Physical Security Information Management (PSIM)
Business owners are being urged to ensure that their vacant properties are as safe and secure as possible to protect them from harm during the latest COVID-19 induced lockdown. The warning comes from globally renowned security barrier experts at Hardstaff Barriers, who specialize in protecting premises against squatters, thieves, arsonists and fly-tippers. On January 4, 2021 the UK Government urged people, once again, not to travel to their places of work and to work from home (WFH) if it is po...
Sage Integration, a globally renowned security integration provider, which serves enterprise Fortune 100 companies and clients, announced that the company has opened a new office to support a growing list of clients, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex region of the US state of Texas. New Dallas office The new office space, located in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, provides the office and inventory storage space to rapidly deliver Sage Integration’s client-centric approach to service and...
Videx Security has appointed a new National Sales Manager following the departure of Neil Thomas. James Gray, who has been with the company for over a decade, becomes the firm’s National Sales Manager after Neil left the company following a 20-year career at Videx. Neil has moved out of the access control industry, relocating to Cyprus. In his role as National Sales Manager, James is responsible for maintaining and growing Videx’s sales pipeline across the UK. He will manage and ove...
The Wave XS is a smart, fast, and reliable access control solution with a touchless button that permits easy and clean operation for a large number of activator devices. Upgrading to touchless access control allows for hands-free entry, eliminating the need to make contact with common touchpoints upon entry and creating a more hygienic environment for everyone. Wave XS reader technology offers 100% touch-free automated access control. Depending on the configuration, the Wave XS reader’s c...
Tyco, the security products brand of Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart and sustainable building solutions, has announced its secondary sponsorship of the SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad team for the 2021 British Superbikes season. Support for TAS Racing “We are delighted to have the opportunity to renew our support for TAS Racing who run the SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad team,” said Gordon Morrison, GB Sales Director for the Johnson Controls’ Tyco access control and video...
MSA Safety Incorporated announced it has acquired U.K.-based Bristol Uniforms in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $60 million. The acquisition strengthens MSA's position as a front-runner in fire service PPE products while providing an avenue to expand its business in the U.K. and key European markets. Headquartered in Bristol, U.K., Bristol Uniforms is a foremost innovator and provider of protective apparel to the fire and rescue services sector, with annual revenue of approxima...
Monitronics International, Inc. and its subsidiaries doing business as Brinks Home Security has announced that it has reached an agreement on a new long-term contract with its major Authorized Dealer, Skyline Security (‘Skyline’), which extends their partnership for another five years. The new agreement is expected to improve the Brinks Home Security’s overall profitability through a reduction in the up-front cost to acquire accounts while providing Skyline with an increased share of long-term revenues. Strategic partnership with Skyline “We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Skyline,” said William Niles, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brinks Home Security, adding “With an unwavering commitment to quality and customer service, Skyline and its leaders understand and support our mission of providing the best customer experience in the smart home security industry.” William adds, “I look forward to working with Skyline CEO, Edwin Arroyave, and his team to build upon the outstanding foundation and trust we have established between these two terrific organizations. Together we are stronger.” Smart home security services firm Skyline Security has one of the largest door-to-door sales organizations in the smart home security industry With a nationwide footprint, Skyline Security has one of the largest door-to-door sales organizations in the smart home security industry. “Edwin Arroyave, Stewart Powell, and the entire Skyline team are the best around, and I appreciate the trust they’ve placed in us,” said Wade Gibson, Senior Vice President of Network Sales, Brinks Home Security, adding “Together, we are building America’s best dealer program and we look forward to a meaningful, industry-leading collaboration.” Creating mutually beneficial partnerships The agreement is part of Brinks Home Security’s ongoing strategic efforts to transform the dealer model by creating mutually beneficial partnerships that improve Brinks’ profitability, while also providing dealers with more predictable long-term cash flows. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished as partners over the last few years, and I look forward to leveraging those efforts to provide the best customer experience in the industry,” said Edwin Arroyave, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Skyline Security, adding “Serving others and protecting people is why I started this business and I believe the security and peace of mind we provide our customers has never been more valuable.”
News of the UK’s largest cash counterfeit scam has focused fresh attention on the vital importance of stepping up investment in effective security devices to protect banknotes, says a global trade body. According to the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), news that three men have received jail sentences for their part in printing fake banknotes worth millions of pounds, adds to concerns about sophisticated criminals looking to defraud people and cash in on advancements in specialist printing techniques. Counterfeit money Counterfeiting is a multibillion-dollar global problem and this latest development, says the IHMA, shows that banknotes continue to be under threat even, perhaps more so, during the pandemic. Specifically, counterfeiters are looking to take advantage to print and distribute fake banknotes, spurred on by the prospect of pumping millions of pounds of counterfeit money into the UK economy. It’s likely that the impact of counterfeit money would have been felt by unsuspecting members of the public across the UK, adds the IHMA. Holograms Holograms play a crucial role in issuing authorities’ strategies to tackle counterfeiting activityHolograms have featured successfully on banknotes for decades and according to an industry report continue to play a crucial role in issuing authorities’ strategies to tackle counterfeiting activity. The annual global volume of banknotes produced is in excess of 125 billion, so the reward for hologram producers capable of providing the technology to overcome the technical challenges is potentially highly lucrative. Cash counterfeiting scam Dr. Paul Dunn, Chairman, IHMA, says the cash counterfeiting scam has put the effective protection of banknotes into sharp focus. He said “Holography is an effective weapon in the battle to thwart counterfeiters, continually evolving as an effective first line of defense feature for modern banknotes. The new generation of polymer notes entering into global circulation are examples of this evolution and illustrate some of the best and most technically innovative holograms on banknotes, which combine with other features to deliver value-added solutions.” “So, even as questions are being asked about the future of cash in society, there will always be a central role for banknotes and the need for secure, cost-effective features that the public recognize, and trust remains paramount.” Security feature The success of holograms for both banknotes has been down to their role as a level one security feature that’s instantly recognizable, the technology remains to the fore as part of an array of overt features. These make it easy for not only the general public but also cashiers and those operating cash tills in stores, to recognize whether a banknote is bonafide. Increasing adoption of holography on banknotes reinforces the hologram’s position as a pre-eminent security feature in the global anti-counterfeiting fight. The use of sophisticated anti-counterfeiting features means that the banknotes are more secure because they include a larger area for holograms to be featured, New Zealand was among the countries that reported a fall in counterfeiting after it introduced new hologram banknotes.
Technological Innovations Group (TIG), the technology sales agency in the EMEA region offering integrated automation and control solutions for smart spaces, is pleased to announce that it is now able to offer Power Distribution Units (PDU) from GUDE that integrate with Crestron Home systems. This means users can now remotely control and monitor smart space devices in residential settings. As an official partner of Crestron, GUDE has developed and now offers drivers that allow their IP power strips to be integrated into Crestron Home, an advanced operating system for managing smart home systems. Remote power switch GUDE has worked with certified Crestron Master programmers at Ultamation Inc to develop the Crestron Home compatible drivers for their PDUs, which offer seamless and simple controls to manage one or multiple rooms, remotely or on the premises. They can also easily see the current status of the connected devices, receive automatic alerts in case of irregularities In practice this means that the owner of a remote power switch from GUDE can use Crestron Home on their mobile device in order to switch on, switch off or reboot devices such as media players, satellite boxes or routers. They can also easily see the current status of the connected devices, receive automatic alerts in case of irregularities and check and control their energy consumption. Energy saving strategies Once in operation, the advantages of Crestron Home in conjunction with a GUDE remote power switch are multiple, including fail-safe power cycling of connected devices that helps applications to get back on their feet when they have hung up. This is either automatically via watchdog monitoring or by remote access via Crestron Home. Additionally, it's possible to add sensors to the PDU to monitor temperature, humidity and air pressure. This allows critical conditions to be avoided in advance, through preventive measures. Integrated energy meters in the IP power switches also allow for precise measurement of power consumption and enable energy saving strategies to be included in the integration.
Sectigo, a globally renowned company in digital identity management and web security solutions, has announced the launch of its new Secure Partner Program, furthering Sectigo’s commitment to the company’s base of more than 1,200 partners worldwide. Partners in the program gain myriad benefits, including access to the new Sectigo Connect Partner Portal, advancing their ability to build new capabilities, deliver more value to customers, drive higher profits, and accelerate growth in today’s dynamic cyber security market. Secure Partner Program In the new Secure Partner Program, partners are tiered based on engagement level In the new Secure Partner Program, partners are tiered based on engagement level, so that organizations’ tier within the program aligns with their own business goals. All partners registered in the new program also receive access to advanced training and accreditation programs to help them improve their sales and support effectiveness. Sectigo has added financial incentives, such as a new partner pricing model and dedicated Marketing Development Funds (MDF), to the new program. Accredited partners who grow their sales with Sectigo are rewarded with more incentives for their business and employees. “Partners play a crucial role in Sectigo's growth and success. The new Secure Partner Program enables partners to grow with us and to build a rewarding business around our suite of industry-leading web security products. We've designed our program to enable success and provide the opportunity for better profitability,” said Michael Fowler, President of Channel Partners, Sectigo. Sectigo Connect Partner Portal Timed with its Secure Partner Program's debut, the company has introduced the Sectigo Connect Partner Portal. The easy-to-use platform provides quick, direct access to essential tools and resources that enable partners to engage with Sectigo to successfully introduce new Sectigo products to their customers. Central to the Secure Partner Program, the portal provides access to: Marketing Development Funds (MDF) to support the growth of the Sectigo brand, demand generation, training and other relevant activities. Available to certain tiers of partners. Partner Resource Center, a self-serve repository of sales collateral, technical product documents, marketing tools and guides. Sectigo University, with 70+ training courses for earning sales and technical accreditations. Webinars & events hosted by Sectigo experts, exclusively available to Secure Partners. Program onboarding training to guide partners through the first 90 days, ensuring success. Countering rise in cyber-attacks in COVID-19 period Our new Secure Partner Program aims to tackle the obstacles in the world of web security" The COVID-19 global pandemic and increasing number of cyber-attacks has led to a substantial increase in web security issues for our partners’ customers,” said Michele Campbell, Vice President of Global Channel Programs, Sectigo. Michele adds, “Our new Secure Partner Program aims to tackle the obstacles in the world of web security while helping our partners expand their portfolio beyond the CA market and increase their average deal size. Partners can unlock their full potential with Sectigo and the Secure Partner Program benefits when they include Sectigo’s Web Security Platform solutions in their portfolio.” Sectigo University Easily accessed through the Connect Partner Portal, the Sectigo University online learning and enablement platform for Sectigo Secure Partners enables partners to gain new cyber security expertise, learn about Sectigo’s digital identity and website security products, build new capabilities, deliver greater customer value, and accelerate growth. Available on-demand 24/7 to partners worldwide, the platform offers role-based curricula derived from 70 training courses for sales and technical individuals, delivered through interactive learning modules, with testing. Sectigo provides partners with automated tracking of each student’s progress as they work toward accreditation. Sectigo Secure Sales and Technical Accreditations “The free training within Sectigo University provides pathways for partners to earn their Sectigo Secure Sales and Technical Accreditations. By achieving an accreditation, Secure Partners will maximize their investment in Sectigo solutions by standing out as a true web security expert,” added Michael Fowler.
“While it has certainly been a tough year for in-person events, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) sees the value that the Electronic Security Expo (ESX) delivers each year to the pro-installed electronic security and life safety industry,” says ESA President, Jamie Vos. “As a previous co-owner of ESX, ESA has now acquired full ownership of the industry’s only national tradeshow developed by and for the pro-installed community. ESX is a place where you can feel the heartbeat of the industry and there’s never been a more appropriate driver of this than ESA.” Delivering industry experience ESA is committed to continuing to deliver an annual industry experience, where teams from across the nation can roll up their sleeves, learn more, share more, and interact more. Dealers, integrators, and monitoring professionals will have access to quality educational programming, driven by peers who will share real-world advice. Industry vendors can still expect a targeted expo floor, where quality conversations that focus on merchandising, installation, and profit margins can be had with decision-makers and influencers. Authority comments “There are a lot of passionate security professionals who rely on the content shared at ESX to develop their business strategies,” says ESX Chairman, George De Marco. “We are excited to see ESA’s plans unfold as it takes the show to the next level.” Non-profit association As a large and longest non-profit association serving the pro-installed channel, ESA will continue to use profits from ESX to fund legislative efforts, educational programming, and more.
HENSOLDT UK are pleased to announce the launch of SPEXER 600 multi-mission, X-Band ground-based surveillance radar utilizing SharpEye solid-state transceiver technology. Building upon the excellent pedigree of well-established HENSOLDT products and technologies, SPEXER 600 complements the SPEXER family of Active Electronically Scanned Array or AESA radars, offering a cost-effective and truly crew portable field deployable solution. Design and function Designed to meet user requirements to detect multiple threats in the modern battlefield or security environment, it offers a number of modes allowing multiple functions to be carried out by a single radar sensor. The built-in tracker reduces the need for additional electronic units, making it a lightweight, crew portable unit that can be set up in a few minutes. In fixed installations, the low weight allows it to be installed without any specialist masts or structures. Controlled either locally or remotely from a command center, SPEXER 600 can be easily networked with other sensors. Authority comments “SPEXER 600 from HENSOLDT UK is the solution for today’s complex operational needs on the battlefield, or in securing the nation's critical infrastructure against multiple threats,” stated Adrian Pilbeam, Head of Sales, Ground and Maritime Surveillance Radar.
Like most industries, the fields of security, access, and safety have been transformed by technology, with AI-driven automation presenting a clear opportunity for players seeking growth and leadership when it comes to innovation. In this respect, these markets know exactly what they want. They require solutions that accurately (without false or negative positives) classify and track people and/or vehicles as well as the precise location and interactions between those objects. They want to have access to accurate data generated by best-of-class solutions irrespective of the sensor modality. And, they need to be able to easily deploy such solutions, at the lowest capex and opex, with the knowledge that they can be integrated with preferred VMSs and PSIMs, be highly reliable, have low install and maintenance overheads and be well supported. With these needs in mind, camera and computer vision technology providers, solutions providers, and systems integrators are forging ahead and have created exemplary ecosystems with established partnerships helping to accelerate adoption. At the heart of this are AI and applications of Convolutional neural networks (CNN), an architecture often used in computer vision deep learning algorithms, which are accomplishing tasks that were extremely difficult with traditional software. But what about 3D sensing technologies and perception? The security, safety, and access market have an additional crucial need: they must mitigate risk and make investments that deliver for the long-term. This means that if a systems integrator invests in a 3D sensing data perception platform today, it will support their choice of sensors, perception strategies, applications, and use cases over time without having to constantly reinvest in alternative computer hardware and perception software each time they adopt new technology or systems. This begs the question - if the security industry knows what it needs, why is it yet to fully embrace 3D sensing modalities? Perception strategy Intelligent perception strategies are yet to evolve which sees designers lock everything down at the design phaseWell, one problem facing security, safety, and access solutions providers, systems integrators, and end-users when deploying first-generation 3D sensing-based solutions is the current approach. Today, intelligent perception strategies have yet to evolve beyond the status quo which sees designers lock everything down at the design phase, including the choice of the sensor(s), off-the-shelf computer hardware, and any vendor-specific or 3rd party perception software algorithms and deep learning or artificial intelligence. This approach not only builds in constraints for future use-cases and developments, it hampers the level of perception developed by the machine. Indeed, the data used to develop or train the perception algorithms for security, access, and safety use cases at design time is typically captured for a narrow and specific set of scenarios or contexts and are subsequently developed or trained in the lab. Technology gaps As those in this industry know too well, siloed solutions and technology gaps typically block the creation of productive ecosystems and partnerships while lack of commercial whole products can delay market adoption of new innovation. Perception systems architectures today do not support the real-time adaptation of software and computing engines in the field. They remain the same as those selected during the design phase and are fixed for the entire development and the deployment stage. Crucially, this means that the system cannot deal with the unknowns of contextually varying real-time situations where contexts are changing (e.g being able to reflex to security situations they haven’t been trained for) and where the autonomous system’s perception strategies need to dynamically adjust accordingly. Ultimately, traditional strategies have non-scalable and non-adaptable competing computing architectures that were not designed to process the next generation of algorithms, deep learning, and artificial intelligence required for 3D sensor mixed workloads. What this means for industries seeking to develop or deploy perception systems, like security, access, and safety, is that the available computing architectures are generic and designed for either graphic rendering or data processing. Solutions providers, therefore, have little choice but to promote these architectures heavily into the market. Consequently, the resulting computing techniques are defined by the computing providers and not by the software developers working on behalf of the customer deploying the security solution. Context…. we don’t know what we don’t know Perception platform must have the ability to adjust to changes in context, thereby improving the performance post-deployment To be useful and useable in the security context and others, a perception platform must have the ability to adjust to changes in context, can self-optimize, and crucially, can self-learn, thereby improving the performance post-deployment. The combinations of potential contextual changes in a real-life environment, such as an airport or military base, are innumerable, non-deterministic, real-time, often analog, and unpredictable. The moment sensors, edge computing hardware, and perception software are deployed in the field, myriad variables such as weather, terrain as well as sensor mounting location and orientation all represent a context shift where the perception systems’ solution is no longer optimal. For example, it might be that a particular sensor system is deployed in an outdoor scenario with heavy foliage. Because the algorithm development or training was completed in the lab, the moving foliage, bushes, or low trees and branches are classified as humans or some other false-positive result. Typically, heavy software customization and onsite support then ensue, requiring on-site support by solutions vendors where each and every sensor configuration needs to be hand-cranked to deliver something that is acceptable to the end customer. A new approach for effective perception strategies Cron AI is building senseEDGE, which represents a significant evolution in the development of sensing to information strategy. It is a 3D sensing perception and computer vision platform built from the ground up to address and remove the traditional deployment and performance bottlenecks we’ve just described. senseEDGE is aware of the user application reaction plan indication to trigger an alarm or turning on a CCTV camera The entire edge platform is built around a real-time scalable and adaptable computing architecture that’s flexible enough for algorithms and software to scale and adapt to different workloads and contexts. What’s more, it has real-time contextual awareness, which means that the entire edge platform is, at any time, aware of the external context, the sensor and sensor architecture, and the requirements of the user application. Furthermore, when it produces the object output data, it also aware of the user application reaction plan indication, which could be triggering an alarm or turning on a CCTV camera when a specific action is detected. This approach turns traditional perception strategies on their head: it is software-defined programmable perception and computing architecture, not hardware-defined. It is free from the constraints imposed by traditional CPU or GPU compute dictated by hardware architecture providers and not limited to the perception built defined during design time. And, being fully configurable, it can be moved from one solution to another, providing computation for different modalities of sensors designed for different use cases or environments, and lower risk of adoption and migration for those developing the security solution. Future perception requirements senseEDGE is also able to scale to future perception requirements, such as algorithms and workloads produced by future sensors as well as computational techniques and neural networks that have yet to be invented. Meanwhile, latency versus throughput is totally software-defined and not limited by providers of computing architecture. Finally, contextually aware, it is fully connected to the real world where the reflexes adapt to even the subtlest changes in context, which makes all the difference in time and accuracy in critical security situations. This is how CronAI sees the future of perception. It means that security and safety innovators can now access and invest with low risk in a useable and scalable perception solution that can truly take advantage of current and future 3D sensor modalities.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyze more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analyzed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analyzing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as license plate reading, behavioral analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fiber-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
The global pandemic has created a working environment filled with uncertainty and, at times, fear, as COVID-19 cases surge yet again and businesses continue to navigate a complex web of infectious disease mitigation protocols and managing the distribution of a potential vaccine. Organizations are operating in an environment where a critical event, posing significant risk to its employees and daily operations, could occur at any moment. Even with a vaccine showing light at the end of a very dark tunnel, the pandemic unfortunately may be far from over, and the communication of accurate public health information to a widely distributed, often remote workforce is vital to keeping employees safe and businesses running. Organizations that plan ahead, invest in an emergency management system and share key updates quickly, reliably and securely, can keep employees safe while ensuring business continuity when it matters most. Taking time to plan and prepare Throughout the pandemic, U.S. offices have gone through alternating stages of reopening and re-closing Throughout the pandemic, U.S. offices have gone through alternating stages of reopening and re-closing. However, whether businesses are operating at a limited or full capacity, medical experts are expecting continuous waves of COVID-19 cases, as community transmission continues to hit record highs. The only way for businesses to keep their employees and customers safe, protect their operations, and retain trust with their key stakeholders during these tumultuous times is to be proactive in nature. Organizations need to put a business resiliency plan in place now that outlines key actions to take if (or when) an issue relating to local spread of the novel coronavirus arises. By having a plan in place and practicing it regularly, organizations can minimize risks and maximize employee safety surrounding critical events, such as suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Context of emergency management Ensuring the safety of employees (and others within the company’s facilities) needs to be the number one priority for organizations; and in any crisis scenario, a prepared and practiced plan maximizes a company’s chances of success. In PwC's 2019 Global Crisis Survey, business leaders across a range of industries shared their experiences, expectations, and top strengths and weaknesses in the context of emergency management. By a wide margin (54% vs. 30%), organizations that had a crisis response plan in place fared better post-crisis than those who didn’t. When it comes to ensuring the wellbeing of staff, businesses need to think through a comprehensive, iterative infectious disease mitigation and operational continuity strategy and practice it as often as possible. Investing in proper technology A vital step in adequate critical event management planning is investing in the proper technology infrastructure For today’s modern organization, a vital step in adequate critical event management planning is investing in the proper technology infrastructure to streamline the communication of vital information. Organizations should explore risk intelligence, critical communication and incident management software to keep their people safe, informed, and connected during critical events - and, thankfully, decision-makers are starting to take note. The Business Continuity Institute 2020 Emergency Communications Report found that 67% of organizations at least use emergency notification and/or crisis management tools. Reliable risk intelligence system Building upon that trend, a reliable risk intelligence system can anticipate and analyze the potential impact of incidents, such as increases in local cases of COVID-19, send vital updates to a distributed workforce of any size on multiple devices regarding infectious disease mitigation protocols and public health directives, and then help incident response teams virtually collaborate while maintaining compliance standards. Automating as much of this process as possible through technology allows human decision makers to efficiently and effectively focus their time, effort and expertise on what matters most in a crisis situation - implementing sound operational continuity strategies and, more importantly, ensuring employees’ safety and well-being are prioritized and appropriately considered when stress rises. Communicating vital updates This is the cultural component of incident management based on emotional intelligence, empathy, effective employee engagement, and authentic listening that makes or breaks an organization’s response to challenging situations. Employees must be aware at a moment’s notice to stay away from or exit contaminated areas If employees are exposed in the workplace to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, employers must be prepared to quickly update staff on vital next steps, as outlined by the CDC and other public health authorities, and arm key functions - such as security operations, HR, facility management, legal and compliance - with the information they need to mitigate potential spread of the virus, including: Closing/cleaning the office: Employees must be aware at a moment’s notice to stay away from or exit contaminated areas. From there, it is critical that businesses communicate clearly with cleaning staff to follow procedure, use the right disinfecting products and sanitise high-touch surfaces. Alerting key groups that may have been exposed: Employers have a duty to rapidly notify workers of potential exposure to COVID-19. Having the proper communication infrastructure in place can streamline contact-tracing as well as the subsequent testing process, and save vital time. Ensuring work-from-home continuity or diverting workflows to alternative physical environments: Every work environment looks different today. Whether an organization is managing a distributed workforce, full-capacity essential workers or something in between, there needs be a communication system in place to ensure business continuity. Outlining next steps for reopening: After a potential exposure, employees require the proper reassurance that they will be returning to a safe working environment in an organized, thoughtful manner, which is aligned to public health best practices. Whether it is coordinating a limited capacity return to the office or outlining new infectious disease mitigation protocols - such as steps for receiving a vaccine in the coming months - employees must continue to be updated quickly, comprehensively, and often. Incident management technology There is no doubt that organizations will continue to face a myriad of challenges as they navigate business operations during the pandemic into 2021, as the general public awaits the broad deployment of a vaccine. Public and private sector leaders still have months ahead of them before daily operations even begin to resemble “business as usual.” To best prepare for the next chapter of the global pandemic, organizations should outline a plan tailored to infectious disease mitigation protocols; explore augmenting their crisis management policies with risk intelligence, crisis management and incident management technology; and focus employee communications on containing and rapidly resolving events associated with COVID-19 exposure. Keeping employees safe, informed, and connected during critical events are mandatory considerations for leaders as they analyze existential threats to their business in 2021 and beyond.
Thermal cameras can be used for rapid and safe initial temperature screening of staff, visitors and customers. Used the right way, the cameras can help prevent unnecessary spread of viruses like the novel coronavirus. During the global pandemic, use of thermal cameras has increased, but they have not always been used correctly, and therefore, not effectively. Hikvision’s temperature screening thermal products are currently assisting users in initial temperature screening across the global market. During 2020, demand increased in most markets, and the company highly recommends that Hikvision’s thermographic cameras be used in accordance with local laws and regulations. Limitations of the technology include throughput and the impact of ambient conditions. Detect viruses and fever Hikvision releases a video that illustrates how skin temperature measurements are normalized within minutes Thermal cameras cannot detect viruses and fever and should only be used as a first line of screening before using secondary measures to confirm, says Stefan Li, Thermal Product Director at Hikvision. “We also believe it is important for businesses and authorities to use [thermal cameras] alongside a full program of additional health and safety procedures, which includes handwashing, regular disinfection of surfaces, wearing protective clothing such as masks, and social distancing.” Hikvision has released a video that illustrates how skin temperature measurements are normalized within minutes after someone emerges from the cold. Mr. Li says the video demonstrates the accuracy of forehead measurement under difficult circumstances when people come inside from a cold outdoor environment. Temperature screening facilities “There have been some claims that measuring the forehead temperature is not as accurate as measuring the inner canthus, and we believe this video demonstrates the accuracy of forehead measurement very well,” he says. “We also illustrate how the skin temperature will experience a process of recovery (warming up), no matter if it is measured by a thermal camera or a thermometer.” Mr. Li adds that people should wait five minutes in such circumstances before starting a temperature measurement. “We hope that stakeholders who are involved in the design of temperature screening facilities and associated health and safety procedures will recognize how important it is to consider the skin temperature recovery time, and that forehead measurement can provide accurate test results,” says Mr. Li. Thermal imaging manufacturers The algorithm is based on a large number of test results to obtain a value that tends to be dynamically balanced The temperature measurement principle of thermal imaging is to detect the heat radiation emitted by the human body. The detected heat value often does not reflect the true internal body temperature of an individual. Furthermore, the temperature varies among different parts of the human, such as the forehead, ears, underarms, etc. A temperature compensation algorithm can be used to adjust the measured skin temperature to align with the internal body temperature. The algorithm is based on a large number of test results to obtain a value that tends to be dynamically balanced. At present, thermal imaging manufacturers in the market, and even forehead thermometer manufacturers, have developed their own algorithms to map the skin temperature measured by the camera to the internal body temperature, so as to compensate the skin temperature to the internal body temperature. Thermal cameras This is also why Hikvision recommends that the "actual body temperature" should be checked with a secondary device for confirmation. The calibration work for a thermal camera is completed in the production process at the factory, including calibration of reference values and detection point and so on. At the same time, the equipment parameters should be adjusted before on-site use to ensure accurate temperature reads. Hikvision does not deny the accuracy of temperature measurement at the inner canthus but prefers forehead temperature measurement and algorithms based on actual use scenarios, says Mr. Li. A large amount of test data and practical results indicates that the forehead is a correct and easy-to-use temperature measurement area, says the company. There are advantages and disadvantages of choosing different facial areas for temperature measurement. Default compensation temperature Two main approaches direct the measurement area and how compensation algorithms are applied: Forehead area + default forehead compensation algorithm value Upper half face (forehead + canthus) + default inner canthus compensation algorithm value. Both methods deploy compensation algorithms, but the default compensation temperature of the inner canthus will be less than the default compensation temperature of the forehead, generally speaking. The reason is that the temperature of the inner canthus of most people is higher than their forehead, so the temperature compensation is relatively low (i.e., closer to the actual temperature inside the body.) Upper face area Hikvision found that selecting the upper face area plus the default compensation value for the inner canthus resulted in situations when the calculated temperature is lower than the actual temperature. For the Hikvision solution, the forehead is a relatively obvious and easy-to-capture area on an entire face Mr. Li explains: “The reason is that when the camera cannot capture the position of the inner canthus (for example, when a person is walking, or the face is not facing the camera), the camera will automatically capture the temperature of the forehead. Then the result that appears is the sum of the forehead temperature plus the default compensation temperature of the inner canthus, which is lower than the actual temperature of the person being measured. Therefore, errors are prone to occur.” Thermal imaging products But for the Hikvision solution, the forehead is a relatively obvious and easy-to-capture area on an entire face. Also, the default forehead compensation temperature is based on rigorous testing and can also correctly mimic the actual temperature of the person being measured, says Mr. Li. After many test comparisons, considering that the results of forehead temperature measurement are relatively more stable, and in order to avoid the false results from inner canthus temperature measurement, Hikvision chose the forehead temperature measurement approach. “We look forward to bringing thermal imaging products from a niche market where there is a relatively high-end industry application to a mass market and serving more users,” says Mr. Li. Facial recognition terminals Additional application parameters can maximize effectiveness of thermal cameras for measuring body temperature: Positioning and height - All cameras must be mounted appropriately to avoid loss of accuracy and performance. The installation height of each camera must be adjusted according to camera resolution and focal length, and stable installation is needed to avoid errors caused by shaking. Ensuring a ‘one-direction path’ - The detection area must ensure that cameras capture the full faces of all those passing by or stopping, and obstacles should be avoided in the field of view, such as glass doors that block the camera. Adequate start-up and usage - A waiting time of more than 90 minutes is required for preheating, after the initial start-up. Before conducting a thermal scan, people should be given three to five minutes to allow their body temperature to stabilize. When Hikvision MinMoe facial recognition terminals are used, people must stand at a fixed distance, pass one by one, make a short stop, and face the camera directly. Hikvision cameras support efficient group screening, but one-by-one screening is suggested for more accurate results, says Mr. Li. Unstable environmental condition An unstable environmental condition may affect the accuracy of thermal camera systems Environmental factors can impact the accuracy of thermal cameras, and the idea of using a black body is to provide the camera with a reference point that has a stable temperature. The black body is heated to a specific temperature and helps the thermal camera to know how much error is caused by environmental factors in the room, and how the camera should calibrate itself in real time to improve its accuracy. A black body can help increase the temperature measurement accuracy, and the most common improvement is from ±0.5 degrees to ±0.3 degrees. However, it also increases the cost of the installation. In some markets, customers may require black bodies in order to comply with regulatory accuracy requirements. An unstable environmental condition may affect the accuracy of thermal camera systems for measuring temperature. Medical temperature measurement Therefore, Hikvision suggests that the ambient conditions should be met for installation and use. First of all, users should avoid installing devices in hot or changeable environments. All cameras require indoor environments with calm air, consistent temperature and no direct sunlight. Installation should also be avoided in semi-open locations that may be prone to changes in ambient conditions, such as doorways, and there should be enough stable, visible light. All devices should be installed to avoid backlighting, high temperature targets, and reflections in the field of view as far as possible. “We often see the misconception that thermal cameras can replace medical temperature measurement equipment, which is not the case,” says Mr. Li. Rapid preliminary screening “Temperature screening thermographic cameras are designed for the detection of skin-surface temperatures, and the measurement should be conducted to achieve rapid preliminary screening in public areas. It is really important that actual core body temperatures are measured subsequently with clinical measurement devices.”
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognize a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customizable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyze it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimize security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimize security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioral analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioral anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labor-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles. Sensitive data leakage Since the lockdown came into effect, organizations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organizations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession. One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever. Good cybersecurity hygiene Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more" With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Work-Life balance In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and traveling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working. Video conferencing platforms Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question. The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office. Online training courses Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organizations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Virtual trade show ‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasizing both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry. In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself “In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.” Cloud-Based platform As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com 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.
Located in the heart of west London, Ealing Council serves the residents and businesses of the UK capital's fourth largest borough. With a vast housing portfolio and a commitment to keeping residents as safe and secure as possible, Ealing Council benefits from the use of PAC’s innovative cloud-based access control solution, PAC Residential Cloud. The London Borough of Ealing comprises seven major towns, Ealing, Acton, Greenford, Hanwell, Northolt, Perivale and Southall. Ealing Council’s task is to provide a diverse range of services to the 350,000 residents residing across the area. It is committed to improving its performance, while ensuring value for money and serving a key part of this is the provision of good quality housing that meets the highest possible standards. Ensuring safety and security of residents In addition to carrying out property allocation, repairs, rent collection, homelessness services and estate management, Ealing Council is responsible for ensuring the security and safety of the tenants living in its 300+ housing blocks. As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system" Daljit Gill, an Electrical Services Manager at Ealing Council commented, “When it comes to administering our multi-site housing portfolio, Ealing Council recognizes the advantages that access control technology brings in terms of our ability to effectively access information, issue and configure key fobs and check occupancy status.” He adds, “As a longstanding PAC customer, we chose the PAC Residential Cloud as the central hub of our access control system, which currently comprises around 1,100 doors and 500 controllers.” PAC Residential Cloud Over the last few years the cloud has proven to be a game changer in the way access control technology is designed, configured and used. The PAC Residential Cloud leads the way in allowing organizations to remotely manage and monitor their access control systems. Meanwhile, the PAC controllers, which are being used as part of the Ealing Council’s access control system, utilize the general packet radio service (GPRS) platform, which is a faster and cost-effective means of connecting remote sites via a mobile network. Key fob management and remote diagnostics Sam Flowers, Regional Sales Manager at PAC GDX, explains “Daljit and his team can address technical issues, deal with key fob management, examine diagnostics, view system status, set and unset a system, and gain access to event logs and reports, all from a remote location.” Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals" Sam adds, “Without the cloud, any problems and issues would need to be dealt with by office-based individuals, which is obviously restrictive and can lead to a delayed response. We provide a full online training program to help customers get the best out of their systems and also offer full technical support.” Asked on how the PAC Residential Cloud makes his day to day working life easier, Ealing Council’s Daljit Gill responded by stating, “I can address connection issues, manage the system and troubleshoot from wherever I happen to be, using my PC, tablet or smartphone. Not only is this convenient, it also saves me a huge amount of time, as I don’t have to go into the office to log-in.” Fully auditable system He adds, “Two of my colleagues also have permission to use the system remotely, although we could share access with up to 15 administrators if required, with each person only given access to information that relates directly to their role.” Daljit further said, “One of the main features of the system is that it is fully auditable, meaning that any activity can be monitored in real time and traced directly back to a specific user via their unique password.” Adherence to GDPR and strong data protection policy Ealing Council strictly adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has implemented a strong data protection policy. PAC Residential Cloud is hosted with The Bunker, a trusted PAC partner, whose UK data centers are located in former nuclear bunkers and certified to the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob" PAC Residential Cloud also offers Ealing Council some less obvious benefits. Sam Flowers comments, “The data collected by the access control system can be used to issue an alert if a resident’s key fob hasn't been used during a specific period, identify patterns of behavior that could suggest illegal activity, flag-up if someone is subletting a property or even detect if a tenant is using a cloned key fob.” Sam adds, “If an alert is activated, measures can then be taken to deactivate a specific key fob. Furthermore, the PAC Residential Cloud has also helped Ealing Council adopt a business as usual approach during the coronavirus pandemic by limiting physical interaction, while still enabling a prompt and effective response.” Fully IP-based access control system As well as enjoying the operational advantages of the PAC Residential Cloud, Ealing Council is also planning to advance its transition to a fully internet protocol (IP) based access control system by upgrading to PAC’s 512DCi digital networkable access controllers. Daljit Gill concludes by stating, “Installing the PAC 512DCi’s will allow us to maximize operational effectiveness through our investment in the PAC Residential Cloud. We will also be able to utilize PAC’s high frequency OPS MIFARE DESFire EV1 readers, which have been tested to meet Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128 bit compliance. This will further reduce the risk of key fob cloning and ensure that our tenants benefit from improved levels of security.”
Boon Edam Inc., a globally renowned company in security entrances and architectural revolving doors, has announced that Ferrero Rocher, an international famous chocolatier, has outfitted its new global headquarters building in Luxembourg with a ‘golden’ TQA automatic revolving door. The unique color of the door provides a visual reference to the chocolatier's signature use of golden wrappers around each piece of chocolate. Aside from elevating their brand, Ferrero Rocher also installed a revolving door to provide a comfortable interior lobby for both employees and visitors. Ferrero Rocher's headquarters building houses 1,300 employees in nearly 30,000 sq. meters. Employees were previously spread out over five buildings but are now centralized at one global headquarters building. The building design mimics the atmosphere of an Italian square through the use of a large atrium surrounded by two-multi-story office wings. TQA automatic revolving door entry Boon Edam coordinated with and supported the design by customizing a 12-foot, TQA automatic revolving door General Contractor, Felix Giorgetti and Facade Builder, Groven + Portal, commissioned Boon Edam to design a unique revolving door for the entrance to the Ferrero Rocher building, leading into an impressive interior atrium. Building designers included Ferrero's signature bronze/gold brand color into the facade and window surrounds. Boon Edam coordinated with and supported that design by customizing a 12-foot, TQA automatic revolving door with a custom, golden paint finish. With its automatic operation, employees and visitors can simply approach the door and it will start rotating on its own with no need to touch the door. Prevention of infiltration of outdoor air The other benefit of this touchless entrance is its inherent ability to prevent infiltration of outdoor air, protecting the interior area from drafts, cold weather, debris and noise. The Boon Edam TQA revolving door features a low-torque speed control, safety sensors, and endless finish options for a beautiful and easy-to-use public entry.
The Very Group is the UK’s largest integrated digital retailer and financial services provider. It offers 1,900 brands to its four million customers. Due to the company’s growth, it built a new state-of-the-art fulfilment center - close to one million square feet - to centralize operations and drive efficiency. The Very Group has historically operated from three fulfilment centers in the north of England. Due to the business’ growth, it needed a new, purpose-built and automated facility in a central, well connected location; that could accommodate all one-man fulfilment and returns operations on one site, and that provided room for continued expansion. The space offered by the new site in the East Midlands means that The Very Group can process more orders and use new technology to make the business more responsive, reducing the time it takes to get products to customers. Support business growth The site’s position in the East Midlands, adjacent to the M1 and East Midlands Airport, with its own rail freight terminal, will enable the business to increase its cut-off time for next day delivery to midnight from 7pm, and explore the introduction of same day delivery in the future. A crucial aspect of the new hub was security - with the need to not only secure the site and the stock inside, but implement solutions which would benefit the wider business too. The Very Group required a platform which could provide the business-wide value it was seeking The Very Group required a platform which could unite operations and provide the business-wide value it was seeking. The company approached Grantfen, initially on a consultancy basis, to guide the organization on the route it should be taking and the technologies that could support its ambition. Grantfen quickly recognized the scope of The Very Group’s ambitions for a platform that was easy-to-use and that could bring together information from hundreds of different sensors and technologies. Incorporating video surveillance It put forward a comprehensive solution built on the Genetec Security Center unified platform. Incorporating video surveillance and analytics, access control, automatic number plate recognition and integration with other key business systems, this allowed The Very Group to deploy best of breed technologies from a range of vendors including HID Global, Axis Communications and SenStar. Perhaps the most important solution needed was tracking who was coming in and out of the building - with such a large workforce, combined with inbound and outbound deliveries, the facility has hundreds of people inside at any one time. Previously, security manually searched people selected at random. However, thanks to the robust Genetec software development kit, and Grantfen’s specialist development expertise, The Very Group has been able to adapt the solution and write its own code in order to use the access control system to implement truly random searches. Number plate recognition This has involved getting permission to hold employee data, but again, thanks to the new system brought together by Security Center, the data is housed safely. Moving from three fulfilment centers into one, consolidated facility meant a change in operations for The Very Group, and security needed to mirror this evolution. Therefore, with the volume of traffic coming in and out of the site increasing, The Very Group implemented automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Heavy goods vehicles could be monitored coming in and out of the site, enabling those in the diary to enter and exit the grounds in an efficient manner. Plus, with timestamps now able to show when vehicles entered or exited the grounds, it helped with yard management and traffic flow, with Security Center able to generate reports on how traffic is moving around the yard. Employees are able to take advantage too - with the ANPR recognizing them and seamlessly letting them into the parking lot. Health and safety standards The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment center, means a new era for the group" This enhanced integration has benefitted other areas of the business too. The CCTV control room is now able to monitor fulfilment center flow, looking at movements such as trailers, to help maximize efficiencies and ensure high health and safety standards. Dean Cooper, Head of Security at The Very Group, commented: “The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment center, means a new era for the group. We are a digitally-led business, and the fact we are now able to enhance operations and yield more value from security functions is going to help us operationally. Genetec and Grantfen have played a huge part in accelerating our sophistication in this area, and I look forward to how we can gain increasing insights from all the technology has to offer.” Deep integration and analytics While the roll-out has been relatively recent, the positive effects are already being felt across the business. This has led to future plans about what else could be introduced - all underpinned by Genetec Security Center. “Genetec Security Center is helping to improve inter-departmental collaboration thanks to its reporting functions, alongside benefiting operations and ensuring the security of the facility. We are an ambitious business, and as we grow we need a system that will continue to evolve with our requirements. Genetec enables this, and alongside its deep integration and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over years to come”, concluded Cooper.
Milton Keynes University Hospital has installed a Videx VX2200 system, one of the UK’s renowned access control manufacturer’s flagship door entry systems with 5178 hands free audio units and touch free entry points. Through opting for a touch free entry solution, the hospital has been able to reduce physical contact between people to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Four independent units were installed by ST Fire and Security in different buildings of the hospital. One was installed at The Campbell Center, a 38-bed acute inpatient mental health unit, another system fitted at the hospital’s dental surgery, a system fitted at the entrance of urgent care and a final one at Eaglestone Health Center which is a specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) facility. Audio apartment station Simon Turpin, Owner of ST Fire and Security, said: “The Videx VX2200 system with hands free audio apartment station and touch free entry points delivers huge benefits to the hospital by safeguarding patient, visitor and NHS staff safety as well providing easy and convenient access. The new system reduces waiting times as when a visitor uses it, someone in the building is immediately notified and will come to see them to complete entry.” “The Videx kit is the only one on the market currently that can offer convenient access in a touch-free way - they’re highly useful in helping the hospital ensure people stick to the designated one way system in place.” Touch free access Proximity access control can be added allowing authorized personnel to enter buildings touch free" As well as providing touch free access, the Videx system has replaced an existing system that had failed, affecting secure and convenient access to and from The Campbell Center. The Videx solution means no patient or member of staff is waiting for access into the secure mental health unit, safeguarding patients and employees. Ben Davies, South East Sales Manager, Videx UK, said: “Our touch free access control range has proved hugely popular in recent months as minimal contact remains key to reducing the spread of the coronavirus. The range offers both exit buttons and entrance panels in a touch free format using infrared sensor technology, providing a no touch solution for businesses as they focus on creating a COVID secure environment for their employees, partners and customers.” Bespoke entry panels “Proximity access control can be added allowing authorized personnel to enter buildings touch free, which is particularly useful for hospitals and other NHS buildings such as GP surgeries and urgent care facilities. We can also provide fully customized options, offering bespoke entry panels and exit buttons that are in keeping with the surroundings of the building whether that’s a specific hospital ward, GP surgeries, or dentist practices.”
The first phase in a pioneering smart transport project to transform security, passenger service, and operational management across Berlin’s S-Bahn rail network has officially gone live. Teams based at S-Bahn’s ‘4S’ operational headquarters are now, via the latest developments in Synectics’ Synergy hybrid cloud software platform, able to connect, respond, and collaborate with passengers and staff on-board trains, at stations, and with field personnel working anywhere across the network. Synergy hybrid cloud software The new capabilities, including an innovative mobile application, mark a revolutionary step forward in the way operational command, control, and communications are carried out within urban rail environments. The project, which went live as scheduled on 1 January, is the result of an innovative partnership between S-Bahn Berlin GmbH (a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn) and command and control solutions expert, Synectics. The two companies’ combined ambition has led to the development of a tailored system that delivers a positive customer experience both now and well into the upcoming decade. Integration with S-Bahn’s proprietary systems Leveraging powerful tools to form custom API gateways, Synergy integrates to S-Bahn’s proprietary systems Leveraging powerful tools to form custom API gateways, Synergy integrates to and interoperates with S-Bahn’s proprietary systems, as well as all third-party technologies, devices, and communication solutions vital to passenger service, safety, and security. This is achieved in real time, and continuously informed by sensor data obtained from integrated systems crucial to operating safe and efficient passenger services. The new Synergy mobile application will enable S-Bahn’s workforce to receive automated task assignments based on their role, skills, and location, and to directly update the system on their delivery of those tasks, the sophisticated level of integration and interoperability achieved is unprecedented. Intelligent digitization of workflows Henning Oelze, Project Manager at S-Bahn, commented “Synergy’s powerful integrations, intelligent digitization of workflows, workforce management capabilities, and computer-aided dispatch functionality combine to deliver a hugely exciting outcome. The platform offers complete visibility of network-wide activity and the ability to coordinate and automate the right response, at the right time, to any requirement.” Henning adds, “It was with huge pleasure that we saw our first trains and Security and Service teams utilizing the new Synergy system, especially given how challenging this last year has been. It really is a revolutionary step forward in our mission to deliver outstanding passenger service, while at the same time, making life much easier for our personnel through the advanced automation of operational processes.” Rapid resource communication and deployment From fulfilling a planned maintenance task to sending people with the most appropriate training to deal with an evolving security or safety issue, Synergy will facilitate the rapid communication, deployment, and appropriate action of different teams. This will equip S-Bahn to process and react to events within pre-defined response times, and to manage its workforce as effectively as possible. The project is scheduled to continue during 2021, with the two organizations building further technical capabilities and driving ahead with continuous improvement. Key enhancements will see extensions to the workforce management functionality and more developments to improve operational efficiency within incident and task management assignments. Smart transport systems standards Some of the software developments driven by this project will have long term implications for the sector" Greg Alcorn, Director, Global Sales & Customer Success at Synectics, said “S-Bahn Berlin is viewed as a technological trail-blazer and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with such a well-organized team to deliver the first step in their truly inspirational vision for urban transport.” Greg adds, “Some of the software developments driven by this project will have long term implications for the sector. I have no doubt that there are new standards being set here for smart transport systems of the future.” Future of smart transport operations In addition to the ground-breaking technology used, the project also demonstrates the advances that can be achieved through international collaboration. Henning Oelze stated, “Having such direct access to Synectics’ product development team in the UK and knowing that they understood how agile we needed this solution to be, has made a huge difference." He adds, “They shared our vision for the future of smart transport operations in a major European capital and worked in close partnership with the S-Bahn team, successfully navigating their way through the technical, logistical and cultural challenges of a major international project. The close nature of this collaboration is the reason we have reached this crucial go-live milestone, despite all the hurdles that 2020 put in our way.”
Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimage festivals of India and is organized at a grand scale at Nashik, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Prayag. As Kumbh Mela is being celebrated after a period of 12 years in Nashik, 100 million people are expected to visit, security is a major concern for the Government bodies. Nashik will be getting an opportunity to host these guests from July 14 to September 25 and no stone will be left unturned in hosting the massive gathering. Challenges Nashik Railway Station authorities wanted video surveillance devices that would not consume larger areas when it comes to installing them as the railway station had congested platforms. Moreover, they wanted a surveillance solution that gave them superior image quality and at the same time did not consume heavily on the bandwidth. Furthermore, the authorities wanted to monitor the whole place centrally and gain central control of the entire place. Installing devices and control room in the congested platforms Restricted allotted bandwidth for the video surveillance solution Requirement Prompt and smooth installations of cameras and hybrid video recorders within 30 days Setting up the control room for monitoring railway station entrance, platforms, and connecting bridges High reliability of the solution for utmost security Storage of the entire 4-month period as evidential proof Matrix offering Installation was completed within 20 days with highly skilled manpower. Cascading of all the connected devices with sequencing for central monitoring on TVs in the control room to reduce the overall solution cost. 4 months scheduled backup of all cameras is configured centrally for storing all the streams. Matrix being an Indian brand, efficient pre-and post-sales support is a part of the solution. Results Secured entry and exit from the city with 24x7 video surveillance of the railway station Installation of the solution done within the defined time frame Products offered SATATYA HVR1624P SATATYA CIBR13FL40CW SATATYA CIDR13FL40CW SATATYA CIDRP20VL130CW SATATYA Centralized Monitoring Software (CMS)
Round table discussion
As an industry, we often speak in buzzwords. In addition to being catchy and easy to remember, these new and trendy industry terms can also reflect the state of the security market’s technology. In short, the latest buzzwords provide a kind of shorthand description of where the industry is - and where it’s going. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword(s) rose to prominence in the security industry in 2020? (And how do they reflect industry trends?)
What a year 2020 was for the security industry! There were vast challenges that could not have been foreseen at the beginning of the year. It is safe to say that the events of 2020 defied all industry prognosticators. However, is that any reason not to hope our expectations looking ahead to 2021 will be much closer to reality? Can we possibly benefit from looking ahead and trying to plan for the challenges of the year ahead? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security industry’s biggest challenge in 2021?
As a subset of the larger economy, the security industry is bound to feel the effects of an economic downturn. Such was the case in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic undermined economic growth and presented a brand new set of challenges to business. The security industry has been able to pivot toward emerging opportunities, but that success has been offset by broader economic challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact, positive or negative, has the larger economy had on the security marketplace in 2020?
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