Code Blue Corporation, the industry pioneering manufacturer of emergency communication solutions, has promoted Katie Petre to Director of Distribution. In the newly created role, Petre will be responsible for leading sales, marketing and customer service projects with non-enterprise business partners for the organization. Her objectives will include unifying the processes and policies utilized by each department to increase efficiency and enhance Code Blue’s relationships with custo...
There’s no denying that cyber-crime is one of the biggest threats facing any organization with the devastating results they can cause painfully explicit. Highly publicized cases stretching from the US government to digital giant Facebook has made tackling cyber security a necessity for all major organizations. The consequences of breaches have just become more severe, with new GDPR rules meaning any security breach, and resultant data loss, could cost your organization a fine of up to four...
Control4 Corporation, a provider of smart home solution, announces the availability of the new Control4 Intercom Anywhere, including a new app for iOS and Android mobile devices. With Intercom Anywhere, Control4 homeowners can receive video intercom calls from a Control4 Door Station, enabling them to see and communicate with visitors at the front door or gate, whether they’re home or away. In addition, homeowners will see who’s at the door prior to answering the call, and can simul...
ASIS International, global association of security management professionals, announced that Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with Global Security Exchange (GSX), expanding the depth of cyber education in the blockbuster GSX conference program. In the first year of its rebrand following a 63-year history as the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits, GSX—the security industry’s flagship event—is expected to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and...
Considering how much the modern smartphone has become a common everyday tool and cultural icon, it’s hard to believe it has only been with us for a relatively short space of time. The first Apple iPhone was launched in 2007 and yet in a little over a decade the smartphone has become as essential as our keys or wallet. From its conception as a multi-faceted communications device, it has morphed into something far more integrated in our daily lives. Services such as Apple Pay, Android Pay a...
Most technology companies have one goal in mind: to provide customers with high-quality, affordable products that can efficiently help streamline operations. Whether it's surveillance cameras, video management software, access control technology or any other type of security device, today's leading organizations invest in expertise in these product segments and strive to produce the highest quality solutions. To effectively fulfill this task, technology providers are always searching for emergi...
As Internet of Things (IoT) devices go, networked video cameras are particularly significant. Connected to the internet and using on-board processing, cameras are subject to infection by malware and can be targeted by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Hacking of cameras also threatens privacy by allowing unauthorized access to video footage. The performance of hacked cameras can be degraded, and they may become unable to communicate properly when needed. Ensuring cybersecurity is a challenge, and the fragmented structure of the video surveillance market contributes to that challenge. A variety of companies are involved in manufacturing, integrating, installing and operating video systems, and cybersecurity threats can enter the picture at any stage. “It’s not always clear who is responsible,” says Yotam Gutman, vice president of marketing for SecuriThings, a cybersecurity company. “However, the only entities who can ensure cybersecurity are the security integrator and the service provider. They will bear the financial pain and are willing to pay for cybersecurity. An extra $1 or $2 per camera per month is not expensive.” SecuriThings’ “lightweight software agent” runs in the background of video cameras, sending information to an analytics system in the cloud IoT Device Security Management At the recent IFSEC trade show in London, SecuriThings unveiled its IoT Device Security Management (IDSM) approach to enable integrators to ensure cybersecurity. Founded in 2015, the company has around 20 employees in Tel Aviv, Israel, and operates a sales office in New York City. SecuriThings’ “lightweight software agent” runs in the background of video cameras, collecting metadata on camera processes and connections and sending information back to an analytics system in the cloud. Drag-and-drop deployment enables a camera to begin generating data within seconds and requiring only two mouse clicks. The cloud system analyzes data, pinpoints abnormalities, identifies new users, detects multiple entry attempts and tracks other camera processes to identify any cyberattacks. It monitors all devices, gateways, users and APIs to detect threats in real-time and mitigate the threats based on a pre-determined security policy. Machine learning tools also analyze more subtle activities that can indicate insider abuse. For example, a user support center can identify if cameras are being accessed improperly by employees, thus preventing insider abuse. Certified Vendor Agnostic Software SecuriThings is working with camera manufacturers and video management system (VMS) manufacturers to certify operation of its software agents with various camera models and systems. Working through integrators, such as Johnson Controls, is the fastest route to market, SecuriThings has determined. The system can be added after the fact to existing installations for immediate monitoring and remediation, or it can easily be incorporated into new systems as they are launched. “We have a strong sales team in the United States focusing on bringing the technology to more local and national integrators,” says Gutman. Certification ensures SecuriThings’ software agent can be installed in most modern camera models without negatively impacting operation; the software is vendor agnostic. Another eventual route to market is to work with camera manufacturers to install the SecuriThings software agent in cameras at the factory. In this scenario, the system can easily be “clicked on” when cameras are installed. The SecuriThings cloud system generates a dashboard that tracks system activities to identify any cybersecurity threats IoT Security Operations Center SecuriThings operation is transparent to the VMS, and the company works with VMS manufacturers to ensure the code operates seamlessly with their systems. Cloud analytics generate a dashboard that tracks system activities, and/or a managed service monitors the system and notifies customers if there is a problem. “We monitor it from our IoT Security Operations Center, a fully managed service that ensures the real-time detection and mitigation of IoT cyber-threats,” says Gutman. “We found that end-customers don’t have the manpower to monitor the system, so our experts can guide them.”Access control and cloud-based access control will be the next systems under cyberattack, and they are almost as vulnerable" A benefit for camera manufacturers is the ability of a system like SecuriThings to “level the playing field” on issues of cybersecurity, says Gutman. The approach provides a higher level of cybersecurity confidence for integrators and users, including those using cameras that have previously had cybersecurity problems such as “back door” access. SecuriThings has certified its software for use with Hikvision cameras and is in the process of certifying with Dahua, says Gutman. “Western manufacturers say their products are more secure, but we can help all camera manufacturers prove that they are just as secure,” says Gutman. “Integrators and users can log into a device and see all the activity.” Securing Connected Devices From Cyber Threats Beyond video, SecuriThings’ products target the full range of connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). The SecuriThings security solution enables real-time visibility and control of IoT devices deployed in massive numbers in smart cities, physical security, building automation, home entertainment and more. Video surveillance is an early focus because of market need, an opportunity to gain traction, and the critical nature of security applications. But the challenges are much broader than video surveillance. “We are seeing similar risks to other devices,” says Gutman. “Access control and cloud-based access control will be the next systems under cyberattack, and they are almost as vulnerable. If you can disable the access control system, you can cause a lot of problems.” Other connected devices that could be at risk include building automation and heating and cooling (HVAC) systems.
Surveillance systems can track the locations of cellphone users and spy on their calls, texts and data streams. The Washington Post has reported on such systems that are being turned against travelers around the world, according to security experts and U.S. officials. The summer season highlights the need to take extra precautions when traveling. When traveling anywhere in the world, for business or pleasure, citizens need to be aware of and alert to looming physical and cybersecurity threats. To elaborate on expert security tips, strategies and advice for traveling this summer, we presented several questions to The Chertoff Group, a global security advisory firm that enables clients to navigate changes in security risk, technology and policy. Chris Duvall, Senior Director at The Chertoff Group, offers insights into cybersecurity concerns, physical security precautions, and recommends digital resources/apps for consumers while traveling. Q: How are security risks – physical and digital – changing? Why are threats greater today than five years ago? The exponential number of headlines over the past few years is a strong indication that both physical and digital risks are evolving and increasing Duvall: The exponential number of headlines over the past few years is a strong indication that both physical and digital risks are evolving and increasing. The scope, severity and complexity of physical and cyber risks are increasing and becoming more dangerous and destructive. This is especially true for those traveling outside the U.S. On the physical side, threat actors are actively seeking “soft targets” – public events, social settings, mass audience venues, etc. – to communicate their message, sow chaos and inflict catastrophic harm. On the digital or cyber side, we have seen a shift from “thrill hacking,” to an increase of “hacking as a business” (through credential compromise and ransomware), to an increase in “hacking for harm” - with the rise of “nuke ware” and ransomware without a clear financial motivation. Q. What specific precautions should a traveler take to protect their calls, texts and data streams from being spied on? Duvall: When traveling abroad, we recommend to our clients that their personnel and executives should practice good internet and social media hygiene. Some best practices include: Avoid using public Wi-Fi services—unless you use private VPN service for encryption Increase the privacy setting on your technical devices Disable location identifiers on apps Create a new (unlinked) email for internet correspondence Consider purchasing international MyFi devices to decrease the risk of getting your personal identification information (PII) or protected healthcare information (PHI) stolen Use temporary (i.e. burner) phones to protect your data and your contacts Q. What cybersecurity concerns are likely to impact travelers? Are the threats greater outside the United States or in any specific parts of the world? Significant precautions should be taken to protect personal electronic devices (PEDs) and the data connected to PEDs Duvall: The international cybersecurity landscape has grown increasingly dynamic, with threats posed by government authorities (in some countries), terrorists, insurgents, and criminals, requiring travelers to be proactive and vigilant. U.S. citizens, particularly executives of U.S.-based technology companies, must be aware that they are considered high-value targets for nation-state intelligence services and criminally-motivated bad actors. Many countries will go to great lengths and expense to acquire and exploit proprietary information from U.S.-based companies, and views U.S. executives visiting the country as “soft” targets of opportunity. As such, significant precautions should be taken to protect personal electronic devices (PEDs) and the data connected to PEDs. The tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) utilized by bad actors are often covert and nearly undetectable by the affected person. Threat actors routinely access, monitor and utilize Wi-Fi networks at hotels and in public spaces to compromise target devices. Other targeting methods include luggage searches, extensive questioning, and unnecessary inspection and downloading of information from personal electronic devices. There are numerous, high-risk countries for which the U.S. Government warns travelers to be wary of mobile malware, mobile device privacy attacks and hot spots for mobile botnets. The U.S. Department of State has the most recent and up-to-date list. For example, the U.S. Government has investigated numerous incidents in which U.S. travelers’ PEDs (personal and company devices) have been compromised by Russian authorities while transiting Russian airports, left unattended in public spaces and in travelers’ hotel rooms. When traveling to an unfamiliar place, research your destination to understand the local roads and transportation, geography, local roads, culture, etiquette and laws Q: What physical security precautions should a traveler take? Duvall: Here are some useful precautions: When traveling to an unfamiliar place, research your destination to understand the local roads and transportation, geography, local roads, culture, etiquette and laws. Protect your personal information and travel itinerary as much as possible. Limit the amount of jewelry worn, cash, credit cards and electronic devices carried while traveling. Avoid staying on the ground floor of a hotel. Consider choosing a room on the 2nd through 7th floors as these rooms may be more difficult to break into than those on the ground level, but still able to be accessed by fire/emergency response equipment. Never answer your hotel room door for anyone until you’ve determined who they are, why they are at your door, and if it is necessary for you to open the door to interact with them. Carry a rubber door stop/wedge with you to install on the room side of the door before you go to bed. Vary your patterns and routines when venturing out in to a new location, do not become predictable. Politely decline offers of food or drink from strangers (If you do accept beverages, ensure that they are in sealed containers and that there is no evidence of tampering). Never discuss your itinerary, personal, business or other sensitive information where others can hear you. Q: How can companies be proactive in protecting their business travelers? Companies should educate their employees on the importance of maintaining good internet hygiene while traveling abroad Duvall: When traveling on business, companies should provide their employees with clean computers and cell phones before departure. Upon return, the company should immediately wipe the computer clean to prevent any malicious threats from penetrating the company’s internal, cyber-infrastructure. Additionally, companies should educate their employees on the importance of maintaining good internet hygiene and recommend their employees disconnect from social media platforms while traveling abroad. Some general tips to recommend to your employees when traveling abroad include: Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/) Visit Travel.State.Gov to view travel related information specific to the country or countries you’re visiting, including local US Embassy or Consulate contact information, as well as current travel advisories and alerts. Always leave a copy of your transportation and hotel itinerary and driver’s license (or passport if traveling internationally) with a family member or trusted friend. Always use a baggage tag with a protective cover Avoid using public Wi-Fi services Q: What digital resources and/or apps might a traveler benefit from (and how)? Duvall: The Chertoff Group recommends researching the below travel-related Apps before departing on a trip: TravWell: This app provides destination-specific vaccine recommendations, a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for travel, and a customizable healthy travel packing list. The app can store travel documents, keep records of medications and immunizations, and set reminders to get vaccine booster doses or take medicines. My TSA: This app provides real-time updates on airport delays. It includes how long security lines are at various airports; information about what you can and cannot bring onto an airplane; and a frequently-asked question list, including new advanced imaging technology. Border Wait Time: The app provides estimated wait times and open-lane status at land ports of entry, which may be particularly helpful when in an area with multiple crossings. Mobile Pass: The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at (1) cruise port and (24) airports Q: As a security expert, what’s your best advice for travelers? Duvall: At the end of the day, travel security is not rocket science. Simply put, travelers need to: Be aware and situationally alert at all times. Be aware and situationally alert to the location of your luggage and carry-ons at all times. Don’t access unknown, unsecured or public Wi-Fi if at all possible. Turn off “auto connect” features and institute stringent privacy controls as much as possible. Try to “blend in” – you don’t have to try to look like a local but travelers should avoid gaudy and expensive attire wherever possible. Use your common sense – if an offer, invitation or opportunity seems to good to be true... it probably is.
Everyone can agree the convergence trend is in full force in the electronic security industry and organizations are pushing more and more for integrated solutions that can not only enhance ROI but also solve problems that have traditionally been out of the realm of electronic physical security systems. This leaves system integrators and other solution providers in a difficult position as they scramble to be competitive especially when faced with an industry dominated by a few power players. Tackling this problem can now be a matter of survival for small to medium players especially in regional markets. To address this need, Apollo Security Access Control has introduced the new ASP Series Controllers that promise to set a new standard in for secure, scalable and customizable solutions. For 30 years, Apollo has been known for producing some of the most robust hardware in the industry and with the ASP series a new layer of flexibility has been added by allowing ‘post-factory’ customization in addition to many other feature upgrades. This will have the effect to put more control in the hands of integrators and even end-users so they are not locked into hardware solutions that are ‘off the shelf’ and don’t provide any ability to adapt to customer specific needs for the present or the future. The flagship of Apollo’s new controller series, the ASP-4 is an intelligent access controller designed to provide a high performance security solution Intelligent Access Controller The flagship of Apollo’s new controller series, the ASP-4 is an intelligent access controller designed to provide a high performance security solution with the ability to solve non-standard problems. Natively, the ASP-4 can support four readers and four doors, but when clustered with 32 other ASP devices it can secure up to 128 doors in one management unit by utilizing inter-device communication across standard IT networks. Each ASP-4 can also support up to 16 additional readers by utilizing OSDP Secure Channel communications, supporting configurations such as 4 Doors with In/Out (8 Readers) or even more doors by adding input/output modules for door control. Enterprise capacity of 250,000+ cardholders, 300 access levels with up to 50 access levels per card is provided at each device, providing total cardholder and access rights database redundancy, preventing reduced functionality modes such as ‘facility code check only’. The ASP’s real power lies however with the ability to customize the functions of the controller by loading customized App Scripts and third-party protocols. Using industry standard ‘C-like’ programming language, the ASP can have new functions designed by the integrator. Running customizations at the hardware level instead of in software offers the benefits of drastically reduced time/cost of implementation as well as superior reliability. Whereas before if an organization wanted to integrate a new device such as an alarm panel, fire system or similar they would have to request software customization which can take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars, with the ASP such a task can take days or weeks and be completed with a budget of hundreds of dollars. An example of how effective this customization works was provided by a subsidiary of a large multi-national Corporate Access Control Solutions An example of how effective this customization works was provided by a subsidiary of a large multi-national that was struggling to comply with strict labor regulations. Under these rules, workers in their factory can only work six consecutive days, requiring the seventh day for rest. The HR department struggled to keep track of this as each employee’s rest day could be prior to when six days was expired; in addition to workers switching shifts and other complications the tracking was too difficult to be done manually, so an automated solution was necessary. The current access control solution the company was using didn’t provide any solution for this so the only possibility was expensive customization which would take 3-4 months and then provide no guarantee in the future what would happen if needs changed. With ASP-4, Apollo’s local partner was able to offer a much more rapid solution. The requirements were programmed into a logic script that was loaded to the controller. This script checks every cardholder at time of access for any violation of the rules and will deny access if necessary, then displaying a reason on an LCD display as well as flash an indicator light so that the cardholder will know it is not simply an access level error that has denied their entry. This customization took less than one man-day to program and was tested over the course of one week and was then ready to be deployed. The ability to do this customization gave the partner the edge needed to provide a timely, cost effective solution to a problem that could have cost the company greatly if a work-related accident resulted in legal action. In the future, the logic script can be easily changed for example if the company would like to move to a five-day work week in the future. Additional customization possibilities are possible using the serial connections of the ASP Real-time Monitoring Additional customization possibilities are possible using the serial connections of the ASP. This allows integration of input devices such as scales or barcode scanners, or interface to any device that has a serial interface such as displays, mimic panels, entry phone systems and more. Protocols for these devices can be embedded in scripts and the devices can assume alarm input/output functions or even new card reader types can be supported such as wireless locks or long-range RFID readers. In addition to being customizable, the ASP of course is designed with security in mind. With all communication channels being secured with 128-bit TLS encryption which prevents attempts to intercept or forge data. Security goes all the way down to the reader using OSDP Secure Channel to protect card reader data transmission lines. Being able to communicate simultaneously with up to five software hosts also gives the ASP ability to be monitored in real-time by redundant systems, ensuring that important alarms are always delivered in time for the security team to react. Software OEMs And System Integrators The ASP Series has been designed from the ground up to be friendly to Software OEMs and System Integrators using other systems in place of or in addition to Apollo Security’s software platform. A native Open Platform SDK allows tight integration with all the ASP’s standard features in addition to the customizations available through scripting and embedded software. The SDK comes with several integration pathways including .NET and Python and includes sample code, tutorials and online developer support. To better support Software OEM partners, Apollo Security’s parent company, ADME INC., has recently announced a new division, ApolloEM which will provide support for partners that utilize the ASP hardware platform in their own software solutions. William Lorber, Vice President of Sales and Marketing said, “Establishing a separate division to strengthen our role as an Access Hardware OEM became logical as more partners are coming on board to utilize our new product line. We are excited to see the solutions that our partners develop on this platform.” Lorber added that partners will be able to share and market their solutions on the upcoming App Script Library platform that Apollo will roll out later this year to expand the effectiveness of ASP solutions.
The upgraded Rave Guardian app now integrates with Rave Alert and allows college communities to easily connect through a custom mobile app. Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), a trusted partner for safety software protecting millions of individuals, revealed updates to its Rave Guardian platform to better equip students and staff to communicate vital campus updates. Rave Guardian, a safety app available for students to stay connected with campus safety officials, faculty and other students, now integrates into Rave Alert, allowing higher education institutions access to both offerings in a single platform. Rave Guardian has been updated to better reach and engage students on mobile devices since they find email and phone calls to be outdated. Students aren't interested in Facebook and Twitter; rather they prefer closed messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. In fact, Generation Z students are three times more likely to open a chat message through a push notification. However, in a recent survey of higher education institutions, Rave found only 38% of respondents offer a mobile safety app for their campus communities. The lack of institution-backed app adoption on campus shows the opportunity for colleges to implement innovative technology, like Rave Guardian, to better connect with students. Integrated geo-targeting notifications The updated Rave Guardian platform ensures that all tools, from two-way texting features to content directories with information such as specific safety procedures, are united in a single application. Unlike any other communications application available, Rave Guardian provides geo-targeting notifications so campus safety officials can target certain areas of campus with specific alerts. Those alerts are even available when students and faculty may not have cell signals. The app also allows for students to share a live stream of their location with campus safety if they feel they're in a dangerous situation. "Since adopting Rave technology, the ability to quickly and accurately share information has made all three of our campuses safer," said Charles S. DiSalvo, Emergency Manager at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. "We have seen a 22% increase in the use of Rave Guardian, so it's become integral to how we communicate public safety information." With a push of a button, students can either directly connect to 9-1-1 or campus safety in an emergency Rave Guardian campus communication app With one app to access campus communication tools, resources and key contacts, colleges don't have to rely on outdated communication methods to interact and engage with students. Additional benefits and features in this version of Rave Guardian include: One platform: In two steps, anyone in your campus community is instantly authenticated and can register. Students can update their Rave Alert profiles and always keep their contact information up-to-date. Content portal: Emergency procedures, shuttle schedules and other key resources can be shared with the campus community in a configurable content library to help them stay safe and informed. Call directory: Enable students and staff to easily find assistance and resources through a call directory of important numbers that can be updated and added to in real time. Routable chats: Two-way communications can now be routed to different departments to ensure they're only seen by the appropriate officials. In addition, departments can enable custom auto-responses when their offices are closed. Push notifications: Alongside SMS text and email capabilities, push notifications allow schools to provide messages to students and staff even without cell service and capture more attention. App customization: Schools can customize Rave Guardian's interface and features in real time to create a user experience that will drive more interaction with their community. Emergency call button: With a push of a button, students can either directly connect to 9-1-1 or campus safety in an emergency. Even when they dial 9-1-1 from the app, the school is notified through the incident management console. "The update to the Rave Guardian platform offers our university and college customers with essential tools to promote safety across their campuses," said Todd Piett, CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. "These latest features will drive greater adoption by students and will promote more participation with campus safety."
The concept of door locks means something totally different in our current age of smarter buildings that house data-driven businesses. Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control. Locks can also increasingly be a part of a smart building’s flow of data. The opportunities of these new technologies and approaches are significant, but there are also pitfalls. I heard an interesting discussion about these topics presented by several business leaders from lock company Allegion at a press event at ISC West earlier this year. Here are some highlights from that discussion. Q: What new developments in emerging technologies do you see in the coming years? There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems" Mark Jenner, Market Development Director: Connected locks, other types of sensors and all the data being aggregated inside buildings provide opportunity for data analytics. The buzzwords around technologies can cause confusion for integrators and end users, such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning, and what’s the difference among all of them? My opinion is that they are important, but the big theme across them all is opportunities for new business models for the integrator, and opportunities to solve problems for end users. And it’s not just technology for technology’s sake. There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems. Devin Love, Market Development Manager: You can’t just have a solution looking for a problem. You see a lot of people who understand technology in their own lives, and they want to translate that into their businesses. That’s where I think it’s exciting. You now have all this technology, and people understand it to the extent that it improves their daily life. They go through their day with less friction, with more ease, and technology fades to the background. There are two levels of value. One is the longer, bigger, broader scope of what the technology can bring to a company using it, but on an immediate basis, there is the value of tracking how a business is running. These sensors are collecting data. For example, if you are a multi-tenant property, you can look at how amenities are being used. What do my residents really care about? That informs future decisions. Robert Gaulden, Project Based Business Leader, Electronic Access Control: I have been studying the multi-family space for the last couple of months. The customer experience is really driving a lot of that technology adoption. What you’re seeing today, whether it’s a mobile device or some other device, is the ability to move throughout the property, and gain access to the perimeter and to your tenant space. All of this adoption is around that experience. There’s multiple players coming into the space, from Amazon wanting to deliver packages into the tenant space to residents who don’t want the inconvenience of using a key. Technology adoption to solve problems, and also to drive experiences, is where a lot of the balance will play out. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently" Brad Aikin, Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel: From an integrator perspective, there are two things. One is how they can approach end users, and the scope of what integrators consult with them about is wider. I think we as an industry are getting beyond those high-traffic, high-security applications. Those are still critical, but the value we bring around security and convenience is opening a new incremental opportunity. Also, the experience of the integrator and how they conduct their business is important, from generating quotes to communications to proactive servicing. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently. Gaulden: We as an industry, and we as manufacturers, need to understand what data we are generating so we can run our businesses more efficiently from every aspect, whether you’re the property manager, the building owner, the integrator, or whether you’re the manufacturer. These devices and technology are being pushed out everywhere and will generate the data. How we learn from that – especially when you apply security to it to be more proactive – provides huge opportunities. Jenner: What data is important and what’s not? Folks get overwhelmed with too much data at some point. What’s important for an application at the end user level? What do they really need to solve the problem? Love: Privacy gets involved as well, especially with consumer products. The attitude is “stay out of my private business.” But if you’re an employee now, all bets are off. Now you have a professional relationship with the people you work with, so there is a different lens that you look through when tracking data. You use the data to everyone’s benefit, and it’s a different paradigm than in your private life. Aikin: Also, where does that data create a better experience for the person? That’s what drives the money and value: What level of information sharing makes my experience better? The technology is also getting smarter in terms of “how do we sort through the valuable information?” Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control Q: As facilities connect more devices and sensors, the cybersecurity threats increase. We have already seen Internet of Things (IoT) devices being used as the attack point of cyber breaches. What are the vulnerabilities that make those attacks possible, and how can integrators protect their customers? Love: Certainly, this is an extremely – maybe the most important – piece of our industry. What is the point of everything we do if we can’t instill that trust? But what we need to solve here also comes with opportunity. There’s certainly hope. You’re not seeing a frontal attack on the technology. It’s usually some loophole, or some older device that hasn’t been updated, or wasn’t installed correctly, or it was social-engineered. The opportunity is, not that it can’t be solved, but that it absolutely needs to be solved – and it can. Gaulden: Integrators need the ability to understand that cyber layer and what it means. Nowadays, everything runs on the network, and you won’t even get past the IT department to get on the network if you don’t have the right staff, the right credentials. From an integrator standpoint, you need the ability to add to your staff, to understand everything from the product level to the firmware and the software level, all the way to the deployment of the holistic system. You can’t just say, “That’s not part of our responsibility.” All these devices are now riding on the network. They can be protected from a cyber perspective, or you will have vulnerabilities. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate the conversation, that it is one ecosystem" Aikin: Everything is a communication device. With the concern and need comes an opportunity for the integrator. But it’s also in making sure integrators are having that conversation with end users and setting the expectations up front. What I’m providing you on day one is the best in the industry at this time, but tomorrow it may not be. My accountability and service are to maintain that environment and keep it running. I may not physically change the device you see, but the service I’m bringing to you is that security, and that comprehensive dialogue. The IT stakeholders already have that expectation, but there is a chasm in some organisations between the physical security and the IT stakeholders, and the integrator is facilitating that conversation. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate that conversation. It is one ecosystem. Q: Aside from cybersecurity, what are some of the other threats that integrators should be aware of as they work with customers to implement the new trends and technologies we have mentioned? Aikin: It is diversifying, all the options and the capabilities. With that comes confusion and misapplication. If I look at the trends around just wireless; I go back 10 years ago, there were even questions of whether wireless was a secure technology. That has progressed and continues to be part of the cyber conversation, just like any hardwired product. It’s something you have to maintain and be aware of. Wireless has really diversified. There is still a need for education within the channel, and most importantly, to the end user. There are still end users that assume a WiFi widget is the same thing as a Bluetooth widget is the same thing as a low-frequency widget. But they are all different. There are reasons there are different technologies. Nothing stifles the adoption of technology more than misapplication. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow a mix of technology" Gaulden: Integrators understand the differences in how various doors are used and how those applications will work. In the K-12 school environment, you want the ability for an instant lockdown, and a WiFi deployment probably isn’t your best option. You need a real-time deployment. However, my office door at headquarters doesn’t necessarily need real-time communication. I can pull audits off it once or twice a day. You have to mix and match technologies. For a high security door, you would proactively monitor it. But for a door where convenience is the goal, we can put electronic security on it but we don’t need to know what’s going on at any moment in time. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow that mix of technology. Jenner: End users want the latest technology, but it may not be for their applications. Those things drive more costs into it, when end users need to be putting money into cybersecurity and some other things. That’s part of the misapplication. Another risk is interoperability. That’s a big piece of the technology and as things change. How do we do a better job of supporting open architecture? It may not be a standards-based protocol, although we use a lot of standards, but we just need to make sure whatever protocols we use are open and easily accessible so we can continue to work with them in the future. We know that when our devices go in, they will support other parts of the ecosystem from an interoperability perspective. That’s important for integrators to know: How is this going to be applied and integrate with something in three, four or five years from now? It’s an expensive investment, and I want to make sure it will work in the future. Main photo: Business leaders from Allegion discussed new trends in electronic and wireless locks at a recent press event: (L-R) Robert Gaulden, Devin Love, Brad Aikin and Mark Jenner.
Audio is often overlooked in the security and video surveillance industry. There are some intercom installations where audio plays a key role, but it’s not typically thought about when it comes to security and event management. Audio takes a back seat in many security systems because audio captured from a surveillance camera can have a different impact on the privacy of those being monitored. Audio surveillance is therefore subject to strict laws that vary from state to state. Many states require a clearly posted sign indicating audio recording is taking place in an area before a person enters. Analytic information derived from audio can be a useful tool and when implemented correctly, removes any concerns over privacy or legal compliance. Audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Focused Responses To Events Audio analytics processed in the camera, has been a niche and specialized area for many installers and end users. This could be due to state laws governing audio recording, however, audio analytics on the edge overcomes legal challenges as it never passes audio outside of the camera Processing audio analytics in-camera provides excellent privacy since audio data is analysed internally with a set of algorithms that only compare and assess the audio content. Processing audio analytics on the edge also reduces latency compared with any system that needs to send the raw audio to an on-premises or cloud server for analysis. Audio analytics can quickly pinpoint zones that security staff should focus on, which can dramatically shorten response times to incidents. Audio-derived data also provides a secondary layer of verification that an event is taking place which can help prioritise responses from police and emergency personnel. Microphones And Algorithms Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialized features, and for audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparisonMany IP-based cameras have small microphones embedded in the housing while some have a jack for connecting external microphones to the camera. Microphones on indoor cameras work well since the housing allows for a small hole to permit sound waves to reach the microphone. Outdoor cameras that are IP66 certified against water and dust ingress will typically have less sensitivity since the microphone is not exposed. In cases like these, an outdoor microphone, strategically placed, can significantly improve outdoor analytic accuracy. There are several companies that make excellent directional microphones for outdoor use, some of which can also combat wind noise. Any high-quality external microphone should easily outperform a camera’s internal microphone in terms of analytic accuracy, so it is worth considering in areas where audio information gathering is deemed most important. Surveillance cameras with a dedicated SoC (System on Chip) have become available in recent years with in-built video and audio analytics that can detect and classify audio events and send alerts to staff and emergency for sounds such as gunshots, screams, glass breaks and explosions. Having a SoC allows a manufacturer to reserve space for specialized features. For audio analytics, a database of reference sounds is needed for comparison. The camera extracts the characteristics of the audio source collected using the camera's internal or externally connected microphone and calculates its likelihood based on the pre-defined database. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS. If a match is found for a known sound, e.g., gunshot, explosion, glass break, or scream, an event is triggered, and the message is passed to the VMS Configuring A Camera For Audio Analytics Audio DetectionThe first job of a well-configured camera or camera/mic pair is to detect sounds of interest while rejecting ancillary sounds and noise below a preset threshold. Each camera must be custom configured for its particular environment to detect audio levels which exceed a user-defined level. Since audio levels are typically greater in abnormal situations, any audio levels exceeding the baseline set levels are detected as being a potential security event. Operators can be notified of any abnormal situations via event signals allowing the operator to take suitable measures. Finding a baseline of background noise and setting an appropriate threshold level is the first step. Noise ReductionA simple threshold level may not be adequate enough to reduce false alarms depending on the environment where a camera or microphone is installed. Noise reduction is a feature on cameras that can reduce background noise greater than 55dB-65dB for increased detection accuracy. Installers should be able to enable or disable the noise reduction function and view the results to validate the optimum configuration during setup. With noise reduction enabled, the system analyzes the attenuated audio source. As such, the audio source classification performance may be hindered or generate errors, so it is important to use noise reduction technology sparingly. Audio Source ClassificationIt’s important to supply the analytic algorithm with a good audio level and a high signal-to-noise ratio to reduce the chance of generating false alarms under normal circumstances. Installers should experiment with ideal placement for both video as well as audio. While a ceiling corner might seem an ideal location for a camera, it might also cause background audio noise to be artificially amplified. Many cameras provide a graph which visualises audio source levels to allow for the intuitive checking of noise cancellation and detection levels. Messages And EventsIt’s important to choose a VMS that has correctly integrated the camera’s API (application programming interface) in order to receive comprehensive audio analytic events that include the classification ID (explosion, glass break, gunshot, scream). A standard VMS that only supports generic alarms, may not be able to resolve all of the information. More advanced VMS solutions can identify different messages from the camera. Well configured audio analytics can deliver critical information about a security event, accelerating response times and providing timely details beyond video-only surveillance. Analytics take privacy concerns out of the equation and allow installers and end users to use camera audio responsibly. Hanwha Techwin's audio source classification technology, available in its X Series cameras, features three customizable settings for category, noise cancellation and detection level for optimum performance in a variety of installation environments.
Comelit has provided bespoke black-finish video door entry panels to The Metalworks, a former Victorian factory site that has been transformed into an exclusive gated residential development with a private courtyard and garden. Set in the heart of vibrant and fashionable Old Town in Clapham, The Metalworks, established by boutique property development company The Malins Group, now presents twenty four loft style design apartments – which are all now sold - and two commercial properties. To maintain the iconic feel of the twentieth century factory, Comelit, working with installation partner ATI Fire and Security Limited, was specified for the door entry system, utilizing its specialist ViP IP Network solution, with a bespoke black finish; installed to operate with Comelit’s premium touchscreen Icona Monitor. Comelit’s color Icona Monitors is fitted in each apartment to present residents with hands-free full-duplex audio from each external entrance Comelit’s ViP System Says Sandra Brownlie, Operations Director at The Malins Group: “The founder of the original 1904 factory, William Bainbridge Reynolds was a pioneering arts and crafts designer whose work remains highly collectable today. He insisted on everything being “as flawless as he could make it, yet absolutely individual.” “This is a philosophy we have carried through to every element of grand restoration of The Metalworks, right through to the door entry system. With Comelit Group renowned for style and high specification solutions, we had no hesitation in reaching out to create a solution that would complement the look and feel of the development.” Comelit’s ViP system includes Comelit’s color Icona Monitors, fitted in each apartment to present residents with hands-free full-duplex audio from each external entrance. Bespoke Door Entry System Simon Robinson, Managing Director at ATI Group added: “The Metalworks is a unique development, whereby every detail has to be carefully considered in line with the design principles and traditions of the historic factory restoration program. This is even down to the security on site, which is why we called in the expertise and style of Comelit Group, to create a bespoke door entry system.” Tailored to suit homeowner’s preferences, Comelit’s Icona Monitors include customization of ringtone and video memory functionality where missed callers can be recorded on the apartment monitor when the resident returns. Residents can communicate with each other on the system if desired, as the system allows unlimited call traffic at any time without becoming engaged. When presented with our VIP offering, it offers a powerful security solution that provides residents the convenience of audio and visual updates" Powerful Security Solution Francesca Boeris, Comelit UK Managing Director concluded: “Comelit worked closely with ATI Fire & Security Limited and The Malins Group to ensure the door entry systems installed, achieved the desired balance between style and technology, as is synonymous with the legendary designs of William Bainbridge Reynolds.” “When presented with our VIP offering, it offers a powerful security solution that provides residents the convenience of audio and visual updates. We believe, finished in bespoke black, it is the perfect blend of smart door entry to add the finishing touches to the beautiful restoration of The Metalworks.” With backlit touch-sensitive controls and a 4.3 inch color LCD screen, the Icona Monitor is available in flush-mounted, surface-mounted or desktop versions and in white or black finishes.
The Palacio de Congresos, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a state-of-the-art conference and exhibition center in the heart of Valencia, Spain. Also known as the Palace of Light, due to its glass-fronted façade and distinctive roof design, the Palacio regularly accommodates large-scale international conferences organized by multinationals, trade associations and government organizations. Most events gravitate around the main auditorium with room for up to 1,481 participants, as well as smaller auditoria with capacities for 467 and 270 people. If needed, an IP-based video and audio network can connect up to 2,250 participants across these separate conference rooms. Bosch - DICENTIS Conference System Given the international character of most of the conferences it hosts, simultaneous interpretation is essential at the Palacio. The building management sought a solution that would take this into account, along with the facility’s existing architecture and infrastructure. Two of its three auditoria are equipped with fixed interpreter booths. Although the smallest auditorium and the conference center’s ten smaller meeting rooms do not include interpreter booths, simultaneous interpretation is also often required in these spaces. It was also important that the new conferencing system would not require any additional investment for wiring or cable connections. The OMNEO Interface allows transportation of the language channels via the IT network from the auditoria with fixed interpreter booths The DICENTIS Conference System from Bosch provided the perfect solution. Because the system is IP-based and Ethernet compatible, the existing IT infrastructure of the Palacio de Congresos could be used. The OMNEO Interface allows transportation of the language channels via the IT network from the auditoria with fixed interpreter booths to the meeting areas that don’t have these facilities. DICENTIS streams the language channels from the interpreter desks to the DICENTIS Conference devices in the main auditoria, and also to all the active conference devices in the Palacio’s smaller meeting areas. The floor languages of the active conference devices, regardless of their location, are streamed back to the interpreter desks. Mobile Installation To serve the smaller meeting areas, the DICENTIS central equipment is installed in a small mobile rack for easy transportation and setup. Additionally, the DICENTIS Conference devices with channel selector can be transported from one room to another in specially made, high-quality, lightweight and sturdy cases for protection during transit. The mobile rack simply connects to the room’s IT network plug to connect to the equipment in the various meeting rooms. This smart, mobile DICENTIS solution meets the requirements of all the meetings held in the Palacio de Congresos. The capacity for simultaneous interpretation in all the meeting areas means 2,250 participants can be connected across all conference areas big and small.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has expressed strong support for MI HB 5828 and HB5830, two bills designed to improve school security across the state of Michigan. Michigan Legislation In a letter to Michigan House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Chairwoman Laura Cox and Vice-Chair Rob VerHeulen, SIA CEO Don Erickson praised the bills’ creation of a comprehensive school plan and fund to enable local districts to procure security solutions to protect students from malicious perpetrators and update building code requirements to include security measures. “Sadly, our nation’s schools have increasingly become a soft target for mass violence – at Sandy Hook Elementary, recently at Stoneman Douglas High School and in many other attacks,” said Erickson. “We support holistic approaches to improving school safety and security in response to these tragedies – recognizing there is no single action that can be taken that will, by itself, make our schools safe.” SIA is a co-founder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts Improving School Security SIA represents about 900 security and life safety solutions providers – companies that develop, manufacture and integrate technologies that help keep people and property safe from hazards. These industry leaders strive to introduce robust security solutions integrated into our nation’s K–12 public schools, private academic institutions, colleges and universities. In addition to serving member organizations working to improve security in schools and other environments, SIA is a co-founder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts that developed threat- and income-based guidelines for schools housing grades K–12 to implement appropriate, layered security measures. These guidelines are available to help guide school investments. Additionally, PASS provides integrators with risk assessments and white papers that can be used when working with schools to evaluate and establish the best security protections for their buildings. SIA believes state assistance like that in the Michigan legislation is a start to addressing key security gaps in schools and is especially critical to high-risk school districts or those with limited budgets.
To optimally protect passengers, staff and property, airports must meet considerable requirements. Bosch makes a major contribution to airport security around the globe by providing integrated building solutions and services; in Germany alone, more than 180 million passengers a year benefit from the company’s security technologies. And the Bern regional airport in Switzerland is now also profiting from the skills of Bosch’s building specialists. Bosch’s experts fully complied with the customer’s specifications by developing a new networked solution for the airport’s terminal PAVIRO Public Address And Voice Evacuation System Each year the airport is used by around 185,000 business travellers and vacationers. A reliable, good-quality public address system is essential for quickly and understandably making boarding and passenger calls, warnings, general announcements etc. Recently Bosch’s experts fully complied with the customer’s specifications by developing a new networked solution for the airport’s terminal. It is based on the PAVIRO public address and voice evacuation system, which excels with outstanding reliability, user-friendliness and sound reproduction and understandability – making it ideal for meeting airports’ rigorous requirements. In Bern the system is now being used to make announcements both terminal-wide and within specific areas. Automatic warnings and announcements to reassure passengers also help defuse tense situations Faster Response To Emergency Situations Bosch’s building experts handled everything from planning across installation to testing. Mario Glauser, in charge of technical infrastructure and projects at Bern Airport: ”The new solution enables us to communicate even better with passengers and provide greater security while reliably meeting future requirements.” Among other things, the airport can now respond to emergency situations faster and more easily. Automatic warnings and announcements to reassure passengers also help defuse tense situations. Those in charge at Bern Airport are very happy with the system’s features. They also benefited from the fact that all planning and installation work was done by a single provider. “The technicians installed the system while the airport continued operating around them,” adds Glauser. “Everything went smoothly without causing any disruptions or inconveniences for passengers.”
ip.access has announced a collaboration with Imaginet, a provider of IT network and security solutions, to implement a rapidly deployable disaster response network in Makati City, the Philippines. Makati City, part of the Metro Manila region, is the main financial hub and has a population of 6 million people. Built on a drained mangrove swamp, the city’s infrastructure is at a high risk for significant damage in the event of an earthquake, typhoon or other natural disasters. In the event of a disaster it is likely that communications infrastructure would be affected – hindering efforts to direct the population to safety and locate people trapped in collapsed buildings. To improve the city’s preparedness for natural disasters, the local Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office (DRRMO) worked with Imaginet to implement a rapidly deployable mobile network. Deployed via four command vehicles, the network will allow first responders to communicate with the population and report back to the central command office.The ip.access team has an inherent understanding of disaster situations, with extensive experience working in harsh environments Ensuring Disaster Preparedness Basing the network on 2G technology, to ensure that signals would be capable of penetrating collapsed buildings and enabling communication through SMS messaging, ip.access was tasked with designing, installing and testing the network in a tight six-week window. Following a successful commissioning period, the four command vehicles were first deployed in December 2017. Commenting on the partnership, Blair Duncan, CEO at Imaginet, said, “This was a challenging technical undertaking. As such, we needed confidence that we were working with a partner that could deliver a high quality solution. In that respect ip.access were an ideal partner – the team has an inherent understanding of disaster situations, with extensive experience working in harsh environments. We knew that we could rely on them to equip our vehicles with the robust and reliable radio network the DRRMO requires should a disaster strike.” Small Cell Solutions Nick Johnson, CTO at ip.access added, “We have a wide range of award winning commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) small cell solutions that can be easily integrated and operated within a wide range of specialist deployment scenarios – including in disaster response settings.” “Communication is critical in a disaster situation, so the fact our proven solutions deliver five nines availability with exceptional reliability makes them ideal for applications like the vehicle-borne network in Makati City.” Due to the success of the vehicles, the Makati City DRRMO is now looking to increase its fleet to nine vehicles to enable more flexibility and more robustness in its disaster readiness.
National Business Crime Solution (NBCS), a not-for-profit organization that enables the sharing of data between law enforcement agencies and the business community in order to reduce crime, is celebrating the success of the very first Business Impact Reduction Day (BIRD)—also known as Operation BIRD—an industry-led initiative that is designed to target and manage the effect of business related crime activity. Police-Assisted Retail Surveillance The initial exercise took place at Westfield shopping center in London, where 51 security and loss prevention professionals from across the industry joined forces with the police service and retailers to target prolific and persistent offenders. The brainchild of NBCS, Operation BIRD was supported by the Metropolitan Police’s Business Crime Hub, National Business Crime Centre, Territorial Support Group, London Borough of Newham and Westfield Stratford City—all of which played a vital role in planning and executing the maneuver. The day began with a full briefing and the identification of persistent offenders, who were to be apprehended in a safe manner with no violence. In addition, a team of ‘super-recognizers’ from the Metropolitan Police was present to identify any other offenders on the police radar.Perhaps the most significant, and unexpected, result of the day concerned the apprehension of a 15-year-old female from the north of England Officers in this unit have the ability to instantly place a familiar face, a skill that some researchers estimate is present in just one percent of the population. Successful Implementation With Civil Recovery Operation BIRD proved to be a remarkable success with 18 detentions and various actions including penalty notices, community resolutions and civil recoveries, as well as a number of arrests and charges. Perhaps the most significant, and unexpected, result of the day concerned the apprehension of a 15-year-old female from the north of England, who it transpired was the victim of child sexual exploitation and was being coerced into shoplifting. She is now under the auspices of the child protection authorities and currently in care. Retail Security Education and Training NBCS managing director, Dan Hardy, commented, “The story of how this vulnerable young person came to be shoplifting in Westfield shopping center was truly shocking. It has brought into sharp focus why safeguarding intervention requires sensitive and considerate handling when dealing with the victims of child sexual exploitation. "It has also highlighted the need for security service providers to educate their officers on this subject and implement consistent training. NBCS will be looking to drive this forward with its industry partners, while further Operation BIRD activities will take place around the country in places that NBCS intelligence suggests are crime hotspots.” Detective chief inspector, Georgina Barnard, leader of the National Business Crime Centre, was equally impressed with the results. She concluded, “Operation BIRD has proved what can be achieved when relevant parties join forces to target and prevent the impact of business related crime activity. I applaud NBCS for this initiative and look forward to working on similar activities in the future.”