Maxxess (MAXXESS Systems, Inc.) is targeting increasing demand across the Middle East and North Africa regions for affordable, seamlessly integrated systems and visitor management solutions, with the appointment of Issam Alhamadam as Business Development Manager (BDM) for the MENA region. He joins the company at a time of exciting growth for its eFusion and eVisitor technology, with a number of major projects in the pipeline. The market is being boosted by a drive towards diversification across...
Allegion Ventures, a US$ 50 million corporate venture fund of Allegion plc, has expanded its strategic portfolio with an investment in Mint House, a startup that’s revolutionizing the hotel experience for modern business travelers through technology-aided amenities, such as secure mobile check-in and keyless entry, digital concierge services, customized pre-stocked grocery delivery and more. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed in the release. Strategic investment portfolio In lat...
It has been two years or so since the last ISC West trade show, the biggest security show in the U.S. market. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a year’s worth of trade show cancellations, and the trend will continue for a while longer. The absence of trade shows has been transformative for the security marketplace, among others, as companies implemented a variety of alternative approaches, with mixed results. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has the cancel...
Funds advised by Triton (‘Triton’) acquired ACRE, an end-to-end security solutions provider based in Dallas/USA and Dublin/Ireland. Triton will invest alongside the current management team of ACRE. ACRE’s previous majority investor, LLR Partners, who has partnered with the company since 2013, will exit the business. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ACRE is a pioneer in the delivery of security systems for access control and intrusion detection as well...
Planning elderly care involves thinking about the long term. Building and managing residential homes with a sustainability ethos is increasingly important - to local governments and private providers. Security technology decisions can have an impact on whether they succeed. Tegs Äldrecenter in Umeå, Sweden, chose an access control solution from Tidomat including around 100 ASSA ABLOY Aperio locks wirelessly integrated with the system. Aperio locks are battery powered and operate with...
Dahua Technology, a front-runner video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, is proud to announce that the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center is now available to its global customers. By demonstrating its latest technologies, products, and solutions through an online virtual showroom, the center can support customers in designing excellent security systems. Due to the drastic impact of COVID-19, people are having difficulties in gaining access and experiencing the development of...
SALTO Systems, front-runners in wire-free networked, wireless, cloud, and smartphone-based access control solutions; announce that the SALTO Neo electronic cylinder is their latest product to gain the coveted BSI Enhanced Level IoT Kitemark™ for access control systems. Designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required, the compact SALTO Neo Cylinder can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, sliding doors, and more. It’s also available in an extensive range of models, including a new tough next-generation electronic padlock, and is suitable for use on almost any kind of door from Europe to ASIA to the Americas. IoT security IoT is a network of smart devices and systems when connected, enables the exchange of data to provide services, efficiency, and innovation BSI (British Standards Institution) has been part of this collaborative work to give clarity on best practices for IoT security, subsequently developing a scheme to assess connected/IoT devices. The scheme determines whether a product has the appropriate security controls for its intended use and is suitably supported throughout its intended life. This cyber/physical security scheme forms the security element of the BSI Kitemark for IoT/Connected products. The IoT is typically a network of smart devices and systems that can be connected, enabling data to be exchanged to provide services, efficiency, and innovation. Its technology can positively enhance lives and businesses, but the complexity of IoT also means that those of criminal intent may attempt to access it to steal data, hack cameras, enter buildings or otherwise breach security. Advanced security testing Like the already approved XS4 One electronics locks product family and BLUEnet wireless peripherals, SALTO controllers, and readers, to achieve certification the SALTO Neo family of electronic cylinders had to undergo advanced security testing for vulnerabilities and security flaws in BSI’s state of the art IoT laboratory enduring BSI’s most in-depth and exacting testing and analysis. The SALTO Neo Cylinder provides an effective and convenient way of securing a building or assets. The clutch system is energy efficient, dropping power consumption to impressively low levels resulting in 100,000 / 130,000 operations from just one set of batteries. Standby power consumption is also reduced, further extending battery life. IP66-rated and certified Now IP66-rated, the SALTO Neo Cylinder is weather-resistant, making it especially suitable for outdoor use, even in the harshest of environments. Inside the tough SALTO Neo Cylinder exterior is the latest in electronic lock technology. Certified to the highest security standards, and incorporating ever-higher quality and reliability, the SALTO Neo Cylinder offers value far beyond security, however. It also provides greater control over the door by offering users access to audit trails, reports, alerts, and much more. SALTO Systems Limited MD Ramesh Gurdev said, “We’re proud that our SALTO Neo cylinder family now holds both ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation and IoT Kitemark™ status as both are increasingly important in the specification of access control systems. The award means we now exceed the market standard for a number of security products across our access range which provides SALTO customers with confidence that they are buying one of the most secure products available on the market today.”
The six new cameras added to the Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range have been developed by Hanwha Techwin to enable users to capture evidence grade images of activity occurring in large open area applications. The ability of the new 2MP, 6MP, and 4K Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras to operate effectively in environments such as airports, car parks, industrial estates, stadia, and city centers, is enhanced by a long list of technically advanced features, which include AI-based object tracking, precise PTZ control, and improved pre-set accuracy. The cameras, which have a lightweight, compact form factor, are also able to capture high-quality images of objects up to a distance of 200 meters regardless of the lighting conditions, with the help of adaptive IR technology which adjusts the angle of the camera’s IR LEDs to match the level of zoom. AI auto-tracking Operators can program a camera to lock onto and auto-track a specific object with the help of deep learning video analytics An AI auto-tracking feature allows control room operators to efficiently monitor the movement of objects while remaining hands-free to control other cameras. With a right-click of a mouse, operators can program a camera to lock onto and auto-track a specific object. It does so with the help of deep learning video analytics which detects and classifies people and vehicles. The video analytics is supported by AI algorithms unique to Hanwha Techwin. Alternatively, operators can take advantage of highly accurate manual control PTZ functionality to zoom in to see close up detail of target objects and track their movement. Other key features and functions Pre-set Accuracy: During their life cycle, most PTZ cameras are likely to be expected to ‘pan and tilt’ many thousands of times and it is not unknown for positioning errors to occur. Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras, which have a pre-set accuracy of ±0.1˚, are able to detect if they are not precisely aimed at the specified field of view and will move within one second to the correct position. Focus Save: Applied to up to 32 pre-defined areas, focus save functionality ensures that regardless of the lighting conditions, a camera is able to rapidly come into focus when it is moved to a new position. Tilt Range: The cameras’ extended tilt range of up to 110⁰ allows any objects positioned above the cameras to be seen. Wisenet7 chipset At the heart of all Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras is Wisenet7, Hanwha Techwin’s most powerful chipset to date, which with extreme’ Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) functionality that utilizes Local Contrast Enhancement and Scene Analysis technologies, is able to facilitate the capture of ultra-clear images from scenes containing a challenging mix of bright and dark areas. Excellent low light performance is also assured thanks to the utilization of 3D noise reduction technology which, while minimizing motion blur, uses several filters to isolate and remove pixels that are causing noise, while a new noise reduction algorithm improves the edge and color of objects. Cyber secure Wisenet7 chipset incorporates a list of technologies that significantly enhance the cyber security credentialsComplying with UL CAP and Secure by Default standards, the Wisenet7 chipset also incorporates an impressive list of ground-breaking technologies that significantly enhance the cyber security credentials of the Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras. They also benefit from a Hanwha Techwin proprietary device certificate issuing system which embeds unique certificates into Wisenet products during both the development phase and manufacturing process. This further enhances the camera’s ability to prevent hackers from tampering with its firmware. Installer friendly Compact and approximately 65% lighter than most PTZ domes, the camera-mount installed Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras can be quickly and easily deployed, requiring engineers during a first fix to just ‘match 3 points and twist’. This conveniently enables them to tighten screws without having to hold onto the camera. Unlike conventional PTZ cameras which require up to 5 separate cables, the Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras only need a single RJ45 cable to operate and this is installed with a flexible bush to ensure the camera is waterproof. The new Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras are as follows: Wisenet XNP-9250: 4K 25x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-9250R: 4K 25x IR PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-8250: 6MP 25x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-8250R: 6MP 25x IR PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-6400: 2MP 40x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-6400R: 2MP 40x IR PTZ camera Authority comments “Our comprehensive Wisenet camera line-up offers a variety of options for monitoring wide open areas. However, I would encourage consultants, system designers, and system integrators to take a close look at our PTZ PLUS range when there is a need to closely monitor and automatically track moving people or vehicles,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. “Our design, development, and manufacturing teams have combined their expertise to pack these cameras with a long list of practical features and innovative technology which collectively will surely meet, if not exceed, users’ expectations.”
The Wave XS is a smart, fast, and reliable access control solution with a touchless button that permits easy and clean operation for a large number of activator devices. Upgrading to touchless access control allows for hands-free entry, eliminating the need to make contact with common touchpoints upon entry and creating a more hygienic environment for everyone. Wave XS reader technology offers 100% touch-free automated access control. Depending on the configuration, the Wave XS reader’s capacitive technology can sense hand gestures. All the user has to do is approach the door and their hand activates the door to open, which makes for simple operation and eliminates the need to touch any surface. Automatic door opening hardware With the Wave XS standard reader range, one can easily install hands-free automatic door opening hardware on an existing electrified door to eliminate that added touchpoint and promote a touchless, disability compliant workplace. The solution can also be integrated with the SALTO Systems controller (CU) product range which delivers seamless integrations with lifts, turnstiles, and parking garages to further reduce touchpoints throughout a building. Push-button technology Automatic door technology is expected to revolve around innovation along with the development of smart touchless accessContactless push-button technology has advanced in recent years, with devices activated by proximity using microwave, infrared, and laser sensors. Within the context of the global pandemic, automatic door technology is expected to revolve around innovation and the development of smart touchless access that avoids contact and creates safer spaces. Some of these systems allow doors to be opened by simply bringing the hand to within just a few centimeters from the reader device. As SALTO Systems has long leveraged electronic locking solutions that enhance any door or building with elegant electronic locks, cylinders, locker locks, and readers, they do so again with the SALTO Wave XS reader. Wave XS features and characteristics Developed by the Conlan SALTO Group Company, the Wave XS reader will help combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus as well as future germ threats and help reinforce safety within building spaces. Hands-free wave to unlock touchless technology (Infrared) 2 Outputs (Open collector) Black and white faceplate & surface mounting Compact design with standard wiring IP65 protection rated for indoor and outdoor use Several design, text, and symbol configurable options Operating temperature: -20°C ~ +70°C Voltage interval: 12 – 24 VDC, 30 mA Compatible with SALTO Space and SALTO KS technology platform
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and the way we do business. Restrictions have been implemented to protect our health, affecting us as individuals and the operations of our healthcare systems, companies, organizations, and schools, as well as public and private institutions. Many new behaviors, such as physical distancing, virtual meetings, and improved hygiene measures, will most likely linger as we gradually get back to normal. With smart solutions, we can help each other stick to the new routines. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way one lives their lives and the way one does business. Restrictions have been implemented to protect ones health, affecting one as individuals and the operations of the healthcare systems, companies, organisations and schools, as well as public and private institutions. Many new behaviours, such as physical distancing, virtual meetings and improved hygiene measures, will most likely linger as one gradually gets back to normal. With smart solutions, one can help each other stick to the new routines. Axis tried and tested solutions are designed to increase security and maximise business performance and operational efficiency. In addition, they offer improved safety – never more important than in times of a pandemic. They allow us to carry on with ones daily business while protecting ourselves and the people around us. Solutions range from touchless access to buildings, public address systems for voice messages and reminders, remote communication to keep physical distance to crowd and occupancy management to monitor and control the flow of people. They also include live streaming and broadcasting to keep operations running, as well as remote services to manage sites from a distance - solutions that support safe behaviours over time. Touchless access control With AXIS Visitor Access there is no need to open doors, visitors will get a QR code instead of an access card to be allowed into a building A system for touchless access control makes it easier to comply with physical distancing and increased hygiene requirements. With AXIS Visitor Access there is no need to physically open doors to trusted visitors or buzz them in – visitors will get a QR code instead of an access card to be allowed into a building. They can be granted access at specific times, and should someone change the schedule or cancel, it is possible to revoke or adjust their access as needed. This way, one is always completely in control, knowing when the visitor has arrived and left the building. Public address systems With public address systems, you can manage messages and updates in environments like schools, retail stores, hotels, public buildings and city environments. These include scheduled regular reminders, event-triggered announcements or live voice messages when a situation arises that requires immediate action. It is, for example, possible to run a recurrent message in scheduled intervals to remind people to wash their hands and use hand sanitizers as well as to keep physical distance or to stay at home when they are feeling sick. Event-triggered announcements can be used to tell people that an entrance now has become an exit and that they need to enter through another door, or to inform them that the maximum number of people allowed in a certain area has been reached and that they cannot enter right now. Live voice messages are used when a situation arises that requires immediate action, for example, to remind people to keep physical distance when a room or site is getting too crowded. Remote communication To meet the requirements of physical distancing, it is possible to communicate remotely and get a visual status, grant access from a distance and make live announcements. Axis network door stations let you speak with visitors face-to-face from remote locations, offering secure, hassle-free access to premises for employees and known visitors. Door stations can be used as information points or as emergency phones within a larger area like a city, park, or a school or as a flexible alternative to traditional front desk receptions. They also allow hospital staff to monitor and communicate with patients without having to enter the room. This means fewer changes into protective clothing and reduced use of protective equipment for the staff – without compromising patient safety. Have a look at Axis cooperation with the Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Florida, to see how it works. Crowd control AXIS People Counter counts the number of people who enter and exit a building or site, and when they do it By not allowing too many people in one place at the same time, it is easier to follow physical distancing restrictions. Systems for people counting, crowd control and occupancy estimation help manage visitor traffic. For example, by setting thresholds it’s possible to handle how many people are allowed in a certain space at a time. They can also be used to trigger actions, such as cleaning, stopping the flow of people, calling for extra staff to manage queues etc. AXIS People Counter counts the number of people who enter and exit a building or site, and when they do it. By analysing the numbers, it is easy to plan accordingly, make informed decisions, take immediate action, improve services and operational efficiency. It can also be used to trigger an action – for example, to set up a number-based alert to trigger the desired action when a certain number of people have entered the premises. Occupancy estimation AXIS Occupancy Estimator provides real-time data on how many people are present in a building or site. It is possible to synchronise multiple units within a building and add additional cameras anytime. Remote configuration, management and monitoring make it easy to view statistics from several cameras and locations at the same time, while AXIS Queue Monitor is a cost-efficient application for queue management and analysis. It provides real-time data that can help identify where bottlenecks occur, understands service-cycle timing and improves visitors' overall experience in stores, hotels, public buildings, banks etc. Live streaming and broadcasting Always a practical solution, but especially useful when there are travel and meeting restrictions in force, live streaming and broadcasting make it possible to share information with a broader audience in auditoriums, classrooms and places of worship, for example, while adhering to requirements for physical distancing. And since it minimises unnecessary travel, this is also environmentally sustainable. Remote services Axis Secure Remote Access simplifies the installation of remote access to surveillance systems Remote services make it easier to follow physical distancing restrictions and avoid unnecessary visits to a site, using remote connection, planning and device management. Security installers and system administrators can avoid a physical visit to the site but still successfully design a surveillance system, connect to remote cameras, manage devices, upgrade firmware or renew certificates. AXIS Device Manager is a highly effective on-premise tool that promotes physical distancing by allowing remote monitoring of all devices. Security installers and system administrators can manage all major installation, security and maintenance tasks remotely. It is compatible with most Axis network cameras, access control and audio devices, and allows for management of multiple sites from one central location, including updates of product firmware and certificate management and renewal. The Axis Secure Remote Access is a service that significantly simplifies the installation of remote access to surveillance systems. It is a technology that makes it possible for a smartphone or PC client to access Axis network cameras when the client and the cameras are located on different local networks. Connecting to remote cameras can be a challenge, especially when the cameras are located behind routers or firewalls. Once enabled it is automatically configured and removes the need for manual port-forwarding and router configuration. Impact for the short- and long-term Axis offers innovative and available solutions that increase security and maximise business performance and operational efficiency, and, above all, allow one to carry on with ones daily business while protecting oneselves and the people around – today and tomorrow.
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, ASSA ABLOY. “Medeco key systems, combined with stringent key control programs and our history of enforcing patents, ensures our customers that every cylinder is the most secure it can be.” Protection against threats Kingma added, “keeping openings secure was the catalyst behind the capabilities of M4.” “With more security features than any key system we’ve ever made and an innovative design that protects against the latest threats like 3D printing, M4 reaffirms Medeco as the name that built high security.” Design and strength M4 cylinders are UL Standard 437 listed for physical strength and high security, with solid brass machined construction and strategically placed hardened-steel inserts to thwart drilling attacks. In addition to tumbler pins that lift and rotate, the M4 design includes four side pins: three-finger pins and one lift pin, which must all interact with the sidebar to open, providing a high level of pick resistance. The patent-pending M4 key design, with its shuttle-pin movable element, also helps protect against the emerging threat of 3D printing for unparalleled credential security. Benefits of M4 key systems More Innovation: The technology built into M4 stretches the boundaries of features that can fit into a single cylinder. More Protection: A movable element on the key engages a lift pin to activate the sidebar for more protection against lock picking, as well as 3D printing or cloning attempts. More Combinations: Side-pin codes allow for a vast number of pinning combinations to support even the largest key system requirements. More Security: Patent-pending key control ensure keys cannot be duplicated without proper authorization.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named five young security professionals as the recipients of the 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship, a program offered through SIA’s RISE community, which supports the education and career development goals of young industry talent. Through this scholarship program, open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees at SIA member companies each awardee will receive a $3,000 scholarship to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, SIA program offerings and/or other academic or education programs. Scholarship funds can be used to expand knowledge in the areas of business, human resources (HR), information technology (IT), marketing, sales, project management, security engineering, and/or risk management. Young security professionals “The 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship awardees are an extraordinary group of young security professionals who represent tomorrow’s industry leaders,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA is proud to help foster the careers of these talented honourees, and I look forward to seeing their many accomplishments and successes to come.” Winners for the 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship Nadim Hammoud, Software Developer, Feenics As a key member of the software development at Feenics, Nadim Hammoud has contributed to multiple new features in production and bug fixes, built proofs of concept for prospective clients, and contributed new tests to the automated testing of the company’s web API. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course and certification in AI He has a strong interest in the latest technologies, including cloud computing and machine learning. Prior to his time at Feenics, Hammoud served as a teaching assistant at Carleton University and held engineering and software development positions at Bertrandt and Tactical Technologies Inc. He holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and biomedical and mechanical engineering from Carleton University. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course, a professional certification in the field of artificial intelligence, and attendance at industry events. Olivia Peralta, Account Executive, Allegion In her role as an account executive at Allegion, Olivia Peralta works with teams around the world to plan and sell access control projects – from teaching the company’s security software to implementing hardware installations hosted on the cloud for physical security end-users. Prior to her time at Allegion, she served as an account executive at ISONAS Access Control and completed communications internships at Western Resource Advocates and the Oregon Natural Desert Association. She holds bachelor’s degrees in environmental sciences and communication and environmental studies from Northern Arizona University and a continuing education certification from Colorado Water Education’s Water Educator Network and is IPVM University Access Control certified. Peralta plans to use the scholarship funds toward earning SIA’s Certified Security Project Manager certification and pursuing an education that bridges the gap between strategy, design, and product delivery. Matthew Rios, Regional Sales Manager, Axis Communications Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification In his role at Axis Communications, Matthew Rios promotes the use of IP video and Axis cameras to integrators, distributors, consultants, and end-users and maintains fluid and enthusiastic relationships with current and prospective customers. Prior to his time at Axis Communications, Rios held sales management roles at Hanwha Techwin America, Honeywell, and R&D Lock and Alarm. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in the homeland and corporate security from St. John’s University. Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification. Mary Sharp, HRA, Stanley Access Technologies As a key member of the HR team at Stanley Access Technologies, Mary Sharp is responsible for over 220 professional hourly, non-union service and install technicians and provides support on major change management and organization redesign efforts and issues pertaining to team cohesiveness, dynamics, and management. Prior to her time at Stanley Access Technologies, she held HR and administrative roles at Stanley Healthcare, Infrasource Underground Construction, and Frontline Private Security. She holds a bachelor’s degree in ethics and public policy from the University of Iowa. Sharp will use the scholarship funds toward obtaining the Society for Human Resource Management’s SHRM-CP certification. Trevor Zuerlein, System Designer, VTI Security Zuerlein plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in IT, become a member of (ISC)², and to earn CISSP credentialTrevor Zuerlein started at VTI Security in 2017 as a security systems technician and now serves as a system engineer; Zuerlein is skilled in access control security systems, security cameras, computer repair, computer science, technical writing, and AC/DC electronics. Before his time at VTI Security, he held IT and sales roles with Time Warner Cable, Mead Lumber, and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Zuerlein holds an associate’s degree in information technology from Central Community College. He plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in the IT field, become a member of (ISC)², and work toward his goal of earning the Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential. Networking events SIA RISE is a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry. In addition to awarding the annual SIA RISE Scholarship, SIA RISE offers fun networking events for young professionals, created the RISE Microlearning Series of mini-webinars on top professional development topics, hosts career growth webinars and trade show education tracks. Mentorship program The recently launched the Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) mentorship program for early and mid-career professionals in the security industry and presents the annual AcceleRISE conference, an essential experience designed to ignite new thinking, strengthen leadership and sharpen business acumen in young security talent. RISE is available to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years.
You are not alone: operators everywhere are asking themselves what are they going to do? How are they going to get back to business, and fast? How are they going to cost-effectively operate with all the new safety requirements that have arisen as a result of COVID? How are they going to ensure it all gets done for the safety of customers and staff? How are they going to protect their brand from the negative exposure of being identified as a property with a reputation for COVID? The economic impact of COVID is expected to hit brick and mortar businesses the worst, as their businesses are dependent on people being physically present. According to a recent report by RBC, it is estimated that 70% of Americans expect to avoid public spaces, 57% of Canadians will be unwilling to attend conferences without a vaccine and 63% of people will prefer to drive vs fly. This means, that for those of you in the business of travel, conferences, co-working spaces, retail stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants, sports arenas, hotels, cruises, airlines, resorts, theme parks, long-term care, education, etc. in the blink of an eye your approach to on-site safety just changed. To ensure your property is safe and secure, it is no longer just about access control, video surveillance and intruder alarms; it is also about sanitisation To get back to business and operating at full capacity after COVID, operations must find a way to eliminate the fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of their customers and employees. The affect of COVID-19 on safety and security To safely get back to business, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasis that all operations need a pandemic response planJust like cybersecurity has had a direct impact on the IT strategy and budget, COVID will have a direct hit on the operations strategy and budget. To ensure your property is safe and secure, it is no longer just about access control, video surveillance and intruder alarms; it is also about sanitization, the lines between the security and maintenance just blurred. From customers, to employees, to government regulators, to management, the focus is now on operations and the sanitization policies, procedures and actions of the team. To put this change of priority into perspective, six months ago, sanitisation was not top of mind for people. Why, because it was not a life or death issue, we had other first world problems to garner our attention. From an operations perspective if we enabled a sanitization issue to become significant enough to impact the safety of customers and staff and therefore the brand, then that was an operational choice versus a mistake. Standards for sanitisation Just like cybersecurity has had a direct impact on the IT strategy and budget, COVID will have a direct hit on the operations strategy and budgetThe issue is, today while the operating priority of sanitization has significantly increased, it is not measured and managed to the same standard as the other safety and security concerns across a business. Also, important to consider, while people may not hold an operation liable during this first wave, we can guarantee they are not going to be as understanding during the second wave or a future pandemic. To safely get back to business, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Health and Safety regulators emphasis that all operations need a pandemic response plan and should follow these simple guidelines: Develop your plan Implement your plan Maintain and revise your plan While this sounds simple enough, keep in mind that requirements are constantly evolving and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, or at least until all the research is in. To create an emergency response plan for a pandemic, properties must first determine what needs to be sanitized. The current requirements dictate that most surfaces and objects will just need a normal routine cleaning, it is only the frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and COVID has changed the game and made the digital transformation of operating procedures not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a must-havedoorknobs that will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects. The challenge is when you step back and consider what people touch in a day; the list quickly grows. After only 30 minutes, I easily came up with a list of over 60 items that one could call ‘high touch’! If you think about it, the list is extensive; telephones, doorknobs, drawer handles, counters, pens, keypads, computers, etc. and the list is only going to get longer as the research comes in. The challenge is when you step back and consider what people touch in a day; the list quickly grows Operating efficiency If we don’t change our ways, not only will we be doomed to continue making the same mistakes, but we will continue to be lost in paper and filing cabinetsTo scope the impact on operations as part of the plan, we must then find and identify all of those high touch things across the property. If we then combine that with the fact that CDC requires that all high touch locations must not only be cleaned more often, but that they also require that each location is first cleaned with soap and water, and then disinfected for one minute before finally being wiped down. This means a one-minute task just turned into a 4-minute task, that must now be completed multiple times a day. From a resourcing perspective this adds up quickly, and operating efficiency must be a priority. Not to mention it is going to get very complicated to measure and manage especially. Post COVID rules Getting back to business is going to be complicated; lots to do, lots of moving parts and no technology to help. The fundamental challenge to keep in mind is not that the sanitization requirements have evolved, the real issue is that for most businesses this area has been left unchanged for generations. Still today most rely on checklists, logbooks and inspections to manage the responsibilities of our front-line workers, which might have been fine before COVID. Post-COVID the rules have changed and so should the approach to managing physical operating compliance on the front lines. COVID like most physical operating requirements is tactical, detailed and specific; broad strokes, the honor system and inspections are not going to cut it. The digital transformation COVID has changed the game and made the digital transformation of operating procedures not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a must-have. If we don’t change our ways, not only will we be doomed to continue making the same mistakes, but we will continue to be lost in paper, filing cabinets filled with checklists, never to be seen again. Only with the right data can we significantly improve the operational decisions necessary to accelerate our return to full operating capacity. At the end of the day, to fully recover, operations must eliminate the fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of customers and employees, only then can we really get back to business.
Surveillance systems can track the locations of cellphone users and spy on their calls, texts and data streams. The Washington Post has reported on such systems that are being turned against travelers around the world, according to security experts and U.S. officials. The summer season highlights the need to take extra precautions when traveling. When traveling anywhere in the world, for business or pleasure, citizens need to be aware of and alert to looming physical and cybersecurity threats. To elaborate on expert security tips, strategies and advice for traveling this summer, we presented several questions to The Chertoff Group, a global security advisory firm that enables clients to navigate changes in security risk, technology and policy. Chris Duvall, Senior Director at The Chertoff Group, offers insights into cybersecurity concerns, physical security precautions, and recommends digital resources/apps for consumers while traveling. Q: How are security risks – physical and digital – changing? Why are threats greater today than five years ago? The exponential number of headlines over the past few years is a strong indication that both physical and digital risks are evolving and increasing Duvall: The exponential number of headlines over the past few years is a strong indication that both physical and digital risks are evolving and increasing. The scope, severity and complexity of physical and cyber risks are increasing and becoming more dangerous and destructive. This is especially true for those traveling outside the U.S. On the physical side, threat actors are actively seeking “soft targets” – public events, social settings, mass audience venues, etc. – to communicate their message, sow chaos and inflict catastrophic harm. On the digital or cyber side, we have seen a shift from “thrill hacking,” to an increase of “hacking as a business” (through credential compromise and ransomware), to an increase in “hacking for harm” - with the rise of “nuke ware” and ransomware without a clear financial motivation. Q. What specific precautions should a traveler take to protect their calls, texts and data streams from being spied on? Duvall: When traveling abroad, we recommend to our clients that their personnel and executives should practice good internet and social media hygiene. Some best practices include: Avoid using public Wi-Fi services—unless you use private VPN service for encryption Increase the privacy setting on your technical devices Disable location identifiers on apps Create a new (unlinked) email for internet correspondence Consider purchasing international MyFi devices to decrease the risk of getting your personal identification information (PII) or protected healthcare information (PHI) stolen Use temporary (i.e. burner) phones to protect your data and your contacts Q. What cybersecurity concerns are likely to impact travelers? Are the threats greater outside the United States or in any specific parts of the world? Significant precautions should be taken to protect personal electronic devices (PEDs) and the data connected to PEDs Duvall: The international cybersecurity landscape has grown increasingly dynamic, with threats posed by government authorities (in some countries), terrorists, insurgents, and criminals, requiring travelers to be proactive and vigilant. U.S. citizens, particularly executives of U.S.-based technology companies, must be aware that they are considered high-value targets for nation-state intelligence services and criminally-motivated bad actors. Many countries will go to great lengths and expense to acquire and exploit proprietary information from U.S.-based companies, and views U.S. executives visiting the country as “soft” targets of opportunity. As such, significant precautions should be taken to protect personal electronic devices (PEDs) and the data connected to PEDs. The tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) utilized by bad actors are often covert and nearly undetectable by the affected person. Threat actors routinely access, monitor and utilize Wi-Fi networks at hotels and in public spaces to compromise target devices. Other targeting methods include luggage searches, extensive questioning, and unnecessary inspection and downloading of information from personal electronic devices. There are numerous, high-risk countries for which the U.S. Government warns travelers to be wary of mobile malware, mobile device privacy attacks and hot spots for mobile botnets. The U.S. Department of State has the most recent and up-to-date list. For example, the U.S. Government has investigated numerous incidents in which U.S. travelers’ PEDs (personal and company devices) have been compromised by Russian authorities while transiting Russian airports, left unattended in public spaces and in travelers’ hotel rooms. When traveling to an unfamiliar place, research your destination to understand the local roads and transportation, geography, local roads, culture, etiquette and laws Q: What physical security precautions should a traveler take? Duvall: Here are some useful precautions: When traveling to an unfamiliar place, research your destination to understand the local roads and transportation, geography, local roads, culture, etiquette and laws. Protect your personal information and travel itinerary as much as possible. Limit the amount of jewelry worn, cash, credit cards and electronic devices carried while traveling. Avoid staying on the ground floor of a hotel. Consider choosing a room on the 2nd through 7th floors as these rooms may be more difficult to break into than those on the ground level, but still able to be accessed by fire/emergency response equipment. Never answer your hotel room door for anyone until you’ve determined who they are, why they are at your door, and if it is necessary for you to open the door to interact with them. Carry a rubber door stop/wedge with you to install on the room side of the door before you go to bed. Vary your patterns and routines when venturing out in to a new location, do not become predictable. Politely decline offers of food or drink from strangers (If you do accept beverages, ensure that they are in sealed containers and that there is no evidence of tampering). Never discuss your itinerary, personal, business or other sensitive information where others can hear you. Q: How can companies be proactive in protecting their business travelers? Companies should educate their employees on the importance of maintaining good internet hygiene while traveling abroad Duvall: When traveling on business, companies should provide their employees with clean computers and cell phones before departure. Upon return, the company should immediately wipe the computer clean to prevent any malicious threats from penetrating the company’s internal, cyber-infrastructure. Additionally, companies should educate their employees on the importance of maintaining good internet hygiene and recommend their employees disconnect from social media platforms while traveling abroad. Some general tips to recommend to your employees when traveling abroad include: Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/) Visit Travel.State.Gov to view travel related information specific to the country or countries you’re visiting, including local US Embassy or Consulate contact information, as well as current travel advisories and alerts. Always leave a copy of your transportation and hotel itinerary and driver’s license (or passport if traveling internationally) with a family member or trusted friend. Always use a baggage tag with a protective cover Avoid using public Wi-Fi services Q: What digital resources and/or apps might a traveler benefit from (and how)? Duvall: The Chertoff Group recommends researching the below travel-related Apps before departing on a trip: TravWell: This app provides destination-specific vaccine recommendations, a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for travel, and a customizable healthy travel packing list. The app can store travel documents, keep records of medications and immunizations, and set reminders to get vaccine booster doses or take medicines. My TSA: This app provides real-time updates on airport delays. It includes how long security lines are at various airports; information about what you can and cannot bring onto an airplane; and a frequently-asked question list, including new advanced imaging technology. Border Wait Time: The app provides estimated wait times and open-lane status at land ports of entry, which may be particularly helpful when in an area with multiple crossings. Mobile Pass: The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at (1) cruise port and (24) airports Q: As a security expert, what’s your best advice for travelers? Duvall: At the end of the day, travel security is not rocket science. Simply put, travelers need to: Be aware and situationally alert at all times. Be aware and situationally alert to the location of your luggage and carry-ons at all times. Don’t access unknown, unsecured or public Wi-Fi if at all possible. Turn off “auto connect” features and institute stringent privacy controls as much as possible. Try to “blend in” – you don’t have to try to look like a local but travelers should avoid gaudy and expensive attire wherever possible. Use your common sense – if an offer, invitation or opportunity seems to good to be true... it probably is.
The optical speed lane and turnstile sector of the security market has had a very busy 2017. Growth in commercial construction has provided more opportunity. Innovations in technology have given speed lane manufacturers an opportunity to deliver a better product. Orion Sales Increase And Company Growth Orion Entrance Control, Inc., had a great 2017 as sales increased and our company grew. We attribute our success to the unique approach we have taken since day one: providing customized products that offer customers more than a “one-size-fits-all” solution. We offer the line of turnstiles that you would expect from any reputable manufacturer in the marketplace, but we know that when dealing with lobby security or entrance control, one size definitely does not fit all. By providing various options to supplement our core line, we give our customers a solution that best suits their needs.The ability for security technologies and their manufacturers to work together is becoming increasingly more important to our customers One area that we will continue to build upon in the development of our products is in technology integrations. The ability for security technologies and their manufacturers to work together is becoming increasingly more important to our customers. The manufacturers that can future proof their products to allow the addition of new technologies and to protect a client’s investment from obsolescence will be the big winners in 2018 and beyond. Integration In Entrance Control Orion ECI’s products are built with technology and designs that have this vision for the future. For example, we work with the leaders in biometrics and Point of Sale (POS) solutions to integrate these systems into our entrance control products. Oftentimes, with just a wave of the hand or the right credential, approved users can enter with no hassle or even ring up a purchase. From a business standpoint, Orion ECI experienced a year of continued process improvement and design in 2017. We reached record sales revenues as we continued to receive orders from our existing enterprise clients and new customers. For 2018, we plan to add personnel in key growth areas. This will include additional inside and outside sales positions and product production and engineering roles.
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look back at our articles in 2020 about the growing popularity of cloud solutions for physical security, with links to the original content. Product offering While most people agree on the definition of “cloud,” there are several points about the terminology that may require clarification. Private cloud or public cloud? VSaaS or unlimited storage for video? Beyond the basics, the terms become foggy, reflecting a variety of notions about how cloud services fit into the broader physical security marketplace. As cloud usage becomes more popular, it’s important that marketers be precise in their terminology, and that integrators and end users be diligent in understanding the specifics of available product offerings. Different meanings “The cloud has many different possible connotations, depending on the context,” says Yu Hao Lin of Rasilient Systems, one of our Expert Roundtable panelists. For example, corporate CIOs will more likely understand the cloud to be a private cloud platform. As such, the public cloud is a ubiquitous term while the private cloud is more specified. Cloud system security Security of cloud systems is an ongoing discussion in the industry, especially how cloud system cybersecurity compares to that of on-premise systems. Our Expert Panel Roundtable weighed in on this question. “While both kinds of security systems serve their purpose, it can be argued that the streamlined updates that are commonplace with cloud-based solutions may put them at more of an advantage when it comes to data security,” says panelist Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. “Also, most reputable cloud-based solutions are running in secured data centers by companies such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, so you also get to take advantage of all the security layers they have protecting your data.” Hybrid cloud video security solution A growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security There are several relatively new companies pushing cloud in a big way. Verkada is fast-growing company currently currently focusing to deliver an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. The growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security. Combining AI and cloud video One company investing in the cloud is Eagle Eye Networks, which has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to finance the realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end-users,” says Ken Francis, President. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. Eagle Eye is also investing in its own AI development and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution and MobilisID smart mobile physical access control solution. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, when supporting staffThe advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide-ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs, and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. 5G supporting cloud-based applications 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Increasing use of IoT Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate.
Simultaneous suicide bombings at several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21 were of a scale, sophistication and level of coordination that hasn’t been seen since 9/11. Nine suicide bombers targeted three churches and three hotels on Easter morning, and the resulting casualties numbered 359 dead, including 45 children, and about 500 injured. The complexity of the attacks suggests the bombers received help from an outside organization, likely the Islamic State (IS). Sadly, security warnings from Indian intelligence officials, which might have helped to prevent or minimize the attacks, were ignored by Sri Lanka security weeks earlier. In the wake of the massacre, two of Sri Lanka’s top security officials were asked to resign, and Sri Lanka’s president promised to completely restructure state security. Contradiction To The Terrorism Report The twin calamities provide a dramatic counterpoint to an observed global decrease in terrorist attacksA motivation for the Sri Lanka tragedy is thought to be the March 15 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 50 people were killed and 50 more were injured. A 28-year-old Australian white supremacist was arrested and charged with murder. Taken together, the twin calamities provide a dramatic counterpoint to an observed global decrease in terrorist attacks, as documented in a recent report. The suicide bombers in Sri Lanka were eight men and one woman, most of them well-educated and coming from the middle or upper class. One was the leader of National Thowheeth Jamaath, the homegrown militant Islamist group the government has blamed with carrying out the attacks. There is also evidence to corroborate a claim of responsibility by IS. Some 60 people have been arrested in the investigation. Even days later, police continued to find explosives and said there was still danger. Multiple Attacks One explosion on Easter morning occurred at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, 20 miles north of Colombo, where more than 100 were killed. Another bomb killed 28 people at the Zion Church in Batticaloa, and an unknown number died at St. Anthony’s Shrine, a Roman Catholic church in Colombo. The three hotels that were attacked were all in Colombo – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury The three hotels that were attacked were all in Colombo – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Two more explosions happened Sunday afternoon, one at a small guest house and another at the suspects’ safe house, where three officers were killed. Security at houses of worship has been a high-profile concern in the United States in recent years following incidents such as an attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in downtown Charleston in 2015 that killed nine people. Just last October, 11 people were killed and six others injured in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Hardening Security At Churches “It’s no longer enough to pray for a safe and secure environment,” commented Patrick Fiel of PVF Security Consulting in an Expert Panel Roundtable discussion. “Churches are soft targets. Clergy and parishioners will need to work closely with security consultants and local law enforcement to harden their facilities.” Access control, CCTV solutions and mass notification systems are all helpful and can be placed unobtrusively so as not to interfere with aesthetics of the church, Fiel adds. The scale and scope of the bombings in Sri Lanka provide a wakeup call to the global likelihood of terrorist attacksIt doesn’t appear technology would have made much difference in the case of the Sri Lanka attacks, although awareness and vigilance can have an impact. At Zion Church in Batticaloa, for example, a bomber was stopped by pastors from entering the congregation area where some 500 people gathered. Because of their suspicions, the bomb was instead detonated in a courtyard where children were eating breakfast; 28 people died. The scale and scope of the bombings in Sri Lanka provide a dramatic wakeup call to the continuing global likelihood of terrorist attacks. The last territory of the Islamic State in Syria fell in March, but IS and its ideology live on, and continue to be a global terrorism threat. And that’s just one among many possible sources of terrorism worldwide. Hopefully, the recent incidents do not foreshadow more attacks that are even more deadly.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament is bringing 32 national teams and more than 400,000 foreign soccer fans from all over the world to 12 venues in 11 cities in Russia. Fans are crowding into cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. Given continuing global concerns about terrorism, security is top-of-mind. Protection of the World Cup games in Russia is focusing on an “integrated safety, security and service approach,” according to officials. Combining the term “security” with the terms “safety” and “service” is not an accident. An aggressive security stance is necessary, but at the end of the day, fan safety is paramount, and a service-oriented approach ensures a positive fan experience. Medical responders will be working side-by-side with police and antiterrorism personnel. Risk Management Best Practices We asked Sean T. Horner and Ben Joelson, directors of the Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm focused on best practices in security and risk management, to comment on security at FIFA World Cup 2018. Although not involved in securing the 2018 World Cup, the Chertoff Group is experienced at securing large events and enterprises using risk management, business practices and security. Integration is another important aspect of protecting the games, says Horner. The use of multiple resources, including Russian military, intelligence and law enforcement, will be closely integrated to provide the best security for the large-scale event in each of the host cities, he says. The approach will be centralized and flexible, with resource deployment guided by effective situational awareness.Primary security and emergency operations centers will be dispersed throughout each host city “There is a unified command structure at the Russian Federation level, and they will keep resources in reserve and shift them as needed to various events and venues based on any specific intelligence, in effect deploying resources where threats are greatest,” says Joelson. “There will also be some regional commands, and resources will incorporate a spectrum of police and military personnel ranging from the ‘cop on the beat’ to the Spetsnaz, the Russian ‘special forces.” Primary security and emergency operations centers will be dispersed throughout each host city, and additional forces can be shifted as necessary, he notes. Role Of Law Enforcement In Russia, the lines of separation between law enforcement and the military are not as stark as in the United States, for example, where military forces are restricted from deployment for domestic law enforcement by the Posse Comitatus Act. In Russia, there is no such restriction. A broad range of technology will play a role at the World Cup, Horner and Joelson agree. Technology will be used primarily as a force multiplier and a decision-support tool for security personnel. There are robust CCTV systems in many Russian cities, and mobile CCTV systems, such as camera towers or mobile security centers on wheels, will also be deployed. Technologies will include infrared cameras, flood lights, and ferromagnetic screening systems to scan hundreds of individuals as they walk by. In some locations, facial recognition systems will be used, tied into various intelligence, military and law enforcement databases of known bad actors. Behavior analytics will be used as a decision-support tool. In addition to security in public areas, private CCTV systems in hotels, at transportation hubs, and inside the venues themselves will be leveraged. Video analytics and detection will help personnel review live view of people who may be acting suspiciously or who leave a bag unattended. In some locations, facial recognition systems will be used, tied into various intelligence, military and law enforcement databases of known bad actors Rigorous Anti-Terrorism Measures A Fan ID card is required to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup Tournament, even for Russian residents. The Russians have an aggressive stance against domestic terrorism, which will also help ensure the safety of the World Cup games, say Horner and Joelson. Terrorist group ISIS has promised “unprecedented violence” at the games, but they make similar threats at every major global event. Russia has been an active force disrupting ISIS in Syria, and experts suggest that losing ground geographically could lead to addition “asymmetric” terrorist attacks. However, Russia is leveraging all their intelligence resources to identify any plots and deploying their security apparatus to disrupt any planned attacks, experts say. Russia’s rigorous anti-terrorism measures include a total ban on planes and other flying devices (such as drones) around the stadiums hosting the World Cup. Private Security In addition to military, intelligence and law enforcement personnel, private security will play a have a high profile during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Private security personnel will be on the front lines in hotels and in “fan zones.” They will operate magnetometers at entrances, perform bag checks, enforce restrictions on hand-carried items, etc. Private security will be especially important to the “guest experience” aspects of protecting the games.Private security will be especially important to the “guest experience” aspects of protecting the games Another private security function at the World Cup is executive protection of dignitaries and high-net-worth individuals who will be attending. Executive protection professionals will arrive early, conduct advanced security assessments before VIPs arrive, and secure trusted and vetted transportation (including armored cars in some cases.) VIPs will include both Russian citizens and foreign (including U.S.) dignitaries attending the games. Private security details will be out in force. Aggressive Security Approach Overeager and outspoken fans are a part of the football culture, but Russia will deploy a near-zero tolerance policy against hooliganism and riots. An overwhelming force presence will take an aggressive approach to curbing any civil disturbances, and offenders will be removed quickly by Russian security forces. Strict restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol will be enforced in the venue cities before and after the matches. Officials will also be cognizant of the possibility of a riot or other event being used as a distraction to draw attention from another area where a terrorist event is planned. It will be a delicate balance between deploying an aggressive security approach and preserving the fan experience. Joelson notes that freedom of speech is not as valued in Russia as in other parts of the world, so the scales will be even more tipped toward security. “The last thing they want is for things to get out of control,” says Horner. “The event is putting Russia on the world stage, and they want visitors to walk away safely after having a great time and wanting to go back in the future.”Attendees should also have good situational awareness, and keep their heads up, scanning crowds and identifying unsafe situations" Precautions for World Cup attendees Attendees to the World Cup in Russia should take some basic precautions, Horner and Joelson agree. For example, Russia requires a translated, notarised letter explaining any prescription drugs. The country has a more aggressive foreign intelligence environment, so visitors cannot depend on their data being private. Joelson recommends the usual “social media hygiene” and privacy settings. Visitors should not post information about their travel plans or locations, and it’s best to travel with a disposable mobile phone that does not contain personal information. Location tracking should be deactivated. Travelers should also beware of talking and sharing information with others, or of saying anything derogatory. “They should also have good situational awareness, and keep their heads up, scanning crowds and identifying unsafe situations,” says Joelson. “If you bring a personal electronic device, you should expect that it has been compromised,” says Horner. Text messages and email will not be private, and he suggests creating an email address used only for travel. Don’t leave drinks unattended. Travelers from the U.S. should register at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) operated by the U.S. State Department. “Plan before you travel and before you get to the airport,” says Horner.
Long John Silver’s, the largest quick-service seafood restaurant chain in the United States, has chosen Interface Security Systems, a service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, to enhance network connectivity across 430 of its restaurants. To build this “network of the future,” Long John Silver’s implemented Interface’s fully managed, restaurant-in-a-box solution that includes prefabricated network equipment ready for SD-WAN expansion, wireless WAN backup, and VoIP connectivity. Need of a high-speed network The IT team at Long John Silver’s needed a reliable, high-speed network for their restaurants To continue offering consistent and satisfactory customer service, the IT team at Long John Silver’s needed a reliable, high-speed network for their restaurants. Accompanied by a robust backup network, the system supports additional services like guest Wi-Fi, cellphone devices, and tablets for their staff. After a rigorous evaluation of managed services vendors, Long John Silver’s chose to partner with Interface. Innovative and cost-effective “Interface’s solution stood out as the most innovative and cost-effective option on the market,” says Brad Gardone, vice president of information technology services at Long John Silver’s. “The company’s “restaurant-in-box” model came with preconfigured network cabinets and accessories outfitted specifically for Long John Silver’s, allowing for installation to occur with no disruption to restaurant operations. No other service provider offered us this model.” Employing voice connectivity Interface helped Long John Silver completely replace the legacy switches and myriad connectivity solutions with a secure, scalable LAN and WAN with LTE failover, 24X7 remote monitoring, along a business VoIP voice connectivity. Long John Silver’s was able to go live across 430 restaurants in a matter of a few months. With the new solution in place, restaurant staff was able to focus solely on the customer experience, rather than dealing with connectivity issues or outages. Not to mention, revenue leakages due to offline credit card transactions came down drastically and operational reports are now generated in real-time, giving management better visibility on restaurant performance. Voice communication system The revamped network and VoIP solution bundle allowed the seafood chain to pivot to an online-order-first model When the pandemic hit and Long John Silver’s customers shifted their preferences to online ordering, the revamped network and VoIP solution bundle allowed the seafood chain to pivot to an online-order-first model. “During the pandemic, about 90 percent of the business shifted to online/drive-through. While dine-ins will steadily make a comeback in the future, we are proud of what we accomplished with help from Interface,” says Gardone. “We now have a top-of-the-line network and voice solution that’s robust, scalable, secure, and will become the foundation for everything we plan to build in the coming years.” The partnership between Long John Silver’s and Interface is just picking up steam. In addition to offering an expanded voice communication system to support remote teams and work from home employees, Interface will continue to play a key role in Long John Silver’s mission to maintain top-tier security and drive growth.
HID Global, a pioneer in trusted identity solutions announced that qiiosk Ltd. uses its HID NFC Tags to meet skyrocketing demand from restaurants and diners for its product Menu Tile, to give a completely contact-free dining experience. HID NFC Tags With HID NFC Tags, qiiosk was able to respond quickly to the demand for solutions capable of addressing the “new normal” of contactless dining, takeout, and delivery. The company’s enhanced solutions enable restaurant-goers to securely access current menus, place orders, and submit payment simply by scanning a QR code or tapping an embedded NFC tag with an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet. End-user experience High-quality HID NFC Tags facilitate end-user interactions with qiiosk’s products, providing restaurants and other hospitality venues with robust hardware and best-in-class software for touch-free ordering and payment. High-quality HID NFC Tags facilitate robust hardware and best-in-class software for touch-free ordering and payment “HID NFC Tags now solidly underpin our Menu Tile product and others in development,” said Justin Clark, Director at qiiosk. “We chose the solution due to our experience and confidence in the tags after significant and fierce field trials. We are confident in HID products and use them not only within our organization, but also in organizations we support.” “Fire-and-forget” solution Of particular importance to the Menu, Tile product was the adhesive quality, read rate, and ruggedness of HID NFC Tags, which allowed the company to equip its customers with a “fire-and-forget” solution to address rapidly evolving regulations in the hospitality sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased attention on food allergen issues. Cost-effective With HID NFC Tags, qiiosk was able to quickly upgrade their physical product and produce enough tiles to supply customers. This positioned the company to maintain its high growth by delivering a high-quality product capable of enduring the harsh conditions of bars and restaurants—leading to cost savings and reliability. Touch-free opportunities “We are pleased that qiiosk has leveraged the power of HID NFC Tags to deliver an improved product that provides exceptional results during a time of high demand and great uncertainty,” said Jean Miguel Robadey, Vice President of Industrial Smart Components, Identification Technologies with HID Global. “By integrating HID NFC Tags into its solutions, qiiosk was able to deliver to its customers more touch-free opportunities and the ability to immediately communicate menu changes and even possible COVID-19 exposures to protect their staff and diners.”
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is teaming up with Evolv Technology to bring a state-of-the-art security and screening system to enhance the safety of guests and team members. Evolv’s artificial intelligence-based touchless system, Evolv Express®, will help promote safety by using weapons detection screening without needing guests to walk through individually as is the case with traditional screening methods. While weapons of any kind have never been allowed on the property, this new system will detect them if they are brought in and guests will be asked to remove them from the property. Touchless security screening The Evolv system also offers thermal imaging in the continued effort to protect against COVID-19. Guests will no longer need to stop at the entrance to have their temperature taken by hand, which is the system that has been in place since Potawatomi re-opened in June. Evolv system offers thermal imaging in the continued effort to protect against COVID-19 “The health and safety of our guests and team members continue to be our number one priority,” said Potawatomi Hotel & Casino CEO and General Manager Rodney Ferguson. “This new technology allows us to ramp up our efforts while continuing to provide guests the entertainment and service they’ve come to expect.” Evolv, which has been providing this new touchless security screening since 2017, is second only to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the number of people screened by its system – more than 50 million people at venues across the country. Providing screening services While Evolv is providing screening services at high-profile attractions such as Six Flags theme parks, Hersheypark, and Oakland International Airport, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will be the first casino in the United States to utilize the technology for guest safety. “Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is known for delivering an industry-best guest experience,” said Evolv Technology Chief Executive Officer Peter George. “Proactively addressing concerns brought on by issues like viruses and concealed weapons is paramount for venues to help people feel safe while enjoying their leisure time. It’s in keeping with Potawatomi’s well-earned ‘customer-first’ reputation to be setting the pace for other casinos and hotels.” The new screening system will be in place at each guest entrance: the main lobby on the south side of the casino, the parking garage Skyway, and the hotel lobby. Guests will not have to stop, empty their pockets, or have their bags checked unless directed to by security. Guests may still be asked to provide identification to show they are 21 years or older.
Domino's Pizza is one of the largest and fastest growing food service company in India with a network of 850+ restaurants in more than 200 cities. The Pizza delivery expert is a renowned provider of the organized pizza market with 70% market share in India. With its most famous half an hour delivery strive, Domino's Pizza marks the importance of communication and time growing towards its vision of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world. Today's retail supply chain executives are moving more products farther and faster than ever before. Communication is a critical parameter when it comes to the Pizza industry as it directly affects, delivery on time, order noting, supply chain relationship and most importantly food management process. In the era of fast life, demanding consumers putting pressure on the supply chain process, Domino's Pizza required all its branches to work in synchronization managing food delivery on time. Advanced communication system The major challenge was to connect multiple branch offices with headquarters for day-to-day communication. Following it, Domino's Pizza also required 30+ lines as a trunking solution for voice calling at all the branch offices with minimum infrastructure cost. Products And Solutions Offered: Matrix and its channel partner Sun Line Communications Systems worked together and provided an IP enabled PBX solution - ETERNITY GE for all multi-site telephony needs of Domino's Pizza. ETERNITY GE is an advanced communication system offering convenient features and flexible functionalities in line with the changing needs of organizations. The reliable architecture and easy to use platform delivers the unmatched performance to meet the needs of controlling costs and managing operational expenses. ETERNITY GE supports any combination of TDM, IP, GSM PRI trunks and subscribers along with networking of multiple systems across locations. centralized management of IP-PBX System With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices Peer-to-Peer connectivity over IP between IP-PBX at HO and 15+ ETERNITY GE located in branch offices for seamless connectivity. With installation of 15+ ETERNITY GE at branch offices, Matrix connected all the locations with head office over IP to provide seamless integration all over India for Domino's employees for quick connectivity. With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices. IP telephony feature of ETERNITY GE provides simple 3-digit dialing, call transfer, conference, voice mail access and other call management features for inter-branch communications With the requirement of 30+ trunks at every branch location for voice calling, PRI acts as a perfect network to not only save telephony cost but also saves cabling cost as 30 channels are offered on a single line. Unified communication for workforce With the web based Remote Management feature, all the systems can be centrally managed by the IT administrators from a single location without visiting any branch offices. Innovative SPARS M2S - Mobile Softphone application enables supervisors to carry office extensions wherever they go. They can reach each other by simply dialing an extension number or browsing through the corporate directory. Enhanced collaboration with video calling, instant messaging and presence sharing, voice mail features. Results : Unified Communication for workforce collaboration and better customer responsiveness Low terminating cost of PRI lines as compared to analog lines for each user Reduced call traffic as high as 40% Future-proof solution with scalability for further expansion plans
Vimpex has supplied Agrippa wireless acoustic fire door holders to hold open fire doors at the HQ of one of England’s largest housing associations to provide an easy and effective method of infection control, while not impacting on fire safety. A COVID-secure risk assessment identified the need to reduce the touching of fire door locks and door handles at the organization’s administration offices by staff and visitors. “Reducing the spread of germs and bacteria has never been more critical. We identified self closing fire doors that need constant handling to open them as having the potential to spread the virus. The Agrippa door holder provides an excellent, hygienic and legally compliant solution to holding open internal fire doors, supporting infection control without compromising fire safety." Increase in building ventilation While preventing door handle contact, the Agrippa door holder also increases room ventilation Vimpex’s Agrippa wireless acoustic fire door holders offer the perfect wire-free solution to legally hold fire doors open, using digital wire-free technology to uniquely ‘listen and learn’ the sound of a specific fire alarm. This ensures the holder’s releasing trigger reacts only to the precise sound of the fire alarm rather than extraneous loud noises, so false activations are virtually eliminated. While preventing door handle contact, the Agrippa door holder also increases room and building ventilation while improving visibility and accessibility to ensure social distancing is maintained. Fire door holders The Agrippa fire door holder is the perfect solution to legally hold open fire doors in schools, care homes, hotels, and office buildings, as well as many others. It is recognized by UK Fire and Rescue Services and the London Fire Brigade, suitable for installation to BS 7273-4 Standard Actuation (Category B) and conforms to EN1155, and is CE marked.
Interface Security Systems, a renowned managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announced that El Pollo Loco, one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chains that specializes in fire-grilled chicken, is relying on Interface's managed video verified alarms and intrusion alarm monitoring to reliably detect intrusions and minimize false alarms. With Interface, El Pollo Loco saves several thousand dollars in annual false alarm penalties across 198 restaurants. When Louis Burke, Senior Manager, Safety & Loss Prevention, joined El Pollo Loco, he had to contend with numerous alarm management protocols as El Pollo Loco had half a dozen vendors for intrusion alarms. Every vendor had different terms of engagement and there was no way to hold anyone responsible even when the alarm systems failed. Security alarm system “When I first started, I received a call from a restaurant about their missing safe. When I called the large well-known alarm company, I was told that they had stopped receiving signals from the alarm system at the location for over six months. Apparently, we had not signed up for a separate add-on service that would have ensured the communication channel between the alarm and the monitoring center was working." We untangled ourselves from the maze of alarm vendors and work with a company that understood our needs" "All along, we were paying service charges with no one monitoring our location and no communication from the alarm company." This incident marked a turning point in El Pollo Loco’s approach to loss prevention and paved the way for a complete review of how intrusion monitoring was implemented. “We decided to untangle ourselves from the maze of alarm vendors and work with a company that understood our needs and was willing to take ownership for the service. That’s why we decided to hire Interface,” said Burke. Alarm monitoring systems The service scope included replacing outdated alarm systems with a state-of-the-art new system along with Interface’s 360 Alarm Maintenance Service that ensured all maintenance issues with duress buttons, connectivity, and the alarm panels were proactively addressed along with a comprehensive yearly technical inspection to ensure the alarm systems remain operational at all times. The revamped managed alarm service by Interface became the gold standard for El Pollo Loco, as Burkes team insisted on following a similar engagement model and protocol with other service providers as well. Once El Pollo Loco streamlined the basic alarm monitoring systems, Burke set his eyes on rolling out cameras to the remaining 40% of restaurants that still did not have a video in place. However, the team wanted to effectively demonstrate ROI on the proposed investment first. Video verified alarm service As Burke was reviewing the security operations, the hefty false alarm fines that added up to several thousands of dollars every year stood out. Working with Interface, El Pollo Loco piloted a video verified alarm service at a few of their restaurants where cameras were already installed. The results of the pilot project were eye-opening. Every time a restaurant location had an alarm event, Interface’s remote monitoring team would verify if the alarm required a call to the local law enforcement or not. Only 5% of the alarm events actually required police intervention. The rest were all false alarms. The pilot project paved the way for the installation of security cameras at all El Pollo Loco locations. Interface’s video verified alarm was then made available in all the locations and directly contributed to thousands of dollars in savings per year as El Pollo Loco cut down false alarm penalties and associated costs by 95% across their corporate-owned restaurants. Eliminating false alarms The Interface Command and Control Center identified the burglary in progress and immediately dispatched police “In addition to the direct savings associated with eliminating false alarms, our store associates are happy as they are no longer being woken up at odd hours with a false alarm. Every time they receive an emergency call from Interface, our associates know that they have a verified event,” says Burke. The custom-built video verified alarm solution is also helping to prevent crime at El Pollo Loco. Recently, a serial burglar attempted to make off with a significant amount of cash stolen from the smart safe at a Los Angeles-area location. The Interface Command and Control Center identified the burglary in progress and immediately dispatched police. The burglar was arrested on the scene. Convert alarm panels Interface is currently in the process of working with El Pollo Loco’s IT department to also eliminate expensive POTS lines and convert their alarm panels to help them reduce costs for all their locations. According to Burke, “The biggest advantage of working with Interface is not just the value for money, it’s the robust, process-oriented culture, the willingness to listen to customers, and the ability to creatively solve problems keeping the interest of the customer in mind.”
Round table discussion
Hospitality businesses work to provide a safe and pleasant customer experience for their guests. Hotels offer a “home away from home” for millions of guests every day around the world. These are businesses of many sizes and types, providing services ranging from luxury accommodations to simple lodging for business travelers to family vacation experiences. Hospitality businesses also include restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues. Security needs are varied and require technologies that span a wide spectrum. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the hospitality market?
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