One of the UK’s fastest growing installers of electronic security systems, Zicam Integrated Security Ltd, has selected Hanwha Techwin as its preferred single source provider of IP network video surveillance solutions. "As a systems integrator which is always looking to innovate and provide our end-user clients with added value from their video surveillance systems, we have decided to work ever more closely with Hanwha Techwin,” said David Salisbury, Managing Director of West Midland...
ASIS International, the association for security management professionals, has opened registration for Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2021, a hybrid event taking place 27-29 September that will offer a digital experience on the GSX online platform as well as an in-person event at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL. Online and digital experience “Building resilience among security professionals begins with knowledge, and GSX is where global security p...
Rachelle Loyear, Vice President of Innovation and Product Management, G4S Americas and Marko Šukilović CPP, Business Development Director and G4S Academy Partner, G4S Serbia, will be sharing their expertise and hosting a discussion on Enterprise Security Risk Management, on Tuesday, 4th May, at the Security Summit 2021. “The summit is a welcome opportunity after a difficult year to actively engage with our fellow security professionals and share our experiences and expertise,&rdquo...
The Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) has announced plans to increase its global reach and expand its range of services and benefits for members. The association, whose membership already includes security staff at 228 higher education institutions worldwide, is targeting significant expansion in the Americas, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The development plans were confirmed as Les Allan takes over as the new Chairman and Ollie Curran becomes Vice-Chairman. Driv...
On May 20 at 12:00 p.m. EEST, Ajax Systems will hold a big virtual presentation of new products. Partners and users will be able to see the new devices that the company has been working on lately and learn everything about them. Ajax Special Event 2021 This time, the show will be broadcasted in 13 languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, French, German, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian, and Russian. Attendees will also have the opportunity to choose their...
Sensor solution provider, HENSOLDT is now a member of the United Nations Global Compact. The company is committed to the ten universal sustainability principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. By signing the Global Compact, HENSOLDT is making visible how important sustainable business practices are for the company. It is the world's largest initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate governance. Group-wide sustainability initiative As part of...
A security solutions developer, designer, and provider, Videcon, has launched their new Concept Pro ColourSmart camera range, providing clear full-color imagery 24 hours a day. The complete CCTV range combines Videcon’s Deep Learning technology and powerful software, to allow footage to always remain in color with clear and crisp imagery, day, or night. ColourSmart Features The ColourSmart cameras have a larger lens and image sensor which allows them to let in as much light as possible, software that provides a crisp and clear image, and warm white light which will activate if there isn’t sufficient ambient lighting to keep the image in color. Each camera is also equipped with Videcon’s innovative Deep Learning technology, which means that sensors focus only on events that matter and it can distinguish people and vehicles from other moving objects. Camera system for everyone Videcon Managing Director, Matt Rushall said, “We’re so excited to be launching our new Concept Pro ColourSmart range and we hope this is the start of our customers seeing their security in an entirely new way.” “Our team have been hard at work ensuring the cameras have the best color imagery possible, along with our Deep Learning software and its compatibility with other security systems to make it a security system that’s for everyone at all times.”
Eagle Eye Networks, the globally renowned company in cloud video surveillance solutions, has released a best practices guide ‘Analog Video to Cloud’ for business owners who are interested in economical ways to upgrade legacy analog video surveillance cameras to a modern, digital cloud system, and how existing cameras can be reused in the process. This report details the advantages of managing analog camera video in the Cloud, including lower costs and greater flexibility, outlines video-to-cloud upgrade options and provides readers with actionable information to successfully transition analog camera video to the Cloud, without having to ‘rip and replace’ the entire system. Analog cameras to the Cloud A recent Eagle Eye Networks study showed that analog cameras to the Cloud grew in 2020, A recent Eagle Eye Networks study showed that analog cameras to the Cloud grew in 2020, after four consecutive years of decline, likely driven by improvements in encoder technology and the need to remotely access and view video surveillance systems, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Often the lowest-cost, highest-results approach to upgrading analog video camera systems is to start by switching from outdated on-premises video recording software and hardware to a cyber-secure, cloud-based video management system (VMS) with AI-enabled video analytics,” said Ken Francis, the President of Eagle Eye Networks. Enhancing physical security and built-in cyber security Ken Francis adds, “Business owners want to understand how an upgrade works and how to save costs so they can start taking advantage of improved physical security, built-in cyber security, and all the benefits of the Cloud, including important data derived from video that can help improve business operations and customer service.” Topics covered in the guide include, cloud architecture, payment models, cameras and coaxial cable alternatives, and HD analog cameras.
ONVIF, the renowned global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, has announced that more than 20,000 security products are now conformant to its various profiles. This new milestone underscores the strong market demand for interoperability of hardware and software offerings and the relevance of ONVIF as a recognized driver of open standards within physical security. conformant security products “The mission of ONVIF is simple – To provide and promote open interfaces that in turn will increase freedom of choice for end users,” said Leonid Levit, Chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee, adding “Achieving this milestone means there is no question that the market regards interoperability, through ONVIF conformance, to be a fundamental requirement in our industry.” Much of the growth relating to the number of conformant products has happened within the past few years, as ONVIF surpassed 10,000 conformant products in 2018. This indicates a clear commitment from ONVIF members and the industry, at large, to building IP-based products and systems that enable users to build, change and grow their system free of proprietary constraints. Meeting interoperability needs ONVIF conformant products are produced only by ONVIF member companies and must support at least one ONVIF profile Forthcoming ONVIF profiles, specifically the Profile M Release Candidate for metadata, which is to be finalized later in 2021, are expected to drive further growth in the number of conformant products to meet interoperability needs in new operational environments, such as in the Cloud and with systems running advanced analytics, powered by Artificial Intelligence. ONVIF conformant products are produced only by ONVIF member companies and must support at least one ONVIF profile. Products must be registered under the ONVIF list of conformant products, in order to be considered conformant. The conformant products page on the ONVIF website is the only authoritative list of ONVIF conformant products. Interoperability for IP-based physical security products Founded in 2008, ONVIF is a globally recognized industry forum, driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organization has a global member base of established cameras, Video Management System (VMS) and access control companies, and more than 20,000 profile conformant products. ONVIF offers Profile S for streaming video, Profile G for recording and storage, Profile C for physical access control, Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality, Profile A for broader access control configuration and Profile T for advanced streaming. ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions that ONVIF conformant products can provide. Further information about ONVIF conformant products, including member companies and their conformant models, is available on the organization’s official website.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the agenda and speaker lineup for Part 1 of the 2021 SIA GovSummit, its annual public policy and government security technology conference. SIA GovSummit 2021 will be held as a three-part virtual conference, with sessions held on April 28, June 9 and Sept 21, 2021. SIA GovSummit 2021 Each year, SIA GovSummit brings together government security leaders with private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and local agencies. The 2021 virtual conference will examine emerging policy trends, the government’s technology needs and changes in the risk environment that shape the development of products and advanced systems integration. Government use of security technology SIA GovSummit delivers high-quality insights and information on how government uses security technology" “SIA GovSummit delivers high-quality insights and information on how government uses security technology to meet evolving challenges and succeed across a wide spectrum of missions,” said Jake Parker, Senior Director of Government Relations at SIA. Jake adds, “With this new three-part virtual format in 2021, we look forward to offering the program to a wide spectrum of interested attendees and delving even deeper into the most important issues for federal, state and local government security practitioners.” Full-day virtual conference program Part 1 of the 2021 virtual conference will be held as a full-day program on Wednesday, April 28, kicking off at 10 a.m. EDT, with a keynote presentation from U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Katko will share insights on security challenges and how we can address them as a nation. Additional session topics will include: The American Rescue Plan’s impact on deployment of safety and security technologies What the DOD Cyber security Maturity Model Certification means for contractors and security suppliers The role of the SAFETY Act under the Biden administration Protecting public buildings against violent civil unrest Lessons learned from the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, Tennessee Facility safety, COVID-19 and identity and facility management technologies Audio security technology’s use in government facility applications Speakers for the virtual event include: William Braniff, Director, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Daryle Hernandez, Chief, Interagency Security Committee, Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security David Kelly, Deputy Director, Security Management Group, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Anna Mansueti, Director of Diversity and Gender Equity, Platinum East Gabriel Russell, Regional Director, Federal Protective Service Free event for all government staff This event is free for all government employees, including U.S. and international federal, state, county and municipal-level staff, plus all military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. SIA GovSummit is considered a ‘widely attended gathering’ and complies with all relevant event guidelines. Each industry attendee can choose to register for the April 28 session only or purchase an All Access Pass to unlock all three GovSummit events for a discounted rate.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a globally renowned provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, has announced its upcoming VIGIL CLOUD webinar, targeted at existing and prospective 3xLOGIC integrators/installers. VIGIL CLOUD webinar Join a fast-paced, hour-long webinar on April 15th, when 3xLOGIC’s experts introduce the company’s latest, evolving technology release, VIGIL CLOUD. 3xLOGIC is expanding their ecosystem into the Cloud with product features designed to harness the power, scalability, and ease of use that are the hallmarks of cloud services. Key learning objectives for the webinar demonstrate what an excellent investment this one-hour session will be. The topics covered by the VIGIL CLOUD webinar will include: How VIGIL CLOUD’s RMR potential can supercharge the dealer’s bottom line? What are the most promising target markets for immediate sales success? The questions to ask prospects to reveal why they need VIGIL CLOUD? How CLOUD’s unique advantages create high and sustainable margins for the dealer? How do we prepare to sell VIGIL CLOUD to customers? Introducing the Personal Dealer Toolkit. VIGIL CLOUD VIGIL CLOUD extends the award-winning VIGIL Video Management System into the Cloud, with enhancements designed to harness the power, scalability, and ease of use that are the hallmarks of cloud services. Building on the company’s 20+ years of experience in recording and managing video, VIGIL CLOUD brings a new paradigm to physical security, through a powerful case management system that empowers users to share critical information and insights, easily and quickly with team members and other stakeholders. Leveraging cloud technology’s low cost of deployment, VIGIL CLOUD delivers the holistic view of that a security system looks for.
Independent cyber security business, Adarma has announced the appointment of Cheryl Martin as the new Head of its Security Consulting practice. The UK-based organization has offices in both, London and Edinburgh, and is one of the largest independent security services companies in the United Kingdom. Security consulting services expert Adarma works to safeguard businesses from ever-evolving cyber threats, through a range of security consulting & managed security services, with deep domain expertise in threat management and managed detection and response solutions. This is the latest in a series of senior appointments at Adarma, following the announcement of ex-Cisco Global Vice President, John Maynard’s appointment as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in November 2020. IT, technology and cyber security veteran Cheryl joins the firm from Gartner Consulting, where as Senior Managing Director, she led the firm’s financial services arm. She has more than 25 years’ experience in IT, technology and cyber security, privacy and operational resilience. Prior to her role at Gartner, Cheryl was an Equity Partner in EY’s EMEA Financial Services Technology Advisory team, leading on the development of numerous technology, risk and cyber security strategies. Efficient tactician in cyber security space Cheryl will also be responsible for driving Adarma’s equality, diversity and inclusion ambitions She has also implemented complex transformation programs in large scale risk and compliance for global institutions, and has helped a number of UK FTSE organizations respond to cyber incidents. Alongside her role as Head of Security Consulting, Cheryl will also be responsible for driving Adarma’s equality, diversity and inclusion ambitions, having previously been the diversity lead on the Gartner Global Board of Directors, as well as Co-chair for EY’s Women in Technology Community. Cheryl Martin, Head of Security Consulting at Adarma, said “This role really plays to my core strength of cyber security and I hope that the knowledge and experiences I’ve gained in my previous positions will aid Adarma as it continues to expand its offerings.” Bespoke advisory services Cherly adds “The business prides itself on the strength of its relationships with clients, and the bespoke advisory services it can provide as a result. I look forward to working in partnership with Adarma’s impressive client roster as we help them navigate the changing threat landscape.” John Maynard, the Chief Executive Officer at Adarma, said “Cheryl represents an extremely valuable addition to the Adarma team as we look to scale our business while retaining the outstanding levels of customer service we are renowned for. Her outstanding knowledge of the financial services space and the complex regulatory landscape will also enable her to create more bespoke and multi-faceted solutions to benefit both our existing and prospective clients across a broad range of industries.”
You are not alone: operators everywhere are asking themselves what are they going to do? How are they going to get back to business, and fast? How are they going to cost-effectively operate with all the new safety requirements that have arisen as a result of COVID? How are they going to ensure it all gets done for the safety of customers and staff? How are they going to protect their brand from the negative exposure of being identified as a property with a reputation for COVID? The economic impact of COVID is expected to hit brick and mortar businesses the worst, as their businesses are dependent on people being physically present. According to a recent report by RBC, it is estimated that 70% of Americans expect to avoid public spaces, 57% of Canadians will be unwilling to attend conferences without a vaccine and 63% of people will prefer to drive vs fly. This means, that for those of you in the business of travel, conferences, co-working spaces, retail stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants, sports arenas, hotels, cruises, airlines, resorts, theme parks, long-term care, education, etc. in the blink of an eye your approach to on-site safety just changed. To ensure your property is safe and secure, it is no longer just about access control, video surveillance and intruder alarms; it is also about sanitisation To get back to business and operating at full capacity after COVID, operations must find a way to eliminate the fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of their customers and employees. The affect of COVID-19 on safety and security To safely get back to business, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasis that all operations need a pandemic response planJust like cybersecurity has had a direct impact on the IT strategy and budget, COVID will have a direct hit on the operations strategy and budget. To ensure your property is safe and secure, it is no longer just about access control, video surveillance and intruder alarms; it is also about sanitization, the lines between the security and maintenance just blurred. From customers, to employees, to government regulators, to management, the focus is now on operations and the sanitization policies, procedures and actions of the team. To put this change of priority into perspective, six months ago, sanitisation was not top of mind for people. Why, because it was not a life or death issue, we had other first world problems to garner our attention. From an operations perspective if we enabled a sanitization issue to become significant enough to impact the safety of customers and staff and therefore the brand, then that was an operational choice versus a mistake. Standards for sanitisation Just like cybersecurity has had a direct impact on the IT strategy and budget, COVID will have a direct hit on the operations strategy and budgetThe issue is, today while the operating priority of sanitization has significantly increased, it is not measured and managed to the same standard as the other safety and security concerns across a business. Also, important to consider, while people may not hold an operation liable during this first wave, we can guarantee they are not going to be as understanding during the second wave or a future pandemic. To safely get back to business, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Health and Safety regulators emphasis that all operations need a pandemic response plan and should follow these simple guidelines: Develop your plan Implement your plan Maintain and revise your plan While this sounds simple enough, keep in mind that requirements are constantly evolving and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, or at least until all the research is in. To create an emergency response plan for a pandemic, properties must first determine what needs to be sanitized. The current requirements dictate that most surfaces and objects will just need a normal routine cleaning, it is only the frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and COVID has changed the game and made the digital transformation of operating procedures not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a must-havedoorknobs that will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects. The challenge is when you step back and consider what people touch in a day; the list quickly grows. After only 30 minutes, I easily came up with a list of over 60 items that one could call ‘high touch’! If you think about it, the list is extensive; telephones, doorknobs, drawer handles, counters, pens, keypads, computers, etc. and the list is only going to get longer as the research comes in. The challenge is when you step back and consider what people touch in a day; the list quickly grows Operating efficiency If we don’t change our ways, not only will we be doomed to continue making the same mistakes, but we will continue to be lost in paper and filing cabinetsTo scope the impact on operations as part of the plan, we must then find and identify all of those high touch things across the property. If we then combine that with the fact that CDC requires that all high touch locations must not only be cleaned more often, but that they also require that each location is first cleaned with soap and water, and then disinfected for one minute before finally being wiped down. This means a one-minute task just turned into a 4-minute task, that must now be completed multiple times a day. From a resourcing perspective this adds up quickly, and operating efficiency must be a priority. Not to mention it is going to get very complicated to measure and manage especially. Post COVID rules Getting back to business is going to be complicated; lots to do, lots of moving parts and no technology to help. The fundamental challenge to keep in mind is not that the sanitization requirements have evolved, the real issue is that for most businesses this area has been left unchanged for generations. Still today most rely on checklists, logbooks and inspections to manage the responsibilities of our front-line workers, which might have been fine before COVID. Post-COVID the rules have changed and so should the approach to managing physical operating compliance on the front lines. COVID like most physical operating requirements is tactical, detailed and specific; broad strokes, the honor system and inspections are not going to cut it. The digital transformation COVID has changed the game and made the digital transformation of operating procedures not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a must-have. If we don’t change our ways, not only will we be doomed to continue making the same mistakes, but we will continue to be lost in paper, filing cabinets filled with checklists, never to be seen again. Only with the right data can we significantly improve the operational decisions necessary to accelerate our return to full operating capacity. At the end of the day, to fully recover, operations must eliminate the fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of customers and employees, only then can we really get back to business.
When we popped the champagne to celebrate the start of a new year in January, not many could predict that less than three months later, we’d be facing a global pandemic and the economic challenges that a worldwide lockdown would bring. In conversations over the last several weeks, reports from integrators have vacillated between being flush with work or fearful that projects were drying up — without a whole lot in the middle. But in these conversations, a central theme has emerged: diversification. My background was heavily rooted in security integration but in the last 10 years shifted to risk — both management and mitigation practices — and this emerged long before I began my career in security. It isn’t a new phenomenon for companies to be looking at the risk management strategies they had in place and rethinking their direction. This global pandemic, and the effects it has had on the workforce, has significantly altered what many organizations deem “normal” day-to-day operations, meaning that many organizations are asking one key question: “Can my business withstand this?” The challenge exists in ensuring asset security For many end users, the challenge exists in ensuring asset security in locations that are experiencing low occupancy as a result of work-from-home policies or in vacant facilities altogether. For integrators, there is a balance between continuing to install projects while keeping the health and well-being of technicians and employees top-of-mind. Considering these factors, business resiliency in times of crisis can be built by integrators implementing the following strategies: Diversify the portfolio As an industry, it’s safe to say that the winds of change are beginning to shift away from solely “per project” to more recurring monthly revenue (RMR) business models — and today’s crisis may be the catalyst for more of this change. Integrators that embraced this model in the early days, despite the hurdles that a transition like this brings, are seeing the benefits of this move. In economic downturns, RMR allows an organization to map out incoming revenue streams and ensures money will continue to come in despite restrictions on new products and investments from customers. Offer more service-based products Part of diversifying a portfolio involves engaging in a more service-based approach to business. Establishing a monitoring services department, integrating a cloud-based video and/or access control service into the mix, or bringing more system monitoring services in play can go a long way in offering more than hardware-driven sales. We’ve talked a lot in the last several years about so many organizations transitioning from large capital expenditures (CAPEX) to more operational expenditures (OPEX) and the opportunities this presents to integrators; now is the time for providers to harness this trend for the health of their business. Emphasize the management Through managed services, the value for the customer is that integrators take on the diagnostics, testing, remote monitoring and more — all via the cloud or hosted models, which means fewer “truck rolls” and costs associated. In the current environment, saving a visit to a site can help protect technicians. For new customers, the external management of a system can mean all the difference as there are a number of end users that don’t need a headache that legacy systems create as it relates to maintenance, updates and manpower oversight. Securing an integrator’s business can mean being able to serve customers by diagnosing and triaging issues quickly and highlighting the value provided in day-to-day management. Look at new vertical markets From a resilience perspective, critical infrastructure and government-related markets, such as water and energy, and local and municipal customers rarely see a reduction in spending amidst a downturn, which can make these markets a solid investment for integrators. While some of the regulatory requirements in place, such as adherence to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and GSA contract guidelines, may be daunting, the ability for firms to weather the storm by serving these markets can help integrators see continued success. Understand your books One of the first things that integrators must do before a crisis hits is to understand their balance sheet. So many integrator firms are built on the premise of being really exceptional at highly technical and complicated installations, which is why they are good at what they do. But the real challenge is the balance of this ability with the skills needed to grasp business continuity from a bookkeeping and planning perspective. Act as a consultant One of the biggest challenges for customers during a crisis is making quick decisions that can impact the rest of the organization both in the short- and long-term. In the security environment and the status of where the world is currently, the needs customers had a month ago are far different than now, so acting as a consultant and working with them to address their concerns through existing technology — or recommending new solutions — can mean all the difference in building a relationship with existing customers or in working with new ones. Offer services that leverage existing investments So many customers out there today have invested heavily in video surveillance equipment and hardware that they want to ensure will be around for the long haul. Investing in new equipment can be a real hindrance in normal circumstances, much less those we’re currently facing, so it’s critical that more open solutions are offered to customers. For example, cloud-based video offerings that leverage existing cameras and allow end users to configure them with the touch of a button are a value-added benefit that can favor integrators in the long run. Continue training your staff Right now, while many integrators see a slow down taking place, it’s critical that those with the means to do so offer more value to end users by incorporating continued education and training for technicians. This can go a long way in making the services offered more appealing to customers. Integrators who set aside resources to train staff and encourage certifications are building a foundation for success. There’s no way that integrators can address the demands placed on them without investing in the people within their organization. Integrators and security leaders are tasked now with the added complexity of navigating a worldwide crisis. While so many see the challenges ahead, there is opportunity within these challenges to take forward-thinking business practices and implement them on a broader scale. Doing so can have the potential to change the face of the industry as we know it.
Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From Kindergartens to Colleges Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognizes outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education. Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customized solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customized solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles. Sensitive data leakage Since the lockdown came into effect, organizations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organizations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession. One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever. Good cybersecurity hygiene Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more" With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Work-Life balance In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and traveling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working. Video conferencing platforms Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question. The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office. Online training courses Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organizations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Virtual trade show ‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasizing both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry. In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself “In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.” Cloud-Based platform As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimize impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilizing webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
As the new Chief Executive Officer of Milestone Systems, Thomas Jensen pledges to continue the company’s focus on protecting people and assets and to help organizations gain insight and optimize their business processes. Seeking to fulfill Milestone’s mission to ‘Make the World See,’ Jensen will maintain Milestone’s approach of being an open video management system (VMS) platform and having an open company culture. End-User communities “I will also be working to expand Milestone’s VMS into new areas and applications —for example, to monitor beach erosion as the climate continues to warm up around the world,” says Jensen. “I believe the future of VMS is about bridging the gap between security and applications that go beyond security.” Jensen’s previous experience in the IT industry contributes to his understanding of the entire channel Jensen’s previous experience in the IT industry contributes to his understanding of the entire channel. His experience as a generalist – extending beyond IT – enables understanding of the business side of things in addition to the skills, strengths and motivations of the people who work at Milestone, its channel, partner networks and the end-user communities. People-First approach “One crucial thing my career taught me is the importance of your team members,” he says. “A former manager once told me that success is the sum of the success of your team. And, luckily, Milestone already has a strong culture and people-first approach. This is one of the things that attracted me to this job.” The new CEO plans to spend his first 90 days building relationships and getting to know the company and the team members. He will be present in conversations with all Milestone people as well as partners and system integrators. “I want to ensure there is continuity and resilience so that my joining Milestone is a seamless transition,” Jensen says. “Furthermore, my focus will be to further build on the strengths of Milestone to create long-term sustainable growth.” Video-Enabled insights Jensen sees security through two lenses: on one hand, protecting people and property, and on the other, providing video-enabled insights for public and private companies to be able to make better decisions. On the protection side, businesses have room to grow as technologies move to provide more affordable, more powerful, and more interoperable solutions. A transformative element in the future evolution of video management is the cloud Regarding video-enabled insights, there is great potential, and Milestone is forging deeper relationships with partners and system integrators of important verticals such as cities, education, transportation, and retail. A transformative element in the future evolution of video management is the cloud, which will advance the deployment of technologies across the board. Best software integrations “I will be spending time working with our organization and partners to evolve Milestone’s cloud strategy and cloud partnerships to address the opportunities that lie ahead,” says Jensen. “I also think that Milestone’s belief in being open and giving integrators and end-users the freedom to choose the best software integrations available in the market is a philosophy that we've held dear from the very beginning — and this will become critical in the future as VMS solutions continue to evolve.” Safer business environment As the COVID-19 pandemic has raged on, Milestone Systems has continued its operation as usual, deploying safety measurements as needed to protect both employees and the partners they work with. COVID-19 has impacted everyone, every business and every government and organization around the world, says Jensen. We’re working with our partners to design a safer business environment with VMS-enabled solutions" “I think it taught us all a lesson in empathy and how we need to respect differences in behavior, regulations and compliance, customs and even each other,” he says. “At Milestone, we’re working with our partners to design a safer business environment with VMS-enabled solutions for social distancing, queue management, and contact tracing.” Creating security solutions “The past 50 years of digital technology and the past 20 years of IP technology have taught us that technologies eventually converge, and in some cases merge,” says Jensen. “Sometimes functions merge and channels converge, other times it’s the networks that come closer together, but none of this is absolute and universal.” “This is why we need to listen and learn from each other and be respectful of differences in the industry and the channel—particularly cultural and regional differences.” Jensen adds: “The technology company of the future — which I believe Milestone is becoming — will not dictate solutions but will instead partner with IT and security stakeholders to create security solutions that meet each customer’s unique challenge and environment.”
Many employers faced a need to ramp up hiring of drivers to meet a higher demand for product deliveries and transportation logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the demand for drivers, employers had to make quick hiring decisions while also ensuring products were still being delivered in a timely fashion. Safe work environment Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and contractors. It is therefore important to limit exposing drivers to risk, to put in place proper safety and security protocols, and to clearly outline them in company policies. Whether an employee or contractor, these drivers represent the brand they work for. If they do not adhere to company-mandated safety and security rules, because the business did not make them aware or they intentionally did not comply by acting with malice, this can put the drivers, other employees, customers and the company at risk financially, legally and with regard to their reputation. Adherence to safety protocols Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business" “This need to hire drivers quickly resulted in many businesses lowering their standards and accepting certain risks to meet the increased demand. Operating in haste typically results in forced errors and mistakes within the business, potentially leading to harmful events and a damaged brand reputation,” stated Thomas Kopecky, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Ontic Technologies (Ontic), a unified protective intelligence software platform. In the conversation presented below, Kopecky outlines the safety and compliance requirements needed to manage the risks while meeting the demand for drivers. Q: What risks do employers face as they ramp up hiring to meet higher demand for drivers? Thomas Kopecky: There have been instances in which a transportation contractor with multiple violations has simply established the business under a new name but continues to operate dangerously. Hastily hiring such a firm without proper enhanced vetting increases the risk from a safety, as well as a business continuity standpoint. Having to terminate a contract and replace a contractor midway can also have significant financial repercussions. In addition to problems created by executing too quickly, employers are now required both to mitigate their own general liability risks and to manage the perceived risk they may create due to the pandemic. For example, if a delivery driver tests positive for COVID-19, there is the potential they have also exposed customers. Employers must consider contactless delivery or other methods and protocols to mitigate this presumed risk of the pandemic. Q: What are the elements of safety and compliance involved in onboarding new drivers? Thomas Kopecky: When onboarding new drivers, corporations must think about more than clean background checks and adequate infrastructure. Whether employees or contractors, organizations must focus on what other risks the drivers bring with them. As part of this review, an open source scrub should be conducted at the outset to discover the driver’s online activity. Through this exercise, a whole host of questions can be addressed including, for example, whether their morals and values align with those of the company. Are they involved with fringe or radical interest groups? Do their actions conflict with the culture of the organization, and could they have a negative impact? These are all questions that employers should be considering when hiring new drivers or contracting a new company. Q: What tools are available to help companies vet their driver fleets and how can these tools make a difference? Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags Thomas Kopecky: To vet their driver fleets, corporations can use several tools and resources that will strengthen the organization’s overall security. Ideally this is a software platform that brings all this information into one place so vetting, real-time data and concerning activities are not siloed but can be connected in order to assess potential risks and threats. Logically, businesses should consider reviewing Department of Transportation Records, which allow organizations to check whether drivers are licensed and appropriately insured. Employers should also consider State Business Records for potential red flags, such as whether an organization is delinquent or no longer functioning in a given state. Finally, it’s beneficial to review civil records as these can highlight any active or past cases associated with an organization. This includes fraud, bankruptcy, poor business practises, and more. Q: What should be the standard methodology to investigate and collect data on new driver programs? Thomas Kopecky: Corporate culture and company policies impact the level of vetting required (determined by company policy), which varies from business to business. Quite often, most valuable investigative content is associated with an actual fleet company owner and not a recently created business entity so it behooves corporations to research this information first. Then verify the information provided is correct, and whether any other conflicting information exists. As previously noted, employers should review civil and criminal records at the state level and cases at the federal level, as it is often the fleet company or owner involved in litigation that could reflect negatively on a brand. Media coverage and consumer complaints are another critical source for negative mentions that may not always appear in public records. You should also ask if the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates this contract or driver; and if they were once a provider and are now re-applying, is it under a new name? If the answer is yes to either question, it will be necessary to check DOT records for adequate licensing or insurance coverage to ensure providers applying under a new name aren’t trying to circumvent the vetting process. Q: What are the privacy concerns, and how can potential employers ensure they do not violate issues of privacy as they vet drivers (and/or other employees)? Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner Thomas Kopecky: Businesses must conduct their operations in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Employers often dictate their own guidelines and requirements from company to company. Companies must ensure they follow the law and handle data used for vetting driver fleets in a manner compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). When utilizing software platforms, those that aggregate public record data in real-time and efficiently to provide actionable insights will be key for protecting corporate driver fleets and businesses overall. Q: How is addressing these issues different in the case of a contracted service versus a company employee? Thomas Kopecky: Addressing these issues will vary from company to company, but it will be important for clients' legal counsel to help interpret the law in the respective state they operate in and make this final determination. This will help shape policy and the employer’s compliance requirements in the area of operation. In some jurisdictions, contractors are vetted and treated like employees who are protected by FCRA. In contrast, there are more broad interpretations of what level of vetting and continuous monitoring can take place on contractors versus employees in other jurisdictions. Q: What is at risk if companies fail to address these issues? Thomas Kopecky: If companies fail to address security issues with managing their driver fleets, they risk major liability, business continuity and brand reputation. Every employee and contractor is in essence an ambassador of the brand, and in many instances, they are the only customer-facing representative for the enterprise. Imagine you are a contractor driving for a major delivery service. If you were to get into an accident and tragically kill someone driving their branded truck, the repercussions of that accident would harm the brand as opposed to the small contracting company by which you are employed. This can have a disastrous impact on the enterprise, both from a reputation and financial standpoint. When proactive steps are not taken to evaluate fleet companies or their owners, this can be viewed as negligence. Consider another example: A brand hires a driver company that has committed fraud while operating under another company’s name. What is the brand’s cost to conduct an initial onboarding assessment of this company versus the cost of investigating an issue, terminating the contract, and dealing with any potential litigation that might follow? The latter is clearly the financial burden. Corporations must proactively address risk associated with their driver fleets to mitigate risk before it occurs. Q: What is the biggest misconception (in the industry and/or the public at large) about employee vetting requirements? Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company Thomas Kopecky: We have passed the days where everything is all about criminal background checks and instant alerts when a driver receives a DUI. We are entering a world where business continuity and resiliency are necessary. Companies are so reliant on contracted services or seasonal employee pools that if that roster of operators were found to be unsuitable, the business itself would not meet the demands of its customers. Before the digital age, people only understood the driver vetting process to be based around a search of felony convictions. Enhanced vetting today often includes looking into a contractor’s background or its company from a different vantage point. Employers must begin to think about litigation history, negative media coverage and vocal social platforms, history of poor business practices or fraud, and more. These are factors that need to be considered for a business to mitigate risk and maintain continuity of service in an era where timeliness and instant gratification are highly valued.
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimizing their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimizing the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
Midway Car Rental, the privately-owned car rental company in Southern California, caters to both an exclusive and expansive clientele, including VIPs, high-end hotels, and replacement vendors like dealerships and body shops. The company currently owns and operates 15 locations and has aggressive plans for expansion, with 6 or 7 more sites planned for this calendar year. Challenges faced With a portfolio that includes Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Jaguars, Midway can have up to a million dollars of assets parked on any of its lots. Some of the company’s newest locations lack secure perimeter fencing. Sean Perez, Midway’s General Manager, says, “We needed to protect our vehicles, but even more importantly, we had to ensure the safety of our employees and clients.” The problem became acute when Midway opened a new location to provide loaner and replacement vehicles for an adjacent dealership partner. Prior to Midway’s arrival, the lot had been populated by vagrants and the homeless who would sleep in and around the cars parked there. “When we took over the property, we needed to provide a safe and secure environment where we could conduct business,” Perez explains. “There were issues with vandalism and graffiti. Some of the displaced homeless would get aggressive. We needed a proactive solution – a way to stop these incidents from happening rather than trying to prosecute the individuals after the damage was done.” Expansion opportunities Traditionally, Midway’s properties have been less exposed, with electronically secure gates or fences that restrict access. However, as Midway’s expansion plans include growing alignment with business partners like dealerships, many future sites will likely face similar security challenges. To address this situation, the company sought: A scalable system that could grow incrementally with Midway’s expansion Flexible technology that could be moved to new sites with minimal effort A technology partner capable of servicing and supporting a long-term solution The ability to outsource monitoring services in the near future “I tend to be conservative,” says Perez. “I wanted to start off slow and then, when comfortable that we’d found both the right partner and technology, have the ability to really scale up.” Solution recommended Midway Car Rental deployed ROSA units, Responsive Observation Security Agents, manufactured by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD). “I have to tell you, I was a bit skeptical at first about these ROSA units,” says Perez. “You can stick an armed guard out there, but the idea that a technology device could provide both consistent monitoring and serve as a deterrent system seemed like a stretch. However, our two ROSAs are really helping us protect our assets. In very short order, our problem decreased and our situation has improved dramatically.” AI-based ROSA solution ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes. Its AI-driven security systems include human and vehicle detection, license plate recognition, responsive digital signage and audio messaging, and complete integration with RAD’s software suite notification and response library. Two-way communication is optimized for cellular, including live video from ROSA’s dual high-resolution, full-color, always-on cameras. “The folks from RAD sent out an engineer to help us determine where to mount the ROSA units by identifying areas on our site that are most exposed to potential vandalism or other threats,” says Perez. The devices are highly visible, featuring scrolling LED text, colorful neon ribbons, and two video cameras. Automated detection and response ROSA may be programmed to display welcome messages or marketing messages during business hours, along with a reminder to visitors that the property is under surveillance. When it detects the motion of humans or vehicles on the lot, it sends an alert to Perez and his team along with an associated video clip, keeping them well informed of activity happening in real-time. During off-hours, ROSA's automated response kicks in. Its friendly daytime messaging is replaced with a more stern warning to trespassers. Upon detecting a human or moving vehicle, ROSA responds with flashing red lights and a visual warning to vacate the property immediately. If ROSA continues to detect a presence, more lights, sirens, and a pre-recorded audio message add a sense of urgency. Monitoring personnel, who have been alerted of the event and have access to live video, can also issue pointed commands over ROSA's loudspeaker. Ultimately, if the police must be summoned, the encounter has been thoroughly documented and recorded. Effective security Perez describes ROSA's effectiveness as a deterrent. "I've watched when people encounter the system. Initially, their reaction is one of shock and awe. When the unit goes off with its lights flashing and they hear those verbal commands, they’re terrified. They look like they've seen a ghost. Literally, in less than ten days after we put those things out, the word had spread to stay away. The vagrants were gone. It was like night and day." Independent monitoring Currently, Midway's management has chosen to monitor the system themselves. Perez explains, "Initially, I was getting alerts somewhat often, but they quickly tapered off. At this point, they're infrequent. With just these two units in place, plus two more scheduled to go up in Newport Beach in the coming weeks, we can handle the monitoring independently.” “Within the next year or two, as we open new locations and add more units, we'll take advantage of RAD's monitoring services. We had that in mind when we went this route – that with our continued growth, we would eventually leverage that option." Customer-friendly solution The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly "The system is very intuitive and customer-friendly," adds Perez. "I've used other systems that are really cumbersome. The RAD SOC dashboard is nothing like that. The ease-of-use is amazing." So is the deployment process. As ROSA requires nothing more than the power to operate, it is truly plugged and play. "We had them installed and received training all within a few hours on one day," says Perez. "We haven't run into any issues, but if we do, the relationship we've built with the RAD team is so good that I can call on them at any time for assistance. They are very, very customer-centric." Evaluating ROI Midway Car Rental quantifies the value ROSA delivers in several ways, including monetarily, a reduction in crime, and improved peace of mind. Perez elaborates, "Thanks to the ROSA units, we've addressed all sorts of issues. Damage to vehicles, graffiti on the exterior of the building, the homeless tampering with our electrical outlets to charge their phones, trash left around the property – that’s all gone since we put the ROSAs in. There are also important intangibles that you really can't put a price tag on, like an improvement in employee well-being and productivity because our staff now feels safe at work." Easy installation RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems The system's scalability and flexibility ensure that Midway's investment will continue to pay dividends. Perez says, "We're growing so fast, we're trying to put flagpoles in the markets where we identify a need, but that doesn't mean we're locking ourselves into long-term leases." "Down the road, if we decide to move locations, our ROSAs move with us. We heavily factored their ability to easily install, uninstall, and re-install when deciding to go with this technology." Consistent with Midway's plans, RAD's cloud-based software simplifies the management of multi-site systems. As new Midway locations open and ROSA units are installed, management and monitoring of all devices can occur through one login to the centralized RAD SOC dashboard. Alert notifications include the location of the activated unit. RAD’s additional services In addition to ROSA, RAD offers a suite of other products that share the same platform for delivering automated remote services, including some that are more appropriate for indoor use. Should Midway encounter new security challenges in the future, they can expand their system with other RAD devices. "For now, ROSA is what fits our needs best, but I've seen some of those other units, and they look pretty cool," says Perez. ROSA subscription Midway uses the ROSA units through RAD's subscription model. The company pays low monthly tuition that covers unlimited use of the devices, software and software updates, maintenance, and technical support. Their out-of-pocket equals a small fraction of what hiring a security guard would cost. When asked whether Perez recommends the system to others, his answer is concise. "It's a no-brainer!" he laughs. "Knock-on-wood, we've been near without incident for the four months since the ROSAs went up. I attribute that to the units' effectiveness."
One of the largest universities in the capital, London South Bank University, commissioned Optyma Security Systems to upgrade its access control database with SALTO SPACE management software. London South Bank University (LSBU) is one of London’s largest and oldest universities. Since 1892 it has been improving the lives of students, businesses, and the local community. As a cosmopolitan university with over 18,000 students, it draws people from over 130 countries. Incumbent security specialists The university has two Campuses and four Halls of Residences, these being: Southwark Campus based at Elephant and Castle and consisting of numerous separate buildings and Havering Campus in Essex. They also have a third campus opening in September 2021 in Croydon. Optyma have been the incumbent security specialists providing maintenance Following a site review, it was recommended that the current SALTO system should be upgraded to the latest versions. Optyma have been the incumbent security specialists providing maintenance and reactive repairs for the CCTV, access control, and integrated intruder alarms across the whole campus since 2017. They also provide support with the integration of the access control and student enrollment/service databases. Potential blacklisting problems For this exercise, the principal aims were to: eliminate any potential blacklisting problems; bring the existing technology up to date; future proof the system, and install a web-based solution to allow for easier access. To achieve this, work was carried out at LSBU during the lockdown period to ensure downtime was kept to a minimum, with SALTO extracting all information required to be replicated in the new database and then incorporating and rebuilding a new database for the customer. SPACE was installed on the new SALTO server and connected to the rebuilt database. Optyma engineers then carried out the initialization of all hardware and re-enrollment of user cards across the campus. Access control technology SALTO’s SPACE smart access control technology platform is a fully integrated electronic locking and software solution that brings seamless access to every door in any building in an efficient, safe, secure, and accessible way. It provides an intuitive user-centric software interface that makes it simple and secure to incorporate access control It provides an intuitive user-centric software interface that makes it simple and secure to incorporate access control for any type of building size or user need. It’s powerful and flexible software allows each system operator to set up their own preferences: capabilities and security level, language settings, and others. It also offers several ways to integrate with third-party systems. This includes interfaces and APIs for connecting SALTO smart lock technology to video surveillance, vehicle access, biometrics, time & attendance, escape door control systems, intrusion alarm, and more. Ensuring seamless integration The new database now enables the university to easily manage and secure its access plan across all its facilities from a single point if needed. Their new SALTO SPACE software is designed to be easy and intuitive to use, allowing system administrators to manage doors and user keys in just a few easy steps, and in real-time. Optyma’s Managing Director, Ian Broadbridge, says: “Optyma are proud to continue to help keep our major educational establishments such as LSBU, safe and secure. Our team of skilled engineers and highly trained technical support staff worked closely with them, as our valued partners in the education sector, to ensure seamless integration and a fully functioning system without disruption to the universities essential work.”
The new CCTV system installed by WLS at Vauxhall City Farm, is according to its Chief Executive, Monica Tyler, being used to its full potential to ensure that the 50,000 visitors who visit the farm every year, are able to safely enjoy all its facilities. “Our previous CCTV was well past its ‘use-by’ date. Although it was still working, it lacked the functionality we needed to ensure around the clock security of our animals and property, as well as ensuring compliance with our health & safety procedures,” said Monica. Central urban farms “The new CCTV system, generously donated and installed by WLS, has transformed our working lives by providing us with peace of mind in knowing we can monitor every area of the farm, including our recently opened eco-garden, without any blind spots.” “The quality of the images captured by the Dahua cameras enable us to see close up detail of any activity or incident, whilst I and other colleagues are able to use an app running on our mobile phones to remotely keep an eye on the farm when it is closed and if there is an alarm event.” Located within earshot of Big Ben, Vauxhall City Farm is one of the oldest and most central urban farms in London. Local and wider communities The farm was established in 1976 when a group of architects began working on a vacant plot of land The farm was established in 1976 when a group of architects began working on a vacant plot of land and made it available to local residents for them to grow vegetables and care for livestock. From those humble beginnings, the farm has continually grown and is now the home for over 100 animals, a riding center and a cafe, and with the enthusiastic support of a large team of volunteers, conducts dozens of education and youth projects. As a registered charity, the farm’s main objectives are to enhance the health, well-being and life chances of children and disadvantaged people, as well as create enjoyment and recreational opportunities for those from our local and wider communities. Intruder detection systems WLS’s connection with Vauxhall City Farm spans over 15 years, during which it has installed and maintained the farm’s fire and intruder detection systems, as well as the now superseded CCTV system. Alison Ewen, the wife of WLS’s managing director, also has a close bond with the farm. Having been a volunteer for over 20 years, Alison has been appointed a trustee specializing in Riding for the Disabled activities. “As a company which has enjoyed considerable success installing a great number of electronic security solutions across London, we believe we have a corporate responsibility to give something back to the community,” said Jeremy Ewen. “We have welcomed the opportunity to do so by supporting a charity which we have such high regard for, in respect of the support, education and enjoyment it gives to so many people.”
A national center of excellence for children and young people with mental health needs has been secured by a comprehensive security system from IDIS, the largest in country video surveillance manufacturer in South Korea. The £7 million refurbishment of Austen House, a 14-bed forensic hospital in Hampshire run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, prioritized keeping both staff and patients safe from harm, given their specialized needs. Security systems integrator As the sole specialist National Health Service (NHS) unit of its kind in southern England, its refurbishment means vulnerable young people and their families no longer have to travel hundreds of miles to receive vital support. Video surveillance was key to allow incidents to be investigated and care practices to be monitored and improved. The solution had to cover all social and communal areas with no blind spots, be easy for non-specialist staff to use, and would have to comply with NHS cybersecurity requirements. Specialist security systems integrator ISD Tech selected IDIS technology as the best value and most robust solution, and one that would be the quickest and least disruptive to install. Outdated security setup The enhanced video coverage improves both standards of care and accountability Working with main contractor Kier Construction, ISD Tech and IDIS replaced an outdated security setup with an affordable cybersecure system which is easy to operate and maintain. It allows caregivers a complete overview of all internal and external communal areas at Austen House, including education facilities, music and sensory spaces, a gym and an art studio, as well as higher-risk isolation rooms. The enhanced video coverage improves both standards of care and accountability. It provides a complete record of events at the facility, making it easy for incidents to be investigated and video evidence to be provided, should it be required. Active tampering alarms Almost 100 IDIS 12MP Super Fisheye cameras, plus a mix of 5MP bullet and PTZ cameras, connected to 32-channel NVRs guarantee evidential-standard video coverage with a 360º view of all communal areas, a choice of 6 view modes and the ability to dewarp footage after the event. The 5MP bullet and PTZ cameras provide 24-hour coverage of the multi-use games area, gardens, car parks and perimeter. Built-in IR enables night-time image capture at distances of up to 30m, and the cameras enable intelligent functions such as active tampering alarms, motion detection, auto-tracking, and trip zones. All the IDIS cameras benefit from true DirectIP® plug-and-play set-up, which allowed the ISD Tech engineers to complete their work ahead of schedule. The ‘one-click’ set-up is faster and eliminates the cybersecurity risks associated with manual password entry. Local area networks IDIS Smart Failover protection ensures 24/7 continued recording, even during network instability or drop-out IDIS Smart Failover protection ensures 24/7 continued recording, even during network instability or drop-out. And, crucially, the Trust can link the new system to its local area networks without increasing the risk of hacking, thanks to IDIS’s use of proprietary software, which is inherently cybersecure. “Our upgraded IDIS video solution makes it easy for our clinical teams to review incidents quickly and work with external investigators whenever required,” said Tracey Edwards, Head of Security at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. “It’s not just an important tool for improving patient care, it allows us to maintain full public confidence and accountability.” Supporting clinical care Nicky Stokes, Managing Director of ISD Tech, commented: “We were impressed by the consultative approach of IDIS right from the initial design and planning, through installation to commissioning, and the ongoing support that they provide both to ISD Tech and the Trust. IDIS technology even helped speed up the installation so that we could deliver the project ahead of time.” IDIS Europe Sales Director Jamie Barnfield added: “This is the 4th major project that IDIS has completed for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and it is part of one of the biggest refurbishments of its kind ever undertaken in the NHS. Not only is our video tech enhancing safety and security for patients and staff, it also supports clinical care and rehabilitation, which benefits the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Marian University is a school with a mission. Having transitioned from a liberal arts college to a comprehensive university in 2009, it has become one of the private education institutions in Indiana. And that’s not all: the university has ambitious goals to grow its programs and broaden its mandate even further. Currently, the school has over 500 staff members and more than 3,500 students from across the United States and around the world. And by 2025, it aims to double its number of annual graduates. Located just ten minutes away from downtown Indianapolis, Marian University’s close proximity to a major center of American business, finance and culture is a major selling point. Managing increased traffic The city is also experiencing an influx of technology companies, making it the fifth-fastest growing municipality in the country for high-tech jobs. However, as in many booming regions, economic success isn’t evenly distributed. While some areas have experienced revitalization, others have seen social unrest and rising crime rates. As such, while Marian University’s campus has the privilege of sitting near a bustling city, these challenges aren’t far away. That fact — along with the increasing number of staff and students on the premises — motivated the university to upgrade their security systems to help keep both its people and the wider community safe. Marian University’s previous security system wasn’t up to the task of monitoring the premises, staff and students — so how would it manage increased traffic and additional properties as the school met its growth targets? High definition cameras ACC™ software is much more than a centralized source from which to review recorded video The ongoing maintenance and licensing costs were also prohibitive. Administrators were at a loss of what to do until the security integrator they were working with suggested Avigilon. With high definition cameras and built-in analytics that seamlessly integrated with Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software, it offered a comprehensive, intelligent and scalable solution. Additionally, the licensing fee was a one-time cost, saving the school both time and money. As the security team at Marian University found out, ACC™ software is much more than a centralized source from which to review recorded video. Not only can security operators analyze the video by zooming in and rewinding in real-time, but Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology leverages AI technology to help them instantly locate specific individuals and vehicles of interest. Advanced video analytics Furthermore, Unusual Motion Detection (UMD) technology uses advanced video analytics to flag events that may require further investigation and filter them in the recorded video timeline, allowing security operators to find and review these instances faster. All of this was made possible with the installation of intelligent Avigilon cameras and network video recorders (NVR) across the campus. “The organization is tremendous to work with,” says Ray Stanley, CIO/Vice President of Marian University. “I have never worked with a security company where I've been able to pick up the phone and have someone to help solve issues and make sure we are using the product the right way so that we see good value for our money. This was true not just in the beginning, their support exists right to this day.” Intelligent security system Avigilon coordinates with local third-party integrators to make sure the system is functioning Instead of sending Marian University setup instructions and leaving the security and IT teams to figure it out for themselves, Avigilon coordinates with local third-party integrators to make sure the system is functioning and actively helps operators learn how to utilize it to its full potential. Personnel will come onsite to work with staff and guarantee they know how to get the most from their various video analytics platforms and solutions. The main buildings at Marian University may be surrounded by quiet woodlands and wetlands, but the campus isn’t as isolated as it appears. Being a mere ten minutes away from the middle of Indianapolis, the school’s property borders several roadways, businesses and residential neighborhoods that all benefit from having an intelligent security system in the vicinity. Keeping the community safe “The great quality video has helped keep the community safe, without a doubt,” says Ray Stanley, CIO/Vice President of Marian University. “In one case, local police were able to identify a suspect involved in an incident at a nearby gas station because of our Avigilon system. Being able to help our surrounding community stay safe is absolutely an added benefit for us.” With its Avigilon solution, the Marian University campus has become an extra set of eyes for law enforcement. UMD and Avigilon Appearance Search technologies mean that criminals who make the mistake of moving across campus have a much higher chance of being detected by the authorities who can then quickly track their route to see where they have been and where they are headed. Potentially-Dangerous behavior It enables security personnel to spot and deter any potentially-dangerous behavior on a daily basis With its user-friendly interface and high-quality video, the security installation not only helps with police work and prosecution, but it enables security personnel to spot and deter any potentially-dangerous behavior on a daily basis, creating a safer environment for students and staff. "For example, we were able to see a suspect driving at a high rate of speed across campus, and with Appearance Search, we were able to see where the vehicle went and identify the suspect,” says Chief Richard Robertson, Marian University Police Department. “That helped us to save a lot of trouble and potential injuries.” Protecting local communities In the United States, Indianapolis looms large not only as the crossroads of the country — two-thirds of Americans can drive to the city in ten hours or less — but also as a hub of innovation and investment. However, safety continues to be a top-of-mind issue as crime increases in certain sections of the city. This is why Marian University chose Avigilon: as the school aims to provide a safe space for students and prepare them for the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer, there’s also a deep-seated obligation to help protect local communities and public spaces. Avigilon allows it to do both — and even better, the solution will be able to scale with the university as it evolves and expands in the years ahead.
Round table discussion
When technology performs a required task effectively, there is little reason to upgrade to the ‘next big thing’. In this regard, the physical security market is notoriously slow to change. Much of yesterday’s most robust and dependable equipment is still in place at thousands of customer sites, still performing as well as the day it was installed. However, there comes a point when any technology becomes outdated. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies are becoming outdated or obsolete?
Internet-based training has long provided a less-expensive alternative to in-person classroom time. There are even universities that provide most or all of their instruction online. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded acceptance even more and increased usage of internet-based meeting and learning tools. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote or Internet-based training benefit the physical security market?
Traditionally, security industry professionals have often come from backgrounds in law enforcement or the military. However, the industry is changing, and today’s security professionals can benefit from a variety of backgrounds and educational disciplines. The industry’s emphasis on technology solutions suggests a need for more students of computer science, engineering and other technology fields. The closer integration of security with related disciplines within the enterprise suggests a need to prepare through a broad array of educational pursuits. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of higher education to create the next generation of physical security leaders?
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