School security systems
With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities. The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a sec...
National systems integrator, IES Communications, LLC, a subsidiary of IES Holdings, Inc., has added the Alcatraz Rock autonomous access control solution to its security technology portfolio. IES Communications has selected the Alcatraz Rock to leverage the latest in biometrics – facial authentication – which is more secure and more hygienic, as it reduces touchpoints. “IES is always striving to bring safe new ways to utilize cutting-edge security solutions to its customers. W...
PSA Security Network (PSA), the globally renowned consortium of professional systems integrators, has announced the addition of EAGL Technology to its Managed Security Service Provider Program (MSSP). EAGL Technology is a manufacturer of indoor/outdoor IoT wireless gunshot sensors, as well as sensors that can detect vape, car collisions, flood waters and critical infrastructure failures. Active shooter threat detection “EAGL produces solutions that address today’s real-world securi...
Understanding access control technology has surpassed its core application as a security tool and is helping protect individuals from infection, Anviz has announced the release of a strategic addition to its product line, Go Touchless - FaceDeep 5 and FaceDeep 5 IRT face recognition terminals. Safely Returning to work and school during the post COVID-19 pandemic period leaves people with a key question - With what health and safety precautions? AI-based facial recognition terminal Anviz has i...
Evolv Technology, a globally renowned provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-based touchless security screening systems, announced the appointment of digital transformation executive Merline Saintil to its Board of Directors. The 20-year technology industry veteran is widely respected for providing world-class innovators and market makers with strategic leadership, insightful guidance, and operational expertise to dominate the markets they serve. Saintil has a proven track record of developin...
Heavily used interior and exterior doors need an access solution that’s both robust and intelligent. The new SMARTair i-max Escutcheon from ASSA ABLOY ensures only authorized users pass through these doors, via a range of credentials including virtual keys stored on a smartphone. Fast, wire-free installation makes it easy to implement or extend a SMARTair access control system in any building. This new wireless escutcheon with an inbuilt RFID reader and Bluetooth compatibility handles the...
MOBOTIX AG has developed the M16 EST Thermal Camera as a special thermal solution for the for zero-contact detection of temperature fluctuations of the body surface (EST: Elevated Surface Temperature). The M16 EST thermal camera complies with the specifications of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which enables and enforces its use and distribution in the United States. The thermal solution precisely satisfies the requirements of the COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA's enforcement policy for tele-thermographic systems. This means that the MOBOTIX M16 EST solution can be utilized by following FDA regulations for determining body temperature within the duration of the public health emergency that was declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Thermal camera solution Examples of suitable locations for this solution include, but are not limited to: healthcare facilities, schools, government institutions and retail environments. Meeting FDA requirements under the emergency order is an essential step for MOBOTIX sales in the growing US market. However, utilization of the MOBOTIX M16 EST solution within the healthcare sector in countries outside the US may require further product releases and approvals to satisfy the specific needs of various national laws. Regardless, with all FDA specifications met, the highly-esteemed German manufacturing quality within this professional thermal solution will undoubtedly extend into other countries and markets. The measurement system, which complies with FDA specifications, consists of two components, the MOBOTIX M16 EST thermal camera, and a black body radiator. The black body radiator is used to create an area with a reference temperature for the MOBOTIX M16 EST thermal camera. Recording body temperature Recording body temperature with the MOBOTIX M16 EST thermal camera is an effective tool for risk detection Non-contact temperature detection is used primarily by healthcare professionals to screen and potentially identify (COVID-19) infected people. The thermal camera solution can be used in healthcare facilities or non-medical areas, such as airports or building access gates. Recording body temperature with the MOBOTIX M16 EST thermal camera is an effective tool for risk detection. Of course, the MOBOTIX solution should not be used exclusively or primarily for diagnosing or ruling out COVID-19 as well as any other disease. Elevated body temperatures associated with the use of this solution should always be confirmed with secondary evaluation methods such as non-contact infrared thermometer (NCIT) or clinical grade contact thermometer. The MOBOTIX M16 EST thermal camera should only be used to record a single person's temperature at a time. Reference body temperature The distance between the person and the camera must be the same as the distance between the person and the black body radiator. The MOBOTIX M16 EST thermal camera measures the difference between the reference temperature of the calibrated black body radiator and the temperature of the hottest point within the measuring range of the uncovered face of a person. Usually, this is the inner canthus (tear duct) of the eye.
Pyreos, one of the world’s first suppliers of integrated digital ezPyro SMD pyroelectric sensor subsystems for gas, flame, and analysis applications, announces a significant design win with Safe Zone Technologies Inc which supplies gunfire detection systems for indoor spaces. In this application ezPyro infrared detectors are used for high-speed muzzle-flash detection and analysis. The Pyreos sensor is integrated into a very small networked multi-sensor solution which is easily installed within public buildings such as retail stores, schools, and offices. Pyreos began shipping ezPyro sensor subsystems in volume to Safe Zone in late 2019. The design-in cycle lasted just four months and benefitted from Pyreos’ extensive range of reference boards, APIs, engineering application support, and comprehensive design information. Multiple sensor technologies We are excited to continue developing products and solve historically difficult problems" ezPyro’s analysis speed, low cost, and small form factor were all key factors in Safe Zone’s selection. The gunshot detection systems market was estimated to be worth $1Bn in 2019, growing at 26% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The indoor segment shows the most growth globally, with major sales growth in the USA. John Anderson, CTO of Safe Zone, said: “The ezPyro sensor has helped us streamline development, design, and manufacturing by eliminating the need for several complicated circuits and simplifying the overall hardware. We are excited to continue leveraging this powerful component to develop products and solve historically difficult problems. The team at Pyreos has offered us excellent support through the development process. We are looking forward to continuing to work with them to solve the challenging problems of our time.” Indoor gunshot detection Keith Pruden, VP Sales at Pyreos, said: “We have been delighted to supply Safe Zone for this vital application. It has been impressive to see their design team quickly develop an innovative solution combining multiple sensor technologies. Indoor gunshot detection and identification bring confidence and safety benefits to all indoor spaces, especially in retail, education and office settings. We look forward to supporting the company with new product development in the future.” Safe Zone Technologies will also join the Pyreos Design Partners to make selected Safe Zone developments more widely available.
Dahua Technology, a front-runner video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, is proud to announce that the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center is now available to its global customers. By demonstrating its latest technologies, products, and solutions through an online virtual showroom, the center can support customers in designing excellent security systems. Due to the drastic impact of COVID-19, people are having difficulties in gaining access and experiencing the development of products and technologies in their field of interest while keeping themselves safe and healthy at the same time. AIoT future Browse the most up-to-date security technologies, products and solutions from the comfort and safety of ones home or office As an innovation-driven company, Dahua Technology stands against the difficulties and challenges brought by the unprecedented pandemic by fully embracing digital transformation. The company launched the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center in order to drive innovation to an AIoT future. No matter where one is, one can simply browse the most up-to-date security technologies, products and solutions from the comfort and safety of ones home or office, and get resources and knowledge that can help one with ones next security project. Benefits that the center offers Browse the latest technology wherever one are 24/7 Broad range of products and vertical industry solutions on display 360-degree eye-catching product showcases available in VR Download product datasheets, images and other information directly to ones device Additional features With the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center, one can learn about the up-to-date products and solutions of Dahua Technology in an economical and safe manner. Moreover, one can also simply click a button to mark the products that interest one as favorite, as well as send emails to request for more information. With its mission of “Enabling a Safer Society and Smarter Living”, Dahua Technology will continue to focus on “Innovation, Quality, and Service” to serve its partners and customers around the world.
SALTO Systems, front-runners in wire-free networked, wireless, cloud, and smartphone-based access control solutions; announce that the SALTO Neo electronic cylinder is their latest product to gain the coveted BSI Enhanced Level IoT Kitemark™ for access control systems. Designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required, the compact SALTO Neo Cylinder can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, sliding doors, and more. It’s also available in an extensive range of models, including a new tough next-generation electronic padlock, and is suitable for use on almost any kind of door from Europe to ASIA to the Americas. IoT security IoT is a network of smart devices and systems when connected, enables the exchange of data to provide services, efficiency, and innovation BSI (British Standards Institution) has been part of this collaborative work to give clarity on best practices for IoT security, subsequently developing a scheme to assess connected/IoT devices. The scheme determines whether a product has the appropriate security controls for its intended use and is suitably supported throughout its intended life. This cyber/physical security scheme forms the security element of the BSI Kitemark for IoT/Connected products. The IoT is typically a network of smart devices and systems that can be connected, enabling data to be exchanged to provide services, efficiency, and innovation. Its technology can positively enhance lives and businesses, but the complexity of IoT also means that those of criminal intent may attempt to access it to steal data, hack cameras, enter buildings or otherwise breach security. Advanced security testing Like the already approved XS4 One electronics locks product family and BLUEnet wireless peripherals, SALTO controllers, and readers, to achieve certification the SALTO Neo family of electronic cylinders had to undergo advanced security testing for vulnerabilities and security flaws in BSI’s state of the art IoT laboratory enduring BSI’s most in-depth and exacting testing and analysis. The SALTO Neo Cylinder provides an effective and convenient way of securing a building or assets. The clutch system is energy efficient, dropping power consumption to impressively low levels resulting in 100,000 / 130,000 operations from just one set of batteries. Standby power consumption is also reduced, further extending battery life. IP66-rated and certified Now IP66-rated, the SALTO Neo Cylinder is weather-resistant, making it especially suitable for outdoor use, even in the harshest of environments. Inside the tough SALTO Neo Cylinder exterior is the latest in electronic lock technology. Certified to the highest security standards, and incorporating ever-higher quality and reliability, the SALTO Neo Cylinder offers value far beyond security, however. It also provides greater control over the door by offering users access to audit trails, reports, alerts, and much more. SALTO Systems Limited MD Ramesh Gurdev said, “We’re proud that our SALTO Neo cylinder family now holds both ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation and IoT Kitemark™ status as both are increasingly important in the specification of access control systems. The award means we now exceed the market standard for a number of security products across our access range which provides SALTO customers with confidence that they are buying one of the most secure products available on the market today.”
The Genetec Channel Partner program has partnered with Credly to award verified digital badges to European channel partners who complete Genetec certification courses. Badges provide an easy way to share and validate the skills, experience, and technical knowledge. Digital badges are the best tool to highlight Genetec certifications and achievements on the website, social media, profiles, and more. Think of the badges as a bonus for the hard work—there's no extra cost involved. What is a digital badge? Genetec has included digital badges in their training programs as an additional way for certified partners to share and validate the achievements. These digital credentials can be used in the website, email signatures, and on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It provides a secure and verifiable way to share professional skills and abilities. A digital badge consists of an image and metadata that are uniquely linked to the person and his/her achievements. Why get a digital badge? Digital badges are a web-enabled version of the paper certificates They give one recognition for learning new skills It is a more efficient way of displaying the training achievements on ones social media profiles The Credly platform uses a trusted method for real-time certification verification Genetec digital badges are awarded free of charge (after one passes the skills assessment exam).
Genetec Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, announced that it is broadening its portfolio of FICAM-(Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management) certified options for its Security Center Synergis™ access control system with the support of Veridt Stealth access control readers. Traditionally, the options for Federal Government organizations to replace a non-FICAM compliant system or to secure a new site were restricted to a limited choice of proprietary solutions. Because Security Center Synergis is a FICAM-approved open platform access control system, customers can choose from a range of non-proprietary choices to efficiently validate Personal Identity Verification (PIV, PIV-I, CAC, and TWIC) for federal employees and contractors. Cost-effective solutions “By bringing these new non-proprietary options to market with partners such as Veridt, HID, and Mercury, we are offering government customers a choice of simple-to-deploy and cost-effective solutions so that they can easily comply with FICAM requirements while leveraging the most robust and extensible software solution on the market,” said Justin Himelberger, Enterprise Systems Business Development Manager, Federal & DOD at Genetec. Access management solution Veridt Stealth Series™ readers provide a full complement of capability enabling identity and access management solutions for traditional and trusted PACS using PIV, TWIC, and CAC based credentials. This family of readers encompasses both biometric and non-biometric configurations while offering fixed, wireless, and mobile platforms. Veridt readers are well known for their compact design and operating capability in the harshest environments. Identifying federal standards “We are pleased to work with Genetec to offer our joint US-Federal market customers FICAM-compliant solutions that will enable them to comply with the most stringent access and identity federal standards as well as the flexibility to maintain and protect their investment for years to come,” said Bryce Lamers, Director of Sales and Marketing at Veridt.
For decades, the nature of global safety has been evolving. From physical security threats like large-scale terrorist attacks and lone actor stabbings to chemical threats such as the Salisbury poisonings and even microbiological threats such as COVID-19, new challenges are constantly arising and the threat landscape we operate in today is constantly changing. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks. With the economic downturn, there is the traditional rise in theft, violence and other crimes. Compound this with unmanned businesses and work-at-home staff, and there is a perfect storm for a rise in security threats. Artificial intelligence (AI) and specifically the branch of AI known as machine learning (ML), was already causing widespread disruption in many industries, including the security industry. AI has been a driving force to replace labor-based business models with integrated data and actionable intelligence that is context-aware. It has become apparent that AI will play a big part in the ongoing fight against both pandemics such as COVID-19, as well as other threats that we may face in the future. With all of this in mind, 2021 is poised to be a big year for AI growth. While AI is going to continue to impact our lives in dozens of ways, from smart sensors to face mask compliance detection, the following reflects a few top trends and challenges that I have my eye on for 2021 as we close out this year. The rise of smart city investments One such example is the increasing development of smart cities and how AI can be leveraged to build safe communities. To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services. Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks Typical development of a city includes standard infrastructure - roads, schools, power, water, transportation. Now, internet, data and AI capabilities are part of the standard infrastructure requirements for all new developments. AI promises to deliver increased efficiencies with the infrastructure that will accommodate growing populations while reducing our impact on the environment, resources, and communities. Global cities now account for more than half of the world’s population, and the United Nations projects the number to balloon to 68% by mid-century. Owing to both demographic shifts and overall population growth, that means that around 2.5 billion people could be added to urban areas by the middle of the century, predicts the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). With an increase in population has come an increase in global spending on smart city initiatives to drive down the impact of growing urban concentration. Global spending on smart city initiatives is expected to total nearly $124 billion this year, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide, while Singapore, Tokyo, London and New York as the big spenders - expected to spend more than $1 billion in 2020. Using AI-driven technology to create safer public and private spaces Today, security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect the population in a more efficient, and accurate manner. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new AI technology can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. One such deployment is the use of video object recognition/computer vision software that can be integrated into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify risks and flag threats, such weapons, aggressive behaviours, theft, and safety compliance. This helps to minimize the impact of a breach by an early alert to onsite security in real-time to the location and nature of the potential threat, allowing them to intervene before a loss occurs. These same AI-enabled video solutions can similarly be used to provide advanced business operations in retail, logistics, and manufacturing organizations. Multi-sensor security solutions Also, targeted magnetic and radar sensor technologies, concealed in everyday objects like planter boxes or inside walls, can now scan individuals and bags entering a building for concealed threat objects. Using AI/machine learning, these two sensor solutions combined can identify metal content on the body and bag and match the item to a catalog of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs. Security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments Without this advanced multi-sensor solution, it becomes nearly impossible to discover a weapon on a person's body before it appears in an assailant’s hands. This multi-sensor solution allows for touchless, unobtrusive access to a building, but allows for immediate notification to onsite security when a concealed threat is detected. The hidden technology thus empowers security staff to intercept threats before they evolve into a wider scale attack, while also maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of the public, unless, of course, they are carrying a concealed weapon or pose a physical threat. With the advent of sophisticated surveillance and technological innovation, a level of caution must be exerted. Despite the ongoing global debate, there remains little regulation about the use of AI technologies in today’s physical security space. One thing is certain; it must be deployed in the right place, at the right time, with the right privacy and civil liberty protection objectives. People don’t want to be protected by omnipresent, obstructive and overbearing security systems that infringe on their privacy and civil liberties. They want a proper balance between security and their current way of life, one that must be fused together. Technology and tracing COVID-19 Machine learning-based technologies are playing a substantial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the key purpose of surveillance systems has been to detect and deter threats, including the detection of visible and hidden weapons and abnormal behavior. While this, of course, remains a primary focus, today we are seeing how surveillance systems defend against new invisible threats, as well as rapidly automate the process of contact-tracing to capture and contain a virus before it spreads. Again, the ability to track and trace through parsing algorithms that can manage through enormous amounts of data provides a highly scalable and rapid response mechanism to control the spread of threats. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact Although the threat may not be visible, it is just as destructive. By incorporating AI into existing technologies, government, healthcare and security professionals can monitor public spaces and environments through the combined use of digital and thermal video surveillance cameras and video management systems); just one of the solutions being explored. AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By Using AI-powered video analytic software, businesses can monitor face masks, social distancing and large gathering compliance and also detect elevated body temperature. Critically, technology must be capable of both identifying and tracking the virus but also be unobtrusive. An unobtrusive system that is adaptable enough to be deployed across a range of environments where the public gathers in enclosed spaces is necessary to be effective. Security in 2021 Technology has proven itself to be a valuable ally in times of crisis. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI/machine learning technologies will help optimize security solutions in areas that are brimming with potential. As we look ahead to the future of security in a world that is impacted by such a wide range of threats, from physical to chemical to microbiological, it’s clear that new technologies, specifically AI can dramatically improve the effectiveness of security systems and help us to better defend against a wide spectrum of threats. Technology has a huge role to play in making our communities safe in 2021 and beyond, but for security systems to be effective, they must not be oppressive or obstructive. This will ensure they have the full support of the public - the key to success.
Schools play a key role in shaping our future. Following the reopening of classrooms up and down the country, young minds are returning to some normality. Once again they're being inspired, learning useful skills, and forging new interests to ensure our country's continued prosperity. Schools need a comprehensive security infrastructure to protect the children who attend them. Most notably, secure perimeters that keep unwanted people out, but also ensure visitors, parents, and students alike can access their shared community space without feeling segregated or unwelcome. Robust boundary fencing However, although safety is often the primary concern of parents, with tighter budgetary constraints and funds prioritised to make schools COVID safe, it can be all too easy to let important perimeter replacement or improvement programmes slip. The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorized entry and exit The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorized entry and exit from school grounds, and should be specifically designed to be fit for purpose. Opting for fencing with a welded pale-through-rail construction and concealed anti-tamper connectors between fence panels and posts delivers a robust boundary that's virtually impossible to break through. This style of fencing also gives a better finish with no visible joints or unsightly bolts. Attractive and practical solutions Unlike generic riveted palisade fencing, this solution is both attractive and practical, more so now that LPS 1175 SR1 certified and Secured by Design versions are available. The style of fencing should meet a school's desired security and safety requirements, simultaneously, it should not compromise on aesthetic considerations. As part of the public face of the school, it should be attractive as well as functional, helping overcome any concerns of creating a prison-like environment and promote a sense of well-being. It's recommended that perimeter fencing should be: a minimum of two metres high, vandal-resistant and sturdy, grounded on a hard surface, challenging to scale, and have an anti-climb topping, much the same as a high-security option. Access all areas Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances A perimeter fence requires secure access points and gates. Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances. These should be kept to a minimum, to make it easier to maintain control of visitor movement. However, in larger schools this is not always possible and additional entrances may be required to prevent potentially dangerous congestion at the start and end of the school day. Furthermore, separate gates must be installed for vehicles and pedestrians to ensure they are kept at a safe distance, and avoid unnecessary openings of large, double leaf gates. All access points should be locked during the day to keep students on-site and prevent intruders from gaining access to school grounds. Gates should ideally be matched in design, height and construction to the fencing, to prevent creating vulnerable areas and compromising security. Automatic vs manual While automatic gates offer more control, manual gates shouldn't be overlooked. Not only are they easier to install and usually cheaper than automated gates, but they also don't rely on power, so if your site's supply is cut off, they provide a hassle-free exit. Furthermore, gates that are only used at the start and end of the day can be easily locked manually by staff. However, automated gates do offer welcome flexibility, as they include access control devices such as remote controls, keypads and card readers, which will also increase the school's security. They're also robust and heavy, meaning it's incredibly difficult to force them open. Electric gates offer additional versatility with a choice of either full automation, or a hybrid of manned and automatic security, with staff able to allow visitors access via intercom or video system. Securing outdoor facilities It’s also essential to consider outdoor areas when it comes to specifying security options for educational environments. Specialist security fencing should be specified where recreational areas double up as the school’s boundary fencing. The security of the site's sports facilities will also need to be considered. Commonly known as MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas), enclosures can be designed with specialist mesh systems to allow multiple sports to be played in the same location while providing safety to participants, spectators and buildings. When it comes to play areas in nurseries and junior schools, installing RoSPA approved and BS EN 1176 compliant fencing and gates is recommended. These are available in both timber and steel options and tested for their ability to provide a safe fencing and gate solution - designed to reduce the risk of limb entrapment. Acoustic fencing is also worth considering for these environments, particularly in urban areas or where housing is close to school play areas. It can help reduce incoming ambient noise from neighbouring busy roads, railway lines, or construction sites, and contain the school noise within its boundary. Offering sufficient protection Focus on learning unimpeded by threat The current generation of children deserve an environment where they can focus on learning unimpeded by threat. Schools need robust perimeter solutions that welcome pupils, offer peace of mind to parents, and provide them with sufficient protection against intruders. Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the head teachers to engage in dialogue with knowledgeable security professionals to get the most appropriate and effective security solutions for their school, staff and students.
The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols. The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments. Deadly active-shooter events Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015. Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country." Active shooter incidents Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this: Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74) Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43) K-12 Schools (39) Institutions of Higher Learning (16) Non-Military Government Properties (28) Military Properties—Restricted (5) Healthcare Facilities (11) Houses of Worship (10) Private Properties (12) Malls (6) What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. Situational awareness in perimeter and door security Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal" According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security. “Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasize to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco. High-security turnstiles “Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.” What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government center or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive. Properly identifying the adversaries “As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organization can move their line of defense away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says. Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalize their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates. Integrated solution of electronic access control Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where. Enhancing access control assurance “There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.” He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look back at our articles in 2020 about the growing popularity of cloud solutions for physical security, with links to the original content. Product offering While most people agree on the definition of “cloud,” there are several points about the terminology that may require clarification. Private cloud or public cloud? VSaaS or unlimited storage for video? Beyond the basics, the terms become foggy, reflecting a variety of notions about how cloud services fit into the broader physical security marketplace. As cloud usage becomes more popular, it’s important that marketers be precise in their terminology, and that integrators and end users be diligent in understanding the specifics of available product offerings. Different meanings “The cloud has many different possible connotations, depending on the context,” says Yu Hao Lin of Rasilient Systems, one of our Expert Roundtable panelists. For example, corporate CIOs will more likely understand the cloud to be a private cloud platform. As such, the public cloud is a ubiquitous term while the private cloud is more specified. Cloud system security Security of cloud systems is an ongoing discussion in the industry, especially how cloud system cybersecurity compares to that of on-premise systems. Our Expert Panel Roundtable weighed in on this question. “While both kinds of security systems serve their purpose, it can be argued that the streamlined updates that are commonplace with cloud-based solutions may put them at more of an advantage when it comes to data security,” says panelist Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. “Also, most reputable cloud-based solutions are running in secured data centers by companies such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, so you also get to take advantage of all the security layers they have protecting your data.” Hybrid cloud video security solution A growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security There are several relatively new companies pushing cloud in a big way. Verkada is fast-growing company currently currently focusing to deliver an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. The growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security. Combining AI and cloud video One company investing in the cloud is Eagle Eye Networks, which has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to finance the realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end-users,” says Ken Francis, President. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. Eagle Eye is also investing in its own AI development and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution and MobilisID smart mobile physical access control solution. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, when supporting staffThe advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide-ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs, and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. 5G supporting cloud-based applications 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Increasing use of IoT Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate.
Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with cloud video creates systems that are smarter, safer and more cost-effective. Furthermore, adding AI capabilities can widen the advantage gap of cloud video systems compared to on-premise systems, especially for cost-conscious end users. “We strongly believe the total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud systems is more affordable,” says Ken Francis, President of cloud video surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks. “And introducing really powerful AI will expand the cost differences.” Combining AI and cloud video To finance realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video, Eagle Eye Networks has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end users,” says Francis. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyze their video data however they wish The system sends captured video to the cloud, where a variety of AI or video analytics systems can extract valuable data from the captured video. Eagle Eye offers an application programing interface (API) to enable integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyze their video data however they wish. Delivering lower costs In addition to offering integration with third-party systems, Eagle Eye is investing in its own AI development, and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. As new technologies become part of the Eagle Eye platform, customers benefit from lower costs because of economies of scale. Keeping the emphasis on development of cloud systems, Eagle Eye also offers customers maximum flexibility in choosing their cameras. Eagle Eye’s on-premise cyber-hardened “bridge” can connect to almost any camera from thousands of manufacturers, including those connecting with HD-over-coax. The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the need for end users to view their premises remotely, and in the process has highlighted shortcomings of their existing video systems. As a result, video manufacturers - including Eagle Eye Networks - are seeing a surge in end users updating their systems. Cloud video surveillance Given the costs of installing and maintaining hard drives for local storage (and additional challenges during a pandemic lockdown), more end users are opting to use cloud systems. In effect, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating installation of cloud video surveillance. “Our industry is the most resilient in the world,” says Francis. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then COVID slowed everything down As a whole, 2020 has been a successful year for the cloud system provider. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then the COVID lockdown slowed everything down. During the second quarter, their revenue from setup fees and appliances fell by 35% or so, but subscriptions increased slightly including customers looking to keep watch over their shuttered businesses. Temperature alerting solutions The third quarter saw another big uptick in business; August and September were booming, and not just from projects that were delayed from Q2. There has also been a spike in customers looking to apply temperature alerting solutions, says Francis. In uncertain economic times, cloud systems require around 40% less up-front costs, and provide flexibility to eliminate the system (and the expense) at any time without losing a large financial investment. Cloud video has reached a tipping point in the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, among other locales, but the technology lags in some other geographic areas such as France. Driving adoption is availability and cost of sufficient upload speed and bandwidth. In addition to Eagle Eye’s branded growth, the company also provides the OEM engine behind a half dozen or so cloud systems offered by other manufacturers. Backing multi-site enteprises About eight years old, Eagle Eye Networks has focused squarely on the small- and middle-sized business (SMB) market, especially multi-site businesses such as retail, banking and healthcare. They also work with local governments and K-12 schools. Moving forward, the company will seek to expand more into multi-site enterprise customers, some of which have 1,000 locations around the world and need to store their video locally to meet regulatory requirements. Multi-site businesses, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff Multi-site businesses, especially, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff. As Internet connectivity becomes less expensive than installing new cable infrastructure, cloud systems will become more attractive to large campus environments such as colleges and airports, says Francis. The advent of 5G connectivity will also be a plus. All Eagle Eye products are NDAA compliant. Premium support services Further expanding its services, Eagle Eye Networks is poised to launch “Premium Support Services,” in which the cloud provider’s employees will proactively monitor and service customer sites for a minimum additional monthly fee. The cloud structure enables most problems to be addressed and solved remotely without needing to send personnel to a site. The new investment from Accel, a funding partner of top-tier tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify, is Accel's first investment in the security industry. In addition to investing in AI, Eagle Eye also plans to leverage the funding to expand into new regional markets with new data centers and additional staff in business development, sales and support roles.
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilizing so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilizing a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organization, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualization tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organizations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson soccer game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analyzing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organizational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
Ways to manage visitors and improve communications, while keeping doors to the Congregation Beth Jacob’s sanctuary and school locked. Aiphone IS Series video intercom Aiphone IS Series video intercom mounted just outside the main entry allows visitors to buzz one of four master stations. “Emergency communications and procedures are now embedded in our daily operations,” said Greg Sterling, Past President of the Congregation Beth Jacob. Enhancing safety against active shooters In recent years, houses of worship have become an all‑too‑common target for active shooters, burglars and vandals The Congregation Beth Jacob provides a house of worship, pre-school and attached K-7 religious school for the Redwood City, California’s Jewish community, in the heart of the famed Silicon Valley. In recent years, houses of worship have become an all‑too‑common target for active shooters, burglars, vandals and a host of other criminals. Founded in 1930, Congregation Beth Jacob has a rich history as the first Jewish institution built between San Francisco and San Jose. Since an earlier sanctuary was destroyed by a suspected arsonist in 1979, Congregation Beth Jacob has taken security of its members, students and employees very seriously and regularly updates its systems and procedures. Managing visitors and improving communications Congregation Beth Jacob’s security integrator, Oakland-based HighCom Security Services, was asked for ways to manage visitors and improve communications, while keeping doors to the sanctuary and school locked throughout the day. Requirements for the Congregation Beth Jacob included: Sanctuary employees had to be able to remotely see and speak with visitors before opening an exterior door. Employees needed to be able to easily communicate between the 12 classrooms and offices in the sanctuary and school. The solution had to be easy for employees, congregation members and visitors to use. “Emergency communications and procedures are now embedded in our daily operations,” said Greg Sterling, Past President of Congregation Beth Jacob. Fences and gates installed Fences and gates now guide visitors from the street to a rear parking lot and a double-door entry to the main facility. This and all other exterior doors are kept locked. An Aiphone IS Series video intercom is mounted just outside the main entry, allowing visitors to buzz one of the four master stations located on the desks of the Executive Director and Receptionists and in the common areas of the main and school offices. Color LCD monitors on the IS Series master stations allow office staff to see and speak with visitors, before remotely unlocking the door. Keypads at the door let employees open the door by entering a code. Wall-mount audio intercoms Aiphone speakers and horns were added to share emergency messages in the school play area Wall-mount audio intercoms have been provided in each classroom. Teachers can communicate hands-free with the main or school offices, and other classrooms. They can also choose to use the intercom’s handset for more private conversations. Before the intercoms were installed, teachers had to leave the classroom and walk to the office for help. Aiphone speakers and horns were added to share emergency messages in the school play area, two patios, front entry, sanctuary, social hall and main dining room. Surveillance cameras installed Surveillance cameras set to view the parking lot, school entry and the street fronting Congregation Beth Jacob. Sanctuary staff can view live video from monitors in the facility’s main and school offices. Panic buttons were installed in each classroom, the social hall and kitchen. Pushing a button generates a code phrase intended to start an immediate facility lockdown without overly frightening the students.
Secure the main campus building and provide access control and communication throughout the school. Install the IS Series system to ensure all access points into the main building are secure throughout the day. “This is a true, all-in-one solution that provides educational institutions with entry security, classroom communication, paging, emergency call, and access control,” said Ed Maffey President, Maffey’s Security Group. The Situation Founded in 1856, Seton Hall Preparatory School is the oldest Catholic college preparatory school in New Jersey. Educating young men in grades 9-12, the school’s administration aims to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment. Michael Gallo, Assistant Headmaster for Seton Hall Preparatory, admitted the school faced great challenges in properly securing the building, faculty, and student populations. The main campus building in question was built in the 1920s and lacked an automatic door locking system. “We had a situation where all of the doors in the school had to be manually locked and one door would be left unlocked throughout the school day, mainly for faculty access,” Gallo said. “Before employing the Aiphone IS Series, we had to have faculty members keep eyes on all of the hallways to make sure no unauthorized persons had entered the building.” Furthermore, the school was not equipped with an intercom system to communicate between classrooms and the main office, or between the main office and front door. “It created a potentially dangerous situation if a really dire, time-sensitive event occurred.” The Challenge Secure the main campus building and lock all building access points and doors. Integrate new features with the existing paging system and provide audio/video access control and communication throughout the school. The Solution Install Aiphone’s IS Series, a flexible hardwired intercom system with IP capability, to ensure all access points into the main building are secure throughout the day. Achieve reliable communication between classrooms and the main office in emergency situations. The All-in-One Security Solution The IS Series IP Video Intercom installed at Seton Hall Preparatory School is a network-based all-in-one security control system Seton Hall Preparatory School administrators looked toward the expertise of Maffey’s Security Group to correct the campus’ security flaws. “Maffey’s realized the critical nature of the security threat posed by our leaving the front door of the building opens all the time. Thus, the perfect solution was the IS Series system from Aiphone that addressed and solved our challenges with perimeter security, classroom communication, multiple paging zones, bell scheduling, and accessing our paging system from multiple locations,” Gallo said. After consulting Seton Hall Preparatory, Maffey’s recommended installing Aiphone’s IS Series IP Video Intercom. “Here at Maffey’s, we have become full Aiphone supporters and only install Aiphone intercoms,” said Ed Maffey, President of Maffey’s Security Group. IP Video Intercom The IS Series IP Video Intercom installed at Seton Hall Preparatory School is a cost-effective, network-based all-in-one security control system. It features video entry security, internal communication, rescue assistance, paging, and bell/chime scheduling. The door station provides video identification, including a 170° wide-angle camera with digital PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) control. The IS Series can connect multiple schools or buildings within a district or campus. The system allows for after-hours security, as well as extensive communication between buildings and schools to identify visitors, announce emergencies, program daily bulletins and bell schedules, and connect with classrooms and exterior buildings. IS Series Features: Flexible system size can be small or can scale to a large capacity Can have local hardwired components, IP components, or a mix of both Easy wiring with dedicated CAT-5e cable Integrates with CCTV systems for a broader view of the area Convenient remote door unlocking Keyless entry with embedded card reader stations Seamless System Set-Up The IS Series installation at Seton Hall Preparatory included 60 classrooms, 4 video door stations, 9 paging zones, and 6 master stations to provide the most comprehensive level of security. Minimizing the cost of installation and disruptions for the school, Maffey’s Security Group offered to implement the IS Series system on a voluntary basis during non-school hours. “We worked nights and weekends to complete the install,” Maffey said. “During this time, we were able to install all of the room stations and wire mold in the classrooms and offices. We also integrated the IS Series with a new, audio/ video access control and card access system for authorized personnel on the four perimeter doors.”IS Series rescue assistance tower was installed to alert administrators of any emergencies The system is also used to signal class changes and emergency notifications, such as weather advisories and school-wide lockdowns. In addition, an IS Series rescue assistance tower was installed at the school’s game field to alert administrators of any immediate emergencies occurring outside of the main building. Easy to use systems With the IS Series in place, the administrative staff at Seton Hall can control school entry points. “The Aiphone IS Series works well and is easy to use,” Gallo said. “The video and volume in all elements of this system are clear. We’re also allowed to have remote control over the doors, so we can grant access to people as needed without jeopardizing the student and faculty population by having a single door unlocked all day long. We now know who is in the building at any given time.” The system provides emergency assistance and day-to-day communication throughout the school that had previously been lacking. Response time to anything threatening members of the Seton Hall community is now quicker and handled more efficiently. “This is a true, all-in-one solution that provides educational institutions with entry security, classroom communication, paging, emergency call, and access control,” states Maffey. Overall, Gallo and the Seton Hall Preparatory School staff are impressed with the ease and security offered by the Aiphone IS Series system. “This is what we were looking for. The Aiphone IS Series answers to all the elements of security absent from our daily routine before this,” Gallo said. “This system ensures the safety of our students and faculty, unlike anything we’ve seen in our over 150-year existence.”
ISONAS Inc., an IP access control and hardware solution provider and part of the Allegion family of brands announced that the ISONAS™ Pure IP™ access control solution has been deployed at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Grove City, Ohio. The parish is comprised of seven buildings, which include the church, preschool, elementary school, rectory, storage garage, athletic building, and modular classrooms. The parish grew from around a dozen visitors daily to more than 80 people visiting the church every weekday morning and more than 500 people visiting over three separate services each weekend recently. Controlling Access The elementary school has grown to host more than 300 students and 50 staff members and volunteers, with the preschool adding another 40 students and staff members to the campus tally. With 28 exterior doors encompassing the fully renovated church, school, and preschool, the parish needed a substantial security upgrade. The new system needed to not just limit access, but also control it. A main challenge at the parish was being able to control access at all seven buildings and provide an environment with improved personal security for their staff, students, and patrons. The security system the parish had in place consisted of a few standalone keypads and electric locks on a couple of doors with no centralized management or communication. Upgrading Security With an influx of people accessing the parish and its facilities, both the facilities director and the maintenance/technology specialist at the parish were ready to find the right access control solution. The new system needed to not just limit access, but also control it. After careful consideration and research, the parish selected the ISONAS™ Pure IP access control solution for their security upgrade. ISONAS introduced the parish to its local certified independent security integrators, Systems 28. “Working with ISONAS on this project was a tremendous experience from start to finish, and we were thrilled to be brought on board to handle this security upgrade,” said Scott Hoover, sales estimator at Systems 28. “As a certified independent ISONAS systems integrator, we were proud to install this unique solution at our local parish and help make our community safer.” ISONAS RC-04 reader controller The parish also liked the fact that an on-site server was not required with the ISONAS solution The project consisted of installing 24 ISONAS RC-04 reader controllers, with 21 deployed on exterior doors and three on interior doors in a month’s timeframe. The parish chose the ISONAS solution for a myriad of reasons, with one main factor being the ability to use power over the ethernet for the card readers and electric locks. The parish also liked the fact that an on-site server was not required with the ISONAS solution, as having a cloud-based server was critical to managing access remotely for multiple buildings. ISONAS Pure Access software “We are extremely happy that the parish selected ISONAS as the right solution for their security upgrade and look forward to providing capabilities to easily expand the system in the future,” said Jonathan Mooney, ISONAS sales leader. The ISONAS system is extremely user-friendly and much more convenient Along with the ISONAS hardware, the ISONAS Pure Access software was deployed for its remote access capabilities. Pure Access™, ISONAS’s software, is a cloud-based access control application that provides users the ability to manage their access control from anywhere at any time, on any device. Remote access functionality “The ISONAS system is extremely user-friendly and much more convenient than the previous ‘stand-alone’ system we had in place prior to this upgrade,” said Kevin Radwanski, facilities director at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. “We especially like the remote access functionality, as it has been great for us to be able to lock and unlock doors remotely during regular times and emergency situations like the global pandemic.”
Aiphone Corporation (Aiphone), the renowned international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products, has installed its IX Series intercom system at the Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey. Roselle, like many educational facilities across the country, found itself relying on outdated technology and the inability to communicate from classrooms to a main office or centralized security location, a safety risk in any educational institution. IX Series IP Video Intercom System The high school was awarded a grant through the state of New Jersey to implement security improvements. The school chose an Aiphone IX Series Peer-to-Peer IP Video Intercom System, which included two master stations, two video door stations, and 43 audio sub stations to connect each of its classrooms. This new system allows the school’s front office staff to respond to visitor access requests at the main entrance, while also making visual confirmation before admitting anyone inside the building. To handle access requests, the school is equipped with two touchscreen master stations, one located at the front office and the other in the principal’s office. Building-wide pre-recorded notification The Aiphone IX Series can send a pre-recorded notification building-wide An invaluable feature for the school is that it allows teachers to communicate directly to the front office, so that they can also quickly initiate a lockdown to the entire school, in case of an emergency. The Aiphone IX Series can send a pre-recorded notification building-wide, there by alerting students and staff of any threats and providing instructions on what to do next. “With the previous system being unable to talk back to the main office, teachers were left in a bad spot if they ever had to reach an administrator for an emergency,” said Roselle Catholic High School Principal, Tom Berrios, adding “With these improvements, the teachers now feel more secure with what’s going on in the building and they have an easier way to communicate.” ‘Hot button’ capability “This feature is considered a ‘hot button’ capability, because it allows the school to create a pre-recorded message for emergencies,” said Ed Maffey, President of Maffey’s Security Group, the systems integrator tasked with the installation. Ed Maffey adds, “With one push of a button, a pre-recorded message will play continuously and can be used for a variety of scenarios, including fire drills, emergency evacuations, and lockdown situations.”
Vimpex has supplied Agrippa wireless acoustic fire door holders to hold open fire doors at the HQ of one of England’s largest housing associations to provide an easy and effective method of infection control, while not impacting on fire safety. A COVID-secure risk assessment identified the need to reduce the touching of fire door locks and door handles at the organization’s administration offices by staff and visitors. “Reducing the spread of germs and bacteria has never been more critical. We identified self closing fire doors that need constant handling to open them as having the potential to spread the virus. The Agrippa door holder provides an excellent, hygienic and legally compliant solution to holding open internal fire doors, supporting infection control without compromising fire safety." Increase in building ventilation While preventing door handle contact, the Agrippa door holder also increases room ventilation Vimpex’s Agrippa wireless acoustic fire door holders offer the perfect wire-free solution to legally hold fire doors open, using digital wire-free technology to uniquely ‘listen and learn’ the sound of a specific fire alarm. This ensures the holder’s releasing trigger reacts only to the precise sound of the fire alarm rather than extraneous loud noises, so false activations are virtually eliminated. While preventing door handle contact, the Agrippa door holder also increases room and building ventilation while improving visibility and accessibility to ensure social distancing is maintained. Fire door holders The Agrippa fire door holder is the perfect solution to legally hold open fire doors in schools, care homes, hotels, and office buildings, as well as many others. It is recognized by UK Fire and Rescue Services and the London Fire Brigade, suitable for installation to BS 7273-4 Standard Actuation (Category B) and conforms to EN1155, and is CE marked.
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that the American School of Guatemala has selected its Seos credential technology to modernize its physical access system. Enhanced campus security The solution significantly improves campus security and traffic efficiency for students and parents, along with enabling staff to easily issue and manage access credentials. “We’ve significantly improved the management of vehicle traffic by reducing the time it takes for parents to access the parking lot. We’ve been able to improve evacuation and emergency processes for our students and staff,” said a spokesperson for the Security Office, American School of Guatemala. Seos credential technology The spokesperson adds, “And, best of all, we have an automated system to manage the entry and exit times of our employees to know where everyone is located on our large campus.” The American School of Guatemala is a private K-12 college preparatory school in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The school partnered with local security integrator, Grupo RQM and HID Global to replace its legacy system, which consisted of written documentation and fingerprint logs. HID readers installed at access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points and 1,500 Seos smart cards issued to students, parents and staff. In addition to automating and streamlining access to the school’s buildings, the solution has led to a reduction in the average student drop-off time from 40 to 18 minutes. The school also launched a pilot with HID Mobile Access to allow secure access to the school’s parking lot via mobile IDs stored on smartphones. To gain entry, users simply drive up and hold their mobile phone to a reader, an important feature since most students travel in bulletproof armored vehicles that lack the ability to lower windows. Upgraded security and authentication solutions “The American School of Guatemala’s access control system has all the hallmarks of HID’s industry-renowned security and authentication solutions,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. Harm Radstaak adds, “From flexibility and security to ease-of-use, HID’s unique combination of forward-looking technology and intuitive design helps create a robust solution that fortifies the school’s campuses and elevates the user experience.” Due to the successful deployment, school officials plan to replace its traditional key system with Seos smart cards for additional use cases, such as library and student payment services.
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
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