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Integrating IoT with logistics to achieve intelligent transportation

Integrating IoT with logistics to achieve intelligent transportation

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 12/2/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

As far as transportation goes, cargo shipments and goods are delivered to their rightful destinations via air, land, rail, and sea. Compared to those that remain stationary in a well-guarded warehouse, cargoes in transit are much more difficult to protect as these shipments are highly susceptible to hijackers waiting for the right moment to rob the freight.

According to statistics compiled by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, consumer electronics, food, and clothing are the three most stolen types of cargoes — and cargo thefts occur most often during the weekend.

The statistical study also indicates that the most targeted locations for cargo thefts are truck stops and rest areas followed by modal yards and unsecured locations, such as drop lots and motel and restaurant parking lots. In the U.S., cargo theft is estimated to be at about US$1 billion a month. Now, there is a heightened sense of awareness about the security risks that exist in the transportation process.

Over the past few years, increasing amounts of logistics providers are employing the use of RFID tags and GPS locators on either the cargoes or the mode of transportation to better track delivery progress and keep a closer eye on their shipments. Container shipping is a critical component of global trade — around 90 percent of global trade is transported in cargo containers. A manual seal used in sea and air cargo transportation cannot guarantee shipment integrity. But using a smart container seal made of radio frequency device provides far better protection combining robust mechanical parts with sophisticated sensors. The electronic seal transmits container information as it passes a reader device — fixed at customs or ports, and issues alerts and error conditions if the container has been tampered with or damaged. Specialized RFID monitoring devices promise to revolutionize the shipping and handling of a wide range of perishable products with track-and-trace capabilities.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term coined to describe the communication between machine to machine through Internet connectivity. In fact, IoT solutions are already being adopted in a number of industry-specific business sectors such as healthcare and retail. Utilizing this network infrastructure, logistic processes can also be managed much more efficiently and effectively.

Active sensors on the cargo, most commonly using RFID or NFC technology, provide synchronized information and material flow in real time; hence, operators are able to gather information on specified cargo at any time, instantaneously. As technology advances, smart post boxes, air freight pallets, and wooden pallets can communicate with a variety of networks to report their location, avoid collisions, and even report the surrounding environments. With the help of these sensors, along with real-time locating systems (RTLS), GPS tracking systems, and other information relaying tags, the objects are able to communicate with each other and disperse the information through the Internet in real time. The data generated can then be processed by analytics or the operator for decisions to be made. Most of the time, these decisions can already be made by preconfigured rules.

Intelligent Transportation
Using this technology, dispatchers in the command center are able to assign directions and routes for the drivers, observe driver behavior, monitor the goods in real time, detect when a vehicle has gone off track, or even when a vehicle has been idle for too long.

These containers are equipped with sensors that monitor the temperature and humidity levels. If either of the conditions rises higher or drops lower than the allowed range, an alert will be sent out to the dispatchers, who can then inform the truck driver to address the issue. Electronic seals on the cargo will also send out an alert if anyone attempts to tamper with the cargo.

These intelligent sensor technologies are perfect for large, international logistics companies that deliver goods over long distances, whether by land, air, or sea, so they are able to keep track of their cargo shipments. Intelligent sensors are also important for luxury goods, highly advanced consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals, so dispatchers will know where the goods are, along with their estimated time of arrivals, and if they have been jeopardized in anyway. For the various sensors to relay information to each other and back to the command center, having a fast and stable Internet connection is crucial. Now that 4G/LTE technology is becoming available across the world, it is improving the communications between shipper and carrier, which enhances the security of the cargoes and goods in transit.

Manned Security for Valuable Cargo
Different cargoes will require different levels of security when in transit. For valuable goods, such as diamonds, precious metals, and fine arts, the security level is escalated. Armored trucks are employed to transport the goods. Depending on how much extra value of the goods, extra layers of security will be enforced. For example, escort vehicles accompanying the truck as well as managerial level staff that will sit in with the driver to monitor the entire journey.

Final Words
Transportation used to be the weakest link when it comes to logistics due to the limited security measures available to ensure the safe delivery of the cargo. By using the concept of IoT, and using sensors to communicate between the shipper and carrier, logistics service providers are able to see and manage their freight and drivers on a much larger scale, whether it's the condition or location of the goods, or the behavior of the driver, down to the vitals of the vehicles carrying the goods.

Warehouse solution to address theft and fire concerns

Warehouse solution to address theft and fire concerns

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chien, a&s International | Updated: 11/29/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Warehouses and vaults are the central location where all cargoes and goods are inventoried and stored until they are shipped to their rightful destinations. Nowadays, having high-resolution cameras, proper intruder alarms and access control, and effective fire detection sensors placed in strategic locations are the prerequisites of securing a warehouse, as theft and fire are the most serious issues that need to be addressed in a warehouse environment.

The logistics industry faces a significant amount of security threats owing to the open and exposed locations where the warehouses are commonly situated, not to mention the bustling activities of loading, unloading, packing, unpacking, and shipping and handling procedures. Most logistic facilities consist of warehouses, maintenance areas, docks, garages, offices, and parking lots, all of which combined pose an enormous challenge to security providers.

Security in the warehouse should be based on the concept of demarcation, deterrence, detection, delay response, and recovery; a series of clearly discernible zones and control of access to restricted areas; and the capability to increase security during emergencies and increased threat situations.

With the amount of activities that take place within a warehouse on a daily basis, anyone who has access to the warehouse will have access to the high-cost items in need of protection — this includes contractors, drivers, service providers, and staff.

Layout and Access

Perimeter Security
Proper perimeter security should be implemented for warehouses. Unfortunately, many warehouses often lack proper perimeter protection. Warehouse owners can consider including tall fences with barbed wires, detectors and sensors that will trigger an alarm when intruders enter after normal operating hours. There are problems with different types of perimeter security that should be noted, and warehouse owners must carefully assess their environments to determine the most suitable form of perimeter protection.

General Warehouse vs. Valuable Goods Warehouse
Depending on the type of warehouse and how the warehouse is categorized and segregated into different zones, extra security measures can be taken as necessary. For large warehouses, certain areas will be sectioned off specifically for valuable goods, where extra layers of security will be implemented. Multifactor authentication, such as card and pin or card and biometrics, are the most common ways of providing additional security though other combinations of identification can be applied. Manned guards are often positioned in front of these entrances to ensure no suspicious or unauthorized personnel will try to access the area, but also to verify if the valuables entering or leaving the area are in accordance with what is listed.

Warehouse Surveillance

Having video surveillance is essential to warehouse security. It monitor and record instances of theft, burglary, accidents, and staff behavior and activity in and around the premise of the warehouse, it can also act as video evidence or investigation tool when things go awry.

High-definition cameras with crystal-clear resolution are often recommended in such settings. Video surveillance should be especially installed at all handling areas. Having quality images will allow operators to clearly identify the features of the thief, but also to zoom in and distinguish a serial number or a barcode to locate cargo or goods, which will be especially useful for tracking those that are missing.

More than Resolution
A couple of considerations must be factored in when selecting proper warehouse surveillance cameras. These cameras must be able to see clearly whether in daytime or nighttime, but also changing light conditions, especially by all entrances and dock areas, or areas with windows where light can shine through. A combination of different types of cameras are used in warehouses to cover different needs, but fixed cameras and PTZ speed domes are definitely popular selections.

As warehouses typically have high ceilings, around three meters or more, surveillance cameras must also have proper focal lengths for best results. The exact focal length required can be calculated by using lens calculators considering the varying light conditions in the warehouse. Numbers of camera varies depending on user preference and warehouse size.

Integration of Video, RFID and Access Control
Video surveillance is increasingly being used as a business management tool, seen most commonly in retail settings, also translating into warehouse logistics as well.

With a few simple integrations, barcodes and/or RFID tags (depending on warehouse preferences) can be paired with video surveillance to monitor specific cargo activity. This solution has been around for years, but as warehouse operators begin to realize its convenience, its popularity has also increased. The camera is able to zoom in on a barcode or RFID tag and verify if it is the right product being delivered to the right destination or stored into the right section, speeding up the process and streamlining the operations. Access control can also be integrated with video surveillance, showing real-time feeds and warnings if an unauthorized access had been committed or suspicious behavior around the warehouse had been spotted.

Fire Safety                         

Arson is commonly associated with warehouse theft, which not only destroys inventory but also causes exorbitant loss and damage to the warehouse. Generally, warehouse fires are attributed to faulty electrical equipment such as motors, refrigeration units, forklift operations, switchgear, and maintenance work.

Flammable material should also be kept away from the fence or edge of a property to prevent criminals from starting a fire from the outside also trash bins and other large containers which can also be used by thieves to conceal stolen inventory for later pick up.

Fire solutions need to have reliable and very early detection capabilities that are cost effective to install in large warehouses. Many warehouse operators believe it is sufficient to install sprinklers and conventional smoke detectors in their warehouses, as long as they are in compliance with OSHA standards; however conventional smoke detectors only react when smoke reaches the system. Since, warehouses often have high ceilings, by the time the smoke travels to these detectors it might already be too late.

Video fire detection is one of the more effective ways of spotting a warehouse fire, employing the use of analytics from either the front or back end. With the analytics, an alert will be sent out if signs of a fire, such as distinct smoke patterns or what looks to be a flame, is spotted from the surveillance footage. This is a much more effective way of fire detection than conventional detectors as the fire will be spotted before the smoke detector will even sense the burning smoke in a warehouse setting.

Another useful technology is the air sampling smoke detection device. These devices have a wide sensitivity range and multi-level warnings, so low levels of smoke can be detected before the fire escalates. The system has a network of pipes with small sampling holes, along with capillary sampling tubes, which report back to a control panel that samples the incoming air for hydrocarbons, which are byproduct of fire. The system operates by continually drawing air into the pipe network via a high-efficiency aspirator.

New York fights firearm crime with Milestone's integrated gunfire detection system

New York fights firearm crime with Milestone's integrated gunfire detection system

Editor / Provider: Milestone systems | Updated: 11/19/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, open platform IP video management software has been integrated by EIA, with ShotSpotter gunshot detection and the Hawkeye Effect digital mapping to help the Nassau County Police Department fight criminal firearm activity.

With the goal of driving down gun violence in the Roosevelt-Uniondale area of New York, the Nassau County Police Department wanted to leverage its Milestone XProtect video surveillance solution with its open platform technology for the next step in safety. To help deter gun crime and assist in quickly solving firearm-related cases, the department focused on enhancing the capabilities of its street cameras.

This area of Nassau County had a large number of shooting incidents – both reported to the police and unreported. Authorities believed it would benefit the community immensely to use a new system that could prove cost-efficient to launch and monitor, to track gunshots and provide evidence and convictions of those committing crimes.

The key was to expand the functionality of Milestone system with an integrated ShotSpotter solution. The HawkEye Effect was integrated seamlessly with Milestone, resulting in a scalable, reliable 24-hour police watch.

The solution uses ShotSpotter's sensors to locate gunshots in the coverage area of the surveillance cameras, and the HawkEye Effect to triangulate the sensors, map the location, direct the cameras to the location and notify first responders while recording the video. The HawkEye Effect correlates a gunshot's location and sends the information to Milestone XProtect, which controls the pan, tilt and zoom capabilities of the cameras.

Milestone channel partner EIA designed and installed the system to meet the Nassau County Police Department requirements for automated gunshot detection, location, reporting and video verification. The flexibility of the Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software automatically adjusts the video recording rates to the maximum number of frames per second to capture incidents in the greatest detail.

The system not only detects gunshots, it is able to differentiate between fireworks or backfiring vehicles. Within 10 seconds it locates the gunshot, automatically plots the incident on a map, turns the surveillance cameras to the location and possible egress points, records the incident and notifies law enforcement personnel. Information retrieved from the camera and the location is processed through Milestone XProtect, available for evidence sharing during case development and prosecution.

ShotSpotter uses a series of sensors placed throughout the area to be monitored. The software triangulates a gunshot location as a GPS coordinate and provides the nearest street address. The HawkEye Effect translates this information and creates a series of polygons across the area where the shot was fired. The polygon graphics relate to either a camera preset position in Milestone XProtect or to an area that cannot be directly seen by the camera but may be a point of escape from the area where the gunshot was fired.

If the coordinates of the shot fired are outside the camera view, it redirects to an area off a major avenue that is approximately where the shot was fired, to provide a view of the incident as it happens or pick up someone fleeing the scene. If a victim is injured, the authorities can see it in the video and report the injury immediately, speeding up response time.

The ShotSpotter system sends coordinates and categorizes information about the type of bullet and number of shots fired. When a shot is detected, 911 center operators are provided a pop-up video display on the screen with this vital information. At the same time, a copy of the information is sent to the HawkEye Gateway to determine the location, coordinating the camera views through Milestone XProtect.

The flexibility of the Milestone open platform allows customers to select a variety of applications developed by the members of the Milestone Solution Partner Program to meet diverse and changing needs. These solutions integrate video management with analytics for counting cars or people, with laser scanners for unique perimeter control, with access control or HVAC systems and RFID technology.

HID Global to unveil latest secure issuance portfolio in Paris

HID Global to unveil latest secure issuance portfolio in Paris

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 11/13/2013 | Article type: Security 50

HID Global continues to drive innovation by unveil the latest additions to its secure issuance portfolio that include new, entry-level printers and card personalization solutions with enhanced features and capabilities. HID Global showcasing a broad range of secure card issuance, identity assurance, trusted tags and government-to-citizen ID solutions.

The company's key demonstrations include:

Solutions for Creating a Secure Identity

HID Secure Identity Services: A comprehensive suite of services to help customers address every aspect of requirements for cards and digital credentials for mobile access, including managing the daily flow of ID card badge requests, large-volume re-badging projects and combining multiple technology platforms onto one credential.

Card Personalization Solutions: New entry-level printer and a portfolio of card personalization solutions that include enhanced features and capabilities. Solutions include FARGO Direct-to-Card (DTC) and High Definition Printing (HDP) printer/encoders such as the FARGO HDP5000 Printer/Encoder, HDP8500LE Industrial Series Card Printer/Laser Engraver and a range of DTC printer/encoders.

EasyLobby Visitor Management Solutions: Enterprise-class solutions for visitor registration, badge printing, tracking and reporting. The solution is flexible, customizable and feature-rich to meet the needs of small and enterprise organizations with diverse visitor management processes and policy requirements.

Solutions for Using Secure Identity

HID Trusted Tag Services and Identification Technologies: NFC tag applications using HID Trusted Tag Services, a cloud-based platform for secure NFC tags and services that eliminates the inherent risks of authenticating original documents, processes and high-value assets. It also enables secure logging, and trusted access to various applications.

Genuine HID Credentials and Readers: Latest Crescendo, ActivID Display Card and pivCLASScredentials for strong PKI-based authentication combined with One-Time Password display supporting logical and physical control; iCLASS SE platform reader solutions, including the latest iCLASS SE décor reader and the iCLASS Seos credential that enables customers to use multiple applications and technologies on smart cards or smartphones.

ActivID Enterprise Authentication and Smart Employee ID Solutions: Including use cases for employee-centric solutions that are based on secure, remote access multi-factor authentication to cloud applications using a single credential for access to the cloud, data and door and protection of corporate data access from personal smartphones.

Layered Authentication Solutions For Secure Online Banking: The latest ActivID Appliance enables banks to take authentication beyond passwords and easily deploy risk-based authentication solutions that prevent fraud and secure transactions using our latest threat detection and transaction signing technology. It supports over 18 different authentication methods and the latest mobile operating systems for mobile tokens including: iOS, Android and Blackberry.

Desktop Readers: A wide range of OMNIKEY readers including the new OMNIKEY 5021 CL contactless (RFID 13.56MHz) smart card reader.

Complete Government-to-Citizen ID Solutions: Advanced portfolio and integrated capabilities for delivering smart card ID credentials and total ID ecosystems for e-passport, national ID, foreign resident, worker ID and vehicle registration program. Breakthroughs include HID Global's Crack Prevention Feature that extends the durability and security of e-ID cards and e-passports.

Genuine HID Technology and Embedded Solutions: Embedded platforms to enable third parties to develop hardware that works within the Genuine HID ecosystem, including HID Global's new iCLASS SE Encoder, the iCLASS SE Reader Module and the iCLASS SE Processor, that can be used across a variety of platforms to SIO-enable third-party hardware.

Solutions for Managing Secure Identities

Card and Reader Migration Solutions: For moving to higher security, interoperability and mobile access. Demonstrations include HID Global's iCLASS platform readers and smart cards including its iCLASS Seos credential for powering mobile access, and its new iCLASS SE Encoder that enables organizations to encode/manage credentials and configure readers. The multi-technology encoder makes it possible for customers to format a number of credential technologies using a single device, on demand.

Mobile Access Solutions: Technology-independent iCLASS SE access control platform including the iCLASS Seos credential that delivers advanced security, portability and flexibility whilst enabling the use of smartphones and other mobile devices for access control and a range of applications.

The future of access control: It's all about

The future of access control: It's all about "you"

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 11/7/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Change in the access control industry, together with innovation, is occurring at a rapid pace. The virtualization of contactless smart cards, and their residency on smartphones, allows new innovative thinking, along with the ability to combine access control applications into a single, very convenient solution.

New developments include using hand gestures for access control, could enhance the next generation of mobile device-based access control credentials. Gesture-based technology will change how users interact with access control systems.

With a user-defined wave of the hand or other gesture, individuals will be able to control a variety of RFID devices, improving the user experience while increasing security by providing new authentication factors that go beyond something the cardholder “has” to include a gesture-based version of something the cardholder “knows”.

Gesture-based access control works with smartphones in a mobile access control environment, where it will be possible to use both two- and three-dimensional gestures by leveraging a smartphone's built-in accelerometer feature. This allows for a novel way of adding another authentication factor to the existing authentication scheme.

Application-specific features of VMS

Application-specific features of VMS

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Department, a&s International | Updated: 11/1/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

Vertical markets often have very specific needs to ensure a secure environment. Although some features and functions are seen across industries, it is important to understand the environment and business processes of verticals to ensure a VMS can meet the potential unique needs of organizations working in these sectors.

To meet the unique requirements of verticals, Dvtel offers solutions that can be easily customized to customer needs. “We provide solutions with many features and capabilities that, in the majority of cases, provide what the customer is looking for and doesn't require further dedicated software development. Our software infrastructure is built in such a way that writing a new integration and even customizing the UI is easy. The advantage of this approach is that many applications and integrations that were developed to meet a specific customer's needs, are also relevant to others,” said Ilan Krugliak, Product Manager at Dvtel.

 An open platform, user-friendly interface, and easy to integrate are definitely factors for VMS providers to increase market share. “To serve diverse vertical markets, such as city-wide surveillance, education, transportation, retail, gaming, parking-and-law enforcement, and more, we built systems with an open API, that allows customers to ‘connect' and ‘integrate' both legacy hardware (cameras and access control devices) and a vast list of hardware from vendors and partners who manufacture cameras, access control devices, intercom devices, and more,” said Jimmy Palatsoukas, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Genetec.

Top Verticals
There is plenty of technology that will challenge VMS: analytics, HD cameras, biometrics, access control, and more. As VMS develops, customers will expect more than the basics, and will look to see how usable different VMSs are.

Retailers today are using security solutions for asset protection, loss prevention, and business intelligence to stay competitive. Like many industries, the retail industry faces challenges such as tense competition, decreasing margins, and external/internal losses caused by shrinkage.

Comprehensive and user-friendly VMS solutions enable users to be one step ahead by facilitating seamless integration with POS, RFID, video analytics, time and attendance, access control, and other data systems. Through the integration of POS and VMS, the centralized reports allow the company to search, identify, and eliminate theft across the entire organization. The integrated POS data can be further adopted for immediate inventory checks, markdown management, cause of shrinkage, and employee training which saves time and cost in counting, calculating, ordering, and checking cash-register accuracy.

“We offer seamless integration with POS devices. Store owners can track transaction data in real-time with live view or review later in playback mode,” said Shawn Ho, Product Director at NUUO. “Certain event keywords can also be set to alert when suspicious transactions occur. There are also central management functions like alarms, trigger location display, and video wall display options making monitoring multiple sites effortless. For larger chains, our VMS solution offers additional benefits like megapixel recording for clear images and unlimited video wall displays.”

Conditions in today's economy attract more unwanted attention to vaults and ATM transactions. Billions of dollars are lost each year to ATM skimming, cash trapping, cash harvesting, and fraudulent crimes.

Financial institutions are certainly in dire need for more up-to-date security solutions. March Networks has developed and offered specific applications for the banking market for years, and has deep expertise as a result. “Our VMS supports that strategy and provides tools that allow our customers to efficiently investigate, cut losses and save time,” said Ely Maspero, VMS Product Line Manager at March Networks. “The intelligent software helps banks reduce time and investigation, detect fraudulent activity faster, strengthen case evidence, and reduce losses from fraud. In the banking vertical, our solutions include intelligent video software applications that enable banks to search on correlated video, ATM or teller transaction data, license plate numbers, facial images, and colors to conduct investigations quickly and efficiently. It also allows banks to use advanced search and case management software to gather all case evidence and export it easily to a DVD or USB memory stick and searches on all that data across any number of banking branches and other sites from a central location.”

Campus safety continues to be top of the mind following the devastating Sandy Hook shooting. Video surveillance and mass notification are the most commonly funded and deployed systems. However, one of the challenges is the education market does not always have full control over its own funding. Therefore, it is essential for manufacturers and system integrators to address the unique requirements of each school. Offering flexible and robust solutions to adapt to different requirements while making the most out of existing infrastructure is the practical and efficient approach.

Alerting an entire campus in an emergency situation is also a challenge. Being able to receive instant alerts on mobile phones when loitering, intrusion, or other definable events occur is very crucial. “Our VMS solution allows users to set up zone boundaries and track up to hundreds of people and objects. The image fusion technology can stitch up multiple cameras from different angles into one unified single view with angle corrections, making monitoring hallways or courtyards ideal,” Ho said.

Besides the effectiveness of a mass notification system, communication between campus security and law enforcement is crucial as well so that in case a critical incident occurs, first responders are able to deal with it quickly and effectively. “We power numerous schools, school districts, and college campuses in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Gadi Piran, President of OnSSI. “Our VMS add-on enables sharing of video and alerts from the school or school district with local police and public safety agencies, adding a layer of security; in addition, the VMS, at every given price point and version, provides a high value, which is a major consideration in cash-strapped schools and colleges.”

Future Development
As requirements vary greatly from different regions to vertical segments, it is never an easy feat to develop features and apply them to various regions and verticals. Some of our interviewees shared with us how they seek out the opportunities and challenges they face. “As always, time to market is of the essence — we need to keep up with the competition, we need to be aligned with new technologies and provide a quality product in short development cycles,” said Krugliak. “An additional challenge is keeping the product simple. Many times, at the expense of including more features, the product becomes complicated. The installation and setup process that comprises the overall deployment experience must remain simple, and the user experience that is often tied to the user interface, must also remain simple.”

Increase Visibility
Finding strong channel partners or established branch offices is one of the approaches that drives VMS adoption internationally. VMS providers benefit from regional branches interacting with local integrators not only for language benefits, but also for cultural understanding. “We plan on setting up branch offices in different regions in order to foster a deeper connection with our local customers,” Ho said. “As a VMS solution provider, the ability to integrate with different third party solutions and form alliances with other global partners is the key to worldwide visibility. We are also focusing on gaining visibility through training programs. Customers can receive official NUUO training and certification through our own education managers or NUUO Certified Trainers worldwide.”

Dvtel will continue its POS focus to expand its footprint in the retail market. “We will explore going after and develop POS integrations to be able to penetrate the retail market. We also plan to further develop our monitoring application,” said Krugliak. “In addition, we will focus on enhancing our search capabilities in order to ease up the process of ‘finding what the customer is really looking for.' That is providing information and insight rather than simple data.”

Whether through solid channel partnership, vertical-specific approaches, or instant support, a good starting point for VMS vendors to increase their visibility worldwide is the need to offer a true open platform. Customers, as well as partners, prefer ease of use, flexible offerings with upgrade paths, scalability, and timely support for different camera brands and models. An open platform is a sure way to secure long-term partners that are able to sustain growth.

Morpho check-in eID combines smartphone, biometric and NFC technology

Morpho check-in eID combines smartphone, biometric and NFC technology

Editor / Provider: Morpho (Safran) | Updated: 10/30/2013 | Article type: Security 50

At this year's Vodafone Innovation Days, Morpho unveiled the "My ID, My Life" demonstration. The eID-based breakthrough combines smartphone, biometric and NFC technology to offer a simpler airline check-in experience.

Vodafone Innovation Days are a major date for the customers, partners and suppliers of mobile telecoms operator Vodafone Germany. This year's event, held from October 8 to 10 in Düsseldorf, centered on the theme "Vodafone Solutions For Life". And since making users' lives easier was the very reason behind Morpho's "My ID, My Life", it was the perfect occasion to test it out.

Onboard revolution
This highly innovative solution is set to revolutionize airport boarding as we know it by uploading passengers' electronic identity, or eID, onto NFC smartphones. "Airlines want to make things easier for their passengers, and have more fluid traffic in the airport at critical points," says Michael Menne, Global Account Marketing Manager Vodafone at Morpho. "At Morpho, we already have expertise in biometrics and smartcards (we've been supplying Vodafone since 2008) needed to meet this demand for newly-developed eID applications."

Just enroll and board
The first step is to create an eID. This activates the technology before it is used for the first time. A person's eID is derived from their identity information and facial biometric data, and then securely uploaded to their smartphone's SIM card. After this has been completed, the person can check in online by just scanning their face with their smartphone. If the eID is a biometric match, they are redirected to the airline application. The user can even pre-check their bags in online if they have an RFID baggage label.

Three pillars
Once at the airport, the passenger heads directly to the bag drop-off area, where they use their smartphone at an NFC kiosk. In just a matter of seconds, their face is scanned by the kiosk camera, their eID is checked, and their identity authenticated.

They can then drop off their bags, with the receipt sent directly to their smartphone. Finally, at the boarding gate, an NFC- and camera-equipped smartgate automatically performs one last identity check. If successful, the passenger is free to board. As Michael Menne puts it, "This example demonstrates just how useful Morpho's eID solutions are for simplifying the boarding process, without compromising on security or privacy. We believe that the trust of our future users will be built on three key pillars: an eID based on reliable data, totally secure data, and an effective authentication system."

ASSA ABLOY, MAXXESS and HikVision secure BMCE Bank headquarters

ASSA ABLOY, MAXXESS and HikVision secure BMCE Bank headquarters

Editor / Provider: ASSA ABLOY | Updated: 10/24/2013 | Article type: Security 50

ASSA ABLOY's Aperio wireless locking technology has been installed at the headquarters of BMCE Bank in Casablanca, to provide an instant upgrade to an access control system, without compromising aesthetics.

BMCE Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Morocco, with a network of 540 branches. As part of a complete overhaul of its headquarters security arrangements, ASSA ABLOY Access Control's Aperio wireless locking technology was selected for 50 of its glass doors.

With Aperio's flexible design and ability to work with RS485 protocol and Wiegand Interface, together with iCLASS, MIFARE Plus and DESFire RFID-technology credentials, there was no issue with it instantly connecting to the existing online access control system at BMCE Bank, with minimal modification to doors and premises.

Says Chris Bone, ASSA ABLOY Vice President Access Control EMEA: “To have selected Aperio for such a prestigious building, where security is of paramount importance, is true testament to the abilities of this revolutionary technology. This installation really demonstrates how Aperio can provide end users in any market across the globe, with a simple and intelligent way of upgrading the controllability and security levels of their premises.”

ASSA ABLOY Access Control worked alongside MAXXESS who provided an eFusion security management system and HikVision, which installed a 100 camera surveillance system, incorporating a hybrid recording solution. The contract to implement the complete integrated system was awarded to CST Securite, a Moroccan security systems integrator.

Six “musts” for selecting and installing VMS

Six “musts” for selecting and installing VMS

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Department, a&s International | Updated: 10/23/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

When it comes to configuring surveillance solutions, it all comes down to two important factors—openness and customization. Over the years, video management software (VMS) has emerged as a business-enabling technology where a more open platform allows the integration of other value-adding system combinations such as POS, RFID, video analytics, time and attendance, access control, and more. The ease of use, improved algorithms, and data libraries are improving its reliability. The result is that the value of video is increased both in real time and when viewing recorded video.

According to Jumbi Edulbehram, VP of Business Development at Next Level Security Systems, the decision-making process can be varied and complex when considering VMS solutions. These factors include price, ease of use, integration, features, and intelligence.

One of the most important considerations when purchasing and installing VMS is total cost of ownership. For total cost of ownership, some key points should be taken into account: cost of installation, cost of maintenance, and time to deploy and conduct the system setup.

Another critical requirement is that the VMS should be simple and easy to use. As video surveillance systems become more complex, people using surveillance systems not only include security personnel, but also administrative and IT staff. Different users will have unique needs when accessing video. “It's important that everyone involved – from the head of security to workstation operators – can quickly find their way around the system and know how to configure it,” said Alan Ataev, Global Sales Director at AxxonSoft. For instance, there is a security customer who has certain wants and needs, as well as a business user and administrator, and their demands differ. Being able to have an interface that communicates with these different groups is important.

Gadi Piran, President of OnSSI agrees. “The VMS's interface needs to be as intuitive as possible, and should not require technical savvy to operate. Users should not be required to memorize codes or commands, and the system should display all, and only, the actions available at the current time for each individual camera.”

Ease of deployment
Deploying VMS can be a complicated task. “System integrators have to be educated on networking, hardware, operating systems, and edge devices to name a few,” Krugliak said. “The fewer tasks the installer is required to perform, the more automatic the setup procedure will be and therefore, the sooner the system installer can complete the project.”

Fully-supported hardware list should be as many as possible. It is always preferable to go with an open VMS solution capable of integrating a great variety of third party IP cameras and encoders. This ensures end users have greater freedom to select best of breed hardware. “We can already see today that the world [of] security [industry] is heading for network solutions in a big way,” Ataev said. “Right now, we have 1,300 models of IP cameras integrated with AxxonSoft products, and this number is constantly growing.” An open platform not only enables the user to optimize the system to do the job at hand, it also reduces long-term costs as it is possible to change components without a forklift upgrade.

Customization & Scalability
Video is just one component in the overall security operation. The VMS may need to integrate with other systems, including access control, video content analytics, license plate recognition, facial recognition, fence detection systems, fire alarm systems, and others. In addition, users should be able to customize the software to meet their unique needs. Whether or not SDK is extensive enough in order to enable customers to develop integrations or to customize the user interface to meet their needs becomes crucial.

The VMS architecture and how it fits within the network environment also needs to be considered. “A VMS solution that can adapt to any network and scale to thousands of cameras as the system evolves over time ensures customers are future proofed and can grow their system as required,” Palatsoukas said. For some verticals with a large camera count system, such as airports, the VMS should allow for growth with more locations, more recording servers, more cameras, and more users, without paying a penalty for going from one system size to another. For instance, an airport video surveillance system is typically composed of several hundred or thousands of cameras. The large camera count also comes with a large number of users, alarms, and workflows, which all in turn needs to be supported by the VMS. In this case, a suitable VMS needs to have the appropriate scalable architecture in order to support this infrastructure.

High Availability and Redundancy
In addition to the number of hardware components, the number of clients on a server can take a toll on the system. “It is crucial to ensure that the VMS has built-in capabilities to ensure that video is recorded and can be reviewed at all times,” Palatsoukas said.

A built-in mechanism in the VMS to offer continuous system access, uninterrupted video streaming, health monitoring, and system self-check is especially crucial for verticals that cannot afford the downtime. “High availability is of the utmost importance for a security system that is used to minimize threats and protect assets,” added Palatsoukas. “An offline system can result in revenue losses through operations stoppage and theft, hence making it very important to minimize downtime. The embedded high availability features are tailored specifically for the VMS, minimizing configuration and management time. They are also less expensive than third-party solutions.”

For critical use, such as casinos or banks, redundancy is a key concern as storage itself might take 30 to 40 percent of the total surveillance system price. A smart redundancy feature saves storage space and money since only triggered event footage is stored as backup. “In casino and city surveillance, smart redundancy is important as there will be enormous amounts of information and simple 1-1 redundancy is very wasteful,” said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ademco Far East (an Ademco Security Group Company). “Smart redundancy can reduce up to 50 percent of additional cost, which is ideal in controlling the budget and space needed.”

Intelligence and Automation
Security has traditionally been used to protect assets in a passive fashion. However, VMS allows video surveillance to go beyond traditional security by gathering business intelligence and driving decisions. A system with intelligent video analytics can combine multiple video analytic events using rules dependency to trigger an alarm and to minimize false alarms. “The system must be able to intelligently generate and distribute valid alerts in a variety of forms – video, text, audio, data and other – so that operators are no longer required to view live video from dozens, hundreds, and thousands of cameras,” Piran said.

Automation is important for remote sites as combining different security and non-security systems under a set of rules requires automated security. For instance, when reviewing the VMS, it is important that users seek out an automated platform that will deliver the video intelligence necessary to help security personnel rapidly detect, act on, and investigate security breaches and other threats.

Automation can include lighting, access control, door management, and more. It can also include more complicated tasks such as automated system health monitoring. “Automated system health monitoring is a critical feature to help users manage geographically distributed video operations, while enhancing system uptime and reliability to ensure video is being captured and is available for review at all times,” said Debjit Das, VP of Global Marketing, Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions, Verint Systems.

A large project may have multiple security systems scattered on multiple sites, creating a lot of complexity for the operator who might have to connect to multiple applications on different computers. “Being able to watch live and playback video, receive events, and run reports from multiple sites with one application makes operations easier for the users, who can concentrate on identifying and analyzing security threats,” Palatsoukas said.

The automation feature is important for remote sites. “Software features such as smart tracking of personnel, activities and events become very important, as they may have very limited security manpower at sites looking at cameras over a very large area,” added Lim.

User-centric mindset Picking the wrong VMS solution can be catastrophic and the consequence is not as simple as replacing a surveillance camera. Knowing the capability of VMS, project complexity, and user needs will help integrators at the start and avoid a mismatch scenario.

Homework for Integrators
Integrators might start by outlining end-user needs. Steven Lowrance, Applications Engineering Manager at Aronson Security Group offers some of the following tips. Below are some of the questions that help integrators better understanding a situation and system requirements:
1. How many cameras will there be? 
2. Is there a need for specialty cameras or brands (thermal, IR, covert, etc)? 
3. Where are those cameras located?
4. What is the recording schedule? 
5. Will the system be used for live viewing or more for forensic use after an event? 
6. Do users need advanced applications such as video analytics? 
7. How many users will view the cameras? 
8. Is permission restriction necessary to the business? 
9. Is centralized administration of users and devices important? 
10.Does the business have a server operating system requirement or restriction? 
11.Is integration with other systems a requirement?

HID Global, DLRS and X INFOTECH secure Ireland e-passport

HID Global, DLRS and X INFOTECH secure Ireland e-passport

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 10/22/2013 | Article type: Security 50

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Ninth Symposium and Exhibition – HID Global announced the successful roll-out of the newly designed Irish electronic passport (e-passport). HID Global joined forces with DLRS Group, the security printing company in Ireland, and X INFOTECH, a system integrator and MultiPerso software suite developer, to implement the Irish e-passport project. Working together, the companies are providing an end-to-end solution including e-passport delivery, personalization and production management. The newly designed Ireland e-passport uses the latest security technologies to protect citizens' identities while providing the Republic of Ireland with a flexible, efficient and highly secure passport solution.

DLRS is the prime contractor for the project. Beyond serving as the project manager for the joint effort, DLRS manufactures and delivers the new Irish passport booklets and configured the personalization solution for the new e-passports alongside its partners HID Global and X INFOTECH.

The new Irish e-passport replaces the previous document, and provides an exceptional level of security including HID Global's polycarbonate electronic data page with contactless chip inlays making the passports very hard to forge or copy. The new e-passports also incorporate HID Global's innovative Crack Prevention Feature (CPF) that enhances the durability and reliability of polycarbonate e-passport data pages, especially those with embedded RFID chips. With CPF, governments can fully leverage the advantages of smart card technology and protect their investment by extending the life of ID credentials for up to ten years.

“HID Global is delighted to contribute to the new generation of Ireland's e-passport and national eID program,” said Rob Haslam, Vice President Government ID Solutions with HID Global. X INFOTECH provided its MultiPerso personalization solution for contactless chips including ICAO data preparation.

The newly designed Irish passport features images of iconic Irish landmarks including the Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey and Croke Park, in addition to drawings depicting Irish music and dance and Gaelic games. According to Mr. Gilmore, the Tanaiste and Minister for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Irish passport holders travel more often and to more destinations than at any time in the past.” More than 630,000 Irish passports were issued in 2012 and the Republic of Ireland has approximately 4.5 million citizens who could potentially be issued these new passports.

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