Office security systems
Core to Cloud, an innovative cybersecurity solutions provider that enables secure digital business in a world of growing threats, announced the recent appointment of Phil Howe as Chief Technology Officer. Phil Howe joined the business to drive forward several new technology initiatives, working closely with customers to ensure that their needs are met, but more importantly that they stay one step ahead of the cyber-criminals. Particularly in the current post-pandemic environment, where there ha...
Aryaka®, the front-runner in fully managed Cloud-First WAN and SASE solutions, announced that it has acquired Secucloud GmbH, a proven SASE platform provider, delivering network security from the cloud. The deal closed in late April 2021, and Secucloud is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aryaka. Based in Hamburg, Germany, Secucloud GmbH offers an innovative platform designed to provide an all-in-one, global, cloud-based firewall-as-a-service, secure web gateway with advanced threat protecti...
A new Code Handle digital PIN lock can be fitted to a standard interior door in less than half a minute. In this short space of time, security for private offices, stock rooms, staff toilets, equipment stores, consulting rooms, home offices, boardrooms and more can get a major security upgrade, with no wires, no keys and no need to run an access control system. Code Handle Code Handle is a locking handle with a built-in digital PIN keypad. It adds keyless electronic security to almost any int...
Actuate, the globally renowned provider of automation and intelligence software for smart security camera systems, has announced that it has closed its Series A financing of US$ 8 million to expand the capabilities of its computer vision technology and build on the company’s growing portfolio of customers. The funding round was led by Tribeca Venture Partners and joined by Scribble Ventures, OCA Ventures, and Context Ventures, with additional support from existing investors, including Bli...
Cylera, the foremost healthcare IoT (HIoT) cybersecurity, and threat intelligence company, has announced the addition of Core to Cloud to the company’s Global Channel Partner Program. Based in the U.K. Core to Cloud delivers innovative cybersecurity solutions that enable secure digital business in a world of growing threats. “With in-depth industry experience and a strong focus on healthcare, education, compliance and security, Core to Cloud creates bespoke solutions that effectivel...
SKIDATA, the globally renowned company in parking access and revenue management, has announced a new technology integration partnership with Openpath, an international company in touchless and modern access control, and workplace safety automation. SKIDATA – Openpath partnership Through this partnership, Openpath’s ground-breaking touchless and mobile access control technology will be integrated into SKIDATA’s parking access and revenue control equipment, in order to permit d...
Sepura launches SmartChat, a secure operational messaging solution that joins smartphone, tablet, and office-based staff with field officers equipped with TETRA terminals. SmartChat enables mission critical messages to be shared between users on a secure TETRA platform, enabling all members of the operational team to be kept informed and aware of developing intelligence. Crucially, SmartChat enables TETRA radio users to see and share text and image-based communications. It can be extended to multiple web browsers and smart devices with either iOS or Android-based operating systems, meaning data is shared across an entire operational team, not just those with a particular device. Supporting voice communications Using chat-based messaging to support voice communications means it is easier to share complex or hard to remember information such as an address or a specific location, a car registration, or a maintenance part. Messages are stored on the device and available for reference when required. Similarly, images can be shared and used for reference during operations; for instance, the image of a missing person sent to rescue teams; an image of a burst water pipe sent to maintenance teams, or an image of a missing part sent to the purchasing team to allow a repair to be completed. By using the secure TETRA network, SmartChat ensures crucial information is received by users even when the broadband coverage is poor – this is frequently the case in large buildings, underground locations, or remote spots. Unique applications environment This means additional resources can quickly be added to an operational team User groups can be quickly expanded to include any connected device with the SmartChat application downloaded. This means additional resources can quickly be added to an operational team, with a history of conversation to bring them up to speed. This feature supports operational teams such as maintenance teams in utilities or oil and gas plants when officers are added to an operation, or for regular operations ahead of a shift change. The application is the latest in Sepura’s portfolio of applications available via AppSPACE, a unique applications environment available on Sepura’s SC Series mobile and hand portable radios. Mission critical users Jon Cossins, Product Manager at Sepura said: “SmartChat was designed to improve overall situational awareness for mission critical users. For these users, their next action is often dependent on the information they have to hand. By sharing data as widely as possible, in a simple user interface, the application seamlessly joins smartphone, control room and TETRA radio users. This improves operational efficiency and supports staff safety.” Peter Hudson, Chief Technology Officer at Sepura added: “We are seeing an increase in the number of smartphone users in the commercial and mission critical environment, but these users are unable to share information with front line users of TETRA radios. This is as relevant in critical national infrastructure such as transport and utilities as it is in public safety. SmartChat is a powerful solution to support these organizations; using the benefits of a secure TETRA platform and ensuring that voice channels are kept free for emergency communications.”
FireEye, Inc., the intelligence-led security company, has announced the expansion of its Mandiant Advantage SaaS platform, now equipped with a powerful, multi-vendor XDR capability and also introduced its newest module – Mandiant Automated Defense. Mandiant Automated Defense Mandiant Automated Defense is the latest module available in the Mandiant Advantage platform, joining the Mandiant Threat Intelligence and Mandiant Security Validation modules. Organizations struggle to consistently, quickly, and accurately assess and investigate the multitude of alerts received by their security operations centers (SOC) daily. In February 2021 alone, Mandiant Automated Defense reduced more than 52 billion customer alerts, down to less than 700 prioritized investigations. Intelligent SaaS interface Mandiant Automated Defense increases its ability to scale its unique expertise and intelligence as software Formerly Respond Software’s virtual analyst product, Mandiant Automated Defense dramatically increases Mandiant's ability to scale its unique expertise and intelligence as software, delivered through an easy-to-deploy SaaS interface. “Skill shortages, an overwhelming number of alerts, and even misconfigured tools all contribute to the challenges faced by the modern SOC,” said Christopher (Chris) Key, Executive Vice President of Products, Mandiant Solutions, adding “Our customers have been asking us for technology that embeds Mandiant expertise and intelligence into their environments at scale – Mandiant Automated Defense is another of our products that does just that.” Enhanced cyber security Mandiant Automated Defense addresses the people, process, and technology challenges faced by cyber security defenders in the SOC. Automated Defense allows security analysts to triage alerts from the security stack at machine speed, scale, and consistency using data science and machine learning. This automated triage process is designed to enable security personnel to prioritize and focus on the most relevant threats, reducing time wasted on false positives. Intelligence-driven approach to security operations “Enterprises are truly changing the way they manage security operations,” said Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst and Fellow, Enterprise Strategy Group, adding “Through Respond Software, Mandiant has added an innovator in security operations that can help enable security teams better serve customers, increase productivity, and achieve better cyber security business outcomes. Mandiant Automated Defense can help customers truly work without boundaries – outside of their current tools and processes.” Mandiant Advantage is an intelligence-driven approach to security operations. Without a significant increase in human expertise, it is impossible for organizations to win the global war on cybercrime. Accessible and automated security solutions Mandiant Advantage productizes attacker expertise and threat intelligence capabilities into accessible, automated solutions that instantly provide the scale and capability that security teams so desperately need. Supporting more than 60 security technologies, cloud platforms and network management tools, the Mandiant Advantage SaaS platform works with best-of-breed, multi-vendor controls to deliver state-of-the-art XDR capabilities. The Mandiant Advantage platform now includes three modules: Mandiant Threat Intelligence Mandiant Security Validation (formerly Verodin) Mandiant Automated Defense (formerly Respond Software)
For dynamic businesses, an access and security system must be built to grow. The Incedo platform connects security software and hardware within a single, seamless system, enabling scaling up or down on demand. Now the new Incedo™ Business Plus system management option enables security personnel to control door access alongside third-party solutions for video surveillance, alarms and more — from a unified, intuitive interface. Incedo Business Plus gives facility managers, even more, control over their premises. One integrated software system simplifies building management across an organization and offers time & attendance or visitor management reports, no matter how large, small or complex. Simplifies security “Integrating multiple functions is a pressing challenge for large organizations and multinationals in particular,” says Kevin Hoare, Product Unit Director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. “We created Incedo Business Plus to help meet these challenges. It seamlessly connects not only access and door control, but also security functions such as alarms and CCTV. The powerful, intuitive Incedo Business Plus system manages door locking options from ASSA ABLOY’s award-winning range alongside third-party security solutions.” With Incedo Business Plus, reporting is faster and more responsive to a growing business’ needs. Joined-up, synchronized building management becomes a reality — in even the largest organization spread over multiple locations. People move around more safely and efficiently. Incedo Business Plus simplifies security for every business where change is a constant. API integrations Incedo system can incorporate wired and wireless locks, of all types Incedo Business Plus helps solve many challenges in future-proofing an organization’s security. API integrations will enable video surveillance and alarm systems that can be added alongside access and door entry — key priorities for integrated management, according to a survey of security professionals for the recent Wireless Access Control Report 2021. Integrating these functions saves employees’ time and reduces administration errors. Security teams no longer maintain multiple systems in parallel: Incedo Business Plus controls them all. An Incedo system can incorporate wired and wireless locks, of all types. Even hundreds of doors or thousands of users present no problem. “Business in the 2020s will not stand still, so there is no reason your security management should be static,” Kevin Hoare adds. Flexibility & Scalability New Incedo-enabled hardware from ASSA ABLOY and third-party providers will continue to extend the evolving Incedo ecosystem. Incedo’s modular, platform approach makes extending capability simpler. It guarantees flexibility and scalability in every direction, to meet security needs today and in the future. “Single- or multi-site businesses looking for genuinely future-proofed access and security management will find what they are looking for with Incedo Business Plus,” says Kevin Hoare. Incedo™ Business Plus embodies ASSA ABLOY’s vision to create a safer and more open world, keeping everyone on the move.
A security solutions developer, designer, and provider, Videcon, has launched their new Concept Pro ColourSmart camera range, providing clear full-color imagery 24 hours a day. The complete CCTV range combines Videcon’s Deep Learning technology and powerful software, to allow footage to always remain in color with clear and crisp imagery, day, or night. ColourSmart Features The ColourSmart cameras have a larger lens and image sensor which allows them to let in as much light as possible, software that provides a crisp and clear image, and warm white light which will activate if there isn’t sufficient ambient lighting to keep the image in color. Each camera is also equipped with Videcon’s innovative Deep Learning technology, which means that sensors focus only on events that matter and it can distinguish people and vehicles from other moving objects. Camera system for everyone Videcon Managing Director, Matt Rushall said, “We’re so excited to be launching our new Concept Pro ColourSmart range and we hope this is the start of our customers seeing their security in an entirely new way.” “Our team have been hard at work ensuring the cameras have the best color imagery possible, along with our Deep Learning software and its compatibility with other security systems to make it a security system that’s for everyone at all times.”
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced the general availability of WorkforceID Authentication solution, the latest addition to its cloud platform for creating a seamless, effortless experience for issuing, managing and using identity credentials in physical and digital workplaces. Workforce ID Authentication Workforce ID Authentication builds upon HID’s proven and widely deployed multi-factor authentication platform for consumer applications, including online and mobile banking. It joins a growing suite of employee ID badging, visitor management and other trusted workforce identity solutions. “A person’s identity has become the new security perimeter in a hybrid workplace that now extends from home to the office and everywhere in between,” said Julian Lovelock, Vice President for Global Business Segment, IAM, with HID Global. Multi-factor authentication addition WorkforceID Authentication solution enables organizations to extend a simple and secure login for every user Julian adds, “The addition of multi-factor authentication to the HID WorkforceID platform advances our vision of a unified and flexible approach to identity and access management for an organization’s employees, partners and contractors. This is the next step in providing a suite of applications that manage digital and physical identity credentials through one convenient cloud platform.” Pivotal in HID’s overall multi-factor authentication portfolio, the HID WorkforceID Authentication solution enables organizations to extend a streamlined, simple and secure login experience to every user and application, throughout the diverse and dynamic enterprise environment. Integration with Active Directory and cloud-based Azure AD It easily integrates with Microsoft’s on-premise Active Directory (AD) or cloud-based Azure AD. This platform is positioned within the environment to enable: Simplified deployment and administration: Easy integration with cloud-based, on-premise, or hybrid legacy applications, as well as existing enterprise technology, including Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for remote login. Multiple authentication factors: HID ActivID one time password tokens and security keys, smart cards, and the HID Approve mobile app that enables users to authenticate to applications and deny fraudulent login attempts via their phone. Standards-based security: ISO 27001 standards, SOC2-certified, and EU GDPR-compliant. Intuitive user experience: Featuring self-service tasks for setting up authentication methods. WorkforceID Digital Credential Manager The WorkforceID Authentication solution extends HID’s broader authentication ecosystem that includes its comprehensive credential offering and WorkforceID Digital Credential Manager, for easily managing workforce authenticators used for both physical and digital access. HID Global was recently recognized as the overall top challenger in the KuppingerCole Leadership Compass for Enterprise Authentication Solutions report and included as a renowned company in its market leadership category. Identity vetting and credentialing services The report noted that “HID Global has been a strong player in government and enterprise workforce IAM for years. The company’s inclusion of identity vetting and credentialing services is a valuable differentiating factor in their solution.”
Pepperl+Fuchs is Expanding its Product Portfolio for Ultrasonic Sensors in the Area of Factory Automation with the Safe USi-safety Ultrasonic Sensor System. A safe ultrasonic sensor system The innovative USi-safety ultrasonic sensor system is a modern and certified sensor technology that is used to safeguard hazard areas on cellphone machines such as robots, industrial trucks, machines, and plants according to EN ISO 13849-1 category 3 PL d. The USi-safety system protects people and objects from potential dangers and collisions. This ultrasonic sensor ensures the safety of personnel and takes its place in the range of electro-sensitive protective devices. Flexible sensors The only ultrasonic sensor system of its kind in the world is characterized by its flexibility and wide range of applications. Up to two small, freely positionable ultrasonic sensor units can be positioned, connected, and parameterized flexibly and geometrically regardless of the electronics. Functions of the sensors The safety function is provided with only one sensor unit, i.e., without redundancy. They can be integrated into confined spaces and reliably detect moving and stationary objects with any shape, color, or surface in an elliptical, three-dimensional sound field of up to two and a half meters. Dirt, temperature, airflow, and humidity have no impact on the function of the sensor. This makes it an excellent choice for almost all applications in the industry and outdoors. The sensor system is set up using convenient parameterization software. Each connected sensor unit comes with two short-circuit and cross-circuit-monitored OSSD safety outputs. A teach-in function for teaching in the complete detection area as a standard environment increases operational safety. This function suppresses vehicle contours that cause a disturbance, for example.
The global pandemic has triggered considerable innovation and change in the video surveillance sector. Last year, organizations around the globe embraced video surveillance technologies to manage social distancing, monitor occupancy levels in internal and external settings, and enhance their return-to-work processes. Forced to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations for a new post-COVID reality, companies were quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video surveillance systems. Whether that was utilizing motion sensing technologies to automatically close doors or switch on lighting in near-deserted office facilities. Or checking if people were wearing masks and adhering to distancing rules. Or keeping a watchful eye on streets and public spaces during mandated curfew hours. Beyond surveillance and monitoring use cases, organizations also took advantage of a raft of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to undertake a range of tasks. Everything from automating their building management and optimizing warehouse operations, to increasing manufacturing output and undertaking predictive maintenance. Behind the scenes, three key trends all contributed to the growing ubiquity of video surveillance observed in a variety of government, healthcare, corporate, retail, and industry settings. Video surveillance takes to the Cloud Last year the shift to digital working led organizations to rapidly embrace cloud-enabled services, including cloud-hosted Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) solutions that provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility. Alongside significant cost savings, these solutions make it easier for organizations to enhance their disaster recovery and manage their video surveillance estate in new and highly effective ways. Surveillance cameras with audio recording were used more than 200% by customers between 2016 and 2020 For example, in addition to enabling remote access and maintenance, today’s cloud-powered systems eliminate any need to invest in local storage technologies that all too often fail to keep pace with an organization’s growing data storage requirements. Indeed, data from our worldwide customer base survey reveals how in 2020 an impressive 63% of organizations had abandoned using any on-premises storage option and were instead only storing all their video surveillance recordings and data in the Cloud. A deeper review of the global stats shows that the average cloud recording retention period for this stored data was 28.2 days, with organizations in Asia topping the global average at 38 days – 33% higher than was observed in any other region. Improvements in bandwidth and scalability engendered by the Cloud have also helped boost the growing utilization of audio recordings in addition to visual image capture. Indeed, our research found the number of surveillance cameras with an audio recording facility used by customers jumped more than 200% between 2016 and 2020. Making sense of Big Data The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by the Cloud is stimulating more companies to connect a lot more video surveillance cameras to their networks. The top motivation for doing so is to generate live metrics and data that can be utilized to deliver enhanced business insights and operational intelligence. In recent years, a rich choice of video analytics solutions have been developed for a variety of industry verticals. The range of functionalities on offer is impressive and covers a variety of applications. Everything from making it easy to classify and track objects and behavior patterns in real-time, to undertaking anomaly detection, or generating predictions based on past and present events/activities. Data collected via today’s cloud connected cameras can now also be used to feed deep learning training and AI analytics, utilizing the unparalleled virtualized processing capacity of the Cloud to convert Big Data into usable information quickly. By integrating this information with data from other enterprise data capture systems, organizations are now able to gain a 360-degree view of their operations – in almost real-time. IT is now in the driving seat No longer the sole preserve of on-site security staff, the wider application and business use of video surveillance means that IT is increasingly taking the lead role where the management and control of these systems are concerned. IT is asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need Aside from the fact that IT has a vested interest in addressing the cybersecurity implications that come with attaching a growing range of IoT devices to the enterprise network, they’re also increasingly being asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need. As organizations expand their integration of video with other business applications, such as point of sale, access control, process control, and manufacturing systems, this trend is only set to accelerate. Looking to the future Right now, the video surveillance industry is at a key tipping point, as video systems become increasingly strategic for enabling the enterprise to boost productivity, stay compliant, and fulfill its obligations to protect employees and customers. As the technology’s contribution to enhanced data-driven decision-making and problem solving continues to increase, expect the adoption of IP connected video cameras to burgeon as organizations look to capture more data from their day-to-day business operations.
The transition to remote working has been a revelation for many traditional office staff, yet concerns over data security risks are rising. Mark Harper of HSM explains why businesses and their remote workers must remain vigilant when it comes to physical document security in homes. Pre-pandemic, home offices were often that neglected room in people’s homes. But now things are different. After the initial lockdown in 2020, 46.6% of UK workers did some work at home with 86% of those doing so because of the pandemic. Semi-Permanent workspaces Since then, many have found that over time, those semi-permanent workspaces have become slightly more permanent – with official hybrid working coming into effect for an assortment of businesses and their teams. The adoption of hybrid working can in fact be seen as one of the few positives to come from the pandemic, with less travel, more freedom and higher productivity top of the benefits list for businesses and their employees. The handling of sensitive documents, is a growing concern for office managers But those welcomed benefits don’t tell the whole story. The transition to remote working has undoubtedly impacted workplace security, with various touch points at risk. The handling of sensitive documents for example, is a growing concern for office managers. In simpler times, sensitive data was more or less contained in an office space, but with millions of home setups to now think about, how can businesses and their office managers control the issue of desk data? Physical document security As of January 2021, it’s said that one in three UK workers are based exclusively at home. That’s millions of individuals from a variety of sectors, all of which must continue in their efforts to remain data secure. With that, reports of cyber security fears are consistently making the news but that shouldn’t be the sole focus. There is also the underlying, but growing, issue of physical document security. The move to remote working hasn’t removed these physical forms of data – think hard drives, USBs and paper based documentation. A recent surge in demand for home printers for example, only exemplifies the use of physical documents and the potential security issues home offices are facing. Adding to that, research conducted in 2020 found that two out of three employees who printed documents at home admitted to binning those documents both in and outside of their house without shredding them. Data security concern Without the right equipment, policies and guidance, businesses are sure to be at risk Those findings present a huge data security concern, one that must be fixed immediately. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has since released guidance for those working from their bedrooms and dining tables. Designed to help overcome these challenges, the ‘security checklists’ and ‘top tips’ should be the first port of call for many. Yet throughout, the ICO make reference to ‘following your organization’s policies and guidance’ – highlighting that the onus isn’t solely on the individuals working from their makeshift offices. Office managers have a monumental task on their hands to ensure teams are well equipped within their home setups. Without the right equipment, policies and guidance, businesses are sure to be at risk. But it would be wrong to insinuate that unsecure desk data has only now become an issue for organizations. Modern office spaces Keeping clear desks has long been a battle for many office managers. In fact, clear desk policies are practiced in most modern office spaces, with it recognized as a key preventative to personal information being wrongly accessed and so falling foul of GDPR legislation. Throwing sensitive documents in the bin was never an option pre-pandemic However, the unsupervised aspect of home working has led to a potentially more lax approach to these policies, or in some cases, they can’t be followed at all. For those taking a more laid back approach, organization leaders must remind staff of their data security responsibilities and why clear desk policies have previously proven effective. Ultimately, throwing sensitive documents in the bin was never an option pre-pandemic and this must be carried through to home workspaces now. Securely destroy documents There are also concerns over the equipment people have access to at home. For example, without a reliable home shredding solution, data security suddenly becomes a tougher task. To add to that, several recommendations state that employees working from home should avoid throwing documents away by instead transporting them to the office for shredding once lockdown rules ease. While this is an option, it does pose further issues, with document security at risk of accidental loss or even theft throughout the transportation period, not to mention the time spent in storage. The best and most effective way to securely destroy documents is at the source, especially in environments where higher levels of personal data is regularly handled. Correct shredding equipment The recent findings on home office behavior represent a true security risk Only when home workers implement their own clear desk policies alongside the correct shredding equipment (at the correct security level), can both home office spaces and regular offices become data secure. Realistically, these solutions should, like the common home printer, become a staple in home office spaces moving forward. The likelihood is that many UK workers will remain in their home offices for the foreseeable future, only to emerge as hybrid workers post-pandemic. And while the current working environment is more ideal for some than others, the recent findings on home office behavior represent a true security risk to organizations. With this in mind, it’s now more key than ever for business leaders, their office managers and homeworkers to all step up and get a handle on home data security policies (as well as maintaining their standards back at the office) – starting with the implementation of clear desk policies. After all, a clear desk equals a clear mind.
If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organizations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points, and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient, and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realizing the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organizations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilizing so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilizing a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organization, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualization tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organizations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson soccer game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analyzing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organizational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
How’s this for a simple access control scenario? You walk up to a door, wave your hand in front of a button, the button lights up, and the door opens. That’s the simplified user experience that startup Openpath is promoting as it enters the crowded and mature market for physical access control. Openpath says a simple user experience provides the extra boost needed for mobile credentialing to gain momentum. In this case, it’s even simpler than using a card credential (no searching in a bag or purse for the card). And there’s no personal identification number (PIN) code to remember; no “intrusive” biometric element that can concern some users. James Segil, President and Co-Founder of Openpath, says the simplified process “uses fewer thought cycles.” Reliability of the system comes from Openpath’s SurePath triple-connect technology “We wanted to make mobile access control that people want to use and can use safely and with ease,” he says. “We wanted to make using a smart phone for access control easier and more reliable than using a keycard.” Simplified User Operation In the simplified scenario, the mobile credential resides on a smart phone that can remain tucked away in the user’s purse or pocket. The credential remains active without the user needing to open an app. The wave of the hand signals intent, which causes the button to light up, activate and the door is ready to open. Segil says the simplicity of operation has contributed to the system seeing an unheard-of 94% adoption rate among users. Reliability of the system comes from Openpath’s SurePath triple-connect technology. The smart phone credential is delivered using Bluetooth, WiFi or LTE (cellular) – whichever signal reaches the reader first enables the door to be opened. So even if a company’s WiFi is down or Bluetooth proves unreliable, there is still a third option. Openpath deploys “seamless” cloud integration and makes it easy for landlords and tenants to integrate Openpath with other systems Seamless Cloud Integration Segil is a serial entrepreneur who has had experiences as a frustrated user, dealing with many different offices, people and access control deployments over the years – subletting office space, changing PIN codes, dealing with 10 different offices using 10 different cards. Based on that experience, Openpath’s founders saw a need for a more user-centric approach to access control, and a chance to improve the office experience to be more aligned with employees’ experiences in their smart homes. Segil says he also saw “significant lethargy” among incumbent players in the access control space, and a market in which mobile and cloud technologies had still not taken hold. In addition to a simplified user experience built around mobile credentialing, Openpath deploys “seamless” cloud integration and makes it easy for landlords and tenants to integrate Openpath with other systems. The “elegant” readers, including a flush-mounted version, fit in well with high-end office environments. The company launched in May 2018. Openpath has been signing up national and regional channel partners all across the U.S. Openpath is focused on the commercial real estate market, where they have already seen significant adoptions, especially among mid-sized companies. Larger deployments as part of new construction are in the pipeline. National System Integration In the past six months since its launch, Openpath has been signing up national and regional channel partners all across the U.S. and now has a nationwide footprint and is able to service customers all over the U.S. They are not yet disclosing any specifics about the number of partners they have signed up and who they are. “I can share that we have a number of large national system integration and security brands on board as channel partners and many more regional and local system integrators,” says Segil. They are looking for additional integrator partners. “There is a cohort of folks out there who say ‘I get it,’ and I want to offer it to my customers,” says Segil. The cloud element of the system can provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR). Openpath’s system offers flexibility in terms of meeting each customer’s security needs. In addition to the “super convenient” scenario described above, the system can also be configured to be “super secure,” using two-factor authentication and other measures, says Segil. There are multiple “flavors” between the two extremes. It can also be integrated with elevators to enable the buttons on allowed floors. Integration With Existing Systems Cloud software simplifies operation for both tenants and landlords. The system is backwards-compatible to existing systems and can be used to retrofit and mobile-enable a legacy system, providing the benefits of mobile features and cloud operation to multiple sites. The software can interface with enterprise applications such as Active Directory, and an application programming interface (API) facilitates integration with other systems and building components. It operates with marketing automation platforms such as Flack and visitor management systems such as Envoy. The system is backwards-compatible, providing the benefits of mobile features and cloud operation to multiple sites Open standards make the system easy to install in new or existing buildings using RS485, or Cat 5 or Cat 6 wiring, whatever is in place. Retrofit installations can use existing panels, servers, software, etc., or they can be replaced. The Openpath panel is installed right next to an existing panel in a retrofit and preserves all legacy integrations of the previous system. Access Credentials Compatibility In its simplest configuration, the Openpath system consists of single or four-door panels wired using standard ports, Wiegand ports and REX ports, each connected to software in the cloud. Each panel works offline if the internet connection is down. Various key fobs, cards and other credentials are available in addition to mobile credentials. Openpath was one of the new exhibitors at last fall’s GSX show in Las Vegas, occupying a large-sized booth for a startup company. The “beautiful” hardware drew a lot of attention, says Segil. “The channel loves us, and we signed a lot of people,” he adds. “We were excited by the response.”
One factor aggravating concerns about workplace violence in corporate America is the easy availability of firearms. In many states, citizens, including employees, have the right to carry firearms onto a company’s property even though firearms are prohibited in the workplace. In effect, an employee prone to violence may have a firearm as near as their vehicle in the company parking lot. Currently, 23 states in the U.S. have so-called “parking lot storage” laws, which enable employees to store firearms in their vehicle’s trunk or glove compartment despite any corporate ban on weaponry. The laws have evolved as an expression of the Second Amendment “Right to Bear Arms” in the last decade or so. There is some variance in the laws from state to state, but they generally allow a citizen to carry a gun to and from work and keep it stored out of sight in their vehicle.Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual conference and trade show Employee Second Amendment Rights “The laws contend that employees should not have to give up their Second Amendment rights between home and the workplace and should be able to have a gun with them for protection from their front door at home to the front door of the workplace,” says Eddie Sorrells, Chief Operating Office/General Council of DSI Security Services. Sorrells will speak about the current state of the laws, how they came about, the nuances of state-to-state differences, and the possible impact on overall corporate security in a session titled “Employees Who Carry: Preventing Workplace Violence” at the upcoming GSX conference in Las Vegas, September 23-27. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual conference and trade show, attended by more than 22,000 security professionals from 100-plus countries. Sorrells’ session will be Sept. 24 from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Restrictions On Gun Visibility Employees may think the “right to carry” extends to the workplace, but the right only extends to the parking lot. The company still has the right to ban guns inside the premises. However, it is unlawful in some states for companies to search vehicles in parking lots, and companies who do so are violating the law, says Sorrells. Among the various state laws, some exempt public education institutions and other public venues. Depending on how the laws are written, there may be other exemptions, too. In Florida, for example, the law exempts any organizations that have explosives on site. With weapons on a company's property, a high-risk termination could potentially become violent Most laws require weapons to be stored securely out of sight. However, in Alabama, for example, it is legal to store validly permitted guns in full view during hunting season, Sorrells says. A resident of Alabama himself, Sorrells has been in the contract security business for 27 years, working mostly in multi-state operations. He has worked for 500 or so corporate security organizations throughout the country and is a practicing attorney who has studied issues of workplace violence and active shooters. “There is a political element to these laws, which were created with the goal of protecting Second Amendment rights,” says Sorrells, who says he sees arguments on both sides of the issue. However, political opinions aside, “if you’re a business owner, you have to contend with dozens of weapons on a company’s property,” he adds. “That could be an issue if a high-risk termination could potentially become violent. You have to assume there is a weapon in that person’s vehicle.” Sorrells' session will dive into the case law and illuminate some of the legal issues and how courts have addressed them GSX Education Program After the session, Sorrells hopes attendees will take away a good working knowledge of the state of the laws, how to comply with the laws, and issues such as posting of signs. The session will dive into the case law and illuminate some of the legal issues and how courts have addressed them. The timely session is an example of the valuable information attendees can gain by attending GSX. Sorrells has been attending the yearly ASIS International Conference and Exhibits for more than 20 years, at least since the mid-1990s. As the pre-eminent security organization around the world, ASIS International provides unrivalled educational and networking opportunities at the yearly conference, he says. “There is a vast amount of networking and educational offerings on a wide variety of topics, including technology, legal issues, risk management, workplace violence, consulting, and anything under the sun,” says Sorrells. The newly branded GSX education program is led by subject matter experts from ASIS International, InfraGard (a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation), and ISSA (Information Systems Security Association). Sessions will deliver valuable, actionable takeaways to help attendees shape their security strategies. There will also be an exhibition of 550-plus suppliers and manufacturers highlighting the latest security solutions.
Boon Edam Inc., a front-runner in security entrances and architectural revolving doors, announced that the Arta’a Arts Center in Aalter, Belgium has installed a Crystal TQ revolving door, bringing the Arts Center into full compliance with European safety requirements. The all-glass door also enhances the environment by creating a comfortable entryway full of natural light. Constructed in 2020, the Arta’a Arts Center houses numerous facilities, including the Academy for Music, Literature and Dance; the Academy for Visual Arts; the municipal library; a documentation center; and the culture and tourism unit. In addition to these public areas, there are residential apartments above the Center that are also accessed by the building’s main entry. In coordination with Basil Architecture, Boon Edam took on the challenge of designing an entrance solution that would be safe and secure while also complimenting the building’s beautiful architecture. Designing a multi-use building The Arts Center building is six stories tall, with two of the stories located underground level. The residential apartments are located on stories 2-4, and the facilities that comprise the Arts Center are located on the first floor, and the two underground floors. The Basil Architecture team was challenged to incorporate natural light into the two underground floors while also buffering the sound of a full rehearsing orchestra in the evening for those living in the upstairs apartments. The addition of the Crystal TQ door at the entrance also lent a hand in flooding the building with natural light To address the lighting issue, the architects strategically placed large glass areas, or “light wells” in areas that would shine down onto the underground floors. They also incorporated a bright and unique yellow color into the Center to give the impression of more light in the building. The addition of the Crystal TQ all-glass revolving door at the entrance also lent a hand in flooding the building with natural light. The Crystal TQ revolving door is constructed from glass with only the most minimal stainless-steel frame and capping. Because the Crystal TQ is the most transparent revolving door available, it makes an excellent addition to any building facade. The door is available in 3- or 4-wing configurations and is easy for the general public to push through. Requirements for the building’s main entrance When considering the type of door to incorporate into the Arts Center entrance, architects had several requirements: The capability of handling the large flow of residents and visitors, especially during peak times Easy to use for young and old The ability to lock the door down after-hours, while still allowing entry to apartment residents An open, bright, and elegant design to match the building interior The Crystal TQ revolving door checked all these boxes and more.
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimizing their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimizing the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
Midway Car Rental, the privately-owned car rental company in Southern California, caters to both an exclusive and expansive clientele, including VIPs, high-end hotels, and replacement vendors like dealerships and body shops. The company currently owns and operates 15 locations and has aggressive plans for expansion, with 6 or 7 more sites planned for this calendar year. Challenges faced With a portfolio that includes Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Jaguars, Midway can have up to a million dollars of assets parked on any of its lots. Some of the company’s newest locations lack secure perimeter fencing. Sean Perez, Midway’s General Manager, says, “We needed to protect our vehicles, but even more importantly, we had to ensure the safety of our employees and clients.” The problem became acute when Midway opened a new location to provide loaner and replacement vehicles for an adjacent dealership partner. Prior to Midway’s arrival, the lot had been populated by vagrants and the homeless who would sleep in and around the cars parked there. “When we took over the property, we needed to provide a safe and secure environment where we could conduct business,” Perez explains. “There were issues with vandalism and graffiti. Some of the displaced homeless would get aggressive. We needed a proactive solution – a way to stop these incidents from happening rather than trying to prosecute the individuals after the damage was done.” Expansion opportunities Traditionally, Midway’s properties have been less exposed, with electronically secure gates or fences that restrict access. However, as Midway’s expansion plans include growing alignment with business partners like dealerships, many future sites will likely face similar security challenges. To address this situation, the company sought: A scalable system that could grow incrementally with Midway’s expansion Flexible technology that could be moved to new sites with minimal effort A technology partner capable of servicing and supporting a long-term solution The ability to outsource monitoring services in the near future “I tend to be conservative,” says Perez. “I wanted to start off slow and then, when comfortable that we’d found both the right partner and technology, have the ability to really scale up.” Solution recommended Midway Car Rental deployed ROSA units, Responsive Observation Security Agents, manufactured by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). “I have to tell you, I was a bit skeptical at first about these ROSA units,” says Perez. “You can stick an armed guard out there, but the idea that a technology device could provide both consistent monitoring and serve as a deterrent system seemed like a stretch. However, our two ROSAs are really helping us protect our assets. In very short order, our problem decreased and our situation has improved dramatically.” AI-based ROSA solution ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes. Its AI-driven security systems include human and vehicle detection, license plate recognition, responsive digital signage and audio messaging, and complete integration with RAD’s software suite notification and response library. Two-way communication is optimized for cellular, including live video from ROSA’s dual high-resolution, full-color, always-on cameras. “The folks from RAD sent out an engineer to help us determine where to mount the ROSA units by identifying areas on our site that are most exposed to potential vandalism or other threats,” says Perez. The devices are highly visible, featuring scrolling LED text, colorful neon ribbons, and two video cameras. Automated detection and response ROSA may be programmed to display welcome messages or marketing messages during business hours, along with a reminder to visitors that the property is under surveillance. When it detects the motion of humans or vehicles on the lot, it sends an alert to Perez and his team along with an associated video clip, keeping them well informed of activity happening in real-time. During off-hours, ROSA's automated response kicks in. Its friendly daytime messaging is replaced with a more stern warning to trespassers. Upon detecting a human or moving vehicle, ROSA responds with flashing red lights and a visual warning to vacate the property immediately. If ROSA continues to detect a presence, more lights, sirens, and a pre-recorded audio message add a sense of urgency. Monitoring personnel, who have been alerted of the event and have access to live video, can also issue pointed commands over ROSA's loudspeaker. Ultimately, if the police must be summoned, the encounter has been thoroughly documented and recorded. Effective security Perez describes ROSA's effectiveness as a deterrent. "I've watched when people encounter the system. Initially, their reaction is one of shock and awe. When the unit goes off with its lights flashing and they hear those verbal commands, they’re terrified. They look like they've seen a ghost. Literally, in less than ten days after we put those things out, the word had spread to stay away. The vagrants were gone. It was like night and day." Independent monitoring Currently, Midway's management has chosen to monitor the system themselves. Perez explains, "Initially, I was getting alerts somewhat often, but they quickly tapered off. At this point, they're infrequent. With just these two units in place, plus two more scheduled to go up in Newport Beach in the coming weeks, we can handle the monitoring independently.” “Within the next year or two, as we open new locations and add more units, we'll take advantage of RAD's monitoring services. We had that in mind when we went this route – that with our continued growth, we would eventually leverage that option." Customer-friendly solution The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly "The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly," adds Perez. "I've used other systems that are really cumbersome. The RAD SOC dashboard is nothing like that. The ease-of-use is amazing." So is the deployment process. As ROSA requires nothing more than the power to operate, it is truly plugged and play. "We had them installed and received training all within a few hours on one day," says Perez. "We haven't run into any issues, but if we do, the relationship we've built with the RAD team is so good that I can call on them at any time for assistance. They are very, very customer-centric." Evaluating ROI Midway Car Rental quantifies the value ROSA delivers in several ways, including monetarily, a reduction in crime, and improved peace of mind. Perez elaborates, "Thanks to the ROSA units, we've addressed all sorts of issues. Damage to vehicles, graffiti on the exterior of the building, the homeless tampering with our electrical outlets to charge their phones, trash left around the property – that’s all gone since we put the ROSAs in. There are also important intangibles that you really can't put a price tag on, like an improvement in employee well-being and productivity because our staff now feels safe at work." Easy installation RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems The system's scalability and flexibility ensure that Midway's investment will continue to pay dividends. Perez says, "We're growing so fast, we're trying to put flagpoles in the markets where we identify a need, but that doesn't mean we're locking ourselves into long-term leases." "Down the road, if we decide to move locations, our ROSAs move with us. We heavily factored their ability to easily install, uninstall, and re-install when deciding to go with this technology." Consistent with Midway's plans, RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems. As new Midway locations open and ROSA units are installed, management and monitoring of all devices can occur through one login to the centralized RAD SOC dashboard. Alert notifications include the location of the activated unit. RAD’s additional services In addition to ROSA, RAD offers a suite of other products that share the same platform for delivering automated remote services, including some that are more appropriate for indoor use. Should Midway encounter new security challenges in the future, they can expand their system with other RAD devices. "For now, ROSA is what fits our needs best, but I've seen some of those other units, and they look pretty cool," says Perez. ROSA subscription Midway uses the ROSA units through RAD's subscription model. The company pays low monthly tuition that covers unlimited use of the devices, software and software updates, maintenance, and technical support. Their out-of-pocket equals a small fraction of what hiring a security guard would cost. When asked whether Perez recommends the system to others, his answer is concise. "It's a no-brainer!" he laughs. "Knock-on-wood, we've been near without incident for the four months since the ROSAs went up. I attribute that to the units' effectiveness."
Optilan, the security and communications company for the energy, infrastructure, pipeline, and rail sectors, has been appointed by Limak to deliver communications and security systems on the Jubail - Riyadh Water Transmission System in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Optilan has been selected by Limak, the Principal Contractor for the state-run Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), which owns the water transmission system. Upon completion, it will be one of the largest water transmission systems in the world. Leak detection systems Optilan will support Limak in delivering this project by providing the necessary security and communications systems, which will ensure the safe and efficient operation of the water system. Optilan will define the basic layout, design and construction requirements Optilan will define the basic layout, design and construction requirements and guarantee performance, by providing key leak detection systems so that the two 88” pipes will be able to transport 1.2 million m³ of potable water per day, once implemented. Optilan will leverage its expertise in Critical National Infrastructure and precisely list the required key equipment, including the main data, and the necessary functions for the 412 km long twin pipeline. Leak detection systems Optilan will also provide Limak with a further range of services including: Design, documentation Project management Procurement Building cabinets LAN and WAN networks FAT Leak detection systems Third-party intrusion detection Testing and commissioning at site This is the latest in a series of international project wins for Optilan This is the latest in a series of international project wins for Optilan as it gears up for another year of strategic growth. In the last year, Optilan, which is backed by private equity firm Bluewater, has secured contracts within critical infrastructure, rail, and renewables sectors that span from the UK, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Critical infrastructure projects Optilan has been appointed by Limak on the basis of its proven expertise and its successful track record of delivering high profile critical infrastructure projects, globally. Bill Bayliss, CEO of Optilan, says: “We’re delighted to announce we’ll be supporting Limak on the state-owned Jubail - Riyadh Water Transmission System. As we ramp up for another year of growth, we’re committed to demonstrating our communications security Critical National Infrastructure expertise globally.” “We’re proud that our strong success record led Limak to appoint Optilan for, what will be, one of the world’s largest water systems. With this project in our portfolio of work, we’re on track to successfully achieve our key strategic aims, and continue on with our global expansion.”
Busy offices need convenient interior security for any private spaces. Not everyone should be reading the important memo on the CEO’s desk. But nobody wants to be left looking after the keys. At one co-working space in Barcelona, Code Handle® Door locks solve the problem. Augusta 29 supplies flexible office rentals to small companies and those without a permanent HQ, as well as services including mail handling, virtual assistants, and meeting room bookings. Part of their remit is to control access everywhere in a secure and efficient way, separating private from “public” areas around the workspace. Managers sought a keyless system; a secure, wire-free digital alternative to keys and access smartcards that would help them stand out in Spain’s booming co-working sector. Any solution for private offices and meeting rooms should enable them to achieve this as simply as possible without having to hand out and track many mechanical keys, as they had done in the past. No more lost keys Code Handle® Door locks enable Augusta 29 to offer their tenants simple, keyless locking. Clients gain convenient access to their rented offices via individual 4- to 6-digit PINs. With Code Handle’s optional auto-locking feature enabled, their offices are securely locked as soon as the door closes. There is no need for Augusta 29 staff— or anyone else— to manage physical keys, or for any wires or access control system. Administrators issue up to 9 different user PINs per lock, which they can cancel or change anytime. Keys are no longer lost or unreturned. Everything is digital. Easy to configure and program The main advantage for us is that users can go to the office with no keys, as it provides enough security" The project ran in two phases. After a successful 2015 installation of 13 Code Handle locks, managers rolled out a further 27 in 2020. Meeting rooms are fitted with Code Handle locks, making them more private. “The main advantage for us is that users can go to the office with no keys, as it provides enough security for our needs,” says Augusta 29’s CEO, Miguel Ángel Villota Mocho. Installation was straightforward. Retrofitting a Code Handle to almost any interior door requires two screws: the existing cylinder remains, with just a change of handle. “Code Handle locks are easy to configure and program,” he adds. Unlike push-button locks, Code Handle looks good, too: brushed steel and chrome styling offers a product design that “fits perfectly with the types of doors we have and the overall design of the business center,” says Villota Mocho. With Code Handle Door, Augusta 29 retains the premium feel to its office interior.
Madrid’s South Bus Station is the second-largest long-distance bus station in Europe. It occupies over 350,000 square feet with 65 docks in operation, 300 garage spaces, retail businesses and services, ticket sales, and offices. The building is integrated into the Méndez Álvaro Transportation Interchange, connecting to the network of subways and nearby RENFE trains. It is owned by Madrid Town Hall and for the past 17 years has been managed by Avanza, an ADO company. "Herta facial recognition helps us prevent theft, detected the author when entering the Station, thus preventing crime," says Miguel Ángel Gallego, Security Manager. Incident management Operating 22 hours a day, 365 days a year while handling 20 million people, it is impossible to have no incidents occur. Thus, the security team’s objective was to constantly gather visual evidence of everything happening at the station to identify individuals involved in incidents. The scenario had 3 main challenges: entrances with high backlighting crowded space and multiple cameras to analyze. IP video surveillance system A new control centre and emergency evacuation facilities were created, and docking areas were closed off A makeover of the station began in 2014 and security systems were updated. A new control centre and emergency evacuation facilities were created, and docking areas were closed off to enhance the safety of travellers boarding the buses. As part of these improvements, Segur Group suggested migration in phases to an IP video surveillance system – and the use of cameras from Axis Communications – for the deployment of a facial recognition system running BioSurveillance NEXT software from Herta, specially designed to immediately identify subjects in a multitude of environments and while in motion. The station’s Security Department works in conjunction with state Security Authorities and also relies on the consulting and systems integration services of Segur Group. After discussion with the Director of Security, the group suggested the installation of Herta facial recognition Software (BioSurveillance NEXT) analysing simultaneously nine IP cameras from Axis Communications, which adapt to scenarios with backlight. Fire prevention systems The building features a closed-circuit television system consisting of over 100 fixed cameras As a result of these improvements, the security of the station and its users has increased considerably. The number of incidents have been reduced from five per day to just one per month. In addition, they have streamlined collaboration with Security Authorities and are able to provide them with the information and images needed to complete investigations generated by incidents at the station. Madrid Bus Station South is the busiest bus station in Spain, serving 1,500 domestic destinations and another 500 throughout Europe and Morocco. It is an environment with a massive influx of people that during Holy Week in 2018 alone received more than 40,000 passengers and 1,500 vehicles of all types. The building features a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system consisting of over 100 fixed cameras. In addition, the facility relies on anti-intrusion and fire prevention systems that, along with surveillance services, serve to protect the infrastructure. In addition to relying on personnel who interact among the workers at the station, the facility also receives the support of local and national police. Facial recognition system As a result of the cameras’ image quality due to WDR, the facial recognition system responds precisely With unique capabilities, such as delivering 60 fps, corridor view (9:16), and true color, security personnel have managed to overcome many of the difficulties they had encountered with other systems. “When I joined the security department 9 years ago, we had 5 incidents per day. This year, we have only had 9 incidents in 7 months. We can say it has helped us a lot,” says Miguel Ángel Gallego, Security Manager. As a result of the cameras’ image quality due to Wide Dynamic Range, the facial recognition system responds precisely even with partial concealment of a face, changing facial expressions, and moderate rotation. Currently, the accuracy level is greater than 99%. The integration of a facial recognition system, collaboration with state Security Authorities and the sharing of database information have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of incidents and an improvement in the overall level of security.
Round table discussion
During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?
When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a world of uncertainty unfolded for those doing business in the UK and the EU. The referendum was passed in July 2016. Including subsequent delays, the separation was completed after four years in January 2020, with a transition period ending December 2020. Even with the deadlines past, there are still pockets of uncertainty stemming from the separation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How has Brexit affected the security industry?
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?
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