National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s third party certification body for the security and fire safety sectors, was a proud sponsor of the 2019 Women in Security Awards which took place on 12 September, recognizing the significant contribution and achievements of women within the wider world of security. Organized by Professional Security Magazine and Patron, Una Riley, almost 250 security professionals gathered aboard the Dixie Queen riverboat on the River Thames to celebrate and honor the 15 finalists. Una, the first woman to own an NSI approved electronic security company, founded the Awards to raise the profile of women working in what is, a traditionally male dominated sector. This prestigious black tie evening is now firmly established in the industry calendar, attracting sponsorship from thirteen industry organizations. NSI would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists selected from over 200 nominations by the pre-eminent judging panel. This year representatives from NSI approved/assessed companies featured as finalists in three of the five award categories: Security Manager: Janet Owens, Intu Uxbridge Frontline: Sara Stephenson – Sodexo (Winner) Wendy Tomlinson – CIS Security Samantha Askew – Sodexo Technical: Carly Taylor – Sodexo Contribution to Industry: Amanda McCloskey – CIS Security (Winner) auditors from guarding services Richard Jenkins NSI Chief Executive commented: “We were delighted to once again sponsor the Women in Security Awards, an event we have been closely involved with for a number of years. It was great to see so many members of the security industry gather to celebrate and honor the success of the Award winners and finalists who play such a vital role within our sector and communities. "This year NSI was pleased to support the event with a complement of attendees from our own team of women in security, including auditors from within guarding services and security systems. Our warmest congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists - we wish them continued success in their careers.”
RiverSafe, globally renowned cyber security and analytics consulting company is celebrating a move to brand new purpose built offices in Canary Wharf to accommodate its rapidly expanding team. RiverSafe offers a range of services and capabilities that help customers understand and respond to security threats across their digital enterprise. The move provides RiverSafe with larger office space to accommodate the firm’ growing team. Based in Canary Wharf, the new offices are more strategically located in closer proximity to its customers to allow RiverSafe to better serve these clients. The offices also have better hosting facilities for vendors, partners and customers and are well-kitted out with all the latest technology to ensure a conducive working environment. Cloud and DevOps services RiverSafe has attained Elite Status for Splunk Professional Services Delivery in EMEA In the past 12 months, RiverSafe staff numbers have grown by 30%. Other notable developments include establishing a new DevSecOps Practice to bridge the gap between Cloud and DevOps and security teams. RiverSafe has attained Elite Status for Splunk Professional Services Delivery in EMEA and it is currently the number 1 Exabeam Service Delivery Partner globally. Suid Adeyanju, co-founder and Director at RiverSafe comments “Our vision is to build the largest and most accredited team of security experts in Europe and we are well on our way to fulfilling that goal. We have grown the team and moved to new purpose-built offices to accommodate the additional headcount. The new offices are designed to accommodate our continued expansion and we are very excited about the new space.” High-value customer solutions RiverSafe enjoys strong partnerships with many vendors enabling it to provide high-value customer solutions. RiverSafe drives innovation for customers which has enabled it to sustain continued growth. The company has a strong track record of delivering results – largely down to its team of highly experienced consultants with a reputation for delighting customers. During the year, RiverSafe increased its key vendor relationships and now works with 10+ vendor partners including Splunk, Palo Alto, Exabeam, AWS, Cisco and many more. Key customers include Sky, Deutsche Bank, BP, Aviva and Vodafone.
Nets, renowned company in the European payments industry, has collaborated with multinational professional services provider, KPMG, to develop Nets Fraud Ensemble, a next-generation fraud monitoring and prevention solution. As the total annual value of fraudulent transactions across Europe hits €1.8 billion, the need to step up fraud prevention, particularly in card not present (CNP) transactions, has never been greater. Reducing transaction fraud is an increasingly convoluted and nuanced business, however, as factors such as the mass adoption of e-commerce, increasing cross-border payments, and the growing popularity of new digital payment methods combine to add new layers of complexity. Nets Fraud Ensemble AI-enabled anti-fraud solution Nets Fraud Ensemble is an AI-powered anti-fraud engine that assists fraud prevention teams Nets Fraud Ensemble is an AI-powered anti-fraud engine that assists fraud prevention teams to navigate this ever-changing landscape in real time. By deploying true machine learning (i.e. a system that identifies emerging fraud indicators as well as established patterns), it represents a significant step forward from the rules-based models that are currently in use across the international banking industry. Sune Gabelgård, Head of Digital Fraud, Intelligence & Research, Nets, said “Although initiatives such as 3D-Secure have done much to make it more secure for people to shop online across Europe, the industry still faces challenges. Many issuing banks have focused on fraud prevention through consumer education, but the industry must also tackle the problem where it starts and where it is orchestrated by organized criminal enterprises: on the internet.” Fraud monitoring and prevention “Nets has significant and proven capabilities in fraud monitoring and prevention, and has been utilizing AI in this area for several years. Nets Fraud Ensemble takes this to the next level. It brings security and value to issuers, merchants and cardholders by blocking fraudulent card-present and card-not-present transactions in real time, creating a real societal benefit by keeping illegally obtained funds out of the hands of criminals. We look forward to our continued collaboration with KPMG to stay ahead of the curve and prevent fraud throughout the value chain.” The ‘brain’ of Nets Fraud Ensemble consists of multiple models working together to analyze each individual transaction within ten milliseconds – the time frame in which a transaction can be safely blocked. Artificial Intelligence solution Nets Fraud Ensemble also decreases operating costs and chargebacks for a better cardholder experienceThe solution learns from the results of its analysis and adjusts accordingly, meaning the longer that it is operational the more fraudulent transactions are blocked, and the fewer false positives are granted. In initial pilot programs, it reduced fraudulent payments by 25% within weeks and up to 40% in the long-term. The benefits to issuers extend beyond achieving significant reductions in fraud. Nets Fraud Ensemble also decreases operating costs and chargebacks, creating an improved cardholder experience. Furthermore, to balance accuracy with customer convenience, issuers can implement customized decision thresholds to minimize false declines. Preventing financial fraud Bent Dalager, Nordic Head of NewTech and Financial Services, KPMG, adds “In terms of tangible reduction of fraudulent transactions, Nets Fraud Ensemble is surpassing all other products currently available. The development of Fraud Ensemble and its state-of-the-art algorithms is the result of Nets’ and KPMG's combined innovation capabilities, AI experience and fraud monitoring and prevention expertise. It's a big step forward in the use of AI to fight fraud."
MOBOTIX has taken another step towards making its technology available and integrating it in partner systems. After extensive development processes and testing, all MOBOTIX IoT camera solutions have been integrated in Genetec’s cloud-based Stratocast video management system. Genetec, global provider of video management systems solutions, has been one of MOBOTIX’s most important technology partners for many years. Integration with MOBOTIX IoT camera solutions The integration of our camera systems in Stratocast, whose high level of cyber security is put to the test in annual stress tests" “The integration of our camera systems in Stratocast, whose high level of cyber security is put to the test in annual stress tests and evaluations, is another milestone in the long-term cooperative relationship between MOBOTIX and Genetec,” says Hartmut Sprave, CTO of MOBOTIX AG. “When we make our technology available and integrate it into other solutions, it is paramount to us that we do not compromise on the cyber security of our systems,” Thomas Dieregsweiler, Head of Product Management at MOBOTIX AG, adds. “Genetec and MOBOTIX speak the same language: We are one of the world’s first camera manufacturers to successfully integrate in Stratocast,” Dieregsweiler further points out. Stratocast cloud-based video management system The cloud-based video management system Stratocast (VSaaS) is designed especially for small and medium-sized businesses. When using Stratocast, customers can always rest assured that their company is protected and that seamless operation is ensured. Using a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, Stratocast guarantees access to live videos and video recordings that are stored cyber-safe in the cloud. Many customers across the world rely on the cloud solution, which is tailored to small applications under 50 cameras, or in other words, small and medium-sized companies. The end customer themselves requires only basic computer expertise, as no computer infrastructure such as additional servers have to be installed on site and no maintenance or updates are required. This makes the solutions affordable and very transparent for the customer. They only pay by usage. Genetec and MOBOTIX technologies synergy Stratocast allows the customer to circumvent typical server-based problems such as additional IT infrastructure or employees, lack of storage space, loss of records, and unscalable prices or functionalities. The scope of functions provided can also be extended by using the Genetec Security Center for central monitoring. This means the cloud-based network can grow and develop according to the customer’s needs. As is the case for MOBOTIX, cyber security and data protection are the highest priority at Genetec. For example, all communication between the on-site system and the cloud is fully encrypted with TLS (Transport Layer Security). Genetec guarantees 99.5 percent availability (availability and access to video). Data back up and cyber security Camera solutions from MOBOTIX have an excellent reputation around the world for good reason All data is backed up three-fold in the cloud. Genetec works exclusively with hardware and software partners who meet the high quality standards for cyber security and data protection. Camera solutions from MOBOTIX have an excellent reputation around the world for good reason. They are robust, durable, and cyber-safe. No successful hacking attacks have been recorded anywhere in the world to date. “We have integrated our technology into Stratocast’s technology over the last six months. All test series were completed successfully,” explains Thomas Lausten, CEO of MOBOTIX AG. He adds, “The excellent quality of our video solutions combined with a keen focus on cyber security and our global sales network is how we became one of the first camera manufacturers to integrate our technology in the cloud-based Stratocast video surveillance system from globally renowned video management solutions firm, Genetec. It proves once again that the decentralized intelligence of our camera systems makes MOBOTIX one of the most important players on the global market.”
Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, discusses the business benefits from merging video surveillance and access control technologies as demand for ACaaS grows. The big question facing businesses today is how they will use the data that they possess to unlock new forms of value using emerging technologies such as the cloud, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Some data is better utilized than others: financial services were quick to recognize the competitive advantages in exploiting technology to improve customer service, detect fraud and improve risk assessment. In the world of physical security, however, we’re only just beginning to understand the potential of the data that our systems gather as a part of their core function. Benefits of ‘Integrated access control’ The first thing to look for is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functionsWhat many businesses have yet to realize is that many emerging technologies come into their own when used across multiple sources of data. In physical security, for example, we’re moving from discussions about access control and CCTV as siloed functions, to platforms that combine information for analysis from any source, and applying machine learning algorithms to deliver intelligent insights back to the business. ‘Integrated access control’ then looks not just to images or building management, but to images, building management, HR databases and calendar information, all at the same time. And some of the benefits are only now starting to become clear. The first thing to look for, of course, is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functions. For example, by combining traditional access control data, such as when a swipe card is used, with a video processing platform capable of facial recognition, a second factor of authentication is provided without the need to install separate biometric sensors. CCTV cameras are already deployed in most sensitive areas, so if a card doesn’t match the user based on HR records, staff can be quickly alerted. Making the tools cost-Effective In a similar vein, if an access card is used by an employee, who is supposed to be on holiday according to the HR record, then video data can be used to ensure the individual’s identity and that the card has not been stolen – all before a human operator becomes involved. This is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalization of a vital business functionThese capabilities are not new. What is, however, is the way in which cloud-based computing platforms for security analytics, which absorb information from IP-connected cameras, make the tools much more cost effective, accessible and easier to manage than traditional on-site server applications. In turn, this is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalization of a vital business function. With this system set up, only access control hardware systems are deployed on premise while the software and access control data are shifted to a remote location and provided as a service to users on a recurring monthly subscription. The benefits of such an arrangement are numerous but include avoiding large capital investments, greater flexibility to scale up and down, and shifting the onus of cybersecurity and firmware updates to the vendor. Simple installation and removal of endpoints What’s more, because modern video and access control systems transmit data via the IP network, installation and removal of endpoints are simple, requiring nothing more than PoE and Wi-Fi. Of all the advantages of the ‘as a service’ model, it’s the rich data acquired from ACaaS that makes it so valuable, and capable of delivering business benefits beyond physical security. Managers are constantly looking for better quality of information to inform decision making, and integrated access control systems know more about operations than you might think. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lightsRight now, many firms are experimenting with ways to find efficiencies and reduce costs. For example, lights that automatically turn off to save energy are common in offices today, but can be a distraction if employees have to constantly move around to trigger motion detectors. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lights depending on exactly who is in the room and where they are sitting. Tracking the movement of employees Camera data has been used in retail to track the movement of customers in stores, helping managers to optimize displays and position stocks. The same technology can be used to map out how employees move around a workspace, finding out where productivity gains can be made by moving furniture around or how many desks should be provisioned. Other potential uses of the same data could be to look for correlations between staff movement – say to a store room – and sales spikes, to better predict stock ordering. What makes ACaaS truly exciting is it is still a very new field, and we’re only just scratching the surface of the number of ways that it can be used to create new sources of value. As smart buildings and smart city technology evolves, more and more open systems will become available, offering more ways to combine, analyze and draw insights from data. Within a few years, it will become the rule, rather than the exception, and only grow in utility as it does.
The cyber security threat is constant and real. Entire businesses, large enterprises and even whole cities have been vulnerable to these attacks. Growing threat of cyber attacks The threat is not trivial. Recently, two cities in Florida hit by ransom ware attacks – Rivera Beach and Lake City – opted to capitulate and pay ransom totaling more than $1.1 million to hackers. The attacks had disrupted communications for first responders and crippled online payment and traffic-ticketing systems. It was reminiscent of the $4 billion global WannaCry attacks on financial and healthcare companies. A full two years after the WannaCry attack, many of the hundreds of thousands of computers affected remain infected. And hackers are continuously devising new techniques, adapting the latest technology innovations including machine learning and artificial intelligence to devise more destructive forms of attack. Indeed, AI promises to become the next major weapon in the cyber arms race. For enterprises, there is no choice but to recognize the threat and adopt effective countermeasures Enterprise security For enterprises, there is no choice but to recognize the threat and adopt effective countermeasures. Not surprisingly, as the number, scale and sophistication of cyber-attacks has grown, so has the significance of the Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO, who owns the responsibility of sounding the alarm to the C-suite and the board – and recommending the best defense strategies. Consider it a grim irony of the digital economy. As companies have migrated to the cloud to gain scale and efficiency and integrated new channels and touch points to make it easier for their customers and suppliers to do business with them, they have also created more potential points of entry for cyber-attacks. IoT Increases Threat of cyber-attacks Amplifying that vulnerability is the trend of allowing employees to bring their own laptops, smartphones and other digital devices to the office or use to work remotely. And thanks to the Internet of Things, as more devices connect to enterprise systems – from thermostats to cars – the threat surface or targets of intrusion are multiplying exponentially. According to the McAfee Labs 2019 Threats Predictions Report, hackers will increasingly turn to AI to help them evade detection and automate their target selection. Companies will have no choice but to begin adopting AI defenses to counter these cybercriminals. Importance of cyber security This escalation in the cyber arms race reflects the sheer volume of data and transactions in modern life. In businesses like financial services and healthcare it is not humanly possible to examine every transaction for anomalies that might signal cyber snooping. Even when oddities are glimpsed, simply flagging potential problems can create so-called threat fatigue from endless false alarms. What’s more, attacks like those from Trickbots are specifically designed to go undetected by end users. The fact is, even if throwing more people at the problem were a solution, there aren’t enough skilled cyber security workers in the world. By some estimates, as many as 10 million cyber security jobs now go unfilled. AI is being used to conduct predictive analysis at a scale beyond human means Deploying AI As a result, AI is being deployed on multiple cyber-defense fronts. So far, it is mainly being used to conduct predictive analysis at a scale beyond human means. AI programs can sift through petabytes of data, identifying anomalies and even helping an organization recognize and diagnose intrusions before they turn into catastrophic attacks. AI can also be used to continually monitor and allocate levels of access to a network’s multitude of legitimate users – whether employees, customers, partners or suppliers – to ensure that all parties have the access they need, but only the access they need. Countering cyber security threats To harden defenses, some AI programs can be configured to perform simulated war games To harden defenses, some AI programs can be configured to perform simulated war games. Because cyber attackers have stealth on their side, organizations might need dozens of experts to counter only a handful of attackers. AI can help even the odds, scoping out the potential permutations of vulnerabilities. As CISOs – and the CIOs they typically report to – advise C-suites and boards on their growing cybersecurity risk, they can also help those leaders recognize an enduring truth: AI programs cannot replace experienced cybersecurity professionals. But the technology can make staff smarter, more vigilant and more nimbly responsive. AI-based cyber security tools Financial and healthcare companies are leading this charge because of the sheer volume and variety of transactions they handle and because of the value and sensitivity of the data. Organizations like the U.S. Department of Defense and the space agency NASA, as well as governments around the world are also implementing AI-based tools to address the cyber threat. For businesses of all types, the threat stretches from the back office to the supply chain to the store front. That is why recognizing and countering that threat must involve everyone from the CISO to the CEO to the Chairman of the Board. The AI arms race is underway in security. To delay joining it is to risk letting your enterprise become one of the grim statistics.
We live in an information and data-led world, and cybersecurity must remain top-of-mind for any organization looking to both protect business operation critical assets. Businesses without proper cyber measures allow themselves to be at risk from a huge list of threats - from cybercriminals conducting targeted spear-phishing campaigns - like the 2018 Moscow World Cup vacation rental scam, to nation-state actors looking to collect intelligence for decision makers - no organization is safe from innovative cyber threats. Security solutions enterprises Organizations can then set the groundwork necessary to stop malicious activity and keep their business’ data safe The evolving threat space means organizations need to ensure they have the most innovative prevention and detection frameworks in order to withstand adversaries using complex and persistent threats. When implementing new security solutions enterprises must start by assuming that there is already a bad actor within their IT environment. With this mindset, organizations can then set the groundwork necessary to stop malicious activity and keep their business’ data safe. As there is no one silver bullet that truly stops all cyberattacks, organizations must adopt a multipronged approach to be widely adopted to stop adversaries. This must include tracking, analyzing and pinpointing the motivation of cyber actors to stay one step ahead through global intelligence gathering and proactive threat hunting. In addition, deploying new technologies leveraging the power of the cloud give a holistic view of the continuously evolving threat landscape and thereby secure data more efficiently. Traditional security approach In today’s landscape, the propagation of advanced exploits and easily accessible tools has led to the blurring of tactics between statecraft and tradecraft. Traditional security approaches are no longer viable when it comes to dealing with the latest trends in complex threats. To make defending against these threats even more complicated, adversaries are constantly adapting their tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), making use of the best intelligence and tools. CrowdStrike’s latest Global Threat Report tracked the speed of the most notable adversaries including Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Iranian groups. As the adversaries’ TTPs evolve into sophisticated attack vectors defenders need to recognize we are amidst an extreme cyber arms race, where any of the above can become the next creator of a devastating attack. Russian efficiency is particularly high; they can spread through an enterprise network in 18 minutes 48 seconds on average, following the initial cyber-intrusion. Sophisticated cyber weapons Actors tend to use a simple trial and error technique where they test the organization's network So, reacting to threats in real-time is a priority. Bad actors are extremely vigilant and committed to breaking down an organization’s defenses, and speed is essential to finding the threats before they spread. Actors tend to use a simple trial and error technique where they test the organization's network, arm themselves with more sophisticated cyber weapons, and attack again until they find a vulnerability. This has highlighted the need for tools that provide teams with full visibility over the entire technology stack in real-time in order to meet these threats head-on. Traditional solutions are scan-based, which means they don’t scale well and can’t give the security teams context around suspicious activity happening on the network. They lack full visibility when a comprehensive approach is needed. Businesses without proper cyber measures allow themselves to be at risk from a huge list of threats - like the 2018 Moscow World Cup vacation rental scam Malicious Behavior Through leveraging the power of the cloud and crowdsourcing data from multiple use cases, security teams can tap into a wealth of intelligence collated from across a vast community. This also includes incorporating threat graph data. Threat graphs log and map out each activity and how they relate to one another, helping organizations to stay ahead of threats and gain visibility into unknowns. Threat graph data in conjunction with incorporating proactive threat hunting into your security stack creates a formidable 360-degree security package. Managed threat hunting teams are security specialists working behind the scenes facing some of the most sophisticated cyber adversaries through hands on keyboard activity. Threat hunters perform quickly to pinpoint anomalies or malicious behavior on your network and can prioritize threats for SOC teams for faster remediation. In-Depth knowledge Security teams need to beat the clock and condense their responseIt is key for security teams to have an in-depth knowledge of the threat climate and key trends being deployed by adversaries. The TTPs used by adversaries leave are vital clues on how organizations can best defend themselves from real-life threats. Intrusion ‘breakout time’ is a key metric tracked at CrowdStrike. This is the time it takes for an intruder to begin moving laterally outside of the initial breach and head to other parts of the network to do damage. Last year, the global average was four hours and 37 minutes. Security teams need to beat the clock and condense their response and ejection of attackers before real damage is done. Next-Generation solutions When managing an incident clients need to be put at ease by investigations moving quickly and efficiently to source the root of the issue. Teams need to offer insight and suggest a strategy. This can be achieved by following the simple rule of 1-10-60, where organizations should detect malicious intrusions in under a minute, understand the context and scope of the intrusion in ten minutes, and initiate remediation activities in less than an hour. The most efficient security teams working for modern organizations try to adhere to this rule. As the threat landscape continues to evolve in both complexity and scale, adequate budget and resources behind security teams and solutions will be determining factors as how quickly a business can respond to a cyberattack. To avoid becoming headline news, businesses need to arm themselves with next-generation solutions. Behavioral analytics The solution can then know when to remove an adversary before a breakout occurs Behavioral analytics and machine learning capabilities identify known and unknown threats by analyzing unusual behavior within the network. These have the ability to provide an essential first line of defense, giving security teams a clear overview of their environment. With this at hand, the solution can then know when to remove an adversary before a breakout occurs. Attackers hide in the shadows of a network’s environment, making the vast volume and variety of threats organizations face difficult to track manually. The automation of responses and detection in real-time is a lifeline that organization cannot live without as adversaries enhance and alter their strategies. Adversaries continue to develop new ways to disrupt organizations, with cybersecurity industry attempting to keep pace, developing new and innovative products to help organizations protect themselves. These technologies empower security teams, automating processes and equipping security teams with the knowledge to respond quickly. Organizations can set themselves up for success by integrating the 1-10-60 rule into their security measures, giving them an effective strategy against the most malicious adversaries.
Many exhibitors at GSX 2019 saw the show as a success, despite slower booth traffic on the second and third days. According to show sponsor ASIS International, there were more than 20,000 registrants from 125 countries around the world, including those who attended the conference as well as the exhibition. Exhibitors definitely put their best feet forward, enthusiastically promoting their technology breakthroughs, but how convincing were they? The comments from at least one attendee – a large corporate end user who represents a key demographic for show organizers – bluntly suggest that healthy skepticism was on display side-by-side with the promotional energy in play.On this floor, there are some lies being given out. Ask the tough questions, make the exhibitors show you" “On this floor, there are some lies being given out,” said Rudy A. Wolter, CTO, Security and Investigative Services for Citigroup, a financial services corporation. He advised fellow attendees to “listen for them, ferret them out, ask the tough questions. Make [the exhibitors] show you.” “Don’t be afraid to ask these men and women questions,” added Wolter. “Don’t be afraid to challenge them. If you don’t challenge them, they’re not getting any better which means we aren’t getting any better. At the end of the day, they’re the leaders; they’re the ones making change; they’re the ones touching systems; they’re the ones helping integration.” Banking security with Verint At Citigroup, Wolter oversees 1,300 bank branches in North America that use Verint systems, including 23,000 cameras tied into a single command center. Skepticism aside, Wolter also provided evidence that even tough customers can be brought around. Specifically, he is sold on Verint: “When you have a problem, this company listens,” he told attendees at a Verint gathering on the show floor. New at GSX 2019 is the Verint Video Investigator, which is software that empowers investigators to quickly find the data they need to identify security threats in near real-time. In all, Verint serves in excess of 2,300 individual financial institutions, with tens of thousands of branches. Wolter was one of several end users willing to sing their praises publicly. Other GSX exhibitors were also proud to have their own real-world success stories. Placing the emphasis on outcomes At GSX, I heard more than once that outcomes are more important than technologies. Customers don’t want to hear about technologies, but rather about what those technologies can do for them. Avigilon, now a subsidiary of Motorola Solutions, is another company that is focused on outcomes rather than technology per se. “Instead of focusing on megapixels and terabytes, the end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management,” says John Kedzierski, Sr. VP of Video Solutions at Motorola Solutions. “We are working to provide that outcome." The end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management" How operators work to ensure outcomes is another aspect that is changing, says Kedzierski. “Watching video is obsolete,” he says. Using Avigilon’s new system, the operator instead is looking at color-coded hexagons; one color means motion, another means an analytic event. Operators click on various hexagons to view video. Also at GSX 2019, Avigilon featured its new H5A camera line, with expanded object classification analytics, detailed object detection, and tracking in crowded scenes; and focused on the Avigilon Blue cloud system. They are working to make every camera capable of detecting faces, which can be matched to a watch list. How technology addresses marketplace changes Addressing the changing marketplace was another GSX theme. As the workplace changes, ASSA ABLOY Americas is adapting its technology to address new employment practices such as "hot-desking," and remote and mobile workers, says Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer. Systems have to be able both to protect assets and also to provide flexibility to accommodate the changing workforce, he said. Corporate acquisitions are directly expanding the capabilities that ASSA ABLOY brings to the market. For example, they recently acquired Luxer One, a locker company that enables secure delivery of packages without customers needing to stand in line or wait for service. Deliveries can be made in seconds. Peter Boriskin of ASSA ABLOY Americas led a booth tour, including new power capabilities gained in the acquisition of LifeSafety Power Another recent ASSA ABLOY acquisition is LifeSafety Power, which is expanding the company’s capability to provide proactive data on wired systems by tracking power usage. For example, a spike in current might mean a problem with a component. Compiling “intelligent triggers” enables creation of a dashboard to provide analytics of wired systems. ASSA ABLOY has also been devising predictive analytics of wireless locks to predict battery life, for instance, and to address other maintenance challenges. “We want to know what’s going on at a door without visiting it,” says Boriskin. New exhibitors make their mark New exhibitors were part of the GSX mix. One new exhibitor was Vaion. It’s their first trade show after launching at IFSEC in London in June. Vaion combines a small camera portfolio with on-premise servers and software managed through the cloud for an end-to-end solution. Tormod Ree, co-founder and CEO, calls it a “hybrid cloud delivery model”. Vaion is also a “more proactive security model,” said Ree. Video is analyzed for anomalies, and the server “learns” what is normal and not normal. The system provides alerts and notifications, occupancy counting and traffic control, among other features. And “overlays” are employed to present information on a map. Vaion can highlight video that is more likely to be relevant and prioritize feeds that have more activity. Vaion designs the hardware, which is manufactured in Taiwan. Vaion was a first-time exhibitor at GSX 2019 with their end-to-end video system; Tomod Ree is co-founder and CEO Gunshot detection technology EAGL Technology displayed their “Firefly” gunshot detection technology at GSX 2019. Based on technology originally developed for use in the military for sniper detection, the U.S. Department of Energy adapted it to civilian uses after the Sandy Hook School shooting. Boaz Raz, CEO, said the technology is the “most advanced and affordable, wireless for use indoors or outdoors, and it can control doors and cameras”. It doesn’t “listen” for gunshots like some competitors; rather it measures energy for “6 sigma” accuracy (almost 100%). Defining, and redefining, end-to-end solutions End-to-end solutions were all the rage at GSX 2019, but Allied Universal was one exhibitor that pondered what, exactly, is an end-to-end solution? It means different things to different people. For example, a video company’s end-to-end solution would not include access control. When Allied Universal claims to offer an end-to-end solution, they mean it in the broadest definition of the term, including all security systems deployed for a customer as well as the important human element (i.e., manguarding). “The industry’s emphasis on ‘end-to-end’ doesn’t encompass a full solution,” says Mike Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer. “When somebody uses the term end-to-end, you have to ask: What’s at both ends?” The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring. Clients want full-service solutions" “The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring,” adds Mullison. “Clients want full-service solutions.” Allied Universal is adding new technology elements to its offering, and Mullison says “the next phase of growth will be fueled by technology.” Allied Universal recently introduced the Heliaus product, a smart phone app that accesses an analytics engine to predict outcomes and prescribe optimum responses. It literally puts technology in a security guard’s hand. One customer has found that use of the technology resulted in a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents. The latest in access control among exhibitors In addition to video, access control had a big profile at GSX 2019, as evidenced by ASSA ABLOY America and many other companies. Another example is SALTO Systems, featuring its new NEO cylinder for wireless access control and the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN); the SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door. The SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door The compact SALTO NEO Cylinder is designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required and can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, or sliding doors. Low energy consumption results in 110,000 cycles with just one set of batteries. Other SALTO products are SALTO KS (Keys as a Service); SALTO BLUEnet Wireless for Bluetooth RF-driven real-time control of doors; the XS4 One Deadlatch stand-alone electronic lock; and JustIN Mobile, which replaces the need for an access card by securely sending a mobile key Over the Air (OTA) to an iOS or Android device from SALTO’s ProAccess SPACE management software. The next step in integration A new company reflecting the GSX emphasis on integration is Security and Safety Things (SAST), which is still in launch mode but expects to have its first pilot customers in the Q4. The first camera vendors embracing the SAST platform will have cameras for sale at ISC West in the spring. SAST is creating an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphones.SAST is creating an IoT platform for the next generation of security cameras “SAST is a technology platform, but it is also a business platform and a relationship platform,” said Emmanuel Ventadour, VP Sales and Marketing. For app developers, SAST also provides non-technical commercial services (i.e., easing their route to market.) Hartmut Schaper, CEO, emphasizes the “openness” of the company. Even though they are a spinoff of Bosch, they are treating every camera manufacturer equally, he says. For integrators, the use of apps can expand their field of play. Apps will empower integrators to use video for more business processes – not just security – and expand their reach with customers, says Schaper. From skepticism to sales There were plenty of product claims at GSX to feed the skepticism of even the toughest of potential customers. Fortunately, product claims were only the beginning of conversations with attendees at this year’s show. No doubt manufacturers were put through their paces more than once, and a few of them even came out on the other side with potential new business to show for their efforts. That’s the true measure of success at GSX 2019, or any trade show. Click here to read our reviews from Day One and Day Two of the show.
One of the common characteristics of trade shows is booths with walls and walls of new products. Sometimes exhibitors seem intent on displaying everything in their portfolio, even though the displays appear cluttered and may not be welcoming. In an age of system sales, in particular, the emphasis on products can seem off kilter. Discussions with exhibitors at this year’s GSX show reveal a new awareness of the need for less cluttered booths, but the equipment walls persist. Here’s a review of Day 2 from the show floor. Allegion embraces more open booth design At GSX 2019, Allegion is among the exhibitors embracing a new, more open booth design that encourages engagement with customers and puts less emphasis on product displays. Discussions at the Allegion booth have centered around the value proposition and lower complexity of network-connected access control systems. The approach has been gaining a higher profile at Allegion since the company acquired Isonas, whose system configuration involves a reader-controller connected to the network via power-over-Ethernet cable. “Customers are also asking about Bluetooth technology and mobile applications,” said Jonathan Mooney, Allegion sales leader. Allegion is looking to deploy the Isonas software in other products in their portfolio; it will be offered in the range of Schlage wireless locks by the middle of 2020.The benefit of the cloud and network is to remove a lot of complexity and unnecessary costs for access control" “The benefit of the cloud and network is to remove a lot of complexity and unnecessary costs for access control,” said Mooney. Bosch offers complete security solution Bosch is introducing 55 new products at GSX 2019, but when it comes down to it, the company’s overarching message is not about individual products but about how they can be combined into a larger system. “At the end of the day, the message from Bosch is ‘how do I create a complete security solution?’” said Paul Garms, Bosch Director, Regional Marketing Security. “That’s what we are trying to demonstrate: How do all these things integrate?” Most of interest to attendees are actual demonstrations, which are a unique aspect of the trade show experience. “It’s nice at a show where we can really demonstrate what we are talking about when we say ‘integrated solution,’” said Garms. “And people can say, ‘oh yeah, if I trip this video analytic, the speaker will warn me I am approaching a restricted area.’ Or, when the manager signs in on the intrusion panel, now the associate can access a door he wasn’t able to before. It’s that integration and the complete solution that resonates. People are also interested in new products. At a show, they like to see them in operation.” At the Bosch booth, there is a big wall that illustrates some integration possibilities. An array of cameras was among the 55 new products introduced by Bosch, which also emphasized systems. Machine learning and advanced video analytics One implementation featured on the wall is Bosch’s Camera Trainer machine learning system. The system can “train” a camera to recognize a car in a parking lot, for example. Among the new Bosch products is the Autodome 7000i, the next generation of a best-selling camera, now with H.265 encoding and analytics such as line crossing. There is also an outdoor panoramic camera that is adjustable to 180-degree or 360-degree views. The new, less expensive 3000i series cameras provide an affordable option with edge analytics and Bosch’s data security protection included. Integration from Honeywell as well as 'the big picture' At Honeywell Security Group, Senior Product Manager G. Eric Green said the show seems to be much better attended than last year, “and we have had a lot of interest in our products.” Even end-user attendees typical of the GSX show are interested in the details of technology, as well as “the bigger picture,” commented Green. “Some of our booth visitors want to get into the weeds,” he said. “They say they want this piece of hardware. But they also also interested in the big picture. How things are interacting is very important.”Honeywell announced the 30 Series IP cameras, which can be used as part of video systems that comply with National Defense Authorization Act Section 889" “Most customers have installed products from other vendors that they expect us to work with. So integration is always at the top of the list. Can you work with these guys? Do you have an API? Do you support this piece of equipment? We always hear that a lot,” said Green. “There are customers who want best-in-breed products, but they’re not necessarily concerned about that coming from one manufacturer,” he said. “Other customers want ‘one throat to choke.’ When something goes wrong, they don’t want any finger-pointing.” Web-based security console and frictionless access control Honeywell is showing a beta version of its Pro-Watch 5.0 product, which is coming out in Q1 next year. It is an integrated security console that provides a map view of access control, video management, intrusion and other third party systems. The web-based platform offers access to each element, all controlled by permissions. “We are also building in an incident workflow engine that allows an operator to see exactly what steps he should take when something occurs as defined by the supervisor or a security director,” said Green. “It can literally walk you through, and it is completely freeform. Whatever you want it to say, it will say. This works in conjunction with access control, video, and all the things we talk to.” The Honeywell booth was a busy place on day two of GSX 2019 Another new Honeywell product is the OmniAssure Touch reader, a “frictionless” device that can read a credential off a smart phone in a user’s pocket. The user merely touches the reader, and it scans the area for a nearby mobile device that is authorized, and you can walk through the door. Honeywell also announced the 30 Series IP cameras, which are encrypted and can be used as part of video systems that comply with National Defense Authorization Act Section 889. They are made in Taiwan. Arcules' cloud security solution “There are fewer people here at GSX 2019, but we have seen a lot of really big companies looking for a cloud service,” said Andreas Pettersson, CEO of cloud video company Arcules. At previous shows, questions about the cloud often seemed out of curiosity. Now, potential customers are more decisive: They say “we want to move to the cloud.” Pettersson theorized that concerns about a possible weakening economy may prompt some companies to avoid the large capital expenditure of procuring a new on-premise system and instead opt for the minimal investment needed for a cloud system. Monthly operating expenses of a cloud system are also predictable and more easily managed, said Pettersson.At previous shows, questions about the cloud often seemed out of curiosity. Now, potential customers are more decisive Arcules is proactive on the subject of cybersecurity and has a two-page handout that summarizes the cybersecurity advantages of their system. They are eager to talk about cybersecurity as it relates to cloud systems, said Pettersson. He said that, in his experience, on-premise systems tend to have more cybersecurity issues, whether because ports are left open or a firewall is implemented incorrectly. Users may also seek to bypass the firewall — a dangerous practice that is not an option with cloud systems. Security patches may not have been implemented; in a cloud system, such updates are pushed out automatically. The recurring monthly revenue (RMR) aspect of cloud systems are a windfall to integrators who embrace the cloud. “One integrator said he went on vacation for the first time in years because he had the extra money coming in,” said Pettersson. Control room integration from Vistacom "We're still fairly new to GSX, as our first show was 5 years ago, but what we have noticed is that the show continues to attract valuable attendees and drive critical conversations around what companies like ours must bring to the table in order to be successful in this space," said Dan Gundry, Director of Sales and Marketing, Vistacom. "We've had so many chances to learn from and share with potential customers and partners, and as a result, we continue to forge great relationships.” Vistacom is highlighting its control room integration and the value enterprise organizations can gain from implementing one in their facility. The company works alongside end-user customers and security integrators to build a command center space, taking into account video wall display technology, operator consoles and furniture, audio and lighting considerations, as well as temperature and more, in an effort to optimize these centers. Stay tuned for the full GSX 2019 show review.
GSX 2019 got off to a jaunty start Tuesday. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their booths. There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side), while the trend toward system sales is continuing. Here's a review of Day 1 from the show floor. Dahua continues to educate market “Traffic-wise, the show is better than last year,” observed Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, at midday on Tuesday. “We met more people from Latin America,” he added. Shen theorized that Chicago is at the center of a larger territory of customers than last year’s location (Las Vegas).Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement: “We’re still here" Dahua has faced some negative publicity in the last year since they were banned from procurement by U.S. government customers by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement, says Shen. The statement is “We’re still here.” Shen said only one visitor to the Dahua booth even mentioned the NDAA on the first day of the show, and the visitor was misinformed about the provisions and implications of the law. “There is a lot of misinformation,” he says. “We need to continue to educate the market.” Facial recognition, video metadata, and people counting New at the show is the Dahua Analytics+ line of cameras that feature more in-depth analysis of data such as facial attributes, video metadata, and people counting. For example, the cameras can identify 128 points in a face, with an additional 256 attributes analyzed by the back-end recorder. Analysis can provide information such as age and gender, which can help a retailer analyze the demographics of their customers, for instance. Dahua is also adopting some of its consumer line of products for sale through the commercial channel. These include a flood light camera, a 2-megapixel WiFi camera and a doorbell camera. The products might be used outside of a retail store, for example, to complement Dahua commercial cameras that are used inside the store, says Shen. Dahua previewed a new multi-sensor camera that also includes a speed dome. The multi-sensor component combines eight views, each 2 megapixels, for a total of 16 megapixels. Below the multi-sensor camera is mounted a speed dome that can zoom in on regions of interest in the larger multisensor view. The camera will be launched in the fourth quarter. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their exhibits ACRE reports continued North American growth “The industry’s momentum will continue to grow,” predicted Joe Grillo, Principal of ACRE. New areas such as cloud and mobile credentialing have the fastest growth rate, but are starting from a much smaller base, he said, so momentum in those categories will take time.ACRE sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market Grillo noticed the first morning of GSX was busy, although there was a bit of a lull at midday. In terms of the business outlook, Grillo sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market, although there have been some negative elements creeping into the outlook in Europe. Cybersecurity concerns in access control I caught up with Grillo at the booth promoting RS2, a Munster, Ind., access control company that Acre acquired last May. It is the only Acre company that is exhibiting at GSX. RS2 is one of two access control companies acquired by Acre in the last year — the other was Open Options, Addison, Texas. Grillo said the two acquired companies are complementary, especially in terms of their sales channels and geographic strengths. Although both are national companies, RS2 tends to be stronger in the Midwest, while Open Options sales emphasis is centered in Texas and emanates to the rest of the country. Concerns about vulnerabilities are a growing issue in access control, said Grillo, and more large endusers are conducting penetration testing of systems. The industry should welcome the scrutiny, he added. Cybersecurity also represents an business opportunity in access control, noted Grillo. Concerns about the vulnerabilities of legacy technologies such as 125Khz proximity cards and the Wiegand protocol will likely accelerate the pace of companies upgrading their access control systems There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side) Eagle Eye Networks and cloud-based VMS Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks had already realized some new client opportunities during the first day of the show, although he was not optimistic at the outset. In contacting potential clients to meet at the show, he had heard that many were not attending. Among Eagle Eye Networks’ news at the show is full integration of body-cams into their cloud-based video management system. “It’s the most unique thing happening from a video management perspective,” Francis said. Previously, if someone needed a video clip from a body cam, they had to use a separate software system. Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed" Francis continues to be bullish on the subject of cloud adoption of video management and made a bold prediction: “Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed.” Eagle Eye Networks is doing its part with “rocket growth” that is reflected in an increase of company employees from 27 to 165 or so. Economies of scale have enabled Eagle Eye Networks to lower subscription prices by up to 45 percent. Genetec's release self-service PIAM system Many of the “new” products at GSX 2019 are slight variations on what was introduced at ISC West last spring. An exception is Genetec’s introduction of ClearID, a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that enforces security policies while improving the flow of people within the organization. The new system is integrated with the Genetec's Security Center Synergis access control system. PIAM systems have historically been customizable, complex to install and costly, which is why a lot of companies have not used a system. Genetec’s differentiator is that it is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box solution for a broader base of customers. “We scanned the market and found a lack of off-the-shelf identity management systems,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec. “Targeting the mid-market, we are providing an accessible, ready-to-go cloud-based system that is ‘baked’ for the average company but can be integrated and expanded to include other systems.” The trend toward system sales at the show is continuing ClearID will simplify operation for the security department, which was previously tasked with a lot of administrative work in response to various departments. ClearID “pushes down” the authority to use the system to stakeholders (such as IT and/or facilities directors) and provides a system they can use themselves without involving security. “It empowers stakeholders and employees to work directly through the system rather than going through security,” says Arcuri. “It gives employees access based on stakeholder policies and improves the flow of people through an organization. The security director is relieved of administrative work and can work on ‘real’ security.” I saw some other things today, too, which I will share in a future GSX article... And more about the show tomorrow.
Delfina Chain, Sr Associate Customer Engagement & Development at Flashpoint, discusses what resources defenders must access to in order to keep a finger on the pulse of the cybercriminal underground. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being applied to diverse use cases, from consumer-oriented devices - such as voice-controlled personal assistants and self-directed vacuum cleaners - to ground-breaking business applications that optimize everything from drug discovery to financial portfolio management. So naturally, there is growing interest within the information security community around how we can leverage AI - which encompasses the concepts of machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) - to combat cyber threats. AI-enhanced cyber security The effectiveness and scalability of cybersecurity-related tasks has already been enhanced by AI The effectiveness and scalability of cybersecurity-related tasks, such as malware and spam detection, has already been enhanced by AI, and many expect ongoing AI innovations to have a transformative impact on cyber defence capabilities. However, security practitioners must also recognize that the rise of AI presents a potent opportunity for cybercriminals to optimize their malicious activities. Much like the rise of cybercrime-as-a-service offerings in the underground economy, threat-actor adoption of AI technology is expected to lower barriers to entry for lower-skilled actors seeking to conduct advanced malicious operations. A report from the Future of Humanity Institute emphasizes the potential for AI to be used toward beneficial and harmful ends within the cyber realm, which is amplified by its efficiency, scalability, diffusibility, and potential to exceed human capabilities. Encrypted chat services Potential uses of AI among cybercriminals could include the development of highly evasive malware, the ability for automated systems to exhibit human-like behaviour during denial-of-service attacks, and the optimization of activities such as vulnerability discovery and target prioritization. Fortunately, defenders have a leg up over adversaries in this arms race to harness the power of AI technology, largely due to the time- and resource-intensive nature of deploying AI at its current stage in development. The purpose of intelligence is to inform a course of action. For defenders, this course of action should be guided by the level of risk (likelihood x potential impact) posed by a threat. The best way to evaluate how likely a threat is to manifest is by monitoring threat-actor activity on the deep-and-dark-web (DDW) forums, underground marketplaces, and encrypted chat services on which they exchange resources and discuss their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Cobalt Strike threat-emulation software Flashpoint analysts often observe cybercriminals abusing legitimate technologies in a number of way Cybercriminal abuse of technology is nothing new, and by gaining visibility into adversaries’ ongoing efforts to develop more advanced TTPs, defenders can better anticipate and defend against evolving attack methods. Flashpoint analysts often observe cybercriminals abusing legitimate technologies in a number of ways, ranging from the use of pirated versions of the Cobalt Strike threat-emulation software to elude server fingerprinting to the use of tools designed to aid visually impaired or dyslexic individuals to bypass CAPTCHA in order to deliver automated spam. EMV-chip technology Flashpoint analysts also observe adversaries adapting their TTPs in response to evolving security technologies, such as the rise of ATM shimmers in response to EMV-chip technology. In all of these instances, Flashpoint analysts provided customers with the technical and contextual details needed take proactive action in defending their networks against these TTPs. When adversaries’ abuse of AI technology begins to escalate, their activity within DDW and encrypted channels will be one of the earliest and most telling indicators. So by establishing access to the resources needed to keep a finger on the pulse of the cybercriminal underground, defenders can rest easy knowing they’re laying the groundwork needed to be among the first to know when threat actors develop new ways of abusing AI and other emerging technologies.
Pulse Secure, the provider of software-defined Secure Access solutions, has announced the successful delivery of a project to help Hogarth Worldwide refresh its secure access platform as part of a Zero Trust approach to security. Hogarth Worldwide is a creative production business, providing marketing production and adaptation services for some of the world’s most recognizable brands and global multinationals. Security is a critical part of this service and Hogarth manages its own multi-layered secure access platform. Having grown rapidly over the last decade, the company had reached capacity on its legacy Juniper VPN solution that was also heading towards end of support. With the need to upgrade fast approaching, Hogarth decided to both refresh its secure access platforms to meet greater demand and gain access to more advanced capabilities. Requirement of VPN and NAC platform Hogarth contacted ANSecurity, a trusted cyber security advisor that it had worked with previously on several projectsPeter Smith, Global Network Architect at Hogarth, said, “We initially created a shortlist of vendors from the Gartner Magic Quadrant and started examining a few options. Our key criteria was a VPN and NAC platform that was easy to deploy and manage, with strong compatibility across a wide range of devices, plus the ability to adapt.” Hogarth contacted ANSecurity, a trusted cyber security advisor that it had worked with previously on several projects. The team at ANSecurity provided guidance to help scope the project and design a technical implementation. “We looked at a number of options, but we felt that Pulse Secure offered the best combination of features and compatibility along with the flexibility we needed to meet our current requirements and future needs,” said Smith. Pulse Connect Secure (PCS) virtual appliances Based on these requirements, Hogarth selected Pulse Connect Secure (PCS) virtual appliances deployed within its main data centers in London and several branch offices across the world to provide VPN access. This is supported by Pulse Policy Secure (PPS), a next-generation NAC appliance that enables Hogarth to gain deeper visibility and understanding of its security posture. The combined solution is deployed as part of a Zero Trust approach to security allowing Hogarth to ensure its distributed workforce is authenticated, authorized and secure when accessing applications and resources across its own data center and cloud-based resources. The data from all these systems is passed to a SIEM to allow the IT department to quickly detect any issues The solution is integrated into its Ruckus based Wi-Fi network, Radius authentication server and multi-factor authentication which runs in Azure. The data from all these systems is passed to a SIEM to allow the IT department to quickly detect any issues and automate threat response to mitigate malware, rogue devices, unauthorized access and data leakage risks. Meeting the requirements of TISAX “The virtual appliance offered better performance than our legacy solution and the Pulse Secure VPN and NAC appliances were easy to deploy with a low management overhead,” commented Smith. “We have a high availability configuration and the built-in license server makes it easy to add more users or devices as needed.” The new solution has also helped Hogarth to meet the requirements of TISAX (Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange) that enables mutual acceptance of Information Security Assessments which was a key requirement for several of its clients within the automotive industry. “The upgrade to Pulse Secure has gone very smoothly, we have had no issues and the solution has delivered as expected with the potential to adapt as our security needs evolve,” Smith concluded.
ANSecurity, globally renowned specialist solutions firm in advanced network and data security, has announced the successful completion of a Secure Access platform upgrade for the South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council. South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council serves a large portion of the county of Devon in South West England. With just under 400 staff, the council provides a variety of services to over 100,000 properties and 140,000 residents. Due to a need to protect sensitive data and at the same time accommodate modern, flexible ways of working, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council was undergoing the process of transforming the way it worked. Secure Access platform The council opted for an “always on” VPN - one which would use a device ID to authenticate to the council’s network The council wanted to ensure that in the future, its employees could work in a location agnostic way. Secure Access was central to that transformation, providing a secure connection between an employee’s device and the council’s network. The council approached ANSecurity for help in managing the upgrade to the latest platform. After a series of calls and on-site meetings, the full upgrade was purchased. It chose Pulse Secure appliances for their unparalleled ability to combine Secure Access with a user friendly experience. The council opted for an “always on” VPN - one which would use a device ID to authenticate to the council’s network - thereby circumventing the manual sign-in process and providing a streamlined authentication process for users. From there the processes of logging in at home, or the office became almost identical. By deploying fewer physical 2 factor tokens, the council made further savings. ANSecurity helped the council configure the VPN with a couple of days of on-site consultancy. Pulse Secure VPN Mike Ward, the council’s head of IT commented, “Security of this type is an enabler to the way we work - we couldn't do it without a VPN. ANSecurity have been a great partner for us and nothing was too much trouble, they provided good guidance and were there every step of the project. We look forward to working with them on an on-going basis.” The council’s new operating model has proved tremendously popular with staff, allowing them to work agilely in whatever location they choose. The council’s offices are now hot desking locations with around 100 to 150 people using Pulse Secure VPN to log into the office network every day. The ability to capture business processes into its workflow allowed the council to downsize its staff costs and save £1.4 million a year. The resultant savings in money, staff and space has also cut its carbon footprint and paper waste significantly.
Each day, over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States funnel massive amounts of energy to homes and businesses across the country. An array of specialized equipment allows these facilities to keep up with demand, and each component must run smoothly to adequately transfer and distribute energy. Housing mission-critical assets vital to the community means that substations must track everything—from condition monitoring to intrusion and sabotage threats. Thermal imaging cameras, video classification analytics, and radiometric measurement offer unmatched maintenance and security insight for substations and help prevent costly issues that hurt the bottom line. AI and deep learning technologies Advancements in artificial intelligence technologies are expanding the capability of security systems Advancements in artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies are expanding the capability of security systems. As security solutions improve, customer expectations grow. Systems that were once limited to perimeter protection are now able to provide valuable process efficiency and maintenance information. Substations should consider integrating new technology that improves efficiency and safety as they move to satisfy NERC CIP-014 requirements. Problematic heating and cooling connections can plague substations. Overheating and burning a transformer is a costly, potentially multimillion-dollar error that can take several months to correct. Beyond damage costs, the abrupt loss of equipment can lead to extended service interruptions and significant revenue loss. The consequences of equipment failure highlight the importance of asset monitoring, asset resiliency, and predictive maintenance for substations. Radiometric thermal cameras Integrating cutting-edge technologies like radiometric thermal cameras and temperature trend analysis software allows facility operators to remotely inspect equipment and quickly detect issues, preventing overheating and fires. Image quality and software compatibility are vital in planning an asset monitoring ecosystem. To best serve both the security and condition monitoring needs of substations, thermal sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems and software developer Embedded Logix collaborated to create a multi-purpose solution. Security and asset monitoring For over 30 years, FLIR has developed security and asset monitoring solutions for utility providers For over 30 years, FLIR has developed security and asset monitoring solutions for utility providers. A full lineup of fixed and pan-tilt thermal cameras allow security operators to monitor assets and perimeters in complete darkness, smoke, fog, and harsh weather conditions. FLIR thermal cameras provide superior resolution, capturing sharp imagery and minute details for high-performance video analytics and immediate threat detection. Quick intervention during intrusions prevents escalation, and rapid detection with thermal imaging supports fast response time. Smart-LX Sensor Gateway Recognizing threats before they ever reach the fence line deters theft, vandalism, and assault, keeping facility personnel safe and reducing the risk of equipment repair and legal costs. As an industry leader in thermal imaging, FLIR looks to partner with other innovative solution providers to create more advanced technologies. Embedded Logix, a Detroit, Michigan-based test and measurement solutions provider for the utility, plastic, food, and metal industries emerged as an ideal partner to integrate smart analytics software into thermal sensors. Their Smart-LX Sensor Gateway is an open-architecture platform that features Smart-LX Analytics with support for infrared cameras, programmable logic controllers, and SCADA systems. It opened the door for a complete predictive maintenance solution. FLIR thermal cameras Partnering with FLIR means being in the center of the infrared universe" The Smart-LX system allows both maintenance and security personnel to leverage networked thermal imagers on a single platform. By 2012, Embedded Logix was FLIR’s exclusive smart sensor software partner for temperature trending in predictive maintenance, bringing the Smart-LX platform to FLIR thermal cameras. “Partnering with FLIR means being in the center of the infrared universe. We can’t imagine any better product lineup to feed data into our Smart-LX Analytics,” said Deborah McLeod, president of Embedded Logix. “We have bench tested many other brands over the years, but FLIR’s products always come out on top, and that is why we recommend FLIR cameras to our customers. When you combine Smart-LX Analytics with FLIR cameras you turn an incredible sensor into an extraordinary solution.” Smart-LX Analytics Embedded Logix Smart-LX Analytics read, process, analyze, and create a visualization of sensor readings, generating asset performance reports on trends and rules that can be sent to maintenance personnel for further assessment. The software adapts over time with customer input, relying on user feedback to create an expert system. The Smart-LX platform works with both legacy and new equipment, analyzing signals from all sensors and systems, and is capable of aggregating information into VMS, OSI PI, and SCADA platforms. The FLIR FC-R fixed thermal camera leverages a radiometric sensor for noncontact temperature measurement FLIR offers several high-performance thermal imaging solutions for Smart-LX integration, including the FLIR A310 and FLIR FC-R Series cameras. Dual thermal and optical sensors on the FLIR A310 PT offer reliable perimeter protection and automated condition monitoring while pan/tilt controls maximize coverage. The onboard radiometric thermal sensor measures slight changes in surface temperature, allowing the A310 PT to monitor hotspots on equipment and alert an operator if temperatures exceed preset levels. FC-R fixed thermal camera The FLIR FC-R fixed thermal camera leverages a radiometric sensor for noncontact temperature measurement. Onboard human and vehicle classification analytics offer reliable intrusion detection and work in tandem with external monitoring systems to quickly alert operators and security personnel. “FLIR’s innovative A310F, A310PT, and FC-R radiometric thermal cameras have been paramount in substation monitoring for years,” said Michael Chaffee, director of business development at FLIR. “With the addition of Embedded Logix and its SmartLX software, our customers can take FLIR thermal cameras to the next level. When combined, FLIR cameras and Smart-LX software create a data goldmine, allowing a more frequent analysis of substation assets right from the security control room.” Facility security FLIR and Embedded Logix systems revolve around facility security and asset monitoring FLIR and Embedded Logix systems revolve around facility security and asset monitoring. Installing different cameras and network components throughout a substation creates an ecosystem ready to detect and prevent issues. Most security and asset monitoring systems from FLIR and Embedded Logix begin with several FLIR FC-ID cameras along the perimeter of the substation, one A310 PT mounted in the center of the substation, FC-R or A310F cameras installed around high priority assets, and several Smart-LX Sensor Gateways. When the system detects an object of interest, FLIR FC-ID cameras trigger the A310 PT camera to track and zoom on the object for further threat assessment, allowing security personnel to quickly and safely gauge the situation. Condition monitoring thermal imagers can continuously survey any asset in their field of view. Fixed FLIR A310F camera Fixed FLIR A310F and FC-R cameras monitor specific equipment 24/7, while the A310 PT can focus on multiple areas, viewing transformer connections, incoming power transmission lines, switch gears, fans, and more. Generated reports compare the performance of similar assets across all stations Smart-LX Sensor Gateways control the A310 PT preset scanning to gather temperature information on equipment, triggering an alarm if a temperature exceeds the preset threshold. Generated reports compare the performance of similar assets across all stations, address historical temperature trends, and label each temperature reading with the substation location, asset ID, and asset class information. This reporting is vital, as temperature trends can indicate trouble even when alarms remain untriggered. Remote monitoring “If the temperature is rising and falling on one asset, but the temperature on the other assets are steady, it can indicate a problem,” McLeod explained. “Even if the asset doesn’t reach the temperature threshold, the temperature slowly creeping up to that threshold is valuable information.” FLIR and Embedded Logix systems leverage remote monitoring to catch issues before they occur, preventing expensive downtime and maximizing substation efficiency. Predictive maintenance programs can identify poor-performing components, allowing operations teams to decide whether to proactively replace components or to continue monitoring. An unknown failure could cause catastrophic damage to other substation elements, causing customer outages and costing the utility millions of dollars. Thermal imaging Smart-LX Sensor Gateways also allow thermographers to inspect equipment remotely “The FLIR and Embedded Logix solution allows you to qualify with more frequency,” said Chaffee. “It ultimately enables you to save money and identify failures sooner. It’s much more expensive to replace a component after failure versus pre-failure. When a failure happens, you shut down the substation and part of the grid, which costs a lot of money.” Smart-LX Sensor Gateways also allow thermographers to inspect equipment remotely, improving efficiency during repairs. Traditionally, a thermographer would report to a substation to manually inspect equipment in need of service. Using a handheld thermal imager, the thermographer would take temperature measurements and check for load balance to determine whether equipment should be taken offline for repair. The need for a pre-work assessment and post-repair verification can make for long days. Embedded Logix Smart-LX Sensor Gateways remove this pain point. Live data access The Smart-LX Sensor Gateways give thermographers the ability to inspect equipment remotely and access live data from each networked FLIR thermal camera. Real-time temperature measurement and analytics allow the maintenance crew to confirm repairs or safely identify any additional issues. Thermographers would only need to go to a site when something is critical" “The FLIR and Embedded Logix solution enhances the role of thermographers,” Chaffee said. “Not needing to drive hundreds of miles to do a regularly scheduled thermal scan saves a lot of money. Your thermography team can scan safely, and with more frequency, from the security operations center. Thermographers would only need to go to a site when something is critical. Time is money, so being more productive as a utility and building a substation predictive maintenance program is an important element.” Critical asset monitoring Smart-LX Software works continuously to monitor critical equipment and uncover even small changes that can indicate impending failure. Intelligent maintenance and security systems are making substations safer and more efficient, positively impacting the bottom line. The insurance deductible of a significant substation asset can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Detecting just one instance of equipment failure can prevent inordinate costs. “The Smart-LX Software solution reduces the cost of an event by detecting it much earlier. Instead of detecting a fire, you’re preventing a fire,” McLeod added. “It’s important for all stakeholders that utilities monitor changes in asset health as a means of improving reliability and reducing the total cost of repairs. Asset security and management Utilities are moving towards proactive deterrence and away from reactive monitoring He adds, “Stakeholders want to see that steps are being taken to reduce insurance claims from unnecessary escalations when a malfunctioning asset is not discovered until it fails and takes out expensive assets or infrastructure around it. Preventing costly downtime by repairing equipment at the first sign of trouble can reduce the number of unscheduled downtime events dramatically and create significant cost-savings.” Leveraging radiometric thermal cameras and analytics for both security and asset monitoring represents a paradigm shift. Utilities are moving towards proactive deterrence and away from reactive monitoring. Substation security FLIR radiometric thermal cameras and Embedded Logix Smart-LX Sensor Gateways safeguard substations and reduce the risk of critical equipment failure. Investing in stronger security keeps substations and their assets safe, and innovative, multipurpose solutions from FLIR and Embedded Logix create a win-win for utility providers throughout the country.
Round table discussion
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
Passwords are one of the most familiar elements of information systems, but also one that can be overlooked or underutilized. New alternatives are emerging, and the role of passwords is evolving in the age of the Internet of Things. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the role of passwords changing in physical security systems?
One impact of Chinese companies entering the physical security market has been an erosion in product pricing, creating what has been called the "race to the bottom." However, political forces and cybersecurity concerns have presented new challenges for Chinese companies. Adding cybersecurity increases costs, and the addition of more functionality to edge devices is another trend that has impacted product pricing. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: Has price erosion ended (or slowed down) in the security market?