ASIS International, the association for security management professionals, announces the full slate of directors for their 2021 Global Board. The Global Board of Directors, first installed in 2020, is a major step in the association’s transition to a new global governance structure that allows ASIS to better provide service to its members at the local, regional, and global levels. Global Board director Timothy M. McCreight, CPP, of Canada, was selected by the board to serve as Secretary-T...
The time needed to plan, design and accurately evaluate the efficiency of a video surveillance system has been significantly reduced with the news that JVSG’s highly acclaimed IP Video System Design Tool now supports all Wisenet IP Network cameras from Hanwha Techwin. Visualization of Security system System designers and system integrators simply need to import 2D or 3D models of the end user’s building or site, and then enter in some parameters specific to the project, such as the...
To say that the security industry draws people in and demonstrates its value in terms of relationship building with the caliber of people who comprise the industry is an understatement, as Bart Williams, President of Security Solutions and Communications, Inc. (Security Solutions) found out. Founder of Security Solutions Williams chose to become an engineer as his profession, but he began dabbling in the security industry part time, soon to discover it would lead him on the path to becoming St...
As International Security Week (ISWeek), 30 November – 3 December 2020, draws closer, experienced names in the industry are preparing to join together to dissect recent incidents of terrorism and how to combat extremism while protecting national assets. International Security Week The International Security Week marks five years since the shocking series of coordinated terrorist attacks across Paris, France which tragically killed 130 people. Recent incidents in Nice, France and Vienna,...
Acronis, a globally renowned company in cyber protection and data security solutions, has announced an update of its Acronis True Image 2021 that incorporates a professional-grade vulnerability assessment tool into the personal cyber protection solution. Scanning operating systems and applications Individuals and home office users can now scan their operating systems and applications for exploitable vulnerabilities and get recommendations on effectively closing those security gaps. Users can...
Invixium, a globally renowned manufacturer of innovative touchless biometric solutions, is opening its new Middle East headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that will serve the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa and Pakistan regions. The new MENA headquarters has been established to best respond to the growing interest in Invixium's health-focused, temperature-based workforce management and access control biometric solutions that are in high demand as businesses reopen during COVID-19 pand...
CP Communications, a pioneer in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, has acquired the assets of SportsCam, the groundbreaking innovator and creator of a wide range of wireless and robotic camera products for live sports production. The acquisition expands CP Communications’ range of wired, wireless and cellular content acquisition and streaming systems for its Red House Streaming brand, while also opening the door for new business opportunities in security and public safety. SportsCam changed the fan engagement game with wearable wireless cameras, among the first technologies to embed camera and transmission equipment into clothing. Cloud-Connected cameras Their products emphasize wearable, cloud-connected cameras to capture close-up sports action from varied points of view. The SportsCam products have been used in hockey, boxing and College Football broadcasts. They are also used by remote newsgathering teams, and serve many other content acquisition needs for broadcast and professional AV events. CEO Kurt Heitmann is bullish about where SportsCam can take the company beyond sports production CEO Kurt Heitmann is bullish about where SportsCam can take the company beyond sports production, most notably markets such as law enforcement, public safety, and oil and gas that rely on wearable and robotic cameras to document events. He sees strong synergies between SportsCam and products that CP Communications and Red House Streaming regularly leverage for sports and live events, including Mobile Viewpoint’s IP streaming and bonded cellular solutions. Impressive product family “SportsCam has developed an impressive product family that allow our customers to capture and stream live events as they happen, and deliver secure, encrypted streams back to a studio or command and control center,” said Heitmann. “We have long used these products in sports production, and we can now apply the operational efficiencies and benefits to a broader range of acquisition and streaming applications under our Red House Streaming brand. We are excited to bring a proven broadcast-quality technology to markets that today often use consumer technology to record and backhaul live video to central locations.” Virtual corporate events Our Red House Streaming brand was established to bring the cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency of IP" “Our 35 years of broadcast experience has gradually transitioned into a wider universe of streaming applications for virtual corporate events, houses of worship and live-streamed athletic events such as bike races, marathons and triathlons,” said Heitmann. “Our Red House Streaming brand was established to bring the cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency of IP, cloud services and bonded networking to more customers and markets. The SportsCam acquisition amplifies this strategy.” New imaging systems Heitmann adds that SportsCam’s founder, Chris Stramacchia, will remain with CP Communications and work closely with the company’s engineering and R&D teams. “I am very excited that SportsCam is now a part of CP Communications,” said Stramacchia. “The combination of our specialty camera expertise with CP’s strengths in wireless acquisition, along with streaming and bonded technologies, will allow the creation of exciting new imaging systems for a wide range of applications from sports to corporate and industrial. CP Communications’ longevity and reputation as an innovator in broadcast and media technology services provides a perfect platform for the growth of SportsCam products and services.”
Last year saw vehicle thefts rise by a staggering 50% in the UK, and again by a further 20% so far this year, which is regarded to be the highest level in four years. With cases worsening during lockdown, motorists are now being warned that they face a greater risk of vehicle theft now that the nation is making fewer trips in their vehicles and spending more time at home. Countering the rise in vehicle thefts The cost of a lost or damaged vehicle can quickly mount up for any business owner, not only due to the replacement of the vehicle, but also the effect of doing business with a reduced fleet. With thefts on the rise, business owners are quickly realizing that securing their fleet and its contents can be imperative to the operational stability of their businesses. Yet the RAC reported that only 42% of new vans are produced with an alarm fitted as standard, with 5.5% not even having the capability to have one fitted. Importance of automotive locksmiths Automotive locksmiths are specialists in their field, possessing the knowledge on how to utilize, adapt and develop the right products on the market to maximize security for both commercial and private vehicles. From on-board diagnostic (OBD) port protectors to anti-scan wallets, there are a number of solutions available to create strong sales opportunities for locksmiths who work in this field. Thatcham slam locks, deadlocks, camlocks, and padlocks Mul-T-Lock offers an extensive range of advanced products that provide protection to commercial and private vehicles In support of this, Mul-T-Lock offers an extensive range of advanced products that provide protection to commercial and private vehicles of all varieties. These include lock cases, Thatcham accredited slam locks, deadlocks, euro cylinders, camlocks, and padlocks. Mul-T-Lock’s solutions for commercial applications have been specifically designed for durability, robustness and ease-of-use to allow motorists to access their equipment and goods without any hassle. Enhancing automotive security protection Quality is also of paramount importance when it comes to automotive security protection. Many factors, such as wet weather and road gritting, during the icy months can get into vehicle locking mechanisms causing rusting, damage and failure, but Mul-T-Lock products are developed to withstand these conditions. Designed and manufactured to the highest specification and quality, each product is typically adapted to suit the market’s needs, having evolved into heavy-duty commercial offerings, Mul-T-Lock’s locking solutions range allows users to ‘fit and forget’, allowing them to focus on the job at hand. ArmaDLock locking solution Mul-T-Lock’s ArmaDLock was designed to fortify the security of commercial vehicles, in particular, those carrying goods and equipment. Simple to use and install, ArmaDLock fits almost any type of vehicle door, both rear and sliding. With these darker evenings, now is the time for automotive locksmiths to get fully stocked for the busy period ahead. From domestic customers to commercial and fleet clients, there is no doubt that vehicle crime is affecting all markets and is set to rise over the winter months.
Sonatype, the globally renowned provider of innovation-friendly open source security tools, has announced entering into a strategic partnership with Fugue, the company putting engineers in command of cloud security, to deliver the first Infrastructure-as-code (IaC) solution that shifts cloud security left into the developer workflow. Sonatype and Fugue partnership The partnership further advances the missions of Sonatype and Fugue to empower software developers with best-in-class tools so they can accelerate innovation and simultaneously improve application security, cloud infrastructure security, and continuous compliance with defined policy. The combined capabilities of Sonatype and Fugue enable developers to find and fix security vulnerabilities when actively developing cloud applications, while at the same time preventing security vulnerabilities and compliance issues from surfacing in production due to misconfigured cloud infrastructure. Out-of-the-box guidance for developers The joint solution includes out-of-the-box guidance to assist developers when configuring IaC The joint solution includes out-of-the-box guidance to assist developers when configuring IaC and automatically foster compliance with privacy and security standards, including CIS Foundations Benchmarks, GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53, PCI, SOC 2, and custom rules. “Sonatype has a long and successful history of providing front-line software developers with friendly feedback pertaining to the health of open source libraries, making it easy for them to identify and remediate security risk, without slowing down innovation,” said Wayne Jackson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sonatype. Configuring secure cloud infrastructure Wayne adds, “In the cloud-native world, developers are not just responsible for building secure applications, they’re also responsible for configuring and provisioning secure cloud infrastructure using tools like Terraform.” He further said, “By working with Fugue, we’re equipping developers with the right information at the right time so they can always make healthy decisions when configuring IaC.” Nexus IaC capabilities In Q1 2021, Sonatype will offer new Nexus IaC capabilities as an add-on to its Nexus Lifecycle product that incorporates Fugue's cloud infrastructure security and compliance technology. This will make it possible for developers using Nexus Lifecycle to find and easily fix misconfigurations in Terraform plans before being applied to production infrastructure, and use those same policies with Fugue to ensure continuous compliance in production. Additionally, Sonatype and Fugue will collaborate to bring the Fugue runtime SaaS continuous compliance solution to Sonatype customers. Addressing cloud vulnerabilities The mutable nature of cloud APIs brings serious risk of post-deployment misconfiguration" “Sonatype and Fugue have a strong history of leadership in empowering developers to securely build and operate in order to keep their data safe. We’re proud to partner with them to deliver a single solution to address the full breadth of cloud security and compliance challenges,” said Phillip Merrick, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fugue. Phillip adds, “The mutable nature of cloud APIs brings serious risk of post-deployment misconfiguration, and Sonatype and Fugue are making it possible for the first time to address all relevant cloud vulnerability surfaces, from initial development to runtime production environments, with a single solution using the same policies.” Unified cloud security and compliance solution Sonatype and Fugue are delivering a unified cloud security and compliance solution that empowers software developers to address the entire cloud threat landscape with: Open-source governance with Sonatype’s Nexus platform to shift security of software applications left to address open source risk and known vulnerabilities automatically at every phase of the CI/CD pipeline. Infrastructure-as-code governance with Sonatype’s new IaC capabilities, which integrate Fugue’s cloud infrastructure security and compliance technology for Terraform. Continuous cloud compliance with Fugue to ensure cloud environments remain in compliance and free of misconfiguration vulnerabilities post-deployment, and demonstrate it at all times with automated reporting.
3xLOGIC, the globally renowned provider of server and cloud-based technology, has announced the launch of its VIGIL suite of video solutions, across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. VIGIL suite of video solutions The ecosystem, comprising software and hardware components, such as cameras, recorders, thermal imagers, people counters, and accessories, is designed to provide a scalable security solution that’s tailored to every business need. Business executives have increasing amounts of data available to analyze, with the total amount of data in the world forecast to reach 59 zettabytes in 2020. The 3xLOGIC ecosystem taps into this, by capturing and analyzing these ‘big data’ elements and combining disparate data sets. Integration with security systems and cloud-based platforms The VIGIL suite of video solutions help business executives to optimize their operations, find efficiencies, secure their buildings and assets, and solve problems they never knew they had in the first place. The VIGIL suite of video solutions help business executives to optimize their operations The video suite additionally integrates with security systems, Point of Sale systems, alarm management platforms, and cloud-based management systems to make security management easier and more efficient. Bill Hobbs, Vice President of Global Sales at 3xLOGIC stated, “For over 15 years, 3xLOGIC has been proud to be at the forefront of server and cloud-based technology. The launch of the VIGIL video suite is the next step, helping business executives make data-driven, informed decisions across their supply chains, their sites, their buildings, and people.” Integrated security ecosystem He adds, “With VIGIL, business executives don’t just get a single security system, access control, or video management system, they get an ecosystem that’s bespoke to their needs and goals.” To help 3xLOGIC dealers and integrators understand the capabilities of the various solutions in the VIGIL suite, 3xLOGIC is delivering a range of webinars in November and December 2020. 3xLOGIC webinars These webinars will offer an overview of the real-world benefits that VIGIL hardware and software will bring to them and their clients. They will also address topics such cameras, accessories and mounts, recording appliances and VIGIL’s software options. The webinars will conclude with a session that shows how installers can become a 3xLOGIC Value Added Reseller (VAR).
ExtraHop, a globally renowned company in cloud-native network detection and response solutions, has announced that it has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Security Competency Status for Reveal(x) 360. AWS Security Competency Status This Security Competency Status designation recognizes the company’s demonstrated technical proficiency and proven ability to help customers secure workloads, applications, and data on AWS at the speed and scale of the cloud. “Earning AWS Security Competency status is a significant step in our commitment to helping our customers achieve their cloud security goals,” said Raja Mukerji, Chief Customer Officer and Co-founder, ExtraHop. Raja adds, “Enterprises are leveraging the cloud to accelerate digital business initiatives, and security teams find themselves in the challenging position of establishing visibility and control without adding friction to DevOps. By working with AWS, ExtraHop enables our customers to confidently and securely take full advantage of the speed, agility, and innovation unleashed by the cloud.” ExtraHop Reveal(x) 360 ExtraHop Reveal(x) 360 is a SaaS-based solution that helps organizations running on AWS discover, investigate, and respond to hidden security threats across the hybrid enterprise. Reveal(x) 360 provides the ‘ground source of truth’ in the cloud with deep visibility, real-time threat detection, and intelligent response capabilities. By natively integrating with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) Traffic Mirroring, Reveal(x) 360 provides agentless visibility, including into SSL/TLS encrypted traffic, with no impact to the development process. advanced machine learning and behavioral analysis Reveal(x) 360 uses advanced machine learning and behavioral analysis Reveal(x) 360 uses advanced machine learning and behavioral analysis, leveraging metadata extracted from cloud traffic, to accurately identify anomalous behaviors and malicious activity whenever they occur within or across the cloud. ExtraHop continually brings industry-renowned security technology to customers, and the latest Reveal(x) 360 updates improve cloud visibility, real-time threat detection, and response capabilities for cloud and hybrid deployments. Examples include: Faster triage of cloud related threats: Automatic discovery and grouping of cloud services enables security teams to quickly discover and examine unusual cloud activity such as large amounts of data moving out of Amazon S3 buckets or suspicious IP addresses accessing AWS services. Rapid discovery of insider attacks and advanced persistent threats (APTs) targeting public cloud user environments: Reveal(x) 360 uses advanced machine learning, real-time threat intelligence, and behavioral analysis to discover unauthorized behavior indicative of APTs or, for example, suspicious activity by authorized AWS users. Improved cloud security posture and reduced risk: Continuous monitoring and correlation of activity between cloud services, private cloud, and on-premises data centers enables faster discovery and remediation of attacks across multiple environments or moving between on-premises and cloud resources. AWS Competency Program Amazon Web Services (AWS) is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the AWS Competency Program to help customers identify AWS Consulting and Technology Partners with deep industry experience and expertise.
Pulse Secure, the globally renowned provider of Zero Trust Secure Access solutions, has announced that the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted the adoption of Zero Trust technology globally. In fact, nearly two thirds of organizations (60%) said that they have accelerated Zero Trust implementation during the pandemic, according to the ‘Enterprise Zero Trust Networking Strategies: Secure Remote Access and Network Segmentation’. Enterprise Zero Trust Networking Strategies The’ Enterprise Zero Trust Networking Strategies: Secure Remote Access and Network Segmentation’, conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) and sponsored by Pulse Secure, surveyed more than 250 technology professionals. The report examines how enterprises are moving forward with Zero Trust networking initiatives The newly published report examines how enterprises are moving forward with Zero Trust networking initiatives, where they’re being successful in doing so, and how COVID-19 has affected the forward movement of those projects. Accelerating Zero Trust initiatives The research found that the main difference between those who were successful in moving their Zero Trust initiatives forward were those that started out with formalized Zero Trust projects. Those that had dedicated budgets and formal initiatives - (69%) were far more likely to continue accelerating those projects throughout the pandemic, while those that had ad hoc Zero Trust projects were more likely to stall progress or stop entirely. Increased leverage of cloud resources and applications “The global pandemic has had some profound effects on the enterprise with remote working being rolled out on an unprecedented scale, increased leverage of cloud resources and applications, and the transition to greater workplace flexibility,” said Scott Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at Pulse Secure. Scott adds, “The findings indicate that organizations that advance their initiatives and planning towards Zero Trust process and technology implementation will be ahead of the digital transformation curve and much more resilient to threats and crises.” Bringing Zero Trust Networking into enterprise environments Enterprises were overwhelmingly positive about their success in pursuing Zero Trust Networking The research survey went further into enterprises’ efforts to bring about Zero Trust Networking in their environments. More than four out of five respondents (85%) have defined Zero Trust initiatives. However, less than half of the enterprises (42%) have received added budget for their projects. The Zero Trust projects that did receive added budget were more likely to persist through the COVID-19 pandemic period. Enterprises were overwhelmingly positive about their success in pursuing Zero Trust Networking, with the majority (94%) indicating degrees of success, half (50%) labeled their efforts as successful and less than half (44%) of respondents indicating somewhat successful. Combining security and networking teams Dedicated Zero Trust projects tend to be interdisciplinary, bringing together security and networking teams. In 45% of such projects, security and networking teams have a Zero Trust partnership in which they formally share tools and processes. In half of the cases (50%), enterprises created a taskforce from both teams to pursue Zero Trust. The three primary ways in which they collaborated were by coordinating access security controls across different systems (48%), assessing access security control requirements (41%) and defining access requirements according to user, role, data and application (40%). Issues with Zero Trust taskforces and partnerships However, the survey found that collaboration is not without its own roadblocks. 85% of respondents in Zero Trust taskforces and partnerships found themselves struggling with cross-team skills gaps (33%), a lack of tools and processes that might facilitate collaboration (31%), and budget conflicts (31%). Enterprises are clearly accelerating efforts to adopt Zero Trust networking initiatives" “Enterprises are clearly accelerating efforts to adopt Zero Trust networking initiatives. The survey shows that organizations that move forward with formal initiatives and budget are more likely to achieve implementation success and operational gain,” said Shamus McGillicuddy, Vice President of Research at Enterprise Management Associates. Shamus adds, “We appreciate Pulse Secure’s support and sponsorship of this report that organizations can use to benchmark and progress their Zero Trust programs.” Additional key findings include: Prime Zero Trust Benefits: When asked what they consider to be the prime benefit of Zero Trust networks, respondents said IT operations agility (40%), improved governance risk and compliance (35%), breach prevention (34%), reducing the attack surface (31%) and unauthorized access mitigation (28%) ranked among the strongest responses. Hybrid IT Remote Access: Respondents are applying hybrid IT requirement to Secure Remote Access requirements within their Zero Trust Network Strategy, while the majority (62%) of the enterprises wanted cloud application access, half of enterprises access to public and private cloud resources and applications. IoT Device Exposures: Respondents discussed their position towards IoT devices which cannot be provided with the user identities on which Zero Trust is based and how they intend to create access policies for them. Over a third (36%) said that devices would receive tailored access privileges based on function and characteristics, others said that all devices would receive a generic minimum level of access privileges (28%) and that untrusted devices would have limited network access with no access to high risk or compliance zones (23%). Research survey details The’ Enterprise Zero Trust Networking Strategies: Secure Remote Access and Network Segmentation’ research surveyed 252 technology professionals, including executive IT leadership executives (43%) and security managers (33%). The majority (54%) of the respondents worked in large enterprises that spanned multiple industries, with a concentration from professional services, manufacturers, software, retail sector and financial services. The research survey had a majority (63%) of organizations based in North America, with over a third (37%) spread across Europe, primarily in the countries of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
We’ve just endured an event that was unprecedented in recent history. COVID-19 greatly affected our lives: our daily activities, the health and well-being of our families and friends, and business operations as we know it. Now that stay-at-home restrictions have been lifted, organizations are preparing for employees to return to work. Confidence surrounding the return to the office hinges on the employees’ perceptions of how well they will be protected while at work. One thing is certain: There is a lot of work ahead. Let’s look at some of the challenges enterprises can expect to face and how to best address them. Addressing the Return to the Office To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted operations around the world, is the understatement of the decade. That being said, businesses and governments are under mounting pressure to restart their operations as quickly as possible. With ‘social distancing’ and other measures helping to curtail the spread, organizations are turning their attention to a critical question, “How do we effectively restart operations, while protecting our employees’ and citizens’ health and safety?”As organizations begin to “reboot,” they must be able to take a variety of factors into consideration and focus on what they can actually control In the absence of defined contingency plans, industry standards or regulatory guidance, organizations are looking for innovative ways to help address a host of new challenges. Businesses are not just focused on response or monitoring of hot zones during the pandemic; they’re also thinking about afterward, when people return to the daily activities and the workplace under a different, new set of circumstances. Embarking on this journey and being successful requires a key element: the insight to adapt. As organizations begin to “reboot,” they must be able to take a variety of factors into consideration and focus on what they can actually control: their employees’ safety, operating models, and existing compliance requirements. Building Confidence Adjusting these elements demands a pragmatic approach that addresses the potential risk to employees in various environments while also delivering a degree of confidence to customers that an organization is taking a meaningful, proactive posture to keep people safe and healthy. Also, as circumstances change, obtaining the insight to adapt to those changes is crucial for businesses to stay one step ahead and remain agile. One example of this, that we expect to impact the future of business, is the increased use of mobile applications to provide remote health checks of employees while delivering push notifications of wellness tips, rapid communication when issues arise, and response to a call for help in case of emergency changes in health status. Employee monitoring To illustrate the point, having employees provide current symptom status and temperature before arriving at work can help to establish a baseline. Upon arrival, they complete a quick check-in to verify the information before entering the premises.It is important to remember that private health information is being shared, requiring adherence to existing privacy requirements In this instance, it is important to remember that private health information is being shared, requiring adherence to existing privacy requirements, documentation, record keeping and accuracy checks. Doing so manually is a significant challenge, hence the need for a systemic approach. Organizations are looking for applications that map to their current needs, can scale to larger populations as needed and remains adaptable to emerging requirements and legal mandates as they evolve. We expect to continue to see new use cases like this evolve as organizations implement new approaches to daily operation. Regardless of the use case, the underlying driver is that access to information and flexibility is critical and the ability to respond quickly is vital. Looking to the Future As we all adjust to different ways of operating, business and security leaders need to keep a few guidelines in mind. First, it is critical to identify the mission-critical challenges that are most relevant to your operations. What works for an organization down the road, may not work for your business. Next, you need to implement processes and policies that are flexible enough to fit your situation, scalable to larger or smaller groups and adaptable to new requirements be they regulations, standards, processes or new technologies. And lastly, above all else, be pragmatic. The solution should not be worse or more complex than the problem. As we move out of this phase and into the weeks, months and years ahead, there is hope. By empowering your team and the overall business to realize stronger risk awareness, deeper threat detection and prevention, and broader visibility, you can develop a return-to-work strategy that enables you to get your operations up-and-running quickly and efficiently.
Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, discusses the business benefits from merging video surveillance and access control technologies as demand for ACaaS grows. The big question facing businesses today is how they will use the data that they possess to unlock new forms of value using emerging technologies such as the cloud, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Some data is better utilized than others: financial services were quick to recognize the competitive advantages in exploiting technology to improve customer service, detect fraud and improve risk assessment. In the world of physical security, however, we’re only just beginning to understand the potential of the data that our systems gather as a part of their core function. Benefits of ‘Integrated access control’ The first thing to look for is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functionsWhat many businesses have yet to realize is that many emerging technologies come into their own when used across multiple sources of data. In physical security, for example, we’re moving from discussions about access control and CCTV as siloed functions, to platforms that combine information for analysis from any source, and applying machine learning algorithms to deliver intelligent insights back to the business. ‘Integrated access control’ then looks not just to images or building management, but to images, building management, HR databases and calendar information, all at the same time. And some of the benefits are only now starting to become clear. The first thing to look for, of course, is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functions. For example, by combining traditional access control data, such as when a swipe card is used, with a video processing platform capable of facial recognition, a second factor of authentication is provided without the need to install separate biometric sensors. CCTV cameras are already deployed in most sensitive areas, so if a card doesn’t match the user based on HR records, staff can be quickly alerted. Making the tools cost-Effective In a similar vein, if an access card is used by an employee, who is supposed to be on holiday according to the HR record, then video data can be used to ensure the individual’s identity and that the card has not been stolen – all before a human operator becomes involved. This is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalization of a vital business functionThese capabilities are not new. What is, however, is the way in which cloud-based computing platforms for security analytics, which absorb information from IP-connected cameras, make the tools much more cost effective, accessible and easier to manage than traditional on-site server applications. In turn, this is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalization of a vital business function. With this system set up, only access control hardware systems are deployed on premise while the software and access control data are shifted to a remote location and provided as a service to users on a recurring monthly subscription. The benefits of such an arrangement are numerous but include avoiding large capital investments, greater flexibility to scale up and down, and shifting the onus of cybersecurity and firmware updates to the vendor. Simple installation and removal of endpoints What’s more, because modern video and access control systems transmit data via the IP network, installation and removal of endpoints are simple, requiring nothing more than PoE and Wi-Fi. Of all the advantages of the ‘as a service’ model, it’s the rich data acquired from ACaaS that makes it so valuable, and capable of delivering business benefits beyond physical security. Managers are constantly looking for better quality of information to inform decision making, and integrated access control systems know more about operations than you might think. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lightsRight now, many firms are experimenting with ways to find efficiencies and reduce costs. For example, lights that automatically turn off to save energy are common in offices today, but can be a distraction if employees have to constantly move around to trigger motion detectors. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lights depending on exactly who is in the room and where they are sitting. Tracking the movement of employees Camera data has been used in retail to track the movement of customers in stores, helping managers to optimize displays and position stocks. The same technology can be used to map out how employees move around a workspace, finding out where productivity gains can be made by moving furniture around or how many desks should be provisioned. Other potential uses of the same data could be to look for correlations between staff movement – say to a store room – and sales spikes, to better predict stock ordering. What makes ACaaS truly exciting is it is still a very new field, and we’re only just scratching the surface of the number of ways that it can be used to create new sources of value. As smart buildings and smart city technology evolves, more and more open systems will become available, offering more ways to combine, analyze and draw insights from data. Within a few years, it will become the rule, rather than the exception, and only grow in utility as it does.
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology Overview And Early Adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations At Critical Infrastructure Sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial Applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation And Advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New Market Opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-Sensor Thermal Solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
Gallagher Security, a division of Gallagher Group, a privately-owned New Zealand company, is a global presence in integrated access control, intruder alarm and perimeter security solutions. Gallagher entered the global security industry in the 1990s with the purchase of security access control business Cardax. In the last several decades, the company has leveraged its experience in electric fence technology to develop a variety of innovative solutions used to protect some of the world's most high-consequence assets and locations. Solving business problems Among Gallagher’s recent innovations is the Security Health Check, a software utility that enables customers to run an automated check on their Gallagher Command Centre security system. To get an update on the company, we interviewed Richard Huison, Gallagher’s Regional Manager for the U.K. and Europe, who says he has a passion for technology and solving business problems. Huison says working in the industry for more than 20 years has shown him you can never stop evolving and adapting. Q: What are Gallagher's points of differentiation versus competitors? Huison: Gallagher’s strengths are in solving business problems outside of the normal access control and intrusion detection solutions. Enforcing company policy through compliance and competency is what really matters to business continuity. Using Gallagher Command Centre to oversee the security, health and safety and compliance brings true business value to the client who benefits from reduced costs and risk to the success of their growth and strategy. Q: What is the biggest challenge for customers in the security market, and how does Gallagher help to meet that challenge? Huison: A great solution fit is key. Where most fail is choosing a solution that does not meet the needs of the client in 10 to even 20 years’ time. As businesses evolve and grow, so must the security solution. In a recent conversation, a client had to replace a 300-door access control system that was no longer supported. ‘Why Gallagher?’ they asked. The answer: ‘If you had chosen Gallagher 10 years ago, we would not be having this conversation.’ Ensuing the system you choose is legacy-compliant is king. Gallagher’s brand is well known for protecting Critical National Infrastructure Q: Please describe Gallagher's geographic presence in the UK and Europe. Huison: Gallagher’s brand is well known for protecting Critical National Infrastructure. They choose to adopt our solutions because we meet the highest levels of resilience against cyber-attacks. Our ability to modernize legacy systems ensures the maximum return on investment with minimal disruption to business continuity. Gallagher solutions cover a broad mix of verticals, with strengths in high security, education and large corporate entities. Our Channel Partner network is continually growing so more clients can benefit from the diverse and powerful Gallagher Command Centre software. Q: Describe how Gallagher is typically integrated into larger systems. Huison: Our systems offer the flexibility of being standalone or globally networked via our Multi-Server environment. Most integration happens logically where data is pushing into our Command Centre database. The single point of truth allows for minimal data errors and efficiencies around manual input. The total cost of ownership is greatly reduced in allowing the system to work for the client and not the other way round. Over and above this, Integration into other solutions brings that rich data back to one software front end. Q: What is Gallagher's biggest challenge and how will the company seek to meet that challenge? Huison: Our biggest and continual opportunity is being a relentless innovator. We are not short of ideas and how we are bucking the trends with our solutions. Broadcasting these messages is not always easy in the digital age. This is why Gallagher is investing heavily in more shows, publications and specific vertical conferences globally. Q: What is the market's biggest misconception about Gallagher? Huison: Our brand is known for perimeter solutions with our monitored Pulse Fence. What many forget is we have a very powerful access control and integrated intrusion detection solution that meets Government standards around the world. We are unique in that all three can be controlled via one software platform that is cyber-resilient and infinitely configurable to suit many verticals. Q: What is your message to the security market? Huison: Many see Gallagher as only suitable for large and complex sites. I openly challenge our audience, speak to us and you may find we can provide an Enterprise Level solution that is delivered on budget and provide an outstanding return on investment for the client. Our pedigree of 80 years shows we never stop innovating and building that trusted advisor status with many lifelong clients.
The ban on U.S. government usage of Chinese-made video surveillance products was signed into law last year and was scheduled to take effect a year later – on August 13, 2019. With that deadline looming, there are questions about whether government agencies and departments will comply in time. A year ago, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, a ban on government uses of video surveillance equipment produced by two of the world’s top manufacturers – Hikvision and Dahua. The provision was buried in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019, which the President signed into law on August 13, 2018. The ban, which takes effect ‘not later than one year after … enactment’, applies not only to future uses of Dahua and Hikvision equipment but also to legacy installations. Tracking software to detect banned products Forescout Technologies, San Jose, California, provides software to track various banned devicesThe bill calls for an assessment of the current presence of the banned technologies and development of a ‘phase-out plan’ to eliminate the equipment from government uses. One problem is identifying where the surveillance equipment is being used, which involves either a tedious manual process to search out the equipment or the installation of tracking software to identify it on the network. A federal Department of Homeland Security program called ‘Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation’ requires use of a detection tool to find any banned products on a network. Forescout Technologies, San Jose, California, provides software to track various banned devices, but not all required agencies have complied with a mandate to secure their networks by tracking every connected device (only 35% had complied as of 2018.) “Without an automated, real-time tool that can detect all of the IT devices – computer or ‘other’ – on your network, there is simply no way to be 100 percent certain that you are compliant with these product bans,” says Katherine Gronberg, Forescout’s Vice President, Government Affairs. Difficult to determine device’s manufacturer Not all equipment is marked to identify its manufacturer; some has been rebrandedAnother problem is the existence of OEM agreements and other supply chain complications that can make it difficult to determine the manufacturer of any given device. A report by Bloomberg says: “A complex web of supply chain logistics and licensing agreements makes it almost impossible to know whether a security camera is actually made in China or contains components that would violate U.S. rules.” Not all equipment is marked to identify its manufacturer; some has been rebranded. “There are all kinds of shadowy licensing agreements that prevent us from knowing the true scope of China’s foothold in this market,” said Peter Kusnic, a technology writer at business research firm The Freedonia Group. “I’m not sure it will even be possible to ever fully identify all of these cameras, let alone remove them. The sheer number is insurmountable.” Companies banned under NDAA The NDAA ban covers “public safety, security of government facilities, physical security surveillance of critical infrastructure, and other national security purposes.” It bans “video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, [and] Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).” Hytera Communications is a Chinese digital mobile radio manufacturer. Huawei Technologies Co. equipment has also been banned, including the HiSilicon chips widely used in video cameras. In addition to banning the Chinese equipment in government installations, the NDAA also includes a ‘blacklist’ provision [paragraph (a)(1)(B)], which could be interpreted to extend the ban to companies that use Chinese-made products in other, non-government applications. Rulemaking on that aspect is still under way, including a public hearing in July.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, present a range of threats, from the careless and clueless to the criminal. While many incidents may seem harmless, the threat to any location at any time depends on a range of factors. Drones are inexpensive for criminals to buy or make, and there are continuously improving battery, airspeed, and payload capabilities. UAVs can also fly without an RF signal to jam or hack. Fortunately, sensor technologies including radar are available for security agencies and personnel to protect assets and the public. Radio-Wave Signals Radar works as a deterrent by sending out a radio-wave signal using a transmitter antenna, and a small portion of that signal reflects off objects in its path and returns to a receiver antenna. The highest performing radars use an antenna technology called Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA), which enables all-electronic reconfiguration of the antennas. When an AESA radar detects an object, it can ‘focus’ its antennas to track the object, in much the same way as the zoom on a camera does. Multiple objects can be tracked while continuing to scan. Kirkland, WA-based Echodyne offers a radar product that brings these ESA capabilities to non-military security applications at commercial price points. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array Echodyne’s ESA Radar Echodyne says they are reinventing radar price-performance for security applications in the ground (people, vehicles) or air (counter-UAS) domains. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array (ESA) radar that is affordable for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental customers. The company is backed by high profile investors, including Bill Gates, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, NEA, and Lux Capital. “Radar is a sensor,” says Leo McCloskey, Echodyne VP Marketing. “It is most applicable when security professionals can both understand its capabilities and define risk assessment and deployment requirements that call for those capabilities. Our customers are primarily security system integrators and consultancies, which integrate the performance of radar into a sensor array that meets mission requirements.” Radar Technology For Border Surveillance Echodyne was selected by the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to demonstrate the performance of its radar technology for border surveillance applications. The radar was deployed both in fixed remote surveillance towers and as a lightweight rapid deployment kit for field agents. Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities. “We set out to build the world’s best compact, solid-state ESA radar sensor, and we are demonstrating that we’ve reached that objective,” says McCloskey. “We’re excited to introduce these capabilities for other security applications.” Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities MESA Technology Echodyne’s proprietary technology provides a small true electronically scanning array (ESA) radar. Unlike expensive Active ESA (AESA) phased array radars, MESA requires no physical phase shifters, thus reducing the cost, size, weight, and power by several orders of magnitude while maintaining all the benefits of fast ESA radar. Echodyne combines its MESA technology with an intelligent software suite, Acuity, to produce a configurable, software-defined radar for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental security applications. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications “Technology seems to make everything more available to more people over time,” says McCloskey. “What is a retail product today will be a purchased self-assembly kit tomorrow and an improvised self-made drone the following day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is diligently at work on creating rules for safe UAV operation, though any final rules remain some distance off. As drone volumes increase, delineating friend from foe in the airspace requires clear legal and regulatory frameworks, which are nascent but would help distinguish the threat of nuisance flyers from illegal overflight.” Radar Sensor For Security Applications “Detecting and tracking airspace objects of interest is imperative for airports, chemical plants, oil and gas installations, refineries, water and energy utilities, stadiums and other public spaces”, says McCloskey. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications. “As with any product, our applicability will depend on variables like location, terrain, risk assessment, and existing security technologies,” says McCloskey. “Our mission is to deliver the very best radar sensor for security applications.”
Finbarr Solutions, a renowned global security & risk management consultancy, announced that it has been commissioned by Labtech London Limited. Its specialist team of security professionals, investigators and intelligence analysts will assess and advise on measures, to ensure Labtech London Limited delivers the highest levels of safety and security for citizens, tourists, businesses and infrastructure, throughout the 20-acres of prime real estate it owns and manages across Camden Market and West London. Finbarr Solutions has been selected by Labtech London Limited for its accreditations, qualifications, and proven expertise in running exhaustive Security Threat, Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (TRVA’s) for organizations around the world and in many different industry sectors. Hostile vehicle mitigation Finbarr Solutions will also advise Labtech London Limited on its hostile vehicle mitigation measures Managing Director of Finbarr Solutions, Ciaran Barry CSyP, comments: “Our role is to protect people, assets, brands and reputations. We are proud to have been selected by Labtech London Limited for this latest project, which involves some of the busiest, vibrant and iconic areas of the city.” In addition to conducting a comprehensive TRVA, focusing on 16-acres of real estate in the Camden Market area, Finbarr Solutions will also advise Labtech London Limited on its hostile vehicle mitigation measures. Review and improvement Head of Security at Labtech London Limited, Erhan Yildiran, ASyl at states: “More than 28-million people visit the Camden Market area each year, to shop, eat, drink, work and socialise in one of the most bustling, creative and exciting areas of London. It is our duty to provide and secure an environment for all who visit, live, and operate here. Finbarr Solutions are experts in their field, and we look forward to working with the team, as part of our continuous review and improvement of our measures.”
ZeroEyes, the only AI-based platform focused solely on weapons detection, has been selected by the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) of Wisconsin to help improve security on its campuses. ZeroEyes proprietary solution ZeroEyes’ proprietary solution will identify visible guns if present and send alerts to school administrators and security personnel within three to five seconds, helping to stop violent threats before they occur. KUSD is the third-largest school district in Wisconsin, with over 21,000 students and 4,200 employees in 23 elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools and five charter schools. Integration with IP security cameras ZeroEyes currently integrates with KUSD’s IP security cameras to help detect visible weapons and serve as a proactive measure to prevent any violent threats on campus. When ZeroEyes positively detects a weapon, the platform sends a notification to school administrators, school resource officers and local 911 dispatch, ensuring the school can enact security protocols and give first responders real-time information to help prevent active shooting tragedies and save lives. Enhancing staff and students’ security “It’s a grim reality that active shootings happen in schools across the country, and we’ve needed to understand and implement the solutions that can keep our students, staff and visitors safe,” said Kevin Christoun, Maintenance, Environmental and Safety Manager at KUSD. Kevin adds, “At KUSD, we have a multi-layered security approach that includes the most effective and innovative technologies and resources, and ZeroEyes’ platform clearly supports our strategy.” Weapons detection solution ZeroEyes proprietary and comprehensive datasets focus exclusively on weapons detection Founded by a group of former Navy SEALs and military veterans, ZeroEyes proprietary and comprehensive datasets focus exclusively on weapons detection, to actively monitor and detect for visible weapons. ZeroEyes also trains and collaborates with customers and local first responders to conduct extensive pilots before its solution is fully implemented. In the future, KUSD plans to roll out additional installations to remaining schools in the district. Effectively countering active shooting incidents “ZeroEyes was founded upon the realization that a proactive solution was needed to help keep people safe, with real-time information to adequately address violent threats and prevent mass shooting tragedies,” said Dustin Brooks, Vice President of Education at ZeroEyes. Dustin adds, “KUSD focuses on providing a safe and productive learning environment to its students and faculty, and we’re honored to provide a 24/7 solution that supports their goals.”
Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT), The Dome, required a new solution that would protect several areas, including one of the largest gym’s in Doncaster, The Fitness Village. Vanderbilt ACT365 system DCLT had a specific brief for this project that specified enhancing the staff and customer experience, while simultaneously providing access control solutions to restricted areas from the general public, members, and staff alike. Oliver Law Security (OLS) Ltd. did not hesitate to recommend the Vanderbilt ACT365 system. ACT365 is not only a fully cloud-based solution, but also offers a flexible solution for installation and management that OLS identified as a key ingredient to meet DCLT’s project brief. API Integration In addition to DCLT’s security requirement, OLS also realized ACT365 as an ideal solution for this task, given the product’s very focused API integration. Thanks to the ACT365 interface, OLS was able to integrate DCLT’s gym management system to enable single-source data to be used to populate the access control system, keep records up-to-date, and enhance customer experience. For instance, previously, the older system had taken up to 3-5 seconds to validate members and open the entry turnstiles. Once the API interface had been achieved, this validation is now done instantly through ACT365 and allows members with active memberships through the entry points without any minimal delay. Game-changer security solution According to Oliver Law Security, using ACT365 and its API interface is a game-changer for this type of project The scope of this project, although not significant in the number of doors, was a very technical project with integration into SQL server and a third-party membership system with the potential for thousands of would-be users. According to Oliver Law Security, using ACT365 and its API interface is a game-changer for this type of project. With multiple updates per day, the access control system is always fully populated with the correct, validated members ensuring DCLT’s premier venue, The Dome, is protected against memberships that have lapsed. Cloud-based off-premise solution The system is entirely cloud-based offers an off-premise solution with no additional new servers required or PC’s running software. Through the ACT365 app, DCLT’s site administrators can manage the system for staff. The beauty of the interface is once the schedule runs, all information is autonomously sent to the ACT365 database, meaning adding new memberships, updating memberships, or revoking access is seamless, not tying up staff verifying and administering the membership/access control systems respectively. Commenting on the project, Oliver (Ollie) Law, Managing Director of Oliver Law Security (OLS) Ltd., stated “We didn’t hesitate to recommend the Vanderbilt ACT365 system. As a Vanderbilt Gold Integration Partner, this is our go-to product, and for Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, the flexibility and scalability of the product was best placed to grow with their business.” He adds, “We are fully committed to working and growing with Vanderbilt, and we look forward to other projects of this nature in the future.”
Location monitoring and personal safety specialist, Vismo has announced that its app, Vismo App helped users during the recent protests in Portland, Oregon, by guiding them to safety in offices and hotels, after they had activated the panic button on their app, while on their way to or from their place of work. “Vismo is no stranger to being used to protect employees in potentially harmful situations,” said Craig Swallow, Vismo Chief Executive Officer (CEO), adding “And in the past few months our app has proved invaluable to users who were at risk of being caught up in some of the hundreds of protests that have taken place in Portland, and elsewhere.” Vismo App The Vismo App alerted security teams immediately, as soon as users pressed its panic button The Vismo App, used by staff of many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies as a duty of care precaution by their employers, alerted security teams immediately, as soon as users pressed its panic button. The teams received the alert via text, email and an automated phone call, and quickly reacted to users’ situations, by using Vismo’s secure portal to identify a place of safety for them. In addition, the teams quickly received an audio clip, sent automatically from the users’ smartphones, which allowed them to get a clearer understanding of the situations at hand. Extensive deployment and use of app “In these instances, the safest places were hotels and offices unaffected, and likely to remain unaffected, by protests,” said Craig Swallow, adding “Security teams were able to monitor users’ movements and their precise location, and stay in contact with them throughout, from the moment they gave them advice on where to go until they had reached a place of safety. Then, until they reached home or work.” Although the Vismo App is used by staff of many large and medium size companies, typically in the oil and gas, healthcare and retail sectors, other employers who have achieved significant benefits include NGOs, whose staff and volunteers can work in extreme at-risk situations and media companies, whose reporters and camera operators can likewise be at extreme risk, in locations around the world. Key features of the Vismo App and portal Via the Vismo secure portal, security teams can place virtual geo-fences around areas of high-risk or safety Via the Vismo secure portal, and as part of its incident management capability, security teams can place virtual geo-fences around areas of high-risk or safety, depending on where app users are and/or will be. When users enter or exit these areas, the security teams will receive an automatic text and email alert of this movement, allowing them to take immediate and necessary actions to ensure the users are as safe as possible. To help identify potentially dangerous areas/neighborhoods, organizations’ security teams can add points of interest (POI) to a map on the portal to help protect employees and denote safe places (e.g. approved hotels or office locations). Individual points of interest, POIs can be added by a team, to take account of specific areas which are relevant to the organization. These POIs can include known high-risk areas and safe havens. Reliable and efficient way of mass communication Vital information can be communicated to app users to avoid troublesome areas or guide them to a safe destination. Vismo provides organizations with a reliable and efficient way of communicating with any number of employees, for example during an unfolding unstable situation in a specific geographic area by providing mass notification service. These notifications can include a personalized message with response options to quickly see if anyone requires assistance. Notifications can be sent via text, email, in-app and an automated phone call, which can be set to loop continuously until a response is received.
Gated aviation fuel farm adjacent to operation building. Client wanted to create a multi-purpose IP solution to detect intrusion from asset theft activating CCTV cameras and create an access control system for a 24-hour operation. Following a thorough site survey, the integrator was able to create a solution that achieved all of its client’s goals. Using 4 Redscan laser detectors in horizontal mode, the integrator was able to secure the fenced perimeter using CCTV surveillance into an IP network that is monitored by the end user. Using unique rules available through VMS, the integrator used a vertically mounted Redscan laser detector to activate/deactivate the intrusion system when a fuel truck would enter and leave the gated fuel farm.
There are over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States. These substations, along with power plants and transmission lines, provide power for millions of people. It is imperative that these locations remain secure from intrusion and sabotage. If just a handful of these substations were rendered inoperable, the U.S. could face a serious blackout. The 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, which knocked out several transformers and totalled over $15 million in damages, was a catalyst for the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) establishing new security standards for utilities. One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). This statute requires utilities to identify ‘mission critical’ facilities and assets, conduct a security inspection to identify threat, and implement a security system to address those risks. Replacing traditional fencing systems VTI Security has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility, and oil and gas sectors for over 35 yearsIn response to security incidents such as Metcalf and other FERC activities, a large electrical utility with hundreds of substations across the country looked to expand security beyond its fence line. The end user wanted to enhance and possibly replace traditional fence protection systems – including fiber optics, microwave barriers, and video analytics – as these systems all proved to be costly, as well as time and labor intensive. In the end, the utility company relied on VTI Security, an industry-leading integrator, for a recommendation. Based in Burnsville, Minnesota, VTI Security has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility, and oil and gas sectors for over 35 years. To determine the best system for its end user, VTI reviewed six different technologies, including some with multiple vendors. VTI also tested systems in field deployments and conducted cost analysis. The integrator concluded that SpotterRF’s product was superior to all others and selected it as its sole radar standard for perimeter solutions. SpotterRF perimeter protection solution “Our findings were that SpotterRF not only provided the most comprehensive detection in a substation environment, but SpotterRF was also by far the most cost-effective total solution based on the ability to mount equipment on existing structures,” said Jerry Klapak, Senior Account Manager for VTI Security. SpotterRF provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems SpotterRF, based in Orem, Utah, provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems, which provide up to 300 acres of radar tracking power in a hand held, four-pound device. The CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100 percent coverage, 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. They are designed to detect threats up to 3300 feet beyond the fence line and provide early warnings to staff before situations escalate. PT-Series thermal camera While radar casts a wide circle to detect the presence of potential intruders, the FLIR thermal camera provides visual verification along specific perimeters. Upon selecting a radar system, VTI needed a video manufacturer to supply cameras to deploy with the radar. In 2015, the integrator approached FLIR Systems for a solution and selected PT-Series thermal camera for the project. “The ability for FLIR's products to perform beyond published performance specifications was a surprise we don’t often see,” said Klapak. “Each product exceeded published performance metrics on our field testing and actual deployments.” Features thermal and visible-light imaging SpotterRF radars, combined with FLIR PT-Series cameras, deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protectionThe PT-Series is a pan/tilt camera that features both thermal and visible-light imaging. The pan/tilt mechanism gives end users precise pointing control, fully programmable scan patterns, and both radar slew-to-cue and slew-to-alarm functions. With the radar and thermal technologies selected, VTI worked to ensure seamless integration and performance between the two systems. “We worked with each company’s support and development teams, as well as the VMS manufacturer, to ensure the technologies not only worked with one another, but also met the client’s needs for bandwidth consumption and VMS interface and display,” said Klapak. Together, SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars, combined with FLIR PT-Series cameras, deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection. Cost-effective solution for substations "The FLIR PT-Series, when deployed with SpotterRF, can cover a wide area of substation footprint. It is a cost-effective solution for substations needing to monitor the perimeter as well as inside the yard," said Michael Chaffee, Director of Business Development at FLIR Systems. “The speed at which the FLIR PT-Series slews to the cue of the SpotterRF detection is impressive." A number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather" When someone walks into the field of view of SpotterRF’s C20 or C40 radar, the radio waves bounce off the person and back to the radar, which then calculates the precise GPS location of the target, as well as its size. The radars then tell the FLIR PT-Series camera to zoom to that location. The camera automatically stays on and tracks the target. Because the radars control the cameras, the cameras only move upon detection, which significantly extends the shelf life of the cameras, allowing them to last for years without replacement. Locates person in a 15 or 100-acre space This FLIR and SpotterRF solution addresses an important pain point for the perimeter security and intrusion detection market. “In the past, utilities tried to use video analytics to find targets. Because these systems were outdoors, a number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather, lighting and moving trees,” said Logan Harris, CEO of SpotterRF. “However, by combining our radar with FLIR’s pan tilt thermal cameras, you’re able to solve this problem.” He added, “Together, SpotterRF’s radar technology and FLIR’s thermal imaging are able to locate a person in a 15 or 100-acre space, see hundreds of yards beyond the fence line, cue the camera, and alert the personnel, all without the help of an operator.” Activates security lighting based on motion One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses"In the past, only military organizations could access this level of advanced technology. Now, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution makes this security capability accessible and affordable for critical infrastructure, power distribution and commercial applications. "Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites," said Klapak. "One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses. They now use the radars to activate security lighting based on motion within and outside the fences. This provides not only a green approach to security by lowering energy costs but also improves customer relations by reducing light pollution in residential neighborhoods.” The entire team was also impressed by the solution’s minimal installation time. Unlike installing fiber optic cables on fence lines, which requires months for digging trenches, the FLIR PT camera and SpotterRF radar can be mounted easily on control shacks or lattice poles within a week. Four times faster installation of systems “The deployment occurred four times faster than it was anticipated,” said Harris. “VTI installed the systems at 25-30 sites in just three months.” VTI began installation in 2016, with plans to roll out the solution in a phased approach as part of a multi-year plan. Approximately 50-75 sites will deploy the camera and radar solution. On average, each substation has two FLIR PT-Series cameras and four SpotterRF radars. Some of VTI’s other clients are also expected to deploy the same solution at 10-20 sites over the next few years, based on the success VTI has proven in the utility environment.
Round table discussion
Fire and security systems are two elements of the same mission: To keep buildings and their occupants safe. However, the two systems often operate independently and may not be integrated. Should there be more integration and what are the pitfalls? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating security and fire systems?