The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has announced its Secure Credential Interoperability (SCI) initiative and a working group to advance its development. “The physical access control industry has demonstrated a need for a universally compatible secure credential and we believe that we have found a simple, yet elegant solution to address this with SCI,” said Mohammad Soleimani, CTO of Kastle Systems and Chairman of the SCI Work Group. SCI Work Group M...
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 poss...
Alcatraz AI, globally renowned developer of secure frictionless access control products, has announced changes to their executive team, in order to help meet market demand and growth. Security industry expert, Tina D’Agostin, who served as the former Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Alcatraz AI, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to spearhead global expansion of its AI-powered facial authentication solution for physical access control. Accelerating high-performing...
The first inter airport CONNECT event, taking place online from 20 – 21 April 2021, provides a much anticipated trade and networking event for the global airport community, which has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. inter airport CONNECT inter airport CONNECT is a two-day online trading, networking and webinar event for airport professionals. Visitors can virtually meet relevant exhibitors, browse informative product presentations and follow webinars on current industry tren...
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced the general availability of WorkforceID Authentication solution, the latest addition to its cloud platform for creating a seamless, effortless experience for issuing, managing and using identity credentials in physical and digital workplaces. Workforce ID Authentication Workforce ID Authentication builds upon HID’s proven and widely deployed multi-factor authentication platform for consumer applications,...
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 securi...
Zicam Integrated Security, a surveillance and security specialist company, has signed another one-year full maintenance package with Sunseeker International, the British luxury performance motor yacht brand. Zicam Integrated Security will also be installing a brand new state-of-the-art CCTV system, in late 2021, at Sunseeker International's extensive manufacturing facility in Portland, Dorset. CCTV system installed The continued relationship between the two brands is explained by Sunseeker International’s Security Operations Manager, Mike McLaughlin, with the high quality of products and customer service cited as being at the core. Mike McLaughlin said, “We have been working with Zicam across multiple sites in and around Poole since 2016. What makes Zicam different from other companies I have used in my many years in the business is communication, pride in work, and trust. Risk assessments and method statements are all in place prior to works starting and once in place they are adhered to at all times.” High standards of product quality Zicam Integrated Security sets extremely high standards in terms of quality of product and customer service" He adds, “Zicam Integrated Security sets extremely high standards in terms of quality of product and customer service. The company will only fit the best kit on the market, and I know that I can get an answer or returned phone call from the Operations team, Operations Manager, Managing Director, or even the CEO, for 365 days of the year. This was in fact proven on 26th December 2020, when the cameras went down across all sites at around 08:30 am. I made a quick call to Zicam’s CEO, Milan Mazic and he dealt with the issue personally.” Mike further stated, “Staff is always professional and courteous, and will happily change their working day, in order to best serve our business. Zicam works in a way that involves the client from the point of the first meeting, up to and including the end product. We can be involved in the design of the required system, and implicitly trust the advice provided, with Zicam giving us honest quotes for the works that need to be done, and even advising better ways of doing things at a reduced cost.” Zicam – Sunseeker partnership He adds, “I recall the first day I met with Milan Mazic and I was impressed from that very first meeting by his knowledge, his honesty and openness, and in the way he spoke with others. Zicam has very much become part of the Sunseeker LTD family and will continue to be so. It is a pleasure to work with the whole team and the works they carry out, and finished products are the best I have used. In summary, there is nothing more to say other than working with Zicam is so simple, it's magical.”
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.
Heald, a globally renowned innovator in the field of perimeter security technology and the manufacturer of quality security equipment in the United Kingdom, has announced a partnership with Sweden-based access control solutions firm, Intergate, following a recent installation of their Matador products in Stockholm, Sweden. Intergate is the renowned distributor in Sweden for access control solutions. The firm, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020, is a subsidiary of Indutrade, which has a turnover of £1.6 billion and strength of 7,000 employees. Heald – Intergate distributor agreement Following the distributor agreement, the City of Stockholm ordered a number of Heald products through the new distribution partnership with Intergate, including the Matador, the first installation project of Heald products in the city. The purpose of the installation was to stop unauthorized vehicles from accessing a shopping center area The purpose of the installation was to stop unauthorized vehicles from accessing a shopping center area, located in the suburb of Skärholmen in Stockholm, but still, allow access to delivery and emergency response vehicles. The challenge facing the installation was the need for an effective and accessible solution that addressed the need for an ultra-shallow excavation, due to a parking garage located underneath. Matador sliding bollard The Matador bollard was chosen due to its unique design and its ability to be installed on the surface or with very minimal excavation, therefore, not interfering with underground infrastructure. The project included the fitting of six electro-mechanical sliding bollards and 26 fixed bollards. All of them were shallow mounted. The Matador is the world’s only sliding bollard that was developed specifically to address issues around underground infrastructure, while still providing access for permitted vehicles. Available in a range of operations, the patent-protected product is available as both shallow mount and surface mount and can be used as either a permanent or temporary security solution. Patent-protected access control products Intergate’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Fredrik Vedin said “The support from Heald has been outstanding through the whole installation process. Since this was our first time with this kind of product (sliding bollards), we needed extra attention and support from the technicians, sales support agents and engineers of Heald and we received everything we needed from them.” He adds, “We feel very confident with Heald as our supplier and we look forward to our next project together.” With innovation at the core of Heald, the company continues to offer unique, patent-protected products, including bollards and road blockers, to the market. Shallow or surface mount solutions Heald Ltd's bespoke designs are made to fit individual site requirements Heald Ltd's bespoke designs are made to fit individual site requirements and meet the increasingly demanding needs of organizations, which require high-security solutions against the threat of vehicular attacks, in particular locations that require shallow or surface mount solutions. Debbie Heald MBE, Managing Director at Heald Ltd, commented “We chose Intergate as our Swedish distribution partners, as they are leaders in their field with bollard installations, so the partnership seemed the perfect fit for our unique products.” High-security products and services Debbie adds, “Intergate has the same attention to detail, care for the customer and share the same values regarding providing and installing only the best in high-security products and services. There simply was no other choice for Heald in this region.” The partnership with Intergate follows on from recent announcements that Heald has partnered with Germany-based security firm, truckBlok and Singapore-based company, ESCO Pte Ltd to bring Heald products to the major cities around the world.
In modern crowded cities, effective traffic management is critical for reducing congestion and preventing accidents. With the Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard, traffic managers can view historical and real-time traffic information, helping them make the best decisions and improve outcomes for road users and residents. Traffic management challenge in cities Cities around the world are experiencing major traffic management challenges related to congestion, air pollution, slow journey times, and increased road accidents. With 68% of people expected to live in cities by 2050 (compared to 55% currently) and tough demands for sustainability and lower emissions, the challenges are set to increase exponentially. In an attempt to keep traffic flowing and to maximize road safety, many cities are investing in roadside infrastructure to monitor traffic conditions, including cameras and sensors at key junctions. However, with no way to convert vast quantities of traffic data into actionable insights, this kind of infrastructure can rarely support effective strategic and real-time traffic responses. Traffic Visualization Dashboard To help authorities overcome their immediate and longer-term traffic management challenges, Hikvision has created the Traffic Visualization Dashboard. This dashboard integrates data from roadside cameras and sensors, and displays it to traffic management teams, via an immersive and map-based interface. Converting traffic data into actionable insights This Hikvision solution gives traffic managers fast and easy access to the information that they need With options to overlay historical and real-time traffic data on either a 2D or 3D map, this Hikvision solution gives traffic managers fast and easy access to the information that they need. The dashboard can also be customized quickly and easily, allowing teams to focus on the traffic information that is most important to them, from vehicle counting and congestion information to traffic incidents and violations, such as drivers who break the speed limit, drive without their seat belts fastened, or run red lights. Key benefits of the Traffic Visualization Dashboard: Optimized traffic management decisions - The Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard solution combines historical and real-time traffic data, to help managers understand key traffic trends, thereby enabling them to make better planning decisions. In particular, the Traffic Visualization Dashboard can support better decisions on which kinds of traffic management policies and solutions to implement, from signal optimization to access management solutions, and congestion charging schemes. Real-time incident responses and traffic violation management By helping traffic managers to make better long-term planning decisions, the Traffic Visualization Dashboard can help to tackle traffic issues, such as traffic congestion and other negative impacts of excessive traffic. As well as helping to inform long-term traffic planning, the Hikvision solution helps teams to identify and respond to traffic incidents, and violations in near real-time. This helps to keep key corridors on the road network as clear as possible, helping to speed up journey times for road users. Actionable traffic insights ‘at a glance’ The solution provides 2D and 3D map options that model junctions and traffic corridors accurately The solution provides 2D and 3D map options that model junctions and traffic corridors accurately, and to scale. The map-based interface provides a fully immersive experience that allows traffic and incident managers to quickly spot congestion and to detect traffic incidents, and violations in different areas of the city, all in a matter of seconds. With no need to generate reports to understand real-time traffic conditions and ongoing traffic trends, managers can also make faster, better informed decisions, in order to help optimize traffic flow and public safety. Key features of the Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard: Immersive 2D or 3D map-based interface for traffic insights ‘at a glance’ Simple configuration for specific use cases, including congestion management and traffic violation management
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, announced an expansive set of cross-portfolio edge-to-cloud security integrations for Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform). The new advancements include the integration of the ClearPass Policy Manager secure network access control platform with the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform, formerly Silver Peak, the integration of Aruba Threat Defense with the EdgeConnect platform, and the expansion of the Aruba ESP multivendor security partner ecosystem, providing enterprise customers with the freedom to deploy best-of-breed, cloud-delivered secure access service edge (SASE) security components of their choice. Today’s Aruba ESP advancements will enable enterprises to fast-track their digital transformation journey from edge-to-cloud. Adoption of cloud-hosted services As organizations contend with challenges resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a new “work from anywhere” normal, the adoption of cloud-hosted services will continue to accelerate. This shift is intensifying the urgency to transform conventional data center and MPLS-centric and VPN-based networks to a cloud-native SASE architecture that features more dynamic provisioning of secure network services while protecting data from end-to-end. In parallel, digital transformation is causing a significant increase of IoT devices connecting to the network, presenting new challenges that are not addressed with cloud-delivered security alone. Since IoT devices are agentless, IT departments cannot install security clients or redirect device traffic to cloud security services; therefore, Zero Trust security must be applied at the WAN edge. Identity-based security policy Enterprise customers now have the ability to apply granular-level, identity-based security policy To realize the full potential of the cloud and digital transformation, organizations require a new WAN edge that combines on-premises and cloud-delivered security, delivering on the promise of SASE to protect users connecting to SaaS and public cloud platforms and to safeguard IoT devices that require Zero Trust identity-based security. Through the new Aruba ESP integrations being announced, enterprise customers now have the ability to apply granular-level, identity-based security policy from edge-to-cloud to safely connect and protect both users and devices. A recent report from communications research firm 650 Group highlights the growing emphasis on SASE while explaining the need for enterprises to re-examine their security approach in light of the current technology evolution. Customer feedback Chris DePuy, founding technology analyst at 650 Group states, “As enterprises shift toward Zero Trust and SASE architectures, they are increasingly evaluating and deploying multi-vendor cloud-delivered security services, and it’s not necessary for all the SASE components to come from a single vendor.” “Aruba’s approach strikes a balance between delivering on-premises security functionality at the WAN edge and providing customers with the freedom of choice to integrate leading cloud-delivered security services from partners like Zscaler, Netskope, and Check Point. This multi-vendor partnering strategy provides enterprises with the flexibility to continue working with existing vendors or shift toward ‘best-of-breed’ systems.” ClearPass Policy Manager integration The integration of ClearPass Policy Manager with the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform augments application intelligence by adding identity knowledge of users, IoT devices, roles, and security posture to form the basis of a SASE WAN edge. Combining role and security posture intelligence with advanced dynamic segmentation capabilities eliminates the complexity associated with implementing hundreds of VLANs for each class of user and device, dramatically simplifying network administration and management. Integrating ClearPass Policy Manager with EdgeConnect provides a consistent and automated definition of roles that can be enforced network-wide from the user’s device, through the LAN, and across the WAN. Threat Defense integration Aruba Threat Defense with the EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform extends advanced intrusion detection The integration of Aruba Threat Defense with the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform extends advanced intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS) capabilities to EdgeConnect physical and virtual appliances. This allows the EdgeConnect platform to leverage the Aruba threat infrastructure, sharing critical threat information between Aruba Central and EdgeConnect to deliver full visibility across the network. These advanced unified threat management (UTM) capabilities enable enterprises to deliver east-west lateral security as well as secure local internet breakout from branch locations and can be deployed centrally on premises or in the cloud. By leveraging a common threat infrastructure and threat feeds across Aruba ESP, network and security managers can centrally apply and enforce threat management policies enterprise-wide. Multivendor partner Ecosystem As enterprises shift toward a Zero Trust and SASE architecture, they are increasingly evaluating and deploying multivendor cloud-delivered security services. A new Ponemon Institute security best practices survey affirms this, revealing that over 70 percent of respondents would opt for a best-of-breed, cloud-delivered security solution over an all-in-one approach, in order to architect a comprehensive Zero Trust and SASE infrastructure. With a new Service Orchestration provisioning workflow, the Aruba Orchestrator management console, formerly Silver Peak Unity Orchestrator, now includes pre-configured default information regarding the cloud security partner’s proximity-based cloud security services. Network administrators can quickly and easily associate Aruba branch locations with the partner’s points of presence (POPs) and cloud-data centers. Foremost security vendors such as Check Point, Forcepoint, McAfee, Netskope, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and Zscaler are currently a part of Aruba’s extensive technology alliance partner ecosystem. Powerful combination “The integration of ClearPass Policy Manager and Aruba Threat Defense with the EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform allows us to deliver a consistent identity-based policy framework across the Aruba secure edge portfolio,” said David Hughes, Founder of Silver Peak and Senior Vice President of the WAN business at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. The integration will enable customers to move from center-centric network architectures to cloud-centric WAN “This powerful combination will enable customers to move at their own pace, from legacy data center-centric network architectures, with perimeter-based security, to a cloud-centric WAN with security based on the principles of Zero Trust and SASE. Enterprise customers can deploy our on-premises EdgeConnect WAN edge platform to enforce policy from the edge, and easily integrate with leading cloud-delivered security services from the vendor of their choice, all centrally controlled within Aruba Orchestrator.” Comprehensive WAN Edge portfolio The Aruba ESP platform offers customers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of secure wired, wireless and WAN edge solutions that enable customers to adapt to today’s new normal and tomorrow’s unknowns. The WAN Edge portfolio includes: Virtual Intranet Access Client (VIA) – maximum mobility for work-from-anywhere users whether connecting to private or public networks Remote Access Points (RAPs) – minimal footprint for mobile, remote and temporary workspaces, delivering secure connectivity to the corporate enterprise network SD-Branch – maximum integration and simple unified management across WLAN, LAN, and SD-WAN with Zero Trust security EdgeConnect – optimal QoE (Quality of Experience) from edge-to-cloud with an advanced SD-WAN edge platform and unified SASE components
The Croatian defender and UEFA Cup winner Darijo Srna will become the brand ambassador of the Ukrainian security systems manufacturer Ajax Systems in Croatia. The slogan of the campaign is “Ajax. My defense tactics.” “Darijo is a world soccer legend and a real superstar in Croatia. His brand ambassador status will bring further momentum to the Ajax promotion in the Adriatic market,” Ajax Systems CMO, Valentyn Hrytsenko. “I have a smart Ajax security system at home, and now even when I am at training camps or on long trips I can rest assured that my home and my loved ones are well-protected. It’s convenient that the system is controlled with an app on my smartphone — this allows me to manage the household security from anywhere in the world,” Darijo Srna. Darijo’s recommendations As part of the campaign launch, a series of digital activities was scheduled as well as exclusive merchandise and materials were prepared for Ajax B2B partners. The main campaign goal is to enhance and consolidate the company’s standing in the Adriatic region. In addition to being an Ajax user himself, in the past Darijo also recommended the system to his former teammate Paulo Fonseca, the ex-coach of Shakhtar, whose home was robbed. After the incident, an Ajax system was sent to Fonseca to Italy as a gift: it was installed in his home for protection against any possible accidents. The Adriatic market Ajax Systems entered the Adriatic market in 2017. One of the most important achievements of the company on the market is its partnership with Alarm Automatika, the largest distributor of security equipment in the region. The global goal of Ajax is to become the #1 brand in its segment. To make professional security comfortable for users and give installers the opportunity to work with user-friendly, innovative equipment that has no compromises on reliability.
Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data center world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organizations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centers or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognize individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analyzing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognize. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the center of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyze more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analyzed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analyzing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as license plate reading, behavioral analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fiber-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
Following its recent acquisition, Vidsys will continue to operate, now as an ‘An ARES Security Company’. The Vidsys brand is known worldwide for its PSIM (physical security information management) solution and the acquisition will accelerate the next generation of products that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance their value to Vidsys clients and the overall market. ARES Security Corporation has developed and deployed security and public safety software solutions for the past 20 years, solving complex physical security challenges. Their AVERT security software solution supports the full lifecycle of physical security operations: risk and technology assessment and design, training, and intelligent real-time incident response. AVERT security software AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost AVERT security software helps clients by increasing security effectiveness and reducing cost. Clients are in many market segments including Corporate, Military, Government, Power, Data Centers, Transportation and Ports. Vidsys’ PSIM will immediately be improved by incorporating AVERT C2 (Command & Control), allowing clients access to expanded capabilities and an advanced technical roadmap. “Over time we will migrate the Vidsys technology to our state-of-the-art, multi-tenant SaaS architecture that includes secure, multi-site data sharing, an updated library of connectors, and integration to the AVERT digital twin, artificial intelligence/machine learning and automation capability,” said Ben Eazzetta, ARES Security Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Technical roadmap for upgrading to AI-PSIM platform “We are a client-centric company, and we will continue to support Vidsys clients,” stated Ben Eazzetta, adding “We will focus initial efforts towards closing any required and promised capability gaps and offer a significantly improved technical roadmap for the platform to be upgraded to AI-PSIM.” Additional AVERT products will be made available to Vidsys clients in a ‘cost-effective way’. They include technology for assessment and design, virtual tabletop and virtual reality training and enhanced AI and robotics capability surrounding the digital twin. A ‘digital twin’ is a digital representation of a physical object. Rapid incident response and robotic sentries interfaces ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation for rapid incident response ARES has a strong market position in several verticals that require a robust and automated next-generation AI-PSIM. The ARES/Vidsys solution offers capabilities with extremely high levels of automation that enable rapid incident response and incorporate advanced features, such as interfaces to robotic sentries. “These capabilities, along with a more automated deployment process, will allow Vidsys to scale their acquisition of customers across key verticals in which ARES is already active. This automated deployment process will also open new opportunities to work with system integrators who have shied away from PSIM projects in recent years,” stated Ben Eazzetta. Optimizing security operations ARES believes the physical security market is underserved by technology that optimizes operations. Ben Eazzetta adds, “All of our products are designed to optimize security operation, and the acquisition of Vidsys allows us to accelerate the development of the next generation PSIM that is adaptive and intelligent, powered by AVERT’s AI, and Modeling and Simulation system.” Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors, providing an integrated real-time incident response system powered by a rules engine. Together, the AVERT/Vidsys solution seeks to transform the way security operations centers (SOCs) operate and respond to emergencies. Vidsys pioneered PSIM in the security industry and created a robust library of connectors Managing security at multiple sites Ben Eazzetta said, “There’s no denying that some in the security industry see PSIM as a four-letter word. But PSIM exists because it meets a need in the security operations center that cannot be met by either video management or incident management systems. It is critical that PSIM evolves to meet the rapidly changing demands of enterprise clients.” He adds, “Our clients need to manage security at multiple sites, each with different security plans and threats, they need adaptive rules engines to manage complex incidents and emergency responses, and they need automation to seamlessly command and control all security assets, including robotic assets.” Flexible and intelligent software Future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation “The future of command-and-control will need to be flexible, intelligent software with extremely high levels of automation that enables very rapid incident response and incorporates advanced capabilities such as interfaces to robotic sentries,” said Ben Eazzetta. He adds, “To achieve this, we are replacing the brittle, difficult-to-configure rules engine of today’s PSIM with machine learning and AI capabilities that can produce automated/optimized responses or recommendations in near real time.” SaaS-enabled and remotely hosted system The systems will be SaaS-enabled, remotely hosted and easily configurable to reduce the cost and time of deployments for large enterprise implementations and easily supported by end-users, and system integrators. In a post-Covid-19 world, it is critical that enterprise security software solutions be adaptive, intelligent, automated and offer the ability for disparate teams to share information and collaborate in a meaningful way, while responding to incidents and emergencies in real-time. The ARES/Vidsys offering is a lifecycle solution that meets the needs of enterprise security operations. Next-generation of AI-PSIM “ARES has always pushed the needle of what is possible with our AVERT solution, ever since development of our digital twin technology began in 1999 to protect our nation’s nuclear stockpiles,” said Ben Eazzetta, adding “Today, we continue to innovate with the next generation of AI-PSIM.” So what’s ahead for ARES and Vidsys in 2021? “A lot of Zoom calls!” laughs Eazzetta, adding “We are excited to leverage the decades of hard work that both teams have put into our solutions. We all realize the fantastic opportunity we have been given to create a next-generation AI-PSIM and to open new markets for all of our products and solutions.” He adds, “Combining the two companies will lead to improved development/support capability and significantly improved roadmaps for our clients. We will provide immediate ROI for clients by lowering deployment costs and leveraging the entire suite of products to provide more immediate value while continuing to deliver as promised, like ARES always does.”
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.
Historically, concerns about inclusion and diversity have not been widely discussed in the security market. In the last couple of years, however, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and other groups have worked to raise awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, SIA’s Women in Security Forum has focused on the growing role of women in all aspects of security, and SIA’s RISE community has focused on “rising stars” in an industry previously dominated by Baby Boomers. The next generation of security leaders There is a business case to be made for diversity and inclusion, says a report by McKinsey & Company. According to the management consulting company, gender-diverse companies are 24% more likely to outperform less diverse companies, and ethnically diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts. Furthermore, the “next generation of security leaders” – employees under 30 – are particularly focused on diversity and inclusion. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique A panel discussion at ISC West’s Virtual Event highlighted aspects of inclusion and diversity, starting with a definition of each. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique. On the other hand, inclusion refers to the behavior and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. “We are all on a journey, and our journey takes different paths,” said Willem Ryan of AlertEnterprise, one of the SIA panelists. “There are opportunities to improve over time. We can all change and increase our ability to have a positive impact.” Industry responsibility The industry has a responsibility to the next generation of industry leaders to address issues of inclusion and diversity. Forbes magazine says that millennials are more engaged at work when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture. So the question becomes: How do we unify and create opportunities to work with and champion tomorrow’s leaders? SIA is driving change in our industry to achieve that goal. More women are active in SIA than ever before. The SIA Women in Security Forum now has 520 members, said Maureen Carlo of BCD International, the SIA Women in Security Forum Chair and another panelist. Also, more women than ever are chairing SIA committees and serving on the SIA Board of Directors. More women than ever are chairing SIA committees Overcoming unconscious bias Former SIA Chairman Scott Shafer of SMS Advisors, another of the panelists, noted that SIA awarded the Chairman’s Award to the Women in Security Forum in 2019, and to the RISE community steering committee in 2020. “There are lots of ways we are seeing the elevation of women and ethnic groups in the security industry,” said Shafer. One topic of interest is the problem of “unconscious bias,” which can be overcome by looking at something through some else’s lens. Ryan suggested use of the acronym SELF – Slow Down, Empathize, Learn, and Find commonalities. Ryan recalled the value of being mentored and having someone shepherd him around the industry. “Now I want to give back,” he said. “We need to look at the things we can change in ourselves, in our company, in our communities, and in our industry. Change comes from the bottom and the top.” Increasing representation “It takes all of us to increase representation everywhere,” said Kasia Hanson of Intel Corp., another panelist. “We have in common that we are all human beings. Let’s make sure the next generation all have opportunities.” Diverse companies can attract better talent Moving forward, the panelists urged the industry to get involved and create opportunities because inclusion drives diversity. Diverse companies can attract better talent and attain a competitive advantage. Awareness of unconscious bias, and working to eliminate it, is an important element of change. Despite the progress the security industry is making, change continues to be incremental. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Merrion Vaults, an Ireland-based provider of safe deposit boxes, has selected biometric identity verification technology from Iris ID. Merrion Vaults rents safe deposit boxes, like those found at banks, but with a significant difference, customer identities are authenticated through highly accurate iris readers, in order to enhance security. Private safe deposit boxes Merrion Vaults operates private safe deposit boxes in Glasgow and Edinburgh, in Scotland, Nottingham, Liverpool and Newcastle, in England and Dublin, in Ireland. Seamus Fahy, Director, Merrion Vaults, said the iris readers are replacing fingerprint recognition systems for authenticating customer identity. Fahy believes the choice of contactless iris readers was well timed, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Seamus Fahy stated, “The initial customer reaction to the Iris ID readers has been excellent. The customers love it.” Fingerprint readers It’s a simple, easy process for them to swipe an access card and then look into the reader with nothing to touch" He adds, “It’s a simple, easy process for them to swipe an access card and then look into the reader with nothing to touch. The entire process takes a few seconds to complete. Using the fingerprint reader, customers would forget which finger they registered with or would press too hard or too lightly on the reader. If they couldn’t get access, we’d have to check their names and passwords, and then re-register them. It was a hassle.” According to Fahy, the Iris ID readers are part of a tight security plan that includes video surveillance, access control, turnstiles, intrusion alarms and panic buttons, as well as seismic and water sensors. Employees monitor cameras at each facility and in a system-wide control room in Dublin, Ireland. Iris recognition system Mohammed Murad, Vice President of Iris ID feels the iris recognition system allows rapid and highly accurate authentication of Merrion Vaults customers, due to each person’s unique iris patterns. Mohammed Murad said, “The accuracy, speed and convenience of the Iris ID system are critical for a business that identifies its customers using biometrics. Our system also provides another critical layer of security, ensuring only Merrion customers gain access to the vault. No two people, including identical twins, have the same iris patterns.” Iris iCAM7S system readers The Iris iCAM7S system readers provide a mirror interface with color-alignment indicators guiding customers through the authentication process while capturing iris images at distances of up to 15 inches. Fahy adds that many banks in the United Kingdom are discontinuing safe deposit box service, creating an opportunity for private vendors to fill the gap. Merrion Vaults plans to open new facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Reading and Bristol, England and Barcelona, Spain in 2021. Longer-term plans include locations in cities across the U.S. Merrion Vaults partners with Aditech, which uses dial-in capabilities to remotely configure and set up the system and test it with Merrion Vault’s IT department.
With a mission to recognize the faces of the people entering/exiting premises of the Government Institution in Indonesia, and analyze their attributes in real-time, the authority needed an extremely robust and ‘highly secured’ facial recognition system. Due to heavy footfall at the premise, it was difficult for staff to manually record information of visiting people and verify their identity on a daily basis. Sometimes, they faced challenge in verifying them due to changes in appearance or features of the visitors. Videonetics MeraFace Videonetics MeraFace, the advanced facial recognition software was selected after a thorough technical evaluation Videonetics MeraFace, the advanced facial recognition software was selected after a thorough technical evaluation by the partner, as well as government decision-makers. The software was selected for its highest accuracy in recognizing and detecting faces in varied lighting conditions, thereby providing additional attributes of gender, age, and emotions, and comprehensive statistical reporting. Operating 24x7 for 365 days, on one of the busiest premises, with a heavy footfall of VIPs, citizens, media, and government officials, Videonetics MeraFace was deployed at strategic locations with high human traffic flows, including entry and exit points, and lift lobby area of the institution. Key features of Videonetics MeraFace include: Video streams from IP cameras are processed at MeraFace to detect faces in real-time and operators find a probable match with the registered faces. In case, any face that is not registered but has been captured and stored in the system can also be found anytime. Operators have been keeping records of registered faces and attributes of the person’s face for future search and investigation. Powered by AI & Deep Learning framework, MeraFace analyzes and delivers more information, such as gender, age, emotion, eventually helpful for officials to make accurate visitors’ analysis. Now, operators can identify and classify VIP, suspected, blacklisted people in real-time with easy clicks and send the instant notification to the staff, for any swift action. At the time of any suspicious activity, operators can quickly investigate a person’s face in the given videos or collection of face images. Moreover, this feature has been phenomenally successful as an investigation tool, for conducting post-incident analysis. Scalable facial recognition system Videonetics MeraFace has proven to be a reliable and scalable system for the government authority, by delivering fast and highly accurate results. With the system, the security staff can recognize and detect faces in real-time. Furthermore, MeraFace has helped in appointing a smaller number of security guards around the entrance or exit of the premise, thanks to an automated facial recognition system of identifying and validating information. The risk of human errors in face matching has also been eliminated. “Videonetics has not only delivered a perfect facial recognition solution, but also delivered on its reputation of providing outstanding training and support, to us and customer. Our customer has invested in the future-proof technology that has the ability to grow with their needs,” stated Alfred Bisuk, Technical Manager, Lamjaya Inovasi Komputindo.
ClanTect and ePm have signed a partnership agreement for the sale and servicing of ClanTect’s next generation Motion Detection systems (also referred to as ‘heartbeat’ detection systems) for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Detecting humans in vehicles ClanTect’s systems are used to detect the hidden presence of people inside vehicles and are deployed within a wide range of organizations in the Border Security, Prisons and Critical Infrastructure markets. Customers include globally renowned organizations, such as the UK Border Force and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Her Majesty’s Prison Service in the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands of clandestine operatives and fugitives are detected by ClanTect each year, with hundreds of lives being saved. Ultra-sensitive sensors Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle ClanTect’s systems are based on sound and vibration technology. Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle. The system is extremely fast (approx. 60 seconds for a vehicle search), it is very easy to use, the search process is fully automated, and, unlike X-Ray and some other technologies, it is completely safe for both the operator and for the stowaway. ClanTect’s system is extremely accurate. It utilizes a unique ‘blocking’ capability, which eliminates any nearby surrounding noise from outside of the vehicle. Compact 2nd generation systems With the launch of their 2nd generation systems, ClanTect provides smaller and more compact devices, which are now fully wireless, thereby making them easy to deploy in ad-hoc outdoor roadside locations, even in windy weather conditions. Professor Steve Daley, Managing Director of ClanTect commented, “Our systems can enable the UAE authorities to meet some of today’s most pressing security challenges, such as human trafficking, the protection of critical infrastructure and the security of custodial facilities.” Protection of critical infrastructure Steve Daley adds, “We have also ensured that our systems have been thoroughly tested to meet the challenging environmental conditions faced in the UAE.” Hadi R Omer, Director of Sales & Marketing (Systems & Solutions) at ePm said, “Here at ePm, we have been serving the needs of government and commercial customers since the 1980’s, including the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police, UAE Armed Forces, Dubai Customs, and ADNOC. We feel that ClanTect’s technology perfectly complements our existing portfolio of security products and offers tremendous operational capabilities for public and private sector organizations across the UAE.”
Ways to manage visitors and improve communications, while keeping doors to the Congregation Beth Jacob’s sanctuary and school locked. Aiphone IS Series video intercom Aiphone IS Series video intercom mounted just outside the main entry allows visitors to buzz one of four master stations. “Emergency communications and procedures are now embedded in our daily operations,” said Greg Sterling, Past President of the Congregation Beth Jacob. Enhancing safety against active shooters In recent years, houses of worship have become an all‑too‑common target for active shooters, burglars and vandals The Congregation Beth Jacob provides a house of worship, pre-school and attached K-7 religious school for the Redwood City, California’s Jewish community, in the heart of the famed Silicon Valley. In recent years, houses of worship have become an all‑too‑common target for active shooters, burglars, vandals and a host of other criminals. Founded in 1930, Congregation Beth Jacob has a rich history as the first Jewish institution built between San Francisco and San Jose. Since an earlier sanctuary was destroyed by a suspected arsonist in 1979, Congregation Beth Jacob has taken security of its members, students and employees very seriously and regularly updates its systems and procedures. Managing visitors and improving communications Congregation Beth Jacob’s security integrator, Oakland-based HighCom Security Services, was asked for ways to manage visitors and improve communications, while keeping doors to the sanctuary and school locked throughout the day. Requirements for the Congregation Beth Jacob included: Sanctuary employees had to be able to remotely see and speak with visitors before opening an exterior door. Employees needed to be able to easily communicate between the 12 classrooms and offices in the sanctuary and school. The solution had to be easy for employees, congregation members and visitors to use. “Emergency communications and procedures are now embedded in our daily operations,” said Greg Sterling, Past President of Congregation Beth Jacob. Fences and gates installed Fences and gates now guide visitors from the street to a rear parking lot and a double-door entry to the main facility. This and all other exterior doors are kept locked. An Aiphone IS Series video intercom is mounted just outside the main entry, allowing visitors to buzz one of the four master stations located on the desks of the Executive Director and Receptionists and in the common areas of the main and school offices. Color LCD monitors on the IS Series master stations allow office staff to see and speak with visitors, before remotely unlocking the door. Keypads at the door let employees open the door by entering a code. Wall-mount audio intercoms Aiphone speakers and horns were added to share emergency messages in the school play area Wall-mount audio intercoms have been provided in each classroom. Teachers can communicate hands-free with the main or school offices, and other classrooms. They can also choose to use the intercom’s handset for more private conversations. Before the intercoms were installed, teachers had to leave the classroom and walk to the office for help. Aiphone speakers and horns were added to share emergency messages in the school play area, two patios, front entry, sanctuary, social hall and main dining room. Surveillance cameras installed Surveillance cameras set to view the parking lot, school entry and the street fronting Congregation Beth Jacob. Sanctuary staff can view live video from monitors in the facility’s main and school offices. Panic buttons were installed in each classroom, the social hall and kitchen. Pushing a button generates a code phrase intended to start an immediate facility lockdown without overly frightening the students.
BIRD Aerosystems, the globally renowned developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information, and Observation (ASIO) solutions, has been awarded a new contract by the Czech Republic Air Force. Under the contract, BIRD Aerosystems will provide additional AMPS-MV systems with the patented MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) for the Czech Air Force’s Mi-17 fleet. This project is a part of the overall modernization plan of the Czech Mi-17 transport helicopter fleet. AMPS-MV systems with patented MACS BIRD’s AMPS are already operational on the Czech Air Force Mi-17 helicopters and have been successfully deployed in different conflict zones, including Afghanistan. This contract comes after BIRD Aerosystems having conducted an overall upgrade to the Czech’s existing AMPS systems earlier this year, which provided enhanced functionality to the MILDS UV detection sensors and the MCDU Mission computers. As part of the current contract BIRD Aerosystems will provide the Czech Air Force its AMPS systems with the MACS sensor, which ensures that no false alarms will be detected and the system will react only to validated real threats. Ronen Factor, the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BIRD Aerosystems, said “We appreciate the confidence placed in our AMPS solution by the Czech Air Force, who decided to purchase additional systems for its Mi-17 fleet. Equipped with BIRD’s AMPS-MV solution with the MACS sensor, they can rest assured knowing that their aircraft and crew are safe, even when flying in automatic mode in the most complicated conflict zones.” Airborne Missile Protection System The AMPS system is known to automatically detect, verify, and foil missile attacks BIRD Aerosystems’ Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS) provides the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against all known Surface to Air Missiles (SAM), including MANPADS, laser beam rider threats, and radar-guided missiles. The AMPS system is known to automatically detect, verify, and foil missile attacks through the effective use of counter-measure decoys (flares and chaff) that jam the missile’s IR (Infrared) seeker and protect the aircraft. MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) is an advanced semi-active confirmation radar, which significantly reduces the false alarm rate of the overall missile warning system. Queued by a suspected threat, MACS points towards it and performs a doppler-based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat. By doing so, MACS provides the most effective filtering of all known natural and human-made types of false alarms that are typically detected by electro-optical sensors, and ensures that only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon. Fully operational, BIRD’s AMPS-MV with the MACS sensor is provided as a turn-key solution that includes design, installation, integration, certification and support, and is certified by major aircraft manufacturers.
Cybersecurity services company Bridewell Consulting enhanced the security of the upcoming 2021 Census program after following a stringent review process. Bridewell was enlisted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) to perform the Independent Information Assurance Review (IIAR) which took place between September 2020 and January 2021. Securing the risks The purpose of the assurance review was to identify any security risks to Census systems, services and information, and to present an independent view of security maturity to stakeholders. Bridewell also produced a public report to assure the nation adequate measures are in place and encourage members of the public to complete the Census. The Census is a nationwide survey that takes place every 10 years and must be completed by every household. The data collected in the survey builds a picture of all the people and households across the UK to help organizations make decisions on planning and funding public services including transport, education, and healthcare in each area. The 2021 Census survey will take place on 21st March. Security assurance review Bridewell previously delivered the assurance review for the Census rehearsal in 2019 and was selected to undertake the review of the 2021 Census following a formal tender process. Bridewell engaged with the ONS, NISRA, and their trusted partners over three months to ensure that a thorough and robust review into every aspect of the program was completed effectively. ONS has developed strong security measures to safeguard submissions but we did not want citizens just to take our word on this The assurance review took a three-phase approach, covering governance and management, operational security, process and design, and security assurance. Andy Wall, Chief Information Security Officer at the Office for National Statistics comments, “The protection of citizen information collected in the Census is critical. ONS has developed strong security measures to safeguard submissions but we did not want citizens just to take our word on this." Security Assessment Criteria "It was very important for us to test our approach and measures and so we wanted an independent view. A specialist organization like Bridewell, which has the expertise to look under the hood of the Census and assess the detail of what we have built, was very valuable.” The assessment criteria comprised a range of selected controls, outcomes, and good practices from security industry-recognized control frameworks to ensure the assessment was not confined by one singular framework. This included ISO27001, the Cyber Security Framework, the Open Web Application Security Project Software Assurance Maturity Model, the UK Security Policy Framework, NCSC principles, and other guidance. Implementation of assessment In total, Bridewell shared 21 findings in review which were rapidly addressed before the assessment concluded The scope of the review included systems, services, and staff in ONS and NISRA supporting the Census, the Census supply chain, and physical and digital security. Bridewell also assessed how comprehensive and effective the assurance review itself was in improving the program’s security. In total, Bridewell shared 21 findings in review which were rapidly addressed before the assessment concluded. Scott Nicholson, Co-CEO at Bridewell adds, “The Census is vital to informing how organizations and public authorities effectively plan and fund critical services we all require. Whilst completion of the assessment is a legal requirement, members of the public need confidence that the data they provide will be processed fairly and lawfully with adequate protection in place." "We are proud to have played a key role in independently assessing the governance, design, implementation, and operation of controls to ensure they are providing an appropriate level of protection.”
Round table discussion
A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?
The definition of a standard is “an authoritative principle or rule that usually implies a model or pattern for guidance, by comparison with which the quantity, excellence, correctness, etc., of other things may be determined.” In technology markets, such as physical security, standards are agreed-upon language, specifications or processes that are used across the board by multiple stakeholders to enable easier interconnectivity and smoother operation of systems. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are standards shaping change in the physical security market?
Statistically speaking, incidents of terrorism are unlikely to impact most businesses and institutions. However, the mere possibility of worst-case-scenario attacks is enough to keep security professionals awake at night. Compounding the collective anxiety is the minute-by-minute media coverage when an attack does occur. The immediacy of the shared experience of global tragedy impacts us all – including security system decision-makers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market?
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