Videonetics, the world’s first AI & Deep Learning-powered Unified Video Computing Platform (UVCP) provider, has announced the integration of its Intelligent VMS 3.0 software with Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) of Future Fibre Technologies (FFT). Technology integration The technology integration will empower users to monitor zone alarms and videos from a centralized system, providing further situational awareness, maximizing preparedness and response to perimeter breach o...
The number of cyber-attacks on companies, governments, and individuals has been consistently rising in recent years, with global ransomware attacks increasing significantly in 2020, up 485% in compared to 2019. Tackling cybersecurity and protecting key critical infrastructure is key to national security, and the quick pivot to remote working during the COVID pandemic has seen even the most prepared organizations face new security challenges, with cybercriminals quick to take advantage. This is...
HENSOLDT has announced the appointment of Celia Pelaz to the Management Board of the company as of July 1, 2021. As Chief Strategy Officer, she will be responsible for the strategic positioning of HENSOLDT, as well as its business development. Additionally, Celia Pelaz will continue to lead the Spectrum Dominance and Airborne Solutions division, as well as HENSOLDT Ventures. With this step, the Management Board of HENSOLDT will be expanded from three to four members. Management Board expansion...
Display solutions play a key role in SOCs in providing the screens needed for individuals and teams to visualize and share the multiple data sources needed in an SOC today. Security Operation Center (SOC) Every SOC has multiple sources and inputs, both physical and virtual, all of which provide numerous data points to operators, in order to provide the highest levels of physical and cyber security, including surveillance camera feeds, access control and alarm systems for physical security, as...
According to a recent wide-ranging article on data security in Computer Weekly: “physical security is key to maintaining the resilience and effectiveness of data centers… businesses end up exposing themselves to a range of risks in this area of security is ignored.” A lack of investment in the physical security of servers undermines the cyber-security of data assets and vice versa. Appropriate physical security controls manage risk by minimizing unauthorized access to server...
Clavister, a globally renowned company in high-performance cyber security solutions, has announced the launch of the latest generation of Clavister NetShield Virtual, highly regarded as one of the world's fastest virtualized solution for securing 5G networks. With data rates of over 600 Gbps on a single Intel Xeon-based server, Clavister sets a new high-water mark for 5G Security capacity. Virtualized solution for 5G networks With the proliferation of virtualization, there has been a steady i...
IDIS has announced powerful and affordable options for integrating video, access control, life safety, and building management systems between its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions. This powerful off-the-shelf integration, from Korea’s renowned video manufacturer, gives systems integrators and end users everything that they need for complete, future-proofed site control. It enables straightforward integration of powerful security management platforms, removing cost and complexity. Gallagher Command Centre The Gallagher Command Centre access control and security management platform can be integrated with IDIS’s DirectIP range of NVRs and cameras, as well as its family of analog DirectCX HD-TVI recorders and cameras. This allows customers to mix-and-match IP and analog systems, including leveraging coax cabling if they need to. Users can choose between the free IDIS Center VMS, ideal for small-to-medium applications up to 1024 devices, or the fully-featured and enterprise-level IDIS Solution Suite that is both modular and scalable, allowing users to manage unlimited devices and unlimited sites, without the associated price tag. Enterprise-level integrated solutions There is growing demand for enterprise-level integrated solutions that combine the latest video and access technology, but that offer reduced upfront costs and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) long term. Customers also want greater system flexibility and adaptability, across longer lifecycles. Operationally, there are significant advantages for customers upgrading from siloed solutions. For example, seamless integration of access control with video enables instant verification of events, such as forced doors, with camera views automatically presented to system controllers. Security management system Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers" With integrated solutions, alarms from doors, cameras, and other devices are pulled onto one platform, making it easier for operators to respond and reducing the likelihood of incidents being missed. The operational benefits increase as more technologies are integrated, from fire and HVAC to elevator controls, building management, and wider corporate systems. “Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers, who want unparalleled control over every aspect of site security, alongside the AI intelligence advantages that come with IDIS Deep Learning Analytics,” said Mitch Parsons, Business Development Manager for Gallagher Security Europe. COVID-safe site solutions The growing toolkit of smart video capabilities now includes COVID-safe site solutions, enhanced security monitoring, and review tools, and advanced business intelligence analytics that help to optimize operational efficiency. “Seamless, off-the-shelf interoperability between IDIS and Gallagher offers integrators and end-users everything they need to create complete, future-proofed security management platforms, without compromising on functionality,” said Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director for IDIS Europe. Off-the-shelf corporate security Jamie Barnfield adds, “Systems integrators can now offer customers an affordable, efficient, and off-the-shelf corporate security and safety solution that encompasses enterprise-level video, access control, life safety, visitor management, and building management.”
Alcatraz AI, the developer of secure frictionless access control solutions, has announced that its Alcatraz AI Rock solution now has capabilities that can detect and prevent tailgating at entrances and in a variety of industries. Countering the menace of tailgating Tailgating is one of the most common and innocent security breaches – an employee opening a door and holding it open, sometimes inadvertently, for a colleague, visitor, or vendor who should not have access. The problem is that tailgating opens a facility to undocumented and unauthorized entry. The Alcatraz AI Rock solution delivers a frictionless, facial authentication access control solution that mitigates tailgating. Alcatraz AI Rock solution Alcatraz AI Rock solution detects tailgating by identifying, in real time, an individual at an entrance The Alcatraz AI Rock solution detects tailgating by identifying, in real time, an individual as he/she approaches an entrance and identifies whether the individual has been authenticated. If an unauthorized user follows an authenticated user through a door, the solution will identify that user as a tailgater, and an alert is sent and logged into the access control system, along with a still picture of the unauthorized person. Ensuring secure, authorized access To prevent tailgating, the solution can be configured to send an alert to the access control system in the form of a unique credential that can only give access to authorized users. In this way, it can provide data on tailgating hotspots, and ultimately, modify physical security and access control, and adjust employee behavior. “Physical security is a top priority for companies that want to protect their staff, offices and property, and mitigating tailgating is one way to ensure physical security,” said Tina D’Agostin, CEO of Alcatraz AI. Tina adds, “Our access control solution gives security teams the ability to not only detect and respond to tailgating in real time, but to prevent it, as well. We’re excited to share this solution with security teams.”
VXG, a globally renowned cloud video surveillance provider, is excited to integrate with Seagate Technology’s recently launched Lyve Cloud, a frictionless storage-as-a-service cloud service. The collaboration enables a simple, scalable and cost-optimized solution for companies in need of a white-label cloud video surveillance system or VSaaS solution. Cloud video surveillance Cloud video surveillance is a booming industry with an expected market value of US$ 52.98 billion in 2026 up from US$ 18.51 billion in 2018. With the growing regulations within the video surveillance industry, companies need a scalable and secure place to store their video. Utilizing open platforms like VXG and storage platforms like Lyve Cloud will expedite the growth in this industry. “Integrating with Lyve Cloud brings massive value for VXG and our customers,” said Yaro Lisityn, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VXG, adding “We see Lyve Cloud as a game changer, not only in the video surveillance industry but in the storage industry as a whole.” Leveraging Lyve Cloud storage for video surveillance Leveraging Lyve Cloud storage for video surveillance allows businesses to focus on their customers" “The benefits of having video surveillance on the Cloud are two fold. Leveraging Lyve Cloud storage for video surveillance allows businesses to focus on their customers and not infrastructure,” said LayPeng Ong, Senior Director of Worldwide Sales, Emerging Business at Seagate Technology. LayPeng Ong adds, “Also, the complexity and unpredictability of cloud usage and pricing tiers are often overwhelming to prospective VSaaS buyers. By integrating our straight-forward solution with VXG, buyers in video surveillance who are adopting the Cloud have access to a scalable solution, built with the strongest security and technology,” Lyve Cloud and VXG integration Lyve Cloud and VXG seamlessly integrate into the VXG Cloud. VXG is currently rolling out the VXG & Lyve Cloud solution to select customers. Watch the integration in action and learn more in the recorded session, ‘Turn Your Video Surveillance Solution into SaaS with Lyve Cloud’, from Seagate’s recent Datasphere 2021 virtual event.
DigiCert, Inc., a provider of TLS/SSL, IoT, and other PKI solutions, announced the DigiCert Smart Seal, a new dynamic site seal that gives website visitors confidence that their information is secure on the web. Real-time security turn signals enabled through various micro-interactions alert visitors that the seal is actively present on the page, the site has been validated, and the site is protected by an active certificate from the world’s most trusted certificate authority. DigiCert verified site When site visitors roll over the DigiCert Smart Seal, they see the company’s logo, which has been verified by DigiCert. They also view usable information about the site's security delivered right to the seal, so users do not have to leave the page to verify a site's legitimate identity. “HTTPS has changed in recent years, and consumers can no longer rely on just looking for the lock, they need to look beyond the lock for assurance and trust that they are visiting the legitimate website,” said DigiCert Senior Director of Business Development Dean Coclin. “The DigiCert Smart Seal takes site seals into a modern era in a way that helps organizations demonstrate that they take security seriously, and that gives their end-customers peace of mind.” Active role in safeguarding DigiCert Smart Seal is the first seal to visually display the site owner’s brand via a verified brand logo The DigiCert Smart Seal is the first seal to visually display the site owner’s brand via a verified brand logo. It also is the first to bring information previously trapped inside the digital certificate and provide it in terms that users can understand. The DigiCert Smart Seal enables consumers to take an active role in safeguarding their online activity, providing: A detailed splash page that helps reassure consumers of site security practices and presents them in consumer-friendly terms. Additional website security features that are active, such as blocklist checks, Certificate Transparency (CT) log monitoring, and vulnerability assessment scans, all accessible with just one click. PCI compliance status when a customer is using a DigiCert Secure Site Pro certificate. Confirmation that the site has been checked against more than 70 blocklists for malware. Instill real-time confidence Trust is fundamental for online transactions, and consumers need assurance that sites are secure and authentic. Traditional trust seals are subject to spoofing, lapses, or general misuse that can undermine trust. With browser UI trust turn signals shifting, the DigiCert Smart Seal is an innovative way for enterprises to instill real-time confidence in users that their site identity is verified, their certificate is up-to-date and the site is reliable. Against web spoofing and fraud The DigiCert Smart Seal provides a powerful trust indicator that brands can control for their customers A 2020 study by DigiCert found that 71% of consumers look for security seals before proceeding with transactions. Another study from Crazyegg found that sites that display site seals or trust marks perform 48% better than sites that don’t, thus increasing conversion rates and ROI. Continued Coclin, “With the web now enforcing HTTPS by default and cybercriminals using TLS certificates, users need additional ways to protect themselves online. The DigiCert Smart Seal may not prevent all web spoofing and fraud, but it’s an important step forward in providing a powerful trust indicator that brands can control for their customers.” Smart and secure The DigiCert Smart Seal is available now as part of DigiCert Secure Site and DigiCert Secure Site Pro certificates and early adopters are already expressing positive feedback. “Brand indicators and trust are really important for Italian web users, and the DigiCert Smart Seal indicates to visitors that our site is legitimate and secure,” said Riccardo Cazzola, CEO, Trust Italia. “We are committed to using the best solutions in the market and providing trusted services for some of Italy’s largest enterprises, which is why we use DigiCert and their innovative offerings.” TLS certified "Among continued web-based attacks, website visitors are looking for signs of trust that the site they are visiting is legitimate and secure," said Jindrich Zechmeister, Director of IT Security, ZONER software. "The DigiCert Smart Seal is a great step toward restoring this trust, giving website operators a dynamic indicator of their identity, displaying a verified logo and essential information about the status of their TLS certificates and other site security measures." Brand recognition and trust “We want to build trust, and our customers recognize our trademark, so when they visit our webpage, we want them to feel safe,” said Marcus Wessberg, Head of IT, Ports Group. “Certificates offer so much more than crypto: it’s all about identity, brand recognition, and trust." "The DigiCert Site Seal provides that brand recognition and trust for our site visitors.” Interested customers can learn more about how the DigiCert Smart Seal can empower their business by contacting their account manager or visiting the company website.
With foreign travel remaining uncertain amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK staycation market is set to boom. In fact, new research has found that 83% of British travelers would prefer to holiday in the UK rather than travel abroad this year, bringing a much-needed boost to the country's hospitality sector. This coupled with Brexit, rising costs of oversea travel and the fact that people are thinking more about their carbon footprint, means that many investors have been taking advantage of the thriving UK holiday market. Access control solution In landscape where reduced touch-points and low operating costs are nothing short of paramount, security expert Mul-T-Lock is offering a tailored access control solution to all hotel, holiday park and short-break property owners. SMARTair® will replace inconvenient keys with a wireless locking system operated by smartcards SMARTair® is a modular and fully scalable access control system that offers an intelligent, yet simple, step up from keys. For hotels and home rental properties in particular, SMARTair® will replace inconvenient keys with a wireless locking system operated by smartcards and even smartphones when used in conjunction with Mul-T-Lock’s Openow™ app. Physical locking systems With so many businesses in the leisure and tourism industry needing to cut operational costs and provide a safe and hygienic service to customers, SMARTair® does away with the need for manned receptions and touchscreens by putting the onus of checking in right in guests’ hands, with security still being closely monitored and operated by system managers. With SMARTair®, lost cards can be canceled, and replacement cards reprogrammed for increased guest security. The system can be tailored to meet each building’s needs and can be reprogrammed using the latest in access control management software as those needs evolve, without having to replace any physical locking systems – making it a cost-effective and straightforward solution for all holiday properties. Energy saving devices System managers can be anywhere in the world when controlling access rights With no hardwiring, the system can be installed at a low cost with minimal disruption to a business. Designated system managers can also monitor and control access rights – allowing guests access when needed and revoking access once they check-out. The SMARTair® product portfolio also includes energy saving devices for mounting on guest room walls and in-room safes. By utilizing the Openow™ app, business owners, facilities managers, and security administrators can instantly send, revoke or update virtual keys from the designated SMARTair® software or web browser allowing guests to access properties and rooms via their smartphone. System managers can be anywhere in the world when controlling access rights, making the whole process more convenient and secure for everyone. This also significantly reduces whole life costing, as it removes the need to replace key cards when they are lost or accidentally taken home by guests. Organizing virtual keys Openow™ makes it easy for business owners to organize virtual keys inside the app An added bonus, Openow™ makes it easy for business owners to organize virtual keys inside the app, check how long they are valid, and protect them further with an individual PIN. If they have virtual keys from multiple sites or premises, Openow™ easily handles those too, with no time wasted wondering where key cards were left and no more appointments to pick them up or have them revalidated. Mul-T-Lock’s SMARTair® system with Openow™ app is the perfect solution for hotels and holiday parks with a high volume of visitors and subcontractors. It is built for businesses where third-party contractors are always on-site, hospitality venues that offer rooms for hire, and boutique hotels or home rental with no manned receptions.
Checkpoint Systems, a vertically integrated supplier of RFID solutions for retail, has again demonstrated its commitment to innovation by becoming the first manufacturer to have an RFID inlay, featuring the new NXP UCODE 9 IC certified by Auburn University’s ARC Laboratory. Impinj M700-based RFID inlays The exciting announcement follows news that Checkpoint Systems recently became the first company to achieve ARC certification for its Impinj M700-based RFID inlays. By setting another new standard for the industry, Checkpoint are enabling retailers around the world to further improve their inventory visibility, reduce costs, improve performance, and increase their overall profitability. Vortex U9 Delivering the same ARC certifications as the Vortex U8 (Spec G, K, and Q), the new Vortex U9 goes one step further, by meeting the requirements of Spec N. All aspects of the retail supply chain benefit from the increased read and write sensitivity of the Vortex U9. The 11% increase in read distance, decreases the time for inventory cycle counts, in both sparse and densely populated environments. RFID Point of Exit (PoE) The new Vortex U9 will provide retailers with added value, when it comes to sustainability It also increases the compatibility of smaller RFID labels with RFID Point of Exit (PoE) or loss prevention systems. The write sensitivity is significantly improved, which is beneficial when encoding labels in densely packed cartons, during source tagging and bulk encoding operations. Finally, the new Vortex U9 will provide retailers with added value, when it comes to sustainability. NXP’s UCODE 9 RFID IC is 18% smaller than its predecessor, reducing the carbon footprint on an individual IC basis. High read-rate performance Scott Mitchell-Harris, Group Vice President for Checkpoint Systems, commented “The investment that Checkpoint has made over the past few years in our manufacturing facilities is evident. We have one of the most talented development teams who are continually seeking out the latest technology with new ideas to deliver market leading label designs.” Checkpoint’s Vortex range delivers high read-rate performance in semi-automated physical inventory control and RFID as EAS. Vortex is ISO18000-6C compliant and can be encoded and printed to carry EPC data in several formats - RFID EPC global protocol, printed bar code, and human readable text.
The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates that fraud costs the United Kingdom approximately £190 billion every year. The private sector is hit the hardest and loses around £140 billion a year, while the public sector loses more than £40 billion, and individuals lose roughly £7 billion. The effects of fraud can be devastating on both individuals and organizations. Companies can suffer irreversible damage to reputation and be forced to close, and individuals can experience significant personal losses. Everyone should be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves against fraudulent activity. Fraud detection technology Fraud detection technology has advanced rapidly, over the years and made it easier for security professionals to detect and prevent fraud. Here are some of the key ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising fraud detection - with insight from Tessema Tesfachew, the Head of Product at Avora. An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected. According to Tessema Tesfachew, “Autonomous monitoring and anomaly detection specifically, have made detecting fraudulent activity faster and more accurate. Machines can monitor data 24/7 as it comes in, build patterns of behavior that take into account seasonality and shifting trends, and identify events that don’t fit the norm.” For example, banks can use AI software to gain an overview of a customer’s spending habits online. Having this level of insight allows an anomaly detection system to determine whether a transaction is normal or not. Suspicious transactions can be flagged for further investigation and verified by the customer. If the transaction is not fraudulent, then the information can be put into the anomaly detection system to learn more about the customer’s spending behavior online. Accurate root cause analysis Root cause analysis goes one step further than anomaly detection, by allowing security professionals to pinpoint what caused the anomaly. Tessema explains how an example of this would be if a system detects that the rate of fraudulent transactions has increased. Root cause analysis would pinpoint the specific ATM or point of sale, where this increase is occurring. Swift action can then be taken to prevent fraudulent activity at that location in the future. Fewer false positives As mentioned, false positives can occur if a fraud detection system identifies behavior that goes against the norm, for instance, if a customer makes a transaction in a new location. In many cases, customers are required to complete identity verification to prove that a transaction is not fraudulent. Digital customer identity verification can help brands build a strong and reputable image. That said, forcing users to complete identify certifications regularly can cause frustration and harm the customer experience. AI anomaly detection AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data AI anomaly detection is far more accurate and results in fewer false positives. Increasing the accuracy of anomaly detection helps companies improve customer relationships and build a strong reputation. This will have a positive impact on brand image and sales revenue. AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data. Machines are more efficient than even the most skilled fraud analysts and make fewer errors. This is why AI fraud detection software is the preferred option in larger organizations. Importance of fraud analysts However, fraud analysts still play an important role in fraud prevention. Using a combination of human intervention and AI is usually the most effective approach when it comes to fraud detection. According to pymnts.com, innovative organizations now use a variety of AI and supervised and unsupervised machine learning to identify and protect against fraud. AI systems can complete time-consuming and repetitive tasks, such as data collection and analysis. This means that fraud analysts can focus their time and attention on critical tasks that require human intervention, e.g. monitoring risk scores. AI can automate processes and enhance the quality of the fraud analysts’ work. Conclusion In to Tessema Tesfachew’s opinion, “Fraud detection has become vastly more efficient and effective with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Previously, methods for detecting fraudulent activities were still data-rich, but relied more on human intervention and expert bias, and were thus, more time consuming and prone to error.” AI technology, particular anomaly detection, has streamlined fraud detection and created a more efficient, and accurate system for detecting and preventing fraud. Covid-19 has increased the number of online transactions, which creates more opportunities for fraudulent activity. However, it also allows businesses to gain more information on their customers and enhance the capabilities of AI security software. It is more important than ever for organizations to utilize AI technology in fraud detection strategies.
Over the past year, companies have had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected their operations. From new digital services through to security, the response to more hybrid and remote working showed some of the assumptions that we have made over the years, and it required companies to innovate and fill those gaps. Physical and IT security was no exception to this. In the rush to support home working, many IT security teams realised how much they rely on physical security to help with their identity management approaches. To adapt to what is taking place now, identity management has to evolve too. Challenging our assumptions around identity management Identity management involves ensuring that authorized and authenticated individuals can get access to the tools and data they need to work, and restricting access from those that don’t. Identification is establishing who a user is, and then authentication verifies someone is who they say they are through a combination of different methods or factors linked to who they are, what device they are using, what they know, and what they have. Physical security provides an identity perimeter by restricting device access to only those that are allowed to enter a location, whether this is through using technology like smart cards or biometrics through to people managing who can enter the building at reception. With this boundary in place, using a combination of username and password is enough to meet security requirements. A more ‘zero trust’ approach is needed where we trust nothing and verify everything However, the pandemic took this away. For many IT security teams, this showed how much they had taken physical security for granted in their security planning. Alongside having to provide remote access that is secure, these teams had to think about how to manage identities securely as well. The default approach of username and password is not enough when everyone can be working on any device and from essentially any location. Instead, identity has become the new perimeter. The new office is wherever a user and device are, and authentication must change that we can prove people are who they say they are. A more ‘zero trust’ approach is needed where we trust nothing and verify everything. The mindset behind zero trust security is to regard all sources of network traffic, both external and internal, as potential routes for attacks. Therefore, all users and resources must be verified and authenticated wherever they come from, system data must be collected and analyzed for risks, and network access and traffic must be limited and monitored. While it may seem a bit paranoid, zero-trust security is rooted in the realities of the cloud computing age. Multi-factor authentication or MFA can be used to add more types and factors for authentication. So, in addition to something you know like a password, you can use something you have as well. This would typically be a one time password sent to the user’s phone or from a cellphone authenticator app, which fills the role of something they have. Managing this at any scale requires work. For large companies with established processes and identity management strategies, this would be something they could add on as part of that remote working implementation. However, for many smaller businesses that don’t have established IT directories or that have a wide range of different and new applications in place to support, it is more challenging. Everything is different One reason for this is the sheer variety of IT assets, devices, and applications that now have to be supported. Rather than the IT-designed network of machines that is standardized and fully controlled, we today have a far wider range of devices, operating systems and locations in play. Alongside this, there is the issue of controlling access to cloud-based services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, which have also grown in popularity. The traditional IT directory that is normally used as the starting point for identity management is not normally equipped to manage the modern identity landscape. Looking at cloud-based directories is therefore a worthwhile step, as these are built to manage Identities, SaaS applications and VPNs and also support both multiple operating systems and the wide range of different devices that today’s users have. From a physical security perspective, identity and access management can be an area to develop. While the need for building access is reduced at the moment, it will return when the pandemic ends. In these circumstances, new approaches may also be needed. For example, fingerprint biometric security processes are popular to fill the requirement around verifying that someone is who they say they are. However, traditional approaches like fingerprint scanners may be less popular as they require users to touch the readers. For high traffic locations with lots of people, that will be a risk. Instead, combining access and identity can be made easier through approaches that take advantage of the new flexibility that pandemic responses needed. For example, using the physical access control support in today’s smartphones can enable organizations to use biometric fingerprint readers or face recognition without having to enforce everyone using the same biometric reader. By linking to phone applications that employees have on their devices, fingerprints or other forms of biometric data can be used to grant access. Thinking about context Looking into the future, many of us are looking forward to things going back to the way that they were before the pandemic. However, there are a lot of things that we had to adapt and use to keep operations running and secure during lockdown that we should continue to make use of. Rather than simply going back, we should look ahead at a more hybrid approach to everything, including security. This includes looking at context for identity and access management. Rather than simple approaches that are either too insecure or overkill for employees, we can set out situations that match the most common working situations and then enforce some rules on when access is granted. For this, we can look at how to use authentication and access control more effectively alongside other security factors. As we move to a more hybrid way of working, this flexibility of approach will be necessary to cope with all the different scenarios that employees will be in The first element here is the devices that users have. Trusted devices can be their own factor for authentication, where a device trust can be set up with a specific user account and linked to a specific device like a PC, laptop or tablet. If the user is not using one of those devices, then they can have an additional factor for authentication used, such as entering a one-time password from their cellphone or a cellphone push authentication. This approach does not restrict users that may need to work from other devices occasionally, but it does protect against theft of passwords or dictionary attacks on credentials. The second element is location. When users connect, they will use an IP address that connects them to a network either in the office, to their home provider, or to a public network. Depending on the circumstances, you can put rules in place on how you manage those connections. For a user that is in the office, they may get access automatically in the same way they used to. With conditional access based on geolocation, user access can be allowed or blocked based on a user’s physical location or challenged with a step-up authentication. For example, your business may be based in the UK and with offices in Europe. Getting an access request from India or China may not be legitimate, so IP addresses from those countries can be automatically blocked. Alternatively, if you do have staff that will travel to those countries, then access can be dependent on using a known device and authentication step before signing in. The approach here is to use conditional access based on identity, location, and device and make access as simple as possible for the user and without causing excess risk to the organization. By looking at specific circumstances and context, you can design your access management approach to fit the user. As we move to a more hybrid way of working, this flexibility of approach will be necessary to cope with all the different scenarios that employees will be in.
Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organization secure.
When 150,000 video surveillance cameras get hacked, it’s big news. Even if the main reason for the hack was to make a point. Even if the major consequence is bad publicity for a video company (and, by extension, the entire video surveillance industry). The target of the hack was Silicon Valley startup Verkada, which has collected a massive trove of security-camera data from its 150,000 surveillance cameras inside hospitals, companies, police departments, prisons and schools. Previously, Verkada has been known for an aggressive sales approach and its intent to disrupt the traditional video market. The data breach was accomplished by an international hacker collective and was first reported by Bloomberg. The reported reasons for the hack were “lots of curiosity, fighting for freedom of information and against intellectual property, a huge dose of anti-capitalism, a hint of anarchism – and it’s also just too much fun not to do it,” according to Bloomberg. Tesla amongst those impacted The “fun” included access to a video showing the inside of a Florida hospital, where eight hospital staffers tackled a man and pinned him to the bed. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffsA view inside a Tesla warehouse in Shanghai, China, showed workers on an assembly line. Inside a Massachusetts police station, officers are seen questioning a man in handcuffs. There are even views from Verkada security cameras inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than 20 people in 2012. In a “security update” statement, Verkada reports: “Our internal security experts are actively investigating the matter. Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented additional security measures to restrict account access and further protect our customers.” Hacking was possible due to built-in feature The hacker group was able to obtain “root” access on the cameras, meaning they could use the cameras to execute their own code, reports Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hackingUsing that access, they could pivot and obtain access to the broader corporate network of Verkada’s customers or hijack the cameras and use them as a platform to launch future hacks, the hackers told Bloomberg. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera did not require any additional hacking, as it was a built-in feature. Elisa Costante, VP of research for cybersecurity firm Forescout, calls the Verkada security camera hack "shocking." "Connected cameras are supposed to provide an additional layer of security to organizations that install them,” she says. “Yet, as the Verkada security camera breach has shown, the exact opposite is often true. [It is worrisome that] the attack wasn't even very sophisticated and didn't involve exploiting a known or unknown vulnerability. The bad actors simply used valid credentials to access the data stored on a cloud server.” Super Admin account had access to all cameras Hackers gained access to Verkada through a “Super Admin” account, allowing them to peer into the cameras of all of its customers. They found a username and password for an administrator account publicly exposed on the internet, according to Bloomberg. The hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada.Hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives after Bloomberg contacted Verkada The results could have been worse, says Costante. "In this case, the bad actors have seemingly only resorted to viewing the footage these cameras have captured. But they are likely able to cause a lot more damage if they choose to do so, as our own research team has discovered. We were able to intercept, record and replace real-time footage from smart cameras by exploiting unencrypted video streaming protocols and performing a man-in-the-middle attack. This effectively gives criminals a virtual invisibility cloak to physically access premises and wreak havoc in the real world.” Impact on broader video surveillance industry The impact of a well-publicised cyber-attack on the broader video surveillance industry is also a concern. “As an industry, and as manufacturers in physical security, we cannot take these hacks lightly,” says Christian Morin, CSO & Vice-President of Integrations & Cloud Services, Genetec. “The potential broad-reaching impact of these hacks on physical security systems, including providing a beachhead to facilitate lateral movement onto networks, resulting in data and privacy breaches or access to critical assets and infrastructure, cannot be overstated. It is our responsibility and duty to users of our technology to prioritise data privacy and cybersecurity in the development, distribution, and deployment of video surveillance systems.” Widespread government and healthcare use The Verkada cameras are in widespread use within government and healthcare, which are by far the company’s most dominant verticals. Lesser verticals for them are manufacturing, financial and retail.The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously Verkada’s line of hybrid cloud security cameras combines edge-based processing with the capabilities of cloud computing. Cameras analyse events in real-time, while simultaneously leveraging computer vision technology for insights that bring speed and efficiency to incidents and investigations. Command, Verakda’s centralised web-based platform, provides users with access to footage they need. Motion detection, people analytics, and vehicle analytics enable searches across an organization to find relevant footage. The Verkada website pledges to take privacy seriously: “We are passionate about developing products that enhance the security and privacy of organizations and individuals. We believe that well-built, user-friendly systems make it easier to manage and secure physical environments in ways that respect the privacy of individuals while simultaneously keeping them safe.”
Following its recent acquisition, Vidsys will continue to operate, now as an ‘An ARES Security Company’. The Vidsys brand is known worldwide for its PSIM (physical security information management) solution and the acquisition will accelerate the next generation of products that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance their value to Vidsys clients and the overall market. ARES Security Corporation has developed and deployed security and public safety software solutions for the past 20 years, solving complex physical security challenges. Their AVERT security software solution supports the full lifecycle of physical security operations: risk and technology assessment and design, training, and intelligent real-time incident response. AVERT security software AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost. Clients are in many market segments including Corporate, Military, Government, Power, Data Centers, Transportation and Ports. Vidsys’ PSIM will immediately be improved by incorporating AVERT C2 (Command & Control), allowing clients access to expanded capabilities and an advanced technical roadmap. “Over time we will migrate the Vidsys technology to our state-of-the-art, multi-tenant SaaS architecture that includes secure, multi-site data sharing, an updated library of connectors, and integration to the AVERT digital twin, artificial intelligence/machine learning and automation capability,” said Ben Eazzetta, ARES Security Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Technical roadmap for upgrading to AI-PSIM platform “We are a client-centric company, and we will continue to support Vidsys clients,” stated Ben Eazzetta, adding “We will focus initial efforts towards closing any required and promised capability gaps and offer a significantly improved technical roadmap for the platform to be upgraded to AI-PSIM.” Additional AVERT products will be made available to Vidsys clients in a ‘cost-effective way’. They include technology for assessment and design, virtual tabletop and virtual reality training and enhanced AI and robotics capability surrounding the digital twin. A ‘digital twin’ is a digital representation of a physical object. Rapid incident response and robotic sentries interfaces ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation for rapid incident response ARES has a strong market position in several verticals that require a robust and automated next-generation AI-PSIM. The ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation that enable rapid incident response and incorporate advanced features, such as interfaces to robotic sentries. “These capabilities, along with a more automated deployment process, will allow Vidsys to scale their acquisition of customers across key verticals in which ARES is already active. This automated deployment process will also open new opportunities to work with system integrators who have shied away from PSIM projects in recent years,” stated Ben Eazzetta. Optimizing security operations ARES believes the physical security market is underserved by technology that optimizes operations. Ben Eazzetta adds, “All of our products are designed to optimize security operation, and the acquisition of Vidsys allows us to accelerate the development of the next generation PSIM that is adaptive and intelligent, powered by AVERT’s AI, and Modeling and Simulation system.” Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors, providing an integrated real-time incident response system powered by a rules engine. Together, the AVERT/Vidsys solution seeks to transform the way security operations centers (SOCs) operate and respond to emergencies. Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors Managing security at multiple sites Ben Eazzetta said, “There’s no denying that some in the security industry see PSIM as a four-letter word. But PSIM exists because it meets a need in the security operations center that cannot be met by either video management or incident management systems. It is critical that PSIM evolves to meet the rapidly changing demands of enterprise clients.” He adds, “Our clients need to manage security at multiple sites, each with different security plans and threats, they need adaptive rules engines to manage complex incidents and emergency responses, and they need automation to seamlessly command and control all security assets, including robotic assets.” Flexible and intelligent software Future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation “The future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation that enables very rapid incident response and incorporates advanced capabilities such as interfaces to robotic sentries,” said Ben Eazzetta. He adds, “To achieve this, we are replacing the brittle, difficult-to-configure rules engine of today’s PSIM with machine learning and AI capabilities that can produce automated/optimized responses or recommendations in near real time.” SaaS-enabled and remotely hosted system The systems will be SaaS-enabled, remotely hosted and easily configurable to reduce the cost and time of deployments for large enterprise implementations and easily supported by end-users, and system integrators. In a post-Covid-19 world, it is critical that enterprise security software solutions be adaptive, intelligent, automated and offer the ability for disparate teams to share information and collaborate in a meaningful way, while responding to incidents and emergencies in real-time. The ARES/Vidsys offering is a lifecycle solution that meets the needs of enterprise security operations. Next-generation of AI-PSIM “ARES has always pushed the needle of what is possible with our AVERT solution, ever since development of our digital twin technology began in 1999 to protect our nation’s nuclear stockpiles,” said Ben Eazzetta, adding “Today, we continue to innovate with the next generation of AI-PSIM.” So what’s ahead for ARES and Vidsys in 2021? “A lot of Zoom calls!” laughs Eazzetta, adding “We are excited to leverage the decades of hard work that both teams have put into our solutions. We all realize the fantastic opportunity we have been given to create a next-generation AI-PSIM and to open new markets for all of our products and solutions.” He adds, “Combining the two companies will lead to improved development/support capability and significantly improved roadmaps for our clients. We will provide immediate ROI for clients by lowering deployment costs and leveraging the entire suite of products to provide more immediate value while continuing to deliver as promised, like ARES always does.”
At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. However, the attacker was only in the system for 3 to 5 minutes, and an operator corrected the concentration back to 100 parts per million soon after. It would have taken a day or more for contaminated water to enter the system. In the end, the city’s water supply was not affected. There were other safeguards in place that would have prevented contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply, which serves around 15,000 residents. The remote access used for the attack was disabled pending an investigation by the FBI, Secret Service and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. On Feb. 2, a compilation of breached usernames and passwords, known as COMB for “Compilation of Many Breaches,” was leaked online. COMB contains 3.2 billion unique email/password pairs. It was later discovered that the breach included the credentials for the Oldsmar water plant. Water plant attacks feared for years Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.” “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul. “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says. Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.
An intelligent network of 20 Axis EN fire panels from fire and life safety systems manufacturer, Advanced, have been installed at HaDo Centrosa Garden in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. HaDo Centrosa Garden is a 70,000 sq. m development of eight 30-story luxury residential towers and 115 townhouses, located in the heart of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The upscale condominium complex’s facilities will include a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, fitness center, rooftop gardens, a park, school, library and commercial center. System with high-speed networking capabilities Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed A key requirement for this large-scale complex was a system with high-speed networking capabilities, to enable instantaneous sharing of communications between panels. To meet this need, fire protection companies Vietsafe and KP Technology chose 20 Advanced Axis EN fire alarm control panels, alongside 3,000 addressable devices, for installation in the eight residential towers. With many successful installations of Advanced products undertaken by both companies, Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed, while its ease of installation, testing, commissioning and operation would ensure minimal issues once the panels were on site. Axis EN fire alarm control panels installed Le Manh Dung, Director of Vietsafe, said “An Axis EN fire system was the clear choice for a project of this nature. Advanced is well respected in the fire industry, and its solutions are straightforward in terms of installation and operation, thanks to features such as built-in isolators for sequence addressing, which considerably reduces installation time.” Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved and its panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed, multi-loop networks of up to 200 nodes covering huge areas. Advanced’s reputation for ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range make its products customizable to almost any application. False alarm management and reduction Pham Thanh Phong, Director of KP Technology, said “As a key partner to KP Technology, Advanced is a fire system supplier we can trust, to deliver high-performing, high-quality solutions that are easy to install and to use. Features such as Axis EN’s false alarm management and reduction capabilities are extremely useful in high-rise residential sites, such as HaDo Centrosa Garden.” Pham Thanh Phong adds, “Repeated false alarms are not only intrusive, they can also lead to complacency and delayed reactions to real fire alarms. Having the ability to refine and configure protection so specifically, and according to the requirements of specific areas within a building, helps to keep unwanted alarms to a minimum and reduces disruption and risk for residents.” AlarmCalm software and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system, taking advantage of Advanced’s high-speed robust panels and networks to offer a best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined precisely and to take account of occupants’ needs and area usage. It also includes the optional AlarmCalm button, a loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Axis EN fire system Tin Le Than, Advanced’s Sales and Business Development Manager for South East Asia, said “As a modern, vibrant complex for thousands of people living and working in the center of Ho Chi Minh, the fire protection for the HaDo Centrosa Garden development is a key priority.” Tin Le Than adds, “As an industry-renowned solution, the Axis EN fire system will deliver complete peace of mind to the building owners and residents of the complex. I am pleased to have been able to support our fantastic partners at Vietsafe and KP Technology with the equipment needed to fulfill their requirements.” Global projects Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, protects a wide range of sites across South East Asia including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, University of Macau and Hong Kong Central Library. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.
Lock manufacturer Mul-T-Lock has provided all seven of Barry’s studios in London with its eCLIQ® locks and over 100 accompanying keys in order to manage access rights across each studio. Founded in 1998 in West Hollywood, Barry’s fitness classes soon became known throughout the world, with studios opening up across America and Canada, in the Middle East and throughout Europe. There are over 140,000 global members of Barry’s FitFam, with eight boutique studios in the UK. London-based Astoria Fire and Security Ltd recommended Mul-T-Lock’s eCLIQ® access control solution to all seven of Barry’s studios throughout London, to help combat lost keys and achieve complex access requirements. Granting access rights Fraser McNair, Contracts Manager at Astoria Fire and Security commented: “Mul-T-Lock’s eCLIQ® system has enabled us to program locks and cut keys without traditional locksmithing skills or equipment, which is invaluable to a specialist fire and security company such as ours.” “The convenience and cost saving to our customer has also meant that the product has virtually sold itself and it gives them the control to manage their security directly from a phone application that is both secure and easy to use. They can now reconfigure their security within minutes themselves and lost keys can be canceled immediately. They also have the added convenience of only granting access rights on certain days at certain times depending on the role of the key holder.” Access control system If a key is lost, access can be also be revoked using the eCLIQ® software With a number of employees that require access to the studios at various times of the day/week and with confidential client data kept on file within each building, Barry’s required a solution that would offer a high level of physical security as well as data protection. Mul-T-Lock’s eCLIQ® access control system allows end-users to both grant and remove access permissions remotely. This includes the ability to schedule individual access permissions for each key, as well as to provide time-limited access. If a key is lost, access can be also be revoked using the eCLIQ® software, all managed from a cloud-based system. The eCLIQ® system is particularly useful for leisure facilities that often suffer from a high staff turnover. Having the ability to remove access permissions when a member of staff leaves allows facilities managers and business owners to uphold their security and the safety of visitors and staff. Offering enhanced security This not only offers enhanced security, but also significantly reduces whole life costing. In the past, when a mechanical key is lost, security can only be guaranteed by replacing the whole mechanical suite of locks – at an unwelcome cost and often disruption to ‘business as usual’ for facilities. Locks can also be easily removed and moved to a new site without the need for expensive re-wiring found in most other access control systems. Fitness studios and gyms have very complex access and security requirements" Jacques Vermeulen, Regional Sales Manager for Mul-T-Lock added: “Fitness studios and gyms have very complex access and security requirements, with 24-hour shift patterns for staff, deliveries throughout the day, and contractors needing one-time access. Plus, the management of visitors and their flow around a building, needs to be non-intrusive yet secure and reassuring.” Provide physical access “Even though keys provide physical access to critical assets within gyms and health clubs, including areas that house servers holding customer data, and to offices where customers’ accounts are managed, we often see end-users unsure of how many keys they have in circulation, or where they are at any given time. More worryingly, often when staff leave there is no system to revoke access or monitor if they return the keys.” “The safety and security of visitors and staff is paramount for any customer facing business, but in such a competitive industry the smooth running and ongoing service can be vital to its success and profitability. Security and access systems, such as eCLIQ® from Mul-T-Lock, not only improves safety and mitigates risk but also helps with business continuity, which is a valuable asset to the leisure industry.”
Two renowned systems integrators have improved their ability to more effectively specify and design advanced physical security systems, using the dedicated tool, AXIS Site Designer. AXIS Site Designer AXIS Site Designer is a unique and free web application from Axis Communications, a market renowned company in network video solutions, which makes the specification and design of complex security systems quicker and easier. Having recently deployed the solution, two of Axis partners, Southern Fire & Security Ltd. and Acctive Systems, have been able to evidence a more sophisticated process and have won clients as a result. Security devices and sensors As physical security technology continues to advance, in order to keep up with the ever-evolving threat landscape, coupled with more security devices and sensors being added to IT networks, the task of specifying such systems has become more complex. The principal challenges for those working in the industry are to be able to properly illustrate to buyers the capabilities of such devices and also to demonstrate how they can work together to secure a site. This web application holds the solution. Powerful and versatile design tool AXIS Site Designer revolutionizes the specification and design process AXIS Site Designer revolutionizes the specification and design process, by allowing an entire solution to be mapped out to the finest detail. The powerful and highly versatile tool removes any guesswork or element of trial and error, making it easy to create the right system to fit the exact operational requirements and needs of a prospect or client. The application even allows floor plans of the target site to be added, and virtual placement of cameras and devices enables viewing of the coverage they will provide, once installed. Partner with Southern Fire & Security and Acctive Systems Sean Mcnaboe, Axis Communications’ Key Account Manager, explains “The benefits of AXIS Site Designer are numerous. It helps streamline design workflow, simplify demos of security products and accessories, and even generate quotations and change items in a bill of materials within minutes.” Sean Mcnaboe adds, “Axis has been working closely with two partners, Southern Fire & Security and Acctive Systems, to help them drive their businesses forward while meeting, and often exceeding, the evolving requirements of customers.” Security and surveillance systems specification Southern Fire & Security has recently taken on the specification of security and surveillance systems for several high value properties around the London area, so being able to accurately specify dedicated solutions is critical to secure ongoing business. Acctive Systems, a renowned integrator of electronic security systems, needed a method of specifying security systems that would allow it to demonstrate an entire setup and its component parts via digital means. Efficient designing of surveillance systems AXIS Site Designer is an empowering leap forward in the design of surveillance systems Steve Wilson, Director at Southern Fire & Security, explains “Being able to make only basic recommendations around the use of appropriate technologies has been a key challenge for us. It’s very difficult to plan some of the more involved projects in detail, so we desperately needed a way to be able to visualize an entire estate and how a solution would operate.” AXIS Site Designer is an empowering leap forward in the design of surveillance systems, allowing for greater speed and efficiency, and enabling more effective management of any project. Enhancing customer satisfaction High quality designs and other outputs create a level of professionalism that is a major plus point when vying for business, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and pointing towards greater revenue prospects. Gerry Numa, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Acctive Systems, said “AXIS Site Designer delivers everything we anticipated, and more, setting us ahead of our competitors when it comes to slick, professional looking project design. I would encourage other businesses to reach out to Axis to find out how the application can benefit them too.”
The Thiepval Museums, in northern France, needed trusted, secure entry and exit control to reduce theft from their premises. User-friendly management of access rights was essential, for both internal and external users. The museums needed a system that will be able to cope easily with changes, site extensions and two-site operation, and a solution that would remove the need to change all cylinders, when an employee loses a key. eCLIQ locking cylinders installed Now, the Historial and Thiepval Museums are equipped with 52 eCLIQ locking cylinders, across the two sites. ASSA ABLOY’s eCLIQ key-operated solution offers them simplified access management, incorporating easy activation and deactivation of keys and simpler administration of access rights, and schedules for external providers and contractors. A unified system manages access to both locations. Every authorized key holder carries one battery-powered key programmed with only their tailored access permissions. With eCLIQ, missing keys are quickly de-authorized, cutting risks associated with key loss or theft. At any time, facility managers can generate an audit trail to verify who has accessed which locks. Designed for museum security Installing an eCLIQ system has allowed security teams to better monitor service providers Across the two sites, the museums have 40 durable, compact, and waterproof eCLIQ keys, of which 19 are already allocated to regular users. These Bluetooth-enabled keys are available to employees and contractors, helping the latter to improve their responsiveness when they are needed on-site. Installing an eCLIQ system has allowed security teams to better monitor service providers, along with their movements around and between the two sites. It is straightforward for museum managers to limit contractors’ access rights to the duration of a task, whether recurring or one-off. eCLIQ locking system Fitting eCLIQ locking system was a simple and wire-free task, and the museum staff, performed the installation themselves. One training session, with the admin software, was sufficient, to put them at ease with their new system. Looking after eCLIQ components is also easy, an integrated lubricant reservoir ensures cylinders, don’t require maintenance for up to 200,000 cycles. AES encryption, rapid processing, and efficient energy management is built into the eCLIQ chip. When a key’s battery runs out, it is easily replaced without tools. Easy and effective access control “I am very happy with the eCLIQ solution,” said M. Guyot, Technical and Security Manager at the Historial and Thiepval Museums, adding “Today, I promote the solution to those around me. I have also given a demonstration to the Somme General Council, to show the effectiveness and simplicity of the eCLIQ solution.” Guyot adds, “Normally, as a user client, we try to help you improve your products, but there was nothing to say in this case!”
Pionen is a former civil defense center constructed in the White Mountains Södermalm borough of Stockholm, Sweden in 1943 to safeguard essential government functions. It was transformed into a data center by the Swedish internet service provider, Bahnhof. Sweden’s Bahnhof Data Center was officially opened on September 11, 2008, and the company continues to use the facility till now. The building is concealed under the mountain and is secured by a 15.75 in (40 cm) thick door and can only be reached by an entrance tunnel. Due to all of these features, the data center can withstand even a hydrogen bomb. Constructing something exceptional The Bahnhof Data Center is also a co-location center. In 2010, WikiLeaks used its co-location services to store its servers. The facility is architected in such a way that it looks like a vision right out of a science fiction movie. Bahnhof purposefully planned its server environment to bring to mind the cinematic look and feel of science fiction movies like Silent Running and Logan’s Run. The company has preserved the place’s cold war moniker, Pionen White Mountains The Bahnhof Data Center exists in a previous nuclear shelter about 100 ft (30 m) under the ground. The company has preserved the place’s cold war moniker, Pionen White Mountains, and some of its accouterments. One of the signs near the entrance reads: these doors should be locked at DEFCON1. This extraordinary facility came to life thanks to a distinct design idea, thoughtful use of technology, and a strong aspiration to construct something exceptional. Hydrogen bomb explosion Bahnhof Data Center facts are as follows: It took 20 months to design and construct the facility. The center has an IT usable capacity of 800 kW. There are 140 cabinets with a power density of 5.7 kW average per cabinet. There is no particular maximum. Cooling, organized cabling, and electrical wiring are fitted under a 3.3 ft (1 m) deep raised flooring. The facility is located in a site that was initially an army bunker and nuclear shelter during the cold war. The shelter was designed to withstand a hydrogen bomb explosion. It houses the Network Operations Center (NOC) for all of ISP’s operations. They have five (5) data centers in the country, with Pionen being the largest. The facility also serves as a co-location hosting center, so one can really put their own servers here. It features two Maybach MTU diesel engines and Baltimore Aircoil fans. A team of only 15 senior technical employees work permanently in the facility. Former nuclear bunker The data center is situated below 30 m of solid granite foundation The Bahnhof Data Center is a Hollywood-style Swedish data center situated in a former nuclear bunker, deep in the bedrock right beneath the city of Stockholm. It was constructed to be able to survive a blast by a hydrogen bomb. The building has a total area of 10,764 sq ft (1,000 sq m), with 5,382 sq ft (500 sq m) of hosting area and 2,153 sq ft (200 sq. m) for back-of-house systems. The residual area is for office and personnel spaces. It can tolerate a structural loading of 403 lbs per sq ft (2 tons per sq m). The data center is situated below 30 m of solid granite foundation. Glass-Walled room When one enters the facility, the first thing they will notice are two huge engines that automatically start in the event of a power cut. These are genuine German submarine engines. The mountain walls inside are covered with green plants that makes one feel as if they provide the site with extra oxygen. Excess heat created by the servers is recycled into the local district heating network There is also a massive insulated, circular glass-walled room that floats above the ground, serving as a conference room. The round carpet inside the conference room looks like the moon. For a pleasant work atmosphere, the facility has simulated daylight, conservatories, man-made waterfalls, and a massive 2600 lt saltwater fish tank. Excess heat created by the servers is recycled into the local district heating network, making this facility one of the most environmentally-friendly data centers across the globe. Co-Location hosting According to Jon Karlung, CEO at Bahnhof, the exceptional design of the data center makes it a much-talked-about facility worldwide. If one has been inside the building, they will certainly tell other people about it. The exclusive approach also aids the business to get the word out about their building. It makes them stick out, and as the building provides co-location hosting, they have consumers who often visit the site and work there. These individuals share what they see with others, which creates positive word-of-mouth marketing for the company. Server capacity services Bahnhof has delivered internet and hosting services since its establishment in 1994 Bahnhof has delivered internet and hosting services since its establishment in 1994. In 2006, it came across an exciting prospect to expand its premises and include a subterranean bunker initially serving as an army shelter and nuclear bunker during the Cold War era. In 2007-2008, Bahnhof Data Center was totally repurposed to become the remarkable facility. Over 4,000 cubic m (141,300 cubic ft) of solid rock was blasted away to create the 1,200 sq m that the company required. The redesigned facility became operational in September 2008, accommodating a huge part of the company’s network operations and serving as a co-location center for a range of businesses and people looking for server capacity services. Human-Friendly atmosphere The Bahnhof Data Center is different from all other hosting facilities across the globe. It was inspired by movies like The Empire Strikes Back and James Bond. The building has an exceptional human-friendly atmosphere, housing magnificent waterfalls, conservatories, a glass-walled meeting room floating above the ground, and artificial daylight. Bahnhof Data Center is one of the best-connected sites in the North European region Bahnhof Data Center is one of the best-connected sites in the North European region. It provides triple redundancy internet backbone access. The network has complete redundancy with both fiber optics and additional copper lines with several different physical ways into the mountain. The data center depends on Eaton’s UPS protection to offer rock-solid network operations and co-location services. The backup power supply is guaranteed by two Maybach MTU diesel engines that were initially designed for submarines. They can generate 1.5 megawatts of power. A submarine sound-horn is fitted near the engines and alarms in case of a system breakdown. Rack-Mounted servers The cooling is controlled by Baltimore Aircoil fans generating a cooling effect of 1.5 megawatts. This is sufficient to cool hundreds of rack-mounted servers at a time. With a massive 11,950 sq ft space, the facility houses a NOC for all of the ISP’s operations. The network of Global Switch includes numerous main production servers As one of five data centers, it is the biggest and is operated by a team of 15 senior technical employees. The network of Global Switch includes numerous main production servers, backup servers, and administrative, standby, and dedicated servers. Pionen is Bahnhof’s largest data center and can house over 6,000 server computers. Subterranean data center What makes Bahnhof Data Center one of the most secure buildings? As the world becomes increasingly dependent on online services, internet service providers are going above and beyond to protect their systems. This fact is more obvious at the subterranean data center run by Bahnhof. When Karlung secured a former nuclear shelter below 100 ft of Stockholm bedrock as the location for a data center, he believed it would be suitable to bring his love of 1970s science fiction to the design of the site. The facility is a server housing center that can endure a hydrogen bomb explosion. In case of power failure, backup power is delivered by a few German submarine engines. Fabricated waterfalls, interior jungle plants, lowland smog, and a meeting room with an image of the moon’s surface on the flooring provide the preferred effect of a sci-fi dream pad. Access control system Its working atmosphere is made more liveable for workers with artificial daylight Constructed 30 m underneath a granite mountain, the building was initially used as a cold war shelter and was planned to provide security from a nuclear conflict between Soviet and Western forces. With servers situated deep within the mountain and only reachable through one tunnel sheltered by a 40 cm thick steel door and can run independently of the national grid because of two submarine engines that serve as backup generators. Although the data center is acknowledged to be one of the most secure facilities across the globe because of its underground location, its working atmosphere is made more liveable for workers with artificial daylight, conservatories, and a saltwater fish tank. Identiv’s flexible physical access control system (PACS) and video intelligence solutions provide the highest security at the lowest cost possible. Regardless of the physical location, one can easily manage access control through the robust, feature-rich systems, hardware, and software. Their technology integrations deliver high-security physical security solutions in partnership with other providers.
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.
Round table discussion
The topic of video analytics has been talked and written about for decades, and yet is still one of the cutting-edge themes in the physical security industry. Some say yesterday’s analytics systems tended to overpromise and underdeliver, and there are still some skeptics. However, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reinvigorating the sector and enabling it to finally live up to its promise. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new technologies and trends will shape video analytics in 2021?
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?
Contact tracing has been more than a buzzword during the coronavirus pandemic. In some cases, it has been an issue of life and death. Tracking who an infected person has been in contact with is an important tool to minimize disease spread, and technology from the physical security industry claimed a role in contact tracing early on – and continues to provide benefits as companies seek to reopen. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can the security industry enhance contact tracing?
Achieving True Situational Awareness In Operation Centers With Computer Vision & AIDownload