.”
For example, banks can use AI software to gain an overview of a customer’s spending habits online. Having this level of insight allows an anomaly detection system to determine whether a transaction is normal or not. Suspicious transactions can be flagged for further investigation and verified by the customer. If the transaction is not fraudulent, then the information can be put into the anomaly detection system to learn more about the customer’s spending behavior online.
Accurate root cause analysis
Root cause analysis goes one step further than anomaly detection, by allowing security professionals to pinpoint what caused the anomaly. Tessema explains how an example of this would be if a system detects that the rate of fraudulent transactions has increased.
Root cause analysis would pinpoint the specific ATM or point of sale, where this increase is occurring. Swift action can then be taken to prevent fraudulent activity at that location in the future.
Fewer false positives
As mentioned, false positives can occur if a fraud detection system identifies behavior that goes against the norm, for instance, if a customer makes a transaction in a new location. In many cases, customers are required to complete identity verification to prove that a transaction is not fraudulent.
Digital customer identity verification can help brands build a strong and reputable image. That said, forcing users to complete identify certifications regularly can cause frustration and harm the customer experience.
AI anomaly detection
AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data
AI anomaly detection is far more accurate and results in fewer false positives. Increasing the accuracy of anomaly detection helps companies improve customer relationships and build a strong reputation. This will have a positive impact on brand image and sales revenue.
AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data. Machines are more efficient than even the most skilled fraud analysts and make fewer errors. This is why AI fraud detection software is the preferred option in larger organizations.
Importance of fraud analysts
However, fraud analysts still play an important role in fraud prevention. Using a combination of human intervention and AI is usually the most effective approach when it comes to fraud detection. According to pymnts.com, innovative organizations now use a variety of AI and supervised and unsupervised machine learning to identify and protect against fraud.
AI systems can complete time-consuming and repetitive tasks, such as data collection and analysis. This means that fraud analysts can focus their time and attention on critical tasks that require human intervention, e.g. monitoring risk scores. AI can automate processes and enhance the quality of the fraud analysts’ work.
In to Tessema Tesfachew’s opinion, “Fraud detection has become vastly more efficient and effective with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Previously, methods for detecting fraudulent activities were still data-rich, but relied more on human intervention and expert bias, and were thus, more time consuming and prone to error.”
AI technology, particular anomaly detection, has streamlined fraud detection and created a more efficient, and accurate system for detecting and preventing fraud.
Covid-19 has increased the number of online transactions, which creates more opportunities for fraudulent activity. However, it also allows businesses to gain more information on their customers and enhance the capabilities of AI security software. It is more important than ever for organizations to utilize AI technology in fraud detection strategies.
The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and center on people’s minds again.
Hacking communication protocol
The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol.
This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many.
An explosion of network devices
What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices.
IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth
Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers.
Bridging the cybersecurity gap
In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike.
IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads.
One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing.
It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely.
Physical security network
A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem.
Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem
It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices.
By intelligently utilizing system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralized location for asset and alert management.
Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.
When 150,000 video surveillance cameras get hacked, it’s big news. Even if the main reason for the hack was to make a point. Even if the major consequence is bad publicity for a video company (and, by extension, the entire video surveillance industry).
The target of the hack was Silicon Valley startup Verkada, which has collected a massive trove of security-camera data from its 150,000 surveillance cameras inside hospitals, companies, police departments, prisons and schools. Previously, Verkada has been known for an aggressive sales approach and its intent to disrupt the traditional video market.
The data breach was accomplished by an international hacker collective and was first reported by Bloomberg. The reported reasons for the hack were “lots of curiosity, fighting for freedom of information and against intellectual property, a huge dose of anti-capitalism, a hint of anarchism – and it’s also just too much fun not to do it,” according to Bloomberg.
Tesla amongst those impacted
The “fun” included access to a video showing the inside of a Florida hospital, where eight hospital staffers tackled a man and pinned him to the bed. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffsA view inside a Tesla warehouse in Shanghai, China, showed workers on an assembly line. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffs. There are even views from Verkada security cameras inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than 20 people in 2012.
In a “security update” statement, Verkada reports: “Our internal security experts are actively investigating the matter. Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented additional security measures to restrict account access and further protect our customers.”
Hacking was possible due to built-in feature
The hacker group was able to obtain “root” access on the cameras, meaning they could use the cameras to execute their own code, reports Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hackingUsing that access, they could pivot and obtain access to the broader corporate network of Verkada’s customers or hijack the cameras and use them as a platform to launch future hacks, the hackers told Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hacking, as it was a built-in feature.
Elisa Costante, VP of research for cybersecurity firm Forescout, calls the Verkada security camera hack "shocking."
"Connected cameras are supposed to provide an additional layer of security to organizations that install them,” she says. “Yet, as the Verkada security camera breach has shown, the exact opposite is often true. [It is worrisome that] the attack wasn't even very sophisticated and didn't involve exploiting a known or unknown vulnerability. The bad actors simply used valid credentials to access the data stored on a cloud server.”
Super Admin account had access to all cameras
Hackers gained access to Verkada through a “Super Admin” account, allowing them to peer into the cameras of all of its customers. They found a username and password for an administrator account publicly exposed on the internet, according to Bloomberg. The hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada.Hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada
The results could have been worse, says Costante. "In this case, the bad actors have seemingly only resorted to viewing the footage these cameras have captured. But they are likely able to cause a lot more damage if they choose to do so, as our own research team has discovered. We were able to intercept, record and replace real-time footage from smart cameras by exploiting unencrypted video streaming protocols and performing a man-in-the-middle attack. This effectively gives criminals a virtual invisibility cloak to physically access premises and wreak havoc in the real world.”
Impact on broader video surveillance industry
The impact of a well-publicised cyber-attack on the broader video surveillance industry is also a concern. “As an industry, and as manufacturers in physical security, we cannot take these hacks lightly,” says Christian Morin, CSO & Vice-President of Integrations & Cloud Services, Genetec. “The potential broad-reaching impact of these hacks on physical security systems, including providing a beachhead to facilitate lateral movement onto networks, resulting in data and privacy breaches or access to critical assets and infrastructure, cannot be overstated. It is our responsibility and duty to users of our technology to prioritise data privacy and cybersecurity in the development, distribution, and deployment of video surveillance systems.”
Widespread government and healthcare use
The Verkada cameras are in widespread use within government and healthcare, which are by far the company’s most dominant verticals. Lesser verticals for them are manufacturing, financial and retail.The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously
Verkada’s line of hybrid cloud security cameras combines edge-based processing with the capabilities of cloud computing. Cameras analyse events in real-time, while simultaneously leveraging computer vision technology for insights that bring speed and efficiency to incidents and investigations. Command, Verakda’s centralised web-based platform, provides users with access to footage they need. Motion detection, people analytics, and vehicle analytics enable searches across an organization to find relevant footage.
The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously: “We are passionate about developing products that enhance the security and privacy of organizations and individuals. We believe that well-built, user-friendly systems make it easier to manage and secure physical environments in ways that respect the privacy of individuals while simultaneously keeping them safe.”
Convergint Technologies’ rapid growth has come through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions — they have acquired 35 companies since 2014. Growth has been a focus since day one when the founders started the systems integration company with 10 colleagues in a basement.
Today, the diverse company includes more than 5,000 employees globally. As technology has advanced and business practices have evolved, Convergint’s core values and beliefs have guided their path forward.
Convergint’s culture is a critical aspect of the company, from the executive level to frontline colleagues. “It is essential that the companies we look to acquire and develop partnerships with directly align with our people-first, customer-centric, inclusive culture centered on colleagues and customers,” says Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies.
“This approach has allowed us to maintain and grow our number of colleagues across our acquisitions and enables us to continue being our customers’ best service provider.”
Many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition A simple but important consideration as Convergint grows through acquisitions is: No two companies are the same. While some integration practices can be standardized across the company, many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition, says Mathes. “Our objective is not to come in and immediately implement change. We want to build on what has already been successful within the local market and share our learned experiences. There is plenty we can learn from each other and create a much better organization.”
Mathes says that Convergint’s view of a successful acquisition is that 1+1=3. “The end result is always much more impactful than what we anticipated,” he says. “Every acquisition brings with it an experienced leadership team, dedicated and skilled colleagues, vertical market and technological expertise. Most acquisitions are in geographies where we do not already operate, so with every acquisition, we increase our capability to serve our customers much better.” Also, the network of Global Convergint Technology Centers (CTCs) helps expand clientele, and the Convergint Development Center (CDC) offers new support capabilities allowing acquisitions to grow at a very high rate.
Are there more acquisitions to come? Mathes says Convergint is always open to further expanding its footprint across the globe, improving its ability to service customers, deepening their technical expertise, and continuing to expand service offerings across the current and new vertical markets. However, the current focus remains on several key factors: service to colleagues, customers, and communities.
“While obviously, acquisitions fuel our growth, the addition of these organizations to Convergint has really improved our ability to service clients on a global basis,” says Mathes. Acquiring ICD Security Solutions in Asia, for example, made Convergint a pioneer in that market for U.S.-based multi-national companies.
Meeting customers demand
“Convergint does not weigh market conditions when making an acquisition decision,” says Mathes. Rather, they are primarily focused on meeting or exceeding their customer’s needs on a local to a global level. They see acquisitions as a potential way to extend their geographic reach so they can be closer to customers.
An acquisition might also expand technological or vertical market expertise. “The end goal is for us to enhance our service capabilities by attracting and retaining talented colleagues and leaders to better service our customers,” says Mathes.
Enhancing and expanding services
Convergint identifies how to leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options“Economies of scale” have not been a consideration. They have never sought to acquire companies and restructure them in the process, for example. Rather, each company brings forth a unique skillset, is carefully vetted by the executive team and provides purpose in the company's mission and vision for the future.”
“Frontline colleagues are Convergint’s most valuable assets,” says Mathes. Rather than restructuring and eliminating skilled, knowledgeable colleagues, Convergint identifies how they can leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options for customers. “Our colleagues and their skill sets are our competitive advantage—they remain an essential element to our success,” says Mathes.
Demand for integrator services
“We continue to experience a growing demand for innovative solutions across electronic security, fire alarm, and life safety,” says Mathes. “As companies innovate further and rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, and cloud solutions, we expect to see an increased demand for integrator services. Our customers demand a local service provider who is responsive and can meet their needs, which is why Convergint aims to be its customers’ best service provider.”
This year, Convergint is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 2021, they will continue to focus on the same critical components that have dominated since day one taking care of colleagues, customers, and the communities where they operate.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades.
If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles.
Sensitive data leakage
Since the lockdown came into effect, organizations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organizations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession.
One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever.
Good cybersecurity hygiene
Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more"
With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry.
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.”
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.
There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list
There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and traveling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working.
Video conferencing platforms
Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question.
The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office.
Online training courses
Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent
Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organizations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm.
“More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.”
Virtual trade show
‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasizing both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry.
In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself
“In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.”
As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected.
“We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimize impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilizing webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
Genetec Inc., a globally renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced that Reiknistofa bankanna (RB), an IT service provider for Icelandic financial institutions, has recently overhauled its security infrastructure with Genetec Security Center.
With the help of its system integrator, Hafnes Ehf, Reiknistofa bankanna is now using Genetec to manage its cameras, access control and video analytics, through one unified interface.
Reiknistofa bankanna (RB) is a provider of mission-critical IT systems for Icelandic financial institutions, responsible for the country’s central clearance and settlement system, and a number of multi-tenant core banking solutions.
Enhanced data and staff security
As the backbone of Icelandic Financial Services, Reiknistofa bankanna places a very high importance on security and not only data security, but also to protect employees and visiting clients. While its server rooms and offices are protected via disparate video and access control systems, the technology was old and maintenance was becoming both, a financial and an operational burden.
RB operates its solutions, across multiple data centers, in a shared, multi-bank environment. This requires a modern and reliable system that brings video and access control into a single solution, making it easy for operators to understand what is happening, when, where, and what action to take next.
Genetec Security Center
Genetec Security Center was the optimal choice as it simplified daily security operations
As an open unified platform, Genetec Security Center was the optimal choice as it simplified daily security operations, allowed for further integration with other tools, such as RB’s heating and cooling systems, and delivered business-wide value.
“From day one, we wanted a unified system which could help our teams understand the situation quickly, alerting them if anything required their attention,” said Geir Saemundsson, Data Center Manager at Reiknistofa bankanna, adding “The Genetec solution does just this and is allowing us to built-in customized alerts so we gain business intelligence, providing us with better ROI.”
Improved security management
“Physical security teams are demanding simplicity and greater functionality,” said Anthonie van der Ploeg, Director of Sales for Benelux & Nordics at Genetec, Inc., adding “Unification can offer them both by bringing together all security system components seamlessly in a single software platform in a way that can vastly improve security management.”
Anthonie van der Ploeg adds, “We are delighted that Iceland’s Reiknistofa bankanna has experienced the deep business insights Genetec Security Center is capable of delivering, and we look forward to supporting them as they evolve and grow their operations.”
Deep integration and analytics
Geir Saemundsson concludes, “The time savings delivered by Genetec have been immense. It’s been a worthwhile investment, especially as it can evolve with us, and allows us to move at our chosen speed. Considering its ease of use, deep integration and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over the coming years.”
March Networks, a global video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions provider, is pleased to announce that one of California’s busiest transportation authorities will standardize its entire bus fleet on the company’s RideSafe mobile solution.
The US$ 4 million contract will see more than 400 buses deployed with March Networks’ complete end-to-end RideSafe solution. The contract includes cloud-based monitoring of all of the transportation authority’s mobile cameras and recorders, a services contract providing annual and recurring revenue for March Networks for up to 7 years.
RideSafe solution enables transit operators to maintain the highest security for passengers and employees, respond quickly to emergency situations, and resolve liability claims faster with integrated surveillance video and vehicle metadata. It also provides peace of mind with sophisticated monitoring through March Networks’ Insight Monitoring and Resolution Service.
Insight Monitoring and Resolution Service
With Insight, March Networks’ managed services professionals proactively monitor all video devices and troubleshoot issues remotely, saving customers’ time and money by eliminating unnecessary truck rolls.
If a physical update is required, March Networks immediately dispatches a technician to conduct onsite repair services. All activity is logged online, giving customers a complete view of their network via a secure web browser.
RideSafe GT Series Hybrid Transit NVRs
Fully integrated with Insight is March Networks’ RideSafe GT Series Hybrid Transit NVRs
Fully integrated with Insight is March Networks’ RideSafe GT Series Hybrid Transit NVRs (Network Video Recorders), the backbone of the RideSafe solution. The highly reliable, Linux-based recording platforms are purpose-built for transportation environments, with industry-recognized SAE J1455-standards and tamper-proof enclosures that protect against dust and moisture.
They allow operators to quickly access live and recorded video and search for incidents based on vehicle information, such as GPS location, when managed by March Networks Command for Transit video management software (VMS).
Mobile cameras deployed
As true hybrid appliances, the NVRs support a mix of analog and IP cameras, allowing transportation agencies to migrate to IP video cost-effectively and at their own pace. The California transportation authority will also deploy March Networks’ ruggedized mobile cameras, including its new SE2 Fleet Dash Camera and SE2 Fleet Wedge Camera.
Both cameras deliver 2MP resolution and feature industry-first LED flicker mitigation technology, which suppresses the strobing in the recorded video caused by LED light sources. Eliminating flicker in surveillance video ensures brake lights and other light sources are not mistaken for flicker and allows for more accurate post-incident investigations.
Cloud-based monitoring solution
“By offering the most reliable video surveillance technology and secure cloud-based monitoring services, March Networks is meeting the needs of transportation customers and rapidly growing the services side of our business,” said Net Payne, March Networks’ Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.
Net Payne adds, “Almost 27 million people rely on this transportation authority’s buses each year. We are proud that our RideSafe solution was chosen to help safeguard this ridership.”
Videosoft's adaptive low bandwidth video streaming technology has been selected and installed on the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), in order to help relay high-quality footage of the ship’s various missions, back to humans on land.
On its maiden voyage this spring, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will trace the route of the famous 1620 Mayflower ship, sailing from Plymouth, in the United Kingdom to Plymouth, in Massachusetts, USA. Only this time, there will be no human captain or crew on board, as the 15 meters, lightweight, hybrid-electric powered trimaran (multi-hull vessel) crosses the Atlantic Ocean.
Real-time feedback and visuals
Videosoft’s technology will help capture footage from the Mayflower's six onboard cameras at sea. Using satellite connectivity and compression technologies, footage will be transmitted back to AI developers and research scientists, providing them real-time feedback and visuals, during the mission. It will also be used to provide the media and public with updates about interesting events that occur during the ship’s ocean adventures.
“The ability to receive live video feed from the ship using minimal communication bandwidth is a game changer for us,” said Don Scott, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship for Marine AI.
Reliable monitoring of the live situation
Videosoft provides real-time telepresence, allowing us to reliably monitor the live situation"
Don Scott adds, “Videosoft provides real-time telepresence, allowing us to reliably monitor the live situation and give us confidence in the vehicle’s operation at sea. It has already been an invaluable tool during sea trials and we look forward to having the live feed during the voyage itself.”
The international grassroots project is led by marine research organization, ProMare, alongside IBM, which is acting as both lead technology partner and lead scientific partner, with other key design and construction partners, including MSubs, Aluship (Aluship Technology) and Marine AI.
AI Captain with computer vision technology
With an AI Captain at the helm, MAS is able to operate for long distances and durations at sea collecting critical data about the ocean. Powered by IBM’s computer vision, automation, and machine learning technologies, the AI Captain maintains constant situational awareness and makes decisions about what to do next in line with collision regulations.
Small, lightweight edge devices from NVIDIA provide local computer power for operational independence, relying on IBM Cloud connectivity when available.
Cutting-edge video streaming solution
Videosoft was selected for its cutting-edge video streaming solution and its ability to reliably stream video from onboard cameras and computer vision systems, which scan the horizon for hazards, as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship sails. Videosoft's software runs on IBM's platform, which skippers the vessel and is linked via satellite.
Videosoft's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stewart McCone said, “This project is designed to transform humanity’s relationship with the ocean. To say we're totally thrilled to be involved in the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project would be an understatement.”
Stewart McCone adds, “By working alongside innovative and specialist companies, who are experts in their field and have an intimate knowledge of what they are doing, Videosoft is enabling the ambitions of this multi-million-pound project. Streaming live video from ocean-going vessels is not straightforward and you really need to know what you're doing to pull it off successfully.”
Intelligent transmission protocol
An intelligent transmission protocol is required to maintain connectivity"
He further stated, “An intelligent transmission protocol is required to maintain connectivity. In addition to switching between satellite and cellular networks, variable signal strength, the topography of network masts, atmospheric conditions, satellite capabilities, speed, and variables all impact the available bandwidth.”
Stewart McCone said, “Videosoft, which has developed software specifically for the satellite and cellular industry, to negate the typical issues that arise when using such networks, has made it possible to have eyes on the ocean 24/7. The unique protocols that the Videosoft team has built into our software mean that any video delay from the Mayflower will be dramatically reduced, with any streamed video automatically adapting to the amount of available bandwidth, while retaining good quality.”
Real-time situational awareness
Stewart continues, “Even in our knowledge-rich industry, not many people realize that this can be done, but it can and is relatively simple to put in place, thanks to our easy-to-use software platform. As with CCTV, IoT and surveillance applications, Videosoft's ability to provide reliable video streams creates a real-time situational awareness that is critical to the operational success of projects, such as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship.”
He further adds, “The Videosoft vision has always been to get involved in pioneering projects, such as the Mayflower and serves to underpin Videosoft's mission statement of deploying technology to solve real-world problems at the highest global level, using video and remote services, to make the world be a better, safer place. We're showing that this specialist tech does exist and that we can enable all Internet of Things (IoT) applications for the common good. If that interests you, come and talk to us.”
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic.
Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months.
Video monitoring systems
The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic.
Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months.
Safe-specific video analytics
Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year.
Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months.
Contactless access control
The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras
Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months.
However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months.
Reduced VMS costs
The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year.
A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021.
Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority
As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there.
Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’.
Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’.
Smarter, easier to use video systems
There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’
Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now.
Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’.
Cloud on the horizon
73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration
Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration.
Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimizing their video monitoring systems looking forward.
VSaaS selection criteria
For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection.
Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’
The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’.
While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China.
A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.'
A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’.
Latest analytic capabilities
An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching’.
Balance of power
The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing.
According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic.
Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year.
Workspace management technologies
Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimizing the risk of COVID infection.
For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps.
Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation.
Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection
There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements"
Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging."
“There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.”
Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud.
This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?
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?
When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a world of uncertainty unfolded for those doing business in the UK and the EU. The referendum was passed in July 2016. Including subsequent delays, the separation was completed after four years in January 2020, with a transition period ending December 2020. Even with the deadlines past, there are still pockets of uncertainty stemming from the separation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How has Brexit affected the security industry?