ISC West 2021, in collaboration with premier sponsor, Security Industry Association (SIA), took place last week from July 19-21, 2021, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, in Las Vegas, serving to accelerate market recovery and re-define the roadmap ahead for the security & public safety industry, after a year-plus hiatus of large scale, in-person events. ISC West 2021 Noting the buzz of positive energy, enthusiasm and excitement throughout the three-day event, ISC West customers tes...
Security and Safety Things GmbH and Prosegur, one of the largest security companies in the world, have announced their collaboration on the development of a new Security Operations Center (SOC) environment, leveraging the intelligence of innovative Artificial Intelligence infused video analytics and the expertise of Prosegur human operators to improve security services for customers around the globe. Prosegur will incorporate innovative, AI-infused video analytic applications from the Security...
ONVIF, the global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, has announced that it will end its support for Profile Q early next year since it contains certain specifications that are no longer consistent with current cyber security best practices. Profile Q Profile Q was developed to provide an easy setup of a conformant device on an IP network. It requires a Profile Q conformant device to allow anonymous access to all ONVIF commands, during the setup process in the f...
Aqua Security, the pure-play cloud-native security solutions company, has announced the availability of its new Aqua Platform, with a unified console to ease the journey from scanning and visibility to workload protection in cloud-native environments. Aqua Platform The new Aqua platform reduces administrative burden and allows security teams to start with scanning and cloud security posture management (CSPM) capabilities, then add in sandboxing capabilities and workload protection as needed. T...
APi Group Corporation (APi Group) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Chubb Fire & Security Business (Chubb) from Carrier Global Corporation for an enterprise value of US$ 3.1 billion, which is comprised of US$ 2.9 billion cash and approximately US$ 200 million of assumed liabilities and other adjustments. Chubb Fire & Security Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Chubb has approximately 13,000 employees globally and a sales and service...
Traka is attending The Security Event 2021, to showcase its latest intelligent solutions in key and equipment management, together with powerful integration capability to improve sector productivity, security and accountability. TrakaWEB software On stand 3a/H50, Traka will be presenting its latest generation TrakaWEB software, offering remote administration with the benefits of faulty item exchange, curfew, and fleet management, together with full audit control capability. It can be recorded...
Integrated security manufacturer, TDSi is proud to announce its forthcoming appearance at The Security Event 2021, the major UK commercial, enterprise, and domestic security event, which will take place from September 7 - 9, 2021, at the NEC Birmingham, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. As one of the first major UK security sector events since the pandemic, TDSi will be proudly showcasing its latest products, including the newly enhanced TDSi GARDiS range of hardware and software systems. TDSi GARDiS systems on display Looking ahead to The Security Event 2021, Zara Taylor, the Marketing Manager at TDSi commented, “With the disruptions of 2020, we are particularly excited to be appearing at this year’s event. The key theme on our stand for 2021 is the TDSi GARDiS range, and our expert team will be on hand to demonstrate the various components, integration possibilities, and to discuss the security and practical benefits they deliver.” TDSi will be at Stand: 3a/D40, at The Security Event 2021, which will feature several ‘pods’ showcasing the new GARDiS range, including the GARDiS Web Embedded Controller, GARDiS Software, and GARDiS Bluetooth Low Energy Reader. GARDiS Version 2.2 software TDSi recently unveiled the new Version 2.2 of its powerful GARDiS software TDSi recently unveiled the new Version 2.2 of its powerful GARDiS software, which added a Cause-and-Effect engine to the PRO version, while all versions have gained additional bespoke user records fields for greater detail and flexibility in applications. Additionally, GARDiS now has full integration with Thinking Software’s renowned RotaOne Time & Attendance platform, providing a complete overview of staff movements and the security of facilities – something which is particularly useful in a rapidly changing and evolving world. The Security Event 2021 Zara Taylor stated, “We are debuting a new stand at The Security Event this year which perfectly reflects the exciting new technology that TDSi will be showing. It has been a long time since we have been able to physically meet and interact with visitors at a large UK event, but the NEC is the perfect venue to do this.” She adds, “Geographically central for many parts of the UK (and beyond) in terms of travel, it presents a friendly and well-organized venue for visitors to make the most of what will be on show, with the peace of mind that all safety precautions will be taken to ensure any risks are kept to a minimum. The TDSi team and I are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Stand: 3a/D40 from 7th-9th September!”
CloudSense, the renowned provider of the world's most powerful Configure, Price, Quote, (CPQ) engine, has announced the appointment of Brian McCann as the new Chief Product Officer (CPO). Brian's addition to the team underlines the company's focus on product innovation across end-to-end revenue operations. AI, security and core network expert Brian McCann joins from Nokia Software, where he worked as the Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer Brian McCann joins from Nokia Software, where he worked as the Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), responsible for a wide software product portfolio, including monetization, AI/analytics, operations, security and core network. Brian has shaped product strategy within market renowned technology companies, such as Oracle, Motorola and Portal Software, for more than 25 years, winning the recognition of industry analysts and commentators within the telecommunications industry. Innovator in product development “CloudSense has a tradition of leading the market in terms of product innovation and we are excited to be bringing Brian on board to extend our product vision further. His experience and leadership will play a critical role in driving business growth in our focus vertical markets and positioning us to enter new segments,” said CloudSense’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jonathan English. Brian McCann, the Chief Product Officer at CloudSense, said “I am proud and excited to join the very talented CloudSense team. Digital Commerce, CPQ, and Order Management are critical, business-enabling capabilities that allow enterprises to drive successful digital transformation strategies and CloudSense has demonstrated that its platform delivers concrete value to customers in the telecommunications, media and utilities industries. Brian adds, “I am now looking forward to working closely with those customers to drive new innovations into the CloudSense portfolio that will give them the competitive edge they need.”
Vector Flow has announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). Vector Flow’s AI-enabled physical security automation platform interfaces with the OnGuard access control system, to strengthen customers’ security programs, with integrated identity governance and improved compliance, across their entire cyber-physical security infrastructure. LenelS2 factory certification “Vector Flow has completed required factory testing at LenelS2 to validate the functionality of its interface to the OnGuard system. This interface actively monitors identity provisioning changes, such as on-boarding, off-boarding, and location or responsibility changes and triggers Vector Flow to automatically adjust and provision the correct access levels in the OnGuard system,” said John Marchioli, OAAP Product Management at LenelS2, adding “We look forward to their continued involvement in the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program.” “The integration of the Vector Flow advanced physical security platform with the LenelS2 OnGuard system, provides organizations a single source of truth for identity management, while also leveraging the power of AI with data-driven automation to provide significant security and operational benefits,” said Ajay Jain, Founder, and CEO of Vector Flow. Vector Flow – LenelS2 partnership Vector Flow empowers organizations to manage all types of identities and their physical access in the OnGuard system Ajay Jain adds, “We are extremely pleased to be working with LenelS2 and look forward to future certifications for new security and business intelligence applications.” Vector Flow empowers organizations with the capability to manage all types of identities and their physical access in the OnGuard system while automating policies for return to work, synchronized on/off-boarding, visitor management, enforcement of access compliance controls, background checks & training pre-requisites, cyber-physical risks, occupancy management, contract tracing and much more. Data-driven physical security platform Vector Flow’s innovative data-driven physical security platform is built on a foundation of advanced AI algorithms capable of processing and analyzing vast amounts of data from otherwise disparate security systems and applying automation playbooks to reduce cost and risk. The innovative solution simplifies and improves physical security operations while delivering tangible ROI and lowering TCO, enabling new levels of Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) for physical security. Vector Flow unifies PIAM, surveillance, and security systems with alarms, event management, and automated ‘playbook’ workflows in real-time, to deliver actionable insights.
Existing CCTV and video monitoring systems are already working well to reduce retail shrinkage and are now being extended to help keep stores ‘COVID Safe’, found a new retail sector study of 111 high street retailers based in the UK, US, Sweden, and Norway, carried out by Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) provider AVA Security in March 2021. An array of insights into what value physical retailers’ existing video security systems are detailed in the 15 pages Ava Security retail sector video security trends report 2021, published this week. Video security systems The research revealed that the biggest loss prevention gains from the use of video monitoring in stores were in shoplifting where 58% of retail sector security decision-makers recorded significant reductions in losses from shoplifting as a result of video security and 9% went further to reveal that their video security systems had completely eliminated shoplifting. Nearly half (46%) of retailers reported major reductions in losses linked to vandalism of property Over half (54%) confirmed that their video systems were significantly reducing theft or fraud by staff and contractors. Exactly half reported that in-store CCTV systems were significantly reducing losses from slip and fall insurance claims and 13% confirmed that their video systems had eliminated losses from fraudulent slip and fall claims. Nearly half (46%) of retailers reported major reductions in losses linked to vandalism of property had been achieved through the use of video monitoring and recording. Video security systems One in six retailers (17%) believed that vandalism of their property had been completely eliminated through the use of CCTV. And 41% recorded that ‘damage to goods by our staff’ had been reduced significantly through the use of video security. 39% of retailers reported it takes too long and proves too difficult to find relevant video sequences having uncovered a loss incident. The next most significant factor preventing further loss prevention in this study was the poor performance of their surveillance cameras in low or no light conditions. This was preventing 34% of retailers from reducing shrinkage further. Nearly a third (32%) of retailers’ claimed the fact that their video security systems’ did not offer early warning functionality (which can be provided by good quality audio analytics or video motion detection) was preventing them from reducing shrinkage further. Video monitoring systems The retail sector has been turning to video analytics to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission Over a quarter (26%) of retailers admitted that their video monitoring systems don’t work well for loss prevention because the cameras that were installed on-site were originally put in for a different purpose such as remote management of visual merchandising or footfall analysis. The retail sector has been turning to video analytics to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as they open up to more customers. A total of 87% of retail sector decision-makers questioned by Ava Security saw a clear role for their video monitoring systems in supporting safe re-opening of their doors to staff and customers. Nearly half of this group (48%) had already put their existing video monitoring systems to work to help reinforce social distancing measures. A further 39% anticipated doing so over the next 12 months. This means ‘net deployment’ for this purpose was 88%. Onsite video cameras Not far behind was the use of thermal camera-based analytics to help run temperature checks on visitors: 39% of retailers across the four countries in the Ava study had already deployed this capability, while a further 38% predicted to do so in the next 12 months. Only 22% of retail sector respondents had no plans to deploy temperature checking Despite some concerns about the accuracy of these solutions, only 22% of retail sector respondents had no plans to deploy temperature checking via onsite video cameras. The US proved to be the main adopter of temperature checking in retail – with deployment levels almost three times higher than in the UK. Video systems have been adapted to help monitor shopper density levels in high footfall areas within stores. 47% of retailers have already installed this analytics capability, while a further 38% plan to do so within the next 12 months. Facial recognition analytics Despite the controversy associated with the deployment of facial recognition, some 30% of retailers have already deployed facial recognition analytics at the entrances to staff-only areas to enable contactless access control and a further 34% plan to do so over the next 12 months. For the 79% of all retail sector are actively considering Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) options right now. There were many criteria determining provider selection: 91% net considering VSaaS right now agreed with the statement ‘it (the VSaaS provider selected) must allow us to continue using our existing third-party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.’ The desire to hold onto existing security cameras and other equipment through the migration to VSaaS was considered a very important consideration in provider selection by 43% of retail respondents. Video analytics capabilities Not wasting prior investment in on-premise security systems is key to VSaaS provider success Net 90% of retailers considering VSaaS confirmed, ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface.’ The fact that these two factors are so important confirms that not wasting prior investment in on-premise security systems is key to VSaaS provider success. Net 86% of retailers regarded it as important that the VSaaS it selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc.), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching.’ The fourth most important factor was the cyber security credentials of the selected VSaaS provider, a net of 84% confirmed that its VSaaS ‘must have very strong cyber security, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ Cyber security credentials Only marginally behind cyber security credentials came to Video Management Software functionality continuity - a net 83% of retailers specified that their selected VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS.’ A net 82% insisted their VSaaS ‘must allow us to continue existing integration with other physical security and safety systems. The Ava Security Retail Sector Video Security Trends Report 2021 provides a wealth of data, graphs, and insight linked to how Operations, Facilities Management, Security and IT directors and managers within the retail sector in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video security systems in the wake of the pandemic. Increased operational efficiencies It also provides insight into how they are now preparing for the easing of lockdown restrictions It also provides insight into how they are now preparing for the easing of lockdown restrictions. Most states across the USA have already reopened their shops but mask-wearing and social distancing recommendations are still being encouraged in stores across the US and Europe. Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented: “Our findings indicate that retailers, which have been enthusiastic adopters of video security to reduce well-known shrinkage sources and deliver increased operational efficiencies through remote monitoring for example, are now upgrading these systems by adding new video analytics to reduce losses further and promote COVID Safety in stores.” Video security systems “We are also seeing a strong interest from this sector for moving video security systems into the cloud. It makes sense because many retailers have multiple shops which their managers monitor remotely using the in-store cameras.” “Moving video recording and management into the cloud using a VSaaS system could help ensure more efficient access and storage of key video sequences and cut capital expenditure as dedicated PCs running VMSs locally should no longer be needed in each shop in a VSaaS scenario. There are significant savings to be had and efficiencies to be derived if cloud migrations are managed correctly.”
Earning the international praise from high-level visitors and exhibitors alike, the first edition of the prestigious defense exhibition, DEFEA 2021 was completed in total success, presenting 315 renowned exhibiting defense industries from 22 countries and visited by 45 official national delegations, represented at political and military level, from 36 countries. From 13th to 15th of July, 2021, Metropolitan Expo, the largest and most advanced exhibition centre in Southeast Europe, hosted highly specialized visitors from 53 countries, representing the most important private and state-owned companies in the world, offering top-tier services and facilitations. DEFEA 2021 event DEFEA 2021 event was globally the first COVID-free defense exhibition that took place in total compliance with all safety measures and health protocols, creating efficiently through excellent organization and planning a safe environment for networking and cooperation. Inaugurating DEFEA 2021, the Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos underlined that the exhibition ‘is a platform for international contacts, industrial cooperation and exchange of information on modern technological developments’. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said, “There is no doubt that the exhibition will present the most advanced systems that global defense market can provide, proving once again that the evolution of defense systems is a 'driving force' for technology.” Latest technologies and defense systems exhibited The largest and most prominent defense industries around the world participated as exhibitors The largest and most prominent defense industries around the world participated as exhibitors, showcasing their latest technologies and the defense systems that will prevail in the future. Impressive national pavilions with state-of-the-art products and equipment, and private companies with the most advanced solutions in every category of the defense and security sector covered the halls of the exhibition center, offering to visitors and officials an integrated view of the capabilities of modern military technology. Political and military leaders in attendance The official delegations that visited DEFEA were comprised of political and military leaders of the highest level, invited by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence. The countries that were represented through official presence were: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America. Round-table discussion During the exhibition, leaders of the delegations had important meetings with the Greek hosting Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and the Hellenic military leadership led by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros. A round-table discussion about the European Defense was carried out, in which the Ministers of Defense of Slovenia, Mr. Matej Tonin, of Portugal, Mr. Joao Gomes Cravinho, and of Cyprus, Mr. Charambos Petrides stated their views. The discussion was coordinated by the Executive Director of European Defence Agency (EDA), Mr. Jiri Sedivy, while the Commissioner of Internal Market, Mr. Thierry Breton greeted through video message. Event streamlined live The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defense and the social media The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defence and the social media, with the presence of the Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chiefs of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces. The procurement program of the Hellenic Navy of 4 new frigates, as well as the parallel solution and the upgrade of in-service frigates was again at the center of general interest. New frigates purchased by Hellenic Navy Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, referred to the program, stated “We are going to purchase four frigates that we believe it is necessary some of these ships to be built in Greek shipyards and we must work for that. Not only to have them built in our shipyards, but to have more defense industries that will take part in their construction.” Nikolaos adds, “One of the two shipyards, the ‘Hellenic Shipyards’ of Skaramagas, was acquired by a group of businessmen, led by a Greek shipowner. I think this will give a boost to the domestic shipbuilding industry, beyond the problems of the past.” Airport static display Regarding the development of Greek shipbuilding industry, the Greek Minister of Development and Investments spoke in a related conference in front of an international specialized audience. In parallel with the exhibition, an impressive static display was organized at the nearby international airport of Athens, in a specially designed area. The airport static display was comprised of multi-role aircrafts and helicopters, with highlights an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, a S70 Aegean Hawk naval multi-mission helicopter, a tactical transport NH90 helicopter and an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter for armed reconnaissance. All participants expressed their satisfaction with every detail of the exhibition and they also emphasized on their return to the event in the two years’ time, when it will be held next. The next edition of DEFEA – Defence Exhibition Athens will take place on 9th-11th of May, 2023, at Metropolitan Expo, in Athens, Greece.
PROMISE Technology, an enterprise storage solutions provider, is forecasting massive growth for large data storage, green technology and data compliance following surveillance trends unveiled at the International Security Conference (ISC West) 2021, held in Las Vegas recently. At ISC West, PROMISE Technology noted that the focus was very much on Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence, mainly as a result of the ‘new norm’ brought along by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought into focus the necessity for security and video surveillance amid the ‘new norm’ - be it for tracking close contacts, containing new clusters and mutations, or vaccine passports. Access control products In tandem with this increased digitization, many ISC West participants are offering products that cater to governments and property developers speeding up and reactivate pending smart city projects as economies around the globe recover. This contactless multimodal biometric access control products, touchscreen panels that offers unified home automation and security monitoring and space management systems. The integration of AIoT allows autonomy while increasing efficiency, foresee challenges and opportunities With an increase of smart cities, some ISC exhibitors focused on helping systems run smoothly with Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) which is a key component in businesses to streamline decision making processes with the aid of gathering, analyzing and interpreting data without the need of costly and significant system resources. The integration of AIoT allows autonomy while increasing efficiency, foresee challenges and opportunities, and scale proportionately according to the devices connected. Global surveillance industry The large amount of data emerging from the predicted increased surveillance results in a surge of data and requires efficient and large storage solutions to ensure a high efficacy rate. To address the demand for both larger storage and offer enhanced integration, PROMISE Technology converges physical security systems to leverage the accumulating amounts of data being produced. “PROMISE Technology has seen and supported first-hand major changes in the global surveillance industry over the last decade from traditional CVR all the way to AVR (Analytic Video Recorder). We will continue to converge physical security systems to leverage the accumulating amounts of data being produced. For example, our patented SMARTBOOST software provides optimized software features and FRU hardware design to eliminate storage equipment bottlenecks,” said Alice Chang, Chief Sales Officer of PROMISE Technology. Daily business operations PROMISE Technology has also dedicated an entire R&D team over the last 30 years to develop RAID solutionsPROMISE Technology has also dedicated an entire R&D team over the last 30 years to further develop Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) solutions to improve efficiency for daily business operations which provides a solid engine to handle complicated data management requirements in the surveillance industry. This effort is coupled with PROMISE’s focus on eco-friendliness. Noting that incredible amounts of power is necessary to back the new trends, brands are expected to put extra emphasis on green technologies to conserve energy, save costs and keep enterprises as environmentally conscious as possible. PROMISE is also predicting that with AI and IoT devices creating large troves of personal data, the focus on cyberthreats as well as to protect privacy concerns has never been higher. Video surveillance products Thus, there is now a growing concern among manufacturers to provide National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)-compliant video surveillance products. “PROMISE Technology has made persistent endeavors in green production and compliance with government regulations, resulting in solid business results over the past 30 years. We consistently offer high-quality, reliable government-compliant solutions. By putting customer data protection and security first, we hope to bring peace of mind to our customers and partners worldwide,” said Chang. Large data storage solutions along with ‘green’ technology and strict compliance are only some of PROMISE’s solutions for the global audience. With expected surveillance industry boom in the ‘new norm,’ PROMISE is keeping a close eye on developments to ensure its solutions are in line with different local demands and evolving requirements to provide surveillance companies with tools to tackle new challenges.
COVID-19 impacted nearly every industry virtually overnight, and the security sector was no different. It challenged us, as a society, to rethink how we view security entirely, and expanded the scope of security from protecting physical and digital assets to promoting safer, healthier, and more efficient environments in every context. Now, as we progress through 2021, keeping people safe has become even more of a priority as workers begin heading back to the office. Businesses are evaluating how they can prioritize the security, health, and safety of their people as they invite employees, visitors, and customers back inside. Technology is the solution The solution to this problem, as it is to many others, is technology. Innovations in tech can help businesses address threats and stay ahead of the curve in a world in which we’ve come to expect a higher standard of safety. The use of technologies such as touchless doors, workflow management systems and health screenings will continue to be essential in the post-COVID workplace. There’s also contact tracing, environmental monitoring and advanced visitor management, which are all useful tools that can be implemented to help protect and reassure employees ahead of their return to work. With these, and even more advances in development, technology will continue to be central to security. This industry isn’t just locks on doors – it’s about integrated and innovative tech.Essentially, we need tech-savvy people in every part of the businessOf course, these new security solutions need tech talent in the form of innovators, engineers, installers and many more roles. Essentially, we need tech-savvy people in every part of the business. They are the ones developing new, intelligent solutions and they’re also the ones out in the field, making our work, home, and public environments safer, healthier, and more efficient. For us, the tech transformation has already happened, but it’s an ongoing challenge, across our industry and others, to find tech talent at the rate of innovation. Once you start a tech transformation, the need for talent snowballs. The tech talent shortfall is real, and it’s not going away soon The problem is, while the demand for security tech has never been greater, tech talent is increasingly scarce. This was the case even before COVID-19. We’ve known for a while now that the talent population is shrinking. There’s clear evidence to back this up too: There are millions of jobs around the world that remain unfilled because people lack the relevant skills, and a lot of these jobs are in tech. In the latest CIO Survey by KPMG, more than half surveyed said that hiring challenges were harming the industry. The tech talent shortage is real, and there’s no imminent solution in sight.As remote work became commonplace, industries were suddenly forced to compete for tech talent with top firms worldwideCOVID-19 has only widened the talent gap. Many companies had to rapidly accelerate their digitization efforts to function during lockdown, so the tech talent on the market was quickly snapped up. Additionally, while waves of furloughs and layoffs flooded the market with skilled talent throughout 2020, this led to a unique challenge: fierce competition across the globe to attract talent that was, in many cases, no longer bound by their geographic location. So, as remote work became commonplace and opened new doors for potential job candidates, it also further exacerbated the talent shortage for industries that were suddenly forced to compete for tech talent with top firms worldwide. When businesses can’t find the skills they need readily available, the only option is to train existing staff and new, under-skilled recruits. At a time when we couldn’t meet face-to-face, this became much more difficult. Companies had to work out how to train, recruit, and onboard employees remotely and many simply didn’t have a process in place for this. As a result, the tech talent shortfall continued to grow. Mapping the solution to the tech talent shortage So, what can we do? Ultimately, the private sector needs to become actively involved in developing solutions to address the problem. There are many ways of doing this too. First, businesses can create more entry-level positions that offer employees the opportunity to gain the hands-on training and education needed to grow. Implementing a high-quality training program is critical to employees’ professional development, especially in remote environments that don’t offer the same amount of face-to-face experience that often helps during the onboarding process.At STANLEY Security, we have launched international scholarships to provide opportunities for young people to develop the vocational and trade skills Second, partnering with schools, associations, and governments to develop scholarship and apprenticeship programs is key to creating a sustainable pipeline of talent. It’s not just about finding talent, but creating it too. At STANLEY Security, we have launched international scholarships to provide opportunities for young people to develop the vocational and trade skills needed both today as well as in the future. Our apprenticeship program also offers invaluable opportunities for technicians to collaborate with mentors and gain hands-on experience with security technologies. Both of these programs are key initiatives STANLEY Security has implemented to help address the talent shortage. Then there’s upskilling of your current workforce. We found that plenty of our existing employees in non-tech roles were eager to learn new tech skills, meaning they could be retrained while continuing to work, taking on more of a tech role as we nurtured their skills. This has been invaluable in enabling our own tech transformation and has helped get us to where we are today. There’s certainly a tech talent shortage, but there’s no shortage of people who are open to training opportunities if they have the chance. It’s up to businesses now to provide that training, for the benefit of the company and its employees.Like many others, the security industry has rapidly evolved, and we’ve seen new challenges and opportunities arise. Technology – and the talent that develops and implements it – is our best resource to help make environments safer, healthier, and more efficient in a post-pandemic world. Demand for tech talent isn’t going to go away, nor can we ignore the problem. As businesses, we need to face the challenge head on and quickly work to find solutions. That could mean creating more entry-level positions, offering scholarships and apprenticeships, and upskilling our most valuable asset – our people. At the end of the day, we need to empower people with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to design solutions that can help us face the challenges of the future.
Steven Kenny, Axis Communications, looks at the benefits of physical access control systems within smart environments, and how knowledge gaps and dated methods can inhibit adoption. Physical security is becoming more dynamic and more interconnected, as it evolves. Today’s modern access control solutions are about so much more than simply opening doors, with digitalization bringing multiple business benefits, which would simply not be possible using traditional models. Digital transformation While the digital transformation of processes and systems was already well underway, across many industries and sectors, it is the transformation of physical security from a standalone, isolated circuit, to a network-enabled, intelligent security solution that brings many benefits to the smart environment. Yet, with more organizations now looking to bring their physical security provision up to date, there are many considerations that must be addressed to maximize the potential of access control and video surveillance. Not least of which is that connecting physical security devices to a network presents risk, so it is increasingly important for IT teams to play a role in helping to facilitate the secure integration of physical and network technologies, as these two worlds increasingly converge. Improved access control in smart environments These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies and optimising resources The smart city offers significant benefits, reflected in the US$ 189 billion that is anticipated to be spent on smart city initiatives globally by 2023. These urban constructs are capable of reducing waste, driving efficiencies, optimizing resources and increasing citizen engagement. Technology, which is increasingly being incorporated to protect access points within the smart environment, can take many forms. These range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems, using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. Frictionless access control During the COVID-19 pandemic, frictionless access control has provided an effective ‘hands free’ means of accessing premises, using methods such as QR code readers and facial recognition as credentials to prove identity. Frictionless access control brings health and safety into the equation, as well as the security of entrances and exits, minimizing the risk of infection, by removing the need to touch shared surfaces. Such systems can be customized and scaled to meet precise requirements. Yet, an increasing integration with open technologies and platforms requires collaboration between the worlds of physical security and IT, in order to be successful. Barriers to adoption Traditional suppliers and installers of physical security systems have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge. Network connectivity and the IoT (Internet of Things) present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor to learn the language of IT, of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant. Many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay Those who cannot adapt, and are simply not ready for this changing market, risk being left behind, as the physical security landscape continues to shift and demand continues to increase. With end users and buyers looking for smarter, more integrated and business-focused solutions from their suppliers, it is clear that only those who are prepared will succeed in this space. Time will not stand still, and many are now beginning to realize that connected network-enabled solutions are here to stay, particularly within smart constructs which rely on such technology by their very nature. The importance of cyber hygiene Connecting any device to a network has a degree of risk, and it is, therefore, imperative that any provider not only understands modern connected technologies, but also the steps necessary to protect corporate networks. Cameras, access control systems and IP audio devices, which have been left unprotected, can potentially become backdoors into a network and used as access points by hackers. These vulnerabilities can be further compromised by the proliferation of connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). While the connection of devices to a network brings many advantages, there is greater potential for these devices to be used against the very business or industry they have been employed to protect when vulnerabilities are exploited. Cyber security considerations Cyber security considerations should, therefore, be a key factor in the development and deployment of new security systems. Access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognized cyber security principles, incident reporting and best practices. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link and that any potential source of cyber exposure will ultimately impact negatively on a device’s ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security. The future of access control There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions There is a natural dispensation towards purchasing low-cost solutions that are perceived as offering the same value as their more expensive equivalents. While some have taken the decision to implement such solutions, in an attempt to unlock the required benefits, while saving their bottom line, the limited lifespan of these technologies puts a heavier cost and reputational burden onto organizations by their association. The future of access control, and of physical security as a whole, will, therefore, be dependent on the willingness of suppliers to implement new designs and new ways of thinking, based around high-quality products, and to influence the installers and others in their supply chains to embrace this new world. Cyber security key to keeping businesses safe In addition, cyber security considerations are absolutely vital for keeping businesses safe. The integration of cyber secure technologies from trusted providers will provide peace of mind around the safety or corporate networks, and integrity of the deployed technologies. As we move forward, access control systems will become data collection points and door controllers will become intelligent I/O devices. QR codes for visitor management and biometric face recognition for frictionless access control will increasingly be managed at the edge, as analytics in a camera or sensor. The future of access control presents an exciting and challenging time for those ready to accept it, to secure it and to help shape it, offering a true opportunity to innovate for a smarter, safer world.
With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritizing Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks” Businesses and organizations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using cellphone credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organizations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organizations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalization and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organizations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organizations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.
A new generation of video cameras is poised to boost capabilities dramatically at the edge of the IP network, including more powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and higher resolutions, and paving the way for new applications that would have previously been too expensive or complex. Technologies at the heart of the coming new generation of video cameras are Ambarella’s newest systems on chips (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S product families are bringing a new level of on-camera AI performance and integration to multi-imager and single-imager IP cameras. Both of these SoCs are manufactured in the ‘5 nm’ manufacturing process, bringing performance improvements and power savings, compared to the previous generation of SoCs manufactured at ‘10nm’. CV5S and CV52S AI-powered SoCs The CV5S, designed for multi-imager cameras, is able to process, encode and perform advanced AI on up to four imagers at 4Kp30 resolution, simultaneously and at less than 5 watts. This enables multi-headed camera designs with up to four 4K imagers looking at different portions of a scene, as well as very high-resolution, single-imager cameras of up to 32 MP resolution and beyond. The CV52S, designed for single-imager cameras with very powerful onboard AI, is the next-generation of the company’s successful CV22S mainstream 4K camera AI chip. This new SoC family quadruples the AI processing performance, while keeping the same low power consumption of less than 3 watts for 4Kp60 encoding with advanced AI processing. Faster and ubiquitous AI capabilities Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions" “Security system designers desire higher resolutions, increasing channel counts, and ever faster and more ubiquitous AI capabilities,” explains John Lorenz, Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Computing, at Yole Développement (Yole), a French market research firm. John Lorenz adds, “Ambarella’s newest AI vision SoCs for security, the CV5S and CV52S, are competitive solutions for meeting the growing demands of the security IC (integrated circuit) sector, which our latest report forecasts to exceed US$ 4 billion by 2025, with two-thirds of that being chips with AI capabilities.” Edge AI vision processors Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S edge AI vision processors enable new classes of cameras that would not have been possible in the past, with a single SoC architecture. For example, implementing a 4x 4K multi-imager with AI would have traditionally required at least two SoCs (at least one for encoding and one for AI), and the overall power consumption would have made those designs bulky and prohibitively expensive. By reducing the number of required SoCs, the CV5S enables advanced camera designs such as AI-enabled 4x 4K imagers at price points much lower than would have previously been possible. “What we are usually trying to do with our SoCs is to keep the price points similar to the previous generations, given that camera retail prices tend to be fairly fixed,” said Jerome Gigot, Ambarella's Senior Director of Marketing. 4K multi-imager cameras “However, higher-end 4K multi-imager cameras tend to retail for thousands of dollars, and so even though there will be a small premium on the SoC for the 2X improvement in performance, this will not make a significant impact to the final MSRP of the camera,” adds Jerome Gigot. In addition, the overall system cost might go down, Gigot notes, compared to what could be built today because there is no longer a need for external chips to perform AI, or extra components for power dissipation. The new chips will be available in the second half of 2021, and it typically takes about 12 to 18 months for Ambarella’s customers (camera manufacturers) to produce final cameras. Therefore, the first cameras, based on these new SoCs, should hit the market sometime in the second half of 2022. Reference boards for camera manufacturers The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK" As with Ambarella’s previous generations of edge AI vision SoCs for security, the company will make available reference boards to camera manufacturers soon, allowing them to develop their cameras based on the new CV5S and CV52S SoC families. “The software on these new SoCs is an evolution of our unified Linux SDK that is already available on our previous generations SoCs, which makes the transition easy for our customers,” said Jerome Gigot. Better crime detection Detecting criminals in a crowd, using face recognition and/or license plate recognition, has been a daunting challenge for security, and one the new chips will help to address. “Actually, these applications are one of the main reasons why Ambarella is introducing these two new SoC families,” said Jerome Gigot. Typically, resolutions of 4K and higher have been a smaller portion of the security market, given that they came at a premium price tag for the high-end optics, image sensor and SoC. Also, the cost and extra bandwidth of storing and streaming 4K video were not always worth it for the benefit of just viewing video at higher resolution. 4K AI processing on-camera The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm. By enabling 4K AI processing on-camera, smaller objects at longer distances can now be detected and analyzed without having to go to a server, and with much higher detail and accuracy compared to what can be done on a 2 MP or 5 MP cameras. This means that fewer false alarms will be generated, and each camera will now be able to cover a longer distance and wider area, offering more meaningful insights without necessarily having to stream and store that 4K video to a back-end server. “This is valuable, for example, for traffic cameras mounted on top of high poles, which need to be able to see very far out and identify cars and license plates that are hundreds of meters away,” said Jerome Gigot. The advent of on-camera AI at 4K changes the paradigm Enhanced video analytics and wider coverage “Ambarella’s new CV5S and CV52S SoCs truly allow the industry to take advantage of higher resolution on-camera for better analytics and wider coverage, but without all the costs typically incurred by having to stream high-quality 4K video out 24/7 to a remote server for offline analytics,” said Jerome Gigot. He adds, “So, next-generation cameras will now be able to identify more criminals, faces and license plates, at longer distances, for an overall lower cost and with faster response times by doing it all locally on-camera.” Deployment in retail applications Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once Retail applications are another big selling point. Retail environments can be some of the toughest, as the cameras may be looking at hundreds of people at once (e.g., in a mall), to provide not only security features, but also other business analytics, such as foot traffic and occupancy maps that can be used later to improve product placement. The higher resolution and higher AI performance, enabled by the new Ambarella SoCs, provide a leap forward in addressing those scenarios. In a store setup, a ceiling-mounted camera with four 4K imagers can simultaneously look at the cashier line on one side of the store, sending alerts when a line is getting too long and a new cashier needs to be deployed, while at the same time looking at the entrance on the other side of the store, to count the people coming in and out. This leaves two additional 4K imagers for monitoring specific product aisles and generating real-time business analytics. Use in cashier-less stores Another retail application is a cashier-less store. Here, a CV5S or CV52S-based camera mounted on the ceiling will have enough resolution and AI performance to track goods, while the customer grabs them and puts them in their cart, as well as to automatically track which customer is purchasing which item. In a warehouse scenario, items and boxes moving across the floor could also be followed locally, on a single ceiling-mounted camera that covers a wide area of the warehouse. Additionally, these items and boxes could be tracked across the different imagers in a multi-headed camera setup, without the video having to be sent to a server to perform the tracking. Updating on-camera AI networks Another feature of Ambarella’s SoCs is that their on-camera AI networks can be updated on-the-fly, without having to stop the video recording and without losing any video frames. So, for example in the case of a search for a missing vehicle, the characteristics of that missing vehicle (make, model, color, license plate) can be sent to a cluster of cameras in the general area, where the vehicle is thought to be missing, and all those cameras can be automatically updated to run a live search on that specific vehicle. If any of the cameras gets a match, a remote operator can be notified and receive a picture, or even a live video feed of the scene. Efficient traffic management With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself Relating to traffic congestion, most big cities have thousands of intersections that they need to monitor and manage. Trying to do this from one central location is costly and difficult, as there is so much video data to process and analyze, in order to make those traffic decisions (to control the traffic lights, reverse lanes, etc.). With the CV52S edge AI vision SoC, those decisions can be made locally at each intersection by the camera itself. The camera would then take actions autonomously (for example, adjust traffic-light timing) and only report a status update to the main traffic control center. So now, instead of having one central location trying to manage 1,000 intersections, a city can have 1,000 smart AI cameras, each managing its own location and providing updates and metadata to a central server. Superior privacy Privacy is always a concern with video. In this case, doing AI on-camera is inherently more private than streaming the video to a server for analysis. Less data transmission means fewer points of entry for a hacker trying to access the video. On Ambarella’s CV5S and CV52S SoCs, the video can be analyzed locally and then discarded, with just a signature or metadata of the face being used to find a match. No actual video needs to be stored or transmitted, which ensures total privacy. In addition, the chips contain a very secure hardware cyber security block, including OTP memory, Arm TrustZones, DRAM scrambling and I/O virtualization. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to replace the firmware on the camera, providing another level of security and privacy at the system level. Privacy Masking Another privacy feature is the concept of privacy masking. This feature enables portions of the video (say a door or a window) to be blocked out, before being encoded in the video stream. The blocked portions of the scene are not present in the recorded video, thus providing a privacy option for cameras that are facing private areas. “With on-camera AI, each device becomes its own smart endpoint, and can be reconfigured at will to serve the specific physical security needs of its installation,” said Jerome Gigot, adding “The possibilities are endless, and our mission as an SoC maker is really to provide a powerful and easy-to-use platform, complete with computer-vision tools, that enable our customers and their partners to easily deploy their own AI software on-camera.” Physical security in parking lots With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot One example is physical security in a parking lot. A camera today might be used to just record part of the parking lot, so that an operator can go back and look at the video if a car were broken into or some other incident occurred. With a CV5S or CV52S AI-enabled camera, first of all, the camera will be able to cover a much wider portion of the parking lot. Additionally, it will be able to detect the license plates of all the cars going in and out, to automatically bill the owners. If there is a special event, the camera can be reprogrammed to identify VIP vehicles and automatically redirect them to the VIP portion of the lot, while reporting to the entrance station or sign how many parking spots are available. It can even tell the cars approaching the lot where to go. Advantages of using edge AI vision SoCs Jerome Gigot said, “The possibilities are endless and they span across many verticals. The market is primed to embrace these new capabilities. Recent advances in edge AI vision SoCs have brought about a period of change in the physical security space. Companies that would have, historically, only provided security cameras, are now getting into adjacent verticals such as smart retail, smart cities and smart buildings.” He adds, “These changes are providing a great opportunity for all the camera makers and software providers to really differentiate themselves by providing full systems that offer a new level of insights and efficiencies to, not only the physical security manager, but now also the store owner and the building manager.” He adds, “All of these new applications are extremely healthy for the industry, as they are growing the available market for cameras, while also increasing their value and the economies of scale they can provide. Ambarella is looking forward to seeing all the innovative products that our customers will build with this new generation of SoCs.”
The city of Baltimore has banned the use of facial recognition systems by residents, businesses and the city government (except for police). The criminalization in a major U.S. city of an important emerging technology in the physical security industry is an extreme example of the continuing backlash against facial recognition throughout the United States. Facial recognition technology ban Several localities – from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, from Oakland, California, to Boston – have moved to limit use of the technology, and privacy groups have even proposed a national moratorium on use of facial recognition. The physical security industry, led by the Security Industry Association (SIA), vigorously opposed the ban in Baltimore, urging a measured approach and ‘more rational policymaking’ that preserve the technology’s value while managing any privacy or other concerns. Physical security industry opposes ban In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most" “Unfortunately, an outright ban on facial recognition continues a distressing pattern in which the clear value of this technology is ignored,” said SIA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Don Erickson, adding “In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most.” At the national level, a letter to US President Biden from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coalition asserts the need for a national dialog over the appropriate use of facial recognition technology and expresses concern about ‘a blanket moratorium on federal government use and procurement of the technology’. (The coalition includes Security Industry Association (SIA) and other industry groups.) The negativity comes at a peak moment for facial recognition and other biometric technologies, which saw an increase of interest for a variety of public and business applications, during the COVID-19 pandemic’s prioritization to improve public health hygiene and to promote ‘contactless’ technologies. Prohibition on banks, retailers and online sellers The ordinance in Baltimore prohibits banks from using facial recognition to enhance consumer security in financial transactions. It prevents retailers from accelerating checkout lines with contactless payment and prohibits remote online identity document verification, which is needed by online sellers or gig economy workers, according to the Security Industry Association (SIA). At a human level, SIA points out that the prohibition of facial recognition undermines the use of customized accessibility tools for disabled persons, including those suffering with blindness, memory loss or prosopagnosia (face blindness). Ban out of line with current state of facial recognition Addressing the Baltimore prohibition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reacted to the measure as ‘shockingly out of line with the current state of facial recognition technology and its growing adoption in many sectors of the economy’. Before Baltimore’s decision to target facial recognition, Portland, Oregon, had perhaps the strictest ban, prohibiting city government agencies and private businesses from using the technology on the city’s grounds. San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban the technology, with Boston, Oakland; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Berkeley, California, among others, following suit. Police and federal units can use biometrics Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses, but targets private uses of the technology. It also includes a one-year ‘sunset’ clause that requires city council approval for an extension. The measure carves out an exemption for use of biometrics in access control systems. However, violations of the measure are punishable by 12 months in jail. The law also establishes a task force to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of surveillance tools. Transparency in public sector use of facial recognition Currently, the state of Maryland controls the Baltimore Police Department, so the city council does not have authority to ban police use of facial recognition, which has been a human rights concern driving the bans in other jurisdictions. A measure to return local control of police to the city could pass before the year lapses. SIA advocates transparency in public-sector applications of facial recognition in identity verification, security and law enforcement investigative applications. SIA’s CEO, Don Erickson stated, “As public sector uses are more likely to be part of processes with consequential outcomes, it is especially important for transparency and sound policies to accompany government applications.”
BIM (building information modeling) provides a process for creating and managing information during the building lifecycle and beyond. BIM is often equated with 3D modeling of construction projects, but the visual component is just part of the value of BIM. Additional data, such as specifications and other documentation, is also part of the process, underlying the visual aspects, helping to drive decision making and providing immediate access to detailed information about all facets of the building process. Incorporating BIM systems For the last six years, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions has worked with specification writers and architects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) to make it easy to incorporate ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions doors, hardware, and security solutions into BIM systems. Everyone on a project can work together in the interactive and information-rich BIM environment. BIM tools are also used by contractors, distributors, facility owners, and security consultants. BIM software BIM information relating to doors, hardware, and security solutions is available in the cloud BIM information relating to doors, hardware, and security solutions is available in the cloud with the company’s Openings Studio BIM software. This improves the process of door scheduling and visualization and enables customers to focus on the design, installation, and management of openings. “If you have up-to-date information inside the BIM model, you can reduce mistakes and misunderstanding in the building industry,” says Marc Ameryckx, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ BIM Manager for the EMEIA region. “It helps to eliminate mistakes before they happen or as early as possible in the building process. The earlier, the less it costs. We provide data as soon as possible in the process.” (ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions also has comparable systems available in other regions of the global company.) Centralized data in BIM 3D model Expanding the data available in BIM provides additional value compared to merely providing “BIM objects” that can be incorporated into a BIM 3D model. The combination of BIM modeling and the underlying specifications boosts the quality of the project and its key to success, says Marc Ameryckx. Even after the building is complete, the BIM model is still valuable, providing a repository of “as-built” information that can be used by building managers and security professionals tasked with operating and maintaining the building. For example, if a lock needs to be replaced, retrofitting is simpler because all the information about the lock and existing installation is available in a centralized data file. Revit and ArchiCAD A widely used BIM software is Revit from Autodesk, a program that brings architecture, engineering, and construction disciplines into a unified modeling environment to drive more efficient and cost-effective projects. Another BIM software program is ArchiCAD, developed by the Hungarian company Graphisoft. Openings Studio™ added a plugin for ArchiCAD this year, in addition to Revit. Tailor-made information security solutions We provide tailor-made information security solutions with various hardware on projects with more doors" “We can provide tailor-made information security solutions with various hardware on projects with more doors, adding more flexibility,” says Marc Ameryckx. “Customers do not need to be the experts on the products because we provide expertise as part of our specifications.” For example, how often do building mistakes occur because of a misunderstanding about the electrical needs of a lock and the wrong cabling is installed? The problem is especially expensive if it is discovered only after the walls are complete. Providing complete data about the electrical lock as part of a BIM system avoids the snafu. Another example is the specification of a deadbolt lock on a door that operates with an electric strike. The deadbolt undermines the intended operation of the electric strike and can interfere with escape routes in case of an emergency. The mistake becomes obvious in the BIM environment and can be rectified before consequences impact the real world. Data addition to Opening Suites site ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions is continuously expanding the data it provides at the Opening Suites site, covering additional functionality and more components including the door, cabling, and electrical connections. Hardware sets are linked to specific doors in the BIM models, including all the details of various components, including article numbers, technical sheets, electrical requirements, all depending on customer expectations. Physical equipment includes QR codes that can be scanned by a smartphone to provide information on the door (A cellphone app is in development). More details and more data Experienced BIM consultants work with the Openings Studio software on projects ranging from single doors to large buildings with many doors. Data will be more and more important, and there will be more data inside BIM models Adding more data and detail to the BIM process at the level of each door expands the usefulness of BIM, which has historically been focused on broader issues such as structural work and HVAC. “Openings Studio™ provides all the data to integrate doors and security in the BIM process,” says Marc Ameryckx. The higher level of detail may be a new aspect even for customers who already use BIM software. “Data will be more and more important, and there will be more data inside BIM models,” says Marc Ameryckx. In the future, the use of “digital twins” could expand the capabilities even further; for example, the software could simulate escape routes in case of fire. More data makes more things possible.
Retrofitting modern security to old or protected heritage buildings used to be an installer’s nightmare. Wiring could be complex, with damage to ancient architecture or door hardware a constant risk. Now, wireless access control devices that match the protection and durability of wired technology, have made it straightforward. For a facilities manager, the security remit for any building or space is broadly the same. People and assets must be kept safe. Access to the most sensitive areas should be carefully filtered. Intrusion has to be stopped. Yet, installation, wiring and larger modifications present a unique set of challenges in an older building. Battery-powered access control Battery-powered access control devices can add equivalent features wirelessly, at lower and more predictable cost, because no cabling is required around the door. In a wireless system, locks for doors, cabinets and other openings communicate over-the-air with a network of hubs. These may be placed close to existing mains power sources, minimizing disruption to the building fabric. Software makes the access decision, which is communicated back to locks via the hub Software makes the access decision, which is communicated back to locks via the hub. Everything happens almost instantly and wire free. In an old building or structure, choosing to wire for door security opens up not only expense but also uncertainty. Indeed, when working under old floors and inside walls, which are 100 years or more old, surprises are guaranteed. At the installation stage, big surprises can be very expensive. Wireless access control cylinders Aesthetics is another concern. Wireless access control cylinders, for example, offer durable, certified electronic security paired with a minimal visual impact. At a heritage property, low-profile security solutions are a must. In addition, replacing mechanical locks with wireless electronic door devices reduces the manual workload involved in handling and tracking physical keys — saving time and money for property managers. Retrofitting 21st-century locks to a 16th-century building In updating access control for one school property in Spain, installers faced precisely these challenges. The Colegio Diocesano Santo Domingo in Orihuela is more than just a school. Its historic buildings date back to the 1500s. An on-site museum needs protection from the same access system. This is a heritage site, as well as a place of learning. Hence, the brief for a new access system required minimizing disruption on two fronts. The college buildings are a Resource of Cultural Interest and on Spain’s heritage registry. Hence, they must not be damaged. School leaders wanted to avoid disturbance to everyday learning. Wireless locks were the answer. Wireless locks installed “In addition to the main entrances and classrooms, access to private spaces such as lifts, offices, staff rooms, the church, the museum, the library and the IT room is constantly monitored,” said the school’s IT Manager, Francisco Fernández Soriano. Francisco adds, “Thanks to our SMARTair devices installed at more than 300 doors, the security team can find out who has accessed which space and when, at any time. This increases security for children and for staff because no unauthorized people can enter the school.” SMARTair system Installation of the school’s new SMARTair system demanded little work Installation of the school’s new SMARTair system demanded little work. Some doors are 500 years old, so major alterations were not possible. ASSA ABLOY’s SMARTair door devices are easily fitted without drilling or wires. To install a SMARTair cylinder, for example, a professional simply replaces the existing mechanical cylinder with the battery-powered SMARTair device. “The system was installed without a hitch and also without any disruption to classes,” confirms Fernández Soriano. Flexibility for school and care home security “At the Vejle Friskole in Denmark, key management had been eating up a very long time, approximately 5 hours a week,” explains Henrik Kækel, the school’s Technical Service Officer. Now, mechanical keys have also been replaced by a wireless access control system. More than 80 doors and cabinets around the school are secured with SMARTair locks. At a historic property like Vejle Friskole, the customer required that devices were easy and unobtrusive to retrofit. SMARTair locks installed at Vejle Friskole “It was really bad [before] because we had big problems with keys that were lost,” said Henrik Kækel, adding “There was a lot of work on keying in and handing out.” Today, Vejle Friskole staff spends around 5 minutes a week managing their access system.” Henrik adds, “It's incredibly easy to figure out and it takes 1 minute to code a student.” Even managing the leasing of school buildings for non-school events is simple and secure. Facilities staff issue digital credentials for the duration of an event, then cancel them immediately afterwards via the software, with no concerns that someone may have copied a physical key. Electronic locking system Pamplona’s Casa de la Misericordia, in Spain, also switched their century-old building from mechanical to electronic locking Pamplona’s Casa de la Misericordia, in Spain, also switched their century-old building from mechanical to electronic locking. To meet the day-to-day care needs of over 500 residents, they had a specific set of demands for a new access system. Real-time control over the premises was essential. “In a residence like ours it is critical to have real-time management that allows us to interact with a door at any time,” explains Ernesto Serra, Facility Manager at the Casa de la Misericordia. Advanced wireless technology The system also needed to be flexible and expandable, so it could be installed in two phases. Advanced wireless technology suited to retrofitting in an old building was another must-have as this 1930s building has large doors and walls up to 1 m thick. “A wireless solution that allows us to install access control without wiring up the buildings is a big advantage, the system has adapted to our present and future needs,” said Ernesto Serra.
The nerve center at Miami International Airport (MIA) is its Airport Operations Center (AOC), which operates around the clock, monitoring activity, responding to safety and security incidents, disseminating information and responding to requests from stakeholders throughout the airport. Incident logging at the AOC An essential daily task for the AOC team is incident logging, with approximately 70 detailed logs being created each day, and that number is set to rise, as a result of internal process changes within the department. Rupen Philloura is the Director of Terminal Operations & AOC at Miami International Airport and he explains, “The MLS logging system was a 25-year-old custom-built application. It was familiar for our operators to use, but it was unwieldy, unreliable, and inefficient. With logging being such a critical and growing aspect of our day-today operations, we needed to upgrade to a state-of-the-art unified platform.” Situator enterprise incident management system The platform chosen by the airport was the renowned enterprise incident management system, Situator, from Qognify The platform chosen by the airport was the renowned enterprise incident management system, Situator, from Qognify, a company whose solutions are trusted by airports around the world. Miami itself was already working with the company, using its NiceVision video management system (VMS) and analytics solutions across its highly distributed video surveillance system. Currently, the AOC has six Situator-powered stations from which operators monitor the airports Honeywell/EBI fire alarm and Matrix access control systems, as well as its extensive surveillance camera network. Dynamic form functionality Rupen Philloura describes the process, stating “When an alert is raised, the operator must follow a strict set of procedures for that specific event, this might simply be resetting an alarm remotely, or the dispatch of maintenance personnel. Incidents and subsequent actions need to be accurately documented for regulatory compliance purposes, but also to help us to learn and improve how we deal with incidents and events.” The need to manually enter all details has been replaced by the dynamic form functionality within Situator. It automatically populates and logs specific information relating to that incident, saving operators valuable time, and ensuring every log is of a consistently high standard. End-to-end accounts and improved logging Rupen Philloura further stated, “Together with the input of the operator, we are assured that the logs we generate and store are comprehensive end-to-end accounts, which can be quickly and reliably searched, retrieved and reviewed.” The improved logging has also had a noticeable impact on business continuity and operational efficiency, as well as providing an additional layer of protection to the airport from a regulatory standpoint. With the AOC operating a three-shift pattern, it is vitally important that change overs can be completed swiftly and nothing is overlooked. Rupen Philloura adds, “When the next shift logs on to Situator they have instant situational awareness, there is no lag in productivity. They can see what has happened and what requires their immediate attention. During their shift they no longer need to repeatedly log into multiple systems to access information. It is all there on the screen at their station.” Reduced response time to incidents The success of Situator within the AOC has led the airport to begin exploiting its strength as a powerful platform Situator has also reduced the response time to incidents, such as door alarms, as well as access requests from tenants and airport employees, by automating the interaction with the Matrix system. With the old MLS system, both use cases needed to be handled manually. The success of Situator within the AOC has led the airport to begin exploiting its strength as a powerful platform, with higher levels of task automation, ad-hoc forms, and reporting, as well as integration with airport-specific and non-specific subsystems (made easier by the API driven Situator), such as its access control system and surveillance cameras. Support for facilities management It is also evaluating its ability to support the facilities management team in ensuring the statutory maintenance of its extensive network of elevators and moving walkways. Mike Bryant is Computer Services’ Sr. Manager at Miami-Dade Aviation Department and he has been impressed not only by the reliability that the web-based Situator is providing, (demonstrated by a drop in support calls from the AOC since the implementation), but also its future potential. Enhanced Airport safety and security Mike Bryant said, “With Situator, we have a platform that we can evolve to positively impact the operations, maintenance, compliance, safety and security throughout our airport. It has opened up possibilities to integrate systems, solve problems and make improvements, without needing to make further investments in standalone solutions.” Rupen Philloura concludes, “Every airport needs a robust, reliable and easy to use logging solution and for MIA it is one of the greatest strengths of Situator. It gives us complete situational awareness regarding when and how an event transpired, who responded, how, and the result. This insight improves our decision-making and feeds a continual cycle of improvement.”
Collins Aerospace has completed deployment of its ARINC SelfPassTM biometrics solution at Haneda Airport, one of the busiest airports in Asia, streamlining passenger processing through reduced physical interactions and bottlenecks at multiple passenger touchpoints. Collins Aerospace is a Raytheon Technologies business. “Our ‘Face Express’ system will allow passengers to efficiently proceed through procedures at the airport (baggage drop, security checkpoint entrance, boarding gate) utilizing facial recognition, eliminating the hassle of showing their passport and boarding pass,” said Shoichi Ohashi, Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation’s senior manager for the Facility Department. “We worked closely with Collins Aerospace to achieve this and enhance passenger convenience at Tokyo Haneda airport.” SelfPass biometrics solution Rakan Khaled, vice president, Airport Systems for Collins said, “Our ARINC SelfPass biometrics solution at Tokyo Haneda Airport streamlines passenger processing while improving airport efficiency and security. Despite the challenging pandemic environment, we were able to manage staffing and suppliers to ensure smooth delivery of the solution.” This project includes the installation of 98 Self-Service Check-In Kiosks, 30 biometric enrollment kiosks, 104 biometric devices for Self-Bag Drop, 17 biometric Automated Security Gates, and 42 biometric Automated Self-Boarding Gates.
HID Global, a pioneer in trusted identity solutions announced that the Arcos Bosques Torre 1 (Tower 1) has deployed its access control solutions to heighten security and better manage visitor entry. Located in the Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood of Mexico City, the center is comprised of six buildings. The complex includes two skyscrapers and is home to high-profile law firms, industrial, mining, media, and technology companies, and one of the city’s most recognized shopping centers. HID readers and smart card technologies With the help of system integrator Logen, Arcos Bosques Corporate Center chose HID Mobile Access® solutions as well as HID readers and smart card technologies for tenants and visitors to securely pass through its 16 turnstiles and use the 32 elevators that lead to their offices. The HID solutions also give tenants the choice of using their mobiledevices or physical smart cards for entry. Touchless and safe entry HID’s mobile access solution enables administrators to remotely manage credentials by cloud-based infrastructure “Accessing the building by simply presenting a mobile phone makes a lot of sense as we look for ways to eliminate touching things during the global pandemic,” said Santiago Morett, Project Manager at Servicon, facilities manager for Arcos Bosques. “HID Mobile Access has given us touchless entry and safer building security, which is more important than ever for our tenants.” Mobile access solution HID’s mobile access solution also enables administrators to remotely create, issue, manage and revoke credentials through the cloud-based infrastructure. Servicon, the facility management company for Arcos Bosques, now has continuous building access visibility through a unified, up-to-the-minute database of the tower’s tenant names, affiliated companies, and work locations. "Building security today extends not only to who has access but also to how individuals are able to enter a facility,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. “HID’s access control solutions provide the foundation for optimal oversight and control while also keeping people healthy and safe.”
London’s renowned landmark skyscraper, 30 St Mary Axe, more famously known as The Gherkin, has selected Forge, powered by Yardi, to provide an enhanced and efficient visitor management solution for the building. The Gherkin, located in London’s primary financial district, welcomes over 2,000 visitors per week, including restaurant-goers who dine at the noted top-floor situated Helix Restaurant, which is managed by Searcy’s. Forge Bluepoint Cloud-based software solution, Forge Bluepoint also provides real-time data on visitors expected To manage the experience of the visitors, The Gherkin will adopt Forge Bluepoint to provide fast check-in and check-out, and the ability to scan access cards or mobile QR codes in speed lanes for secure admission, to their designated meeting floor. Cloud-based software solution, Forge Bluepoint also provides real-time data on visitors expected and allows for seamless integration with other building management technology solutions. Efficient visitor management “30 St Mary Axe has a number of different tenants who require a journey for their visitors that fits their needs and culture,” said Clare Jackaman, the Operations Manager at The Gherkin. Clare Jackaman adds, “The Forge Bluepoint technology will provide our reception and security staff with an efficient solution, to provide the right level of service and ensure people in the building are visiting safely.” Enhanced security of visitors “We’re excited to add The Gherkin to the growing list of Forge Bluepoint buildings across London,” said Paul Speariett, the Regional Director at Yardi, adding “Working in partnership with The Gherkin team, we have built visitor journeys that provide them with the experience, security and efficiency they need.”
The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) announces that it is turning to Alcatraz AI, the building access control technology developer, to provide touchless, badgeless building access for all staff at their home, Banc of California Stadium. Alcatraz’s facial authentication technology provides a frictionless access control experience that is more secure and hygienic. The technology reduces touchpoints while streamlining building access protocols, and provides LAFC with a future-proof security solution. Facial authentication technology As businesses begin resuming on-site operations, health and safety is top-of-mind. According to one survey, two-thirds of employees have safety concerns as they return to on-site workplace participation, prompting business leaders to take steps to improve their holistic safety landscape. As businesses begin resuming on-site operations, health and safety is top-of-mind The football Club is deploying Alcatraz AI’s facial authentication technology to replace or augment badges for physical security and access control. This technology will be implemented in all LAFC facilities, allowing the club to more successfully resume on-site operations after the recent pandemic. With touchless entry, operations leaders can account for access security while also accommodating new pandemic-inspired health and safety protocols. Increasing building security “Touchless access using facial authentication increases building security and user convenience. In today’s operational reality, it also enhances health and safety measures by reducing touchpoints and enabling robust contact tracing programs,” said Tina D’Agostin, CEO of Alcatraz AI. “We are here to help companies secure physical spaces, helping them confidently resume on-site operations, and we are excited to support LAFC in their efforts,” she adds. “We are excited to work with the Alcatraz team to bring the future of security to all LAFC facilities,” explains Christian Lau, LAFC’s Chief Technology Officer. “We will be implementing the touch-less building/space access solutions for our personnel to automate contact tracing and real-time mitigation all in one device.”
Round table discussion
The idea of touchless systems has gained new levels of prominence during the last year, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Contactless systems have been part of the industry’s toolbox for decades, while technologies like facial and iris recognition are finding new uses every day. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security markets are embracing touchless, contactless systems and why?
Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerized systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting critical infrastructure?
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