Allied Universal®, a security and facility services company in North America, received a letter of appreciation from the U.S. Department of Justice’s United States Marshals Service. The letter of appreciation was regarding the apprehension of Gerald Hunter, who was #1 on the Most Wanted list of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) St. Louis Strike Force’s West Central Region. Crucial security intelligence This is due to his suspected role in the illegal traffi...
Alcatraz Founder and CEO Vince Gaydarzhiev will be featured in the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) AcceleRISE 2020 virtual conference on Friday, July 31, 2020. The event highlights rising young security professionals under the age of 40. It is designed for tomorrow’s security providers to share their current successes in the field, gain momentum for the future, and connect with other rising stars in the industry. “Our RISE committee has truly outdone themselves in design...
Today’s market wants access control systems that are always available, scalable, and integrated with other security solutions like video and intrusion systems to ensure the highest security and safety levels. At the same time, these systems must be easy to configure and use. With the introduction of the Access Management System 3.0, Bosch meets all of these requirements. Always available for security Access Management System 3.0 is designed to be available at all times. Its resilient des...
The general public doesn’t give much thought to the important role of security officers in creating and promoting safer environments. The low-profile work of security officers is vital to protecting people, places and property. During the pandemic, newer aspects to that role have emerged. Security personnel have been called on to perform diverse tasks such as managing queues at the supermarket, safeguarding testing centers and hospitals, ensuring food deliveries, and supporting police pa...
There are a number of factors that may be contributing to security officers having one of the highest death rates of any occupation, according to a new report commissioned by Corps Security from Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International. The Office for National Statistics published data in May which revealed that security officers have one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 - 45.7 deaths per 100,000 people. The seven issues the research points are as below: Low-paid jobs, proximi...
Bitglass, the Next-Gen Cloud Security Company, announced a deepened integration with Duo Security, now part of Cisco, a renowned multi-factor authentication (MFA) and Zero Trust solution provider. Together, Bitglass and Duo balance enterprise-grade access control and data protection with the flexibility and seamless user experience needed to support a global, remote, and multi-device workforce. Telecommuting, accessing corporate data from personal devices, and cloud-first ecosystems have quickl...
An innovative and highly accurate people counting technology from OPTEX, a global provider of sensing and detection, is at the heart of a series of new solutions to support social distancing in business and commercial environments as the COVID-19-enforced lockdown is being gradually lifted throughout the Europe, Middle and Africa region. Thanks to embedding the latest Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol into OPTEX’s proven Akribos VC-1020 people counting system, three new solutions from IA Connects, Vaelsys and Xenometric have now been developed. The protocol enables data to be communicated in real time and for the people count to be instantaneously updated – a crucial factor in the live monitoring of people flow. People counting sensor To help employers comply with the governmental rules and create a safe environment for employees to return to, IA Connects offers a Social Distancing Room Management technology. It works by monitoring the number of people and occupancy level of common areas such as waiting rooms, meeting rooms, office lobbies, restrooms etc and displaying the appropriate instruction. It might, for example, state ‘do not enter’, ‘cleaning required,’ or ‘free to go,’ or any other such status that the customer defines. The solution comprises the OPTEX VC-1020 people counting sensor, WiFi Gateways including IA Connects’ MobiusFlow software, and display units mounted by the doors. The solution can communicate with any Building Management System (BMS) and capable of accurately monitoring occupancy levels during and after lockdown. Analytics and performance tool Vaelsys has developed EasyCount and updated their existing Datacentre people counting solution To manage the flow of people inside retail outlets as they steadily re-open, Vaelsys has developed EasyCount and updated their existing Datacentre people counting solution to provide more functionalities regarding the social distancing. EasyCount enables smaller retail outlets to display (with a clear ‘go’/ ‘wait’ dashboard) the number of people allowed into their store at any one time and the average waiting time. Datacentre is a scalable solution for larger and multi-site retailers that serves both as a people counter but also a more sophisticated analytics and performance tool. It has now integrated the MQTT protocol of the Akribos to provide real-time information and occupancy dashboards. Retail analysis purposes The third of the new solutions comes from Xenometric which has further developed its range of people counting and occupancy-level software packages to integrate the MQTT protocol and provide dashboards suited for enforcing the social distancing. The entry-level solution, Xenoview, is suited to independent retailers or smaller buildings. It collects the real time count data from up to four Akribos, displays the occupancy levels on an integrated dashboard, and issue instructions to ‘go’ or ‘wait’. The count data is stored locally and can also be used for retail analysis purposes. For larger or multisite applications, Xenometric has developed the X-Server. Similar to Xenoview in terms of its functionality, it differs in that it is fully scalable and includes an SQL database and full reporting functionalities. It can be hosted on the customer’s server or on the Cloud. Access and control line Many businesses and retailers are using their security staff to manage access and control line volumes" Masaya Kida, Managing Director at OPTEX Europe (EMEA Headquarters) says the new solutions provide installers with an opportunity beyond security: “Many businesses and retailers are using their security staff to manage access and control line volumes and as such, installers have an opportunity to become the principal point of contact for bringing new solutions regarding occupancy level and social distancing." "Most of the solutions presented are not only solving the issue created by the pandemic, but also solve the ongoing challenge of efficiently and accurately monitoring occupancy levels within a busy working or retail environment.” Real-time analytics The OPTEX Akribos VC-1020 is a real-time and multi-directional indoor people counter that can provide more than 98% accuracy. It ignores trollies and baskets and manages groups of individuals by tracking the direction or every individual, even if they are loitering. It now features MQTT, a lightweight messaging open protocol, which manages telemetry information, and is used in Man-to-Machine M2M and IoT devices for real-time analytics, preventive maintenance monitoring etc. The MQTT protocol allows the people count to be immediately transmitted to the integrated occupancy software platform and gives an exact picture on how many people are in the shop, room or a specific area.
Healthcare professionals around the world are beginning to identify a range of COVID-19 related mental health issues that are certain to create new challenges for society. People are in serious distress about the pandemic itself and because of the devastating second- and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and security professionals must be prepared to meet the challenges of a ‘new normal,’ according to Safe Zone Technologies President Mike Anderson. Prolonged period of imposed self-Isolation “The new normal is not the old normal,” predicted Anderson. “Society is emerging from a prolonged period of imposed self-isolation. This has been an incredibly stressful time and the behavioral stresses created as a result remain to be seen. Security professionals everywhere need to be prepared to meet the challenges of a post-COVID shutdown world.” A variety of mental health issues relate directly to people who have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, as well as those not infected but still forced into sheltered quarantine. Recent research published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal noted that other coronaviruses in the past have passed into the central nervous systems of patients and called for more research to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the human brain and nervous system. Better monitoring of mental health The Journal specifically called for better monitoring of mental health as part of a coordinated response to the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic quarantine closures, estimates are that more than 40 million people have lost their jobs in this country. Unemployment leads to desperation and desperate people often make poor choices" “We don’t know when these jobs will be coming back, or if they even will. The depressed economy is taking an unprecedented toll. Unemployment leads to desperation and desperate people often make poor choices. Historically, these situations have resulted in an increase in violence, including armed robberies, suicides and active shootings,” Anderson stressed. The documented pandemic spike in firearm sales adds to the concern. NBC News recently reported that gun sales and federal background checks rose to an all-time high in March. Automated gunfire detection systems In fact, the FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March, the highest total since the national instant check system for buyers was launched in 1998 and 1.1 million higher than the number conducted in March 2019. “The combination of rapidly increasing gun sales and the emergence of COVID-related mental health concerns means that schools, houses of worship, malls, movie theatres and owners of every other venue where people gather must take all available steps to enhance the safety and security of their spaces – especially as these venues begin to reopen after prolonged closures.” The default for physical security has long been locking the doors and adding surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, in more than 30% of venues where active shooter events occurred, installed access control systems were ineffective or defeated. Additional statistics show that, on average, the 911 call is not made for five minutes. This is time that is critical to saving lives. Automated gunfire detection systems are an active means of alerting law enforcement and first responders in the critical first moments of a tragedy.
OM Security has achieved a host of benefits having consolidated its employee scheduling, patrol monitoring and mobile workforce management software requirements into a single system. Since the adoption of SmartTask, the company has gained increased visibility and control over 200 security officers, significantly freeing up management time, reducing operating costs and enhancing service delivery The cloud-based solution has also enabled OM Security to launch a new 24/7 control room, further expanding its offering to customers. Monitor proof of attendance “By automating and streamlining our workforce-based processes using SmartTask, we are able to make best use of our resources while providing complete transparency for customers,” explains Jay Jagatia, Director of OM Security. “The software delivers a comprehensive management, rostering and reporting system that is giving us a clear edge and competitive advantage within the security sector.” SmartTask is helping manage the team of security officers – across the OM Security and Premier Services operations SmartTask is helping manage the team of security officers – across the OM Security and Premier Services operations – that provide a range of services including manned guarding, mobile patrol and alarm response at over 1,000 customer sites nationwide. SmartTask enabled smartphones monitor proof of attendance, completed patrol checkpoints and lone worker welfare, with GPS location tracking for added accuracy and peace of mind. Streamlining financial procedures Security officers are also using SmartForms to capture electronic data and photos for inspections and incident reporting. OM Security’s new 24/7 control room, based at its office location in Ascot, Berkshire, is underpinned by SmartTask’s live monitoring features. The interactive dashboard provides a real-time overview of how the business is performing, with at-a-glance visibility of the attendance, status and safety of all security guards. This allows the company to quickly identify where critical issues are occurring and respond quickly to any operational issues and incident alerts. SmartTask’s advanced reporting is also enabling OM Security to simplify billing and payroll by accessing highly accurate timesheet and activity data. Not only is this streamlining financial procedures, but also dramatically reducing incoming calls from customers and staff including a 98 per cent and 80 per cent reduction respectively in invoice and wage queries. Individual security operation The team at SmartTask are continually looking at new ways to update and improve the software" Meanwhile, clients can access service delivery details through a web-based customer portal for total transparency of their individual security operation. “With SmartTask, we have everything needed, right at our fingertips, so we can maximize performance, operate efficiently and share vital information both internally and with customers. However, the team at SmartTask are continually looking at new ways to update and improve the software, developing new features based on our feedback and their detailed understanding of the marketplace,” adds Jagatia. Mobile workforce management software Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask commented: “The unrivalled functionality of SmartTask means businesses within the security sector are now able to bring together a wide range of business and operational requirements into a single system." "This is why a growing number of SME, mid-sized and top 30 security companies are already benefiting from the strong return on investment, delivered by the most comprehensive employee scheduling and mobile workforce management software currently available.”
Mitie Security, one of UK’s renowned technology-led security business, has become one amongst the first business in the sector to successfully pilot virtual accredited training modules. Mitie is working in partnership with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and Highfield Qualifications, the license awarding body, to provide online access to the training course which is required to become a licensed security guard. Previously candidates were required to attend on-site courses. However, with social distancing measures in place, an innovative training solution was required to meet the growing demand for licensed Security Officers to support the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six Mitie employees took part in the pilot, successfully completing their training and, after passing their assessments, were awarded their SIA licenses. Access and egress control More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to complete their courses in the coming weeks More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to complete their courses in the coming weeks. Designed for people wanting to take their first step into a career in the security industry, the virtual security guarding course consists of 20 hours of virtual training in the form of live tutorials. These are delivered via video conference over a minimum of three days. During this time, participants cover a number of specialist and management modules, such as health and safety, patrolling, searching, access and egress control, and avoiding and defusing conflict. To ensure that the SIA standards are met, the Security Industry Authority and Highfield Qualifications supervisors also make unannounced visits by joining the live tutorials. CCTV Level 2 At the end of the course the participants are required to take three online assessments on invigilated software to test their knowledge and competency. Once submitted, the online test results can be delivered in just 20 minutes, significantly faster than the two to three weeks that it normally takes for on-site exams to be graded. Following the success of the licencing training, Mitie will be rolling out a ‘CCTV Level 2’ online course. With many buildings across the country closed due to lockdown, this will ensure security teams are equipped to carry out roles now encompassing the increased use of CCTV. Retail and healthcare As the UK’s leading technology-led security business, we’re proud to be paving the way with this virtual training" Jason Towse, Managing Director of Business Services, Mitie, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to our sector – one of which has been unprecedented demand for Security Officers in key sectors such as retail and healthcare at a time when people are physically unable to attend training." "As the UK’s leading technology-led security business, we’re proud to be paving the way with this virtual training, offering people the chance to kick-start their career in security and supporting the efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to our Learning & Development team for making this happen and congratulations to all our new colleagues that have successfully completed their accreditation online. We look forward to welcoming many more.” Enhance business practices Ian Todd, CEO, SIA, said, “This is an example of fantastic partnerships in action. With Mitie’s passion and support, along with other providers, we have been able to pilot a new approach to training in quick time. At the SIA we are always keen to see innovation in the way that training is delivered, without losing the integrity of the qualification." "The excellent collaboration between the two organizations shows that despite these uncertain times, we can continue to improve and enhance our business practices. We will now fully evaluate the pilot, including with other providers who have taken part. Thank you to all involved for making this possible.”
Actuate, the computer vision technology company behind the threat- and intruder-detecting AI software, announced it is offering a deep discount on its intruder detection capabilities to businesses to combat the growing number of COVID-19-related burglaries. In order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, cities have ordered restaurants and bars to cease on-site service, leading to many establishments closing altogether or greatly reducing operations. Increase in burglaries According to the Wall Street Journal, in New York City alone, the NYPD has seen a 75% increase in reports of burglaries of commercial establishments from March 12, when Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, to March 31. Actuate is offering its artificial intelligence-based intruder detection system to businesses, office buildings and storefronts for $1 per camera per month for three months. Intruder detection enables existing security cameras to automatically identify and alert security personnel and business owners if a human being is identified, with a minimal false positive rate. Intruder detection Actuate’s intruder detection service effectively monitors spaces for people where they’re not supposed to be If a business is employing a security guard, intruder detection can help alert personnel to potential threats in other areas. The security cameras will send immediate alerts when people are detected nearby instead of having to rely on expensive contract personnel, particularly during a time when revenue and runway is a significant business focus due to uncertainty. Actuate’s intruder detection service effectively monitors spaces for people where they’re not supposed to be, surfacing detections to security staff. Actuate sends a real-time alert with video of the intruder to one’s mobile device or VMS and effectively protects facilities by detecting intruders using existing security cameras, eliminating the need for new hardware. Deep learning AI technology Simple systems suffer from rampant false positives because they incorrectly identify wind or animals as people, and advanced facial recognition systems are costly, inefficient and create significant privacy and compliance challenges. Because Actuate’s system is based on the latest deep learning AI technology, false positives are effectively eliminated.
Motorola Solutions, a global pioneer in responsible video analytics, announced the newest addition to its video security and analytics portfolio, Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 7.6. ACC™ 7.6 is the company’s most recent video management software release, enabling enterprise customers to better monitor their facilities through new AI-powered facial recognition features and analytics. The introduction of this technology is a part of Motorola Solutions’ ongoing commitment to creating state-of-the-art solutions that address enterprise safety needs while safeguarding individual privacy rights and enforcing the responsible use of analytics and data management. Facial recognition capabilities In keeping with this commitment, the new video management capabilities in ACC 7.6 include robust controls to govern the retention and accessibility of watch list data, the ability to create and manage multiple watch lists from within ACC and the option to upload reference images to a watch list. These features are built into the solution natively, meaning that the technology is developed and owned by Motorola Solutions as opposed to a third-party vendor. In addition, the new facial recognition capabilities do not make consequential decisions or initiate actions on their own. The data that are entered and saved in the watch lists are managed and maintained by the enterprise customers employing the technology. Vigilance across school campuses “When leveraged responsibly, facial recognition is an incredibly powerful tool that can assist in numerous ways, including helping enterprise organizations make better informed decisions that empower them to respond to events proactively,” said John Kedzierski, senior vice president, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “For our enterprise customers, we believe potential facial recognition matches should always be assessed and verified by a trained specialist who can then determine whether further investigation or action is necessary.” ACC 7.6 features Unusual Activity Detection analytics that provide site-wide intelligence For example, with the heightened vigilance across school campuses, district officials are able to employ the technology to ensure that anyone deemed a threat to the students and staff on campus has their photo added to the system. When there is a face match made against the watch list, the school’s security operators receive a notification so that they can take proactive measures to assess the situation and ensure the safety of students and staff. Unusual Activity Detection analytics In addition to new watch list and facial recognition capabilities, ACC 7.6 features Unusual Activity Detection analytics that provide site-wide intelligence with the ability to recognize out-of-ordinary activity such as unusual speed of movement or location of people or vehicles. This edge-based intelligence distinguishes between typical and abnormal events by continuously learning what usual activity might be for a scene over time. For example, if there is an individual running through a crowded mall, a security guard could be alerted in Focus of Attention to locate where the individual is and take measures to understand the situation. ACC 7.6 is ONVIF Profile G compliant and will be available for preview at Motorola Solutions’ first-ever virtual showcase taking place March 18-20, 2020.
The physical security industry is moving fast. Evolving risks, new technologies and business changes all converged and had a profound impact on the industry in 2019. Looking back at our top articles of the year – as measured by those that received the most “clicks” at our website – provides a decent summary of how the industry evolved this year. Timely and important issues in the security marketplace dominated our list of most-clicked-upon articles in 2019. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the security market: our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles we posted in 2019 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. 1. Schneider Electric to Sell Pelco to Private Equity Firm Schneider entered exclusive negotiations with Transom Capital Group, a U.S.-based private equity firm, to sell the Pelco business unit. Pelco is a security industry stalwart and global specialist in the design, development, and delivery of end-to-end video surveillance solutions and services including cameras, recording and management systems software. 2. High-Tech Drones, Robots and Counter-Drone Solutions on Display From robots to drones to counter-drone solutions, a range of new technologies [was] displayed at ISC West 2019. The Unmanned Security Expo [included] a dedicated complimentary education theater for attendees offering sessions on a range of topics. Also included [were] demos of the best UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), UGVs (unmanned ground robotics and vehicles) and autonomous systems on the market. 3. Hikvision and Dahua Banned from Buying U.S. Exports In effect, inclusion on the “entities” list restricts the export of equipment to the two companies because of their alleged involvement in “human rights violations and abuses” related to a Chinese government campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against minority groups. Hikvision and Dahua have contracts to sell equipment that provides video surveillance capabilities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. 4. The many faces of today's facial recognition technology Used proportionately and responsibly, facial recognition can and should be a force for good. It has the ability to do a lot more to increase security in the future. From street crime to airport security, all the way through to helping those battling addiction, the technology can take security and operations to new heights. 5. Security Industry Trends to Be Led by Focus on Cyber Security In 2019 With a more open, connected environment come cyber-risk and data privacy concerns – which is why, in the Security Industry Association’s 2019 Security Megatrends, cybersecurity’s impact on the physical security industry ranks number one on the list. Cybersecurity is affecting all areas of the industry landscape, from security implementation to attracting top talent to the workforce. 6. Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP): The Gold Standard for Access Control Installations The Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP) is now the industry’s gold standard for physical access control installations. It was designed to offer a higher level of security with more flexible options than the aging, de facto Wiegand wiring standard. OSDP, first introduced in 2011 by the Security Industry Association (SIA), continues to evolve with significant manufacturer input. 7. Honeywell Embracing AI, Reinvesting in Video Portfolio Although uses for artificial intelligence (AI) are still emerging in security, Honeywell sees an important role for AI in building a connected system to ensure the safety and security of a building, and more importantly, its occupants. AI allows end users to go beyond monitoring activity on a surface level to really understand the scene – from who exactly is in the area to what they might be doing. 8. A Secured Entrance Is the First Defense Against an Active Shooter What the majority of venues [of recent active shooter incidents] have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. 9. Debunking the Myths of the Security of Access Control Systems One of the areas where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smart cards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. 10. At Chubb Fire and Security, Ethics is a Core Concept with Practical Impact Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process.
Two of the most familiar names in the physical security market – Pelco and Panasonic – underwent ownership changes during 2019. Consolidation continued on multiple other fronts. Security service companies, video companies and access control companies were all among the entities involved in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity during the last 12 months. In short, the industry landscape continues to transform in response to a changing market. Here's a look at the Top 10 M&A stories in 2019: 1. Pelco Acquired by Private Equity Firm Transom Capital Pelco Inc. was acquired in May by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm, from Schneider Electric. Since the acquisition, Transom Capital has been working with Pelco’s management and employees to define and direct the next chapter of the iconic company. Pelco maintains its headquarters in Fresno, Calif., and has a presence in Fort Collins, Colo., near Denver, and a sales office in the New York area, not to mention many global employees who work remotely. 2. Panasonic Spins Off Security Business Electronics giant Panasonic sold off 80% of its video surveillance business to a private equity firm but is retaining 20%, and the new company will continue to use the well-known Panasonic brand. The move is aimed at reinvigorating a business challenged by competition from Chinese companies and lower video prices. Polaris Capital Group Co. acquired 80% of the outstanding shares of the new security systems business. 3. Qognify Acquires OnSSI and SeeTec 2019 began with the acquisition of IP video management software (VMS) company On-Net Surveillance Systems (OnSSI), including SeeTec in Europe. Backed by the global investment firm Battery Ventures, Qognify completed the acquisition in the final days of 2018. With Qognify, OnSSI and SeeTec operating under one umbrella, the company provides VMS, video analytics, PSIM and critical incident management for mid-market and enterprise organizations. 4. Busy Year for Acquisitions at Allied Universal Security services company Allied Universal had an active year in acquisitions, beginning in April with the acquisition of integration company Securadyne Systems in Dallas. There was an additional acquisition announced in each of the next four months: Point 2 Point Global Security, Dallas, in May; security services company Cypress Private Security in June, services company Shetler Security Services in July , and Midstate Security in August. Allied Universal announced two more acquisitions in November – low-voltage integrator Advent Systems Inc. in Chicago and Vinson Guard Service in Louisiana. Also in November, Allied announced a transformational merger with SOS Security. In December, Allied Universal acquired APG Security, South Amboy, N.J. 5. Motorola Continues Video Push with VaaS Acquisition Following its acquisition of Avigilon in 2018, Motorola Solutions continued to build its presence in the security market in 2019 with the acquisition of VaaS International Holdings, Inc. (VaaS), a data and image analytics company. Motorola Solutions paid $445 million in a combination of cash and equity for the company, which includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. 6. ACRE Acquires Access Control Companies Open Options and RS2 Open Options is an open architecture access control company headquartered in Addison, Texas; and RS2 is an open systems access control provider in Munster, Ind. ACRE, global provider of security systems, wrapped up acquisition of both firms in 2019, after announcing the Open Options deal in the waning days of 2018 and following it up with the RS2 announcement in the spring. ACRE’s portfolio now consists of Vanderbilt, Open Options, RS2 and ComNet. 7. Assa Abloy Expands Capabilities with LifeSafety Power Lock and access control giant ASSA ABLOY acquired LifeSafety Power in September, providing a complement to the access control portfolio. The plan is to incorporate LifeSafety Power’s knowledge of power supply and consumption throughout the ASSA ABLOY access control line. LifeSafety Power was established in 2009 and has some 65 employees. The main office is located in Libertyville, Illinois. 8. Distributor Anixter Going Private and Selling to CD&R Anixter International Inc., a distributor of network and security solutions, electrical and electronic solutions and utility power solutions, entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) to be acquired in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $3.8 billion. The transaction will result in Anixter becoming a private company and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020. Under the terms of the merger agreement, CD&R-managed funds will acquire all the outstanding shares of Anixter common stock for $81.00 per share in cash. (It has been reported that a new bidder has also emerged, although Anixter is resisting – stay tuned.) 9. Alarm.com Expands Commercial Offering with OpenEye Acquisition Alarm.com has announced a majority-stake acquisition of OpenEye, a provider of cloud-managed video surveillance solutions for the commercial market. OpenEye is optimized for enterprise-level commercial customers requiring expansive video recording capabilities, in addition to remote viewing, administration and diagnostic reporting. Combined with the Alarm.com for Business offering, service providers partnered with Alarm.com now have solutions to accommodate commercial accounts of any size. 10. ADT Makes Multiple Acquisitions, Sells Canadian Operation Another North American security giant, ADT Inc., also had a busy year in mergers and acquisitions. In February, ADT acquired LifeShield, a pioneer in advanced wireless home security systems. In June ADT continued expanding capabilities and geographic reach via Red Hawk Fire & Security, ADT Commercial with the asset purchase agreement of Security Corporation, a commercial security integrator headquartered in Detroit, Mich. In November, ADT Commercial purchased Critical Systems, which specializes in enterprise-class fire alarm, fire suppression, life safety and integrated building security solutions for high-rise properties, healthcare campuses and data, manufacturing and distribution facilities in Atlanta. In October, ADT announced an agreement to sell its Canadian operations to TELUS Corp.
The jury is in: traditional security is out — and it’s being replaced with service-based solutions. The bottom line is: if you’re not embracing it, you’ll soon be left behind. XaaS — the collective term referring to the delivery of anything as a service — includes all services made possible through the use of the cloud. Security-as-a-Service (SaaS), which encompasses any type of system from access control to video surveillance, has paved the way for users to gain significant functionality and scalability not previously experienced with more traditional methods. Complicated IT functions SaaS allows manufacturers to provide numerous benefits to their customers As such, there is a marked transition for manufacturers from simply designing and building products to providing a service rooted in a partner- and customer-centric focus. This change hasn’t come easily. Some are still holding out and waiting for the “fad” to pass. However, the potential advantages for all parties involved far outweigh the perceived negative points. First and foremost, SaaS allows manufacturers to provide numerous benefits to their customers. An “as-a-service” model shifts the burden of data maintenance and infrastructure spending to an integrator/dealer partner or service provider. This relieves the end user of the expertise necessary to implement complicated IT functions to keep networked and on-premise solutions up-to-date. Traditional security systems Additionally, end users demand solid customer service. For some end users, traditional security systems are so similar in features and functionality that the key differentiator is the ability of the integrator or manufacturer to provide exceptional customer service and training. This is made possible through the service-based model, where customers appreciate a strong relationship with their integrator or manufacturer that provides them with additional knowledge and assistance when necessary. The cloud has proven to be highly functional, flexible, and convenient for organizations Everyone also wants convenience. In the consumer market, we invest in things like meals that are pre-measured, prepped, and ready to be cooked, or companies that auto-ship dog food to our door each month. This ease-of-use translates over to the B2B market, where time is money and systems that save valuable resources are highly regarded. The Role of the Cloud The cloud has proven to be a highly functional, flexible, and convenient method for organizations to leverage as part of their strategies to protect and modernize their facilities. And the service-based nature lends itself well; forward-thinking integrators and dealers can diversify their product arsenal while still capitalizing on a recurring monthly revenue model (RMR). But then why has there been so much resistance to this change? Over the last 10 to 15 years, the cloud has gotten a bad rap for a myriad of reasons, including usability, management, and unreliability. However, that view of the cloud is changing for the positive as the technology becomes more advanced and innovators learn more about what it means to design a product or service with security at its core. "As-a-service” platform For example, one of the biggest misconceptions that plagues the cloud is the idea that it is not secure. However, the security of public cloud service providers is integral to their success because their business depends on it. Developing an ongoing and trustworthy relationship with customers can only be made possible through the assurance that their services are safe and the customer’s data is protected. As such, they’ve embraced the service-based model that is, at its core, the future of the business world as we know it. There isn’t a person, manufacturer, or integrator partner out there today who isn’t somehow touched or influenced by an “as-a-service” platform. And it’s about time the service-based model that leverages the public cloud reaches the masses.
At a major music festival, a fan in the crowd aggressively leapt over a barricade to approach a famous artist. Personnel from Force Protection Agency immediately implemented extrication protocol to shield the artist from physical harm, quickly reversed course and calmly led the client away from the threat. Force Protection Agency (FPA) personnel intentionally did not engage the threatening fan in any way, as local venue security personnel were present and tasked with apprehending the rogue fan. FPA’s efforts were directed expressly toward the protection of the client, avoiding unnecessary escalation or complications and minimizing physical, visual, and legal exposure. Dedicated to the safety of clients Force Protection Agency is a unique, elite-level agency inspired by a vision for excellence and innovation Specializing in protecting celebrities and high-net-worth individuals, Force Protection Agency is a unique, elite-level agency inspired by a vision for excellence and innovation, and dedicated to the safety and success of clients. The agency was formed in 2017 by Russell Stuart, a California State Guard officer and security and entertainment industry veteran. The agency is the culmination of 20 years of experience in the fields of security, military, emergency management, logistics and technology, media and entertainment, and celebrity management. We interviewed Russell Stuart, Founder and CEO of Force Protection Agency (FPA), which has been called “the Secret Service of Hollywood,” for his insights into providing security for celebrities. Q: What unique need in the marketplace do you seek to serve, and how are you qualified to serve it? Stuart: The needs of celebrity and high-net-worth clients are complex and constantly changing. When dealing with a high-profile individual, discretion is paramount, extensive communication is required, and adaptation is ongoing. A critical objective is anticipating and planning for all types of potential negative scenarios and preventing them from even starting, all while not disrupting the normal course of operation of the client's day or their business. Force Protection Agency is poised to serve these needs by innovating and intelligently managing the planning, procedures, and personnel used in every facet of protecting the client’s interests and achieving their objectives. Q: What is the typical level of "professionalism" among bodyguards and security professionals that protect celebrities? Why does professionalism matter, and how do you differentiate yourself on this point? Stuart: Professionalism is an overall way of approaching everything to do with the business, from recruiting, to training, to making sure the right agent is with the right client. Nothing matters more; polish and precision are not only critical to mission success, but also support the comprehensive best interest of the client while preventing costly collateral damage and additional negative consequences. True “professional protective services" is intelligent strength and proper execution, not emotional or reactionary violence. Unfortunately, the latter is frequent among many celebrity bodyguards, and often incurs extremely expensive and even dangerous repercussions. Q: Your company has been described as "the Secret Service of Hollywood." How true is that comparison, and how does your work differ from (e.g.) protecting the President? Force Protection Agency prides itself on providing its services with discretion, precision, and poise Stuart: Totally true, and for this reason: the keys to success in protection are prioritization, and planning. Most people fail to even recognize the first, negating any level of effort given to the second. Establishing the true needs and the correct priority of objectives for each individual client and situation, and firmly committing to these without deviation, are what distinguishes both government secret services and Force Protection Agency from the vast majority of general security firms. Also, the term “secret service” implies an inconspicuous yet professional approach, and Force Protection Agency prides itself on providing its services with discretion, precision, and poise. Q: What is the biggest challenge of protecting celebrities? Stuart: The very nature of celebrity is visibility and access, which always increases risk. The challenge of protecting a high-profile individual is facilitating that accessibility in a strategic and controlled manner while mitigating risk factors. A client’s personal desires and preferences can often conflict with a lowest risk scenario, so careful consideration and thorough preparation are essential, along with continual communication. Q: How does the approach to protection change from one celebrity (client) to another? What variables impact how you do your job? Stuart: The approach is largely determined by the client’s specific needs, requests and objectives. The circumstances of a client's activities, location, and other associated entities can vastly disrupt operation activities. A client may prefer a more or less obvious security presence, which can impact the quantity and proximity of personnel. Force Protection Agency coordinates extensively with numerous federal, state, and municipal government agencies, which also have a variety of influence depending on the particular locations involved and the specific client activities being engaged in. Q: Are all your clients celebrities or what other types of "executives" do you protect – and, if so, how are those jobs different? Stuart: Force Protection Agency provides protective services for a wide range of clients, from the world’s most notable superstars to corporate executives and government representatives. We also provide private investigation services for a vast variety of clientele. Force Protection Agency creates customized solutions that surpass each individual client’s needs and circumstances. The differences between protecting a major celebrity or top business executive can be quite different or exactly the same. Although potentially not as well known in popular culture, some top CEOs have a net worth well above many famous celebrities and their security needs must reflect their success. Q: What is the role of technology in protecting famous people (including drones)? Technology is crucial to the success of security operations Stuart: Technology is crucial to the success of security operations and brings a tremendous advantage to those equipped with the best technological resources and the skills required to maximize their capabilities. It affects equipment such as communication and surveillance devices like drones, cameras, radios, detection/tracking devices, GPS, defensive weapons, protective equipment, and more. Technology also brings immense capabilities to strategic planning and logistical operations through the power of data management and is another aspect of Force Protection Agency operation that sets us apart from the competition. Q: What additional technology tools would be helpful in your work (i.e., a “technology wish list”)? Stuart: The rapidly growing and evolving realm of social media is a massive digital battlefield littered with current and potential future threats and adversaries. Most mass shooters as of late have left a trail of disturbing posts and comments across social media platforms and chat rooms that telegraphed their disturbing mindset and future attacks. A tool that could manage an intelligent search for such threats and generate additional intel through a continuous scan of all available relevant data from social media sources would be extremely useful and could potentially save many lives. Q: Anything you wish to add? Stuart: Delivering consistent excellence in protection and security is both a vital need and a tremendous responsibility. Force Protection Agency is proud of their unwavering commitment to “Defend, Enforce, Assist” and stands ready to secure and satisfy each and every client, and to preserve the life and liberty of our nation and the world.
The task of protecting shared spaces, such as offices and schools, has become increasingly complex, particularly with ever-rising political tensions and the difficulties of assessing threats for schools, workplaces and law enforcement. Given the randomness of when and where a violent person may strike, those who manage facilities need an emergency plan, as well as robust training, detection and awareness. To gain more insights into dealing with such threats, we interviewed John Torres, President of Security and Technology Consulting, Guidepost Solutions. Guidepost Solutions is a global team of investigators, security and technology consultants, and compliance and monitoring experts. They provide security design and consulting, investigations, and compliance and monitoring leadership for critical client needs. Torres has extensive investigative and security experience. Previously, he served as the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. His background includes more than 27 years of experience providing investigative and security management for the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, including serving as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Q: Why is it difficult for schools, workplaces and law enforcement to assess threats of violence? How can they differentiate between a threat and a non-threat? Torres: With mobile technology and social media, threats are more than just physical. Schools are often not screening student social media accounts and are restricted in what they can and cannot monitor due to privacy laws. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcement, providing training and increasing awareness of potential threats or abnormal behavior. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcementEmerging tools include software that allows monitoring of students’ school-issued email and file storage accounts. Communications software and apps provide real-time notification of emergency messages to students, parents, employees and the community to provide critical instructions during an emergency. The combination of training and new tools has enabled trends and threatening language to be identified and appropriate authorities notified. Q: What tools and/or insights can Guidepost Solutions add to the mix? What are the elements of a “comprehensive risk assessment?” Torres: Comprehensive risk assessments include adopting a tiered approach to assessing the school or office and the surrounding environment. A typical approach includes site perimeter review, identifying gates, fencing, vehicle barriers etc., the parking lot, building exterior, interior paths of travel and individual classroom measures. Review and observation of systems including mass notification, video surveillance, access control, intrusion and visitor management, etc. are critical to ensure that they are equipped to maintain functionality in the event of power loss etc. As an insight, always engage with people, they have the knowledge of each unique facility. Elements we can add to the mix include assessments, physical security improvements and mass notification systems, as well as emergency response training, operational policies and procedures, and behavior analysis. Q: How can the elements of a risk assessment be translated into recommendations of specific technologies or processes (such as video surveillance and/or access control)? Torres: Risk assessments often drive and identify the need for technologies to be implemented into the security programs of schools, business or places of mass gathering, such as stadiums, convention centers and houses of worship. Risk assessments often drive the need for technologies to be implemented into places of mass gatheringRisk assessments help identify weaknesses in security procedure and then often support phased security enhancement programs as funds become available for investment. Each entity is different, and stakeholders should be included. For example, video surveillance may be a priority at one location but controlling the main point of entry may be more important at another. Technology and process recommendations must meet the operational needs and support the goals of the security team and operational managers. Q: How can the risk of an incident be mitigated and lives protected? Torres: While multiple steps are helpful, all of them in combination are key to implementing a comprehensive security plan. They include: Assessments – physical, cyber and procedural Physical Security Improvements – visitor management, fencing and barriers, locks and cameras Emergency Response Training – law enforcement coordination; muscle memory response Mass Notification Systems – current software, clear concise directives, testing Operational Policies and Procedures – termination, evacuation, communication, intervention Behavioral Analysis. Q: What are the elements of behavior analysis? Torres: They include things like changes in appearance and behavior, including social media behavior, and isolation from family or friends. They also include studying or taking pictures of potential targets, and real or perceived bullying. An individual may advocate violence or hate, and/or consume violent extremist information/propaganda. He or she may talk about traveling to places that sound suspicious, and/or have an obsession with weapons. Q: What is the role of training? Torres: Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schools, be it a fire drill, earthquake, lockdown, active shooter situation, etc. Training and drills educate those present, including employees and staff, with information about actions that may save lives and reduce casualties in a real emergency. Training should hold people responsible and set standards for acceptable behavior. Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schoolsThere should be a plan that is implemented, including practice and drills. You should also provide training and communication skill building classes. Develop intervention strategies. Work with HR and legal (and others as appropriate). Finally, document everything. Q: What challenges still remain? Torres: Cultural and behavioral change remains at the forefront of schools and businesses when addressing safety and security measures. A large percentage of violent acts may be preventable if a bystander shares his/her concerns with the proper authorities. According to the FBI, perpetrators exhibited behavioral indicators in 93% of incidents. And bystanders had prior knowledge in 81% of school attack incidents and 80% of terrorist-inspired behaviors or activities before an attack. Q: What progress are you seeing? Torres: With each tragedy that occurs, leaders are engaging with safety and security head on. There is a shift in schools and businesses to engage with professionals that can help them understand what they do not know. Simple things such as improved communication and enforcement of policies and procedures can have a tremendous positive impact on an organization’s security posture. Assessments and technology upgrades are important and effective, but it all starts with acknowledging the need to provide and maintain safe and secure environments for students, employees and the community.
Many exhibitors at GSX 2019 saw the show as a success, despite slower booth traffic on the second and third days. According to show sponsor ASIS International, there were more than 20,000 registrants from 125 countries around the world, including those who attended the conference as well as the exhibition. Exhibitors definitely put their best feet forward, enthusiastically promoting their technology breakthroughs, but how convincing were they? The comments from at least one attendee – a large corporate end user who represents a key demographic for show organizers – bluntly suggest that healthy skepticism was on display side-by-side with the promotional energy in play.On this floor, there are some lies being given out. Ask the tough questions, make the exhibitors show you" “On this floor, there are some lies being given out,” said Rudy A. Wolter, CTO, Security and Investigative Services for Citigroup, a financial services corporation. He advised fellow attendees to “listen for them, ferret them out, ask the tough questions. Make [the exhibitors] show you.” “Don’t be afraid to ask these men and women questions,” added Wolter. “Don’t be afraid to challenge them. If you don’t challenge them, they’re not getting any better which means we aren’t getting any better. At the end of the day, they’re the leaders; they’re the ones making change; they’re the ones touching systems; they’re the ones helping integration.” Banking security with Verint At Citigroup, Wolter oversees 1,300 bank branches in North America that use Verint systems, including 23,000 cameras tied into a single command center. Skepticism aside, Wolter also provided evidence that even tough customers can be brought around. Specifically, he is sold on Verint: “When you have a problem, this company listens,” he told attendees at a Verint gathering on the show floor. New at GSX 2019 is the Verint Video Investigator, which is software that empowers investigators to quickly find the data they need to identify security threats in near real-time. In all, Verint serves in excess of 2,300 individual financial institutions, with tens of thousands of branches. Wolter was one of several end users willing to sing their praises publicly. Other GSX exhibitors were also proud to have their own real-world success stories. Placing the emphasis on outcomes At GSX, I heard more than once that outcomes are more important than technologies. Customers don’t want to hear about technologies, but rather about what those technologies can do for them. Avigilon, now a subsidiary of Motorola Solutions, is another company that is focused on outcomes rather than technology per se. “Instead of focusing on megapixels and terabytes, the end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management,” says John Kedzierski, Sr. VP of Video Solutions at Motorola Solutions. “We are working to provide that outcome." The end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management" How operators work to ensure outcomes is another aspect that is changing, says Kedzierski. “Watching video is obsolete,” he says. Using Avigilon’s new system, the operator instead is looking at color-coded hexagons; one color means motion, another means an analytic event. Operators click on various hexagons to view video. Also at GSX 2019, Avigilon featured its new H5A camera line, with expanded object classification analytics, detailed object detection, and tracking in crowded scenes; and focused on the Avigilon Blue cloud system. They are working to make every camera capable of detecting faces, which can be matched to a watch list. How technology addresses marketplace changes Addressing the changing marketplace was another GSX theme. As the workplace changes, ASSA ABLOY Americas is adapting its technology to address new employment practices such as "hot-desking," and remote and mobile workers, says Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer. Systems have to be able both to protect assets and also to provide flexibility to accommodate the changing workforce, he said. Corporate acquisitions are directly expanding the capabilities that ASSA ABLOY brings to the market. For example, they recently acquired Luxer One, a locker company that enables secure delivery of packages without customers needing to stand in line or wait for service. Deliveries can be made in seconds. Peter Boriskin of ASSA ABLOY Americas led a booth tour, including new power capabilities gained in the acquisition of LifeSafety Power Another recent ASSA ABLOY acquisition is LifeSafety Power, which is expanding the company’s capability to provide proactive data on wired systems by tracking power usage. For example, a spike in current might mean a problem with a component. Compiling “intelligent triggers” enables creation of a dashboard to provide analytics of wired systems. ASSA ABLOY has also been devising predictive analytics of wireless locks to predict battery life, for instance, and to address other maintenance challenges. “We want to know what’s going on at a door without visiting it,” says Boriskin. New exhibitors make their mark New exhibitors were part of the GSX mix. One new exhibitor was Vaion. It’s their first trade show after launching at IFSEC in London in June. Vaion combines a small camera portfolio with on-premise servers and software managed through the cloud for an end-to-end solution. Tormod Ree, co-founder and CEO, calls it a “hybrid cloud delivery model”. Vaion is also a “more proactive security model,” said Ree. Video is analyzed for anomalies, and the server “learns” what is normal and not normal. The system provides alerts and notifications, occupancy counting and traffic control, among other features. And “overlays” are employed to present information on a map. Vaion can highlight video that is more likely to be relevant and prioritize feeds that have more activity. Vaion designs the hardware, which is manufactured in Taiwan. Vaion was a first-time exhibitor at GSX 2019 with their end-to-end video system; Tomod Ree is co-founder and CEO Gunshot detection technology EAGL Technology displayed their “Firefly” gunshot detection technology at GSX 2019. Based on technology originally developed for use in the military for sniper detection, the U.S. Department of Energy adapted it to civilian uses after the Sandy Hook School shooting. Boaz Raz, CEO, said the technology is the “most advanced and affordable, wireless for use indoors or outdoors, and it can control doors and cameras”. It doesn’t “listen” for gunshots like some competitors; rather it measures energy for “6 sigma” accuracy (almost 100%). Defining, and redefining, end-to-end solutions End-to-end solutions were all the rage at GSX 2019, but Allied Universal was one exhibitor that pondered what, exactly, is an end-to-end solution? It means different things to different people. For example, a video company’s end-to-end solution would not include access control. When Allied Universal claims to offer an end-to-end solution, they mean it in the broadest definition of the term, including all security systems deployed for a customer as well as the important human element (i.e., manguarding). “The industry’s emphasis on ‘end-to-end’ doesn’t encompass a full solution,” says Mike Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer. “When somebody uses the term end-to-end, you have to ask: What’s at both ends?” The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring. Clients want full-service solutions" “The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring,” adds Mullison. “Clients want full-service solutions.” Allied Universal is adding new technology elements to its offering, and Mullison says “the next phase of growth will be fueled by technology.” Allied Universal recently introduced the Heliaus product, a smart phone app that accesses an analytics engine to predict outcomes and prescribe optimum responses. It literally puts technology in a security guard’s hand. One customer has found that use of the technology resulted in a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents. The latest in access control among exhibitors In addition to video, access control had a big profile at GSX 2019, as evidenced by ASSA ABLOY America and many other companies. Another example is SALTO Systems, featuring its new NEO cylinder for wireless access control and the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN); the SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door. The SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door The compact SALTO NEO Cylinder is designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required and can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, or sliding doors. Low energy consumption results in 110,000 cycles with just one set of batteries. Other SALTO products are SALTO KS (Keys as a Service); SALTO BLUEnet Wireless for Bluetooth RF-driven real-time control of doors; the XS4 One Deadlatch stand-alone electronic lock; and JustIN Mobile, which replaces the need for an access card by securely sending a mobile key Over the Air (OTA) to an iOS or Android device from SALTO’s ProAccess SPACE management software. The next step in integration A new company reflecting the GSX emphasis on integration is Security and Safety Things (SAST), which is still in launch mode but expects to have its first pilot customers in the Q4. The first camera vendors embracing the SAST platform will have cameras for sale at ISC West in the spring. SAST is creating an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphones.SAST is creating an IoT platform for the next generation of security cameras “SAST is a technology platform, but it is also a business platform and a relationship platform,” said Emmanuel Ventadour, VP Sales and Marketing. For app developers, SAST also provides non-technical commercial services (i.e., easing their route to market.) Hartmut Schaper, CEO, emphasizes the “openness” of the company. Even though they are a spinoff of Bosch, they are treating every camera manufacturer equally, he says. For integrators, the use of apps can expand their field of play. Apps will empower integrators to use video for more business processes – not just security – and expand their reach with customers, says Schaper. From skepticism to sales There were plenty of product claims at GSX to feed the skepticism of even the toughest of potential customers. Fortunately, product claims were only the beginning of conversations with attendees at this year’s show. No doubt manufacturers were put through their paces more than once, and a few of them even came out on the other side with potential new business to show for their efforts. That’s the true measure of success at GSX 2019, or any trade show. Click here to read our reviews from Day One and Day Two of the show.
Kingfisher Sec, a West London-based security specialist, has adopted SmartTask to support the rapid growth of the business by streamlining and automating critical business processes. The company will use the cloud-based software to handle employee scheduling, proof of attendance and operational reporting across a team of up to 50 security guards. As a result, Kingfisher Sec has already reduced administration by around 17.5 hours a month, with further improvements expected moving forward. “We wanted an employee scheduling and workforce that would mitigate any growing pains we experience as the business continues to expand as well as helping us achieve our aim of creating a paperless operation,” explains Filipi Nascimento, Operations Manager at Kingfisher Sec. “SmartTask is allowing us to automate many of our manual processes in a phased approach to maximize benefit realization, without losing focus on our core operational priorities.” Electronic communication tool SmartTask was selected following a tender process based on its feature-rich and easy-to-use functionality. Kingfisher Sec is using the software to provide a simple tool to the company’s team of security guards, via a smartphone app, so they can simply book on and off shifts, accept schedules and book holidays. Meanwhile, the advanced rostering system allows Kingfisher Sec to quickly create monthly work plans and communicate them direct to staff for electronic confirmation. Kingfisher Sec is also looking to replace a paper-based DOB system at around 40 customer sites with SmartTask’s Daily Occurrence Log (DOL). The electronic communication tool will enable security guards to quickly create entries and upload details regarding any on-site occurrence, providing online visibility of all incident data and supporting photo evidence. Capturing accurate data The software is capturing accurate data about the performance of our team and the business" As well as reducing the administrative burden, both on-site and centrally, the DOL will also remove the cost of providing, distributing and archiving a paper-based log. “SmartTask is streamlining our business and operational procedures, so we can save both time and money while providing a better service to our customers. The software is capturing accurate data about the performance of our team and the business, which we simply did not have access to previously. This is allowing us to better manage staff, eliminate human error and quickly respond to any issues,” adds Nascimento. Cloud-based software Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask commented: “Our cloud-based software is a highly-advanced and easy-to-use guard management, monitoring and reporting solution that typically reduces costs and improves efficiency by 30 per cent. As a result, a growing range of security businesses are using SmartTask to plan, manage, conduct and measure workforce activities more effectively.”
While HENSOLDT is a global pioneer of technologies that are designed for protecting armed forces, civilians, assets and borders, the company is also actively making a difference as a protector of endangered species. South Africa is known for its iconic wildlife and is also home to one of HENSOLDT’s largest industrial sites. As a result, it came as a natural progression to protect the country’s wildlife using state-of-the-art defense and security technologies. Rise in rhino poaching In recent years, animals such as rhinos have been under increased pressure due to rising poaching levels, threatening the future of these animals. South Africa holds nearly 80% of the world’s rhinos and has been hit the hardest by poaching, with more than 1 000 rhinos killed each year between 2013 and 2017. HENSOLDT celebrates three years of zero poaching on the world’s largest rhino conservancy HENSOLDT responded to this threat, and is now combining advanced intelligence, radar and optical surveillance systems with physical security for high-end wildlife protection. This week, HENSOLDT celebrates three years of zero poaching on the world’s largest rhino conservancy, where HENSOLDT’s technologies have been keeping a large number of rhino safe. HENSOLDT South Africa designed and installed a surveillance and security system on the farm and since then, not one animal has been lost to poaching. “Before that, we had poaching every month, sometimes every week,” says John Hume, owner of Buffalo Dream Ranch. Situational awareness In 2017, Buffalo Dream Ranch, the world’s largest rhino farm, started a partnership with HENSOLDT to secure 8000 hectares of land, where some 1800 rhinos now live peacefully, protected by state-of-the-art HENSOLDT technology. The specially developed system combines a number of advanced sensors, including optical and radar sensors, to monitor the rhinos, farm and surrounding area. Data from these sensors are fused using advanced analytics at a command and control center to provide complete situational awareness and early-warning of potential poachers approaching the area. In combination with existing physical barriers and a team of security personnel, the system augments the total security approach to create a surveillance solution, with technology that is always on guard, never fatigues and which cannot be compromised. “We are for the first time in years feeling confident, with HENSOLDT, of perfecting the protection of our rhino,” says Hume. Wildlife protection The know-how acquired through these projects can be applied for protecting other wildlife “We are honored to be part of important initiatives such as the conservation of our wildlife and we aim to expand our efforts,” says Hennie Venter, Chief Executive of the HENSOLDT South Africa GEW business unit. The know-how acquired through these projects can be applied for protecting other wildlife and national parks to safe-keep endangered species such as lions, elephants and even abalone. HENSOLDT prides itself on its relationship with its clients. “For us it’s not putting down the equipment and getting the business, for us it’s rather a journey,” says Werner Muller, GEW’s Chief Executive of Spectrum Monitoring and Security. Needs-based solutions Because of this philosophy, and because each wildlife scenario is different, with its own unique set of challenges, HENSOLDT’s experts collaborate with each client to develop a solution that addresses their specific needs. Through its business units, GEW and Optronics, HENSOLDT South Africa delivers solutions to clients across the world, and significantly contributes to South Africa’s export industry, while it is firmly grounded in its roots as a proudly South African company, operating in South Africa for South Africa. HENSOLDT is committed to continue innovating to protect the wildlife.
BI-City Tokyo is located in Nur-Sultan (Astana), the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is a high-end residential complex of BI Group – a construction holding company in the Kazakhstan real estate market. At present, three apartment buildings with public areas and more than 400 apartment units have been completed. Aiming to create modern high-end intelligent buildings and residential areas, the BI Group wanted to upgrade the existing analog video intercom system of BI-City Tokyo. Analog intercom system The original analog intercom system in this community is outdated and cannot meet the diverse security requirements of high-end residential areas. First, the original analog intercom does not support retaining images and leaving messages. Second, this system only supports access cards to open doors, which is inconvenient for residents in case they forgot their card. Third, the original system cannot add IP cameras to monitor public areas such as children's playground, fitness areas, etc. Fourth, the cold winter temperature in Nur-Sultan requires high-performance equipment capable of operating in extreme environments. Cold winter temperature requires high-performance equipment capable of operating in extreme environments Faced with the abovementioned challenges, BI Group was also looking for a trustworthy brand that can provide not only modern smart system but also technical support and reliable after-sales service. Meeting all the above requirements, Dahua smart residential solution was chosen to be the security solution provider of BI-City Tokyo. Access ANPR Camera The complete solution deployed more than 300 pieces of Dahua equipment, including Indoor Monitor, Apartment Outdoor Station, IP Camera, Access ANPR Camera, Video Recorder, etc. The solution supports two-way audio intercom, real-time video and messaging feature. In addition, a variety of door opening methods were also implemented: door opening via remote calling, door opening using access card, and remote door opening via APP. Additionally, all the equipment can be visualized and integrated in the Dahua DSS platform for centralized management, operation and maintenance. Moreover, the temperature in Nur-Sultan can reach up to negative 40 degrees in winter season. This requires high-performance outdoor devices featuring dust and water resistance, and explosion-roof capability. In response to this pressing challenge, Dahua apartment outdoor station VTO1210C-X-S1 and access ANPR camera ITC237-PW1B-IRZ that support wide working temperature were installed at the entrance of the apartment building for a more effective visitor and vehicle management. Built-in intelligent video analytics When a visitor arrives at the entrance of the apartment building and dials a resident’s room number through the Dahua apartment outdoor station, the camera installed at the entrance will synchronize the video with the visitor’s image captured in the resident’s indoor monitor. Once the visitor’s identity is confirmed, the resident just needs to press the button on the indoor monitor to open the door remotely. With Dahua app, users can even answer calls and open doors remotely when they are out for work or traveling. As for vehicles, Dahua access ANPR camera ITC237-PW1B-IRZ is designed for extreme temperature environments (temperature range of -40°C to +60°C). With built-in intelligent video analytics, the camera has the ability to detect and recognize moving vehicle's plate number within low speed. IR Mini-Bullet Network Camera The camera uses a set of optical features to balance light throughout the sceneFor both approaching and departing vehicles, the access ANPR camera takes a snapshot of the license plate and vehicle overview picture, as well as records corresponding surveillance videos. By setting a whitelist, the camera can automatically control the barrier or gate to open if a plate number recorded in the whitelist has been recognized. The public areas including children's playground, fitness areas, as well as the lobby are covered by 2MP IR Mini Dome Network Camera IPC-HDBW4231E-ASE, 2MP and 3MP IR Mini-Bullet Network Camera. The Starlight Ultra-low Light Technology of IPC-HDBW4231E-ASE offers light sensitivity, capturing color details under low light condition up to 0.002lux. The camera uses a set of optical features to balance light throughout the scene, resulting in clear images in dark environments. Smart residential solution Dahua smart residential solution provides an integrated management platform for the management personnel of BI-City Tokyo. It assists in the remote and visual management of the property and improves the services and facilities they offer. Security guard at the entrance is not needed anymore to manage entering and exiting vehicles, which saves labor costs, reduces the waiting time of vehicles and improves traffic efficiency. In addition, the all-round monitoring of the public areas within BI-City Tokyo greatly improves the safety level of the entire community. The video intercom system of the building provides a variety of convenient door opening methods, enhancing the resident’s living experience. "We adopted analog solution in the first phase. From the second phase, we replaced all of analog system with Dahua’s IP video intercom solution. We hope that Dahua will help us complete the solution planning of the three, four, five, and six phases”, said Arman, General Manager of BI Group.
Security companies provide a type of service that tends to go unnoticed except when it’s missed. Small cities and towns are increasingly growing every day mostly due to internal migration and the high prices of rent in Los Angeles county USA. Veteran Los Angeles security services company, Hillquest Security & Patrol plans to meet this growth head-on. For that reason, Hillquest has decided to expand their already wide range of action (which included more than 60 cities by 2018) to all the Orange and Riverside counties. Hillquest’s security mobile patrols Hillquest Security started to provide security guard services in Orange County and Riverside since early 2019 Hillquest Security started to provide security guard services in Orange County and Riverside since early 2019. What was initially a test venture that turned out to be really successful for the company has now became a full-service activity. Furthermore, Hillquest started to offer its full range of security options for businesses and individuals in those areas. Businesses and other entities in the OC and Riverside can now hire Hillquest’s security mobile patrols, bodyguards, security systems, loss prevention and other security services for banks, construction areas, healthcare facilities, hotels, apartment complexes, movie sets, parking lots, schools and event venues. Manned Guarding and security services "We provide security services that are perfectly tailored for our clientele," said John Bouzy, Hillquest Security owner. "Our trained, licensed expert security officers can handle any and all of our customers’ security needs. Moreover, we can do that any time of day as well." According to Hillquest Security & Patrol’s corporate website, the company is insured with a US$ 5 million policy and its officers "meet the standards set by the bureau of security and investigative services."
The Danish Superliga football club Brøndby IF were aware that family attendance had fallen at some of the more high-profile games, such as the local derby with F.C. Copenhagen, due to concerns over hooliganism and safety. With an average attendance of 14,000 people per game, and up to 100 registered persons on the stadium blacklist for causing trouble, the football club wanted to find a way to make genuine fans feel safer by preventing problems before they could occur. Improving security With the use of cameras and facial recognition, blacklisted offenders can now be automatically identified in the crowd before they attempt to enter the stadium. This system identifies any individuals registered on the offenders list and alerts security staff to prevent them from entering. The automated procedure at the stadium entrance also decreases congestion at the gates, so genuine fans can get into the stadium faster. As well as improving security outside, the system allows staff more time to focus their attention on creating a safe and entertaining environment for those inside the stadium. The technology can identify faces that are difficult to recognise with conventional techniques Facial recognition server The Panasonic facial recognition software ensures high levels of accuracy. The technology can identify faces that are difficult to recognize with conventional techniques, such as those taken from an acute angle and even when part of the face is concealed or hidden by sunglasses or scarves. In fact, the National Institute of Standards of Technology (NIST) in independent testing identified the system as the most accurate facial recognition server on the market. And the system is already working. One blacklisted offender was prevented from entering the stadium at the very first home game of the season in mid-July and he will receive a fine and extended ban. Protection of personal data However, some fans were initially sceptical about the scheme. They were worried about the Big Brother concerns of privacy and personal data protection. These fears quickly faded once the club explained the sensitive way that the scheme had been implemented. Security personnel remain in control of the process at every stage. The technology flags potential blacklisted offenders and the security advisers then take over and investigate further before taking action. People-led and technology supported The solution is people-led and technology supported. Personal data privacy is also protected because the facial recognition technology does not store the images or data of any supporters, other than those registered on the blacklist. In addition, all personal data is stored on an internal server, not connected to the internet or to any other system, significantly reducing any cyber risk of data breach. After seeing the results of the technology and receiving reassurances about data protection, both Brøndby management and fans alike have welcomed the new technology. Moving forward there is also the potential to utilize a national hooligan register with the system to help spot traveling troublemakers within Denmark.
He is man’s best friend, but the bad guys’ worst enemy. That is why technology-based security specialist Safer Scotland backed up its state-of-the-art crime prevention precautions at a troublesome site in West Lothian recently with a canine capability which has sent the local predators packing. The Paisley-based company brought in what Safer Scotland Director Ryan Clark said is the ‘last line of defense’ – a trained dog handler and his German Shepherd companion – to police the challenging housebuilding site. And since the guard dog took up station on site, it has enjoyed its first weekend without incursions in two months. Audio warnings to deter intruders Ryan said: “Normally, on an extensive construction site such as this, we would secure everything with closely-monitored CCTV cameras backed up by voice warnings to deter intruders. However, this was a particularly challenging arena. The site was within the bounds of a difficult area which had been widely troubled by anti-social behavior. It was also adjacent to a ‘hang-out’ area for local teenagers. Audio warnings were deployed, with a satisfactory deterrent effect and a significant minimizing of damage" “In the space of one month, we had to call the police out to no fewer than 20 incursions. Audio warnings were deployed, with a satisfactory deterrent effect and a significant minimizing of damage.” However, Safer Scotland, in consultation with its client and the Scottish Police, took the view that, with lighter nights, hotter weather and the school holidays, the number of incursions might well escalate. It took the decision increase the level of presence at the site with a licensed, professional dog handler whose Alsatian dog used to work with the police. Securing high value assets in remote locations Ryan said: “He took up station at 5pm on the Friday and, about 9.45pm, a large group of late teens came on site. The handler escorted them off the site and detailed to them the risks that they were at trespassing onsite. Since then, there has been no trouble.” Safer Scotland has created a niche in a competitive business environment by its emphasis on reliable technology which allows corporate clients to secure high value assets in remote or temporary locations. It is expanding this year into the North of England under the trading name Safer England.
Round table discussion
In tidying up after a year of Expert Panel Roundtable questions and answers, we came across some previously unpublished responses from our panel. These interesting responses address some of the hottest topics in the industry, from robots and deep learning to the “race to the bottom.” Taken together, the varied comments offer their own range of insights into the evolving physical security market. This week, we highlight some of these assorted Expert Panellist comments submitted over the last several months.
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?
As the new school term begins, awareness of security at all levels of educational institutions is higher than ever. Technology plays an important role in protecting educational facilities and their students, faculty, staff and visitors. Specific security challenges drive which technologies and other measures are used, and those challenges are evolving, along with the dynamic institutions security is tasked with protecting. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges for schools and colleges?