Suprema, a globally renowned company in access control, biometrics and time & attendance solutions, has announced that its intelligent biometric access controller, CoreStation has acquired UL 294 compliance. UL 294 compliance UL 294 is a certification designed especially to ensure the safety and reliability of access control products. The certification has significance to larger customers, like government institutions, corporations, and medical and banking verticals that value reliability...
Abloy UK has released a white paper to explore how the critical infrastructure sector can unlock the potential of smartphones in the workplace to improve employee mobility, job satisfaction and productivity. Despite consumer usage of smartphones increasing significantly over the last decade, many organizations haven’t been as quick to tap into the uses and benefits that smartphones can provide. Smartphones, an extension of IT infrastructure Abloy recognizes that smartphones should be an...
Tavcom Training, the world’s renowned provider of accredited security systems training courses and part of the Linx International Group, has announced that the organization is supporting the Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices by making a donation for every classroom and online course booked. Naomi House & Jacksplace Naomi House & Jacksplace provide expert hospice care to more than 525 life-limited and life-threatened children, young adults and their extended families from the...
As International Security Week (ISWeek), 30 November – 3 December 2020, draws closer, experienced names in the industry are preparing to join together to dissect recent incidents of terrorism and how to combat extremism while protecting national assets. International Security Week The International Security Week marks five years since the shocking series of coordinated terrorist attacks across Paris, France which tragically killed 130 people. Recent incidents in Nice, France and Vienna,...
Utility, Inc., (Utility Associates, Inc.) announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office issuance of patent 10,812,755 for additional BodyWorn camera technology. Patent for BodyWorn cameras The patent covers mounting a BodyWorn camera in a holster that is embedded inside a body armor vest, duty shirt, winter coat or other garment with the camera lens fastened and aligned to provide a clear field of view through an opening in the garment. Embedding the camera within an article of clot...
Acronis, a globally renowned company in cyber protection and data security solutions, has announced an update of its Acronis True Image 2021 that incorporates a professional-grade vulnerability assessment tool into the personal cyber protection solution. Scanning operating systems and applications Individuals and home office users can now scan their operating systems and applications for exploitable vulnerabilities and get recommendations on effectively closing those security gaps. Users can...
IDIS, a global security company that designs, develops, manufactures, and delivers surveillance solutions for a wide range of commercial and public sector markets, is proud to be sponsoring and participating in Canadian Security Association’s Security Canada Virtual Trade Show, slated to be held on December 2nd and 3rd, 2020. Security Canada 2020 Visitors to the Security Canada virtual trade show can learn how IDIS’s flagship plug-and-play DirectIP solution offering can significantly benefit both end users and systems integrators. DirectIP encompasses a comprehensive line up of powerful network video recorders (NVRs), network cameras, software, monitors, and accessories that seamlessly connect. It packs a strong punch of everything needed to build a complete video surveillance solution. IDIS DirectIP solution IDIS DirectIP solution delivers rich functionality while eliminating complex and time consuming configuration IDIS DirectIP solution delivers rich functionality while eliminating complex and time consuming configuration. Users love that its network throughput delivers high-definition simultaneous recording and real-time monitoring with no visible latency and that cameras and recorders come with the assurance of industry-renowned warranties. From the security integrator’s perspective, the DirectIP solution makes installation a snap by mutually authenticating devices, thereby ensuring that engineers don’t need to manage passwords, use port forwarding, or have a deep knowledge of IP networking, even for multi-site deployments. In turn, this eliminates the potential for cyber loopholes and combined with dealing with a single vendor for sales and tech support, also ensures a low cost of service. IDIS Center VMS and ISS solutions Attendees to the Security Canada virtual event will be able to see first-hand how IDIS’s totally cost and license free IDIS Center VMS (Video Management Software) allows customers to implement surveillance solutions that encompasses up to 1024 devices, so as to enable a centralized management and control environment for customers with multiple sites, at a considerably lower cost than a server-based system. For larger organizations, IDIS Solution Suite (ISS) delivers enterprise-level VMS functionality without the associated price tag. This allows users to choose the powerful modules and functionality they need with a choice of federation service, IDIS Critical Failover which protects against a range of fault conditions, video wall services, and much more. ISS also gives customers the flexibility to add an unlimited number of sites at no additional cost. AI Box for COVID solution IDIS will also unveil its AI Box for COVID at Security Canada 2020 virtual trade show IDIS will also unveil its AI Box for COVID at Security Canada 2020 virtual trade show. This simple add on appliance includes functions that help adherence to government guideless and hygiene best practices to support reopening, and safe return to work strategies to help prevent the spread of infection. The new IDIS Mobile Plus app will also be showcased, which is supporting users to remotely monitor single and multiple sites by putting powerful VMS functionality at their fingertips. With the ability to view 4K and multiple streams and configure alarms and notifications, it’s enabling the management of day-to-day operations and the ability to respond to incidents and events on the move. IDIS dome and bullet cameras IDIS will also present an end-to-end solutions specific to retail that includes high-performance 5 MP dome and bullet cameras, a compact 5 MP fisheye camera, and the anti-IR reflection 2 MP micro dome camera, which are all popular choices for indoor and outdoor video surveillance and coverage in all lighting conditions. At the Security Canada virtual event, attendees representing the logistics and warehousing sector will learn how IDIS solutions are helping improve operations by tracking goods in and out, mitigating internal shrinkage, and ensuring health and safety compliance with its high performance 12 MP IR Super Fisheye cameras that can cost-effectively replace 3-4 fixed lens cameras.
AddSecure, a renowned European provider of premium IoT solutions with a focus on secure critical communications and data, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire International Security Group GmbH, a renowned German innovator in technology-driven video Surveillance-as-a-Service. ISG offers a comprehensive portfolio of mobile video surveillance solutions marketed as Video Guard to customers within industries such as construction, logistics and infrastructure. With the acquisition, AddSecure enters the attractive video surveillance market, a growth market with vast potential. The mobile video surveillance market in Germany, ISG’s core market, is expected to grow at over 30% p.a. with similar growth rates possible in other European geographies given the markets are relatively nascent. Video surveillance-as-a-Service The joint mission is to enhance the safety and security across industries such as construction, utilities, transportation and more, with the objective to become a leading European provider of video Surveillance-as-a-Service. “The acquisition of ISG boosts AddSecure’s reach in the IoT and secure critical communications and data space, and enhances our offering with the addition of advanced video surveillance technology. Entering into this growing market is a logical next step to support our ambitious growth strategy, and fits perfectly with our extensive knowledge of security and safety and our current offering of smart solutions,” said Stefan Albertsson, CEO of AddSecure. Video surveillance offering “We are excited to join the AddSecure organization with its expansive growth strategy and pan-European footprint that will open new opportunities for the Video Guard product range,” said Jörn Windler, Managing Director of International Security Group. Jörn Windler will remain as the Managing Director of the business post-acquisition and will be instrumental in integrating the video surveillance offering into AddSecure.
The new DoorBird configurator allows architects and installers to design and purchase customized IP intercoms online. The high-quality video door stations made of stainless steel can be designed with individual dimensions and various call buttons and modules, such as keypad or house number plate. A selection of more than 50 RAL colors and surface coatings is available. With each configuration step, a 3D image of the DoorBird door station appears together with price and delivery time. Thanks to the augmented reality function, the intercom is visualized instantly at its installation location. Matching is possible by uploading a photo or live on the smartphone with camera switched on. The designed device can be saved, including a technical drawing, in order to continue the configuration at a later time. When the IP video door station is fully configured, the planning tool enables the user to place the order. All DoorBird intercoms are manufactured by Bird Home Automation in Berlin, Germany. IP video door intercoms The Bird Home Automation Group develops, produces and markets high-quality IP video door intercoms under the trademark “DoorBird” around the world. The company’s headquarters and production plant are located in Berlin, Germany, with a further office in San Francisco, USA. “DoorBird” stands for the combination of exclusive design with the most innovative IP technology in the field of door communication. The products are made from corrosion-resistant precious metals and manufactured in Germany according to the highest quality standards.
ComNet, Communication Networks of Danbury, Connecticut, a USA-based manufacturer of fiber optic transmission and networking equipment and an ACRE brand, announced that ACRE has acquired Razberi Technologies and the product line will be added to and sold under the ComNet brand and portfolio of products. ComNet will now be selling Razberi products through its established channels. Intelligent video appliances The Razberi product line of intelligent video appliances, automated security software, and health monitoring software is designed to protect and monitor IP-based surveillance systems and complements the ComNet line of innovative network communication solutions. The Razberi appliance allows cameras, access control points, and other devices to add layers of protection while lowering the threat of cyber security risks to businesses. According to Tom Galvin, Razberi founder and Chief Product Officer, “We’re excited to join with ComNet and add more value to their deep network product line. ComNet can now offer a more comprehensive infrastructure for video transmission, storage, management, and cyber security.” Open video surveillance platform Bringing Razberi Technologies into the ComNet product portfolio made sense on many levels" Razberi’s open video surveillance platform includes intelligent appliances combined with automated cyber security and health monitoring software. In combination with a wide range of top third-party video management software (VMS) applications and IP cameras, enterprises can flexibly deploy a best of breed solution that reduces their total cost of ownership and reduces the likelihood of a costly cyber breach. “Bringing Razberi Technologies into the ComNet product portfolio made sense on many levels,” said Andrew Acquarulo Jr., ComNet’s Chief Executive Officer and President, adding “ComNet has strongly considered adding an enhanced surveillance product line that would make a significant impact on the market and bring a measurable improvement to any application. We believe Razberi is that product.” Enhancing cyber security and securing business networks ComNet believes the Razberi product line is a cost-effective solution and its cyber security products can complement ComNet’s emphasis on securing business networks. “With the intense focus on cyber security, the unique Razberi products directed to cyber threats, CameraDefense and ApplianceDefense now combined with ComNet Port Guardian, present a formidable defense against unauthorized network access,” said Skip Haight, ComNet Vice President of Marketing, adding “Our position is that if you are concerned about the long-term success of your application, choosing ComNet ensures it will be.”
Boon Edam Inc., a globally renowned provider in security entrances and architectural revolving doors, has announced a new BoonTV event, ‘The Key to Closing the Biggest Gap in Physical Security: Unauthorised Entry’. BoonTV event - webinar In this event, JC Powell, Vice President of Sales at Boon Edam, reveals the assumptions and misconceptions around entrance security in physical security planning and how to effectively bring reliable entrance control to a facility to avoid costly risks and liabilities. Three inputs for controlling access to a facility The BoonTV episode begins by addressing the audience with two fundamental questions: Do homeowners know who is in their building at any given time? How many unauthorized people are acceptable in a facility? Importance of controlling access in premises These two questions set the stage for reinforcing the importance of controlling access These two questions set the stage for reinforcing the importance of controlling access and introducing three inputs for effectively monitoring who is in a building at all times: People, Process and Technology. JC Powell will then provide examples of how organizations must balance all three inputs, and explain how technology (the combination of access control systems, security entrances, biometrics, cameras, etc.) directly alleviates the pressure on both people and process. Scalable Security: three levels of entrance capabilities Next, the episode introduces the concept of ‘Scalable Security’, which helps the security professional select the right entrance type for each area of their building, based on the entrance's true capabilities related to tailgating mitigation - Deter, Detect, or Prevent. The true capability of an entrance will have a direct impact to the inputs of physical security, the People, Process and adjacent Technologies. Real-life case studies are shared that reveal the mistakes organizations have made before landing on the best entrance solution for their true needs. The future of the entry post COVID-19 The webinar concludes with a short discussion around the impacts of the current pandemic. JC Powell will share how he sees the future of the entry based on his discussions with industry consultants, integrators and end users, including discussions around touchless entry, thermal cameras and antimicrobial finishes and films.
Briefcam, the industry’s renowned provider of Video Content Analytics and Video Synopsis solutions, has announced that its advanced video analytics software platform will serve as the analytics engine for Verizon’s Intelligent Video solution. Intelligent Video solution The comprehensive monitoring service from Verizon helps law enforcement and security teams keep public and private facilities secure with near real-time, actionable data from video content. The combined solution enhances the ability for these organizations to protect lives and property in remote locations and in the city centers - equally. This includes critical infrastructure from dams and power plants to oil refineries and transportation systems. Advanced video analytics The full solution leveraging BriefCam provides advanced video analytics, including near real-time and forensic video analysis, and trends in data through dashboard visualization, enabling rapid acceleration of video investigations. “Leveraging its renowned network, Verizon is creating a best-in-class solution to enable the protection of all facilities in a community whether in the city center or on the edge of town,” said Gili Rom, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, BriefCam. Gili adds, “Bringing together Verizon’s wireless infrastructure with our advanced video analytics and other industry leading technologies allows security professionals to remotely optimize situational awareness while reducing time and resource investments.” Leveraging robust analytics software The solution was built to provide advanced analytics and benefits for an improved experience Verizon Intelligent Video leveraging BriefCam’s robust analytics software offers a comprehensive, bundled video management solution for cloud or wireless access that includes software licensing, installation, administration, training, and support. The solution was built to provide advanced analytics and benefits for an improved experience. BriefCam delivers the ability to monitor and analyze multiple sites remotely from a single interface and the insights needed to fully prevent or investigate and resolve issues. Automated video analysis Verizon Intelligent Video automates video analysis with an easy-to-use interface so that users can quickly drill down, and filter objects based on a wide range of object classifications, attributes, and behaviors. This accelerates investigations and helps users attain situational awareness sooner, to derive operational intelligence from video. The powerful solution makes it possible to do more with fewer monitoring, intelligence, and investigative resources.
The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organizations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organizations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organization show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimizes risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organizations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimize wait times. Customize the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organizations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organizations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organizations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organizations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organizations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.
From drone fleets and autonomous transportation systems to smart homes with computer-controlled lighting, heating, media and security systems, a new group of highly-automated technologies is gripping the popular imagination. These technologies – made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) – form advanced ecosystems of interrelated devices with the capacity to monitor, detect, communicate and act on the real world independently of human intervention. Promising to fulfil all of our wildest technological dreams and needs, the IoT age has arrived – and it looks like its here to stay. While the consumer applications of IoT tend to receive the most attention, one area that is seeing strong growth in the uptake of IoT devices is workplace safety. Workplace safety costs businesses billions every year, and industries with especially hazardous working environments – Construction, Oil & Gas, Mining, Utilities, Rail, among others – are beginning to adopt IoT technology to help minimize risk and address preventable threats. In addition, as the COVID-19 pandemic surges around us, the phenomenon of ‘social distancing’ and remote working has emerged to help avoid risk of infection. For the many who work across the aforementioned industries however, working from home will not be logistically possible. In order to reduce the burden on hospitals and medical staff, it is now more important than ever to protect employees from having to be treated for preventable injuries. Before exploring these IoT solutions, however, let us first consider some of the key threats faced by workers in these industries. Workplace safety 1 in 5 worker deaths in the US and incurring tens of thousands of short and long-term injuries each year Construction is one of the world’s most dangerous occupations, accounting for 1 in 5 worker deaths in the US and incurring tens of thousands of short and long-term injuries each year. In construction, the major risk is falling from a height, which accounts of 26 per cent of fatal injuries in the workplace. Additional risks come from being struck by vehicles and heavy moving objects, proximity to overhead/underground high voltage power lines, confined spaces, high noise environments, and exposure to dust and fumes. Other industries are often faced with some combination of the above, or similar, threats. In the Rail sector, for instance, there is high risk from collisions with vehicles, objects and machinery and vulnerability to electric shock. In Utilities, the number one risk is slips, trips and falls, accounting for 30 per cent of Lost Workday Injuries (LWIs) in 2016. And in Oil & Gas extraction, exposure to flammable gas, chemical emissions and oxygen-deficient atmospheres creates vulnerability to explosions and chemical poisoning. Tackling threats in a high-tech world What, then, is being done to tackle these threats? In a high-tech world, many safety measures currently in use – hardhats, earplugs, gloves, gas masks, guardrails, harnesses, protective goggles and high visibility clothing – have been in use a long time. While these measures are still fundamental in minimizing risk, companies have now started to integrate IoT technologies to enhance their application. These technologies bring together real-time analytics, machine learning, advanced sensors and embedded systems to offer a number of key functionalities: Physiological monitoring Wearable technology is used to monitor a worker’s physiological state in real-time. Japanese wearable tech company Mitsufuji is active in this space, creating smart clothes woven from silver-metallised fibres that collect a range of data about its wearer, including heart rate and body temperature. Other examples include wristbands with bio-sensors to accurately measure stress levels and glasses that detect eye movements to identify fatigue and periods of micro-sleep. Environmental monitoring Sensors used to measure temperature, radiation, gas leaks, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals can automatically alert workers to unsafe external conditions. Additionally, visual imaging software can map 3D representations of a worker’s environment, facilitating effective two-way communication between supervisors and personnel in the field, allowing for remote guidance technologies to provide live assistance to endangered workers (e.g. guiding a trapped miner out of a tunnel). Situational awareness, training and behavioural data Augmented Reality (AR) technologies offer new ways to support decision making in the field by providing holographic representations of physical equipment, while Virtual Reality (VR) technologies offer immersive situational training without the risks associated with real-life procedures. These technologies also offer up valuable behavioral data, which can be used to gauge a worker’s risk tolerance level and alertness in response to incidents. Proximity detection Proximity detection systems utilize wearable sensors to monitor workers’ location, map their movements, and alert them to nearby hazards. One example of this are radio-frequency identification (RFIDs), which can measure a worker’s proximity to moving equipment and alert them to possible collisions and near misses. Another piece of kit is the ‘smart helmet’, which can immediately detect an accident, determine the worker’s location and send an alert containing coordinates to a safety control centre. The centre is able to make video and audio contact and communicate with the worker until help arrives. Exoskeletons Exoskeletons can assist with heavy lifting and the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) by analyzing worker movements and providing the necessary support. The Chairless Chair, for example, used by factory floor workers, fixes around the back and legs to provide support whenever the worker sits or crouches. Exoskeletons are also used to monitor worker movements, identifying repetitive movements and sustained periods of overexertion. IoT technologies and innovations IoT innovations are helping to improve workplace safety on multiple fronts Taken together, these IoT innovations are helping to improve workplace safety on multiple fronts. Firstly, they are preventative. By closely monitoring one’s environment – both internal and external – IoT technologies can pre-empt and alert workers to potential dangers. Secondly, they are responsive. In the case of an accident, IoT technologies can alert supervisors and help coordinate a quick and effective response. Thirdly, they are informative. By accumulating and analyzing rich pools of data, IoT technologies can help optimize work in the field and find improved ways to limit risk.
Today, the world is connected like never before. Your watch is connected to your phone, which is connected to your tablet and so on. As we’ve begun to embrace this ‘smart’ lifestyle, what we’re really embracing is the integration of systems. Why do we connect our devices? The simplest answer is that it makes life easier. But, if that’s the case, why stop at our own personal devices? Connection, when applied to a business’ operations, is no different: it lowers effort and expedites decision making. Integrating security systems Systems integration takes the idea of connected devices and applies it to an enterprise Systems integration takes the idea of connected devices and applies it to an enterprise, bringing disparate subcomponents into a single ecosystem. This could mean adding a new, overarching system to pull and collect data from existing subsystems, or adapting an existing system to serve as a data collection hub. Regardless of the method, the purpose is to create a single, unified view. Ultimately, it’s about simplifying processes, gaining actionable insights into operations and facilitating efficient decision-making. Although integration is becoming the new norm in other areas of life, businesses often opt out of integrating security systems because of misconceptions about the time and resources required to successfully make the change. So, instead of a streamlined operation, the various security systems and devices are siloed, not communicating with each other and typically being run by different teams within an organization. Time-Intensive process When systems are not integrated, companies face a wide range of risks driven by a lack of transparency and information sharing, including actual loss of property or assets. For example, a team in charge of access control is alerted to a door being opened in the middle of the night but can’t see what exactly is taking place through video surveillance. Without integrated systems they have no way of knowing if it was a burglar, an equipment malfunction or a gust of wind. Without integration between systems and teams, the ability to quickly put the right pieces in front of decision makers is missing. Instead, the team would have to go back and manually look for footage that corresponds with the time a door was open to figure out which door it was, who opened it and what happened after, which can be a time-intensive process. Integrating access control and surveillance systems Theft and vandalism occur quickly, meaning systems and users must work faster in order to prevent it This slowed response time adds risk to the system. Theft and vandalism occur quickly, meaning systems and users must work faster in order to prevent it. Security systems can do more than communicate that theft or vandalism occurred. Properly integrated, these systems alert users of pre-incident indicators before an event happens or deter events altogether. This gives teams and decision makers more time to make effective decisions. Integrating access control and surveillance systems allows for a more proactive approach. If a door is opened when it’s not supposed to be, an integrated system enables users to quickly see what door was opened, who opened it and make a quick decision. Integrated solutions are more effective, more efficient and help drive cost-saving decisions. Ideally, companies should establish integrated solutions from the start of operations. This allows companies to anticipate problems and adjust accordingly instead of reacting after an incident has occurred. Security camera system Although starting from the beginning is the best way to ensure comprehensive security, many companies have existing security systems, requiring integration and implementation to bring them together. Typically, companies with established security systems worry about the impact to infrastructure requirements. Is additional infrastructure necessary? How and where should it be added? What financial or human resources are required? These concerns drive a mentality that the benefits gained from an integrated solution aren’t worth the costs of implementation. Thankfully, this is becoming less of a problem as security providers, like Twenty20™ Solutions, work to offer adaptable solutions. With flexible options, operators don’t worry about adding or replacing infrastructure to align with a provider’s model. This allows users to monitor camera footage and gate traffic from one system If a company has an existing security camera system, but identifies a need for access control, a modern integrated solution provider can supply the gates for access points and equip the gates and cameras with the technology to connect the two. This allows users to monitor camera footage and gate traffic from one system. This model also spares operators additional costs by using a sole vendor for supplemental needs. Overall management of security While a single, unified system is beneficial for cost saving, it can also help the overall management of security. The ability to view all operating systems in one dashboard allows security personnel to manage a site from any location, reducing the expense and effort required to manage a system. The mobile world today means security directors no longer need to be in a centralized operations center to see alerts and make decisions. This simplifies processes by allowing users to quickly see an alert, pull up a camera, delete a user or check an access log from a phone. Modern networks are secure and accessible to those with permissions, without requiring those users to be physically present. Consolidating security systems is the first step companies can take toward streamlining work, information and costs. The next step is integrating all sites, both remote and on-grid. Energy and communication technology The integration of sites and systems turns mountains of data and information into actionable intelligence Traditional methods demanded two systems: one for on-grid facilities and another for off-grid locations. With advancements in energy and communication technology, the need for multiple systems is gone. Data from remote sites can be safely and securely fed into an existing system. These remote locations may gather, distribute and manage data in a different manner than a connected system due to the cost of transmission via remote connections (i.e., cellular or satellite connection). The end result, however, is a consistent and holistic view of operations for the decision maker. The integration of sites and systems turns mountains of data and information into actionable intelligence. With connected devices monitoring occurrences at individual sites, as well as events across locations, the data tells a story that is unhindered by operational silos or physical space. Identifying patterns and trends Instead of providing 10 hours-worth of footage that may or may not be relevant, system analytics can provide users with the specific set of information they need. Incidents once discarded as ‘one-off’ events can now be analyzed and data-mapped to identify patterns and trends, directing future resources to the most critical areas first. Consumers are increasingly expecting everything they need to be right where they need it – and businesses are right behind them. The current generation of security professionals are increasingly expecting the simplicity of their everyday personal tasks to be mirrored in enterprise systems, which means giving them the ability to see what matters in one place. A unified system can provide just that, a single view to help simplify processes, promote cost saving and accelerate decision making.
Nigel Waterton recently joined cloud video company Arcules to lead the sales and marketing efforts as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He brings to the task the benefit of 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organizations. Waterton joins Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. We caught up with the new CRO to discuss his position and to reflect on how industry changes are impacting integrators and manufacturers. Q: What fresh insights do you bring to Arcules from your previous positions? Waterton: Generally, most manufacturers don’t understand the business model of the integrator. And if they do, their programs don’t necessarily help achieve their goals. Since most manufacturers use integrators to get to the end user, they are often disconnected from truly understanding the customer, their organization’s business and its impact on the value of the security program. In my previous role, I spent most of my time bridging the gap between these two worlds. It gives me a great platform for understanding how to achieve that with Arcules. Q: How is ‘Chief Revenue Officer’ different from your previous jobs? I have the responsibility of driving innovation for the companyWaterton: While the title is different, the ultimate role I’m in isn’t too different from previous roles that I’ve held in my career. I have the responsibility of driving innovation and strategy for the company, as well as serving as a leader for the sales and marketing team and developing a sales and marketing strategy for the company. This position allows me to build on what I’ve learned throughout my career from an end-user and integrator partner perspective and brings that expertise into the fold of this young, fresh, innovative company that’s paving the way for cloud-based innovation in the marketplace. Q: Is there an industry-wide ‘culture clash’ between the IT-centric nature of cloud systems and the physical security market? How can it be managed? Waterton: Adopters from the IT and physical security worlds are a little at odds over the software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as a result of a disconnect with how the cloud is defined in both spaces. A lot of people and companies are creating their own notion of what cloud and SaaS mean. And without a common nomenclature in place, there is a lot of confusion among all users. Similarly, there is a clash among integrators around how to monetize the SaaS offering. This gap can be closed through increased awareness, education and the reiteration of how ubiquitous the cloud already is in our everyday lives. Q: From the integrator perspective, what is the impact of a transition to a cloud/SaaS model on how revenue is managed in the increasingly service-oriented security market? Waterton: Transitioning to a cloud/SaaS model shifts the mindset of the integrator significantly, as the focus changes from project-centric to more customer service-based impact. Becoming more service-minded creates a greater awareness of what the client’s needs are on a day-to-day basis and how that can be improved over time. When operating with a per-project focus, it can be difficult to create a more long-term impact on an organization. With a cloud-based, service-oriented model, integrators now have the ability to manage client expectations in real-time, which greatly increases their value proposition. Q: What about from the end user perspective? Waterton: There are so many benefits from the end user perspective, including the ability to remove the process of a large investment in capital expenditures (CapEx) and shift to a more manageable, predictable operational expenditure (OpEx). Not only does this allow organizations to adjust as needs change; it also prevents being locked into a long-term solution that might not be able to move with the speed of the company as it scales. That being said, the main benefit is the ability of SaaS/Cloud services to drive innovation and introduce new features as they’re introduced without additional investment from the end user. Q: What impact does the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model have on the operations/management/cashflow of a supplier/manufacturer company? Waterton: Traditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS modelTraditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS model for many of the same reasons integrators struggle. They must sell the board and possibly their investors on a new valuation model as well as revenue recognition model. That is constraining their innovation in the market. Oddly enough RMR from a manufacturer’s perspective is very similar to the integrator model in that cash flow is more predictable in nature. An RMR model allows a company to grow strategically and innovate constantly, expanding and adjusting to cater to client needs on a daily basis while also providing the ability to look ahead and ensure we’re meeting the needs communicated to us in the market now and into the future. Q: What will be the biggest challenge of your new position at Arcules (and how will you meet the challenge)? Waterton: One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing — and one that will have a significant impact on my role — is the challenge of market adoption of SaaS/cloud services, as well as the awareness about why cloud is a significant part of the future of the industry. There’s also an opportunity to shift the conversation within Arcules from tech-focused outcomes to becoming practitioners of risk-based outcomes. We have to focus on the risk model for organizations, not technology. If we truly understand the risks to the organization, the tool will become apparent. Answering the questions: Why does a retailer lose product? Why does a facility experience vandalism? We have to understand the sociology of it because that’s how we can address what the service does in the marketplace. Q: Taking the various elements into consideration, what will the ‘physical security industry’ look like five years from now? Waterton: In sum, wildly different. It’s much different than what it was five or even 10 years ago, and with each leap, the industry has moved forward. Products are maturing, bandwidth is improving and the knowledge that we have is exponentially more advanced. There is increasing use of outside perspectives aimed at shaking up the ‘this is how it has always been done’ mentality that many organizations have suffered from. It’s going to look very different five years from now, and cloud-based initiatives will be the key to the success of many organizations.
When violence or a life-threatening incident occurs, hospitals and other healthcare institutions are often in the crosshairs. Hospitals increasingly face a reality of workplace violence, attacks on patients, and threats to doctors and other support staff. And even if violence happens outside a hospital – such as an active shooter at a public place – the local hospital must be prepared to respond to an influx of injured victims. When conflicts arise inside a hospital, there is an urgent need to lock the facility down quickly. Security professionals and their teams need access control options that allow lockdowns to occur at the touch of a button. Lockdown capabilities are an important aspect of safety and security for hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical facilities The need for mass notification is also growing in the healthcare environment Fire alarm public address system The need for mass notification – another aspect of responding in an emergency – is also growing in the healthcare environment. Various systems can communicate through the fire alarm public address (PA) system to notify people in an emergency, or, alternately, to use email notification, text messaging, pagers, smart phones and/or personal computers (PCs). In lockdown situations, access control systems provide an emergency button with various triggers in the system – a hospital can lockdown specific units or the entire facility. Data capture form to appear here! Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products, points out that the safety of hospital staff, particularly nurses, cannot be overlooked. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year, which is a high percentage. The safety of nurses and all hospital staff deserves more attention. Duress/emergency notification technology Stankevich says one solution is to use duress/emergency notification technology: staff can carry and wear a ‘panic button” or have a two-key combination on their computer as an alarm trigger. When the staff member hits the panic button, a direct message can be sent to security, alerting security staff about the event and requiring a response. There has been an increase in demand for the safety and security of patients, staff and visitors at healthcare institutions, as evidenced by the recent CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Emergency Preparedness Rule. As of Nov. 17, 2017, healthcare institutions that participate in Medicare or Medicaid must demonstrate compliance with the rule. Emergency preparedness systems A major challenge in compliance to this rule is balancing patient safety with comfort At its core, the rule seeks to establish national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure adequate planning for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordination with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems. A major challenge in compliance to this rule is balancing patient safety with comfort. Institutions should consider two-way communication that enables leadership to disseminate targeted messages quickly and efficiently, while arming all employees with a tool that can alert the appropriate staff should an incident occur. Solutions like this enable swift communication of issues without disturbing patients and visitors unless necessary. Effective response to emergencies “Fortunately, hospitals and their security departments are generally well equipped to respond to most emergency situations”, said John M. White, president/CEO of Protection Management, a consultant who works with hospitals to address their security needs. During the Ebola scare in 2014, however, hospitals had to re-examine their plans to ensure they were prepared to meet the challenges specific to rare and deadly disease. “Hospitals are prepared for most things, but Ebola seemed to have caught the whole world off guard, so people responded in different ways,” says White, who previously was security director of two multi-campus medical facilities before becoming a consultant. Hospital security Hospitals made adjustments to their emergency programs to determine how best to handle Ebola patients" He adds, “Hospitals made adjustments to their emergency programs to determine how best to handle Ebola patients and to protect other patients and staff. It was a new threat that healthcare organizations had not specifically addressed.” A particular concern was the possibility of an infected person walking into an emergency room and infecting other people and/or requiring facility decontamination. One role the hospital security department plays in such an emergency is to control access to the facility and to control visitors’ movements once they are inside the facility, says White. If the Ebola scare had progressed to the point that a hospital would need to screen patients, security would be positioned at the front entrance to help with that screening and, if necessary, to direct patients to a specific area for quarantine. Protective equipment Security might also need to wear protective equipment to handle a patient who is resistant to treatment, for example. There are often interactions between security personnel and the general public, a scenario that becomes more complicated if Ebola or a similar infection is likely. In general, security would be tasked with maintaining order and keeping people where they need to be, freeing up the medical professionals to do their jobs more efficiently, says White. To prepare for the impact of the Ebola scare, hospitals addressed various training and equipment needs and adjusted their disaster/emergency response plans. Read parts two and three of our heathcare mini series here and here.
For the security market, the ‘fine ranging’ capabilities of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology opens up a range of new uses based on the ability to determine the relative position and distance of two UWB-equipped devices with pinpoint accuracy – within centimeters. UWB is more accurate and secure, even in challenging environments full of interference, compared to narrow band wireless technologies. UWB technology transmits a large amount of data over short distances using a small amount of energy. It will be used in seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device services across industries including smart homes, cities, retail services, and healthcare. Increasing the accuracy of ranging measurements UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location of a connected deviceUltra-wideband is a mature radio technology that transmits information spread over a large bandwidth, as described by the IEEE 802.154 standard. A new, enhanced amendment to the standard – IEEE 802.15.4z – focuses on improvements to existing modulations to increase the integrity and accuracy of ranging measurements. Moving forward, UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location or presence of a connected device or object. This reflects a move from data communication to secure sensing. New capabilities of UWB are largely unfamiliar to the market, but a new Consortium – the FiRa Consortium – has a mission to educate the market, provide use cases, and promote UWB technology. Delivering interoperability across devices “With a consortium, we can better deliver interoperability across devices, software, and chipsets,” says Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, Director and Treasurer of the FiRa Consortium, and SVP & CTO of HID Global. “This creates a frictionless experience for the user, which is vitally important with a new technology. People are more likely to adopt emerging technology when it runs smoothly without interruptions or errors.” The FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive" An industry consortium can create a UWB ecosystem of interoperable technologies instead of individual companies launching products that consumers struggle to make work together, says Songukrishnasamy. “Simply, the FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive.” Founding members of the FiRa consortium ASSA ABLOY and HID Global, pioneers in secure access and identity solutions, are founding members of the consortium. Their technology manages access to physical and digital places, things, and identities. Another founding consortium member, NXP Semiconductors, is a pioneer in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications. Other founding members are Samsung, which creates top-of-the-line TVs, smartphones, wearables, and other connected devices; and the Bosch Group, a global supplier of technology and services that is at the forefront of IoT innovations. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) are the first companies to join the newly formed organization. Immune to radio frequency interference UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settingsUWB introduces higher levels of accuracy in positioning capabilities and increased security for ranging data exchange compared to existing technologies. Fine ranging with UWB technology can localize devices and objects to 10 centimeters of accuracy with or without line of sight. UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settings. These capabilities will enable a variety of use cases like secure, hands-free access control in hospitals, location-based services for ride sharing, and targeted marketing for retailers. FiRa will demonstrate UWB technology at upcoming trade shows. The FiRa Consortium aims to build on IEEE’s work with an interoperable high rate physical layer (HRP) standard, including defining an application layer that discovers UWB devices and services and configures them in an interoperable manner. The consortium also plans to develop service-specific protocols for multiple verticals and define necessary parameters for applications including physical access control, location-based services and device-to-device services. Promoting the adoption of UWB solutions As a consortium, FiRa is not just setting standards but actively championing use cases for UWB technology. Creating the consortium addresses the need to develop interoperability and implementation standards; brings key players together to create a rich UWB ecosystem; allows for the sharing of intellectual property; and promotes the adoption of UWB solutions. The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases" “Since UWB is a mature technology with new potential uses, there is a general lack of awareness of potential applications that take advantage of the technology,” says Songukrishnasamy. “The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases.” The FiRa name comes from Fine Ranging to highlight UWB technology’s use cases and distinction from older UWB technologies and solutions. Enhanced security in challenging environments Fine ranging powered by UWB can outperform other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in wireless connectivity, and security, especially in challenging, high density environments. UWB previously served as a technology for high data rate communication and as such was in direct competition with Wi-Fi. Since then, UWB has undergone several transformations: UWB has evolved from an OFDM-based data communication to an impulse radio technology specified in IEEE 802.15.4a (2ns pulses with Time of Flight); and A security extension being specified in IEEE 802.15.4z (at PHY/MAC level) makes it a unique secure fine ranging technology. Moving from data communication to secure ranging allows ‘spatial context capability’ to be utilized by a variety of applications: seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device (peer-to-peer) services. Information is available at firaconsortium.org.
IDEMIA, the globally renowned company in Augmented Identity, moved to its new headquarters in September 2018, in an 11-floor building located in La Défense business district, in Paris, France. The building brings together 1,300 employees out of total worldwide staff strength of close to 15,000 people. Biometric access control Due to the sensitive nature of its activities in this building, and given its position on the biometrics market, IDEMIA decided to deploy biometric access control throughout the entire building, a first in this business district and a fantastic opportunity to showcase IDEMIA’s flagship products in real life. Most employees get to the office via nearby metro and tram stations, and therefore, arrive within the same 30-minute window. This creates the need for a high throughput access control solution, for entrance and exit peak-times. Access to the six elevators serving the eleven floors is given after a first control at speed gates in the lobby area. MorphoWave Compact devices deployed IDEMIA opted for MorphoWave Compact associated to Digicon’s dFlow speedgates IDEMIA opted for MorphoWave Compact associated to Digicon’s dFlow speedgates. MorphoWave Compact devices were mounted on a special stylish stainless steel pedestal. Four dFlow lanes were installed, with readers for entry and exit. MorphoWave Compact is IDEMIA’s flagship biometric device for physical access control. It performs a 3D scan and verification of four fingerprints in less than one second, in a quick and easy touchless ‘wave’ gesture within the reader. dFlow speedgates These features make the product particularly well-suited for such high-traffic locations, with the capability to authenticate up to 50 people per minute, thanks to advanced algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence. With dFlow speedgates, Digicon introduces a new vision for access control gates, one with continuous flows and normally open doors. dFlow enables free flow, ushering new levels of comfort and security. Frictionless biometric solution The installation is highly acclaimed by employees who appreciate the frictionless use of MorphoWave Compact and its natural ‘wave’ hand gesture, as well as Digicon’s ‘always open’ dFlow concept, that enables them to get to the elevators in only a few seconds. Of course, IDEMIA was well-placed for this biometric employee access control deployment, being the provider of MorphoWave Compact. The employees were immediately convinced by the frictionless and hygienic experience it offered them. The team in charge of the security of the building found the MorphoWave Compact and dFlow combination more secure and less intrusive than other access control systems. Most importantly, what is true for a company like IDEMIA will also be true for any company in need of a high level of security delivered in a frictionless and convenient way, especially in high-traffic locations like in an HQ lobby.
Supra, a provider of mobile credentialing and entry management systems for automotive and real estate sectors, announces that its TRAC-Box key management solution has been selected by Oregon-based Guaranty RV Super Centers to help secure and track keys while keeping pace with a growing demand for recreational vehicle (RV) travel. Supra is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Located in Junction City, Oregon, Guaranty is the state’s largest dealer of recreational vehicles, from entry-level tent campers to luxurious diesel-powered RVs that sell for more than $400,000. Gaining valuable sales An industry publication, RV Business, has named Guaranty one of North America’s top 50 dealers for six consecutive years and a top 10 dealership based on customer reviews. “With our large footprint of 25 acres and long dark winters, it is difficult to have visibility of activity,” said Marty Nill, managing partner, Guaranty. “With the Supra TRAC-Box, we’ve improved security and gained valuable sales and marketing insights, and assigning permissions is simple. We’re confident we have authorized access to our vehicles with tracking controls in place. Our vehicles are retail-ready using the Supra TRAC-Box.” Providing greater visibility Supra’s TRAC-Box solution offers a convenient method for tracking the keys and fobs used to open vehicles Supra’s TRAC-Box solution offers a convenient method for tracking the keys and fobs used to open vehicles. Each TRAC-Box uses Bluetooth to communicate with Supra’s eKEY® mobile app on smartphones carried by Guaranty sales associates. They enter a PIN code into the app to unlock the keybox and acquire the keys from a built-in container. “Each time an authorized user opens a keybox, a record of the activity is stored in both the TRAC-Box and eKEY app, so managers and users can see the history of openings without having to return to the office,” said André Lalande, vice president – sales, Supra. “The app also transmits activity to the TRACcess Manager software to create an audit trail providing greater visibility to lock-up activities.” Removing access permissions TRACcess Manager also provides prompt visibility to the activity and frequency of RV showings, enabling management to see which RVs are most popular and reposition vehicles more efficiently. Notifications can also be set to alert management of keybox activity on specific inventory they want to monitor, for example, each time the 10 most expensive RVs are accessed. The TRAC-Box system also promotes accountability among associates and saves time looking for misplaced keys needed to show vehicles. When salespeople leave the company, managers can remove access permissions in easy, streamlined steps via any internet-connected computer or mobile device within a few minutes. Supra is featuring the TRAC-Box system in its virtual exhibit at the RV Dealers Virtual Convention & Expo, Nov. 9-20, 2020.
Almabani General Contractors has a long robust history which began when the founders established the company in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in October of 1972. They are a family-owned company that remains true to its founders’ spirit, covenants, innovation and perseverance. Almabani General Contractors For four and a half decades, Almabani have been building up their expertise to serve an ever more demanding and challenging construction need in the region. In a prosperous economy fueled by the oil boom, the company was positioned to participate in the execution of some of the most prestigious landmark projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have the highest classification in all civil and electrical works with in-house capabilities to develop design and value engineer solutions to cater to the customers’ needs. They have proudly executed projects from complex infrastructure works to heavy civil engineering structures. Engaged in highly competitive turnkey projects The company is engaged in highly competitive turnkey projects worth several billion dollars The company is engaged in highly competitive turnkey projects worth several billion dollars. To this end, Almabani continues to invest in quality, value engineering, proactive and talented people, endeavoring at all times to satisfy their customer’s expectations and to best serve the welfare of the society. Replacing decentralized access control systems Almabani General Contractors was using traditional decentralized access control & time-attendance systems in which they were facing the issue of excessive manual work and inaccurate data. Because of the poor quality of the existing biometric sensors, user fingerprints weren't recognized in the first attempt and the process was annoying and time-consuming. As the company is dealing with construction work, one of the major challenges for construction workers is accurate attendance marking despite dirty/stained fingers. Moreover, due to existing software limitations, many policies of access control and time-attendance couldn’t be implemented. As the existing system was decentralized, on-field employees faced issues while marking their attendance. Only basic reports could be prepared for attendance and access whereas they needed more customized reports because of various shifts and different contract workers. Moreover, third party integration was not possible in the earlier system. And last, but not the least, they were unsatisfied with support from the past supplier. Matrix access control and time-attendance solution Matrix solutions experts collaborated with the decision heads to understand the exact requirement and provide a cost-effective solution. After a comprehensive discussion, Matrix offered a centralized solution for all the locations. With the Matrix time-attendance and access control solution, the customer has overcome all the challenges. Now, it's possible for them to get control of all the locations from a single central location. Multispectral fingerprint sensor technology To stop inaccurate attendance marking, Matrix offered multispectral fingerprint sensor technology To overcome the problem of inaccurate attendance marking due to dirty/stained fingers, Matrix provided the multispectral fingerprint sensor technology which contains information about both the surface and the subsurface features of the skin. This technology gives a high throughput. They also acquired Palm Vein Reader for contactless authentication verification for the higher authorities. The solution from Matrix is fully customized with multiple shifts and attendance policies that can be applied to individual users. The smart mobile application for attendance marking and leave applications facilitate easy operation for users. Now, the customer is able to get the report of each employee with 200 different options. Auto-push technology With the auto-push technology, there is no need to transfer the data into the server. The data is automatically transferred to the server in real-time. The customer also got flexibility in terms of connectivity with 3G and WiFi options. The system from Matrix also provided the flexibility for easy integration with the third-party payroll system. Result: Accuracy in attendance management Centralized time-attendance and access control management High possibility of third-party integration User-friendly and fast process because of good quality sensor OEM support Contactless and advanced technology Flexibility in terms of integration, connectivity and credentials Products Offered: COSEC DOOR PVR – Palm Vein based Door Controller COSEC PATH DCFE – Biometric Fingerprint + RFID based Door Controller COSEC PATH DCCE – RFID based Door Controller COSEC PANEL LITE – Site Controller for Advanced Access Control Features COSEC LE PLATFORM – For 1500 + Users COSEC LE TAM – Time-Attendance Application Module COSEC LE ACM – Access Control Module COSEC LE ESS – Employees Self Service Module (Mobile App) COSEC INTEGRATION - Integration with In-house Payroll Software
Redlands Unified School District, located in San Bernardino Country, California, hosts more than 21,000 students across its 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools. School security is paramount for the district. It’s taken extra precautions, including a focus on lockdown procedures across its locations and the district office. K-12 school security can be challenging, especially with the uniqueness of Redlands High School. It’s an older facility that was constructed more than 100 years ago. Additionally, students must walk outside to pass from building to building, and there’s a street that cuts through campus. A crosswalk is needed to get from one end to the other. The district needed to take all of this into account when assessing their security plan. Securing every layer The district’s security team took into consideration each physical layer that needed protection The district’s security team took into consideration each physical layer that needed protection at Redlands High School, from the district level to the classroom and many openings in between. Yet, there was a common area that needed addressed. There’s a fence around the campus to protect the property perimeter. And Redlands High School is extending that fence to include the cross walk, which will help funnel guests into a single point of entry, the main office. Schlage AD Series electronic locks This opening, as well as many other perimeter openings that lead into offices, gyms, auditoriums, libraries and hallways in the school feature Schlage AD Series electronic locks that are connected to the district’s access control system. At the classroom layer, each door has mechanical hardware that can be locked from the inside. Redlands School District has started district-wide implementation of a full-feature enterprise access control system through Vanderbilt, which is capable of operating across different schools, campuses and other locations. RedRock Security and Cabling, Inc. (RedRock Technologies) had implemented and continue to support the solution. Electronic access control “When these systems are managed district-wide, schools have the ability to lock down a door at a time, a school at a time or an entire district at a time,” said Jennifer Martin, Director of System Sales at Vanderbilt, adding “It’s all about protecting the students.” With electronic access control on main points of entry and many assembly areas, plus secure mechanical locks on classroom doors, Redlands High School had most of the layers prepared in the event of a lockdown event. However, the school’s cafeteria, Terrier Hall, was a vulnerable space. “Hundreds of students use Terrier Hall,” said James Fotia, Director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation at Redlands Unified School District, adding “In a lockdown situation, that’s a place where we would secure the kids and keep them safe by clustering them into that area and having it locked down. But it was secured by one AD-400 lock on a pair of double doors. That was incomplete.” Von Duprin RU retrofit option Allegion representatives recommended a new K-12 security solution from Von Duprin To demonstrate how the school could affordably secure big banks of doors without having a reader on each opening, Allegion representatives recommended a new K-12 security solution from Von Duprin. The Von Duprin RU retrofit option is a cost-effective solution for openings with existing exit devices that enables remote locking, or un-dogging, for centralized lock down. This enables staff to initiate an immediate campus-wide lockdown from a secured location instead of putting themselves in harm’s way to manually undog exit-device doors throughout the building. Integrated request to exit (RX), latch bolt (LX) and door position switch (DPS) signals are included to provide real-time remote monitoring and confirmation of the security status of the door. Wireless connectivity to ENGAGE Gateway There’s also a ‘dog on next exit’ feature, which is a scheduled function sent to the device to allow the door to remain unlocked the first time someone depresses the push pad of the exit device to leave that space. The door is secured in the evening, and with ‘dog on next exit’ enabled at a specific time in the morning, staff simply depresses the push pad to unlock the door. This makes unlocking the door simple for scheduled events and daily lock-up easy by reducing the need to distribute keys to staff. Additionally, the RU option connects wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy to Allegion’s ENGAGE Gateway which provides real-time, bi-directional communication to the access control software. RU is a modular battery powered kit that can be added on to existing Von Duprin 98/99 and 33A/35A Series devices. Enhanced door security “The Von Duprin RU option fits into special applications that haven’t been addressed in the past,” said Russell Gamble, End User Consultant at Allegion, adding “There are several openings that will benefit from this secure lockdown solution.” At Redlands High School, the Von Duprin solution is installed on five doors that surround the cafeteria area. There are main entry doors where students enter, plug in their lunch numbers and go through the buffet line. From there, they enter the multi-purpose space, where there are four additional doors, which are secured with the RU options. Access control solution with lockdown capabilities There was also interest in implementing the security solution at the district office There was also interest in implementing the security solution at the district office. The school wanted to pilot the solution there to experience the product and its features, especially the lockdown capabilities. And being that the building is so unique, it has a need for enhanced security. “The district office is a converted warehouse, so it was never really meant for meetings and offices,” said Fotia, adding “Having the Von Duprin RU has been a wonderful fit in providing security in a not so ideal building.” Integration with Vanderbilt solution The main building is built U-shaped and the loading dock is in the middle. In the middle there is a courtyard area with four portable offices. The Von Duprin RU is on each portable door. At both locations, the Von Duprin RU options are integrated into the Vanderbilt solution and part of the broader lockdown solution. “The greatest thing about this solution is schools now have a way to electronically add control to doors that used to be manually monitored,” said Jennifer Martin. Remote lockdown and door access control She adds, “With the Von Duprin 99 Series, doors allow for free egress, but they aren’t usually monitored by access-controlled systems. If someone has it dogged so the doors are unlocked or propped open, someone has to manually go around and lock each door.” This solution ensures staff is alerted if a door is propped open and enables the ability to lock down the door remotely, even if it was previously mechanically unlocked. Enhanced lockdown capabilities for peace of mind Redlands Unified School District is pleased with the addition of the Von Duprin RU Redlands Unified School District is pleased with the addition of the Von Duprin RU to its school security plan. Integrating the solution with the Vanderbilt system, along with the Schlage electronic locks on campus has improved lockdown. According to the district’s Coordinator of Operations and Facility Planning, Ken Morse, it’s also improved peace of mind because there are less errors and more control over these areas. In the cafeteria, Terrier Hall, they’re able to secure doors that used to be manually controlled. This eliminates human error and the risk of manually locking doors in an emergency. Fotia said the school also likes the budget-savings aspect since it was able to simply upgrade the hardware it already had in place versus purchasing entirely new equipment. He’s excited to see other areas where the Von Duprin RU might be a fit. “The security measures and the lockdown capabilities are the main reasons we wanted the Von Duprin product,” said Morse, adding “Putting something on a schedule is also a great bonus because of how many common-use facilities we have. We’ve found that scheduling it is relatively easy. The doors are open only when they need to be. We have everything scheduled at the district office so it’s open during our hours, which has been a huge benefit.”
Location monitoring and personal safety specialist, Vismo has announced that its app, Vismo App helped users during the recent protests in Portland, Oregon, by guiding them to safety in offices and hotels, after they had activated the panic button on their app, while on their way to or from their place of work. “Vismo is no stranger to being used to protect employees in potentially harmful situations,” said Craig Swallow, Vismo Chief Executive Officer (CEO), adding “And in the past few months our app has proved invaluable to users who were at risk of being caught up in some of the hundreds of protests that have taken place in Portland, and elsewhere.” Vismo App The Vismo App alerted security teams immediately, as soon as users pressed its panic button The Vismo App, used by staff of many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies as a duty of care precaution by their employers, alerted security teams immediately, as soon as users pressed its panic button. The teams received the alert via text, email and an automated phone call, and quickly reacted to users’ situations, by using Vismo’s secure portal to identify a place of safety for them. In addition, the teams quickly received an audio clip, sent automatically from the users’ smartphones, which allowed them to get a clearer understanding of the situations at hand. Extensive deployment and use of app “In these instances, the safest places were hotels and offices unaffected, and likely to remain unaffected, by protests,” said Craig Swallow, adding “Security teams were able to monitor users’ movements and their precise location, and stay in contact with them throughout, from the moment they gave them advice on where to go until they had reached a place of safety. Then, until they reached home or work.” Although the Vismo App is used by staff of many large and medium size companies, typically in the oil and gas, healthcare and retail sectors, other employers who have achieved significant benefits include NGOs, whose staff and volunteers can work in extreme at-risk situations and media companies, whose reporters and camera operators can likewise be at extreme risk, in locations around the world. Key features of the Vismo App and portal Via the Vismo secure portal, security teams can place virtual geo-fences around areas of high-risk or safety Via the Vismo secure portal, and as part of its incident management capability, security teams can place virtual geo-fences around areas of high-risk or safety, depending on where app users are and/or will be. When users enter or exit these areas, the security teams will receive an automatic text and email alert of this movement, allowing them to take immediate and necessary actions to ensure the users are as safe as possible. To help identify potentially dangerous areas/neighborhoods, organizations’ security teams can add points of interest (POI) to a map on the portal to help protect employees and denote safe places (e.g. approved hotels or office locations). Individual points of interest, POIs can be added by a team, to take account of specific areas which are relevant to the organization. These POIs can include known high-risk areas and safe havens. Reliable and efficient way of mass communication Vital information can be communicated to app users to avoid troublesome areas or guide them to a safe destination. Vismo provides organizations with a reliable and efficient way of communicating with any number of employees, for example during an unfolding unstable situation in a specific geographic area by providing mass notification service. These notifications can include a personalized message with response options to quickly see if anyone requires assistance. Notifications can be sent via text, email, in-app and an automated phone call, which can be set to loop continuously until a response is received.
Interface Security Systems, a pioneering managed services provider that delivers managed network, business security and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, recently provided Thrive Restaurant Group, one of Applebee’s largest franchisees in the US, with scalable network, communications and security services. Business security systems platform The new solutions include a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades, 4G/LTE wireless capability, unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and a secure and standardized business security systems platform. As a significant update to Thrive’s outdated legacy systems, the new Interface solution unclogs productivity bottlenecks and gives the flexibility the restaurant chain needs to address changing customer preferences. Managing multiple network and voice providers We needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice, and security for all locations" With 81 restaurants across the United States, Thrive found itself struggling with challenges common to many geographically distributed businesses, including managing multiple network and voice providers, dealing with outdated CCTV hardware, and a lack of accountability from vendors. “With 81 restaurants across ten states, we needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice, and security for all locations,” explains Brian Houchin, Director of IT for Thrive Restaurant Group. Troubleshooting technical issues When it came to managing vendors, Thrive simply had too many. Troubleshooting technical issues was challenging as it was difficult to pin accountability on a specific vendor. In addition, tracking invoices, service credits and administering multiple vendors was an inefficient and time-consuming exercise every month. Outdated hardware and changing regulations also posed a challenge. Unreliable CCTV equipment left the restaurants, employees and customers vulnerable to security risks on-premises. Constantly evolving Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance rules meant Brian Houchin had to devote hours of his limited bandwidth to keep up with the latest changes and updates, so that Thrive could avoid major penalties and security threats. With the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupting Thrive’s business, restaurant staff found it challenging to handle sudden spikes in call volumes, as they had to work with a legacy phone system that was not scalable. The lack of 4G wireless coverage, outside of the restaurant premises made curbside pickup and take-out services impossible to manage. Secure, scalable network and communications Thrive turned to Interface to implement a secure, scalable network and communications backbone that would unclog the productivity bottlenecks and give the flexibility the restaurant chain needed to cater to changing customer needs. Interface implemented a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades to guarantee seamless connectivity between all of Thrive’s locations. To deliver a better guest experience for customers calling in with their orders and enabling curbside pickup and payment, Interface rolled out a 4G/LTE wireless network that also doubled up as a backup when the primary network failed. UCaas with cloud-based VoIP implemented With managed network services from Interface, Brian and Thrive never have to worry about PCI compliance With managed network services from Interface, Brian and Thrive never have to worry about PCI compliance. Interface also implemented unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and auto-attendant features for Thrive’s locations to seamlessly route high volumes of customer calls to their dedicated order center. “We wanted to take the call-in experience out of the individual restaurants and put it into the hands of professionals who weren’t in a hurry to get off the phone,” explains Brian Houchin, adding “The VoIP service from Interface lets us take additional orders, dramatically improving our customer experience and increasing revenue.” Deploying secure video surveillance platform To solve the limitations of Thrive’s legacy CCTV infrastructure, Interface delivered a secure video surveillance platform with easy remote viewing from any location and simplified access management to boost restaurant security. Thrive’s partnership with Interface has allowed the restaurant group to focus more on their growth strategy and long-term plans. By consolidating their SD-WAN, UCaaS, CCTV and 4G/LTE services with Interface, Thrive gets real accountability without having to deal with the vendor run-around. Perhaps the greatest advantage is Thrive’s ability to aggressively expand, confident that Interface’s 24/7 managed services will always be ready to support their growth. “We’ve had a chance to test out multiple vendors for network, communications and business security and Interface definitely has provided us the best experience,” concludes Houchin.
Round table discussion
The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analyzed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
Ten years is a long time, but it seems to pass in an instant in the world of security. In terms of technology, 2010 is ages ago. Changes in the market have been transformative during that decade, and we called on our Expert Panel Roundtable to highlight some of those changes. We asked this week’s panelists: What was the biggest change in the security industry in the 2010-2019 decade?
In the digital age, software is a component of almost all systems, including those that drive the physical security market. A trend toward hardware commoditization is making the role of software even more central to providing value to security solutions. Software developments make more things possible and drive innovation in the market. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How do software improvements drive physical security?