Interphone, the security systems and building technology integrator, is embracing the latest iris and facial recognition technology to meet the growing demand for touchless door entry and access control. The company has launched a range of advanced and affordable solutions available for any new build or retrofit building requirement in the commercial residential marketplace. Significance of touchless technologies “The COVID pandemic has placed hygiene, infection control and risk mitigati...
Pyronix has released news of its new logo, as part of an ongoing program of activities, aligning the brand with their long heritage and status as a renowned player in the United Kingdom and Ireland (UK&I) security markets. Pyronix brand refresh Commenting on the brand refresh, Pyronix Marketing Director, Laurence Kenny, said “Our new logo is reflective of our position in the UK&I markets as a technology based, forward-looking, fresh and dynamic organization. We pride ourselves on...
Auth0, the modern identity platform solutions provider, has announced the Auth0 identity operating system (identity OS), a cloud-native and adaptable platform for development teams. Auth0 identity OS Built with extensible building blocks, the Auth0 identity OS enables organizations to manage the complexities of modern identity management, while also prioritizing the security, privacy and convenience of their end users. Striking the perfect balance among these priorities requires identity to i...
Alcatraz AI and Netronix Integration have announced a strategic partnership to expand their access control solutions to security business users. The two companies are partnering to deliver Alcatraz’s industry-renowned facial authentication solutions, through Netronix Integration’s global network and customer base. Alcatraz AI and Netronix partnership The new, innovative partnership leverages the respective technology and leadership strengths of Alcatraz AI and Netronix Integration...
Aqua Security, the pure-play cloud native security solutions company, has published new research from Team Nautilus revealing that a significant majority of companies that move to multi-cloud environments are not properly configuring their cloud-based services. According to the new findings from Aqua Security’s ‘2021 Cloud Security Report: Cloud Configuration Risks Exposed’, these misconfigurations, for example leaving bucket or blog storage open, can open companies up to crit...
A top London security firm boss, whose bodyguards protect the rich and famous, has stepped in to support the Northumberland primary school which set him on the road to success. A former Major in the British Army Reserve, Bob Morrison, owner of Mayfair-based Sec-Tech, now provides close protection for VIPs from the UK and abroad and advises on personal and corporate security. Sponsoring breakfast But over the years he has also kept a watchful eye on his former school, Lynemouth Country Primary...
Could the data that the access control system generates reveal priceless business insights? In many businesses, the answer is affirmative. The problem is how to analyze that data quickly and accurately to bring valuable, digestible business benefits. As reported by the Houston Chronicle, ‘Data is at the core of nearly every business decision made. A new Reporting & Analytics Tool for CLIQ access control systems enables security and facility managers to extract, visualize and analyze the data from their own premises. CLIQ wireless access control system ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ is a wireless access control system based on programmable electronic and electromechanical keys, cylinders, and padlocks. The system can be managed securely from anywhere with an internet connection via the CLIQ Web Manager (CWM). The CWM’s new tool makes all system data easy to understand and to export, and share with staff and stakeholders across the business. If data really is the ‘new oil of the digital economy, this new tool helps CLIQ wireless access control customers tap it efficiently. CWM Reporting & Analytics Tool The new CWM Reporting & Analytics Tool streamlines decision-making, informing it with data drawn from the security system. It also frees security managers from their desk, with all of the tool’s data and functionality available inside the Amazon QuickSight app for Apple and Android systems. Any authorized person within the organization can access its valuable insights, from anywhere in the world. Visual dashboards for faster analysis A clear, visual layout helps managers to spot relevant data and any anomalies, at a glance This new tool helps an access control system to do more than just keep people and assets safe. Data that the system generates every day can contribute to business success. A clear, visual layout helps managers to spot relevant data and any anomalies, at a glance. A bespoke dashboard offers a rapid system overview, in order to help identify the most used keys, view heat and cold maps of lock usage, and spot keys whose access has been denied most often, for example. Granular, single lock, and key level Drilling down to a more granular, single lock or key level helps managers identify who is using which openings and when, and decide whether staff or contractors have the appropriate access rights. These tasks become simpler and even instant. At a glance, the tool helps security managers track a relevant business activity. They will spot critical patterns in weekly or monthly access use, so as to help plan maintenance schedules more efficiently, for example, among many more bespoke insights into what is happening on site. Access management integration with process software The new Reporting and Analytics Tool is available as a simple subscription add-on to new or current CWM users. CWM already enables a wide range of security workflows, including real-time access management. It can integrate access management with existing business process software to build a single interface, which controls everything. Now, its new Reporting & Analytics Tool can help businesses make smarter, better, data-informed decisions.
Allegion US, a globally renowned provider of security products and solutions, has announced that it has received federal government approval for its Schlage Multi-Technology (MT-485) Readers, when paired with the LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system. Schlage MT Readers Schlage’s MT Readers simplify access control solutions by recognizing magnetic stripe, proximity, Schlage smart card and NFC-enabled smart devices with a firmware update, ensuring a seamless transition to high-security smart technology in the future. The readers are fully OSDP compliant, when ordered with RS-485 and have an open architecture platform, which is designed to work with industry standards and common access control system interfaces, fitting a variety of placement needs. LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system offers rich feature and operability enhancements The LenelS2 OnGuard version 7.6 access control system offers rich feature and operability enhancements, while also extending its cloud compatibility, integration capability and convenience. LenelS2 is the first partner to complete certification for the Government Service Administration’s (GSA) Approved Product List (APL), with the OnGuard system paired with Allegion’s Schlage MT Readers. This integration allows for expanded access to key government clients. Easy-to-deploy, interoperable solution “As federal agencies are only permitted to procure qualified products and services listed on the GSA APL, we’re happy to be able to offer this integration that provides an easy-to-deploy, interoperable solution for government facilities,” said Terry Collins, Director of Government Sales at Allegion. Terry adds, “The integration is FIPS 201-2 compliant for easy procurement, with a quick-connect design for easy installation, OSDP for efficient software updates and meets the highest testing standards in place.” Security standards compliance Following rigorous government and third-party security vulnerability and interoperability testing for the Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) program, the integrated solution meets the commercial compliance, consistency and alignment requirements for the functional needs of the government ICAM implementer. The Schlage Mullion Reader and Single Gang Reader are now on the APL and have been authorized for use by the federal government. Federally approved integration “Our government clients demand the highest standards, which drives us to continually innovate with leading players like Allegion, to offer the very best in access control,” said Derek Greenland, Director of Federal Government Solutions at LenelS2. This federally approved integration is part of the next wave in Allegion's mission to work with major providers in the government sector, to spearhead smart lock and mobile access adoption, making seamless, all-encompassing security the new standard.
Videonetics, the world’s first AI & Deep Learning-powered Unified Video Computing Platform (UVCP) provider, has announced the integration of its Intelligent VMS 3.0 software with Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) of Future Fibre Technologies (FFT). Technology integration The technology integration will empower users to monitor zone alarms and videos from a centralized system, providing further situational awareness, maximizing preparedness and response to perimeter breach or sabotage. Furthermore, they can view real-time notification of intrusion alerts on the map, along with multiple video streams that capture the movement at the scene and vision of the nearby area, everything in a single unified user interface of the video management system (VMS). Videonetics – FFT partnership This technology integration deepens our long standing and mutually beneficial relationship with FFT" Avinash J Trivedi, Vice President for Business Development at Videonetics said, “Our mission is to build strong ecosystem relationships and collaboration, hence making our technology accessible to everyone and making the world a safer, smarter and happier place.” Avinash Trivedi adds, “This technology integration deepens our long standing and mutually beneficial relationship with FFT, bringing ‘true’ value to our customers and partners, by delivering comprehensive solutions to unlock new possibilities for vertical markets.” Integration of intruder detection technology with VMS Sanjay Oberoi, the Country Manager (India) at Future Fibre Technologies stated, “With more than 2,500 systems installed in over 70 countries, we remain committed to integrating our perimeter intrusion detection technology with the leading security management, physical security information management, video management and access control management systems around the globe.” Sanjay Oberoi adds, “With FFT CAMS (Central Alarm Monitoring System) a key component of our PIDS system, its integration with Videonetics Intelligent VMS 3.0 platform further enhances our offering, as we continue to expand our presence in the region.”
HENSOLDT has announced the appointment of Celia Pelaz to the Management Board of the company as of July 1, 2021. As Chief Strategy Officer, she will be responsible for the strategic positioning of HENSOLDT, as well as its business development. Additionally, Celia Pelaz will continue to lead the Spectrum Dominance and Airborne Solutions division, as well as HENSOLDT Ventures. With this step, the Management Board of HENSOLDT will be expanded from three to four members. Management Board expansion Johannes Huth, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of HENSOLDT, said “With the expansion and more diverse lineup of the Management Board, HENSOLDT is preparing the ground for further growth as a global brand. Celia Pelaz has been a perfect fit for HENSOLDT for years. She stands for expertise, strategic foresight and innovative strength. I look forward to working with her.” Thomas Müller, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HENSOLDT, said “I am delighted that Celia Pelaz, a highly experienced, very tech savvy and widely respected colleague, is joining the Management Board. She has been playing a key role in shaping and driving forward many of our strategic initiatives and, above all, our internationalization in recent years.” Focus on cyber security, AI and data mining She has perfectly positioned HENSOLDT in the strategically important areas of cyber, AI and data mining" Thomas adds, “In addition, she has perfectly positioned HENSOLDT in the strategically important areas of cyber, artificial intelligence (AI) and data mining. With her as Executive for Strategy and Business Development, we are ideally equipped to further expand HENSOLDT's position as a leading European champion in the field of defense and security electronics." Celia Pelaz has been with HENSOLDT and formerly Airbus for 19 years. Since April 2018, she has been responsible for the Spectrum Dominance and Airborne Solutions division. Prior to that, she was Head of Strategic Business Development. International business veteran In addition to strategic topics, this role also included corporate communications, HENSOLDT’s international businesses and the company's M&A activities. Before that, Celia Pelaz held various management positions at Airbus and its predecessor companies. Celia Pelaz holds a degree in engineering from the Bilbao Chamber of Commerce University (Escuela Universitaria de la Cámara de Comercio de Bilbao).
AMAG Technology announced that Gilbane Building Company selected AMAG’s Symmetry Security Management System to deploy at the new Hines 100 Mill high rise in Tempe, Arizona. Gilbane Building Company will install AMAG’s Symmetry Access Control, Symmetry CompleteView Video Management, and Zenitel Turbine Intercom. Gilbane chose IES Communications, LLC, a subsidiary of IES Holdings, Inc. to deploy the integrated system. Symmetry security management Located in the heart of downtown Tempe, 100 Mill is an 18 floor, 280,000 square foot commercial building that will include 10’ floor-to-ceiling glass, a rooftop amenity deck, a fitness center, a training room, and a conference center, and a tenant bar/lounge. “We value our partnership with IES Communications and look forward to a long working relationship,” said Gilbane Building Company’s Area Manager, John Clays. “The Symmetry Security Management System easily met all of 100 Mill’s security needs and can easily grow as they add tenants to the system.” Deployment completion is expected in November 2021. Comprehensive approach Gilbane selected IES Communications for its comprehensive approach to projects along with its strong emphasis on client relationships. AMAG’s Symmetry Security Management System met all system requirements and can grow to fit future expansion requirements and tenant needs. “IES Communications is proud to work with Gilbane Builders to deliver a first-class security system using AMAG’s Symmetry Security Management System,” said IES Communications, Special Systems Project Manager, Barry Pistone. “As 100 Mill expands and adds tenants, Symmetry will easily expand with them and its open architecture will allow for easy technology integrations in the future.”
Aiphone, an international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products, is announcing a touchless sensor that allows a way for visitors, vendors, and employees to initiate a contactless call with a simple gesture. Gesture activated calling Compatible with the IX Series door stations for easy installation, the sensor encourages users to “Wave Hello” to activate a call, reducing exposure to germs and the spread of bacteria in high-touch areas. This touchless solution can be easily included anywhere an IX Series door station is installed, offering a reliable method to call inside the facility to the master station without contacting the exterior intercom. Beneficial for high-volume environments This solution is valuable in high-volume environments: Educational facilities and daycare centers Condos, and other multi-tenant residential facilities Office buildings and high-rises Clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies Parking lots and garages Security communication Where security communication is required and lowering the spread of bacteria is critical, visitors or staff can request access by calling with a simple wave of the hand. From here, calls can be screened with crisp audio and clear video. This solution can also be used to greet employees who’ve lost their access control card or to facilitate contactless deliveries. Additionally, the sensor’s detection zone helps avoid unwanted activations from external sources, such as wind or outdoor debris. Its low-profile design and aesthetic look can complement any building exterior.
The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates that fraud costs the United Kingdom approximately £190 billion every year. The private sector is hit the hardest and loses around £140 billion a year, while the public sector loses more than £40 billion, and individuals lose roughly £7 billion. The effects of fraud can be devastating on both individuals and organizations. Companies can suffer irreversible damage to reputation and be forced to close, and individuals can experience significant personal losses. Everyone should be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves against fraudulent activity. Fraud detection technology Fraud detection technology has advanced rapidly, over the years and made it easier for security professionals to detect and prevent fraud. Here are some of the key ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising fraud detection - with insight from Tessema Tesfachew, the Head of Product at Avora. An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected An anomaly can be described as a behavior that deviates from the expected. According to Tessema Tesfachew, “Autonomous monitoring and anomaly detection specifically, have made detecting fraudulent activity faster and more accurate. Machines can monitor data 24/7 as it comes in, build patterns of behavior that take into account seasonality and shifting trends, and identify events that don’t fit the norm.” For example, banks can use AI software to gain an overview of a customer’s spending habits online. Having this level of insight allows an anomaly detection system to determine whether a transaction is normal or not. Suspicious transactions can be flagged for further investigation and verified by the customer. If the transaction is not fraudulent, then the information can be put into the anomaly detection system to learn more about the customer’s spending behavior online. Accurate root cause analysis Root cause analysis goes one step further than anomaly detection, by allowing security professionals to pinpoint what caused the anomaly. Tessema explains how an example of this would be if a system detects that the rate of fraudulent transactions has increased. Root cause analysis would pinpoint the specific ATM or point of sale, where this increase is occurring. Swift action can then be taken to prevent fraudulent activity at that location in the future. Fewer false positives As mentioned, false positives can occur if a fraud detection system identifies behavior that goes against the norm, for instance, if a customer makes a transaction in a new location. In many cases, customers are required to complete identity verification to prove that a transaction is not fraudulent. Digital customer identity verification can help brands build a strong and reputable image. That said, forcing users to complete identify certifications regularly can cause frustration and harm the customer experience. AI anomaly detection AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data AI anomaly detection is far more accurate and results in fewer false positives. Increasing the accuracy of anomaly detection helps companies improve customer relationships and build a strong reputation. This will have a positive impact on brand image and sales revenue. AI fraud detection systems can carry out accurate data analysis in milliseconds and identify complex patterns in data. Machines are more efficient than even the most skilled fraud analysts and make fewer errors. This is why AI fraud detection software is the preferred option in larger organizations. Importance of fraud analysts However, fraud analysts still play an important role in fraud prevention. Using a combination of human intervention and AI is usually the most effective approach when it comes to fraud detection. According to pymnts.com, innovative organizations now use a variety of AI and supervised and unsupervised machine learning to identify and protect against fraud. AI systems can complete time-consuming and repetitive tasks, such as data collection and analysis. This means that fraud analysts can focus their time and attention on critical tasks that require human intervention, e.g. monitoring risk scores. AI can automate processes and enhance the quality of the fraud analysts’ work. Conclusion In to Tessema Tesfachew’s opinion, “Fraud detection has become vastly more efficient and effective with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Previously, methods for detecting fraudulent activities were still data-rich, but relied more on human intervention and expert bias, and were thus, more time consuming and prone to error.” AI technology, particular anomaly detection, has streamlined fraud detection and created a more efficient, and accurate system for detecting and preventing fraud. Covid-19 has increased the number of online transactions, which creates more opportunities for fraudulent activity. However, it also allows businesses to gain more information on their customers and enhance the capabilities of AI security software. It is more important than ever for organizations to utilize AI technology in fraud detection strategies.
Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organization secure.
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.
Many employers faced a need to ramp up hiring of drivers to meet a higher demand for product deliveries and transportation logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the demand for drivers, employers had to make quick hiring decisions while also ensuring products were still being delivered in a timely fashion. Safe work environment Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and contractors. It is therefore important to limit exposing drivers to risk, to put in place proper safety and security protocols, and to clearly outline them in company policies. Whether an employee or contractor, these drivers represent the brand they work for. If they do not adhere to company-mandated safety and security rules, because the business did not make them aware or they intentionally did not comply by acting with malice, this can put the drivers, other employees, customers and the company at risk financially, legally and with regard to their reputation. Adherence to safety protocols Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business" “This need to hire drivers quickly resulted in many businesses lowering their standards and accepting certain risks to meet the increased demand. Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business, potentially leading to harmful events and a damaged brand reputation,” stated Thomas Kopecky, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Ontic Technologies (Ontic), a unified protective intelligence software platform. In the conversation presented below, Kopecky outlines the safety and compliance requirements needed to manage the risks while meeting the demand for drivers. Q: What risks do employers face as they ramp up hiring to meet higher demand for drivers? Thomas Kopecky: There have been instances in which a transportation contractor with multiple violations has simply established the business under a new name but continues to operate dangerously. Hastily hiring such a firm without proper enhanced vetting increases the risk from a safety, as well as a business continuity standpoint. Having to terminate a contract and replace a contractor midway can also have significant financial repercussions. In addition to problems created by executing too quickly, employers are now required both to mitigate their own general liability risks and to manage the perceived risk they may create due to the pandemic. For example, if a delivery driver tests positive for COVID-19, there is the potential they have also exposed customers. Employers must consider contactless delivery or other methods and protocols to mitigate this presumed risk of the pandemic. Q: What are the elements of safety and compliance involved in onboarding new drivers? Thomas Kopecky: When onboarding new drivers, corporations must think about more than clean background checks and adequate infrastructure. Whether employees or contractors, organizations must focus on what other risks the drivers bring with them. As part of this review, an open source scrub should be conducted at the outset to discover the driver’s online activity. Through this exercise, a whole host of questions can be addressed including, for example, whether their morals and values align with those of the company. Are they involved with fringe or radical interest groups? Do their actions conflict with the culture of the organization, and could they have a negative impact? These are all questions that employers should be considering when hiring new drivers or contracting a new company. Q: What tools are available to help companies vet their driver fleets and how can these tools make a difference? Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags Thomas Kopecky: To vet their driver fleets, corporations can use several tools and resources that will strengthen the organization’s overall security. Ideally this is a software platform that brings all this information into one place so vetting, real-time data and concerning activities are not siloed but can be connected in order to assess potential risks and threats. Logically, businesses should consider reviewing Department of Transportation Records, which allow organizations to check whether drivers are licensed and appropriately insured. Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags, such as whether an organization is delinquent or no longer functioning in a given state. Finally, it’s beneficial to review civil records as these can highlight any active or past cases associated with an organization. This includes fraud, bankruptcy, poor business practises, and more. Q: What should be the standard methodology to investigate and collect data on new driver programs? Thomas Kopecky: Corporate culture and company policies impact the level of vetting required (determined by company policy), which varies from business to business. Quite often, most valuable investigative content is associated with an actual fleet company owner and not a recently created business entity so it behooves corporations to research this information first. Then verify the information provided is correct, and whether any other conflicting information exists. As previously noted, employers should review civil and criminal records at the state level and cases at the federal level, as it is often the fleet company or owner involved in litigation that could reflect negatively on a brand. Media coverage and consumer complaints are another critical source for negative mentions that may not always appear in public records. You should also ask if the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this contract or driver; and if they were once a provider and are now re-applying, is it under a new name? If the answer is yes to either question, it will be necessary to check DOT records for adequate licensing or insurance coverage to ensure providers applying under a new name aren’t trying to circumvent the vetting process. Q: What are the privacy concerns, and how can potential employers ensure they do not violate issues of privacy as they vet drivers (and/or other employees)? Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner Thomas Kopecky: Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Employers often dictate their own guidelines and requirements from company to company. Companies must ensure they follow the law and handle data used for vetting driver fleets in a manner compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When utilizing software platforms, those that aggregate public record data in real-time and efficiently to provide actionable insights will be key for protecting corporate driver fleets and businesses overall. Q: How is addressing these issues different in the case of a contracted service versus a company employee? Thomas Kopecky: Addressing these issues will vary from company to company, but it will be important for clients' legal counsel to help interpret the law in the respective state they operate in and make this final determination. This will help shape policy and the employer’s compliance requirements in the area of operation. In some jurisdictions, contractors are vetted and treated like employees who are protected by FCRA. In contrast, there are more broad interpretations of what level of vetting and continuous monitoring can take place on contractors versus employees in other jurisdictions. Q: What is at risk if companies fail to address these issues? Thomas Kopecky: If companies fail to address security issues with managing their driver fleets, they risk major liability, business continuity and brand reputation. Every employee and contractor is in essence an ambassador of the brand, and in many instances, they are the only customer-facing representative for the enterprise. Imagine you are a contractor driving for a major delivery service. If you were to get into an accident and tragically kill someone driving their branded truck, the repercussions of that accident would harm the brand as opposed to the small contracting company by which you are employed. This can have a disastrous impact on the enterprise, both from a reputation and financial standpoint. When proactive steps are not taken to evaluate fleet companies or their owners, this can be viewed as negligence. Consider another example: A brand hires a driver company that has committed fraud while operating under another company’s name. What is the brand’s cost to conduct an initial onboarding assessment of this company versus the cost of investigating an issue, terminating the contract, and dealing with any potential litigation that might follow? The latter is clearly the financial burden. Corporations must proactively address risk associated with their driver fleets to mitigate risk before it occurs. Q: What is the biggest misconception (in the industry and/or the public at large) about employee vetting requirements? Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company Thomas Kopecky: We have passed the days where everything is all about criminal background checks and instant alerts when a driver receives a DUI. We are entering a world where business continuity and resiliency are necessary. Companies are so reliant on contracted services or seasonal employee pools that if that roster of operators were found to be unsuitable, the business itself would not meet the demands of its customers. Before the digital age, people only understood the driver vetting process to be based around a search of felony convictions. Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company from a different vantage point. Employers must begin to think about litigation history, negative media coverage and vocal social platforms, history of poor business practices or fraud, and more. These are factors that need to be considered for a business to mitigate risk and maintain continuity of service in an era where timeliness and instant gratification are highly valued.
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.
An intelligent network of 20 Axis EN fire panels from fire and life safety systems manufacturer, Advanced, have been installed at HaDo Centrosa Garden in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. HaDo Centrosa Garden is a 70,000 sq. m development of eight 30-story luxury residential towers and 115 townhouses, located in the heart of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The upscale condominium complex’s facilities will include a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, fitness center, rooftop gardens, a park, school, library and commercial center. System with high-speed networking capabilities Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed A key requirement for this large-scale complex was a system with high-speed networking capabilities, to enable instantaneous sharing of communications between panels. To meet this need, fire protection companies Vietsafe and KP Technology chose 20 Advanced Axis EN fire alarm control panels, alongside 3,000 addressable devices, for installation in the eight residential towers. With many successful installations of Advanced products undertaken by both companies, Vietsafe and KP Technology were confident in Axis EN’s ability to deliver the seamless networking needed, while its ease of installation, testing, commissioning and operation would ensure minimal issues once the panels were on site. Axis EN fire alarm control panels installed Le Manh Dung, Director of Vietsafe, said “An Axis EN fire system was the clear choice for a project of this nature. Advanced is well respected in the fire industry, and its solutions are straightforward in terms of installation and operation, thanks to features such as built-in isolators for sequence addressing, which considerably reduces installation time.” Axis EN is EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved and its panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed, multi-loop networks of up to 200 nodes covering huge areas. Advanced’s reputation for ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range make its products customizable to almost any application. False alarm management and reduction Pham Thanh Phong, Director of KP Technology, said “As a key partner to KP Technology, Advanced is a fire system supplier we can trust, to deliver high-performing, high-quality solutions that are easy to install and to use. Features such as Axis EN’s false alarm management and reduction capabilities are extremely useful in high-rise residential sites, such as HaDo Centrosa Garden.” Pham Thanh Phong adds, “Repeated false alarms are not only intrusive, they can also lead to complacency and delayed reactions to real fire alarms. Having the ability to refine and configure protection so specifically, and according to the requirements of specific areas within a building, helps to keep unwanted alarms to a minimum and reduces disruption and risk for residents.” AlarmCalm software and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system, taking advantage of Advanced’s high-speed robust panels and networks to offer a best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined precisely and to take account of occupants’ needs and area usage. It also includes the optional AlarmCalm button, a loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Axis EN fire system Tin Le Than, Advanced’s Sales and Business Development Manager for South East Asia, said “As a modern, vibrant complex for thousands of people living and working in the center of Ho Chi Minh, the fire protection for the HaDo Centrosa Garden development is a key priority.” Tin Le Than adds, “As an industry-renowned solution, the Axis EN fire system will deliver complete peace of mind to the building owners and residents of the complex. I am pleased to have been able to support our fantastic partners at Vietsafe and KP Technology with the equipment needed to fulfill their requirements.” Global projects Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, protects a wide range of sites across South East Asia including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, University of Macau and Hong Kong Central Library. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.
Digital Barriers, a globally renowned provider of edge-intelligent surveillance and security technologies, reveals its collaboration with the Future Farms Cymru project, run by North Wales Police. Real-time surveillance solutions Digital Barriers has equipped a farm in North Wales with its real-time surveillance solutions, to demonstrate the role that sophisticated technologies can play in cutting the cost of rural crime, estimated by the National Farmers Union to have reached 54 million pounds in 2019. Rural areas and farmland can be inherently difficult environments to secure. However, Digital Barriers’ scalable and flexible solutions are designed to work in demanding conditions, such as remote and vulnerable locations. AI-based edge analytics Digital Barriers’ video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring Proven and trusted within the military and defense domain, Digital Barriers’ state-of-the-art video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring, thereby protecting people, places, and assets. The first technology being showcased as part of Future Farms Cymru project is a live streaming body worn camera for the enhanced protection of lone workers. If an incident occurs, the wearer can press the urgent assistance button, which transmits video and a live GPS location back to a designated monitoring center, providing immediate response. EdgeVis Shield The second is EdgeVis Shield, a combination of easy-to-deploy ground sensors that can be used to secure vast perimeters, including farmland containing high value assets. The autonomous system automatically detects when irregular behavior occurs around a perimeter, sending alerts and live video, if a trespasser or vehicle approaches. PC Dewi Evans of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team commented on the announcement, “In recent years, we are increasingly seeing rural communities and businesses being targeted by criminals. Therefore, it is vital that rural businesses employ the right security methods to protect their assets. Criminals need to know that the farm they’re targeting could be equipped with this cutting-edge technology and they will be almost certainly caught.” Countering rise in rural crime Neil Hendry, Vice President EMEA at Digital Barriers, said, “I am happy that our technology is being used on the front line in the fight against rural crime. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected businesses of all shapes and sizes, with farmers struggling to protect themselves against criminal activity.” Neil Hendry adds, “Future Farms Cymru is an important initiative, and we are delighted to be able help shape and support the future food and farming policy, with our robust video surveillance technology.”
Videosoft's adaptive low bandwidth video streaming technology has been selected and installed on the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), in order to help relay high-quality footage of the ship’s various missions, back to humans on land. On its maiden voyage this spring, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will trace the route of the famous 1620 Mayflower ship, sailing from Plymouth, in the United Kingdom to Plymouth, in Massachusetts, USA. Only this time, there will be no human captain or crew on board, as the 15 meters, lightweight, hybrid-electric powered trimaran (multi-hull vessel) crosses the Atlantic Ocean. Real-time feedback and visuals Videosoft’s technology will help capture footage from the Mayflower's six onboard cameras at sea. Using satellite connectivity and compression technologies, footage will be transmitted back to AI developers and research scientists, providing them real-time feedback and visuals, during the mission. It will also be used to provide the media and public with updates about interesting events that occur during the ship’s ocean adventures. “The ability to receive live video feed from the ship using minimal communication bandwidth is a game changer for us,” said Don Scott, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship for Marine AI. Reliable monitoring of the live situation Videosoft provides real-time telepresence, allowing us to reliably monitor the live situation" Don Scott adds, “Videosoft provides real-time telepresence, allowing us to reliably monitor the live situation and give us confidence in the vehicle’s operation at sea. It has already been an invaluable tool during sea trials and we look forward to having the live feed during the voyage itself.” The international grassroots project is led by marine research organization, ProMare, alongside IBM, which is acting as both lead technology partner and lead scientific partner, with other key design and construction partners, including MSubs, Aluship (Aluship Technology) and Marine AI. AI Captain with computer vision technology With an AI Captain at the helm, MAS is able to operate for long distances and durations at sea collecting critical data about the ocean. Powered by IBM’s computer vision, automation, and machine learning technologies, the AI Captain maintains constant situational awareness and makes decisions about what to do next in line with collision regulations. Small, lightweight edge devices from NVIDIA provide local computer power for operational independence, relying on IBM Cloud connectivity when available. Cutting-edge video streaming solution Videosoft was selected for its cutting-edge video streaming solution and its ability to reliably stream video from onboard cameras and computer vision systems, which scan the horizon for hazards, as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship sails. Videosoft's software runs on IBM's platform, which skippers the vessel and is linked via satellite. Videosoft's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stewart McCone said, “This project is designed to transform humanity’s relationship with the ocean. To say we're totally thrilled to be involved in the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project would be an understatement.” Stewart McCone adds, “By working alongside innovative and specialist companies, who are experts in their field and have an intimate knowledge of what they are doing, Videosoft is enabling the ambitions of this multi-million-pound project. Streaming live video from ocean-going vessels is not straightforward and you really need to know what you're doing to pull it off successfully.” Intelligent transmission protocol An intelligent transmission protocol is required to maintain connectivity" He further stated, “An intelligent transmission protocol is required to maintain connectivity. In addition to switching between satellite and cellular networks, variable signal strength, the topography of network masts, atmospheric conditions, satellite capabilities, speed, and variables all impact the available bandwidth.” Stewart McCone said, “Videosoft, which has developed software specifically for the satellite and cellular industry, to negate the typical issues that arise when using such networks, has made it possible to have eyes on the ocean 24/7. The unique protocols that the Videosoft team has built into our software mean that any video delay from the Mayflower will be dramatically reduced, with any streamed video automatically adapting to the amount of available bandwidth, while retaining good quality.” Real-time situational awareness Stewart continues, “Even in our knowledge-rich industry, not many people realize that this can be done, but it can and is relatively simple to put in place, thanks to our easy-to-use software platform. As with CCTV, IoT and surveillance applications, Videosoft's ability to provide reliable video streams creates a real-time situational awareness that is critical to the operational success of projects, such as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship.” He further adds, “The Videosoft vision has always been to get involved in pioneering projects, such as the Mayflower and serves to underpin Videosoft's mission statement of deploying technology to solve real-world problems at the highest global level, using video and remote services, to make the world be a better, safer place. We're showing that this specialist tech does exist and that we can enable all Internet of Things (IoT) applications for the common good. If that interests you, come and talk to us.”
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimizing their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimizing the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
The MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI), the largest electronics systems research and development center in Canada, has announced that they recently selected Honeywell for its new thermal screening and risk self-assessment process, at its Bromont, Quebec location, to better sustain operations and to help improve the well-being of building occupants and visitors. Thermal cameras installed C2MI is an internationally known micro-electronics research center that requires 24/7 laboratory access for its team and collaborators. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged its standard operations and ability to provide laboratory access, while limiting potential virus exposure. Honeywell worked with C2MI to install a thermal camera solution to screen elevated skin temperatures and risk self-assessment, in order to streamline building access control, without the need for human interaction. Healthy Building Kiosk thermal sensors Using AI, the Healthy Building Kiosk thermal sensor monitors for trends and leverages variables Using artificial intelligence (AI), the Healthy Building Kiosk thermal sensor monitors for trends and leverages variables, such as the outdoor temperature to provide more accurate readings. If an elevated skin temperature is detected, the staffer or visitor is referred for testing, before being authorized access to the center. The solution allows C2MI security staff to focus on other critical tasks and gives building users shared accountability. C2MI and Honeywell collaboration C2MI and Honeywell are continuously working to refine the technology, in order to create a more efficient and safer access control. C2MI will see a return on investment in less than one year, when calculating the cost of a security personnel dedicated to managing staff access control. “We’ve worked with C2MI to create a custom solution to improve the efficiency of building access and support a return to more normal operations,” said Laura Laltrello, Vice President and General Manager of North America services for Honeywell Building Technologies. 24/7 operations simplified Laura Laltrello adds, “With the implementation of the new Healthy Building Kiosk at the entrance, C2MI’s 24/7 operations are simplified, while allowing the security staff to focus on other critical tasks. We’ve also deployed a continuous improvement process with C2MI to refine the solution to best suit its needs and manage issues such as queuing.” “As a center of collaboration and innovation, C2MI faced two challenges in the past year: the ability to sustain operations, while also taking steps to help make our staff and researchers safer,” said Marie-Josée Turgeon, General Manager for C2MI. Streamlining building access control Our collaboration with Honeywell has allowed us to streamline building entry" Marie-Josée Turgeon adds, “Our collaboration with Honeywell has allowed us to streamline building entry and remove the semi-manual process of individuals’ skin temperature reading, to help provide a safer environment for our teams.” C2MI also implemented health protocols aligned with local guidelines and recommendations, such as a work-from-home (WFH) policy, limiting the number of people in the cafeteria and conference rooms, encouraging social distancing, optimizing disinfecting and cleaning, as well as mandatory procedural mask wearing. Honeywell Healthy Buildings solutions Honeywell’s Healthy Building solutions are part of a comprehensive effort to quickly develop innovative solutions that will help critical sectors of the global economy to recover, without the need to replace existing infrastructure at high costs. Honeywell’s Healthy Building solutions also provide a holistic view of a building’s health, based on the key factors, such as indoor air quality (IAQ), occupant flow, personal protective equipment (PPE) analytics, thermal screening, skin temperature monitoring, social distancing and sanitation efficacy.
Meeting a challenge is what business is all about. Challenges are beneficial to any company, providing a valuable learning opportunity and a means to demonstrate expertise, skill, and an approach to solving a problem in a unique or innovative way. Working in partnership with Oslo Airport to install the RTT110 EDS system presented Rapiscan Systems with not just one, but two unique challenges. Challenges faced by Rapiscan The first was creating a proprietary water cooling system that worked in tandem with the airport’s green initiatives, and the second a ‘Level 4’ review option running in parallel to the traditional baggage screening process. Both would be challenges enough for a well-established technology, but the Oslo Airport project came at a formative time in the RTT’s history. A key step for RTT110 “We had a machine that was very much in its infancy, that still had its fair share of teething problems,” explains Craig Chitty, Head of International Aviation Programmes. “It was a big undertaking at a very early stage of our experience installing the RTT out in the field.” Steve Revell, Senior Director of Aviation CT at Rapiscan explains that the Oslo Airport project was a key step for the RTT. “The first major airport in Western Europe to take on the RTT was Oslo Airport. It’s a very prestigious and forward-thinking airport, and the operators were not afraid to take pioneering risks.” Eco-friendly system Rapiscan's water-cooling solution would allow the RTT to integrate with Oslo’s eco-friendly concept The standard throughout the industry is for EDS and baggage scanning systems to employ Air Conditioning to cool machinery and manage the thermal load. However, as a result of Oslo Airport’s commitment to environmentally responsible construction (the first Oslo Airport terminal was considered the greenest in the world at the time construction finished in 2017), Rapiscan was tasked with designing an entirely unique water-cooling solution that would allow the RTT to integrate with Oslo’s eco-friendly concept of operations – to think outside the ‘cooling box’. “The curveball was that ordinarily, you would use air conditioning, but Oslo wanted to use chilled water to help reduce carbon emissions,” Steve Revell explains. Integrating water cooling system This was a challenge that sent the Rapiscan design team back to the drawing board, as Craig Chitty recalls. “We had to work with our supplier to come up with a solution that met the airport’s requirement to use reclaimed snow, which is melted down and pumped around the airport. We had to design a method of integrating this water cooling concept into our system, meeting some very stringent criteria that the airport set.” “It was incredibly challenging because the original design of these water-cooled AC’s needed a specific pressure and temperature, which the airport couldn’t provide us with as their supply fluctuated too much. We had to go back to the drawing board, to redesign our system to make it more robust.” World’s first RTT system Rapiscan's flexible RTT technology became the world's first such technology This innovation put Rapiscan at the forefront of flexible RTT technology, resulting in a world-first; “To this day we are the only company who can provide the RTT as an externally water-cooled system, or an internally cooled air-conditioned system,” Steve Revell summarises. This example of NRE, or ‘Non-Recurring Engineering’, was not the only instance of Rapiscan’s commitment to working alongside partners to develop bespoke solutions to the challenges of each application. Oslo not only necessitated an original approach in terms of product design but also process implementation – recurrent Level 4 image analysis. Security screening for baggage As baggage travels through an airport, it is subjected to multiple levels of security screening and imaging, both by human operators and computer algorithms. Baggage that is deemed to contain a potential security threat is escalated to higher levels of scrutiny by multiple operators, balancing the consistent throughput of baggage and passengers against ensuring constant levels of safety. Oslo required an extra level added to the normal ‘flow’ of screening. “If a bag is rejected by a Level 3 operator it goes into a Level 4 area within the BHS (Baggage Handling System) of the airport”, explains Craig Chitty. “It shows up on a screen. It is a concept of operations that we don’t employ in any other airport even now; it is still very unique to Oslo.” Concept of operations Rapiscan’s Director of Business Development for EDS, Martin Zborovjan, explains further, “We had to do some development to allow that concept of operations to happen. They decided they wanted to re-screen baggage for a second time using the same machine.” “Usually this would rely on a machine decision, but in this case but the operator sees the second image automatically, right next to the image from the first screening, and the machine does not make a decision. It’s a very unusual concept.” Benefits of Level 4 function The Level 4 function enabled processing bags more quickly and more correctly Steve Revell is quick to identify the benefits the Level 4 function provides both the airport and the passengers, “We were the first to establish a Level 4 system in Oslo. If technology is able to produce a machine decision very quickly, and if that’s a reject decision to get that image off to an operator very quickly, the only two things it can do are to process bags more quickly and more correctly.” “By default, more bags are getting onto the right airplane, people are standing in queues for less time and the airside customer experience is much improved.” Going an extra mile While many companies will consider a project as ‘job done' when equipment is installed and running, for the Rapiscan team the Oslo project was a committed partnership from the initial tender phase, through the design process, and on into the future. “Oslo was effectively our first competitive tender,” Martin Zborovjan explains. “We were willing to listen to Oslo and to go the extra mile. This behavior was the underlying theme of the interaction with Oslo”. The project was more than just a sales opportunity; “Complex projects allow us to learn something.” Forming a partnership The working partnership between Rapiscan and Oslo is something Steve Revell is very proud of. “It [was] and is a very long-established partnership; from the start of engaging with us at contract award, through to going operationally live was just under three years,” he explains. “There was lots of testing, analysis, and development, lots of joint agreements with the government. We agreed on the final solution which we very much wanted to do as a partnership.” Delivering a successful project “There were also problems, which gave us an opportunity to showcase our most important tool which is how we behave when things are going wrong. We never shied away from our responsibilities, we took every problem presented to us and worked together to find the solution.” “A strong working partnership developed; we were always on the end of a phone with the Oslo team, or on a plane for face-to-face meetings. This partnership continues today and is the backbone to delivering this complex but successful project,” Revell summarises. Adopting new technology The aviation industry thrives on partnerships, on service providers working to meet challenging requirements through innovation and cooperation. Taking a technology that was, at the time, still in its infancy and working to adapt this technology to a stringent set of requirements is a clear example of Rapiscan’s dedication to working with its partners – a commitment the company makes to every project, both now and into the future.
Round table discussion
Contact tracing has been more than a buzzword during the coronavirus pandemic. In some cases, it has been an issue of life and death. Tracking who an infected person has been in contact with is an important tool to minimize disease spread, and technology from the physical security industry claimed a role in contact tracing early on – and continues to provide benefits as companies seek to reopen. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can the security industry enhance contact tracing?
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?
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