ADT, the trusted brand in smart home and business security, brought an action for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and related violations against Ring LLC (Ring), an Amazon company and provider of smart home security devices.
In March 2021, the complaint asserts, Ring adopted a blue octagon mark that is virtually indistinguishable from ADT’s iconic blue octagon mark, which is protected under numerous federal trademark registrations. ADT’s blue octagon is iconic in the security market, proudly displayed on lawn signs and stickers at the homes and businesses of ADT’s more than 6.5 million customers across the United States. Following an attempt to imitate ADT’s lawn signs, Ring went further and blatantly assimilated ADT’s logo into its Ring Alarm Outdoor Siren, according to the complaint.
Second attempted theft
The infringement constitutes Ring’s second attempted theft of ADT property. In 2017 Ring obtained an unauthorized copy of a software platform, related trade secrets, and other assets that ADT had spent two years and millions of dollars developing, the complaint explains. ADT brought suit in Delaware and succeeded in enjoining Ring from using the stolen platform before Ring settled with ADT. Ring believes it can trick consumers who will see a solid blue octagon and believe it is ADT
Now operating as an Amazon company, Ring is again attempting another open theft—this time the theft of ADT’s iconic trademark, “seeking to tout a reputation for trust to potential customers that it has not earned,” the complaint asserts.
Ring believes it can trick consumers who will see a solid blue octagon and believe it is ADT, the most trusted brand in security. As the complaint asserts, “Indeed, even though the blue octagon mark that Ring is using includes the Ring name, … people will believe that Ring is providing a security service on par with ADT—or, worse, that Ring is providing its security service in partnership with ADT.”
Immediate and permanent injunction
ADT’s suit alleges willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114 and 1125(a); common law trademark infringement; violation of Florida Unfair Competition Law; and Trademark Dilution under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) and under Fla. Stat. § 495.151.
“Great brands like ADT don’t become universally recognized overnight,” said Trent Webb, co-chair, intellectual property practise group of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, counsel for ADT. “ADT’s products, services, and reputation are built on a nearly 150-year history of innovation and reliability, and investment in its people and its products. Amazon’s Ring continues to take shortcuts to build its brand—to build its company—through blatant and repeated theft of ADT’s intellectual property.”
“ADT will protect its customers, its employees, its intellectual property, and its reputation,” Webb added. “As such, we’re asking the court for, among other relief, immediate and permanent injunction against the use of ADT’s iconic blue octagon mark and for monetary and punitive damages.”
Paxton’s combined video management and access control platform, Paxton10, now allows administrators to manage multiple sites, spanning cities, countries, and even continents.
Paxton10 is the newest and most powerful system, developed by the international security manufacturer, Paxton Access Limited (Paxton). The new system is critically acclaimed among industry experts, as well as a favorite for Paxton installers.
One Paxton installer and the Managing Director of Seen Services, Bradley Lucas, said “Due to its simple out of the box installation process, this is our go to access control solution. The system can be managed with ease from anywhere. Our engineers love using it, as do our clients.”
Multi-site management support
Paxton has been developing Paxton10 platform, based on real-time feedback from their installers and end-users. This is to maximize the systems future potential for expanding businesses with multiple sites, and public spaces, such as campuses or healthcare facilities.
The installer and customer needs are what continue to drive the direction of Paxton10, which is leading the way as a unique combined system that can support multi-site management.
Paxton10 Cloud Services
By utilizing Paxton10 Cloud Services, it is possible for up to 100 sites to be managed by a single Paxton10 server
By utilizing Paxton10 Cloud Services, it is possible for up to 100 sites to be managed by a single Paxton10 server. To connect the sites via the user-friendly web-based software, an activation code is used to simply identify a Paxton10 controller at the destination and the system does the rest.
The multi-site feature in Paxton10 can be set up in minutes, with minimal technical knowledge. It does not need a VPN or any additional infrastructure.
Supports up to 1000 doors and cameras
Even with multi-site, a single Paxton10 system can still support up to 1000 doors and 1000 cameras. Site administrators can add up to 50,000 users, with no additional license fees. This makes the system cost-effective and continuously scalable, at the touch of a button, using Paxton’s cleverly designed software.
Thomas Faith, Senior Product Manager for Paxton10 at Paxton Access Limited explains “The most impressive thing about multi-site is its pure simplicity. Straightforward maintenance and setup have been our goal throughout its development.”
Enhanced networking and connectivity
Thomas adds, “Networking and achieving connectivity between sites can be notoriously complicated, as there is a myriad of technology to navigate. With multi-site, this is all in the background. What the installer or user sees is completely hassle-free as we really have made the usability intuitive and seamless.”
Standards and compliance perform a critical, if underappreciated, role for security and facility managers. They set a quality baseline for locking and security hardware. They help customers quickly compare attributes across products.
An insurance provider probably requires security to meet relevant standards. Taking a short-cut could prove an expensive mistake, should the worst happen and one needs to claim.
Importance of meeting standards
“Not all affordable mechanical locking meets even the minimum standards. Unfortunately, such information will not always be clearly advertised on the package. Even if a standard is ‘met’, not every product which meets it is equal.” said Kirsi Solehmainen, Product Manager of Mechanical Cylinders at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA.
Kirsi adds, “Take the most relevant standard for mechanical locking, EN 1303:2015, for example. Cylinders are assessed on up to six different measures, generating an alphanumeric grade which summarizes a lock’s performance on such metrics as fire, corrosion and attack resistance. A high-quality cylinder lock may read something like ‘1 6 – B – C 5 D’.”
Durability, key security, and attack resistance
For security, the second, sixth, seventh and eighth digits are especially important
For security, the second, sixth, seventh, and eighth digits are especially important. These indicate a lock’s likely performance when faced with common threats. Durability (digit 2) is graded on a 4 - 6 scale, corrosion (digit 6) is assessed A - C, key security (digit 7) 1 - 6, and attack resistance (final digit) 0 - D.
Kirsi further stated, “A cylinder may jump the bar to receive EN 1303:2015 certification, achieving the lowest grade in all these categories. But simply ‘passing’ this standard, meeting this minimum, is unlikely to provide protection that your premises require. You can aim higher, while staying within your security budget.”
CY110 locking system
The CY110 locking system from ASSA ABLOY is designed for uncompromising security and usability, and for anyone who does not want to spend too much time thinking about standards. CY110 cylinders outperform basic EN 1303 standards, offering high performance at an affordable price.
In fact, the example above, 1 6 – B – C 5 D, is the official EN 1303 certification for CY110 cylinders. CY110 padlocks exceed the minimum for similar, but separate, standards for such devices (EN 12320) and conforms to SKG.
Safeguarding against key duplication
CY110 achieves close to the maximum rating for cylinder-type locking. Keys are robust, with a complex dimple design, which enhances duplication protection. Additionally, a patent, valid through 2036, safeguards against unauthorized key copying.
Locks are resistant to picking and to multiple types of brute force attacks. Inbuilt self-lubrication technology and corrosion durability ensure a long product lifetime. The CY110 system makes no trade-off between affordability and security standards. This next generation of mechanical locking offers both, alongside an intelligent 21st-century design that makes CY110 locking easy to install and convenient to use.
Deploying EN 1303:2015 locking
The CY110 locking system is proven in both domestic and commercial settings
The CY110 locking system is proven in both domestic and commercial settings. Customers can select from a broad range of EN 1303 certified cylinders, including double, thumb turn, and rim cylinders for interior and exterior doors, cam cylinders for cabinets, gates, and lockers, and single cylinders for lifts and other interior doors. CY110 padlocks, made from hardened boron steel, are adapted for use outdoors or inside. Many locking points have a CY110 solution.
For domestic convenience, home owners can order CY110 keyed alike, every resident carries a single key to open all relevant locks, including exterior and interior doors, storage spaces, and padlocks. CY110 cylinders may lock front and back doors, cabinets, and gates. The key-holder wastes no time in hunting for the right key because their single CY110 opens them all. Because CY110 keys are reversible, they turn in the lock the first time, every time.
Simplifies master-key system design
At commercial premises, CY110’s adaptability simplifies master-key system design. A locksmith or facility manager can quickly configure a master key system chart, which gives the CEO an ‘access all areas’ key, IT staff a key to the server room, cleaners the rights to unlock offices and supplies storage, employees with meeting room and office permissions, and everyone the ability to unlock the main entrance door and use the lift.
Nobody carries weighty key bunches. No one goes where they are not authorized. And users no longer have to waste time searching for the right key or guessing which way to insert it.
Enhanced performance and lock durability
The CY110’s EN 1670:2007 certification ensures lock durability is not a worry. Providing performance on every level, CY110 has almost the highest possible grading for the important European locking standard - EN 1303:2015.
This simplifies security and takes the headache out of locking compliance. CY110 is genuine, trusted ‘fit and forget’ locking solution, where convenience, cost-efficiency, and compliance come together.
DoorBird IP video door stations can now fully integrate with Yale and August smart locks. Home owners can connect their smart lock to the smart door station for a seamless ‘approach to entry’ experience.
IP video door stations integration
The new integration works with the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, any August Smart Lock with a Wi-Fi Connect, and the Yale Assure Locks and Levers with Wi-Fi. Through the DoorBird app, residents will have access to the following features:
Know who stopped by, even when out: Easily integrated into the home automation system through the DoorBird app, the DoorBird IP video door station will allow home owners to monitor their front door, gate, and/or garage door. With motion sensors and live in-app notifications, when the doorbell is pressed, home owners will receive an alert whenever someone moves into the entrance area of their home.
Grant access to visitors remotely: Whether it is a neighbor, friend, or family member, home owners will be able to have a two-way conversation with any visitor through the integrated DoorBird camera and DoorBird app. Home owners will also be able to unlock their door from the same app from anywhere, with no more copied keys or inconvenient dashes to let someone in.
Never miss a delivery: Tired of missing packages or trying to outsmart porch pirates? Simply use the DoorBird app to greet and grant delivery personnel temporary access to the garage, front gate, or hallway, ensuring packages are always safely delivered to home. Even if home owners are at home most of the day, they can grant access from their desk or the couch for ultimate convenience.
IP video door solutions major
DoorBird is a globally renowned company in IP video door communication, under the brand name of Bird Home Automation Group. With over 100,000 intercoms installed worldwide, the Berlin-based manufacturer is dedicated to creating smart door stations for every home. All products are made in Germany and combine modern design, high-quality materials, and state-of-the-art IP technology.
For decades, the nature of global safety has been evolving. From physical security threats like large-scale terrorist attacks and lone actor stabbings to chemical threats such as the Salisbury poisonings and even microbiological threats such as COVID-19, new challenges are constantly arising and the threat landscape we operate in today is constantly changing.
Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks. With the economic downturn, there is the traditional rise in theft, violence and other crimes. Compound this with unmanned businesses and work-at-home staff, and there is a perfect storm for a rise in security threats.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and specifically the branch of AI known as machine learning (ML), was already causing widespread disruption in many industries, including the security industry. AI has been a driving force to replace labor-based business models with integrated data and actionable intelligence that is context-aware. It has become apparent that AI will play a big part in the ongoing fight against both pandemics such as COVID-19, as well as other threats that we may face in the future.
With all of this in mind, 2021 is poised to be a big year for AI growth. While AI is going to continue to impact our lives in dozens of ways, from smart sensors to face mask compliance detection, the following reflects a few top trends and challenges that I have my eye on for 2021 as we close out this year.
The rise of smart city investments
One such example is the increasing development of smart cities and how AI can be leveraged to build safe communities. To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services.
Compounding the complexity of the security issues is the complexity and nature of attacks
Typical development of a city includes standard infrastructure - roads, schools, power, water, transportation. Now, internet, data and AI capabilities are part of the standard infrastructure requirements for all new developments. AI promises to deliver increased efficiencies with the infrastructure that will accommodate growing populations while reducing our impact on the environment, resources, and communities.
Global cities now account for more than half of the world’s population, and the United Nations projects the number to balloon to 68% by mid-century. Owing to both demographic shifts and overall population growth, that means that around 2.5 billion people could be added to urban areas by the middle of the century, predicts the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
With an increase in population has come an increase in global spending on smart city initiatives to drive down the impact of growing urban concentration. Global spending on smart city initiatives is expected to total nearly $124 billion this year, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide, while Singapore, Tokyo, London and New York as the big spenders - expected to spend more than $1 billion in 2020.
Using AI-driven technology to create safer public and private spaces
Today, security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments to protect the population in a more efficient, and accurate manner. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new AI technology can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space.
One such deployment is the use of video object recognition/computer vision software that can be integrated into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. These enhanced VMS systems can be deployed both inside and outside of buildings to identify risks and flag threats, such weapons, aggressive behaviours, theft, and safety compliance. This helps to minimize the impact of a breach by an early alert to onsite security in real-time to the location and nature of the potential threat, allowing them to intervene before a loss occurs.
These same AI-enabled video solutions can similarly be used to provide advanced business operations in retail, logistics, and manufacturing organizations.
Multi-sensor security solutions
Also, targeted magnetic and radar sensor technologies, concealed in everyday objects like planter boxes or inside walls, can now scan individuals and bags entering a building for concealed threat objects. Using AI/machine learning, these two sensor solutions combined can identify metal content on the body and bag and match the item to a catalog of threat items, such as guns, rifles, knives and bombs.
Security solutions driven by AI are being developed and can be covertly deployed across a range of physical environments
Without this advanced multi-sensor solution, it becomes nearly impossible to discover a weapon on a person's body before it appears in an assailant’s hands. This multi-sensor solution allows for touchless, unobtrusive access to a building, but allows for immediate notification to onsite security when a concealed threat is detected.
The hidden technology thus empowers security staff to intercept threats before they evolve into a wider scale attack, while also maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of the public, unless, of course, they are carrying a concealed weapon or pose a physical threat.
With the advent of sophisticated surveillance and technological innovation, a level of caution must be exerted. Despite the ongoing global debate, there remains little regulation about the use of AI technologies in today’s physical security space. One thing is certain; it must be deployed in the right place, at the right time, with the right privacy and civil liberty protection objectives. People don’t want to be protected by omnipresent, obstructive and overbearing security systems that infringe on their privacy and civil liberties. They want a proper balance between security and their current way of life, one that must be fused together.
Technology and tracing COVID-19
Machine learning-based technologies are playing a substantial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the key purpose of surveillance systems has been to detect and deter threats, including the detection of visible and hidden weapons and abnormal behavior. While this, of course, remains a primary focus, today we are seeing how surveillance systems defend against new invisible threats, as well as rapidly automate the process of contact-tracing to capture and contain a virus before it spreads.
Again, the ability to track and trace through parsing algorithms that can manage through enormous amounts of data provides a highly scalable and rapid response mechanism to control the spread of threats.
AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact
Although the threat may not be visible, it is just as destructive. By incorporating AI into existing technologies, government, healthcare and security professionals can monitor public spaces and environments through the combined use of digital and thermal video surveillance cameras and video management systems); just one of the solutions being explored.
AI has demonstrated potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By Using AI-powered video analytic software, businesses can monitor face masks, social distancing and large gathering compliance and also detect elevated body temperature.
Critically, technology must be capable of both identifying and tracking the virus but also be unobtrusive. An unobtrusive system that is adaptable enough to be deployed across a range of environments where the public gathers in enclosed spaces is necessary to be effective.
Security in 2021
Technology has proven itself to be a valuable ally in times of crisis. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI/machine learning technologies will help optimize security solutions in areas that are brimming with potential.
As we look ahead to the future of security in a world that is impacted by such a wide range of threats, from physical to chemical to microbiological, it’s clear that new technologies, specifically AI can dramatically improve the effectiveness of security systems and help us to better defend against a wide spectrum of threats. Technology has a huge role to play in making our communities safe in 2021 and beyond, but for security systems to be effective, they must not be oppressive or obstructive. This will ensure they have the full support of the public - the key to success.
Nowadays, everything seems easier in the matter of surveillance. Sophisticated technology safeguards our valuables for us without asking for anything in return. But what if it’s not true? What if it comes with a price? Video surveillance systems are a popular way to keep the property under constant control. It’s not rare that the technological sophistication of these systems puts us in awe. They make us feel, and be, safe.
Yet, there are doubts when it comes to ensuring privacy. And these worries are understandable. Privacy abusers wait around every corner. Some of the fish for data coming from our monitoring systems. Should we then give up and go back to the in-person property guarding? Not really. Countless advantages make an intelligent video surveillance system worth trying. How to find the best solution within the video surveillance systems? Which system is the most secure in protecting us from the threats of privacy abuse: in-house processing unit, or the cloud?
Desire for safety
Every human wants to feel safe. At the bottom of Maslow's "Needs Hierarchy," there are two most essential points. We desire to fulfill our physiological necessities - the need for food, water, warmth, and rest. In the second place, also fundamental is a need for security.Security doesn’t only mean keeping burglars away from the property Today's fast-paced world changes its outer expression, yet the significance of security is constant. We crave to feel safe and we are ready to do a lot to achieve it.
The core truth to begin with when it comes to security is its definition. Security doesn’t only mean keeping burglars away from the property. If it did, we would be content with any camera surveillance system, regardless of its privacy threats. The issue is more complex. Humans value their privacy. Not only keeping our valuables safe but also being away from the sight of others matters to us. We put efforts to protect our privacy, whether it comes to houses, businesses, or sensitive data.
Why is it so important? Ongoing cases of privacy invasions prove that data finds "new owners" very fast. These data takeovers can result in a major inconvenience and robbery on a large scale. Main privacy threats are information collection, processing, dissemination, and invasion. We want to protect data obtained by video surveillance systems. Privacy and security are sometimes compared to water and oilThese are, for example, video registrations, times of entrance to the property, number and identities of visitors, etc.
Privacy and security are sometimes compared to water and oil. They say you can have security but you’ll lose privacy. They say you can have privacy, but you’ll lose security. These common convictions inspired a new generation of companies to create privacy-first security solutions. They are, in other words, security systems focused on not sacrificing privacy.
Most of the time, popular video surveillance systems but at the same time insecure when it comes to privacy are running on the cloud. There has been a long discussion about its safety and it continues to raise privacy concerns. These systems too often fail in ensuring privacy, and they are vulnerable to hacking. Ring, Nest, and other home security companies experienced compromising mishaps on a large scale. It's not a secret that some cloud-based companies partner up with police departments. Also, if your data is too available, tech companies can sell it to advertisers.Data uploaded onto the cloud is exposed for anyone to meddle with
Data uploaded onto the cloud is exposed for anyone to meddle with. According to the book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism_ The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff “Nest takes little responsibility for the security of that information and none for how other companies will put it to use. In fact, University of London legal scholars Guido Noto La Diega and Ian Walden, who analysed these documents, reckon that were one to enter into the Nest ecosystem of connected devices and apps, each with their own equally burdensome terms, the purchase of a single home thermostat entails the need to review nearly a thousand contracts.” Security and privacy vanish once a smart home system enables remote access.
In-house processing units
It all leads to the conclusion that keeping data in the in-house processing unit is safer and more private. It keeps us away from the eyes of governments, corporates, advertisers, and hackers. And since the market is proactive, solutions in that department came fast. Thanks to the advances to the internet of things (IoT), edge computing, and machine learning, it will be possible in the near future to find different surveillance private-secure systems on the market. A privacy-centered "architecture" processes and stores camera footage inside the propertyThey will combine the most advanced technology with sophisticated privacy protection. In the in-house option, a privacy-centered "architecture" processes and stores camera footage inside the property.
For example, one Seattle-based startup is working on a solution that uses specialized IP cameras that work in groups with an edge computing device. An AI (artificial intelligence) algorithm analyses all the footage taken by the cameras. Once it detects anomalies, it notifies the final user. Those systems don't upload any of the customers' data to the cloud, they keep privacy and all the information at the customer's home. The in-house processing unit can learn to differentiate what its user marks as important. The system captures and saves only those pieces of information.
Smart surveillance systems
To give an example: users who wish to know when their dog is outside can set the cameras to detect it. If they wish to turn a blind eye to burglars, they are free to do it. Smart surveillance systems work with facial matching and pose detection technology. They can detect individuals that haven’t logged on to the system. This tool respects an ethical protocol. It isn’t sensitive to a specific gender, race, or age. Its purpose is to detect behavior identified as suspicious without targeting individual identities. By identifying people who aren’t a part of your daily routine, the system cuts any kind of security risk.
The in-house processing unit video surveillance systems "do the watching" for you. The newest in-house processing unit video surveillance systems will sharpen the feature of crucial importance - privacy protectionThat revolutionises the way we think about security. The system that integrates all the security visual sensors into the “brain” of the system is the smartest and safest idea on the market. This “brain” later decides whether to notify the user about the potential danger or let it go. It deletes every irrelevant piece of data on the spot. This kind of cognitive machinery saves both your time and bandwidth. Thanks to them, you get rid of unnecessary alerts.
The newest in-house processing unit video surveillance systems will sharpen the feature of crucial importance - privacy protection. The newest technology offers a plenitude of sophisticated surveillance methods. Our task is to choose the right one. The one that not only protects our properties and valuables but also our privacy.
We still have some way to go before we see 5G service rolled out as a UK-wide service, but we can discuss future implications of 5G, and how it can improve device capabilities once its widely accessible.
The impact of 5G lies within the increase in the amount of data that can be transferred between smart home devices through a cloud-based system. By utilising the cloud’s mass computing power and its ability to process data in larger capacities, we are able to receive more in-depth analytics that can help improve smart home devices by making them faster, more informed and intelligent.
Will 5G boost innovation in the smart home market, if so, how?
Innovation using 5G can be shown with current smart home CCTV systemsAn example of innovation using 5G can be shown with current smart home CCTV systems. Products at present allow you to use functionalities such as motion detection. As it stands, this is a basic form of monitoring that monitors changes in picture and notifies the owner when something unusual has happened.
Once 5G comes into play, the video data captured can be sent off to the cloud, interpreted in more detail, and can allow the system to conclude whether the movement is from a human, object or animal. Facial recognition could also come into play here, providing a more seamless service when reporting incidents to the police.
Similarly, you can use data from various different devices within your home to toughen security measures. A video camera used in conjunction with a presence or heat detector can eliminate small errors by providing the ‘bigger picture’ with more data points to work with - an amalgamation of all smart devices used in tandem.
We can’t solely rely on smart devices to make decisions for us, but what we can do is improve device processing so that by the time we step in, we already have all the necessary information to assess the appropriate call to action.
What will 5G enable homeowners to do within their homes?
Smart homes using 4G currently operate in a fragmented fashion, incorporating Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other network protocols. Unlike 4G, 5G will work with low-power devices, making it useful for a broader array of connected products. This means that all devices we will be able to connect any internet connected product in order to allow integrated communication between all devices.
Can be connected to work together in conjunction with your home system
Your fridge and other kitchen appliances, for example, can be connected to work together in conjunction with your home system to create an entirely automated home. If your freezer is internet connected, you may get a notification if it loses power, but as everything else is also connected within your home, you will be able to determine whether it is a power fault or product fault straight away. Faster connectivity means that users can quickly take advantage of the data their smart devices provide, such as water use sensors which can monitor levels and allow for behavior changes to curb water usage
The same can be applied with vehicles. Cars in future will be autonomous and include an integrated dashcam which can then be connected to your security system to provide added security on-site in the peripheral of your home, alerting you to potential intruders before they reach your front door.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades.
If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles.
Sensitive data leakage
Since the lockdown came into effect, organizations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organizations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession.
One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever.
Good cybersecurity hygiene
Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more"
With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry.
Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.”
In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications.
There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list
There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and traveling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working.
Video conferencing platforms
Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question.
The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office.
Online training courses
Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent
Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organizations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm.
“More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.”
Virtual trade show
‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasizing both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry.
In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself
“In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.”
As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected.
“We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimize impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilizing webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
Consolidation continued in the physical security marketplace in the turbulent year 2020. There were several mega-deals in addition to shuffling among small and medium-sized companies.
Here is a sampling of M&A from this year, compiled from our archive of company news. With the changing economic climate, how much more is ahead in 2021? Stay tuned.
Wesco merges with Anixter
WESCO International, Inc., a provider of business-to-business (B2B) distribution, logistics services and supply chain solutions, announced it completed its merger with Anixter International Inc., creating a premier, global B2B distribution and supply chain solutions company. Anixter becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of WESCO International.
ACRE acquires Razberi
ACRE acquired Razberi Technologies, Farmers Branch, Texas, and the product line of intelligent video appliances, automated security software and health monitoring software will be added to and sold under the ComNet brand and portfolio of products. ComNet will now be selling Razberi products through its established channels.
Motorola acquires IndigoVision
Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base
Motorola Solutions says the IndigoVision range of products, global presence and customer base are ‘highly complementary’ to Motorola Solutions' existing presence in video security. Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base.
Motorola acquires Pelco
“Pelco’s track record of innovation, internationally recognized brand, global channel and customer installed base enable us to further expand our global footprint with enterprise and public safety customers,” said Greg Brown, Motorola Solutions’ Chairman and CEO, about the iconic brand.
Johnson Controls swallows Qolsys
Qolsys Inc., residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. JCI had already owned a majority stake in the company since 2014.
ADT and Google Home partnership
The partnership will combine Nest’s award-winning hardware and services, powered by Google’s machine learning technology, with ADT’s installation, service and professional monitoring network to create a more helpful smart home and integrated experience for customers across the United States. Upon the closing of Google’s equity investment in ADT, Google will own 6.6% of ADT’s outstanding aggregate common equity.
Securitas acquires STANLEY in Five Countries
The acquisition is aligned with Securitas’ ambition to double the size of its security solutions
Securitas acquired STANLEY Security’s electronic security businesses in Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore and India. The acquisition is aligned with Securitas’ ambition to double the size of its security solutions and electronic security business and expands Securitas’ electronic security footprint and capabilities.
Allied Universal to Buy G4S
Ending the year on a high note, the boards of directors managing Allied Universal and G4S reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer. The deal brings to a close a six-month bidding war for G4S. The combined business is expected to generate approximately $18 billion in annual revenues with a global workforce of more than 750,000 people in 85 countries.
Quantum acquires Western Digital business line
Quantum Corporation entered into an agreement with Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp., to acquire its ActiveScale object storage business. The acquisition demonstrates Quantum’s commitment to innovation and growth, extending the company’s leadership role in storing and managing video and unstructured data using a software-defined approach.
Ava, a unified security company, announced the completion of the merger between Jazz Networks, renowned cyber security insider threat detection and response firm; and Vaion, an end-to-end video security solutions provider. Ava is now positioned to deliver unified cyber and physical security solutions to organizations worldwide.
Zigbee is a familiar name in the smart home arena, and the Zigbee Alliance is expanding its technology approach to address the challenges of the Internet of Things.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved, the need has become obvious for stronger unity among brands and ecosystems to enable products within smart environments to work together more easily. Working to serve that need is the Zigbee Alliance, which seeks to promote collaboration in the Internet of Things by creating, evolving, and promoting universal open standards that enable all objects to connect and interact.
Shifting the Smart home market
Their IoT effort took off when Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance announced an industry working group in December 2019 to take the ‘best of market’ technologies from smart home standards, portfolios and ecosystems and to develop a ‘super spec’ that will be open, inclusive and a significant industry shift in the smart home market.
Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability"
“Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability, which has led us to the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), which is looking to unify the environment, under one technology, one certification program and one logo,” says Chris LaPré, Zigbee Alliance’s IoT Solutions Architect. “It really does fuel IoT possibilities, whether in security or any other sectors.” Project CHIP is a royalty-free connectivity standard that unifies brands and ecosystems into a single smart home automation system that operates any other technology based on Internet Protocol (IP).
Simplifying product development
The intent is to simplify product development for device manufacturers, broaden consumer choice, and to ensure easy discoverability, deployment and engagement to fuel connected living. “We have noticed that, as the IoT has evolved, there is a stronger need for unity, which is why we are developing Project Connected Home over IP,” says Jon Harros, Zigbee Alliance’s Director of Certification and Testing Programs.
“It fits with the Zigbee Alliance’s goal to unify systems, and to focus on everyone using the same application at the top. It unifies that environment, whether you are integrating your system with Amazon Echo devices or connecting to Google Home.” Participating in development of Project CHIP are 125 companies of various types from around the world working together with more than 1,100 of their experts serving across sub-committees to formulate specifications and fine-tune the project.
Home system technologies
The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes
Although the technology is being developed for the home market, the specifications have been formulated with an eye toward expanding into the commercial market in the future. Development of open, interoperable systems provides greater freedom for consumers to choose among the many technology choices on the market, without being tied to a single brand or ecosystem.
Zigbee Alliance certifications and memberships span the globe, with roughly a third in Europe, a third in North America and a third in Asia. Involvement in Europe is slightly higher than the other regions. Alliance members represent manufacturing sites all over the world. Project CHIP is a newer initiative of the Zigbee Alliance, which previously developed Zigbee Pro to enable home system technologies to operate using IEEE 802.15.4 wireless signals on the 2.4GHz radio band over a self-healing true mesh network. The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes.
Certification transfer program
Among the strengths of the Zigbee Alliance are years of experience certifying products, which includes testing them and confirming that they comply with the promoted specifications and functionality. The specifications are open standards that are developed in cooperation with all the companies that are Zigbee Alliance members.
Another route is the certification transfer program, in which a company chooses a certified white-label product, becomes a member of the Alliance, and then rebrands the product while retaining the certification. “It helps them get products on the market quickly while they build their own knowledge base,” says Harros. “All our work is focused on standardizing the behavior and functionality of products and making sure everyone is following the same standard to get interoperability,” says Harros. “Members all contribute to the standards.”
AMAG Technology, a world pioneer in unified security solutions that help organizations mitigate risk, announces that State Center Community College District (SCCCD) has selected its Symmetry Security Management System to install throughout all campuses.
SCCCD will install AMAG’s Symmetry Access Control, Symmetry Intrusion, and Symmetry Blue Bluetooth readers. SCCCD chose DCL Technology as its integrator to deploy the system.
Built-in intrusion system
SCCCD encompasses four community colleges and two educational centers: Fresno City College, Reedley College, Clovis Community College, Madera Community College, Madera Community College at Oakhurst, and the Career and Technology Center. The project will begin with installing Symmetry in buildings on two campuses, with the intent to deploy Symmetry throughout all SCCCD campuses.
AMAG’s Symmetry Blue readers will help SCCCD to transition to smart cards while still allowing to use of current access cards
“We chose the Symmetry platform because of its dynamic ability to meet our growing needs. Symmetry’s built-in intrusion system provided an added convenience for us as we did not have to look for a third-party intrusion system,” said SCCCD, Security System Specialist, Vincent Fries.
“AMAG’s Symmetry Blue readers will also help SCCCD to transition to smart cards while allowing us to still use our current access cards.”
Partnership with SSSCD and AMAG
“We are thrilled to be working with SCCCD and AMAG Technology and look forward to a long partnership as SCCCD expands and upgrades to an enterprise-level system over the next several years,” said DCL Technology President, Keven Smith.
The expected completion time for the upgrade is three years. DCL Technology is a low voltage systems integrator servicing the Fresno/Madera and surrounding areas whose services include CCTV systems, alarm and fire systems, network cabling and fiber optics, and home automation systems.
GX-DT35B Smart Care Medical Alarm comes with a brand-new case design. The battery level and the cellular signal strength will be indicated through the white bar on the top cover. In addition, the current status of the system, for example, in learning mode or alarm reporting, will be also indicated through the LED backlight of the large Help button. Users can always be informed of the system status and have peace of mind.
GX-DT35B can be compatible with Bluetooth medical devices, like blood glucose/blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, etc., to track medical data and remote monitoring directly from caregivers/physicians; and also has telecare alarm features, including emergency monitoring, inactivity monitoring, voice control, and home automation capabilities to assist seniors to have a more secure, healthy living. GX-DT35B Smart Care Medical Alarm is all-in-one wellness, and personal safety medical alarm solution, bridging medical health monitoring and emergency alarm to keep seniors safe in their own homes.
Bluetooth Medical Device Pairing
GX-DT35B is compatible with Bluetooth Medical devices, like blood pressure/blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, thermometers, etc., to track health and medical data and allow caregiver/physicians to remote monitor and provide treatment as needed.
Smart Home Automation
ZigBee, Z-Wave, or Bluetooth automation devices incorporated into GX-DT35B creates a smarter and safer home, by auto turning on hallway lights at night to decrease the chance of a fall; or auto turn on the heater if there’s a sudden temperature drop.
GX-DT35B can serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing users’ computers, smartphones, or other devices to connect and access the Wi-Fi network.
GX-DT35B can be paired with BRPD-1 Bluetooth pendant, a small wearable panic button that partners with a smartphone application for GPS location reporting and trigger help alarm with one button press, whether the user is at home or out for a walk.
GX-DT35B is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice control to control home electronic devices, allowing seniors to use their voice to make their environment more suitable without lifting a finger.
Pivotell® Advance Automatic Pill Dispenser
GX-DT35B is compatible with Pivotell® Advance Automatic Pill Dispenser, keeping secure of all pills, remind users to take their medication, keep track of their medicine intake, and allow caregiver/physician to monitor pill taking results/record and keep an eye on user’s needs.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) & DECT
GX-DT35B’s built-in VOIP function allows users to initiate two-way voice calls to contact CMS and family members during alarms and emergency. With the optional add-on of DECT, GX-DT35B can pair with voice extenders, talking pendants, call points…etc placed around the home to create a safety net and peace of mind.
Visual Monitoring and Verification
GX-DT35B can integrate Camera PIR Motion Sensors to deliver real-time visual monitoring and verification. When an emergency occurs, alerts are immediately sent to family members, and Monitoring Center to verify the event and sending immediate assistance as needed.
Safety & Inactivity Monitoring
GX-DT35B can support wireless sensor devices, allowing users to add smoke detectors, water leakage sensors, and gas sensors to monitor emergencies; and motion sensors, door contacts, sensor pad transmitters for inactivity monitoring, to build healthier, safer independent living.
Harper Security Systems, which specialises in specifying and installing smart security solutions for residential and private properties, has selected OPTEX’s range of Intelligent Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors for their reliability in detecting external threats, especially in rural environments.
Three properties in the Home Counties and Lincolnshire are using a combination of OPTEX’s proven PIR sensors to protect property, people, and other important assets including horses from the dangers of vandalism and theft. OPTEX’s range includes sensors which offer panoramic 180-degree detection coverage and 12m/40ft radius to detect any intrusion around a residential or commercial building.
Commercial business environments
They are ideally suited for protecting larger residential grounds and flat roofs typical with outbuilding on farms and stables. “We have worked with OPTEX for a number of years and have found their range of PIR sensors to be extremely accurate and reliable, which is critical when specifying external detection,” says Alan Harper, Director at Harper Security Systems.
The flexibility and versatility of the sensors is such that they are ideal for multiple environments"
“The flexibility and versatility of the sensors is such that they are ideal for multiple environments,” Alan continues. “For example, we have recently installed them at a private stables in Lincolnshire to protect horses and valuable equestrian equipment, residences in rural villages in both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire to protect property and personal items, as well as in commercial business environments.”
Innovative security solutions
Ben Linklater, Sales Director at OPTEX Europe, says that while the focus is often on towns and cities, crime in the countryside is a huge issue, costing the rural community in the UK more than £9 million this year alone: “Reliable external protection is becoming increasingly important not only to secure equipment and assets, but also livestock and other animals like horses. The earlier the detection the better chance there is to prevent intruders."
"External intrusion detection is essential in rural environments as most assets, many of which are expensive to replace (and some are irreplaceable), are stored outside. We are very pleased to work with Harper Security who understand the benefits of early detection to keep premises, assets, people and animals secure, delivering innovative security solutions to their customers.”
Hicking Building RTM Company Ltd has teamed up with Videx Security and Joes UK Limited to solve a major door entry issue for a large residential complex. The Hicking Building Ltd. is a Nottingham-based development comprising 329 self-contained flats, managed by property agents Walton and Allen.
Many residents were struggling with a call issue because the existing intercom system developed a fault which meant residents weren’t receiving calls from the system panels. Because of this, tenants were missing visitors and deliveries with people thinking they weren’t home.
Videx GSM 4812 intercom system
Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system
Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system that would also work in conjunction with the existing access control system, where the fob entry element of this was working normally.
Joe, who owns and manages Joes UK Ltd., said “The system installed is a very old system and we were struggling to source the repair parts needed to fix the calling issue tenants were experiencing. To fix the problem and reduce the risk of the issue happening again, I recommended the installation of a digital audio GSM 4812 intercom system by Videx that could work concurrently with the fob entry function of the existing solution.”
He adds, “With the Videx GSM 4812, when someone calls a specific apartment the call is automatically directed to a registered phone number of the tenant’s, which is usually their smartphone. They now will never miss that important visitor or delivery and are made aware of who has visited even when they are not there and can authorize entry if they wish, while away from their home.”
Parallel operations with software-based fob entry solution
The Videx system works alongside the existing software-based fob entry solution that residents have used for many years. Mobile phones are now the handset of choice for the majority of people and as they are enabled with Wi-Fi calling, there’s no need to worry about poor mobile signal. If the existing fob system also developed a fault and stopped working, the Videx GSM system includes a preinstalled fob reader so it would be easy to switch this over to the GSM solution.
Mark Gibbon, Sales Manager at Videx Security, said “The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security too. There’s no infrastructure or wiring involved; it’s very easy to set up and use.”
The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security
Mark adds, “It’s a win-win situation for both the resident and management company because it means residents won’t have to stay home waiting for a delivery, or miss a visitor, as they can answer the call to their apartment from anywhere in the world. For management companies, our GSM solution offers a fixed cost and minimizes the risk of call outs because there’s no handset maintenance involved.”
Remote event log with online access
A really useful feature of the GSM system is that it also carries a new remote event log that can be accessed online, allowing events to be viewed in real time, on the move via a phone, tablet/laptop. It’s a great security feature because it’s where a record is kept of calls, gate/door openings and much more.
What’s also useful is that alerts can be programmed where an email will be sent should that alert be triggered. For example, if the gate or door is opened out of normal hours or if the registered number for a flat or property is changed too frequently - any unusual activity is flagged.