The new DoorBird configurator allows architects and installers to design and purchase customized IP intercoms online. The high-quality video door stations made of stainless steel can be designed with individual dimensions and various call buttons and modules, such as keypad or house number plate. A selection of more than 50 RAL colors and surface coatings is available. With each configuration step, a 3D image of the DoorBird door station appears together with price and delivery time. Thanks to...
Interface Security Systems, a managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, announces a new offering that enables its restaurant, retail and hospitality customers to communicate with their patrons via SMS and MMS text messages. Using their regular published business telephone number, businesses can have real-time two-way text conversations with their guests, info...
Smarter Security, a globally renowned provider of intelligent entry and access control solutions, is proud to announce a new addition to the sales team. Hardware and software expert Dan Gardner joins as the company’s Southeast Regional Manager to enhance the growth and development of opportunities within the region. Gardner brings with him exceptional sales experience within both the hardware and software aspects of the security industry. “Dan is a welcome addition to our elite te...
Globally renowned access control systems manufacturer and supplier, Videx has announced the launch of two new apps for its web server access control system, the WS4 and has also released a new firmware with additional features. WS4 web server access control The WS4 can manage up to 20 entrances locally or remotely from anywhere via a mobile phone, tablet or PC using a web browser to connect to the system and it’s very easy to install. It can also hold approximately 2,500 proximity and co...
Aiphone, the renowned international manufacturer of video and audio intercom, and security communication products, has announced the addition of the IX-EA IP video door station intercom to its robust IX Series portfolio. IX-EA IP video door station intercom The IX-EA from Aiphone is a surface mount, weather-resistant IP video door station, which comes equipped with a 1.23 megapixel fixed color camera that can be programmed to call up to 20 different stations, with three different call level se...
With the ever-changing post coronavirus (COVID-19) world, the ability to communicate virtually has never been more important. This is why ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is improving its customer experience with the launch of the ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app. ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app Free to download on Apple and Android mobile devices, the app enables customers to quickly and conveniently contact the right customer service team within ASSA ABLOY in the UK. The app prov...
Vanderbilt Industries US has utilized the company’s engineering expertise to create efficient and effective Recurring-Monthly-Revenue (RMR) security solutions. RMR security solutions RMR results in systems that are as simple to fit as they are to use. Not only are these systems easy to specify and secure to setup in moments, but they also guarantee a recurring monthly revenue stream. Below are some of the most standard frequently asked questions regarding Recurring-Monthly-Revenue (RMR). How straightforward are RMR systems to setup? Compared with lengthy, complicated, and sometimes extensive setup and configuration periods for some on-premise applications, typically, the setup of a cloud-based solution via any web browser is as simple as the purchase transaction itself. What level of functionality do RMR products contain? Installers no longer have to request software and firmware updates from Vanderbilt and then physically visit the end-user to update the system. Instead, with cloud solutions, the end customer remains on the latest version. This means there is no longer a risk of updates going bad, having bugs, or being done incorrectly. This translates directly to a value to installers as well, as this service is still relevant to maintenance contracts, but will require zero effort. How future-proof are RMR solutions? Due to RMR systems’ automatic updates, installers will always be working on the most up-to-date version of the product. Additionally, all of the installer’s customers will have the same software. This delivers a value-add around efficiency. When providing technical support, installers will only be dealing with one single software platform. What level of support is available when deploying RMR options? RMR helps to maintain high service levels and proactively monitor service issues for the end-user RMR helps to maintain high service levels and proactively monitor service issues for the end-user. This predicts the possibility of a likely service event. Online services help users solve system problems online by providing real-time support without going to the site. Through service call planning, an installer can see service issues and prepare a technician with the right parts in advance of the visit. Also, installers can organize service calls into efficient locales so the technician will not be traveling great distances. What are the benefits of RMR systems for end-users? Less IT infrastructure requirements reduce the reliance on overworked IT departments. With RMR systems, the on-site hardware service is eliminated. This eliminates the user having server issues, and spending massive amounts of time searching for a resolution. Moreover, for the end-user, RMR systems typically deliver a lower cost of ownership over time due to lower service costs, lower hardware maintenance costs, and the ease of use of the product.
Conscia Sweden, a provider of security and IT infrastructure solutions, has qualified as the first Cisco IoT Advantage Partner in the world. This is the result of a lot of completed Cisco IoT training and a wealth of practical experience regarding IoT and industrial networks. Conscia has also developed the Conscia DevicePortal software, which is used by both private and public sectors in several countries to quickly connect and manage IoT devices in a secure manner. Building secure solutions “Conscia has a large customer base in, among other things, the manufacturing industry, and the fact that we are now the world’s first Cisco IoT Advantage Partner is a clear signal that our customers have a first-class partner at their service here and now,” says Claus Thorsgaard, CEO of Conscia Group. It also means that we can take a proactive role and propose new solutions for customers in other industries" “The ability to build secure solutions that allow our customers to unlock the power of the data they possess in the production networks gives us exciting opportunities for efficiency and new business models. It also means that we can take a proactive role and propose new solutions for customers in other industries, and thereby let them take part in experiences and opportunities they may not have thought of,” says Lars Kyhlstedt, Managing Director, Conscia Sweden. Connecting different devices “It is only when it is possible to connect really many devices quickly and safely - whether it is lathes in a factory or speakers in a school - that you can realize the significant potential of networked intelligence. Cisco's modern, secure, efficient, and flexible networks enable this and therefore we are very pleased that Conscia with its extensive expertise in the latest technologies is now our first IoT Advantage Partner,” says Niklas Andersson, Vice President, Cisco EMEAR North. The term IoT - Internet of Things - encompasses many different solutions for connecting different devices and things. The need for data collection from deployed units such as real estate systems, industrial units, control systems or equipment in healthcare has traditionally often been handled completely separated from classic IT. Handling IoT security Proprietary protocols and requirements for how, for example, locks, industrial robots or X-ray machines need to communicate often result in one unique solution per need. Another major challenge is that high competence is required to handle IoT security without a simplifying tool The requirement to constantly add more and new devices, protocols and data collection points can lead to an almost exponentially increased burden in the handling of each new function that is to be connected - especially if security is to be taken into account. With Conscia DevicePortal, it is possible to manage security in a fast and efficient way when onboarding and handling IoT devices. Another major challenge is that high competence is required to handle IoT security without a simplifying tool, such as Conscia DevicePortal. Reliable communication solutions With Conscia DevicePortal, other IT personnel, who do not have special skills, can handle the work, says Ola Magnusson, Head of Group IT Infrastructure at Suzuki Garphyttan, a manufacturer of valve spring wire for car engines and transmission solutions. Cisco is a pioneer in communications and networking, offering a strong suite of IoT products and solutions. Whether it's specific and rugged products that can handle the outdoor environment or platforms like Cisco Cybervision to provide an overview and security, they take advantage of their deep knowledge of how to build scalable and reliable communication solutions.
Euralarm, the European association of the fire safety and security industry, has commented on the upcoming delegated act (DA) for internet-connected and wearable radio equipment, as part of the Radio Equipment Directive. The comments and proposals are given in view of the activation of the delegated act pursuant to article 3(3) of the RED (d, e and f) and cover the scope of the delegated act, the definition of ‘internet-connected devices’ and the implementation period. Relevant technical aspects addressing cyber security While Euralarm supports the need for increased cyber security, the fire and security industry will preferably support a horizontal cyber security regulation. Nevertheless, if embedded in the RED, Euralarm wants to ensure that the technical aspects addressing cyber security are relevant for wireless fire safety and security equipment, and can work for manufacturers and service providers. The idea is to include the cyber security requirements through a delegated act on internet-connected and wearable radio equipment. Such an act is a legally binding act that enables the Commission to supplement or amend non‑essential parts of EU legislative acts, for example, to define detailed measures. Scope of DA limited to ‘internet-connected devices’ Euralarm believes that the scope of the DA should be limited to the ‘consumer internet-connected devices’ Since the essential requirements of the delegated act have been triggered by cases involving toys and other consumer devices, Euralarm believes that the scope of the DA (delegated act) should be limited to the ‘consumer internet-connected devices’. Article 3(3) (d) of the RED states, “Radio equipment does not harm the network or its functioning, nor does it misuse network resources, so as to cause an unacceptable degradation of service." The term ‘network’ is not defined in the RED. Applying Art 3(3) (d) to internet-connected devices would create a deviating understanding of network, instead of radio communication network, it is enlarged to the ‘internet’. Ensuring users' privacy and data security According to Euralarm, it is therefore, sufficient to enforce Art 3(3) (e) and (f) to ensure that personal data and privacy of the user and subscriber are protected, and that the equipment is protected from fraud. This will also reduce the risk of inconsistent and overlapping requirements. As far as the definition of ‘internet-connected devices’ is concerned, Euralarm believes that a clear definition is crucial for the correct application of this delegated act and that, therefore, the concept of ‘directly or indirectly’ shall be avoided. Defining ‘consumer internet-connected device’ Since ‘internet’ is not used nor is it defined in RED, Euralarm also proposes to re-formulate this definition to cover radio equipment connected by using any internet protocol. This specifically covers those devices that could potentially present cyber security risks. The definition of a consumer internet-connected device that Euralarm proposes is “Any radio equipment, falling within the scope of Directive 2014/53/EU, which is capable to be connected to internet by using any internet protocol and intended to be put into service by a consumer or any other end-user.” Proposed transition period of five years As far as the date of application is concerned, Euralarm proposes a transition period of five years, before the requirements of the delegated act become mandatory. This allows enough time for a harmonized standard to become available and cited, and for manufacturers to finalize their product design and demonstrate the compliance.
Ping Identity, the intelligent identity solution for the enterprise, announces PingZero, a suite of passwordless authentication features organizations can implement to deliver seamless digital experiences to employees and customers. By eliminating login friction, including the need for usernames and passwords, PingZero boosts employee productivity, improves customer retention and acquisition rates, and strengthens cybersecurity defenses — all with zero passwords and zero friction. PingZero uniquely leverages the Ping Intelligent Identity platform and other technologies including the FIDO2 standard to enable passwordless experiences across a variety of resources and applications. Advanced passwordless authentication Verizon’s investigative report found that passwords are one of the most common causes of security breaches and also a major barrier in digital experiences. In fact, by 2022, 60% of large global enterprises and 90% of mid-size enterprises will implement passwordless methods in more than 50 percent of use cases, predicts Gartner. That’s because passwordless features accelerate and increase adoption of remote work and digital-first initiatives while improving the security and cyber hygiene of customers and employees, who are burdened with keeping track of more usernames and passwords than ever before. PingZero’s advanced passwordless authentication utilizes device and browser settings, biometrics, and the FIDO2 standard to provide enterprises with greater assurance that a user is who they say they are. Managing and resetting passwords PingZero enables businesses to work smarter by eliminating the time wasted managing and resetting passwords" The solution also removes interruptions like excessive login prompts or password resets, which not only cause strain on IT departments but deteriorate employee productivity and customer engagement. “PingZero was designed with a frictionless user journey in mind,” said Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity. “At Ping we are committed to delivering secure, convenient experiences for our customers and removing friction is a key component in our innovation evolution. PingZero enables businesses to work smarter by eliminating the time wasted managing and resetting passwords and instead provides users with more secure access to what they need to get work done efficiently.” Authentication authority solutions PingZero can be deployed across a broad range of enterprise resources including mobile, SaaS, legacy applications, and more. PingZero is available in multiple Ping offerings including the comprehensive authentication authority solutions, Customer360 and Workforce360. Key features include: User Self-Registration: A simple and convenient QR code-based sign-on process means no passwords are needed at the time of account creation. Customization: Includes the ability for enterprises to use their own branded mobile application to implement PingZero without requiring third-party MFA applications for the user to download. Security and Compliance: Provides phishing-resistant, privacy-preserving authentication based on the FIDO2/WebAuthn standard. Continuous Authentication: Added convenience by requiring a user to re-authenticate only when certain risk thresholds are exceeded. Operating in the background, risk signals are tracked and monitored including changes in geolocation, IP address, device posture, and other factors.
DMP releases its new line of alarm communication radios that are FirstNet Ready™ and approved for use on FirstNet®. FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority and is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built specifically for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. It’s the solution to decades-long interoperability and communications challenges first responders have long been experiencing. Alarm panel communications “The FirstNet network is an important step forward in our nationwide first responder infrastructure, and DMP is pleased to support public safety nationwide,” says Mark Hillenburg, vice president of Marketing at DMP. “Also, we are very excited to work with The Monitoring Association (TMA) and AT&T to deliver alarm panel communications using the highly secure and reliable FirstNet service.” Alarm service companies qualify to use the FirstNet network by first obtaining a TMA Certificate The transmission of public safety related alarms via FirstNet Ready™ alarm panels qualifies for FirstNet extended primary service. Alarm service companies qualify to use the FirstNet network by first obtaining a TMA Certificate of Verification that verifies they are in compliance with accepted Alarm Industry Standards. Safety related alarms The Certificate of Verification ensures the company transmits public safety related alarms (e.g. burglary, fire, emergency medical) to a Central Monitoring Station that confirms and verifies the authenticity of the alarm before notifying a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for relay to a public safety agency for the purpose of initiating an emergency response. In addition to the TMA certification, alarm service providers must enter into a FirstNet Agreement with AT&T before they can offer FirstNet Ready™ alarm panels with FirstNet service. With DMP’s FirstNet Ready™ communicator, the XR Series control panels are among the first available for use on the FirstNet network. This gives alarm companies the advantage of using Band 14 – nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet.
Barix is now shipping its cost-efficient IP Former for transforming analog loudspeakers into feature-rich, networked IP speakers. Enabling easy upgrades of existing audio deployments to support advanced IP functionality, the new module lets systems integrators and installers offer customers a digital audio environment without jettisoning their current speakers. Replacing the 70/100V transformer traditionally used with analog loudspeakers, IP Former adds IP networking capabilities to new or existing speakers. It provides an IP network interface, audio stream decoder and amplifier front-end for a two- to eight-ohm speaker, with power supplied over PoE for streamlined cabling and installation. Current analog speaker installations can be retrofitted by simply switching their transformers with IP Former units, maximizing the lifecycle of customers’ existing investments. Upgrade to powerful IP functionality “Many end-customer projects include advanced IP audio features amongst their requirements, but they already have perfectly good analog loudspeakers in their facilities,” said Davide Nossa, Product Manager, Barix. “IP Former lets integrators and systems designers simply upgrade those existing speakers with powerful IP functionality, saving the customer significant money compared to new speakers while avoiding the environmental impact of discarding the old ones.” IP Former is ideal for bringing IP capabilities to applications ranging from background music and in-venue announcements to paging and emergency warning systems. The flexible device decodes audio streams delivered via HTTPS, RTP or UDP in codec formats including PCM, AACplus, MP3, Opus, G.711 and G.722. Compatibility with VoIP phone SIP negotiation provides compatibility with VoIP phone systems and enables each speaker to be addressed individually, while pre-recorded messages can be stored within the device for fast playout. Native support for the Singlewire’s InformaCast and Syn-Apps’ Revolution platforms enables speakers equipped with IP Former to seamlessly integrate as endpoints for the popular mass notification solutions. Built on Barix’s programmable and secure IPAM 400 IP audio module, IP Former can be extended with new or custom functionality, providing future-proof flexibility. The solution's standards-friendly, open architecture enables it to integrate seamlessly into multi-vendor environments.
Indoor positioning is, in many ways, an inside version of the satellite-navigation apps we rely on for outdoor navigation, but with an added twist – it can also be used to help locate people and things. Let’s say you’re at home and misplaced your car keys, or you’re in a grocery store and can’t find your favorite brand of coffee. Or maybe you’re working in a factory and need a particular tool from a storage bin, or you’re a site manager dealing with an emergency and need to make sure everyone’s exited the building. Indoor positioning helps in all these situations, because it can locate items and guide you to where they are. The importance of “where” Knowing where an asset is located in real time is useful in many ways. In industrial settings, it improves item utilization rates and saves time spent searching for things. It opens the door for a new level of “just in time” efficiency on factory floors, and for inventory management in warehouses and retail environments. Safety is another benefit of accurate location, because knowing where people, automatic guided vehicles, and robots are in real time can help prevent accidents and keep people out of harm’s way. Accurate location in real time also enables contextual decision-making, so your smart house adjusts your stereo automatically as you move from to room or lets you control objects by simply pointing at them. Lets you control objects by simply pointing at them Security authorisations based on location is another possibility. Precise real-time location is something that can be hard to fake, so it can be used to restrict access to an area or used to add protections based on where an asset sits, where a piece of data resides, or the origination point of a communication. Getting the technology right Developing an effective technology for indoor positioning requires several things. To begin with, location readings needs to be very precise, with accuracy down to as small an area as possible. The technology has to be secure, because location often needs to be kept private. The technology has to be reliable, even in harsh environments, and easily scalable, too, so it can address the thousands of people and assets in large venues. It has to be low power and affordable, so it can be embedded in everything from high-end, complex devices like smartphones to low-end, simple devices like asset tags. And, of course, the technology has to have latency low enough that it can track movement in real time. Various wireless technologies, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, are already used for indoor positioning, but they don’t deliver on the full set of requirements, especially in terms of accuracy. A different kind of wireless, called Ultra-Wideband (UWB) checks all the boxes. It has the potential to change the way we do all kinds of everyday tasks. What is UWB? UWB is based on the IEEE standard 802.15.4a/z, which has been optimized for micro-location and secure communication. UWB is highly accurate. It can pinpoint people and things to within just a few centimeters, making it 100 times more accurate than the current implementations of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi. UWB is reliable because it has high immunity to various types of interference, including multipath, which is when a wave from a transmitter traveling to a receiver by two or more paths causes interference. UWB also offers very low latency, with update rates of up to 1000 times per second and readings that are as much as 50 times faster than satellite navigation. UWB is also implemented using mainstream technology, so it’s both affordable and optimized for low power. Lastly, UWB leverages distance-bounding techniques defined by the IEEE to provide a level of security that makes it extremely difficult to hack. Ultra-Wideband (UWB) checks all the boxes How is all this possible? Physics! UWB out-performs other location technology because, unlike Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which transmit narrowband signals and use Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) to determine location, UWB transmits wideband signals (500 MHz) and uses Time-of-Flight to determine location. Already in 40+ verticals UWB is already bringing value to products and services in more than forty verticals covering the consumer, automotive, industrial, and commercial market segments. For example, it brings operational visibility to manufacturing and logistics, helps businesses protect workers, and reduces safety-management costs. UWB also lets robots and drones self-navigate, and enables secure, hands-free access to cars, front doors, and other secure locations. It even helps with contact tracing and social distancing in the fight against COVID-19. Now in smartphones Recent adoption in smartphones means UWB is ready to grow quickly. Developers are using UWB as part of new services, with an eye toward making various everyday activities more convenient and safer. With UWB as part of smartphone apps, purchases will be more secure, accessing your car will be possible without a key fob, and misplaced items won’t stay hidden for long. Retail outlets will use location for targeted marketing, and finding things on store shelves will be easier than ever. Home automation will become seamless, and friends and family will be easy to find even if they’re in a crowd. The question of interoperability Having UWB in smartphones is an important first step Having UWB in smartphones is an important first step toward making UWB an everyday part of life, but interoperability is another key factor, since smartphones have to interact with a wide range of other devices and services. That’s where the FiRa Consortium comes in. Launched just over a year ago, the FiRa Consortium is a member-driven organization of market leaders from the consumer, mobile, industrial, enterprise, and semiconductor industries. FiRa members work collectively to define the future standards that will make interoperability across UWB products a reality. With FiRa making it possible for developers to use UWB in all kinds of new ways, the future of indoor location is really only limited by the developer’s imagination.
Latest insights from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Barometer show that 41% of execs think 5G is now less important than it was before the pandemic. There are numerous reasons why this could be the case, one being that 4G and home broadband has been proven to be up to the job of supporting home working. There’s also no escaping the headlines that surround 5G and political espionage. They read like a script from House of Cards. Presidents, prime ministers, heads of foreign intelligence services and global corporate leaders, providing the colorful characters that are essential in any good political drama. It could well have made some organizations rethink their plans for adopting 5G enabled technologies and wait until there can be more assurances on security. New technologies The latest edict by the UK government is a pretty clear statement. It has promoted many industry insiders to say that it will take years to exchange kit, possibly even a decade for some operators, as they take on the heavy lifting of removing core network components and finding alternative suppliers. The financial impact is huge: operators will have to find additional budget to purchase the kit, conduct validation and integration testing, overhaul their service wrap around offers and factor in the time and cost of retraining employees on new technology. Achieve new ambitions related to driverless cars Despite all this, many carriers have made very public statements that they will progress with 5G as planned, some are even accelerating plans. The insight available to them confirms that there is still a good proportion of businesses and pubic bodies that see its value. It’s a way to propel smart city development and connectivity, and to achieve new ambitions related to driverless cars, and highly automated manufacturing for example. 5G therefore remains a rolling stone and regardless of the core network kit, security needs to be designed in, not bolted on, at every step of network and application design and build. New rules for working The pandemic has shaken up how we live and work. It has brought home the necessity for ultra-fast, affordable and agile communications everywhere. It’s also proved a fertile hunting ground for scammers keen to exploit the public’s thirst for up to the minute news. Click bait has been rife and it still forms one of the most effective ways to distribute malware and ransomware. Unprotected VPNs have added to the risks, as companies scrambled to roll out remote access at mass scale. It overburdened their security infrastructure and created vulnerabilities all in the name of getting home working ramped up quickly. Some companies have learnt the hard way that maintaining patches on software and keeping on top of the security education their employees receive is vital to protect operations from attack. Rural vs urban working The move to home working has also brought to light discrepancies in speed and access to communications, reigniting the rural versus city investment debate. We’ve seen some companies say that employees can now work anywhere, and others downsize their office footprints. This is opening the door for people to swap city living and commutes for more rural locations. 5G roll out plans typically focus on large cities and towns, but is this still the right strategy? I’d suggest that operators need to step back and look at the larger global trends and update their plans. Connected cows and beyond For example, farming and the environment has to be a planning priority now. To meet the needs of a predicted 9 billion people in 2050, farming supply will need to increase by 50%. COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus how precarious the global food supply chain is. In addition, this increase needs to be met with technology to make agriculture more efficient in order to preserve the world’s natural resources while meeting these goals. COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus how precarious the global food supply chain is The vision of the ‘connected cows’ is mooted as a way to solve global food security. As such, farming and the environment are set to gain greatly from technologies and applications enabled by 5G Internet of Things (IoT). But the benefits will only be realised if the connectivity and security is in place. The vast network of IoT sensors that will be used to improve farming inefficiencies, increase welfare standards and reporting, as well as efficiently manage food manufacturing will generate an abundance of data. Highly sensitive data This data will range from highly sensitive sets related to pricing and employees, critical data related to yield management and compliance, to more transactional weather and water sensor data. Ensuring continuity will be essential to not just farming productivity and meeting standards, but also protecting IP or personal information throughout the supply chain and preventing a cyberwar intended to starve people. Corporate espionage is a very real threat to manufacturing at the moment, and as farming becomes more connected, it’s expected this threat will extend as far as the farmyard. Not only that, protests against government handling of policies related to food poverty or overproduction could be done using ‘hacktivism’. It’s easy to buy a hack these days and start an online attack to make your point. So, as farming adopts technology models we usually see in the corporate world of pharma and finance, it too may become a target. Healthcare goes truly national The much talked of vision for the virtual GP accelerated in the pandemic, helping people see a GP without leaving the house. Governments have had a very real glimpse into the importance of connected healthcare in terms of saving money and time. There is now a greater likelihood that nursing teams will be given mobile devices that can access and update patient records in real-time, GPs will scale down consultation space in favour of online appointments, and prescriptions will be automatically filled and delivered at the click of a button. Comprehensive 5G networks can help make more of this happen particularly in remote areas where health care is scarce, of that there is no doubt, and this is before we get into the exciting prospect of remote brain surgery that 5G can facilitate. The pandemic also exposed the precarious nature of online healthcare But the pandemic also exposed the precarious nature of online healthcare. Patient data remains a sitting duck, as illustrated perfectly by breaches we saw across the world both in public and private delivery. At its very worst, nation state attacks pose a significant threat to public health and it’s essential there is local and global collaboration to ensure data is protected. This threat won’t wane. In fact, it is increasing as we drive more innovation and connectivity. Security experts have their work cut out. But it’s not impossible to achieve secure networks and applications, so long as we don’t put profit before people.
The emergence of smartphones using iOS and Android is rapidly changing the landscape of the IT industry around the world. Several industries, such as digital cameras, car navigation, MP3, and PNP, have been replaced by equivalent or even better performance using smartphones. Smartphones provide increasing portability by integrating the functions of various devices into a single unit which allows them to connect to platforms with network-based services and offer new services and conveniences that have never been experienced before. These changes have expanded into the access control market. Although not yet widespread, ‘Mobile access cards’ is one of the terminologies that everyone has been talking about. RF cards used for access security are being integrated into smartphones just as digital cameras and MP3s were in the past. While people might forget their access cards at home in the morning, they seldom forget their smartphones. Using smartphones for access control increases entry access reliability and convenience. Mobile/smartphone access control A key aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction As in other markets, the combination of smartphones and access cards is creating a new value that goes beyond the simple convenience of integration enhancing the ability to prevent unauthorized authentication and entrance. People sometimes lend their access cards to others, but it is far less likely they might lend their smartphone with all their financial information and personal information – to another person. This overcomes an important fundamental weakness of RF cards. Another valuable aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction. Under existing access security systems, cards must be issued in person. Since card issuance implies access rights, the recipient’s identification must be confirmed first before enabling the card and once the card has been issued, it cannot be retracted without another separate face-to-face interaction. Mobile access cards In contrast, mobile access cards are designed to transfer authority safely to the user's smartphone based on TLS. In this way, credentials can be safely managed with authenticated users without face-to-face interaction. Mobile cards can be used not only at the sites with a large number of visitors or when managing access for an unspecified number of visitors, but also at the places like shared offices, kitchens and gyms, currently used as smart access control systems in shared economy markets. The market share of mobile access cards today is low even though the capability can offer real benefits to users and markets. While the access control market itself is slow-moving, there are also practical problems that limit the adoption of new technologies like mobile access cards. Use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology While NFC could be an important technology for mobile credential that is available today on virtually all smartphones, differences in implementation and data handling processes from various vendors prevents universal deployment of a single solution to all devices currently on the market. Accordingly, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been considered as an alternative to NFC. Bluetooth is a technology that has been applied to smartphones for a long time, and its usage and interface are unified, so there are no compatibility problems. However, speed becomes the main problem. The authentication speed of BLE mobile access card products provided by major companies is slower than that of existing cards. Enhancing credential authentication speed Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers The second problem is that mobile access cards must be accompanied by a supply of compatible card readers. In order to use mobile access cards, readers need to be updated but this is not a simple task in the access control market. For 13.56 MHz smart cards (which were designed to replace 125 kHz cards), it has taken 20 years since the standard was established but only about half of all 25 kHz cards have been replaced so far. Legacy compatibility and the need for equivalent performance, even with additional benefits, will drive adoption timing for the Access Control market. While BLE technology helps resolve the compatibility problem of mobile access cards, it can identify some breakthroughs that can solve the speed problem. Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers, and new products with these improvements are now released in the market. Making use of key improvements allows Suprema's mobile access card to exhibit an authentication speed of less than 0.5 seconds providing equivalent performance to that of card-based authentication. AirFob Patch MOCA System's AirFob Patch addresses the need for technological improvements in the access control market in a direct, cost effective, and reliable way – by offering the ability to add high-performance BLE to existing card readers – enabling them to read BLE smartphone data by applying a small adhesive patch approximately the size of a coin. This innovative breakthrough applies energy harvesting technology, generating energy from the RF field emitted by the existing RF reader – then converting the data received via BLE back into RF – and delivering it to the reader. By adding the ability to use BLE on virtually any existing RF card reading device, MOCA allows greater ability for partners and end users to deploy a technologically-stable, high performance access control mobile credential solution to their employees, using devices they already own and are familiar with. Adding MOCA AirFob Patch eliminates the need to buy and install updated readers simply to take advantage of mobile credential, lowering costs and risks, and increasing employee confidence and convenience. Growth forecast of mobile access card market in 2020 In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly Several companies have entered the mobile access card market, but they have not set up a meaningful product solution stream until 2019. In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly. Reviewing new entries into the market allows identification of the latest products that provide improving solutions to compatibility and speed problems. MOCA AirFob Patch addresses development plans in process today that overcome the legacy installed base of card readers – allowing rapid creation of an environment that can make immediate use of BLE mobile access cards. Integrated mobile digital ID With proven usability and within suitable environments, mobile access cards will also begin to make inroads into other markets, not just the access control market. In the sharing economy market, which seeks access management without face-to-face interaction, the integrated mobile digital ID led by the 'DID Alliance' will serve as a technical tool that can be used in access authentication – forging increasing links between the access control and digital ID markets.
As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com has adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimize impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilizing webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts. Helping customers remain connected Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Alarm.com is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged. The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, Alarm.com is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely “Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson. “Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.” Do-It-Together solutions Alarm.com partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson. Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call. Alarm.com’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs. End users can validate the Alarm.com Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app Alarm.com Smart Gateway For example, the Alarm.com Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says. Shift to the cloud Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.” End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Alarm.com Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through Alarm.com’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximize lifetime account value. “We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”
The next step in the journey of digital transformation, the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies (5G) will have an enormous impact on mankind, and on every industry including security. In short, 5G will disrupt the way we live and work. To discuss the changes, we presented our questions to Benoît Jouffrey, VP 5G Expertise at Thales, which is at the forefront of the transformation with an emphasis on trust and security. Following are his responses. Q: In layman's terms, what is the difference between 4G and 5G ecosystems as they relate to opportunity, flexibility and choice in networking tools? Jouffrey: Compared with largely one-size-fits-all 4G services, the 5G ecosystem will provide organizations with much greater choice and flexibility in the way they communicate over mobile networks. The network slicing capabilities of 5G means that business can have their own independent networks, with each one customized to their unique requirements and backed up by service-level agreements (SLA). Another aspect of 5G will be the ability to drive latency between UE (User Equipment) and network down to below a few milliseconds, which will massively boost the performance and scalability of enterprise applications. Q: How can these capabilities drive a company's digital operations? 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently Jouffrey: 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently: they can rely on a higher density of connected devices exchanging more information in a better timeframe. Due to these slicing capabilities, 5G networks allow for much greater personalization than 4G networks. This means that businesses could benefit from this personalized network, tailored to their portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, and not be necessarily expected to rely on a one-size-fits-all network. By combining the unique capabilities of 5G with the insights derived from analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, enterprises will be in much better stead to run their operations efficiently and securely. Q: How might 5G impact the use of cloud systems? Jouffrey: 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have a small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate. Q: How can one provide trustworthy 5G lifecycle management for IoT devices? Jouffrey: Trustworthy IoT lifecycle management is an end-to-end approach from the secure provisioning of keys within the devices, to the proper identification of the users, from the authentication on the network or the network slice, to the secure handling of the data either at stored or in motion. Resources need to be invested long before this to qualify the business model, in prototyping, as well as prototype testing. Most organizations don’t have the resources to counter all the security challenges of their 5G IoT deployments. Businesses will often end up choosing between navigating a risk-laden 5G environment, with inadequate or incomplete trust mechanisms, or outsourcing these requirements. When looking at outsourcing, companies must choose a provider with expertise in digital security, ensuring 5G IoT deployments have data protection and connectivity credentials built in, together with end-to-end data protection solutions such as encryption – protecting data in the device, network, and cloud at rest and in transit. Q: How can wireless modules address new 5G IoT use cases? Wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular Jouffrey: As IoT considerations are integrated into the 5G ecosystem, wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular. 5G modules support different characteristics to earlier generations – the 5G use cases are much more complex, varied, from high-end use cases requiring high data usage and throughput, such as for industrial routers, to low-throughput, energy consumption optimized devices, as required for some IoT sensors. At the end, compared to the largely one-size-fits-all approach that preceded it, 5G will increase the demand for vertical-tailored wireless modules. Importantly, these wireless modules need to support new data protection and security features that go well beyond conventional compliance to 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. Due to the extent of personalization within 5G networks, wireless modules must also offer providers and customers greater security as well as agility all along the device lifespan. Q: What are the new data protection challenges posed by 5G, and how can they be addressed? Jouffrey: The 5G era presents exciting opportunities, as well as security challenges. The greatest risks to enterprise data on 5G networks – including eavesdropping, man-in the middle attacks, denial of services, loss or compromisation of data – were already known in 4G. The 5G standards have looked at providing answers to these threats and come with some noticeable improvements, such as the encryption of the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI), otherwise known as the Subscription Permanent Identifier in 5G. But what’s different with 5G is the threat surface area, due notably to the variety of devices that will be used over these 5G networks and the underlying technologies used for the deployment of the networks, such as cloud native virtualization. On top of this, it’s the first generation of cellular to launch in an era of global cyber-crime, funded by organized crime and states alike. So, whilst enterprises should look to the ecosystem of telecom operators and cloud providers, vendors, and system operators to help understand the opportunities presented by 5G – this same ecosystem needs to guide them in countering any new risks that the 5G architecture may pose. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset using encryption. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset Q: What new roles can the 5G embedded universal integrated circuit card (eSIM) endorse in network authentication? Jouffrey: 5G is the first generation of cellular to launch in a buoyant eSIM market. The eSIM will be key in supporting network slicing authentication and security, enabling enterprises to leverage their credentials to pre-select network slices. However, to support secure authentication for mobile networks that may require the usage of different authentication algorithms over time, these 5G eSIMs must support this flexibility of usage of multiple authentication and authorization credentials. With this capability built into these eSIMs from the start, mobile operators can remotely swap the authentication algorithm either for a dedicated primary authentication, or in a definitive way, thanks to key rotation management, thus maintaining a trusted environment.
Many exhibitors at GSX 2019 saw the show as a success, despite slower booth traffic on the second and third days. According to show sponsor ASIS International, there were more than 20,000 registrants from 125 countries around the world, including those who attended the conference as well as the exhibition. Exhibitors definitely put their best feet forward, enthusiastically promoting their technology breakthroughs, but how convincing were they? The comments from at least one attendee – a large corporate end user who represents a key demographic for show organizers – bluntly suggest that healthy skepticism was on display side-by-side with the promotional energy in play.On this floor, there are some lies being given out. Ask the tough questions, make the exhibitors show you" “On this floor, there are some lies being given out,” said Rudy A. Wolter, CTO, Security and Investigative Services for Citigroup, a financial services corporation. He advised fellow attendees to “listen for them, ferret them out, ask the tough questions. Make [the exhibitors] show you.” “Don’t be afraid to ask these men and women questions,” added Wolter. “Don’t be afraid to challenge them. If you don’t challenge them, they’re not getting any better which means we aren’t getting any better. At the end of the day, they’re the leaders; they’re the ones making change; they’re the ones touching systems; they’re the ones helping integration.” Banking security with Verint At Citigroup, Wolter oversees 1,300 bank branches in North America that use Verint systems, including 23,000 cameras tied into a single command center. Skepticism aside, Wolter also provided evidence that even tough customers can be brought around. Specifically, he is sold on Verint: “When you have a problem, this company listens,” he told attendees at a Verint gathering on the show floor. New at GSX 2019 is the Verint Video Investigator, which is software that empowers investigators to quickly find the data they need to identify security threats in near real-time. In all, Verint serves in excess of 2,300 individual financial institutions, with tens of thousands of branches. Wolter was one of several end users willing to sing their praises publicly. Other GSX exhibitors were also proud to have their own real-world success stories. Placing the emphasis on outcomes At GSX, I heard more than once that outcomes are more important than technologies. Customers don’t want to hear about technologies, but rather about what those technologies can do for them. Avigilon, now a subsidiary of Motorola Solutions, is another company that is focused on outcomes rather than technology per se. “Instead of focusing on megapixels and terabytes, the end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management,” says John Kedzierski, Sr. VP of Video Solutions at Motorola Solutions. “We are working to provide that outcome." The end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management" How operators work to ensure outcomes is another aspect that is changing, says Kedzierski. “Watching video is obsolete,” he says. Using Avigilon’s new system, the operator instead is looking at color-coded hexagons; one color means motion, another means an analytic event. Operators click on various hexagons to view video. Also at GSX 2019, Avigilon featured its new H5A camera line, with expanded object classification analytics, detailed object detection, and tracking in crowded scenes; and focused on the Avigilon Blue cloud system. They are working to make every camera capable of detecting faces, which can be matched to a watch list. How technology addresses marketplace changes Addressing the changing marketplace was another GSX theme. As the workplace changes, ASSA ABLOY Americas is adapting its technology to address new employment practices such as "hot-desking," and remote and mobile workers, says Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer. Systems have to be able both to protect assets and also to provide flexibility to accommodate the changing workforce, he said. Corporate acquisitions are directly expanding the capabilities that ASSA ABLOY brings to the market. For example, they recently acquired Luxer One, a locker company that enables secure delivery of packages without customers needing to stand in line or wait for service. Deliveries can be made in seconds. Peter Boriskin of ASSA ABLOY Americas led a booth tour, including new power capabilities gained in the acquisition of LifeSafety Power Another recent ASSA ABLOY acquisition is LifeSafety Power, which is expanding the company’s capability to provide proactive data on wired systems by tracking power usage. For example, a spike in current might mean a problem with a component. Compiling “intelligent triggers” enables creation of a dashboard to provide analytics of wired systems. ASSA ABLOY has also been devising predictive analytics of wireless locks to predict battery life, for instance, and to address other maintenance challenges. “We want to know what’s going on at a door without visiting it,” says Boriskin. New exhibitors make their mark New exhibitors were part of the GSX mix. One new exhibitor was Vaion. It’s their first trade show after launching at IFSEC in London in June. Vaion combines a small camera portfolio with on-premise servers and software managed through the cloud for an end-to-end solution. Tormod Ree, co-founder and CEO, calls it a “hybrid cloud delivery model”. Vaion is also a “more proactive security model,” said Ree. Video is analyzed for anomalies, and the server “learns” what is normal and not normal. The system provides alerts and notifications, occupancy counting and traffic control, among other features. And “overlays” are employed to present information on a map. Vaion can highlight video that is more likely to be relevant and prioritize feeds that have more activity. Vaion designs the hardware, which is manufactured in Taiwan. Vaion was a first-time exhibitor at GSX 2019 with their end-to-end video system; Tomod Ree is co-founder and CEO Gunshot detection technology EAGL Technology displayed their “Firefly” gunshot detection technology at GSX 2019. Based on technology originally developed for use in the military for sniper detection, the U.S. Department of Energy adapted it to civilian uses after the Sandy Hook School shooting. Boaz Raz, CEO, said the technology is the “most advanced and affordable, wireless for use indoors or outdoors, and it can control doors and cameras”. It doesn’t “listen” for gunshots like some competitors; rather it measures energy for “6 sigma” accuracy (almost 100%). Defining, and redefining, end-to-end solutions End-to-end solutions were all the rage at GSX 2019, but Allied Universal was one exhibitor that pondered what, exactly, is an end-to-end solution? It means different things to different people. For example, a video company’s end-to-end solution would not include access control. When Allied Universal claims to offer an end-to-end solution, they mean it in the broadest definition of the term, including all security systems deployed for a customer as well as the important human element (i.e., manguarding). “The industry’s emphasis on ‘end-to-end’ doesn’t encompass a full solution,” says Mike Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer. “When somebody uses the term end-to-end, you have to ask: What’s at both ends?” The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring. Clients want full-service solutions" “The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring,” adds Mullison. “Clients want full-service solutions.” Allied Universal is adding new technology elements to its offering, and Mullison says “the next phase of growth will be fueled by technology.” Allied Universal recently introduced the Heliaus product, a smart phone app that accesses an analytics engine to predict outcomes and prescribe optimum responses. It literally puts technology in a security guard’s hand. One customer has found that use of the technology resulted in a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents. The latest in access control among exhibitors In addition to video, access control had a big profile at GSX 2019, as evidenced by ASSA ABLOY America and many other companies. Another example is SALTO Systems, featuring its new NEO cylinder for wireless access control and the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN); the SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door. The SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door The compact SALTO NEO Cylinder is designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required and can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, or sliding doors. Low energy consumption results in 110,000 cycles with just one set of batteries. Other SALTO products are SALTO KS (Keys as a Service); SALTO BLUEnet Wireless for Bluetooth RF-driven real-time control of doors; the XS4 One Deadlatch stand-alone electronic lock; and JustIN Mobile, which replaces the need for an access card by securely sending a mobile key Over the Air (OTA) to an iOS or Android device from SALTO’s ProAccess SPACE management software. The next step in integration A new company reflecting the GSX emphasis on integration is Security and Safety Things (SAST), which is still in launch mode but expects to have its first pilot customers in the Q4. The first camera vendors embracing the SAST platform will have cameras for sale at ISC West in the spring. SAST is creating an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphones.SAST is creating an IoT platform for the next generation of security cameras “SAST is a technology platform, but it is also a business platform and a relationship platform,” said Emmanuel Ventadour, VP Sales and Marketing. For app developers, SAST also provides non-technical commercial services (i.e., easing their route to market.) Hartmut Schaper, CEO, emphasizes the “openness” of the company. Even though they are a spinoff of Bosch, they are treating every camera manufacturer equally, he says. For integrators, the use of apps can expand their field of play. Apps will empower integrators to use video for more business processes – not just security – and expand their reach with customers, says Schaper. From skepticism to sales There were plenty of product claims at GSX to feed the skepticism of even the toughest of potential customers. Fortunately, product claims were only the beginning of conversations with attendees at this year’s show. No doubt manufacturers were put through their paces more than once, and a few of them even came out on the other side with potential new business to show for their efforts. That’s the true measure of success at GSX 2019, or any trade show. Click here to read our reviews from Day One and Day Two of the show.
City Security Services has adopted workforce management software SmartTask to support its ambitious growth plans within the UK. The bespoke security solutions specialist will use SmartTask to better manage and safeguard its team of 650 officers that handle a wide range of static, mobile, reception and firewatch services at over 100 sites across London and the home counties. “Our aim is to create a successful guarding business through acquisitions and organic growth, so it is essential that we have the tools in place to support this process,” explains Roberto Baldacci, Director at City Security Services. Workforce management capabilities “SmartTask will become an important part of our IT infrastructure, providing a highly-scalable workforce management solution that ensures we continue to deliver consistent and quality security services across our expanding nationwide footprint.” The company undertook a detailed review of the marketplace and opted for SmartTask The lead company in the group recognized the need to upgrade its workforce management capabilities to reflect its aspirations moving forward. Its previous systems had lacked the flexibility and functionality to continue providing client-focused security services as the business grows. As a result, the company undertook a detailed review of the marketplace and opted for SmartTask based on the software’s ease-of-use, proven success in the security sector, and development roadmap. Improving incident reporting SmartTask will be used throughout City Security Services’ operation, helping to streamline and automate employee scheduling, proof of attendance and live monitoring processes. Most of security team will have a SmartTask-enabled smartphone – allowing them to receive rosters, book on and off shifts, and make check calls – with the remainder using a dedicated IVR number to confirm status. Electronic forms will also improve incident reporting, enabling security officers to capture critical information and photo evidence through the app, which can then be quickly shared internally and with the customer. City Security Services’ central control room will have a real-time overview of the status and welfare of all security officers, so it can have full visibility of performance and respond quickly to any issues. Reviewing financial performance City Security Services will be using SmartTask to differentiate its offering and win more business In addition, operations and HR managers will all have controlled access to relevant reports and operational data, while payroll will be able to take advantage of accurate timesheets and holiday accrual information to save time and avoid errors. The company has already enhanced its profitability reporting using SmartTask, making it possible to effectively review financial performance by client or individual site. With growing demand for operational data from customers, City Security Services will be using SmartTask to differentiate its offering and win more business. A number of customer sites are already using checkpoint tags, which can be scanned with a smartphone by security officers on patrol to capture time and attendance details. Advanced security technologies Meanwhile, the company is working towards launching an online portal for clients to access real-time and historical information for their individual security service. “We are always seeking to use advanced security technologies that benefit both our customers and the business. This helps us to provide a personal, proactive and adaptable service in the most efficient manner possible.” “SmartTask has everything we are looking for in a workforce management solution – backed by a great team, committed to ongoing development – so we are confident the software will enable us to improve transparency and continue to drive standards within the industry,” concludes Roberto.
Supra, a provider of mobile credentialing and entry management systems for automotive and real estate sectors, announces that its TRAC-Box key management solution has been selected by Oregon-based Guaranty RV Super Centers to help secure and track keys while keeping pace with a growing demand for recreational vehicle (RV) travel. Supra is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Located in Junction City, Oregon, Guaranty is the state’s largest dealer of recreational vehicles, from entry-level tent campers to luxurious diesel-powered RVs that sell for more than $400,000. Gaining valuable sales An industry publication, RV Business, has named Guaranty one of North America’s top 50 dealers for six consecutive years and a top 10 dealership based on customer reviews. “With our large footprint of 25 acres and long dark winters, it is difficult to have visibility of activity,” said Marty Nill, managing partner, Guaranty. “With the Supra TRAC-Box, we’ve improved security and gained valuable sales and marketing insights, and assigning permissions is simple. We’re confident we have authorized access to our vehicles with tracking controls in place. Our vehicles are retail-ready using the Supra TRAC-Box.” Providing greater visibility Supra’s TRAC-Box solution offers a convenient method for tracking the keys and fobs used to open vehicles Supra’s TRAC-Box solution offers a convenient method for tracking the keys and fobs used to open vehicles. Each TRAC-Box uses Bluetooth to communicate with Supra’s eKEY® mobile app on smartphones carried by Guaranty sales associates. They enter a PIN code into the app to unlock the keybox and acquire the keys from a built-in container. “Each time an authorized user opens a keybox, a record of the activity is stored in both the TRAC-Box and eKEY app, so managers and users can see the history of openings without having to return to the office,” said André Lalande, vice president – sales, Supra. “The app also transmits activity to the TRACcess Manager software to create an audit trail providing greater visibility to lock-up activities.” Removing access permissions TRACcess Manager also provides prompt visibility to the activity and frequency of RV showings, enabling management to see which RVs are most popular and reposition vehicles more efficiently. Notifications can also be set to alert management of keybox activity on specific inventory they want to monitor, for example, each time the 10 most expensive RVs are accessed. The TRAC-Box system also promotes accountability among associates and saves time looking for misplaced keys needed to show vehicles. When salespeople leave the company, managers can remove access permissions in easy, streamlined steps via any internet-connected computer or mobile device within a few minutes. Supra is featuring the TRAC-Box system in its virtual exhibit at the RV Dealers Virtual Convention & Expo, Nov. 9-20, 2020.
The Flemish Government has chosen AEOS access control by Nedap to secure its sites across Belgium and other European countries. It’s awarded a 6-year framework contract, beginning in September 2020, to Nedap channel partner G4S. This will involve G4S replacing the technology for more than 4,000 doors with AEOS. The new AEOS system will accommodate up to 50 software users and will feature various integrations, including visitor management, automatic number plate recognition, mobile readers, and QR code readers. Freedom from lock-ins This agreement with G4S replaces an incumbent supplier that had served consecutive framework contracts and whose technology was installed on more than 2,000 doors. The Flemish Government was looking for an open system that provides the freedom to select which technology it integrates and which installers it works with. Standardization across Europe The Government also wants to streamline its systems and processes. It currently has a wide mix of access control systems at its premises in various locations and wants to introduce more standardization through AEOS. Including the use of standard identifiers that are common across Europe. Service and scalability As a large firm with teams of project managers, technicians, programmers, and more, G4S has the capability to handle such a big, multi-faceted project. And to provide the great-quality, responsive service and scalability the Flemish Government is looking for. Flexibility to manage complexity Tom van de Moerat the Flemish Government says “We’re looking forward to working with G4S and Nedap on this project. The detailed conversations they conducted during the tender process reassured us that we’ll receive a high-quality system and service.” “AEOS has the flexibility to adapt to our needs at each location, however, intricate the demands, while standardizing our processes nationally and internationally.”
Location monitoring and personal safety specialist, Vismo has announced that its app, Vismo App helped users during the recent protests in Portland, Oregon, by guiding them to safety in offices and hotels, after they had activated the panic button on their app, while on their way to or from their place of work. “Vismo is no stranger to being used to protect employees in potentially harmful situations,” said Craig Swallow, Vismo Chief Executive Officer (CEO), adding “And in the past few months our app has proved invaluable to users who were at risk of being caught up in some of the hundreds of protests that have taken place in Portland, and elsewhere.” Vismo App The Vismo App alerted security teams immediately, as soon as users pressed its panic button The Vismo App, used by staff of many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies as a duty of care precaution by their employers, alerted security teams immediately, as soon as users pressed its panic button. The teams received the alert via text, email and an automated phone call, and quickly reacted to users’ situations, by using Vismo’s secure portal to identify a place of safety for them. In addition, the teams quickly received an audio clip, sent automatically from the users’ smartphones, which allowed them to get a clearer understanding of the situations at hand. Extensive deployment and use of app “In these instances, the safest places were hotels and offices unaffected, and likely to remain unaffected, by protests,” said Craig Swallow, adding “Security teams were able to monitor users’ movements and their precise location, and stay in contact with them throughout, from the moment they gave them advice on where to go until they had reached a place of safety. Then, until they reached home or work.” Although the Vismo App is used by staff of many large and medium size companies, typically in the oil and gas, healthcare and retail sectors, other employers who have achieved significant benefits include NGOs, whose staff and volunteers can work in extreme at-risk situations and media companies, whose reporters and camera operators can likewise be at extreme risk, in locations around the world. Key features of the Vismo App and portal Via the Vismo secure portal, security teams can place virtual geo-fences around areas of high-risk or safety Via the Vismo secure portal, and as part of its incident management capability, security teams can place virtual geo-fences around areas of high-risk or safety, depending on where app users are and/or will be. When users enter or exit these areas, the security teams will receive an automatic text and email alert of this movement, allowing them to take immediate and necessary actions to ensure the users are as safe as possible. To help identify potentially dangerous areas/neighborhoods, organizations’ security teams can add points of interest (POI) to a map on the portal to help protect employees and denote safe places (e.g. approved hotels or office locations). Individual points of interest, POIs can be added by a team, to take account of specific areas which are relevant to the organization. These POIs can include known high-risk areas and safe havens. Reliable and efficient way of mass communication Vital information can be communicated to app users to avoid troublesome areas or guide them to a safe destination. Vismo provides organizations with a reliable and efficient way of communicating with any number of employees, for example during an unfolding unstable situation in a specific geographic area by providing mass notification service. These notifications can include a personalized message with response options to quickly see if anyone requires assistance. Notifications can be sent via text, email, in-app and an automated phone call, which can be set to loop continuously until a response is received.
La Maison Royale, Nairobi, is a 4-star superior boutique business hotel with a ‘French taste’, State-of-the-art facility and close to the entertainment in the Westland neighborhood, La Maison Royale is a unique experience. La Maison Royale prides itself with friendly staff and the practical touches that make being away from home easier, whether a person books their rooms by the day, week or longer. Traveling for business, looking for temporary or corporate housing, needing short-term housing during relocation, or planning a weekend getaway? La Maison Royale has a solution that will fit everyone’s budget. Unified communication server La Maison Royale has their prominent presence across several locations in Nairobi. Considering this, they required seamless connectivity within sites. A system for call accounting, budgeting and routing with hospitality features was their primary requirement. Furthermore, a comprehensive and scalable solution that does not need a transformation in the coming years was their main challenge. Matrix addressed these challenges by proposing SARVAM UCS The hotel infrastructure required a centralized communication management of all business communication. Besides, they were looking for a multi-site connectivity with call accounting and call budgeting. Matrix addressed these challenges by proposing SARVAM UCS, which is a unified communication server for modern enterprises that manages all business communications from one place. SARVAM UCS is an enterprise-grade Unified Communications solution that offers La Maison Royale the much needed collaboration, communication, messaging and mobility between multi-locational sites. Unifying all the communication networks and devices provides users with the flexibility of accessing the calls, messaging and voicemails from any of the devices irrespective of their location. Better customer responsiveness Unified communication for workforce collaboration and better customer responsiveness Call Management and the ability to connect from anywhere, anytime and with anyone Simple administration and management due to web-based configuration Enhanced customer responsiveness to customer/clients Scalability to expand their business footprints in the future Leverages existing infrastructure and connect on a common communication platform IP-solution at core and application upgradation paths that renews and extends investment Efficient call management SPARSH Series of IP extensions are elegantly designed to offer reliable performance SARVAM UCS SME is a server software which runs on ETERNITY GENX– The next-generation hardware platform. The next-generation platform supports up to 99 VOIP (SIP) trunks, 40 GSM ports, 8 T1/E1 ISDN PRI ports, and 64 analog trunks with up to 999 UC users, 96 digital users and 240 analog users. Both AC and DC power supply options are available. SPARSH Series of IP extensions are elegantly designed to offer reliable performance, quality of business communication and efficient call management. It provides high quality speakerphone, programmable feature and DSS keys, corporate directory, message wait lamp, voice mail and intuitive user interface. Hotel management software Matrix offered complete hotel management software with built-in hospitality features like: web-based front desk management, check-in/check-out, guest-in/guest-out, room shift, wake-up calls and reminders, mini-bar, built-in call cost calculation, emergency call detection and more. Matrix VARTA application essentially shifts all of the desk phone functionalities to the smartphone or desktop computer which makes the desks wire-free and clutter-free. Place or receive calls through the extended communication endpoints and give a chance to effective communication without the mess. Furthermore, softphone offers additional features using smartphone or desktop computer hardware that adds to staff productivity and easy call management.
Staff safety and customer service will be boosted across Sydney’s rail network with the deployment of SafeZone®, the pioneering safety, security and emergency management solution from CriticalArc. The technology will enable Sydney Trains to manage a wide range of situations, including mitigating risks to staff and customers and strengthening the capacity to respond to incidents and emergencies across the network. SafeZone will put up to 2,500 of Sydney Trains’ front-line staff directly in touch with security control room teams, letting them summon immediate assistance at the touch of a button via their assigned smartphone. This capability is as valuable on crowded city platforms at rush-hour as it is on more remote suburban stations where staff may be working alone late at night. Enhancing staff safety The investment in SafeZone will cover over 175 stations across the greater Sydney area and is the latest step in a modernization drive to transform Sydney Trains’ operations, with more than a million customer journeys taken on the network every weekday. Employing proven technology such as SafeZone will help us solve day-to-day challenges" “Sydney Trains is committed to fulfilling our duty of care to all of our staff and enhancing our high safety standards in order to maintain and enrich customer service levels on station platforms,” explains Mark Edmonds, Manager of Security Capability, Network Operations. “Employing proven technology such as SafeZone will help us solve day-to-day challenges, further improving the safety of our staff and helping them work more effectively to continue to deliver world-class service.” Real-time situational awareness Across its transportation network, Sydney Trains will now have real-time situational awareness, and a more complete picture of critical events. This makes possible a wide range of security management functions, such as sending targeted alerts to specific individuals and groups. It enables control room operators to pinpoint the location of individuals needing help so they can initiate the most efficient and rapid emergency response. “This visionary deployment by Sydney Trains will have a significant impact on the safety and wellbeing of staff and thus will produce dividends with regards to customer service and satisfaction, and the potential for streamlined operations moving forward,” says Glenn Farrant, CEO, CriticalArc. “With staff safety a primary concern for all rail operators internationally, implementation of this technology by Sydney Trains represents a significant step forward for the sector and will be the blueprint for many implementations to follow.”
Round table discussion
What is a business, or an industry, but a collection of people and the results of their work? People make all the difference in the destiny of a business or industry. And the people involved in a business reflect the impact of demographic changes – and the passage of time. The security industry has been largely built by Baby Boomers, who are getting older and increasingly stepping aside to make way for younger folks. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is there a “new generation” of employees and managers entering the physical security marketplace, and what will be the impact?
The year ahead holds endless promise for the physical security industry, and much of that future will be determined by which technologies the industry embraces. The menu of possibilities is long – from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things to the cloud and much more – and each technology trend has the potential to transform the market in its own way. We tapped into the collective expertise of our Expert Panel Roundtable to answer this question: What technology trend will have the biggest impact on the security market in 2019?
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?