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Critical infrastructure aspires for comprehensive protection

Critical infrastructure aspires for comprehensive protection

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s International | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

The critical infrastructure sector has been regarded as one of the most important sectors in terms of national security around the world since it is highly vulnerable to terrorist threats. There were about 2,500 attacks on critical infrastructures around the world that can be linked to terrorist organizations from 1996 to 2006, according to a report by Electric Power Research Institute. To prevent possible disastrous consequences, governments usually adopt various high-tech security products that come with better risk management systems and also higher prices. It is forecast that the global infrastructure market will grow from US$63.7 billion in 2013 to $105.9 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 10.7 percent, by MarketsandMarkets. North America will remain as the market with the most revenue, whereas the markets in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to experience greater market traction.

MAJOR SECURITY THREATS TO CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURES
Critical infrastructures have always been one of the most prominent security focuses of national security. Critical infrastructures refer to several essential and fundamental facilities, interdependent systems, and assets that support a country's politics, economy, transportation, security, energy, health, education, communication, etc. — to put it simply, it has a huge impact on the public's daily activities. For instance, if any power plant is damaged, it can jeopardize a country's security and lead to unimaginable public consequences and inconveniences, as it can take several weeks to months for total site functionality to be restored.

Critical infrastructures are mainly threatened by terrorism, vandalism, intrusion, and espionage, and are often considered a major target of anti-government actions. These critical sites should also be protected from industrial accidents and natural disasters which will instantly endanger the public once they occur. If a dam, for instance, is sabotaged, the damage may cause insufficient water resources, flood control failure, agriculture irrigation failure, and even disable electricity from being generated around that area, or worse, across the country. If a power grid is attacked, the damage may lead to chemical leaks and cause further destruction.

An example of this is the power grid attack in California last April, which has recently been disclosed as an act of domestic terrorism, in which 17 transformers were fired at by unknown snipers for 19 minutes. The attackers had cut the fiber optic telecommunication cables in an underground vault near the site before entering the site and shooting at the oil-filled cooling systems of the transformers, causing massive oil leaks and the transformers to overheat. Fortunately, the damage was controlled; however, it still took 27 days for the facility and the damaged transformers to be repaired — each transformer can cost millions of dollars to build, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

KEY CHALLENGES IN CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
A power grid is usually set up with multiple buildings, assets, and facilities, spread over a vast geographical area. Critical infrastructures generally invest in various technologies over time, resulting in the wide adoption of legacy and new devices, according to Darren Chalmers-Stevens, VP of EMEA at VidSys. Regarding overall size, number of buildings, and vast system deployments, managing a power grid in an organized manner is the primary challenge of protecting critical infrastructures. In order to efficiently and conveniently manage the entire energy station across multiple locations, it is crucial for critical infrastructures to centralize operations and increase situational awareness on both physical and logical threats through greater system integration.

MULTI-LAYERED PERIMETER DETECTION AT THE FRONT LINE
Risk management of critical infrastructures could be a great challenge to a site operating manager, due to complex deployment of disparate systems, devices, and facilities within a vast area. Critical infrastructures tend to favor multi-layered perimeter systems, which are able to comprehensively prevent various threats, like vandalism, trespassing, terrorist acts, and etc.

It is forecast that the global market size for electronic perimeter security sensors and video in electrical utilities and oil refineries will top $160 million in 2014, despite the economic slowdown in 2011 and 2012. This strong growth is resulting from the trend of using remote video and networked sensors in order to remotely configure and conduct devices from a distant location, according to a report by IMS Research, an IHS company.

For energy grids, any security threat or attack might lead to catastrophic results, which is exactly why managers are prone to using multi-layered perimeter detection systems.

A nuclear site is the perfect candidate for a multi-layered perimeter system. “A common architecture for nuclear power stations and other high security sites is an initial layer of a volumetric-tall sensor (4m to 6m high) with very high possibility of detecion; once an alert is generated, the intruder has to penetrate a fence which would delay the intruder for a few minutes to move on, even if the intruder is well equipped,” suggested by Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development at Magal Security Systems.

"Behind the layer, there is typically a clear space of about 10-meters wide; it is an area always kept clear, facilitating ease of verification, be it by cameras or another detection layer, such as microwave sensors, buried volumetric cables, or even IR detectors. And finally there is a second fence for further delay, which may be equipped with a smart fence mounted sensor.”

Integration of Video Surveillance and Intrusion Systems
In perimeter security, it is crucial to properly integrate video surveillance with intrusion systems. If individuals or vehicles intend to breach a critical site, the intruder will trigger the perimeter sensors. The system will then immediately send out a security notification to the command center with a corresponding image from the camera at the particular site so operators will know how to respond.

“Without integration between video surveillance and intrusion systems, it would be difficult to maintain a high level of awareness when a sensor detects a break-in — it would be time consuming for a security operator to find the appropriate video footage of an event,” Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems stated.

There could be up to hundreds of surveillance cameras installed at the site of an energy grid to make sure that the entire area is completely covered. As the front line of a critical infrastructure site, a perimeter system especially requires constant monitoring with surveillance devices, in order to have the site comprehensively controlled.

However, for the security guard and operator, it is almost impossible to continuously concentrate on watching every camera during their shift, not to mention identifying the correct on-site camera and location right when the security alarm goes off. Adopting video analytics not only helps the operator to prevent an intrusion or attack, more importantly, it makes sure that the guards and operators will not miss any suspicious actions. “Upon motion detection or other abnormalities detected, security operators can get a geospatial location on the targeted suspect and immediately dispatch a response,” Phillips mentioned. Physical motion detection can help security operators spot threats effectively even in harsh external conditions and weather.

A TOTAL INTEGRATION PLATFORM
A common goal, when it comes to critical infrastructure protection, is the ability for security guards and operators to identify and respond to threats in the shortest time possible. In order to immediately and efficiently react to possible threats on site for large-scale operations, it is crucial to have a central management system with an open platform to allow for integration between different security measures and subsystems.

Besides, security systems like video surveillance, access control, and perimeter security, a total management integration platform should be able to connect effortlessly with other major systems. These systems include IT, fire and smoke detection, alarm, extinguishing, telephone, radio communication, and building automation that might be in the critical sites. These systems should be easily integrated through a single platform, regardless if they are new or legacy products and devices.

This total integration platform can make sure that any operator is able to manage all systems on site whenever a natural disaster, unexpected incident, or attack occurs. “The integration of video surveillance, access control, intrusion alarm, and fire detection is an ongoing and growing phenomenon which requires a tailor-made approach on behalf of the vendors and integrators, as some of the systems, such as access control, are quite old, but still operable,” said Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems.

Providing a safety and security solution that integrates different systems into a single, multi-modal, administrative solution is not just about merging equipment, devices, and systems — it is about putting into place a solution to support clearly defined working routines whilst ensuring rapid, compliant, and efficient response to emergency situations along with the mandatory, post-incident reporting analysis, according to Siemens Building Technologies.

CONCLUSION
Security deployment in a critical site is never an easy task, as there are many obstacles and concerns, such as environment, budget, and consensus among every department, which will affect the final security procurement in a critical infrastructure. Despite the challenges, the security market in the critical infrastructure sector is still full of opportunities for providers due to its importance in national security and safety.

Magal S3 receives $8M contracts in North America

Magal S3 receives $8M contracts in North America

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 3/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems announced that it had recently received a number of new contracts, primarily from customers in North America, amounting to $8 million.

The first contract for $5.2 million was for duress systems for prisons located in the United States. Duress systems are used in correctional facilities to provide a safe working environment for the prison staff. The contract includes upgrades to 11 existing sites, utilizing Magal's latest command and control displays as well as the installation of new systems in a further 8 sites. These new systems incorporate Magal's latest technologies, with improved architecture, higher reliability, advanced IP communications and Power over Ethernet (POE), which significantly improves the ease of deployment within a building.

A further $1 million in orders were for projects to secure the perimeters of two prisons in Canada, one with Magal's fence mounted system and the second with Magal's buried cable volumetric sensor.

A third order was received in the amount of $1.2 million, which was to incorporate a long-term video archiving system as an upgrade to a CCTV system which Magal installed last year in the Port of Mombasa, Kenya. Finally, additional contracts were received to protect two critical sites in Israel.

Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3, commented: “We are encouraged by the strong start of 2014. We are always pleased to receive follow-on orders from existing customers who trust our commitment to continuous product and technology improvement.”

Magal S3 appoints Ilan Kaplan as CEO of CyberSeal

Magal S3 appoints Ilan Kaplan as CEO of CyberSeal

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 2/25/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems, announced that Ilan Kaplan has been appointed CEO of CyberSeal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Magal that was acquired last year. Mr. Kaplan will manage the CyberSeal's growth together with the company's founders.

Kaplan has 25 years of diverse experience in the networking and communication infrastructure areas. Prior to joining Magal, he headed the Mobile Solutions line of business at Gilat Satellite Networks. Previously, he served as President of RaySat Antenna Systems, a company he co-founded, which was subsequently acquired by Gilat.

Kaplan had extensive experience in the United States, where he held senior positions at IBM (GBS, Wireless, Security and Privacy Practice), leading a nationwide wireless infrastructure program. At Spacenet (a subsidiary of Gilat), he supervised the development and implementation of sophisticated satellite network programs. Mr. Kaplan holds a BSc degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) from Ben Gurion University in Israel.

“We welcome Ilan to our management team and we are confident that his extensive experience will substantially help expand our business horizons,” said Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3. “Responding to the market demand for integrated cyber and physical security, we see CyberSeal's cyber security offering as an emerging opportunity for Magal.”

MAGAL appoints Rinat Gazit as Vice President

MAGAL appoints Rinat Gazit as Vice President

Editor / Provider: MAGAL | Updated: 1/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems, announced the appointment of Mrs. Rinat Gazit as Vice President - Mergers and Acquisitions, to further implement its strategy to grow the company's business.

Rinat Gazit has over 13 years of business experience in the international domain, with a background in large transactions in the natural resources , energy and water sectors, as well as with IPOs.

Additionally, Mrs. Gazit previously headed the M&A department of Shikun & Binui of the Arison Group, served as a V.P. at Poalim Capital Markets, leading large mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments and held various senior positions within the Beny Steinmetz Group in Israel.

Moreover, Mrs. Gazit holds an M.B.A. degree from the Recanati Business School in Tel Aviv University and Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Sociology and Anthropology from Haifa University.

Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3, commented: “We welcome Rinat to our company and management team, where she will play a key role in leading our strategic plan to diversify and expand our business.”

Ramat Ha'sharon expands integrated safe city solution with Magal

Ramat Ha'sharon expands integrated safe city solution with Magal

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 1/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems, announced that the municipality of Ramat Ha'sharon in Israel decided to expand the integrated safe city solution previously provided by Magal and upgrade its communications infrastructure to support the use of additional applications.

During 2013, Magal supplied an integrated solution for a safe city project in Ramat Ha'sharon which includes a round-the-clock manned primary control center, a backup control room, dozens of cameras, the number of which are expected to increase significantly in the future, free public wireless access points, public address systems and panic buttons for kindergartens and public areas. During 2014, Magal will extend the municipality's fiber optic network to cover 80% of the municipality and expand the safe-city applications for routine and emergency uses and to improve the quality of life in Ramat Ha'sharon.

Amos Magoz, Director of the Command and Control Center, noted: "The command and control center has become a pilgrimage site for delegations from around the world interested in building similar solutions to protect the citizens of their cities. They are very eager to learn how to drive the most out of technology to improve local security and citizen welfare.”

Perach Melec , CEO of the Ramat Ha'sharon municipality , said: "The Ramat Ha'sharon municipality assigned the CTO of the municipal's computer system, Zachi Shalom, as head of the project. This is due to our paradigm that the technological infrastructure for the safe-city should serve as a driver for developing additional services for our citzens."

Melec also noted that, "The concept that we have developed, guided by the Mayor, Yitzhak Rochberger, sees a solid communications infrastructure as a cornerstone for added-value services in both routine and crisis situations. In fact, over 4000 participants have already made use of the free Internet services at the last City Carnival and we successfully dealt with over 500 simultaneous users at a peak time.”

Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3, commented: “We are proud to be the main contractor in this visionary project. We perceive the safe city application as part of a holistic paradigm to improve the quality of life in cities. Magal has extensive experience in implementing projects in cities and critical sites and it is natural for us to expand our solutions into adjacent areas.”

Magal S3 announces Q3 2013 financial results

Magal S3 announces Q3 2013 financial results

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 11/28/2013 | Article type: Security 50

THIRD QUARTER 2013 RESULTS SUMMARY

Revenues for the third quarter of 2013 were $12.8 million, compared to $23.5 million in revenues for the third quarter of 2012.
Gross profit in the quarter was $6.2 million, or 47.9% of revenues, compared to gross profit of $9.7 million, or 41.3% of revenues in the third quarter of 2012. The high gross margin in the current quarter was due to the recognition of deferred revenues from a large project which was completed in the quarter as well as changes in the revenue mix.
Operating loss in the quarter was $124 thousand, compared to an operating profit of $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2012.
Financial expense, net in the quarter amounted to $346 thousand compared to financial income of $38 thousand in the third quarter of 2012. The appreciation of the Israeli Shekel versus US Dollar caused the increase in financial expenses.
Net loss in the quarter was $316 thousand or $0.02 per share, compared with net income of $1.8 million, or $0.11 per share, in the third quarter of 2012.
Cash and short term deposits net of current bank debt, as of September 30, 2013, were $35.4 million, or $2.20 per share. This is compared with cash and short term deposits net of current bank debt of $34.2 million, or $2.12 per share, on June 30, 2013.

MANAGEMENT COMMENT

Mr. Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal, said, "While we are disappointed that 2013 is shaping up to be a weaker year for us, I am encouraged by the recent increase in activity. In light of the lower level of revenues, we have kept close control over our expense levels and have minimized our losses. We have also maintained our balance sheet strength with over $35 million in net cash. Looking ahead to 2014, we have much to be optimistic about. We recently announced a number of orders which have increased our backlog. We are participating in securing the southern border of Israel, which holds strong future potential for additional revenues in the years to come and we are seeing improved prospects in our current pipeline. Furthermore, we believe that 2014 will be the year in which we will begin to see the fruits of our investment in CyberSeal, our Cyber Security activity, with the expected launch of our first product line in the first quarter of 2014. Accordingly, I am optimistic about our ability to resume our growth in 2014 and about our future growth potential."

Magal S3 receives $2.5 million order to secure power substation sites

Magal S3 receives $2.5 million order to secure power substation sites

Editor / Provider: Magal Security systems | Updated: 11/26/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems, announced that it received a repeat order, to secure 13 power transmission substations for a large power company in Eastern Europe for $2.5 million. The order includes the supply and installation of intrusion detection systems

Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3, commented: “We are pleased with this repeat order and the increased momentum we have seen in the past few weeks. A follow on order is a sign of a satisfied customer. It also demonstrates how our past efforts and success with customers, as well as our investment in maintaining long-term relationships with them continue to yield fruits over many years.”

MAGAL launches new technology overlapping physical and cyber security markets

MAGAL launches new technology overlapping physical and cyber security markets

Editor / Provider: MAGAL | Updated: 11/22/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems and Israel Defense Magazine, concluded a successful conference attended by 200 executives from the Israeli security industry. New technologies for the overlapping physical and cyber security markets were presented at the conference.

Israel Defense Magazine organized the conference providing the opportunity to present CyberSeal, a company acquired by Magal last year, which recently launched two suites of cyber security products. The event marks the launching of new products for securing wired networks, cellular communication, with a new generation of solid state smart fences as well as a new version of Fortis4G, which now unites the management of cyber and physical security.

Magal also demonstrated a new line of sensors and systems for physical security of critical sites:
RoboGuard - a revolutionary agile robot for perimeter protection, running along smart fences and capable of responding promptly to intrusion alerts. The autonomous robot, travels on a monorail and can support various payloads such as cameras, intercom, deterring spray gun, etc. RoboGuard is powered by batteries that are automatically recharged every few hours.
DTR4G – a new generation of taut wire smart fence based on an innovative dual-technology sensor.
Fensor - a solid state fence mounted sensor that replaces the electro-mechanical technology used by Magal in the past.

All the demonstrated systems and sensors at the exhibition were integrated through Magal's flagship system for Command & Control - Fortis4G. A new version of the system was presented, capable of performing both - PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) alongside CSOC (Cyber Security Operation Center) for improved situation awareness and intuitive operation.

Magal S3 received 2 orders to secure critical sites in Africa

Magal S3 received 2 orders to secure critical sites in Africa

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 11/19/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems announced that it received 2 orders for projects in Africa, amounting to $6 million.

The 1st order is to secure a government-related critical site in Africa, which is expected to be completed by summer 2014, representing an initial order from the customer and has potential to be expanded to further locations and additional orders.

The 2nd order is an expansion of a contract with the Kenya Port Authority for the security system at the port of Mombasa to include an area which was not covered in the initial contract. Early 2013, Magal commissioned the initial integrated security project. These orders in Africa are encouraging Magal to expand customer base in this important target region, at the same time leveraging the base of satisfied customers.

Magal S3 won $1.5M contract for secures oil & gas facility in Colombia

Magal S3 won $1.5M contract for secures oil & gas facility in Colombia

Editor / Provider: Magal Security systmes | Updated: 11/15/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems announced that it recently received a $1.5 million order for securing a critical oil and gas site in Colombia.

The order is for the build, commissioning and support of a full security solution for a Colombian onshore oil and gas facility. It includes cameras, access control, communication and a Command and Control application. Magal has been contracted to provide services for an initial 15 month period with potential to extend the service beyond this timeframe.

Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3, commented: “We are encouraged by this new order coming from recently established operations in Colombia. It validates our strategy of having a local presence in our targeted regions, where we intend to deliver solutions and execute projects.”