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The global pandemic has triggered considerable innovation and change in the video surveillance sector. Last year, organizations around the globe embraced video surveillance technologies to manage social distancing, monitor occupancy levels in internal and external settings, and enhance their return-to-work processes. Forced to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations for a new post-COVID reality, companies were quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video surveillance systems. Whether that was utilizing motion sensing technologies to automatically close doors or switch on lighting in near-deserted office facilities. Or checking if people were wearing masks and adhering to distancing rules. Or keeping a watchful eye on streets and public spaces during mandated curfew hours. Beyond surveillance and monitoring use cases, organizations also took advantage of a raft of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to undertake a range of tasks. Everything from automating their building management and optimizing warehouse operations, to increasing manufacturing output and undertaking predictive maintenance. Behind the scenes, three key trends all contributed to the growing ubiquity of video surveillance observed in a variety of government, healthcare, corporate, retail, and industry settings. Video surveillance takes to the Cloud Last year the shift to digital working led organizations to rapidly embrace cloud-enabled services, including cloud-hosted Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) solutions that provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility. Alongside significant cost savings, these solutions make it easier for organizations to enhance their disaster recovery and manage their video surveillance estate in new and highly effective ways. Surveillance cameras with audio recording were used more than 200% by customers between 2016 and 2020 For example, in addition to enabling remote access and maintenance, today’s cloud-powered systems eliminate any need to invest in local storage technologies that all too often fail to keep pace with an organization’s growing data storage requirements. Indeed, data from our worldwide customer base survey reveals how in 2020 an impressive 63% of organizations had abandoned using any on-premises storage option and were instead only storing all their video surveillance recordings and data in the Cloud. A deeper review of the global stats shows that the average cloud recording retention period for this stored data was 28.2 days, with organizations in Asia topping the global average at 38 days – 33% higher than was observed in any other region. Improvements in bandwidth and scalability engendered by the Cloud have also helped boost the growing utilization of audio recordings in addition to visual image capture. Indeed, our research found the number of surveillance cameras with an audio recording facility used by customers jumped more than 200% between 2016 and 2020. Making sense of Big Data The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by the Cloud is stimulating more companies to connect a lot more video surveillance cameras to their networks. The top motivation for doing so is to generate live metrics and data that can be utilized to deliver enhanced business insights and operational intelligence. In recent years, a rich choice of video analytics solutions have been developed for a variety of industry verticals. The range of functionalities on offer is impressive and covers a variety of applications. Everything from making it easy to classify and track objects and behavior patterns in real-time, to undertaking anomaly detection, or generating predictions based on past and present events/activities. Data collected via today’s cloud connected cameras can now also be used to feed deep learning training and AI analytics, utilizing the unparalleled virtualized processing capacity of the Cloud to convert Big Data into usable information quickly. By integrating this information with data from other enterprise data capture systems, organizations are now able to gain a 360-degree view of their operations – in almost real-time. IT is now in the driving seat No longer the sole preserve of on-site security staff, the wider application and business use of video surveillance means that IT is increasingly taking the lead role where the management and control of these systems are concerned. IT is asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need Aside from the fact that IT has a vested interest in addressing the cybersecurity implications that come with attaching a growing range of IoT devices to the enterprise network, they’re also increasingly being asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need. As organizations expand their integration of video with other business applications, such as point of sale, access control, process control, and manufacturing systems, this trend is only set to accelerate. Looking to the future Right now, the video surveillance industry is at a key tipping point, as video systems become increasingly strategic for enabling the enterprise to boost productivity, stay compliant, and fulfill its obligations to protect employees and customers. As the technology’s contribution to enhanced data-driven decision-making and problem solving continues to increase, expect the adoption of IP connected video cameras to burgeon as organizations look to capture more data from their day-to-day business operations.
While COVID-19 caused widespread disruption and many challenges for businesses, its sudden arrival prompted some very quick decision-making around how to maintain operations. For some businesses, cloud-based video conferencing solutions provided a welcome alternative to meeting face-to-face. A year on and it seems that this sudden and mass adoption of cloud has accelerated a digital transformation process in other departments. Physical security too is increasingly moving to the cloud in the form of hosted solutions, where Video Surveillance as-a-Service (VSaaS) is providing comprehensive protection across a range of industries and sectors. To better understand the impact of this migration to the cloud, hosted security provider Morphean commissioned a survey of 1000 senior decision-makers across the UK, Germany, and Sweden, working in HR, facilities management, IT, and security. As well as ascertaining purchasing intent around hosted security applications among a broad spectrum of buyers, the results would provide key indications around the abilities of cloud to benefit organizations in regard to both security and business operations. An increasing urgency around VSaaS and ACaaS adoption Low costs, flexible scalability, demand for real-time and remote access to security data are key to the adoption of hosted solutions Survey results revealed that 51% of senior decision-makers are currently using cloud-based video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or a door entry/access control system (ACaaS). This represents a 3% increase in comparison to responses from a 2019 survey (48%), and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.2%. Low costs, flexible scalability, and demand for real-time and remote access to security data are key to the accelerated adoption of hosted solutions in the current climate. A significant 70% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had actually increased the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt VSaaS and ACaaS, with IT Services revealed as the sector with most respondents strongly or somewhat agreeing (82%), followed by Security (73%). Results highlight a hosted physical security market which is in a strong position for 2021. Physical security utilizing the cloud can unlock many security and business benefits for the modern organization as it faces many new challenges. Business optimization and operational insights The benefits of VSaaS and ACaaS prompted Morphean to examine what areas of the business were optimized, or in need of improvement. 43% of those surveyed stated that data/information security was the most optimized aspect of their company. The total number of respondents who indicated that physical security was already optimized had risen by 4% since our 2019 survey, to 27%. It was those working in IT who saw the greatest disparity in security-related optimization, with far fewer recognizing that physical security was optimized (28%) compared with data/IT security (55%). This may point to an opportunity to increase physical security optimization to be on par with data/IT security. 95% of those surveyed agreed that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making it would influence adoption. It is clear that the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. As an example, consider an office environment where access control and video data can be used to determine an employee’s movements in the event of a positive COVID-19 result and alert others who may have made physical contact with that individual. A future proof business model Decision-makers surveyed that use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19 78% of the 1000 senior decision-makers surveyed anticipate their organizations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on-premises, businesses are able to customize and scale quickly to meet ongoing challenges without the need for large upfront capital investment. The convenience of as-a-service can be paid for out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost. This is the proven business model of the cloud. Yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licenses rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities. This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the crisis. Full support and extensive functionality From a customer perspective, 28% of respondents highlighted cost benefits as a key factor in the move towards VSaaS/ACaaS and 19% indicated that they would expect to see all-inclusive updates/upgrades and support. VSaaS and ACaaS are supported by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades, so are always up to date. Additionally, functionality such as remote management allows operations to be monitored offsite via mobile device. Access from any location (32%), remote maintenance (31%), and the ability to monitor empty sites (29%) were all identified as key benefits of introducing VSaaS and ACaaS, alongside better security (40%) and better functionality (33%). The revelation that such technology is employed by over half of organizations across a wide range of industries is a comforting validation of its benefits, and evidence that hosted physical security is in great demand. 30% of those surveyed indicated that they did not currently use such solutions, but were considering their implementation. Cloud’s resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. VSaaS and ACaaS provide flexibility in a security and business solution that meets the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.
Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data center world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realize that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.
OPTEX, the global sensing and detection manufacturer, has expanded the offering of its range of award-winning Intelligent Visual Monitoring Solution with the launch of a new 12-channel Visual Verification Bridge in Europe and Africa. The new 12-channel Bridge, powered by CHeKT, enables up to 12 ONVIF-compatible cameras and alarms to be managed through a single device, making it ideal for larger sites such as major depots and warehouses with constant activity 24/7. The choice of a four and now 12-channel device gives greater flexibility to customers managing multiple sites with multiple devices. Visual monitoring solution The Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution gives the ‘power of sight’ to monitored alarm systems, meaning triggered alarms can be visually verified within seconds and responded to accordingly. The OPTEX Bridge is the hardware device (gateway) that is physically connecting the indoor and/or outdoor intrusion sensors or the panic buttons with the IP cameras on site. It can work with any legacy equipment as well as new systems. It provides a complete audit trail of activity and can detect when a camera is not working (i.e. when it has dropped out of the network), and report the fault, thus ensuring security is not compromised. Cloud-Hosted platform Monitoring stations have the ability to provide an easy-to-install and cost-effective visual verification service It communicates via a gated Cloud portal with the Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) or monitoring station in the appropriate ‘language’, having integrated with all major monitoring software platforms. It will, in effect, work with virtually any intruder alarm technology, or any alarm device with a relay output and any ONVIF camera to deliver one seamless visual verification solution. Monitoring stations have the ability to provide an easy-to-install and cost-effective visual verification service to residential and commercial sites; the Bridge can be installed and working within the hour. The Cloud-hosted platform also allows a stronger collaboration between the ARCs and the home/business owners by having the ability to share video clips to confirm the alarms while respecting any privacy guidelines through its bespoke privacy feature that only end-users can release. Monitored alarm systems Ben Linklater, Commercial Director at OPTEX Europe, says the new 12-channel Bridge gives more options to both installers and monitoring stations: “Since launching our Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution last year, the demand for visual verification has continued to grow.” Most monitored alarm systems are ‘blind’, so the ability to add video and see exactly what is going on has significant benefits. “The 12-channel Bridge complements the four-channel Bridge and gives more options to installers and operators to suit monitored security systems of different sizes and configurations.”
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the 2021 winners of the SIA New Product Showcase Awards, the flagship awards program presented in partnership with ISC West recognizing innovative security products, services, and solutions. Top among the winners – who were recognized June 17 during a virtual awards show – was Lumeo, receiving the 2021 Best New Product Award. SIA New Product Showcase Since its inception in 1979, the SIA New Product Showcase has been the security industry’s premier product awards program. New products are reviewed by a panel of judges with extensive industry experience, and in 2021, following significant deliberations, the 35 judges presented awards for technologies covering 25+ product and service categories. The 2021 SIA New Product Showcase entries will be on display July 19-21 in Booth 14073 on the ISC West show floor. Best new product Lumeo received the Best New Product honor for its Lumeo product, submitted in the Emerging Technologies category. Lumeo received the Best New Product honor for its no-code video analytic builder “Lumeo is the first and only ‘no-code' video analytic builder that provides integrators, software vendors, and solution providers with the ability to create and deliver custom analytics in minutes and with no technical skills needed,” said Lumeo. “Using drag-and-drop tools, pre-built analytic building blocks, and AI models, Lumeo lets providers instantly add AI-powered analytics to their own solution, or extend existing VMS and camera installations to increase revenue and bottom line. Lumeo’s cloud-managed analytics can run in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid model so you can optimize for convenience or cost.” Judges’ Choice Award The prestigious Judges’ Choice Award was presented to Teleportivity for the QR Video Intercom product, submitted in the Emerging Technologies category. “Imagine being able to install an app-like ‘video intercom’ experience, anywhere, simply with a QR code,” said Teleportivity. “There’s no hardware needed, and no app required for the visitor. Simply scan with a smartphone and access. Intercom owners can add a whole range of other self-serve experiences into their code. Install onto a digital directory, letterbox, a door, a wall…Anywhere.” New ideas and technologies “The 2021 entrants to the SIA New Product Showcase are a remarkable group, and we were impressed by the many notable ideas and new technologies that came in this year,” said Christopher Grniet, chair of the SIA New Product Showcase Committee. “It was a challenge making the final award determinations in this year’s highly competitive program following hours of panel-driven judging and technology demonstrations. Thank you to our dedicated judges for volunteering your time, expertise, and efforts to make the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase a success.” Merit Award SIA New Product Showcase program – received the New Product Showcase Merit Award Additionally, Marc R. Tardiff – founder of MRT Security Consulting LLC and an active volunteer judge in the SIA New Product Showcase program – received the New Product Showcase Merit Award, which recognizes an individual or company who, through their support of the New Product Showcase, demonstrates a commitment to the vision and mission of the program, contributes to its success and promotes the advancement of SIA and the security industry overall. “I am honored to be named the 2021 SIA NPS Merit Award winner and would like to thank Sandra Jones, who first gave me the chance to serve on the SIA NPS Committee, as well as SIA, Reed, and our NPS Committee members for the work that has been going on for quite some time,” said Tardiff. “I’d also like to thank our previous chair, Jennifer Martin, and current chair Chris Grniet for allowing me to continue to serve.” Recognizing all the honorees “SIA is thrilled to recognize the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase honorees, whose products, services, and contributions represent the most innovative new security offerings on the market,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA congratulates all the 2021 award winners, and especially Lumeo and Teleportivity, whose solutions stood out among the impressive field of entrants to earn the Best New Product and Judges’ Choice honors. Additionally, we congratulate Marc R. Tardiff on being named the 2021 SIA NPS Merit Award recipient in recognition of his dedication and valuable contributions to this flagship awards program.” Winners of the 2021 Product Showcase The 2021 SIA New Product Showcase award winners are: Best New Product Award Winner: Lumeo – Lumeo Judges’ Choice Award Winner: Teleportivity – QR Video Intercom New Product Showcase Merit Award Winner: Marc R. Tardiff, founder, MRT Security Consulting LLC Category Awards Access Control Devices & Peripherals Hardware – Wireless Winner: Master Lock – Master Lock Vault Enterprise Bluetooth Door Controller Honorable Mention: Bird Home Automation GmbH – DoorBird D1812 Access Control Software, Hardware, Devices & Peripherals – Wired Winner: Honeywell International Inc – Pro-Watch Integrated Security Suite Honorable Mention: Alvarado from dormakaba Group – MST-TE Touch-Free Full Height Turnstile Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Winner: Bullistic Barriers LLC – RaDeBuRe Commercial Monitoring Solutions Winner: Evolon – Verify Honorable Mention: Optex – Optex 12 Channel Bridge Communications and Networking Solutions Winner: M2M Services – MINI-LTE-M-AV Convergence and Integration Solutions Winner: BioConnect – BioConnect Enterprise 5.0 Design, Diagnostic, and Installation Tools Winner: Axis Communications, Inc. – AXIS Plugin for Autodesk Revit Emerging Technologies Winner: Teleportivity – QR Video Intercom Honorable Mention: Lumeo – Lumeo AiP Monitoring – SafeAtHome App Environmental Monitoring Systems Winner: IPVideo Corporation – HALO 2.2 Fire/Life Safety Winner: NOTIFIER by Honeywell – Notifier Inspire Self-Test Smoke Detection Hosted Solutions/Managed Services Winner: Soloinsight Inc. – CloudGate SmartSpace Identification Management and Credentialing (Non-Biometrics) Winner: SISCO – ThermalPass Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions (Physical) – Wired Winner: OPTEX Inc. – Redscan Pro Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions (Physical) – Wireless Winner: Intelligent Automation, Inc. – ARGUS Perimeter Security Solutions Key/Equipment Assets Management Solutions Winner: CyberLock Inc. – CyberAudit-Web 9.4 Law Enforcement/Public Safety/Guarding Systems Winner: Active Guardian – 3xLOGIC Gunshot Detection Lock and Key Solutions Winner: Medeco Security Locks – Medeco 4 High-Security Key System Cellphone Solutions (Connected) Winner: IronYun Inc. – Vaidio Cam App Smart Home Solutions Winner: Alarm.com – Flex IO Honorable Mention: 2GIG – 2GIG EDGE Security and Automation Panel Threat/Risk Management Software Applications Winner: Gallagher – Proximity and Contact Tracing Report Video Analytics Winner: IronYun Inc. – Vaidio AI Vision Platform 5.0 Video Surveillance Cameras (HD/Megapixel) Winner: Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Ltd. – KP-HD3005G-R5/IF-PCB Video Surveillance Data Storage Winner: Premio Inc. – AI Edge Inference Computer (RCO-6141E-4U2C-2060S) Video Surveillance Management Systems Winner: Immervision Inc. – Immervision HTML 5 Web SDK During the 2021 SIA New Product Showcase virtual awards ceremony, in addition to the presentation of the overall and category-specific awards, attendees enjoyed hearing insights from New Product Showcase judges into innovations driving product advancements in the security industry. The 2021 SIA New Product Showcase entries will be on display July 19-21 in Booth 14073 on the ISC West show floor.
Developed by the British company Monitor Computer Systems (MCS), Sentinel is an alarm and video handling software application used by a significant number of Alarm Receiving Centers (ARC) in the UK. It is also adopted in many monitoring stations across Europe, North America, and Australia. Visual monitoring solution When OPTEX launched its Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution for monitored alarms systems, it engaged with MCS to ensure all the contact ID (alarm codes) generated on-site could be integrated and interpreted by the Sentinel platform. Michael Askew, Managing Director of MCS, wanted to provide ARC operators with the best possible experience when handling a customer’s alarm activation, especially when a person is identified on-site. Instant video access By integrating OPTEX and Sentinel technologies, operators are given instant access to the event video By integrating OPTEX and Sentinel technologies, operators are given instant access to the event video and are able to share that video with the end-user or site manager, who can instruct on how to handle the event (i.e. dismiss or respond). The instruction given by the customer is automated within Sentinel and provides the operator with any follow-up actions required. This process which stores all actions in a clear audit trail enables a quick and efficient response to an alarm activation and importantly avoids unnecessary security or police dispatch due to user error or false alarm. This helps businesses and homeowners keep their Unique Reference Numbers. Offers visual verification service “Thanks to Michael and his team, the integration of the OPTEX Visual Monitoring solution and Sentinel software is seamless. It allows the Alarm Receiving Centers to adopt our solution to offer a unique visual verification service and handle activations within the Sentinel interface,” says Ben Linklater, Commercial Director at OPTEX. “We are delighted to see the level of partnership between the two companies.” Easily adds video to a monitored alarm The OPTEX Intelligent Video Monitoring solution enables indoor and external sensors to be integrated with any ONVIF video device and connect to a cloud portal to generate an easy and cost-effective way to add a video to a monitored alarm or personal attack system. OPTEX Intelligent Video Monitoring solution enables indoor and external sensors to be integrated with any ONVIF video device The solution simply requires the installation of an IP gateway - The OPTEX Bridge - on-site, followed by a connection to the cloud portal and to a participating ARC. OPTEX and Monitor Computer Systems will be running a joint webinar on 23rd of June 2021, presented by Neil Foster, Senior Business Development Manager at OPTEX, and Michael Askew to demonstrate the solution live. For more information or to sign up for the webinar, visit the company website.
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