Installers across the UK can further enhance their security installation capability, after Legrand unveiled its first ever smart video doorbell to join a suite of connected products from its User Interface business unit. Allowing end users to see visitors at their door from anywhere in the world, Legrand’s smart doorbell is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Part of Legrand’s popular Netatmo smart home devices range, the new doorbell offers long-term saving...
Monitronics International, Inc. and its subsidiaries doing business as Brinks Home Security has announced that it has reached an agreement on a new long-term contract with its major Authorized Dealer, Skyline Security (‘Skyline’), which extends their partnership for another five years. The new agreement is expected to improve the Brinks Home Security’s overall profitability through a reduction in the up-front cost to acquire accounts while providing Skyline with an increased s...
Technological Innovations Group (TIG), the technology sales agency in the EMEA region offering integrated automation and control solutions for smart spaces, is pleased to announce that it is now able to offer Power Distribution Units (PDU) from GUDE that integrate with Crestron Home systems. This means users can now remotely control and monitor smart space devices in residential settings. As an official partner of Crestron, GUDE has developed and now offers drivers that allow their IP power str...
Alarm.com has released the first commercially available video doorbell that rings without requiring any contact to reduce public health risks and make home visits and deliveries safer for all. The Alarm.com Touchless Video Doorbell is the next generation of video doorbells, combining sleek design with some of the most advanced video intelligence available to consumers for touch-free operation. It is the latest technology innovation from the company that pioneered smart home security. Touchless...
ASSA ABLOY announces the availability of Medeco 4 (M4), the next generation of high-security key technology from Medeco. M4 builds on more than 50 years of lock engineering innovation, offering the highest level of protection against physical attack and unauthorized key duplication. Secure cylinders “With M4, we continue the legacy of trust that Medeco has built upon our over 50 years of manufacturing high-security locks in the USA,” said Joseph Kingma, Medeco General Manager, ASS...
Sectigo®, a provider of automated digital identity management and web security solutions, releases multiple advancements to the company’s award-winning IoT Security & Identity Management Platform, making integration and management of secured connected devices even easier for OEMs and enterprises. The innovations include a PKI Client software development kit (SDK) for Sectigo IoT Manager and Secure Boot SDK, which eases development efforts and reduces time to market for manufacture...
Following the release of FLIR United Video Management System 9.0 (United VMS) in August 2020, FLIR announced the global availability of United VMS 9.0.1 with new advanced features. The latest platform update offers further streamlined access to system status and alarms around the clock for security teams to react to threat activities faster while enjoying improved reporting and cybersecurity functionality. Included advancements The advancements include updates to the FLIR Latitude VMS Software as well as Horizon and FLIR Meridian Network Video Recorders (NVR), featuring: The ability to access video and alarms from anywhere at any time using EZ Client for mobile devices, the FLIR web-based, feature-rich application Streamlined control center operations with Quick View, the new optimized video scene tracking capability Access to system events for improved cybersecurity within the United VMS reporting tool, as well as the sign-off reporting and the capability to produce custom reports Additional bug fixes and other general software enhancements Enhancing the Health Monitor tool The United VMS 9.0.1 updates enhance the Health Monitor tool improvements that were launched with United VMS 9.0, which proactively monitors system health and alerts security personnel to issues before downtime occurs. This offers the ability to securely access video assets to receive event alerts anywhere and anytime, improves efficiency, and increases peace of mind. Supporting cameras and VMS Through an open platform solution, the system efficiently supports various visible cameras, thermal cameras, radars, and a combination of all three. Further, United VMS can accurately match any size installation while improving cost efficiencies through scalability and centralized management—no matter if the system supports a single location or multiple sites across the globe. The United VMS pricing structure provides extensive flexibility for deployment, including customizable software service agreements for simplified business continuity, further enabling critical facilities to make the most of this open platform solution while future-proofing its security system. Download for free Customers that previously purchased United VMS 9.0 can now download the update to United VMS 9.0.1 for free, other existing customers can contact FLIR support to get their system upgraded.
A feeling of security is a universal human need. And beyond physical, bodily security, people need to know that their environment, investments, and belongings are safe as well. Security systems are installed in homes and businesses every day to create that sense of security. Compared to conventional sensor-based alarm systems, a surveillance system that utilizes cameras has several advantages: The ability to watch events in real-time, Obtaining key data around those events, and Providing solid and accurate evidence for law enforcement. AcuSense technology Hikvision AcuSense technology distinguishes people and vehicles from other moving objects Empowered by deep learning algorithms, Hikvision AcuSense technology distinguishes people and vehicles from other moving objects. AcuSense is the perfect choice for an accessible and intelligent security system. AcuSense technology helps to focus on human and vehicle events in two ways: The device will only trigger an alarm when the preset intrusion type (human or vehicle) takes place, and Videos related to alarm events are sorted into human and vehicle categories for easier footage searches. With AcuSense Technology, users get some powerful functions, such as: Accurate alarm for humans and vehicles - Focus on alarms triggered by humans and vehicles while false alarms triggered by animals or irrelevant objects are vastly reduced. Visual and auditory warning - On-site response and deterrence methods using visual and customizable auditory warnings add another layer of protection. Search targets quickly by type - Video clips sorted by human and vehicle categories, and object classification improves search efficiency. Searching video clips gets easier Video clips are already sorted into the ‘Human Files’ and ‘Vehicle Files’. Users just need to click one of these categories and use time or location data to quickly locate the clip that they want. Compared to the conventional method that displays all video files at once, AcuSense technology enables carrying out searching much more easily. Ideal applications Residential – Intrusion detection and deterrence for home security Whether choosing to keep an eye on the house or hiring a professional service provider to look after security of the home, there are two functions that users will surely want to have: Prompt notification via smartphone Users will get a notification on the app or via SMS, when the alarm is triggered. Irrespective of who takes care of looking after intrusion events, it’s always good to have first-hand information. Users will get a notification on the app or via SMS, when the alarm is triggered. Then, they can check out the live video from their smartphone. Light and Sound Intruder Deterrence Knowing what the suspect looks like is important, especially for providing evidence to police. However, property losses have already occurred at that time. It would be even better if there were means that can provide on-site deterrence and prevent any loss at all. Network Cameras with AcuSense technology Network Cameras with AcuSense technology, white light and audio alarm can be set to react to intrusion events with a flashing light and customizable siren, alerting any would-be intruder that they are being monitored and have already been spotted. Turbo DVR with AcuSense technology requires a PIR/TurboX camera for visual and audible alarm. Factories – Accurate trespass alarm, 24 hours a day Factories and warehouses store high-value raw materials or commodities. Security here is crucial. However, there is usually only limited manpower to perform such tasks. Replace security patrols with camera monitoring Using AcuSense technology can greatly improve perimeter monitoring efficiency and ensure that limited human resources can be deployed only where most needed. Accurate Trespassing Alarm for Human Targets Factories and warehouses mostly deal with human intrusion events, which might turn into burglary or vandalism. The security team can set devices with AcuSense to send alerts only upon the detection of a human intrusion. Wild animals crossing the line will no longer trigger the alarm.
Exabeam, the security analytics and automation company, announces the appointment of technology industry veteran and former Splunk marketing leader Sherry Lowe to chief marketing officer (CMO). Lowe will be responsible for leading the global marketing strategy and will report directly to Ralph Pisani, president, Exabeam. Throughout Lowe’s 20-year career in the technology industry, she has built strategic marketing programs for rapidly growing tech companies such as Expanse, Druva and Splunk. Annual recurring revenue Before joining Exabeam she served as the CMO of Expanse, leading the company to its recent acquisition by Palo Alto Networks. During her time there, Lowe hired and scaled a new marketing team for pipeline and demand generation activities that drove a 100% increase in annual recurring revenue (ARR) year over year. Lowe also served as the vice president of corporate marketing at Splunk for six years and was a key member of the pre-IPO team, leading to one of the largest tech IPOs of 2012. She was responsible for building and leading corporate marketing and communications during Splunk’s transition to a public company. Under her leadership, the corporate marketing team grew from five to 70 professionals who spanned awareness, customer advocacy, demand generation, corporate communications and global events. Existing security tools Exabeam has spent the past few years elevating our product portfolio to be the best in the market" “Exabeam has spent the past few years elevating our product portfolio to be the best in the market, and Sherry will be responsible for ensuring our messaging aligns with the caliber of our products,” said Pisani. “We are excited to welcome her to the team, as she has a proven track record of raising the ranks of cloud and security companies at similar growth stages.” “No stranger to outsmarting the odds herself, Lowe transitioned from a highly successful, glass ceiling-breaking career in the male-dominated broadcast sports journalism space, to the competitive Silicon Valley landscape -- and has vastly improved marketing organizations in her path. Her ambition and expertise will be major assets in expanding Exabeam’s presence and leadership in the market.” Over the past six years, Exabeam’s growth has skyrocketed, as a result of its vision to help security organizations outsmart the odds by adding intelligence to existing security tools with the Exabeam Security Management Platform (SMP). Providing strategic clarity Lowe will be responsible for proliferating the message that Exabeam provides out-of-the box use case coverage, behavioral analytics to detect compromised and malicious users and automation of manual and repetitive tasks at a time where security organizations are understaffed and overwhelmed. “As the cyberthreat landscape becomes more complex in our digital, highly remote world, I look forward to leading marketing in an organization that provides strategic clarity for struggling security teams,” said Lowe. “Exabeam is truly focusing on the customer, and I could not be more excited to join CEO Nir Polak, Ralph and the rest of the team in broadening the reach of these important messages. With the tenacity that made me one of the first female sportscasters allowed in an NFL locker room and drove my former employers to IPO and acquisition, I am excited to be a key member of the executive team to help accelerate Exabeam’s already impressive success.”
Interphone has published a security system and building technology whitepaper to help developers, contractors, installers, and managing agents better understand their responsibilities regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The in-depth report, titled A guide to GDPR compliance for the commercial residential marketplace, has been produced jointly with legal training specialist Woolven and Brown to provide an industry-specific look at the data protection and privacy law. GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 “Security systems and building technologies now hold personal data in many hidden places, so organizations within the commercial residential marketplace need to know what they can and cannot do in relation to holding this information based on the laws that are in place,” explains Charlotte Woolven-Brown, Managing Director of Woolven and Brown Ltd. “The exact requirements can often be confusing, so this guide is designed to help property professionals understand what the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 are and how they apply to their property businesses.” Product-specific policy requirements The white paper provides an introduction to the GDPR, outlining the main considerations for commercial residential property organizations and the impact it may have on them. The guide also covers product-specific policy requirements for those security systems and building technologies that either hold a lot of data or share data with a third party. This includes CCTV, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), biometrics, voice recognition, door entry, and access control. Process and manage data “The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 have changed the manner in which we process and manage data. Failure to comply could be extremely damaging in terms of potential fines and the threat of civil action, while adverse publicity risks significant damage to the reputation of an organization.” “The advice to property businesses is clear, understand your responsibilities and get it right from the start,” concludes Woolven-Brown. Seeking clarification Julian Synett, CEO of Interphone Limited commented, “Since the introduction of the GDPR, we have had developers, contractors, installers, and managing agents seeking clarification on their compliance requirements for the security systems and building technology we develop, install and maintain.” “This suggests there is still a lack of clarity about what is needed, so we have created this white paper to help answer many of the GDPR questions that property businesses currently have.”
RemoteLock, the provider of universal access control, announces that it has expanded the number of August and Yale locks that are supported on its platform to include Wi-Fi-enabled August smart locks and the line of Yale Assure Locks with Wi-Fi. RemoteLock customers can now leverage RemoteLock to manage these locks in large scale installations, gaining greater efficiencies by administering access to every lock from a single dashboard. The expanded partnership is expected to provide new access control technology avenues across many commercial applications, particularly in the multi-family market. Wireless smart locks RemoteLock’s universal access control platform allows multi-family property managers to remotely control access for renters, guests, employees and contractors—saving time and money. RemoteLock provides property managers and owners ultimate flexibility—the ability to control any door, using various credential types, with locks from many manufacturers—all from one dashboard. RemoteLock already supports many Yale and August Z-Wave wireless smart locks RemoteLock already supports many Yale and August Z-Wave wireless smart locks that are part of the ASSA ABLOY family of smart lock solutions. “The multi-family market faces unique challenges—from managing access to any space on a single property or entire portfolio, to the growing need for contactless access control solutions. Broadening the partnership between RemoteLock and August and Yale allows us to elevate the features of their locks into large scale applications, such as multi-family, to help solve even more of those challenges for property managers,” said Nolan Mondrow, CEO of RemoteLock. Larger scale applications “With 180 years of experience in home security, we’re glad to bring our trusted smart locks not only to individual homes, but also multi-family housing and commercial properties,” said Jason Williams, President of Smart Residential U.S., ASSA ABLOY, parent company of August and Yale. “By expanding our integrations with multi-family housing platforms like RemoteLock, we’re committed to increasing our presence in the market and bringing trusted security and access convenience to property managers of multi-family homes and larger scale applications everywhere.”
The new DoorBird configurator allows architects and installers to design and purchase customized IP intercoms online. The high-quality video door stations made of stainless steel can be designed with individual dimensions and various call buttons and modules, such as keypad or house number plate. A selection of more than 50 RAL colors and surface coatings is available. With each configuration step, a 3D image of the DoorBird door station appears together with price and delivery time. Thanks to the augmented reality function, the intercom is visualized instantly at its installation location. Matching is possible by uploading a photo or live on the smartphone with camera switched on. The designed device can be saved, including a technical drawing, in order to continue the configuration at a later time. When the IP video door station is fully configured, the planning tool enables the user to place the order. All DoorBird intercoms are manufactured by Bird Home Automation in Berlin, Germany. IP video door intercoms The Bird Home Automation Group develops, produces and markets high-quality IP video door intercoms under the trademark “DoorBird” around the world. The company’s headquarters and production plant are located in Berlin, Germany, with a further office in San Francisco, USA. “DoorBird” stands for the combination of exclusive design with the most innovative IP technology in the field of door communication. The products are made from corrosion-resistant precious metals and manufactured in Germany according to the highest quality standards.
We still have some way to go before we see 5G service rolled out as a UK-wide service, but we can discuss future implications of 5G, and how it can improve device capabilities once its widely accessible. The impact of 5G lies within the increase in the amount of data that can be transferred between smart home devices through a cloud-based system. By utilising the cloud’s mass computing power and its ability to process data in larger capacities, we are able to receive more in-depth analytics that can help improve smart home devices by making them faster, more informed and intelligent. Will 5G boost innovation in the smart home market, if so, how? Innovation using 5G can be shown with current smart home CCTV systemsAn example of innovation using 5G can be shown with current smart home CCTV systems. Products at present allow you to use functionalities such as motion detection. As it stands, this is a basic form of monitoring that monitors changes in picture and notifies the owner when something unusual has happened. Once 5G comes into play, the video data captured can be sent off to the cloud, interpreted in more detail, and can allow the system to conclude whether the movement is from a human, object or animal. Facial recognition could also come into play here, providing a more seamless service when reporting incidents to the police. Similarly, you can use data from various different devices within your home to toughen security measures. A video camera used in conjunction with a presence or heat detector can eliminate small errors by providing the ‘bigger picture’ with more data points to work with - an amalgamation of all smart devices used in tandem. We can’t solely rely on smart devices to make decisions for us, but what we can do is improve device processing so that by the time we step in, we already have all the necessary information to assess the appropriate call to action. What will 5G enable homeowners to do within their homes? Smart homes using 4G currently operate in a fragmented fashion, incorporating Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other network protocols. Unlike 4G, 5G will work with low-power devices, making it useful for a broader array of connected products. This means that all devices we will be able to connect any internet connected product in order to allow integrated communication between all devices. Can be connected to work together in conjunction with your home system Your fridge and other kitchen appliances, for example, can be connected to work together in conjunction with your home system to create an entirely automated home. If your freezer is internet connected, you may get a notification if it loses power, but as everything else is also connected within your home, you will be able to determine whether it is a power fault or product fault straight away. Faster connectivity means that users can quickly take advantage of the data their smart devices provide, such as water use sensors which can monitor levels and allow for behavior changes to curb water usage The same can be applied with vehicles. Cars in future will be autonomous and include an integrated dashcam which can then be connected to your security system to provide added security on-site in the peripheral of your home, alerting you to potential intruders before they reach your front door.
The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for mail and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing while obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc while sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for maneuver. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.
Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back. But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behavior, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines. As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organizations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months. More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behavior of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education program. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices
Zigbee is a familiar name in the smart home arena, and the Zigbee Alliance is expanding its technology approach to address the challenges of the Internet of Things. As the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved, the need has become obvious for stronger unity among brands and ecosystems to enable products within smart environments to work together more easily. Working to serve that need is the Zigbee Alliance, which seeks to promote collaboration in the Internet of Things by creating, evolving, and promoting universal open standards that enable all objects to connect and interact. Shifting the Smart home market Their IoT effort took off when Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance announced an industry working group in December 2019 to take the ‘best of market’ technologies from smart home standards, portfolios and ecosystems and to develop a ‘super spec’ that will be open, inclusive and a significant industry shift in the smart home market. Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability" “Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability, which has led us to the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), which is looking to unify the environment, under one technology, one certification program and one logo,” says Chris LaPré, Zigbee Alliance’s IoT Solutions Architect. “It really does fuel IoT possibilities, whether in security or any other sectors.” Project CHIP is a royalty-free connectivity standard that unifies brands and ecosystems into a single smart home automation system that operates any other technology based on Internet Protocol (IP). Simplifying product development The intent is to simplify product development for device manufacturers, broaden consumer choice, and to ensure easy discoverability, deployment and engagement to fuel connected living. “We have noticed that, as the IoT has evolved, there is a stronger need for unity, which is why we are developing Project Connected Home over IP,” says Jon Harros, Zigbee Alliance’s Director of Certification and Testing Programs. “It fits with the Zigbee Alliance’s goal to unify systems, and to focus on everyone using the same application at the top. It unifies that environment, whether you are integrating your system with Amazon Echo devices or connecting to Google Home.” Participating in development of Project CHIP are 125 companies of various types from around the world working together with more than 1,100 of their experts serving across sub-committees to formulate specifications and fine-tune the project. Home system technologies The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes Although the technology is being developed for the home market, the specifications have been formulated with an eye toward expanding into the commercial market in the future. Development of open, interoperable systems provides greater freedom for consumers to choose among the many technology choices on the market, without being tied to a single brand or ecosystem. Zigbee Alliance certifications and memberships span the globe, with roughly a third in Europe, a third in North America and a third in Asia. Involvement in Europe is slightly higher than the other regions. Alliance members represent manufacturing sites all over the world. Project CHIP is a newer initiative of the Zigbee Alliance, which previously developed Zigbee Pro to enable home system technologies to operate using IEEE 802.15.4 wireless signals on the 2.4GHz radio band over a self-healing true mesh network. The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes. Certification transfer program Among the strengths of the Zigbee Alliance are years of experience certifying products, which includes testing them and confirming that they comply with the promoted specifications and functionality. The specifications are open standards that are developed in cooperation with all the companies that are Zigbee Alliance members. Another route is the certification transfer program, in which a company chooses a certified white-label product, becomes a member of the Alliance, and then rebrands the product while retaining the certification. “It helps them get products on the market quickly while they build their own knowledge base,” says Harros. “All our work is focused on standardizing the behavior and functionality of products and making sure everyone is following the same standard to get interoperability,” says Harros. “Members all contribute to the standards.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a double challenge to physical security systems integrators. For one thing, they have had to adapt their own businesses to survive and thrive during the pandemic. On the other hand, they have also been faced with new challenges to serve their customer’s changing needs. Global pandemic effects One integrator company, North American Video (NAV) took the now-familiar steps most companies confronted to adapt their business model to operations in a global pandemic – they suspended all non-essential travel and face-to-face meetings. At one point, NAV had a single employee in the New Jersey headquarters and another one in the Las Vegas office. The rest worked from home, with other offices opening as needed over the following weeks. Another integrator, Convergint Technologies, was able to adapt its approach to the pandemic, location by location, across the United States. The integrator benefitted from its leadership structure, with local managers in various regions who are autonomous and could react to what was happening in each region. Virtual workforce “We saw a dip in April and May, but since then, we have seen business pick back up,” said Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies. The Business of Integration virtual conference sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA) “We already had tools and infrastructure deployed to support a virtual workforce. We had the software and the right equipment, and that has allowed us some flexibility to approach the repopulation of our offices in a gradual way.” The impact of COVID-19 on integrators and their customers was the main topic of discussion at a session on The Business of Integration at the Securing New Ground virtual conference sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA). Remote monitoring North American Video also benefitted from having technical personnel spread across the United States. By assigning work duties on the basis of geography, they could travel by car with less risk than air travel. They also increased their use of remote monitoring and support to avoid extra visits to customer sites. With 80% of the business in the gaming industry, North American Video saw a profound impact on their customers with the almost complete shutdown of casinos during the early days of the pandemic. Even though gaming was impacted particularly badly by the virus, NAV stayed engaged working on four or five large casino construction projects that continued throughout the shutdown. Revenue shortfalls State legislatures will approve more casinos to help plug the holes in their budgets Other casinos took advantage of empty facilities to make needed upgrades without worrying about disrupting casino operations. “A lot of our strong, long-term clients have sought to perform upgrades during the downtime, including needed service and maintenance,” said Jason Oakley, President and CEO, North American Video (NAV). “When gaming was closed, you were allowed in the facilities to work.” Oakley also sees long-term optimism for the casino business, which will offer a means for state and local governments to make up revenue shortfalls. “State legislatures will approve more casinos to help plug the holes in their budgets,” Oakley predicted. Demands for technology Oakley and NAV have seen an evolution in customer demands for technology in light of the pandemic. The trick is to differentiate between demand that is an immediate reaction versus technology trends that have more staying power. Although customers were keen on purchasing thermal cameras, for example, NAV did the research and recommended against the use of the technology to some of their customers. Artificial Intelligence for social distancing The use of artificial intelligence (AI) for a variety of applications seems to have more staying power. “One area of interest at a high level is modification and repurposing of AI for face mask detection, social distancing and people tracing, including integration into existing cameras,” said Oakley. “If the hospitality industry comes to terms with the new normal with smaller restaurant capacities, there may be an opportunity to use AI for social distancing.” Contact tracing and visitor management technology Mathes of Convergint sees a massive change as customers move toward managed services, accelerating the change with new use cases. We have an entire group that focuses on new solutions and what customers are looking for" As offices seek to repopulate when the pandemic subsides, customers are looking for new uses of existing technologies, added Mathes. “We have an entire group that focuses on new solutions and what customers are looking for,” he said. “They need to understand who is in the building and where they go in the building. If we know someone was only in the cafeteria from 10 to 11 a.m., we can know who was in the cafeteria at that time.” Opportunity for vertical markets to move forward He predicts technologies for contact tracing and visitor management tracking who’s in the building and where will be around for a long time to come. "Various customers and vertical markets are looking at the slowdown differently," said Mathes. "For example, while airlines have slowed down, the view from the airport market is more long-term." “They have 15-year plans, and [the slowdown] is an opportunity to move forward. In the technology space, data centers are expanding. “We try to focus our resources on areas where the money is being spent,” said Mathes. “Our K-12 group has seen an 80% growth over 2019. The money is tied to bonds, so there hasn’t been a slowdown relative to revenue.” He said Convergint is cautiously optimist about 2021.”
J.D. Power is a well-known name when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction, and they have been measuring satisfaction in the home security industry since 2016. Changes affecting the marketplace – both in terms of disruptors and technology – make this a unique time. For example, in 2019, J.D. Power expanded the Home Security Satisfaction Study to not only measure the traditional pro-install/pro-monitor companies, but to separately evaluate self-install/pro-monitor brands. “At J.D. Power our rankings are meant to support an industry in two key ways,” says Christina Cooley, J.D. Power's Director, @Home Intelligence. “First, we provide consumers who are shopping for products and services with a ‘report card’ of who provides customers with high levels of customer satisfaction. Second, we provide companies with actionable insights to help them prioritize their initiatives to improve and maintain high levels of customers satisfaction that drive loyalty and growth.” Differentiating between companies The traditional Pro-Install/Pro-Monitor companies are challenged to differentiate from one another In home security, J.D. Power is in a unique position to report on the changes taking place in the evolving industry. The 2019 rankings show that the traditional Pro-Install/Pro-Monitor companies are challenged to differentiate from one another, as each have their individual strengths and opportunities, but overall the score range is relatively tight. On the do-it-yourself (DIY) side, there is more differentiation. A set of brands has been able to challenge the traditional industry by achieving extremely high customer satisfaction levels. Price is always an important factor that impacts customer satisfaction, whether for security or another market J.D. Power serves. The equation is simple, says Cooley: Does the price paid equal the value the customer feels they have received from the product or service? “For Home Security, we didn’t specifically look at price until this year,” says Cooley. “With the changes that have occurred in the market, price can be a differentiator as we’ve seen with the emergence of DIY-installed systems. However, lower pricing does not have a direct relationship to quality of service.” The price factor For example, there are some higher-priced pro-installed brands that perform lower on customer satisfaction than lower-priced competitors. And DIY-installed systems as a whole are less expensive, and price is the customer satisfaction driver in which the DIY segment most outperforms the pro segment. Price is the customer satisfaction driver in which the DIY segment most outperforms the pro segment The equation is: Performance minus Expectations equals Customer Satisfaction. “Obviously, price point will be a factor in the purchase decision and the expectations the customer has about the product and service,” says Cooley. “Any pro or DIY system has the opportunity to differentiate the customer experience regardless of price point.” There are clear differences in the pro vs. DIY experience, which is why J.D. Power evaluates the brands in separate rankings. However, Cooley says the drivers of satisfaction are consistent across both groups. The key to each group goes back to the equation above. Evaluating the purchase process For the both pro and DIY companies, J.D. Power evaluates the purchase process the same. Though the customer may take a different path to purchase based on the offering they seek, the drivers are still the same: Usefulness of information provided Reasonableness of contract terms Professionalism of sales representative Ease of purchasing home security system. For installation, there are clear differences. DIY systems are evaluated based on: Ease of completing installation Quality of installation instructions provided Timeliness of receiving home security system. Pro systems are evaluated based on: Professionalism of technician Timeliness of completing installation Quality of work performed. Interestingly, purchase and installation are the customer satisfaction driver where both pro and DIY providers (as a whole) are most closely aligned on performance. Customer loyalty The price a customer is paying must align with the quality of the system they receive What drives a customer to purchase a home security system initially will often be very different than what will keep them as a loyal customer, Cooley notes. The price a customer is paying must align with the quality of the system they receive, and the service provided through the professional monitoring and customer service. “With the expansion of home security offerings, it’s more important than ever for home security companies to understand the motivations, intentions, and usage patterns across different customer segments to ensure that regardless of the decision to go pro or DIY-install, they are able to meet their customers’ needs and differentiate in the very competitive market. The J.D. Power Home Security Study provides these actionable insights.” The study is focused on the companies/brands that comprise the top two-thirds of market share in each segment, pro and DIY installed. A number of the brands included may work with local dealers or retailers for sales and install, but the customer is essentially evaluating those services as part of the system purchased. It is one and the same from the customer’s perspective, and the sales/install process can either delight or frustrate a customer from the beginning, which can then set the foundation for the entire experience moving forward. Reasons for shopping for a security system tend to differ between pro and DIY shoppers: Both sets are most focused on wanting a newer, more up-to-date system Between the two, pro customers are more often moving into a new home or wanting to take advantage of a discount or bundling opportunity with other products For DIY customers, they are shopping for a system to give them more peace of mind and to protect their property. Reasons for selecting the provider also vary: A pro company is often selected based on brand reputation or a special offer/promo A DIY company is primarily chosen based on price or a positive review. In terms of brand image, we see that customers see both pro and DIY providers similarly in terms of reliability. However, when it comes to being customer-driven, DIY providers receive higher image ratings compared to pro-installed companies.
In 2017 alone, 71 prison staff were found to be smuggling contraband into detention facilities in the UK alone. This is a known issue for security officers in prisons around the world, and that is why a major prison in Australia approached UVeye in 2019 about installing intelligent vehicle scanning devices. During 2019 In England and Wales drugs were found 13,119 times in prisons, more than 35 incidents per day, on average. The number of incidents has tripled since 2014, after years of relative stability, with some smugglers taking advantage of new technology, such as drones, to deliver contraband. Self-Made devices The value of the UK prison drug market is an estimated £100 million, according to the Prison Officers Association. Drugs aren’t the only issue; weapons are also being smuggled into prisons at increasing rates. Instruments like wrenches and other self-made devices, usually attached to the undercarriage of vehicles coming in and out of the prison, can violate the rules and cause disruptions. Drugs aren’t the only issue; weapons are also being smuggled into prisons at increasing rates This Australian prison has over 100 regular employees coming in and out. Some of their vehicles have been used to deliver messages to the outside world from gang members who are in detention. Whether the prison staff or bus drivers themselves were paid to smuggle materials and objects in or out of the prison, or a criminal from the outside attached phones or drugs to their undercarriage while their vehicle was parked, this was clearly a matter of concern. Access control systems In other prisons which don’t have an automatic system, there are usually manual inspections conducted by a guard holding a mirror to check the undercarriages of vehicles coming in or out. It is clear in the industry that an efficient technological solution is needed. UVeye facilitates the following things: Securing vehicle access control points Full integration to barriers, bollards and access control systems Tightly securing sensitive areas like the apron of the prison Automatic detection of illicit materials under the vehicle on the first pass Driver and passenger fever detection capabilities SUV delivery vehicles Since most vehicles entering and leaving the prison come in and out regularly, there needs to be a quick and easy experience to compare the vehicles and look for attachments or modifications. The system also needs to be versatile enough to detect anomalies in the undercarriages of a wide variety of vehicle types, from private vehicles to SUV delivery vehicles and armored trucks and buses. Understanding that the quality of inspection and streamlining the entry and exit process is a top priority, the security chiefs of the prison contacted UVeye. They asked for an automatic solution that can compare every vehicle entering or leaving the prison, and that is able to detect any modifications, smuggled devices or illegal weapons entering the facility. High-Resolution cameras Helios UVSS by UVeye is setting the global standard for under-vehicle inspection Helios UVSS by UVeye is setting the global standard for under-vehicle inspection. Equipped with five high-resolution cameras, the system can be installed at the access lane of the prison and automatically detect any illicit materials entering or leaving the prison walls. Offering both single- and multi-lane stationary as well as mobile units, Helios has a feature called UVcompare that enables it to recognize vehicles by their license plate or unique undercarriage fingerprint ID and compare the vehicle to a previous scan. This feature can assist in detecting tiny objects such as letters, paper bags, phones and other contraband. Advanced deep learning algorithms that were developed through training with millions of vehicles allow UVeye to offer its first pass solution, UV Inspect. Providing maximum security Built on a truly intimate understanding of what a wide range of vehicles are supposed to look like in a variety of environmental conditions, UV Inspect can be used for vehicles that have not been previously scanned by a system. UVeye is the only under-vehicle inspection system (UVIS or UVSS) vendor to offer a first verified, first pass solution that greatly increases the effectiveness of security teams. The UVeye team sent its representatives from Singapore for several site visits and worked closely with the construction integrator to provide maximum security and screening for all vehicles coming in and out of the prison. Classifications for items such as tiny paper notes, which in other cases might be considered false positives, were calibrated to be exposed by the system within several seconds, and the security guards will be alerted. Improving staff satisfaction The local staff was trained within several weeks of the installation, and objects like wrenches and boxes were picked up immediately during the early implementation of the system. The queuing time for vehicles entering or leaving the facility is reduced by over 70% As a pass-through system that scans vehicles as they drive over the device at up to 30km/h, the prison’s security team is now able to keep traffic flowing without compromising the quality of its inspections. The speed of inspection with a UVeye undercarriage system is reduced dramatically compared to manual inspection by a guard and keeps the prison staff safe. The queuing time for vehicles entering or leaving the facility is reduced by over 70% these cases improving staff satisfaction. Automated UVSS technology UVeye has simplified the documentation of inspections for the leadership, providing centralized, detailed reports of every vehicle, with the ability to compare past scans, which is often used for different purposes. If there is a case of corruption within staff, the accountability is immediate. Adopting UVeye’s automated UVSS technology has given the prison’s security team a quick and efficient method to monitor all vehicles entering or leaving the facility. In a world where a detention facility’s security is constantly tested, it is important to automate and rely on objective systems that can help prevent smuggled items from reaching the wrong people.
Hicking Building RTM Company Ltd has teamed up with Videx Security and Joes UK Limited to solve a major door entry issue for a large residential complex. The Hicking Building Ltd. is a Nottingham-based development comprising 329 self-contained flats, managed by property agents Walton and Allen. Many residents were struggling with a call issue because the existing intercom system developed a fault which meant residents weren’t receiving calls from the system panels. Because of this, tenants were missing visitors and deliveries with people thinking they weren’t home. Videx GSM 4812 intercom system Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system that would also work in conjunction with the existing access control system, where the fob entry element of this was working normally. Joe, who owns and manages Joes UK Ltd., said “The system installed is a very old system and we were struggling to source the repair parts needed to fix the calling issue tenants were experiencing. To fix the problem and reduce the risk of the issue happening again, I recommended the installation of a digital audio GSM 4812 intercom system by Videx that could work concurrently with the fob entry function of the existing solution.” He adds, “With the Videx GSM 4812, when someone calls a specific apartment the call is automatically directed to a registered phone number of the tenant’s, which is usually their smartphone. They now will never miss that important visitor or delivery and are made aware of who has visited even when they are not there and can authorize entry if they wish, while away from their home.” Parallel operations with software-based fob entry solution The Videx system works alongside the existing software-based fob entry solution that residents have used for many years. Mobile phones are now the handset of choice for the majority of people and as they are enabled with Wi-Fi calling, there’s no need to worry about poor mobile signal. If the existing fob system also developed a fault and stopped working, the Videx GSM system includes a preinstalled fob reader so it would be easy to switch this over to the GSM solution. Mark Gibbon, Sales Manager at Videx Security, said “The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security too. There’s no infrastructure or wiring involved; it’s very easy to set up and use.” The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security Mark adds, “It’s a win-win situation for both the resident and management company because it means residents won’t have to stay home waiting for a delivery, or miss a visitor, as they can answer the call to their apartment from anywhere in the world. For management companies, our GSM solution offers a fixed cost and minimizes the risk of call outs because there’s no handset maintenance involved.” Remote event log with online access A really useful feature of the GSM system is that it also carries a new remote event log that can be accessed online, allowing events to be viewed in real time, on the move via a phone, tablet/laptop. It’s a great security feature because it’s where a record is kept of calls, gate/door openings and much more. What’s also useful is that alerts can be programmed where an email will be sent should that alert be triggered. For example, if the gate or door is opened out of normal hours or if the registered number for a flat or property is changed too frequently - any unusual activity is flagged.
Allot Communications Ltd., a global provider of innovative network intelligence and security-as-a-service (SECaaS) solutions for communication service providers (CSPs) and enterprises, has announced that a Tier-1 telecom operator in APAC has selected Allot HomeSecure to provide consumers with zero touch clientless cyber security and parental control services, to protect the CPEs/routers and devices in their homes. HomeSecure solution The HomeSecure solution will be deployed in CPEs provided to consumers by the operator, and in the operator’s cloud-native environment. The services are expected to be made available to millions of the operator’s fixed broadband customers. The operator has ordered an enterprise-wide perpetual license from Allot. According to the Microsoft Security endpoint threat report 2019, the malware encounter rate in APAC was 1.6 times higher than the global average. In light of these conditions, Allot HomeSecure gives telecom providers in APAC a unique opportunity to deliver zero-touch, fully automated services that protect their customers while generating supplemental revenues. Security for home IoT and smart home devices Allot HomeSecure provides security for home IoT devices and smart appliances Allot HomeSecure provides security for home IoT, smart appliances, and the devices connected to the home network. It integrates into the existing home router with the addition of a thin software client that provides home network visibility, cyber security and parental controls without the need for any configuration by the consumer. Allot HomeSecure uses AI to identify and profile connected home devices and to detect and act upon anomalous device behavior. HomeSecure has the option to be managed from an easy-to-use app for every household that gives consumers control over their network security and parental controls. “Our customer in APAC sees anti-malware protection for all home-connected devices and parental controls as basic requirements for any offering they provide to their millions of fixed broadband customers. HomeSecure gives them a single zero-touch clientless solution that satisfies both of these demands,” said Ran Fridman, EVP Global Sales at Allot.
Based in the affluent district of St John’s Wood, Collection Place is a high specification development comprising 14 luxury apartments, built nearby the infamous Abbey Road studios. Home automation and integration specialists, Advanced Integration (AI) invited Comelit to present custom door entry systems, as part of a security upgrade program of works. Specification included bespoke brass video flush panels with video monitors and smart capability to manage from a cellphone, incorporating full links to dedicated 24-hour concierge services. Smart door entry systems Says Kem Rashica, Estate Manager of The Collection Management Limited / Harrods Estates Asset Management: “Every element of our development, set in heart of our beautiful St John’s Wood, was created to present residents with a high-end luxury lifestyle, from specification to security and privacy. We are always looking for best ways to maintain and futureproof this expectation.” “Advanced Integration highlighted the opportunity to present smart door entry systems and recommended Comelit, as a brand renowned for delivering on design and style without compromising on technology or security. The installation was seamless and residents are now delighted to be able to manage their home from the convenience of their cellphone.” Monitors with video capability Maria Tsiftis, Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Integration added: “When it came to upgrade the door entry, we wanted to incorporate a visual, smart capability, without affecting the style or ambience on site. Being a residential development, we also had to be conscious of any works program not causing disruption to daily lives." “Comelit responded with a bespoke specification, including high-end entrance panels, monitors with video capability and concierge systems, enabling a combination of door entry and messaging. Being involved from the design stages ensured a smooth delivery and beautiful custom finish befitting to this luxury development.” Video intercom calls on a smartphone Comelit designed the door entry systems for Collection Place, to operate through its innovative VIP system, which offers a powerful all-encompassing opportunity for residents to receive video intercom calls on a smartphone. Sam Arnold, Business Development Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “St John’s Wood is one of London’s most upscale residential locations, and Collection Place has been established in the elegant villa-style housing that is synonymous with the area.” “Any enhancements to door entry had to be delivered to complement this lavish attention on detail, but also serve discerning homeowners who want the advantages of service and latest technology. By working closely with Advanced Integration, we have delivered a sleek and functional, smart security solution to accommodate these requirements.”
FLIR PT Series cameras were used in a surveillance project to detect and monitor illegal fishing and poaching activities along the Spanish Galician coast. The FLIR thermal imaging cameras combined with maritime video analytics from Gradiant were ideal for spotting illegal vessels on a 24/7 basis and at a long range. The vastness of the Galician coastline and the multitude of fishing and farming activities call for a more automated surveillance approach. Fishing, shellfish harvesting, and marine aquaculture - mainly mussel farming in inshore waters are important economic activities in Galicia (northwest of Spain). Local public authorities strictly control these activities to prevent exploitation, fish stock depletion and resulting economical losses. They are fighting a constant battle against this unfair and illegal competition that affects thousands of professionals who make a living from the fishing and seafood industry. Challenges of coastal monitoring Illegal fishing and poaching has an enormous impact on the environment and food safety Illegal fishing and poaching of seafood resources also has an enormous impact on the environment and food safety; especially during periods of toxic algal bloom (red tides), when fishing conditions are hazardous for public health. The detection of unauthorized fishing and shellfish harvesting is of paramount importance for the Galician authorities. However, monitoring and protecting all of Galicia’s inshore and offshore fisheries, shellfish harvesting areas, and marine aquaculture farms is a challenging task. Galicia has 1,200 km of coastline. Its protection involves the surveillance of activity in 122 ports, including around 5,000 fishing boats, 400 beaches dedicated to shellfish harvesting, and 47 mussel aquaculture farms, with a total of more than 3,000 bateas (floating mussel farms). Long-range thermal imaging Moreover, most illegal activity takes place at night, making it extra difficult for law enforcers to detect any type of vessel. The Galician climate does not help either. With an average of 128 days per year of rain, visibility conditions are usually not ideal for surveillance operations. Manned surveillance patrols can only do so much; they are hindered by the climate and visibility conditions, making it impossible (from a practical and financial standpoint) for coast guards to cover the entire Galician coastline. In 2017, the Galician Coast Guard started a project to test video surveillance of the coastline based on thermal imaging cameras. The pilot included the use of FLIR’s PT Series multi-sensor camera, combined with maritime video analytics software from Gradiant (Pontevedra, Spain). Multi-sensor installation FLIR thermal images were enhanced by Gradiant’s intelligent video analytics software for maritime applications The multi-sensor installation was extensively tested on two different locations along the Galician coast. One set-up was used to monitor illegal vessels on coastal waters at short/medium range, while another set-up was used for long-range monitoring. The PT Series thermal cameras allowed the Galician Coast Guard to monitor the required area over a long range on a 24/7 basis, even at night and in adverse weather conditions. In addition, the FLIR thermal images were enhanced by Gradiant’s intelligent video analytics software for maritime applications. This software is specifically adapted for monitoring coastal environments and allowed the coast guard to detect, track and geo-localise people and vessels, including small wooden and plastic boats. Visible-light camera The software enabled the thermal cameras to detect objects and people despite adverse maritime conditions, such as high waves, low contrast due to low light, fog and rain, reflections on the sea surface, camera vibrations, and the presence of distractors, such as birds and vessel wakes. The FLIR PT Series is a high-performance multi-sensor pan/tilt security camera, incorporating an uncooled thermal camera with sensitivity of <35mK and a visible-light camera with 36x optical zoom. While the thermal camera is used to detect threats over a long range based on their heat signatures, the visible-light camera can be used for verification and identification. Long-range surveillance The requirements for this long-range application were extremely challenging for any thermal camera" “FLIR is the reference for long-range surveillance applications with thermal imaging,” says José Antonio Rodríguez, Head of Video Analytics at Gradiant. “The thermal performance of the camera and the fact that this technology is easy to set up makes it ideal for this type of application. In addition, FLIR supported us from the start for lens selection, calibration of the system and much more.” “The requirements for this long-range application were extremely challenging for any thermal camera,” says Nikitas Koutsourais, Product Marketing Manager at FLIR Systems. “Thanks to the FLIR PT Series’ unique thermal sensitivity of less than 35mK, we could provide the best image performance in the market.” IP video streaming Two different configurations were used in this application. The long-range surveillance station used a FLIR PT-606 camera, and was able to detect a rubber inflatable boat at 4,000m. Despite its narrow field of view, this camera allowed for wide coverage thanks to the high-precision pan/tilt unit. The camera was able to sweep a wide field of view span in a pre-programmed sequence of pan/tilt presets. The port surveillance station used a PT-625, offering a good compromise between detection range and field of view with a single pan/tilt preset. The integration of the video analytics software with the camera was easy thanks to IP video streaming and the camera’s ONVIF compliant interfaces for pan/tilt control. Long-range surveillance typically requires the use of lenses with a narrow field of view, which is a problem when you want to monitor wide areas. Coastal protection applications The FLIR thermal cameras provided the Galician coastguard with increased situational awareness However, the video analytics from Gradiant was able to take advantage of the Preset Sequencing mode of the FLIR PT Series. This allowed the coastguard to cover a wide field of view with a single camera and to perform video analysis on each pan/tilt preset. The FLIR thermal cameras provided the Galician coastguard with increased situational awareness and allowed them to respond much quicker to illegal fishing activities. The pilot project was performed in a realistic surveillance environment along the Galician coast and generated very positive results. The combination of a multi-sensor system with Gradiant’s maritime video analytics proved to be effective to deal with the intricate Galician coast lines and a lack of open view. In addition, this technology combination is a cost-effective alternative, making automated surveillance applications accessible for fish farm companies worldwide. Extremely rugged systems Finally, the PT-Series are extremely rugged systems, which makes them ideal for coastal surveillance, especially in an extremely humid environment such as the Atlantic coast of Spain. The system’s vital core is well protected against dust and water ingress, and complies with IP66 requirements.
Comelit has worked closely with its Gold Partner, MRFS Group at Inspired Living’s flagship Impact House development, to ensure residents in upgraded apartments can experience seamless smart home automation in one all-encompassing solution. Set in Croydon London, Impact House has undergone an extensive program of redevelopment from a largely vacant office building to create 197 contemporary one and two-bedroom micro-flats and 39 larger one, two and three-bedroom apartments, including four exclusive, larger duplex layouts. Comelit smart home automation solutions Comelit’s specialist SimpleHome system incorporates home automation, without compromising style Designed for modern, luxurious urban living, MRFS Group, who has worked closely with award winning Inspired Living on a number of projects from a security perspective, introduced Comelit’s specialist SimpleHome system to the top level apartments at Impact House to incorporate home automation, without compromising style. Adam Tokarski of Inspired Living, said “Impact House has been transformed into a light filled landmark setting for contemporary apartment living. Finished with high specifications throughout, we were keen to ensure the ground-breaking larger and duplex apartments offered the height of luxury.” Smart security Adam adds, “We turned to MRFS Group to advice on an integrated design to present new residents with smart security and home automation. On recommending Comelit’s SimpleHome we initially saw for ourselves its ability to control heating and lighting via the stylish door entry system and supporting app capability. Its flexible design allowed us to work with MRFS to create a bespoke solution for Impact House that was simple to use and finished in a sleek design.” Simplehome smart home automation system Simplehome is Comelit’s smart home automation system, which operates with door entry in one user-friendly integrated solution, providing homeowners with full control of their lighting, heating and ventilation. With an ability to program schedules for up to seven days, Simplehome can be operated remotely using Comelit’s dedicated app, available via smartphone or tablet and connecting to a home router. Ross Wilkins, MRFS Group Director of Projects and Integration added, “When it came to door entry and incorporation of home automation to the 39 top-end apartments, systems had to be considered in line with the change of purpose to the building and how to coordinate installation with minimal cabling requirements." Door entry monitor Using the door entry monitor as a master control unit for Simplehome reduces the wall clutter within each apartment" He adds, “Using the door entry monitor as a master control unit for Simplehome significantly reduced the wall clutter within each apartment. This combined with Simplehome’s control equipment being din rail mountable and very space efficient appealed to Inspired Living, as it allowed maximum footprint to each apartment.” Chris Carroll, Comelit Business Development Manager concluded “Technology continues to play a significant role in our daily life and increasingly driving the demand towards home automation. This is where inspirational developers such as Inspired Living, with the support of our Gold Partner, MRFS Group, are leading the way by integrating facilities such as SimpleHome in apartment offerings." Easy installation He adds, “The professional installation, especially in redevelopment programs such as Impact House, ensures homes can instantly benefit from the convenience and home control factors, without compromising on security or finishing design.”
Round table discussion
Ten years is a long time, but it seems to pass in an instant in the world of security. In terms of technology, 2010 is ages ago. Changes in the market have been transformative during that decade, and we called on our Expert Panel Roundtable to highlight some of those changes. We asked this week’s panelists: What was the biggest change in the security industry in the 2010-2019 decade?
The high cost of thermal imaging cameras historically made their use more likely in specialized law enforcement and military applications. However, lower pricing of thermal imaging technologies has opened up a new and expanding market for thermal cameras in the mainstream. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new opportunities for thermal cameras in mainstream physical security?
Fire and security systems are two elements of the same mission: To keep buildings and their occupants safe. However, the two systems often operate independently and may not be integrated. Should there be more integration and what are the pitfalls? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating security and fire systems?
10 Step Guide to Staying Ahead of Emerging Security ThreatsDownload
2021 Trends in Video SurveillanceDownload
Exploring New Vertical Markets for Professional Security SystemsDownload
Capture New Opportunities With Computer Vision And Video AnalyticsDownload