IDIS’s latest tech-explainer eBook – The Benefits of Deep Learning Driven Intelligent Video Analytics – explores how a new generation of AI video solutions is delivering better security, safety, operational efficiency, and business intelligence. The eBook, which can be downloaded now from the IDIS website, reflects the company’s commitment to supporting its systems integrator partners as they focus on delivering advanced video solutions into growth sectors. Modern netwo...
Cynet announced a new guide titled "10 CISOs with Small Security Teams Share their Must Dos and Don'ts" which details how to effectively manage small and medium enterprise (SME) security with five or fewer cybersecurity team members. As the challenges of smaller security teams are certainly different than with larger teams, these IT professionals must be more creative and pragmatic than their large enterprise counterparts. In the past several years they have seen a rise in cybersecurity attacks...
Device Authority, a global front-runner in Identity and Access Management (IAM) for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced KeyScaler for Azure Sphere in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing applications and services for use on Azure. Azure Sphere brings together Microsoft’s expertise in cloud, software, and silicon to provide a security foundation and connectivity to create intelligent secure products and accelerate the adoption of IoT at scale. Device Authority&rs...
Hanwha Techwin, a supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, announces that Kevin Darnell has joined the company as Retail Business Development Manager for the retail sector in North America. In this new role, Darnell will be responsible for helping partners and customers implement surveillance solutions that maximize loss prevention and streamline business operations. Prior to joining Hanwha, Darnell was Director of Asset and Revenue Management, Loss Prevention at Caleres, Inc (Fa...
MOBOTIX AG has developed the M16 EST Thermal Camera as a special thermal solution for the for zero-contact detection of temperature fluctuations of the body surface (EST: Elevated Surface Temperature). The M16 EST thermal camera complies with the specifications of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which enables and enforces its use and distribution in the United States. The thermal solution precisely satisfies the requirements of the COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the...
Supermarket employees have been the hidden key workers of the past year, keeping shelves stocked and queues under control as panic buying gripped the nation. As a result of being expected to enforce face covering and social distancing regulations, they also been asked to act as de-facto security guards alongside their existing duties. This is problematic as many employees have never had to deal with this kind of responsibility before, let alone received any conflict de-escalation training. In o...
Carefully planned safety and security measures will be a crucial part of the successful redevelopment of the high streets and city centers as they seek to reinvent themselves post the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to security experts, ATG Access. With the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee informed at a January 2021 meeting that the lockdown-induced shift towards online retail will likely be permanent, the high street must move its emphasis away from retail and instead become more leisure and experience-focused with the help of new pedestrianized zones. Creating new pedestrianized zones Gavin Hepburn, Managing Director at ATG Access commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated changes that were already happening in consumer behavior. This presents an exciting opportunity to have another look at our urban landscapes and consider how they might be transformed to better serve the needs and wants of the public.” He adds, “As we saw last summer, pedestrianization is a great way to create new multifunctional spaces for people to gather and socialize. These spaces can be used to provide a much-needed boost to hospitality businesses, or host fun community events, which will be critical when it comes to drawing people back to the high street as things start to return to normal.” Deploying appropriate physical security measures ATG Access report shows 60% of design professionals have concerns about the level of investment in security measures Gavin further stated, “When creating these new spaces, choosing the right physical security measures, such as bollards and impact-tested street furniture, will be crucial in order to ensure that the public can use and enjoy them with confidence. While this may seem obvious, according to our recent research many architects, specifiers, and urban planners feel like not enough is invested in security on the projects they work on.” The report by ATG Access revealed that 60% of urban design professionals have concerns about the level of investment in security measures, while 47% feel that their nearest city isn’t safe. When asked about the barriers to appropriate implementation, the majority (67%) cited insufficient funding, 55% identified reluctance from local authorities to invest, and 32% had experienced a local unwillingness to have the look of a space spoiled by ‘obtrusive security measures’. Solutions to circumvent barriers to security implementation Exploring the potential solutions to these barriers, 53% of those surveyed suggested working in partnership with local authorities and suppliers, right from the beginning of a project, to determine the most appropriate security measures, while 36% were keen to make use of impact-tested street furniture to counteract any aesthetic issues. Gavin concludes by stating, “We all want to see cities and towns bustling with life again once the pandemic comes to an end. Creating new safe, public spaces will be the key to achieving this, so urban design professionals, local authorities, and security suppliers must all work together to bring this new vision to life and ensure a bright future for our high streets.”
Check Point Research (CPR) recently conducted investigations into two known Iranian cyber groups which showed the Iranian government continues to surveil and attack dissidents of the regime, in Iran and abroad. The first cyber-group, known as APT-C-50, spies on the mobile phones of dissidents, collecting phone call recordings, messages, pictures, and GPS data. In a campaign dubbed ‘Domestic Kitten’, APT-C-50 targeted over 1200 individuals living in seven countries, with over 600 successful device infections. Extracting sensitive data The second group, known as Infy, spies on the PCs of dissidents, extracting sensitive data from home and business computers after tricking targets into opening malicious email attachments. With the help of researchers at SafeBreach, CPR has exposed a recent Infy campaign that targeted dissidents in 12 countries. Both campaigns, Domestic Kitten and Infy, are still live and ongoing. CPR first revealed the Domestic Kitten operation in 2018. Now, CPR has uncovered the full extent of Domestic Kitten’s extensive surveillance operation against Iranian citizens. Since 2017, the Domestic Kitten campaign has consisted of 10 unique campaigns, four of which are currently active, with the most recent campaign beginning in November 2020. Collecting device identifiers Victims are lured into installing a malicious application through multiple vectors In these campaigns, victims are lured into installing a malicious application through multiple vectors, including an Iranian blog site, Telegram channels, or by SMS with a link to the malicious application. The capabilities of the Domestic Kitten malware, which CPR researchers call ‘FurBall’ include: call recording, surround recording, location tracking, collecting device identifiers, grabbing SMS messages and call logs, stealing media files like videos and photos, obtaining a list of installed applications, and stealing files from the external storage. FurBall uses a variety of covers to disguise its malicious intentions. Disguises identified by CPR researchers include: VIPRE Mobile Security – A fake mobile security application ISIS Amaq – A news outlet for the Amaq news agency Exotic Flowers – A repackaged version of a game from Google Play MyKet – An Android application store Iranian Woman Ninja – A wallpaper application Mohen Restaurant application – a restaurant in Tehran Theft of sensitive data Check Point and SafeBreach researchers found evidence of renewed activity of Infy Domestic Kitten has targeted over 1200 individuals, with over 600 successful device infections, in seven countries: Iran, United States, Great Britain, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Victims include internal dissidents, opposition forces, ISIS advocates, people in the Kurdish minority in Iran, and more. Check Point and SafeBreach researchers found evidence of renewed activity of Infy, a cyber campaign that has been in intermittent operation since 2007. Infy’s most recent activity targets PCs by sending fake emails with attractive content, usually with an attached document. Once the document is opened, the Infy spying tool is installed on the victim's PC, resulting in the theft of sensitive data from the computer. Taking significant efforts Two example documents recently used by Infy include a photo of Mojtaba Biranvand, the governor of Dorud city in Lorestan Province, Iran. The document is in Persian and includes information regarding the governor’s office and his alleged phone number. The second document, also in Persian, contains the logo of ISAAR, the Iranian government-sponsored Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs which provides loans to disabled veterans and families of martyrs. According to researchers, the technological abilities of Infy are far superior to most other known Iranian campaigns, attacking only a handful of targets, and taking significant effort to go undetected and uninterrupted. Importance of being alert In our research, we revealed several new techniques used by these campaigns for the very first time" Check Point head of cyber research, Yaniv Balmas said: “It is clear that the Iranian government is investing significant resources into cyber-operations. While both of the campaigns highlighted in our research were previously known, we managed to find new and recent evidence of their activity.” “The operators of these Iranian cyber espionage campaigns seem to be completely unaffected by any counter-activities done by others, even though both campaigns had been revealed and even stopped in the past – they have simply restarted. The campaign operators learned from the past, modified their tactics, waited for a while for the storm to pass to only go at it again.” “In our research, we revealed several new techniques used by these campaigns for the very first time, some more advanced than others, but all previously unknown. All in all, I believe our latest research shows us the dangerous power of cyber-attacks when used by governments and how relevant it can be to all of us as individuals, teaching us all the importance of being constantly alert when using our mobile phones, home computers – or frankly any electronic device.” Researchers have alerted law enforcement agencies in the US and Europe of their findings.
Master Lock is celebrating 100 years in 2021, marking a century of empowering people, businesses, and communities across the globe with the confidence they need to secure everything worth protecting. To mark the occasion, Master Lock is launching a 360°-marketing campaign and previewing new user-led innovation that will continue to guide the company forward. Helping future generations “We are honored that people have trusted Master Lock to secure what’s important since 1921, and we’re committed to helping future generations achieve peace-of-mind and protection with technologies that meet the changing demands of tomorrow,” said David Youn, president of The Master Lock Company. “In 2021, we’ll toast to a legacy born in strength, a future built on innovation and the countless individuals who have contributed to this milestone.” To pay tribute to 100 years, Master Lock debuted a commemorative logo that incorporates the brand’s original ‘Master Lock Lion’ symbol, underscoring strength, courage, and resilience. The logo harkens back to the company’s vintage trademark identity and will be featured across packaging, digital and out-of-home advertisements and on limited-edition merchandise. The reveal jump starts a year’s worth of celebration activities. Safeguarding military equipment Master Lock has developed thousands of hallmark solutions to meet evolving needs worldwide What started as founder Harry Soref’s mission to safeguard military equipment with the world’s first laminated steel padlock has since evolved into Master Lock becoming the global manufacturer of padlocks and related security and safety products. Since then, Master Lock has developed thousands of hallmark solutions to meet evolving needs worldwide, including the addition of the combination lock to its portfolio in 1935, a model still sold, and launching Bluetooth-enabled padlocks in 2015, reimagining its mechanical predecessors. For the next 100 years, Master Lock will improve upon tried-and-true products, while also developing new user-led solutions to meet future security challenges. Durable bluetooth padlock Recent innovation in growing segments, as well as new 2021 product launches, include: Connected Products – Introduced in 2015 with the launch of its award-winning Bluetooth Padlocks, Master Lock’s connected products category leverages the latest technology. The company has since added Bluetooth Lock Boxes and Master Lock Vault Enterprise software for commercial use to its portfolio – and in 2021 – will introduce its most durable Bluetooth Padlock yet, the ProSeries Bluetooth Padlock. Biometric Technology – Master Lock debuted its Biometric Padlock last year, which makes one’s fingerprint the key. The padlock offers ease-of-use, with no keys to lose or combinations to remember. Lock Box Category – The company has made significant enhancements to this category with the recent addition of weather covers, light-up dials and Bluetooth capabilities. The category will upgrade again in 2021 with the introduction of the Key Tether Lock Box, developed in response to users needing to keep the key and lock box together at all times. Laminated Padlocks – Master Lock’s longest-standing product category has been reimagined over the years with security improvements such as a high-security tough cut shackle in its Magnum Laminated Padlocks. In 2019, Master Lock upgraded internal locking components, durable shackle materials and added additional cylinder options to its most popular laminated lock line. Safety and security solutions While Master Lock may be introducing its next generation of safety and security solutions in 2021, many of its reliable innovations of yesterday remain fully operational and resilient in today’s climate. “I started work 41 years ago at the job I just retired from.” “Soon after I was hired, I purchased a Master Lock combination lock for my work locker. The lock went through several locker room rebuilds and moves, but until the day I retired, it was on my locker. I never had a single problem with it, and in a world of ‘throw-away’ products, Master Lock products are built to last,” said John G., a Joliet, IL-based end user. Digital shopping spree The celebration will continue throughout 2021 online, at retail and in Master Lock’s communities with several exciting promotions: 100-Year Celebration Sweepstakes: Now through Dec. 31, consumers can win a digital shopping spree. The sweepstakes includes weekly instant wins, quarterly wins and one grand prize of a $5,000 digital shopping spree. A Hometown Salute: Unveiled in Milwaukee last week, Master Lock is thanking its local community for 100 years of support through a new OOH billboard. The 1921D Padlock: This month, Master Lock debuted the 1921D Padlock, a limited-edition product backed by 100 years of strength. The padlock features the commemorative logo, a black weather-resistant cover and will be available online and at select retailers. ‘Community Champions:’ In April, Master Lock will recognize those who strengthen communities and contribute to securing promising futures through its new ‘Community Champions’ program. Through a call for online submissions, select individuals who’ve shown exemplary community commitment will be rewarded with a cash prize and a donation in their name to a deserving beneficiary. New Website: MasterLock website now features a new look and feel with enhanced product content, search and ‘where-to-buy’ functionality and an optimized interface for mobile devices. "Master Lock might be turning 100 in 2021, but it’s our communities, associates, partners and end users around the world that we want to celebrate,” said Youn. “We look forward to making more history, together.”
New research into the impact of COVID-19 on physical security purchasing decisions has revealed a sharp increase in the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt hosted video surveillance (VSaaS) and access control (ACaaS) solutions. While 70% of 1000 senior decision-makers in IT, security, FM, and HR roles agree this to be the case, 78% also anticipate their organizations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. The independent survey, commissioned by hosted security provider Morphean, revealed that over three-quarters (76%) of senior managers in the UK, Germany, and Sweden have increased their use of video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams), 65% have increased their use of office applications (e.g. Microsoft 365), and 70% of those in the security sector are now strongly inclined towards cloud adoption. Further results can be accessed in the published whitepaper: Landscape Report 2020/21: Hosted Security adoption in Europe. Growth in physical security 51% use cloud-based service for VSaas or ACaas and an increase of 3% reflects growth in the physical security market 51% say their company is currently using a cloud-based service for video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or access control (ACaaS). This is an increase of 3% over 2019 (48%) and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.2%. The accelerating adoption of hosted solutions is buoyed by its low cost set up, flexible scalability, and demand for real-time and remote access to security data. Remote monitoring and maintenance Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO of Morphean SA, commented, “The results highlight a hosted physical security market that will see strong growth in 2021 as cloud applications are proven to deliver business continuity in challenging times. At the height of the lockdown, many business premises were unoccupied and potentially vulnerable, but remote monitoring and maintenance made possible by hosted security were a welcome advantage.” “We also saw a spike in demand for frictionless access control enabling a totally hands-free experience and negating the need for physical contact. Business leaders will now be considering the learnings from the past year and looking to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs and make organizations more agile.” Analytics will drive the adoption For the security professional already working with cloud services, the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. 95% agree that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making (i.e. occupancy or test and trace analytics), it would influence adoption. Flexibility in remote working Security will need to be enhanced to facilitate greater flexibility in worker patterns More flexibility in working locations is the benefits respondents are most likely to identify from moving business functions to the cloud (50%), followed by easier collaboration (44%); more cost-effective (44%); safer / better security (38%). 82% anticipate the levels/frequency of remote workers and flexible working in their organizations to be higher post-pandemic and in the longer term than they were pre-pandemic. Security will need to be enhanced to facilitate greater flexibility in worker patterns. An access control solution that is linked to HR records, for example, can check the swipe of an access card against staff records. A staff member who is flagged as being on leave, absent, or no longer employed will trigger an automated alert to the relevant personnel. Surveillance cameras also provide secondary authentication through visual clarification of an individual’s identity. Landscape Report 2020/21 The Landscape Report 2020/21: Hosted Security adoption in Europe is the third study of its kind by Morphean, and facilitates a better understanding of market trends with comparative data from 2018 and 2019. Other key findings revealed by the study include: 78% anticipate organizational use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. The security sector reflected a strong inclination towards cloud adoption (70%). IT Services (52%) and Commercial Offices (49%) are the two sectors that anticipated the greatest degree of change in their organization’s use of cloud technology. 73% of managers believe their organizations are more inclined to adopt cloud as a result of their governments’ responses to COVID-19 - UK (74%), Germany (71%), and Sweden (73%). 27% said physical security was optimized in their companies, a rise of 4% in 2019 (23%). The retail sector was least likely to say that physical security was optimized (19%). VSaaS/ACaaS uptake shown to be more prevalent in Sweden with 59% already utilizing such services, with 34% in the UK and 31% in Germany considering it. Embracing future-proof technologies Rodrigue Zbinden concludes, “For the physical security reseller, the study will demonstrate that hosted security solutions must play a major part in expanding their offering to a wider customer base.” “Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, a chance to forge new business relationships, and an opportunity to embrace future proof technologies in preparation for whatever challenges the future might hold.”
IP audio and control pioneer Barix this month celebrates its 20th anniversary. Over two decades, the Swiss company has grown from a control and automation upstart into a globally recognized Audio over IP innovator primarily serving the professional AV, broadcast, and security industries, while supporting a variety of vertical markets within each. Barix has shipped nearly one million devices to serve control, streaming, and transport applications for end-users, OEM vendors, service providers, and systems integrators. Current CTO Johannes G. Rietschel founded Barix in 2001 to escape the trappings of corporate operations that slowed his product development ideas, which evolved from standard legacy network components to IT-focused control products by the turn of the century. “I had spent too much time traveling to tradeshows doing ‘research’ with little to show beyond expense reports,” he said. “My vision was to build a product that would fit the market and adapt to customer requests from there, instead of overthinking. That’s the premise on which Barix was founded.” Four core product lines Barix’s roots took shape in residential automation, an area the company remains active in through partnerships with Aiphone, Crestron, and other companies. Rietschel soon added audio distribution to his vision, introducing products to move voice and music throughout homes. Commercial markets came calling in search of inexpensive ways to move audio and control signals over then-novel IP networks. Barix’s four core product lines were established before long, with proven hardware devices for voice and intercom (Annuncicom), automation and control (Barionet), and music/audio streaming (Instreamer encoders, Exstreamer decoders). Broadcasters adopted Barix Broadcasters approved Barix to transport live program signals between studios and transmitter sites over IP networks The broadcast industry was among the first to take an interest, with radio engineers recognizing that Instreamer and Exstreamer products offered a low-cost alternative to expensive microwave STL systems. It wasn’t long before broadcasters adopted Barix to transport live program signals between studios and transmitter sites over IP networks. Around the same time, Barix saw quickly rising interest in its Annuncicom products for IP paging and intercom systems, and its Instreamer and Exstreamer systems for background music (BGM) delivery. Visionary integrators and service providers were soon moving BGM, paging, intercom, and even control functions (HVAC, lighting, and more) over a common IP architecture using Barix hardware. Global partner network By 2006, Barix had a global partner network, including the highly successful Barix Technology USA division, long managed by the late Andy Stadheim and a worldwide presence in education, government, hospitality, medical, radio broadcast, retail, scientific, transportation, and worship environments. Product developers, enthused by positive feedback, soon came to Barix requesting modular solutions to help them build their own products, a mission made easy thanks to Barix’s openly programmable IPAM modules at the core of their own products. Assisting with IP transitions “Many of today’s primary Barix applications were discovered by chance, or developed through early enthusiasts,” said Rietschel. “That’s especially true in broadcast, where many AM and FM radio stations didn’t have the budget for STL systems that ran tens of thousands of dollars." "We also saw strong interest from music service providers and retail operations that urgently needed to transition from expensive satellite systems, and transit companies that were replacing copper with fiber. Barix was in a perfect position to assist these customers with their IP transitions, as our devices offered the combination of price, reliability, and performance they needed.” RoHS environmental regulations He recounts one challenging period in this timeframe when RoHS environmental regulations forced a substantial product redesign. Barix ran low on cashflow, and one shareholder opted out of the further investment. Rietschel worked for months without pay and invested more of his own money to redevelop products and meet regulations. Within months, Barix sold several thousand of the then-new Exstreamer 100 decoder — a product that remains available today. Software & cloud-based products The company’s focus has increasingly shifted to more software-defined and cloud-based architectures While Barix continues to develop new IP audio and control hardware devices, the company’s focus has increasingly shifted to more software-defined and cloud-based architectures. These have led to recent game-changing, enterprise-level BGM streaming solutions like RetailPlayer and SoundScape; cloud-based radio signal distribution solutions like Reflector; and fully networked communications systems like Paging Cloud and Simple Paging. Technology trendsetter Barix was also an early innovator of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) technology, first adopted by security customers for efficient VoIP connections and now gaining traction in broadcast; and among the first to merge digital signage and BYOD mobile applications with its AudioPoint solution. Meanwhile, the company’s OEM business continues to flourish; Barix is now on its fourth-generation IPAM Series module (IPAM400), and most recently introduced its IP Former solution to help loudspeaker manufacturers transition their legacy products to IP networks. Innovative spirit The unending innovative spirit and sense of creative freedom at Barix has been instrumental in the company’s global growth. The company continues to attract engineering talent from inside and outside its core industries, and recently opened a new innovation center in Portugal that focuses on research and development for new and existing markets. Current CEO Reto Brader, who has accelerated the company’s transition to more cloud and SaaS solutions, jumped at the opportunity to join Barix after growing familiar with Rietschel’s continuously evolving vision. He finds Barix inescapable even while just going about his daily business. Efficient use of Barix devices “I take the Swiss federal train system to work every morning, and I smile knowing that the platform announcements come from an Annuncicom at a dispatch center hours away,” said Brader. “The same is true when I’m on the New Jersey Transit train system heading into New York City, or the Metro in Rio de Janeiro. When I go skiing at the Titlis resort in the Swiss mountains or drive onto the BMW campus in Munich, Barix solutions deliver the music and open the entrance barrier. I was recently communicating with a university research department using Barix for remote-controllable construction digging. I’m constantly surprised at where and how Barix devices are used, most of which tie back to efficient use of the public internet.” Case study The creativity and innovation at Barix compel the partners and customers to find new ways to use the productsOne of Brader’s favorite stories is from a farmer in a rural northwest area of the United States who uses Barix to play music for 3000 cows on a 30-acre dairy farm. “It’s been running in a very harsh weather environment where the temperatures are very extreme and power issues abound, yet it all keeps running,” he said. “The creativity and innovation at Barix extend to our partners and customers that continue to find unique and compelling ways to use our products.” Products longevity Rietschel adds that the longevity of their installed products correlates with the longevity of Barix. “Our products are reliable and hold up well over years and even decades, and the more recent generations of our products will have even greater longevity through firmware updates,” he said. “While we have never been the biggest company, we remain profitable and have made it through 20 years and challenging business environments without ever laying off employees.” “The loyalty of our customers and our embrace of open standards and creative, programmable IP solutions have been at the foundation of our success to date,” he said, “We can now look forward to the next 20 years and beyond.” Customer-driven innovation For Brader, that means continuing to drive innovation as CEO that embraces customer-driven innovation in broadcast, AV, automation, and all of the key vertical markets Barix addresses within these markets. “Just as in the early days, our strategy is to be the first to help businesses turn their IP audio and control visions into reality,” he said. “Our customers can count on Barix’s engineering team as an experienced, affordable, and hyper-innovative development partner for years to come.”
Interface Security Systems, a renowned managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Ignite Prism, a developer of cloud-based business intelligence solutions. As part of this partnership, Interface will have exclusive rights to Ignite Prism’s video analytics technology in North America. With the Ignite Prism video analytics solution, retailers or any consumer-facing business can use the data gathered by their existing surveillance cameras to derive actionable business intelligence and enhance customer experience. Through intuitive dashboards and robust analytics, the solution enables businesses to monitor policy compliance, refine store design, and improve marketing, merchandizing, and operations. Video analytics solution The platform analyzes queues, dwell time, and occupancy data for each area and location The video analytics solution gives retailers actionable insights into their operations to align resources with customer behavior. The platform analyzes queues, dwell time, and occupancy data for each area and location. Retailers can make informed decisions about product placement, store layout, and analyze the performance and effectiveness of marketing campaigns and promotions. “With a proven track record of successful implementation for some of the leading retail brands around the world, Ignite Prism’s video analytics solution is a powerful addition and natural extension of Interface’s existing retail solution bundle that includes business security, managed network and UCaaS,” said Michael Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Interface Security Systems. Business intelligence tool “We are excited to partner with Interface, and together, we look forward to helping businesses unlock actionable insights using our innovative platform,” said Fir Geenen, CEO of Ignite Prism. “Our cloud service transforms virtually any video camera into an insightful merchandizing, auditing, and business intelligence tool.” In a related announcement, Interface is pleased to announce the appointment of Will Kelso as Vice President of Business Intelligence Sales. “Our partnership with Ignite Prism is integral to our product evolution and long-term growth plan, and Will is the right person to lead this important initiative,” added Brent Duncan, President and COO at Interface Security Systems. “In his new role, he will be tasked with building a sales team and leading the go-to-market strategy for Interface’s portfolio of Business Intelligence solutions.”
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyze more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analyzed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analyzing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as license plate reading, behavioral analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fiber-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
Several major players vigorously employ biometric recognition technologies around the globe. Governments use biometrics to control immigration, security, and create national databases of biometric profiles. Being one of the most striking examples, the Indian Aadhaar includes face photos, iris, and fingerprints of about 1.2 billion people. Financial institutions, on their part, make use of biometrics to protect transactions by confirming a client's identity, as well as develop and provide services without clients visiting the office. Besides, biometric technology ensures security and optimizes passenger traffic at transport facilities and collects data about customers, and investigates theft and other incidents in retail stores. Widespread use of biometrics Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is an active user of biometric technology Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is another active user of biometric technology. Industries choose biometric systems, as these systems are impossible to trick in terms of security, access control, and data protection. Being in demand in business, these three tasks are also relevant for the industry. However, the use of biometrics at industrial sites is discussed unfairly seldom. Therefore, it is the face identification that is the most convenient there, as workers often use gloves, or their hands may be contaminated, and the palm pattern is distorted by heavy labor. All these features make it difficult to recognize people by fingerprints or veins and significantly reduce identification reliability. Therefore, industries seek facial recognition solutions. Thus, let us demonstrate the application of face recognition technology at different enterprises, regardless of the area. Facial recognition use in incident management Facial biometric products are known to automate and improve the efficiency of security services by enriching any VMS system. These systems provide an opportunity of instantly informing the operator about recognized or unrecognized people, and their list membership, as well as save all the detected images for further security incident investigation. Furthermore, some sophisticated facial biometric systems even provide an opportunity to build a map of the movements of specific people around a site. Besides, it is relevant not only for conducting investigations but also in countering the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Identifying and tracking COVID-19 positive cases Therefore, if an employee or visitor with a positive COVID-19 test enters a facility, the system will help to track his/her movement and identify his/her specific location. It will also help to take the necessary measures for spot sanitary processing. Thus, the introduction of biometric facial recognition at the industrial enterprise can improve and speed up the incidents’ response and investigations without spending hours watching the video archive. Access control system to secure physical assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets, cut personnel costs, and keep employees safe. Facial recognition systems may enrich access control systems of any company by providing more security. As biometric characteristics, by which the system assesses the compliance of a person with the available profiles in the database, cannot be faked or passed. The human factor is also reduced to zero, due to the fact that while identity documents can be changed, the inspector can make a mistake or treat his/her task carelessly, be in collusion with an intruder, the biometric system simply compares a person in front of the camera with the biometric profiles database. Biometric facial identification software For example, RecFaces product Id-Gate, a specialized software product for reliable access control to the site, checks the access rights by using biometric facial identification alone or in conjunction with traditional IDs (electronic passes, access keys, etc.), which means that there is almost a zero probability of passing to the site by someone else's ID. The access control system’s functionality allows one to strictly account the number and time of all the facility’s visitors and also track their movement. When unauthorized access is attempted or a person from the stop list is detected, Id-Gate sends an automatic notification to the access control system and operator. Enhanced data and information security Even despite the division of access to different industrial enterprise areas, the security service needs to provide independent information system security. Employees with the same facility access rights may have different access rights to data. However, in that case, a personal password is not enough, as an employee may forget it, write it down and leave it as a reminder, tell a colleague to do something for him/her during the vacation, or just enter it at another person’s presence. Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure Password-free biometric authentication Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure. Such systems usually provide an option of two-step verification when successful password entry is additionally confirmed by biometric recognition. Hence, it is particularly relevant due to the current lockdown in many countries. To sum up, the application of biometric technologies solves several issues of the industry, such as: Optimizes and partially automates the work of the security service, as it provides reliable identification and verification of visitors/employees, reduces the amount of time spent on finding a person on video and making a map of his/her movements, without spending hours on watching video archive in case of investigation. Provides a high level of reliability and protection from unauthorized access to the enterprise and the information system. Provides a two-step verification of the user/visitor (including password and biometric data) and almost eliminates the risk of substitution of user data/ID.
The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols. The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments. Deadly active-shooter events Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015. Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country." Active shooter incidents Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this: Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74) Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43) K-12 Schools (39) Institutions of Higher Learning (16) Non-Military Government Properties (28) Military Properties—Restricted (5) Healthcare Facilities (11) Houses of Worship (10) Private Properties (12) Malls (6) What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. Situational awareness in perimeter and door security Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal" According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security. “Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasize to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco. High-security turnstiles “Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.” What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government center or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive. Properly identifying the adversaries “As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organization can move their line of defense away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says. Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalize their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates. Integrated solution of electronic access control Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where. Enhancing access control assurance “There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.” He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”
Knightscope’s long-term mission is to “make America the safest country in the world,” says William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO. “The company was started six years ago as we had grown tired and horrified by the ongoing violence in our country and decided to do something about it.” But are security robots the solution to crime and violence in the United States? “There are 2+ million law enforcement and security professionals trying to secure 328+ million people across the 50 states,” Mr. Li says. “The math just doesn’t work, which is why our country pays $1+ trillion in negative economic impact annually – a hidden tax we all pay in blood, tears and treasure.” Robots provide professionals with new tools. “We make really smart eyes and ears that operate 24/7/365 for an affordable price,” says Mr. Li. “We have actually operated more than 700,000 hours in the real world, both outdoors and indoors, across 15 states and are now operating across five time zones – fully autonomous without any human intervention.” Utilizing Robotics And AI AI helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying peopleKnightscope is a security technology company that utilizes self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence to provide security professionals additional eyes and ears to do their jobs much more effectively – as well as provide a consistent around-the-clock physical deterrence to help minimize negative behavior. Knightscope says its K1, K3 and K5 security robots, and accompanying user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), continue to make significant contributions to the safety of its client base. Artificial intelligence helps Knightscope robots interact better with humans and perform activities like identifying people, looking up license plates, detecting rogue wireless devices, having a machine-to-human dialog and, in the future, detecting dangerous objects in a scene automatically. “Our long-term plan is to have the machines be able to see, feel, hear and smell, so advances in sensor capabilities, efforts in sensor fusion, and the future with 5G capabilities will make for profound advances,” says Mr. Li. Facial Recognition Software At ISC West 2019 was Knightscope’s fourth time exhibiting at ISC West, and they have also exhibited at GSX/ASIS, ISC East, numerous other trade shows, and have hosted some of their own. Mr. Li has seen the reaction to security robots evolve over the years. People are realizing that the technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs “At first, it was typically ‘what is that?’ or ‘what does it do?’ But the last 12 to 18 months have been very different. There has been much more meaningful, implementation-focused dialog, feedback, requests for new features, etc. Now folks are realizing that our technology is not science fiction but science fact and looking to see how it can be an integral part of their respective security programs.” Their ISC West presence this year highlighted facial recognition software that utilizes deep learning to detect, analyze and compare faces. Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif., an existing Knightscope customer, is using the beta format on its K1 security robot platform. Additional Benefits Of Using Robots Knightscope has raised over $40 million to develop and deploy its technology and is backed by more than 6,000 family offices, accelerators, funds, private investors and four major corporations, says Mr. Li. As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless" Robots also provide additional benefits beyond security, says Mr. Li, such as branding, community relations and public relations opportunities for clients. “In some cases, our clients have utilized our Concierge feature to allow for human-to-machine customer service interactions,” he says. “We have also been able to showcase and inspire STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students with practical applications of technology for the good of society. And robot selfies have certainly become a thing.” Endless Number Of Applications In terms of vertical markets, in the near term, Knightscope has seen positive scaling and growth on corporate campuses and at logistics facilities, manufacturing plants, hospitals, casinos, commercial real estate and malls. “As the machines get smarter and more capable over time – the number of applications will become endless,” says Mr. Li. They currently drop new software code every two weeks and new hardware typically a couple of times a year. “In my opinion, it is ill advised for early stage technology companies to utilize B2G (business-to-government) sales as the initial go-to-market strategy,” says Mr. Li. “For Knightscope we have been primarily focused on B2B (business-to-business) sales and actually until 2017 were geographically constrained to California only. What we are doing is technologically extremely difficult as these are effectively self-driving cars. Additionally, despite the never-ending international interest, we are laser focused on the United States.”
Johan Cruijff ArenA will utilize innovative video analytics to improve visitor flow, optimize parking utilization and offer fans an anonymous way to provide feedback about the stadium experience, among other uses. The Security & Safety Things IoT platform for smart cameras will integrate into the ArenA’s operational software to provide key insights into stadium operations and ongoing health and safety measures, especially useful since the pandemic. The partnership will provide a potential model for other organizations looking to deploy technology solutions to safely reopen. IoT platform for smart cameras Security and Safety Things GmbH and the Johan Cruijff ArenA are partnering up and will deploy S&STs IoT platform for smart surveillance cameras to enhance overall fan experience, optimize ArenA operations and increase visitor security and privacy. The ArenA is home to AFC Ajax and the internationally renowned Amsterdam Innovation ArenA (AIA), a living lab established by the ArenA and the City of Amsterdam to enable development and testing of innovative stadium and smart city solutions. Security & Safety Things IoT platform S&ST IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software The Security & Safety Things (S&ST) IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software to provide information and analysis for safety and security as well optimization of stadium operations and visitor engagement. “Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. Sander van Stiphout adds, “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimization tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.” AI-enabled video analytic applications A series of smart cameras on the S&ST IoT platform are installed in key areas throughout the stadium. Using specialized, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real-time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimization. Queue detection applications Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimize staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow. Smart camera platform We’re honored to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner" “The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Security & Safety Things GmbH. Hartmut adds, “We’re honored to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.” Smart surveillance camera system The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyze the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
The Very Group is the UK’s largest integrated digital retailer and financial services provider. It offers 1,900 brands to its four million customers. Due to the company’s growth, it built a new state-of-the-art fulfilment center - close to one million square feet - to centralize operations and drive efficiency. The Very Group has historically operated from three fulfilment centers in the north of England. Due to the business’ growth, it needed a new, purpose-built and automated facility in a central, well connected location; that could accommodate all one-man fulfilment and returns operations on one site, and that provided room for continued expansion. The space offered by the new site in the East Midlands means that The Very Group can process more orders and use new technology to make the business more responsive, reducing the time it takes to get products to customers. Support business growth The site’s position in the East Midlands, adjacent to the M1 and East Midlands Airport, with its own rail freight terminal, will enable the business to increase its cut-off time for next day delivery to midnight from 7pm, and explore the introduction of same day delivery in the future. A crucial aspect of the new hub was security - with the need to not only secure the site and the stock inside, but implement solutions which would benefit the wider business too. The Very Group required a platform which could provide the business-wide value it was seeking The Very Group required a platform which could unite operations and provide the business-wide value it was seeking. The company approached Grantfen, initially on a consultancy basis, to guide the organization on the route it should be taking and the technologies that could support its ambition. Grantfen quickly recognized the scope of The Very Group’s ambitions for a platform that was easy-to-use and that could bring together information from hundreds of different sensors and technologies. Incorporating video surveillance It put forward a comprehensive solution built on the Genetec Security Center unified platform. Incorporating video surveillance and analytics, access control, automatic number plate recognition and integration with other key business systems, this allowed The Very Group to deploy best of breed technologies from a range of vendors including HID Global, Axis Communications and SenStar. Perhaps the most important solution needed was tracking who was coming in and out of the building - with such a large workforce, combined with inbound and outbound deliveries, the facility has hundreds of people inside at any one time. Previously, security manually searched people selected at random. However, thanks to the robust Genetec software development kit, and Grantfen’s specialist development expertise, The Very Group has been able to adapt the solution and write its own code in order to use the access control system to implement truly random searches. Number plate recognition This has involved getting permission to hold employee data, but again, thanks to the new system brought together by Security Center, the data is housed safely. Moving from three fulfilment centers into one, consolidated facility meant a change in operations for The Very Group, and security needed to mirror this evolution. Therefore, with the volume of traffic coming in and out of the site increasing, The Very Group implemented automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Heavy goods vehicles could be monitored coming in and out of the site, enabling those in the diary to enter and exit the grounds in an efficient manner. Plus, with timestamps now able to show when vehicles entered or exited the grounds, it helped with yard management and traffic flow, with Security Center able to generate reports on how traffic is moving around the yard. Employees are able to take advantage too - with the ANPR recognizing them and seamlessly letting them into the parking lot. Health and safety standards The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment center, means a new era for the group" This enhanced integration has benefitted other areas of the business too. The CCTV control room is now able to monitor fulfilment center flow, looking at movements such as trailers, to help maximize efficiencies and ensure high health and safety standards. Dean Cooper, Head of Security at The Very Group, commented: “The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment center, means a new era for the group. We are a digitally-led business, and the fact we are now able to enhance operations and yield more value from security functions is going to help us operationally. Genetec and Grantfen have played a huge part in accelerating our sophistication in this area, and I look forward to how we can gain increasing insights from all the technology has to offer.” Deep integration and analytics While the roll-out has been relatively recent, the positive effects are already being felt across the business. This has led to future plans about what else could be introduced - all underpinned by Genetec Security Center. “Genetec Security Center is helping to improve inter-departmental collaboration thanks to its reporting functions, alongside benefiting operations and ensuring the security of the facility. We are an ambitious business, and as we grow we need a system that will continue to evolve with our requirements. Genetec enables this, and alongside its deep integration and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over years to come”, concluded Cooper.
Specialist property developer and investor, Kajima Properties’ new project development at 77 Coleman Street in the City of London is a luxury multi-tenant office set over seven floors. BNP Paribas acts as the managing agent, while the redevelopment was designed by architect, Buckley Gray Yeoman. The prominent London location is a minute’s walk from Moorgate Tube station and the Elizabeth Line. The redevelopment included installing elegant external facades as well as creating floors of new office space, and 16,000 sq. feet of retail, leisure and restaurant space. The site offers exceptional internet reliability and speed for tenants, and is one of just 22 buildings in the UK to achieve a platinum connectivity rating by WiredScore, the Mayor of London’s digital connectivity rating scheme. Seamless access control system BNP Paribas and Kajima Properties wanted a seamless and highly efficient access system BNP Paribas and Kajima Properties wanted a seamless and highly efficient access system to allow bona fide users and visitors easy access through reception and lifts to their desired location. This needed to be underpinned, but not impinged by, a robust security management system including CCTV to keep people and the building safe. They wanted to keep any waiting time in reception to an absolute minimum to avoid crowding, including good access for disabled users, and for all entry to be touchless. Tenants and reception staff would need an efficient, secure and easy to use system for managing visitors. While an entry phone and door automation would be required for anyone arriving out-of-hours, or at the rear of the property, such as for deliveries and trades people with equipment. Bespoke security solutions Finally, a key part of the brief was for any installed equipment, such as turnstiles and lifts, to be in keeping with the sophisticated, minimal look and feel of the building. The Team Antron Security project managed the design, supply and installation of the access control and security system for 77 Coleman Street and acted as the ‘go to’ contact for client, Kajima Properties and BNP Paribas. Antron Security is a globally renowned installer of bespoke security solutions and has been providing security installations for the past 29 years. Taking care of the supply, design, installation and maintenance of security systems, Antron Security is NSI approved, meaning all staff and systems installed comply with the latest industry standards and are regularly inspected. Integriti access and security management system Inner Range provided the core access and security management system, Integriti, which enabled Antron Security to build the bespoke solutions needed for 77 Coleman Street in London, UK. Inner Range is a globally renowned company in the design and manufacture of intelligent security solutions since 1988. More than 150,000 Inner Range systems have been installed in over 30 countries till date. The company’s flagship product, Integriti, offers enterprise-level intelligent security and integrated smart building controls for single sites through to global estate portfolios. Seamless, touchless entry for tenants Cards are presented to readers embedded in bespoke Integrated Design Limited (IDL) entry turnstiles The building’s 2000+ regular users are issued secure proximity cards, carrying encrypted information about when and where the user is allowed to go. Cards are presented to readers embedded in bespoke Integrated Design Limited (IDL) entry turnstiles, which also allows them to be read by the KONE lift integration. The high level lift integration with ‘destination control’ means the lift software takes into account where each of the building’s four lifts are, where the user’s ‘home floor’ is, as well as where other users are going/due to go, and instantly calculates the quickest lift for the new user. Antron Security and IDL collaboration The user is immediately directed to the most efficient lift via a display screen on the turnstile. If users are able to go to more than one floor, they can update their preference in the lift itself. For the turnstiles in the reception area, Antron Security and IDL worked closely with the vision set out by the architect to create a high-performing system that was in keeping with the sleek, minimalist design of the building. A bespoke set up of slim ‘speed lane’ turnstile pedestals, together with a separate glass gate were an ideal solution for a reception area where space is limited but security provisions and good disabled access are needed. IDL’s Glassgate 200 opens away from the user, and closes behind, preventing tailgaters and all IDL items are manufactured in the United Kingdom. Readers for proximity cards and QR codes were set into the speed lanes to create a seamless flow through the reception area. Fully integrated visitor management system Inner Range’s Integriti also allowed Forge’s Bluepoint visitor management system to integrate with IDL’s turnstiles and the KONE lifts. For visitors to access tenanted floors within the building, the following has to take place: A tenant creates the meeting via Bluepoint. An email is generated and sent to the visitor’s inbox where they can create a mobile QR code pass and save it to their smart phone wallet. When the visitor arrives, they scan their QR code on their smart phone at the reception desk, at which point their QR code becomes valid on the Integriti access control system. The visitor is then able to enter via IDL’s speed lane turnstiles, and they are directed by the KONE lift display (which is set into the speed lane) to which lift car they need. To leave, the visitor presents their QR code at the speed lane turnstile, which tells the system they’re leaving. The QR codes are only valid for one entry and one exit, and only on the appointment date and at the planned appointment time. Afterwards, the QR code becomes invalid and is deleted from the system. The QR code gives the visitor the ability to access everything they will need, from the entry turnstile and lift through to any locked doors en route. The integration between Integriti and Forge’s Bluepoint visitor management system was achieved with an XML read/write interface, as well as API integration between a SQL database and a cloud-hosted VMS database based on Microsoft Azure cloud services platform. BTP XIP intercom system A BTP XIP intercom system was installed to allow visitors out-of-hours to contact the security team A BTP XIP intercom system was installed to allow visitors out-of-hours to contact the security team, or for deliveries and trades people to use in order to access doors at the rear of the building. The XIP system uses an ethernet distribution network, which means the system can be expanded easily, and it’s possible to install long-distance connections that data networks can’t reach. Hikvision CCTV cameras installed CCTV cameras from Hikvision’s ‘superior’ range have been installed throughout the site to create a hard-wired IP closed circuit television system. They are integrated with the Integriti access control system, which allows for intelligent ‘cause and effect’ monitoring. System protocols automatically bring up specific camera feeds for security managers to view in response to alerts, and footage can be viewed holistically along with other information on from Integriti, such as if a door has been left open. Intelligent access control Inner Range’s Enterprise product, Integriti, provides seamless integration with a multitude of other smart building management systems, underpinned by robust security. This includes encrypting all communications through every device and interface, and providing intruder detection to European standard EN50131. Integriti helps building managers create greener, more energy efficient sites by tracking how tenants use the building, and amending heating and lighting settings as a result. Integriti also provides trace reporting, that can identify a user’s movements if they have become unwell and identify who else has been near them. System benefits for users Touch-free entry to the building via the speed lanes and lifts. No unnecessary stops for users and visitors on their way into the building. Less crowding in the lift areas. Easy to use visitor management system. Robust security that doesn’t impinge on access. Sleek and minimal design in keeping with the building design. Jamie Crane, Commercial Director at Antron Security, stated “The flexibility of Inner Range’s Integriti access control system and Forge’s Bluepoint visitor management allowed us to incorporate high-level lift integration (known as ‘destination control’).” He adds, “Together, they create a future-proof solution as we can continue to meet the ever-changing requirements of the landlord and tenants via our ability to integrate with third party systems and devices such as lifts, intercoms, lighting and building management devices.”
A multi-diversified international conglomerate with a history that spans over four decades covering multiple businesses and activities. It has out rightly developed the first outlet concept mall in the Middle East. The mall is a home for over 1,200 of the world’s premium and top brands. The mall is the mark of true and ultimate value retail destination. This two story mall houses 240 stores and services. This particular mall includes multiple stores that required a religious control on the occupancy rate of a store at various times of a year, in order to improve their service management by deploying staff, accordingly. Managing and avoiding overcrowding was one of their major concerns, wherein, they aimed to monitor and ensure customer convenience in peak hours. Occupancy control feature The People Counting feature helped them to procure a detailed analysis of people entering and leaving the mall After a comprehensive discussion with their team, Matrix SATATYA SAMAS was proposed. Being the first Outlet concept mall, Matrix SATATYA SAMAS Crowd Management was an answer to all their questions. The People Counting feature helped them to procure a detailed analysis of people entering and leaving the mall. Specifically, to identify and address the peak hours which helped them in ensuring customer convenience. Particularly, with the help of the graphical reports based on the statistics, they were able to recruit people beforehand to manage the crowd. A thorough analysis of the reports helped them map and formulate seasonal marketing campaigns and discounts based on the statistics to reap surplus profits. By deploying the occupancy control feature, they could easily analyze the most crowded areas in the mall. Furthermore, they could coin which advertisements or discounts attracted customers. Results Detailed Reports and Their Analysis Improved Crowd Management Better Customer Experience
There is no doubt, online shopping is extremely fast, easy and convenient. That means bricks and mortar stores have to do more than ever to attract shoppers and keep them coming back. To add the value that is not available online, retailers need to deliver exciting, fulfilling and - critically - personalized in-store experience for every single shopper. “The customer experience is more important than ever as retailers are striving to differentiate themselves in a challenging and crowded market. Consequently, experience per square foot will be the new retail metric to measure success.” Intelligent video and Deep learning The good news for retailers is that latest-generation video, Deep Learning, and data analytics technologies can help to deliver the outstanding experiences today’s shoppers want and expect. Used in the right way, these technologies can help retailers to optimize everything from their store layout, to merchandising and even their in-store security strategy. Key features of intelligent video and Deep learning help to enhance customer experiences and improve commercial outcomes for retailers. Hikvision Fisheye cameras, allows retailers to understand which areas of the store most customers are attracted to Using an accurate people-counting camera, such as Hikvision’s Dual-Lens DeepinView People Counting Camera, stores can understand customers’ shopping patterns. This allows managers to ramp up staffing during peak times, ensuring that customers get the support and service they need, and reducing customers’ waiting time at the checkout. Facial recognition and Heat mapping Loyal VIP customers are enormously valuable to retailers, but service staff cannot always identify them immediately. Intelligent facial recognition cameras, however, can provide unique opportunities that were previously unavailable. When customers choose to participate in VIP programs, marketing promotions or other incentives, facial recognition technology will give retailers accurate tools to identify VIPs and loyal customers so staff can provide the right kind of service at the right time. Equally, facial recognition cameras can be used to identify ‘unwanted’ individuals on a list of interest, and to alert security teams of potential threats in real time. Queue detection solutions, which are built into Hikvision cameras, help retailers monitor queues in real time Heat mapping, which is a feature of the latest-generation of Hikvision Fisheye cameras, allows retailers to understand which areas of the store most customers are attracted to and how much time they typically spend there. This helps retailers to understand the ratio of ‘lookers’ to ‘buyers’, and to locate the most popular products in the ‘hottest’ areas of the store. Queue detection and Point of Sale (PoS) integration Long waiting times have a major negative impact on the customer experience - with a risk that customers will give up and revenues will be lost. Queue detection solutions, which are built into Hikvision cameras, help retailers monitor queues in real time and open new checkouts if lines get too long - ensuring that customers can always pay quickly and easily. Sometimes, sales are lower than expected and it is difficult to understand why. To overcome this challenge, retailers can overlay data from intelligent video cameras with PoS data. This provides key insights, such as promotions not being visible enough to customers, or goods being positioned in ‘cold’ areas of the store, for example - allowing retailers to take action and maximize their conversion. Enhanced customer management The Schalwijk Shopping Center in Haarlem in the Netherlands is using Hikvision DeepinView People Counting cameras (iDS-2CD6820F/C) to better understand peak times. With 97% people counting accuracy, the center has been able to ensure appropriate staffing levels throughout the day, optimize center and store layouts, and enhance the experience for visitors. Visitor data is also being used to attract new, high-value retail stores to the center - ensuring an even more successful future.
Globally-renowned Pay on Foot parking systems manufacturer, DESIGNA, has worked with the White Rose shopping center in Rhyl, North Wales, to update its car parking system to the company’s advanced ABACUS software and equipment. Contactless Card Payment The installation included new state-of-the-art entrance and exit terminals accepting tap in/tap out contactless card payment technology After many successful installations abroad, the shopping center is the first DESIGNA site in the UK to have installed its new tap in/tap out contactless credit card technology. The installation included new state-of-the-art entrance and exit terminals accepting tap in/tap out contactless card payment technology. There are also three full pay stations, a DBS server, manual pay station and intercom. All of this helps to improve the efficiency and security of the car park, which is popular with shoppers due to its seafront location. As the first part of the shopping experience, the convenience and availability of a car park is crucial to the overall service and satisfaction of a customer. DESIGNA recognized this and developed ABACUS, an advanced car park access system that intelligently integrates various elements to create the ultimate system that is highly reliable and requires less maintenance. It can also cope with large volumes of traffic while providing the highest level of monitoring to ensure a secure parking environment. ABACUS Car Park Access System The parking system is barrier controlled and makes use of DESIGNA barcode ticket technology. In addition to the standard ticket technology, the car park offers the facility to tap in/tap out using a contactless credit card. This operates with a unique identifier from the credit/debit card as a substitute for a ticket for the duration of the stay at the car park. When the customer presents a contactless card on entry, it recognizes them and by tapping again at the exit it automatically calculates the tariff and allows payment to take place at the exit. The system has three pay on foot machines which accept coins, notes and credit cards. With more than 30 stores, White Rose shopping center, Rhyl’s number one shopping destination, has a wide range of quality stores. Located in the center of the town, White Rose is a short walk from Rhyl’s seafront, railway station and sea aquarium, and has direct access car parking for 300 vehicles. The center previously had a chip coin solution installed on site. Advanced Ticket Machines The biggest advantage of having the DESIGNA system in place is the easy payment method" Sue Nash, Center Manager at the White Rose commented, “The biggest advantage of having the DESIGNA system in place is the easy payment method. The advanced ticket machines make it possible to pay using several means, therefore reducing the problem of queuing at the pay machines and having to pay with change. Another payment option we now have is the facility to pay through mobile devices and via contactless cards.” She continued, “The majority of people move around with credit cards rather than cash and having a versatile payment option in the car park makes for a painless process. The maintenance of the system at our local level was extremely important to avoid costly and timely engineer callouts. Simple things like ticket and coin jams, system resets are now extremely easy to resolve as is the exchange of entry tickets when required. I would certainly recommend the DESIGNA system to others and we are extremely pleased with the results.” Car Parking Ease And Convenience Specifier Andrew Bailey, of Parking Ideas, commented, “Parking Ideas is a complete car parking and transportation consultancy that helps institutions, property owners, landlords and managing agents develop and optimize their assets. I have worked with the White Rose shopping center for a number of years and following a competitive tender found that DESIGNA’s systems best suited the client’s requirements.” He continued, “The ABACUS system is good value, commercially viable and ticked all the right boxes for the White Rose. It is very important to have the facility to pay by card, so the payment terminals having this feature are vital to the center and have made all the difference to the running of the car park. Parking Ideas has been in the parking industry for more than 15 years, so we have worked with DESIGNA before and are very happy with the end result.” DESIGNA Ticket Terminals The car park’s entrance and exit are installed with DESIGNA In+ and Out+ ticket terminals so that using the site is fast and easy The car park’s entrance and exit are installed with DESIGNA In+ and Out+ ticket terminals so that using the site is fast and easy. The advanced terminals operate on the lowest energy consumption of their class with the ability to hold more tickets than before, with the bin adapting itself to the fill quantity. Customers are greeted with excellent user-friendliness due to the simplicity of the equipment and illuminated display with clear instructions. The four-way barcode readers also ensure visitors can insert their ticket any way round into any of the pay stations around the site. DESIGNA Pay On Foot Machines For payment, three of DESIGNA’s new Pay on Foot machines are in place in the car park. This allows customers to pay for their visit before returning to their car and exit the car park more quickly. The pay station is deliberately designed to allow disabled customers to pay freely without assistance. Each of the pay stations is installed with an interactive monitor that makes it easy to pay and offers several different languages. Shopping center management has full control of the ABACUS system through the DBS server, with a manual pay station (MPS) to allow them to create or override payments. The control room also links with the ticket and payment terminals via a DESIGNA VoIP Intercom to assist customers if required. Global Implementation DESIGNA has more than 15,000 systems installed globally across a wide range of car park situations DESIGNA’s parking systems are used in a number of impressive shopping centers around the world. These include the Dundrum shopping center in Dublin, the Mid Valley Megamall in Malaysia and the Mall of Emirates in Dubai. In the UK the Belfry shopping center in Redhill, the Woolshops shopping center in Halifax and the Wellgate center in Dundee have also benefited from the ABACUS system. Recognized worldwide for its high quality and intelligent systems, DESIGNA has more than 15,000 systems installed globally across a wide range of car park situations, including shopping centers, airports and hospitals. ABACUS is one of the company’s innovations and demonstrates the endless possibilities available to car park operators. The future-proof technology allows for expansions of premises or new property acquisitions by allowing additional systems to be added to the network. In its many global applications, ABACUS has proved to be an effortless system for both operators and users and is a great investment for companies looking to the future.
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
What a year 2020 was for the security industry! There were vast challenges that could not have been foreseen at the beginning of the year. It is safe to say that the events of 2020 defied all industry prognosticators. However, is that any reason not to hope our expectations looking ahead to 2021 will be much closer to reality? Can we possibly benefit from looking ahead and trying to plan for the challenges of the year ahead? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security industry’s biggest challenge in 2021?
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
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