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Need for security mass notification in higher education

Need for security mass notification in higher education

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom | Updated: 2/19/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Deadly violence on university campuses is an unfortunate reality. Less than one month into 2014, 3 reported incidents of gun violence were reported in the U.S. — 2 of the incidents lead to 2 deaths. However, deadly attacks are not limited to gun violence — a stabbing attack in 2013 left 14 injured at Lone Star College–CyFair in Texas, U.S.

In the aftermath of the violent shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, which tragically resulted in the deaths of 33 people, campus safety was thrust into the spotlight. In 2012, Virginia Tech was fined $27,500 by the US Department of Education (DOE) for failure to issue a timely warning on campus the morning of the shooting in compliance with the Cleary Act. In January 2014, the DOE fined Virginia Tech an additional $5,000 for the incident. Immediately after the Virginia Tech tragedy, many universities invested in mass notification systems. However, Dan Pascale, CPP, Senior Director of Security & Emergency Services at Margolis Healy & Associates, notes that mass notification systems have not evolved much since then. Pascale explained that despite the initial rush to acquire mass notification systems, the ability to use them and integrate them with other forms of technology such as SMS, telephone, email, outdoor warning systems, internal public address systems, digital signage, etc. has not made any significant leaps. “I think we're going to see more integration and a need for it in the near immediate future as colleges and universities struggle with having the responsibility to make timely warnings and emergency notifications to their community,” said Pascale. The next step, however, is figuring out how to do it and how to accomplish it at an affordable price.

One of the most publicized and successful mass notification integration projects was done by Florida State University (FSU). FSU already had an emergency notification system in place — “FSU Alert” boasted 32 different methods of emergency communication delivery, which include but are not limited to outdoor warning sirens, indoor warning sirens, SMS text messaging, E-mails, strobe lights, digital signage, desktop alerts, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc); however, management of all these different systems was a challenge. Although the multitude of systems was meant to cover a wide variety of pre-approved scenarios, a delay in notification was occurring because there were too many systems to fuddle through.

In order to streamline the system, FSU sought a solution that would enhance and integrate with their existing system. In cooperation with Siemens, who configured the central activation system, FSU was able to consolidate the 19 primary and secondary delivery technologies of the FSU Alert System so that they could be activated from a single point. Located in the FSU police department's communications office, a box with a panel of pre-scripted scenario buttons allows personnel to send out the appropriate notification with the press of one button. Known as the “EZ” button, this one button mass notification system has cut down message delivery time to less than three minutes. The FSU “EZ” button has since become a prime example for both universities and the security industry.

Retrofitting for the Future
Based on a survey of 616 projects, CP&M reported that 12.9 percent of the $1.3 billion spent on renovations in 2012 was spent on security equipment. More specifically, a survey on what types of renovations and upgrades US residence halls were considering in the next 3 to 5 years showed that 43 % were considering adding and/or upgrading their camera/surveillance systems, 36 % were considering the same for their access control systems, and 27 % their sprinkler/fire alarm systems. However, it was also noted that the extent of new and upgraded systems has been stunted due to budgetary restrictions. In addition to monetary challenges, retrofitting buildings on college campuses can be a complicated task. Oftentimes colleges are forced to retrofit older and sometimes historic buildings that are hundreds of years old, according to Pascale. “In many cases, it can cost anywhere from two to five times the cost of initial construction. With limited budgets, due diligence is critical as it's important to get it right the first time.”

Another difficulty with retrofit projects is that they frequently involve older buildings that are less likely to have the advanced technological capabilities needed for newer technology. “In a way, new projects are easier to scope out and deploy since the ideal architecture is designed from scratch. Most cases, however, are retrofits which demand an assessment of current technology, the remaining lifespan of such and the true benefit they might still provide,” said Lawrence de Guzman, Director of Global Sales Operations, Verticals, OEM, and Key Accounts at Milestone Systems.

Open Systems and Integration
The importance of integration has been a hot topic in the security industry and the education sector is joining in on the conversation. “We see a need and attempt by many institutions to integrate disparate systems and leverage technology as a force multiplier while creating operational efficiencies,” Pascale pointed out. “In many cases, individual departments have installed their own systems and there is little centralization or standardization.” However, facilities of all kinds hit a speed bump when trying to find compatible systems. That is why open systems are playing a key role in integration.

“There is a distinct trend towards open platforms, which enables beneficial integrations with other systems, thereby empowering a total solution into more than just the sum of its parts,” said de Guzman. In particular to higher education, Mike Scirica, VP of Marketing and Sales at WavestoreUSA noted, “Campus security officials seek VMS platforms that easily integrate with other security and non-security systems, such as video analytics. An open architecture approach and a commitment to open standards help manufacturers deliver VMS platforms that will be able to work with other systems as organizational and security needs grow.”

Rising up to Challenges
Every vertical has its own set of unique challenges and requirements. In order to properly and successfully address these issues, it is important for manufacturers and systems integrators to work together. “We believe integrators and manufacturers should act as partners with a common goal of establishing trust with an end user,” said Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer at DVTEL. “At the same time, integrators should rely on their manufacturers to play a valuable support role to help them assess and respond to customer expectations. Customer satisfaction depends on the best efforts of everyone involved in a system sale.”

Related articles:
Higher education strengthens security
Security in higher education faces unique challenges

Axis IP cams secure Indian IT services provider Mindtree

Axis IP cams secure Indian IT services provider Mindtree

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 11/13/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Mindtree East campus is a large facility with over 1200 mindtree “'minds” walking in each day. The management was looking for an effective way to enhance their monitoring with respect to the safety of the entire premises and all visitors and staff. Total of 68 network cameras were deployed across 6 floors with an area of 107,000 sq ft.

The implementation has brought a number of benefits. Apart from the cameras, the organization has also deployed its own Mindtree Manage Mind VMS and Video Analytics on standard off-the-shelf servers to address the below challenges:

  • The head of security and senior security officers are constantly on the move and needed quick access to live video and recorded feeds. The head of security is located in a different campus located across the city.
  • Entry to certain areas within the campus such as data centers, finance bay and hardware labs is highly restricted. Security officers need to be alerted as soon as anyone enters these areas.
  • Security officers watching the video feeds from the control room wanted to be able to create incidents and assign them to specific security officers.
    Ensure that service entrances were not mis-used. For example, vehicle parking at service entrances is restricted to duration of loading/unloading of goods and equipment.
  • Security officers wanted a quick mechanism to assess all security incidents that occurred during the day.
  • Guards frequently moved out of their position especially after office hours and during the weekends.
  • Web browser-based clients enable security officers (local and remote) to monitor video from any standard desktop without installing any software. Security officers can also view feeds from a mobile client and perform basic PTZ commands.
  • Video analytics deployed ensure that alarms are raised as soon as pre-defined rules are triggered. For example, the sterile zone analytics raises an alarm as soon as someone enters a data center during non-office hours. Alarm actions such as email and SMS are sent to a group of registered security officers.
  • Video analytics is also used to detect vehicles parked at service entrances and missing guards to raise appropriate alarms.
    Daily reports about incidents that occurred, action taken and status of equipment ensures appropriate review.

After evaluating multiple IP camera vendors, Mindtree chose Axis IP cameras for their quality and support. A total of 68 Axis IP cameras (including 5 PTZ cameras) across the facility were installed to hasten response to security incidents. AXIS M3011 and AXIS 213 PTZ Network Cameras were short listed based on the cost/ value proposition.

The implementation of Axis IP cameras delivers the benefits of enhanced monitoring and operational alertness, enabling management to supervise the facility at all times with minimal manual intervention. This has also enhanced security with fewer security personnel, who can effectively focus on attending to security incidents. The recordings also enable quick investigation and speedy resolution of redundant incidents.

CEM Systems, Pelco and Honeywell secure the New South Glasgow Hospitals

CEM Systems, Pelco and Honeywell secure the New South Glasgow Hospitals

Editor / Provider: CEM Systems | Updated: 10/25/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

CEM Systems, part of Tyco Security Products announce that they have won the contract to secure the largest single NHS hospital build in Scotland; the New South Glasgow Hospitals, part of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The publicly funded development will give Glasgow one of the most advanced adult acute services hospitals in the UK and will be the biggest critical care complex in Scotland.

CEM Approved Reseller Boston Networks is installing a multi million pound Intelligent Building solution for the new super hospital which features the CEM AC2000 Security Management System (SMS), securing over 400 doors throughout the facility. Construction work commenced on site early 2010 and is due for completion in 2015. The main contractor on the project is Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd.

The powerful CEM AC2000 system will secure the brand New Adult and Children's hospital. The new 14 floor adult hospital will house 1109 beds, state of the art emergency, acute receiving, critical care, 30 modern operating theatres, diagnostic services and a full range of in-patient and day case paediatric services.

“At the New South Glasgow hospitals, AC2000 will provide a highly flexible and integrated security solution by linking to both Pelco Endura CCTV and Honeywell Galaxy Intruder Detection Systems” said Philip Verner, Regional Sales Director, EMEA, CEM Systems. “The CEM AC2000 system has many high level integrations in its portfolio, which enables it to act as a powerful Security Management System for South Glasgow hospital.

Commenting on the partnership, Paul Goodbrand, Director of Intelligent Buildings, Boston Networks states, ‘‘Due to the sheer scale and complexity of the New South Glasgow Hospitals project, Boston Networks had to consider numerous factors when choosing our security partners, such as future proof technology, integration capabilities and the ability to provide a solution that would allow us to meet all elements of the installation and commissioning program”.

In addition to high integration capabilities, the CEM AC2000 system offers a comprehensive set of software applications that enhance site operations. The New South Glasgow Hospitals will utilise both AC2000 VIPPS (Visual Imaging & Pass Production System), which allows users to design professional, quality ID passes which can include text, logos, graphics, photos, barcodes and signatures, and AC2000 AED (Alarm Event Display). AC2000 AED provides a dynamic and real-time graphical view of all alarms and events that occur on the AC2000 system.

As a new building with an Ethernet infrastructure the hospital was also able to utilise CEM's Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. This means that only one Ethernet cable is required at the door, ensuring simplified installation and time savings; a welcomed benefit in such a huge project.

“The technological capabilities of CEM's unique Power over Ethernet (PoE) solution along with AC2000 met the needs of the Hospital's multifaceted Access Control demands and also provided Boston Networks with the integration capabilities essential to deliver a robust and future proof IP security solution, within program and budget”, continued Paul Goodbrand, Director of Intelligent Buildings, Boston Networks . “By having complete control of the installation and working closely with CEM, Boston Networks will ensure that we meet and exceed the project milestones, installation and commissioning dates.”

CEM EtherProx readers will also be used to secure the site. EtherProx is the industry's smallest Ethernet card reader with integrated keypad, LCD display and internal database giving off-line validation and intelligent decision-making at the point of entry, even when host communications are not available. EtherProx readers can display hospital cardholders with immediate text descriptions on the swipe of their card i.e. a hospital porter trying to access the hospital pharmacy may get the message - Access Denied and a red LED will flash indicating access has not be granted.

Tyco Security provides integrated security for Odeabank

Tyco Security provides integrated security for Odeabank

Editor / Provider: Tyco Security | Updated: 8/30/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Odeabank (part of Lebanon's Bank Audi group) was established in Turkey in March 2012. To secure the bank's new state-of-the-art premises throughout Turkey, Odeabank required a highly integrated security management solution that could seamlessly grow as the branch portfolio expanded.

Systems integrator, Sensormatic Güvenlik Hizmetleri, worked closely with Odeabank and Tyco Security Products to meet these security requirements. The overall security management system (SMS) of choice for the project was the powerful SoftwareHouse C-CURE 9000 security and event management system which provided an integration platform for the bank's video, intrusion and fire detection systems.

To date, over 12 branches have successfully been installed with the C-CURE 9000 solution, with a total of 34 branches forecast to open by the end of 2013. Each branch utilises Software House's iSTAR Pro door controllers and third party readers to secure critical doors. iSTAR Pro door controllers are intelligent, modular, controllers that offer an access control solution for up to 16 doors. Featuring on-board Ethernet and up to 128 MB memory, the controllers store over 500,000 cardholders in its internal memory and continue to operate offline should communication be temporarily lost from the host server.

Systems Integration
Built on an innovative integration platform, C-CURE 9000 delivered Odeabank with integration of DSC PowerSeries intrusion panels, high definition IP video surveillance cameras and Tyco's MZX Technology fire detection system. Using one friendly user interface(C-CURE 9000 monitoring station), Odeabank security can centrally view and manage in real-time all access control, video, fire and intrusion alarms.

Central alarm monitoring
The central C-CURE 9000 monitoring station features editable maps to create complex floor plans that graphically illustrate design and security architecture within each branch. Using a familiar Windows 7 environment, the intuitive client software enables Odeabank security personnel to create dynamic views of events, personnel activity and live video feeds. It also enables the bank to manage and view events from DSC intrusion panels and MZX Technology fire panels from this single powerful interface. With one monitoring station managing individual branch activity, this greatly enhances operational efficiency.

The C-CURE 9000 system was also integrated with the bank's human resources system so that all branches and personnel activity can be managed and reportable from a single centre. Using a database partitioning feature, the C-CURE 9000 server is divided into multiple branch partitions. This enables bank personnel information to be shared and monitored across all branches, with employees only requiring one ID smart card to access every location. Each staff member has time restrictions, access levels and area control added to their card credentials, so that only authorized personnel have access to vaults, server rooms and other high security areas.

Malaysia Airlines unifies security management across offices

Malaysia Airlines unifies security management across offices

Editor / Provider: CEM Systems | Updated: 7/4/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

CEM Systems, part of Tyco Security Products, is pleased to announce that the integrated security management system has been selected to secure the offices of the 5-star Malaysia Airlines.

Established more than 60 years ago, Malaysia Airlines flies to destinations across six continents. The airline has a long history of providing excellent service and has won over 100 awards in the last 10 years, including Asia's Leading Airline. Malaysia Airlines required a security solution that was powerful yet reliable and could be integrated with a variety of systems to form a complete security management system.

“CEM has a long history of working with aviation customers to find the right solution to meet their specific needs”, said Andrew Fulton, Senior Director, Global Sales, CEM Systems. “We have maintained our position in the aviation market by continually developing AC2000 and by staying ahead of the industry. Malaysia Airlines key requirement was for one integrated security platform for access control, video and intrusion, as well as integration to an external visitor registration system.”

CEM security management met the requirements for high level integration using the CEM intruder detection system and the CEM access alarm for American Dynamics embedded video recorder. These modules allow the access control system to act as the security management system (SMS), with DSC intrusion and American Dynamics range of digital video recorders visible from one unified platform. The CEM alarm event display application forms a single user-friendly interface were administrators can centrally monitor access control, intruder and video systems, all in real time.

In addition, an CEM Application Programming Interface (API) has been provided to allow the seamless integration of an external visitor registration system to the system visitor's module. This allows Malaysian Airlines to transfer critical data from an existing visitor system for operational efficiency.

The system at Malaysia Airlines also features the latest in web functionality with CEM Visitor Management. The module provides a powerful web-based tool which can be used to monitor visitor access from any location. The visitor management provides users with the ability add full details of a schedule visit including date, time, sponsor details and even a visitor image via a standard web browser.

Using industry leading technology, CEM has also provided Malaysia Airlines with a stable solution with a high level of redundancy. Server redundancy has been achieved using CEM failover which provides a failsafe secondary server and the highest assurance of system reliability should communication be temporarily lost with the central server.

Mobotix updates motion detection

Mobotix updates motion detection

Editor / Provider: Mobotix | Updated: 5/27/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Mobotix has unveiled the MxActivitySensor – a revolutionary technology that registers traveling movement of people and objects, while dismissing redundant changes and movement in the scene. This drastically reduces the number of false alarms. Through the development of the MxActivitySensor, Mobotix has re-invented a method for intelligent video motion detection.

"MxActivitySensor is a completely new technology that is literally five years ahead of existing video motion detection systems," says Mobotix founder and CEO, Dr. Ralf Hinkel. "The biggest problem with motion detection softwares today is the massive amount of false alarms. The MxActivitySensor reduces these false alarms with over 90%, with almost no configuration time". In this way, the MxActivitySensor also saves management time for the user. "Finding the real events in traditional motion detection software is like finding a needle in a haystack as every movement has triggered an alarm," continues Hinkel. "With the MxActivitySensor the user can concentrate on, and find real events fast and efficiently. We think it is a game changer and as normal with Mobotix software and applications, it is for free".

State-of-the-art, intelligent motion detection like that offered by the MxActivitySensor is only possible thanks to the decentralized system from Mobotix. "The MxActivitySensor is directly integrated in the camera, meaning analysis can take place there, too. Only relevant events trigger an alarm, which is sent out over the network. In this way, the users will save a tremendous amount of bandwidth, especially when there are many cameras installed in the network," says Hinkel. When a human or vehicle moves through the camera's field of view, MxActivitySensor triggers the camera to initiate an alarm action, such as recording, phone call, email, sms etc. The MxActivitySensor ignores all other changes in the environment such as snow, rain, wind, light, moving clouds and trees.

MxActivitySensor, once enabled and left at the default settings, is still more accurate than video motion detection, in most situations. This presents big savings in configuration time as compared with traditional video motion detection. "The hardest thing to do is to make the complicated easy and that is the whole idea with this piece of software. With the MxActivitySensor there is no need for specialists to install, manage and analyse the system on site. The power to do all this and to get the desired results is now available for all users", concludes Hinkel.

The new S15, D15 and V15 camera models are equipped with the unique MxActivitySensor. MxActivitySensor has been released within the latest Mobotix camera software update from 4.1.6. MxActivitySensor is compatible with the following camera models - Q24M, M24M, D24M, T24M, D14Di, S14 and V14 (Secure camera models only).

Multifactor authentication provides the pieces for peace of mind

Multifactor authentication provides the pieces for peace of mind

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang, a&s International | Updated: 2/8/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

According to Report Linker, the multifactor authentication market is expected to grow 17.3 percent from 2012 to 2017 to a market worth US$5.5 million. Something we have indeed removes the problem of forgetting something we know, but now the object(s) must be with the user at the time that he or she wants to be authenticated.

"In the realm of physical security, the failures of companies and governments to protect our private information (personal and financial) are a lesson that what once served as sufficient security (username and password) is no longer acceptable. We have come to accept that card access provides a low level of security," said Adam Shane, Senior Systems Design Architect, Amag Technology (a G4S Technology company). "Cards can be duplicated, spoofed, modified or stolen. There is nothing that validates the authenticity of the card, nothing that binds the card to its owner, and in some cases, nothing to verify the issuer still trusts the owner to have the card."

The driving factor behind multifactor authentication is to increase the security level in an organization and only allow entry for permissible personnel, said John Davies, MD of TDSi. Multifactor authentication is becoming more important because more systems are connected over the Internet and are exposed to huge numbers of people.

Aside from existing compliance and regulatory pushes, the cloud is another driver for deploying multifactor authentication. "Traditional barriers that have been deployed to secure IT systems, such as firewalls, are becoming less relevant due to a growing move toward the cloud, which means an increasing amount of company data no longer resides on company networks," said Julian Lovelock, VP of Product Marketing for Identity Assurance, HID Global (an Assa Abloy company). "Traditionally, enterprises have stored key IT resources behind a firewall on corporate servers, or in a ‘walled garden.' But, with the rapid growth of the remote workforce, the time and effort enterprises have put into reinforcing that ‘wall' have seemingly been wasted, as more data begins to reside outside of the corporate network. All of these trends are leading toward a model in which organizations focus on protecting individual resources with strong authentication, as opposed to simply protecting the wall."

Chris Cardell, CEO of SyferLock Technology, agreed. Megatrends, such as the emergence of cloud computing, server and desktop virtualization, the proliferation of mobile technologies and bring-your-own-device possibilities, the increase in employees requiring remote access, and the increased use of social networking in the work environment, have created new vulnerabilities and risks for companies. "Users expect to be able to access information from virtually anywhere via the Internet and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and that means it is harder than ever for IT and security executives to ensure that all the organization's information assets are protected," Cardell said.

Growth Verticals
Growth verticals for multifactor authentication include hospitals, banks, airports, data centers, large corporations, IT server rooms, universities, research labs, government departments and other organizations working with sensitive materials such as defense. "In some industries such as health care and financial services, the emergence or evolution of regulatory requirements is forcing even more stringent implementation for strong authentication. For instance, in the U.S., health care organizations must be compliant with the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA). Relying solely on usernames and passwords will no longer be sufficient for secure access to data, particularly sensitive information such as patient records," Cardell said.

The US government has also mandated that access to physical and cyber assets in the executive branch requires use of a personal identity verification (PIV) card, Shane said. "This card supporting PKI validation is federated and therefore trusted across all agencies, and supports multifactor authentication (credential, PIN and biometric). Not all systems will be upgraded to support this high-end authentication token as PIV cards can cost the US government about $100 per person and that does not include the regular maintenance overheads. But progress is being made."

Rick Focke, Senior Product Manager at Software House (a Tyco Security Products company) is optimistic about the retrofitting projects and potentials of biometric based solutions. “The US federal government is a large market and one where the need for upgrades and additional solutions are still needed. In this market and in others, as installation volumes rise, costs should begin to decrease.”

The increase in employees, contractors and e-commerce customers requiring secure access, both remote and on premise, to computers, networks and sensitive information are also drivers in the demand for stronger multifactor authentication approaches. For instance, multifactor authentication adoption in banks in the U.S. is not mandated, but more customers in this market are moving to more secure solutions, Shane said. "We see this as a general trend. There are many beneficial reasons to move to strong authentication such as, to reduce financial losses from crime or fraud, improve auditing capabilities (non-repudiation), reduce cyber espionage and terrorism incidents, improve public relations, and the list goes on."

Complex and Costly?
Cost and usability are perhaps the two greatest concerns from enterprises/end user when implementing multifactor authentication solutions. "Adding biometric authentication for identity binding requires not only a biometric capture device at every terminal, but also requires licensing software to perform the biometric comparison," Shane said. "In biometric authentication, there are different ways to handle the process of binding an individual to a card or their credential. In one case, the user's biometric map or template is stored on a card or in a computer database. If the binding process requires users to present their card/credential first, for reading identification numbers (known as a 1:1 match), then costs can be kept minimal as the ID number is used to pull users' biometric data from the protected storage and then the biometric match confirms they are the person they claim to be. Similarly, the presentation of the credentials could release the biometric data directly from the card. However, in other systems, a person may simply provide one biometric identifier (fingerprint, iris or other) and the system will match this against all samples in the database. If the best match exceeds a threshold for acceptance then it is assumedthey are that person. This is called a 1:N match or a search." Compared with a one-to-one match, one-to-many comparisons are expensive.

Multifactor authentication solutions also require the appropriate enrollment or registration software to build the identity database and to manage the identities. "This software can be quite expensive also," Shane added. "We try to help customers understand that there is a continuum of solutions from relatively simple to very complex. Their budget, security concerns, regulatory requirements and consequences are all considered in guiding them to an appropriate solution."

In the case of biometric security, end users may also be worried about purchasing a third-party or bolt-on biometric system that requires two separate devices at the door and two separate software systems being used in parallel. "Another concern is the rate of technology change within biometrics today," said Philip Verner, Regional Sales Director for EMEA, CEM Systems (a Tyco Security Products company). "An emerging biometric technology today can go end-of-line within a considerably short period of time and this can make end users hesitant when choosing a biometric solution. When considering Iris technology, patent or licensing modules used can also be a significant barrier for customers."

Throughput and convenience are still issues for users. For example, a system that requires extra layers of authentication equals an extra delay for individuals trying to enter a facility or an area. "Customers want to avoid time delays or bottlenecks at the door where there is a high volume of staff throughput. Where it may not be convenient to use multifactor authentication all day, we recommend that PIN and/or biometric security be enabled during certain times, for example, at night time when the premises are closed," Verner said.

Usage Considerations
Whichever security model is chosen, the total cost of ownership is a key factor in determining the value of a solution. First of all, end users need to evaluate the cost to use and maintain a typical username and password logon security system. Weak security can result in direct and indirect costs and devastating consequences, due to leaking sensitive information and resources to unauthorized users and intruders. This is not to mention issues resulting from noncompliance to industry regulations.

When evaluating a multifactor solution as an alternative, the hardware, software, system integration, installation, deployment, maintenance and device replacement must all taken into the equation. Besides the direct costs of solution purchasing and software licensing, there can be hidden costs involved. For instance, customers might need to take into account the cost of distributing hardware: tokens, smart cards or biometric readers. Support costs must also be taken into account as there will likely be an increase of support calls after the initial deployment.

These procedures are especially critical for those who do not have a proper risk assessment, and therefore are not clear on what their most important data or assets are or where they resides.

Security only works if the end user follows the policy. Quick and convenient solutions that do not disrupt daily routines are perennial favorites. What is required from any multifactor authentication system is not only enhanced security level but also functionality.

While most corporations purchase systems based on their current needs, scalability is another important factor to consider when evaluating multifactor authentication solutions. Some multifactor authentication systems require significant management when dealing with a high number of users. For instance, tokens can become difficult and expensive to manage due to the fact that they need to be replaced every few years.

Bumpy Yet Rosy
Cost continues to be a challenge, as budgets are tight. "However, the US government is providing funding for HSPD-12 upgrades through the OMB 11-11 memorandum with a stipulation that the money must go to installing multifactor authentication solutions," Focke said.

Current industries that recognize the need for multifactor authentication solutions represent a small market for vendors. "The larger commercial market sometimes is challenged to see the ROI in multifactor authentication when all of the infrastructure costs are considered," Shane said.

The lack of awareness about such solutions requires extra effort on market education. "I think that one significant challenge is the incorrect assumption that the only viable option for multifactor authentication is a one-time password (OTP), and the belief that if the OTP option isn't suitable, there are no other alternatives. The reality is that is not true, and that there are a large number of alternatives," Lovelock said. “"we need to push past that point and educate people as to what those alternatives are, and at the same time highlighting the other key aspects of implementing authentication technologies such as, lower deployment and management costs, the enhanced level of security the technologies provide, and better usability for end users."

Despite these obstacles, the growth potential for the multifactor authentication market is substantial. Biometric readers such as fingerprint verification are gaining traction. "Some specialty applications are also coming to the forefront. For example, the health care market is looking at noncontact devices to help ensure readers remain clean and germ free. This non-contact solution utilizes iris, palm vein or facial recognition level of authentication only," Focke said.

As an expert in physical and logical access integration, HID Global predicts the proliferation of contactless device-based authentication and embedded credentials. "I think we will see technologies that grew up in the consumer space around machine profiling and device forensics being used in the corporate sector, as the consumerization of IT takes a greater foothold. I also believe that an increase in the availability of NFC-enabled devices will open up options for contactless device-based authentication," Lovelock said. "We will see growth in embedded credentials, where endpoint devices like laptops, tablets and phones will be able to securely store, and make credential readily available for use."

Also, software-based authentication solutions are emerging fast. "Because many of today's emerging use cases (e.g., employees and customers requiring secure remote access) are not conducive to legacy hardware-based authentication solutions, we believe that there will be increased demand for flexible, adaptable software-based authentication solutions."

"With increasing concerns about security and with new regulatory requirements, authentication is a growing industry. This growth has resulted in the emergence of a range of authentication solutions, including hard tokens, smart cards, biometrics, SMS text to cell phones, among others, competing in the market place," Cardell said.

Bosch IP cams compatible with Digiever NVRs

Bosch IP cams compatible with Digiever NVRs

Editor / Provider: Digiever | Updated: 1/30/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Digiever, a manufacturer of Linux-embedded standalone NVR, is pleased to announce that Digiever DIGISTOR NVR series supports Bosch network cameras. Integration of cameras from Bosch Security Systems, a manufacturer of network cameras, and Digiever DIGISTOR NVR provides various segments surveillance application especially in high multi-megapixel definition, from SOHO to enterprise level, presenting extraordinary quality of surveillance recording systems. With the easy-to-use interface, Digiever DIGISTOR NVR can satisfy surveillance scenarios requests, and users can easily adapt the operation for various projects.

DIGISTOR NVR series provides outstanding performance in local display. For instance, DS-4200 Pro series, the 4-bay NVR, and DS-8200-RM Pro series, the 8-bay rack-mount type NVR, support 1/4/9/12/16/20/25-channel display modes and enable megapixel resolution hardware decode for video output via HDMI and VGA connector. Users can record in high multi-megapixel resolution and reach the local display performance up to 200fps at Full HD (1080p) or 300fps at HD (720p) resolution, and experience up to 25 channels real time outstanding performance of local display.

The throughput of above-mentioned models are capable of reaching up to 360Mbps which perfectly brings out high megapixel video transmission meeting the essential of HD IP cameras, the arriving trend of high megapixel video surveillance nowadays. Furthermore, Digiever DIGISTOR NVR series offers advanced event management for the diversified event types and the event handling options such as event triggered recording, e-mailing snapshots and video clips, SMS and user-defined actions by HTTP URL commands, etc. The event handling options also includes digital outputs reaction on built-in digital input and digital output interface of DIGISTOR NVR.

As for security purpose and avoiding unauthorized manipulation, DIGISTOR NVR comes with the digital watermark in recording video and snapshot files of live view and playback. While DIGISTOR NVR is recording video and snapshot files, the digital watermark will be embedded automatically in the images. Furthermore, Digiever also offers DIGICheck, a useful application for users can simply verify if the images were originated from DIGISTOR NVR. DIGICheck can be obtained when backup files or downloaded from Digiever official website. The digital watermark protection enhances not only the reliability, also security and genuine-prove of videos and snapshots from DIGISTOR NVR.

"We want to bring our customers a powerful integrated solution that combines the unique features of the complete Bosch product portfolio and of DIGIEVER products," said Rudolf Spielberger, Head of Integration Partner Program of Bosch. “The collaboration with Digiever and the ease of integration tools results in the fastest integration we have had to date- allowing us to focus on fulfilling the needs of our customers.”

"Digiever keeps continuing to support camera partners. As a provider of professional Linux-based open platform NVR solution, it is essential to cooperate with camera partners for providing high quality and reliable surveillance solutions." declared by Allen Tseng, Product Manager of Digiever. "Today, we are pleased to announce a remarkable integration with Bosch Security Systems. IP camera users of both parties will have a much more reliable and flexible bundle recording surveillance solution when choosing IP surveillance system."

Hikvision IP cams now work on Digiever NVRs

Hikvision IP cams now work on Digiever NVRs

Editor / Provider: Digiever | Updated: 12/13/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Digiever, the manufacturer of Linux-embedded standalone NVR, announces that Digiever NVR series supports Hikvision network cameras. With full integration with Hikvision, one of famous brands in video surveillance industry, DIGISTOR NVR and Hikvision network cameras together provide applications in various segments surveillance, especially in need of high megapixel definition, from SOHO to enterprise level, presenting video recording surveillance systems with extreme high quality.

Digiever DIGISTOR NVR series provides advanced event management for diversified event types and event handling actions, such as event triggered recording, e-mailing snapshots and video clips, SMS and user-defined actions by HTTP URL commands, etc. The event handling options include digital outputs reaction on built-in DI/DO interface of DIGISTOR NVR. Furthermore, DIGISTOR NVR series also provides outstanding performance in local display with Full HD. For instance, DIGISTOR DS-4200 Pro series, the 4-bay NVR, and DIGISTOR DS-8200-RM Pro series, the 8-bay rack-mount type NVR, support 1/4/9/12/16/20/25-channel display modes and enable HD resolution hardware decoding for video output via HDMI and VGA connectors. Users can simultaneously monitor up to 25 channels in 1920x1080 (Full HD) with maximum of 200 fps or in 1080x720 (HD) with maximum of 300fps monitoring performance with unique local display features. The throughput of above-mentioned models are capable of reaching up to 360Mbps which not only brings out high megapixel video transmission, but also meets the essentials for Full HD and high megapixel IP cameras, fulfilling the need of high megapixel IP video recording surveillance nowadays.

“We are pleased to have established partnership with Digiever,” commented Keen Yao, International Marketing Director of Hikvision. “Hikvision's megapixel imaging technology and network video recording expertise of Digiever together offers our combined customers the most advantageous megapixel experience. Customers will be glad to find new gains from a video surveillance system that incorporates both Hikvision IP cameras, including the latest HD megapixel range, and Digiever video recording solution.”

Hikvision network cameras come with several resolutions, including 1.3MP, 2MP, 3MP and 5MP, etc, with all boasting a range of technological features, such as wide dynamic range, low light capability, 3D digital noise reduction, and much more. The camera installation is also made easier with PoE function. Moreover, ONVIF and PSIA protocols are supported as well.

“Customers are looking forward to the upcoming integration of Hikvision network cameras and Digiever DIGISTOR NVR for a long period of time with excitement, they are now waiting for providing this solid video recording surveillance solution to customers of both parties,” declared by Allen Tseng, Product Manager of Digiever. “Our integration will be continued. Digiever will keep cooperating with Hikvision for meeting the requirements of market.

Tailor mobile onboard monitoring to different fleet types

Tailor mobile onboard monitoring to different fleet types

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 10/23/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

The No. 1 priority for all mobile, onboard monitoring systems is to ensure driver and passenger safety, followed by car performance and fuel/fleet efficiency. Such complex, real-time calculations and precision requirements call for industrial PCs, with powerful CPUs operating on open-platform Linux. Day/night cameras that are capable of recording with clarity, regardless of surrounding weather or lighting conditions, are also a must. Video input ranges from one to 16 channels, and can be compressed and transmitted by said PC to a central server via GPRS, 3-G, WiFi, WiMax or CDMA. Due to often limited bandwidth availability, footage can only be transferred in real time at 30 fps in CIF or D1 resolution; or in HD at 10 to 25 fps.

Other typical requirements include a temperature range between -25 to 60 degrees Celsius (-13 to 140 Fahrenheit), ingress ratings of IP54 or IP66, a DVR/PC weight range of 2 to 5 kilograms (4 to 11 pounds), GPS integrated with maps, and up to16 event alerts simultaneously. SMS notifications can be sent out to notify management of abnormal driver behavior or vehicle condition, if necessary.

Specific Fleet Types & Requirements

Private Cars
Onboard monitoring systems in private cars are, in addition to enhancing driver and passenger safety, to prevent theft and robbery, and to provide evidence in the event of an incident. Driver safety can be enhanced through driver behavior monitoring and speed limit notifications; vehicular security can be enhanced through alarms on abnormal usage, such as doors opening/closing without correct keys.

One to four channels of video input and a single video output are average. Footage is generally stored directly on the onboard DVR. Video transmission, while uncommon, can be done via 3-G in CIF or D1 resolution at 30 fps, but without the use of a central monitoring system as required by fleets. Such mobile systems are also often outfitted with GPS and infotainment capabilities, for maximum driving safety and passenger entertainment.

Taxi drivers face the possibilities and risks of passenger disorder, personal attack and armed robbery every day, since they carry around large amounts of cash and are not able to vet strangers. The main purpose of onboard monitoring is, thus, to provide coverage and evidentiary information for the above. GPS is a must in order to facilitate fleet and crisis management; support for two-way communications between drivers and dispatchers is also often required.

Similar to private cars, video input ranges from one to four channels with a single video output channel. Remote, central monitoring is not always specified, but can be done in CIF or D1 resolution at 30 fps, or HD at 10 to 25 fps. Alarm inputs and outputs are usually four and one, respectively.

Police Cruisers
Police cruisers operate in extreme conditions under constant threats, both inside and outside. Officers behind the wheels may also need to deal with public complaints and lawsuits over their conduct in the field. It is crucial that video footage, along with GPS coordinates, is relayed back to the central dispatch — in real time or whenever necessary — so appropriate action or assistance can be arranged efficiently.

For evidentiary purposes, HD and local storage requirements are common; mobile DVRs for police use are usually IP54-rated, making them shock- and weather-resistant. Cruisers tend to have four alarm inputs and one alarm output, just like private cars.

Every year, tens of thousands of emergency response workers worldwide are injured or killed on the job. There are also countless disputes over possibility patient negligence or mistreatment during transport. Having onboard monitoring can easily translate to millions of dollars in savings, in terms of lawsuits and compensations.

Real-time transmission is more commonplace than other fleet types, as additional assistance, medical advice or rerouting could mean life or death. Due to the sensitive nature of ambulances, onboard monitoring systems are generally equipped with eight alarm inputs and four alarm outputs, as well as privacy settings.

Cash-in-Transit Vehicles
Cash and valuables such as jewelries and bonds in armored vehicles are obvious targets. Video input generally ranges from one to nine channels with a single video output channel. During daily operations, continuous surveillance allows the central command to know whether or not drivers are following protocols and designated routes. HD at 10 to 20 fps, along with exact GPS coordinates, distress signals and usual speeding alerts, is almost always demanded.

Public/School Buses
It is increasingly common for buses to install onboard monitoring systems, due to increasing numbers of daily commuters and higher risk of terrorist attacks or student misconduct. On buses, these systems provide visual evidence whenever there are disputes between passengers and drivers, such as fare payments, service or unruly behavior. Around each bus' exterior, there is a trend to outfit four to eight cameras to monitor turns and embarking/disembarking.

In general, up to 16 channels of video input are required. In addition to being able to record day and night with clarity, cameras on buses are required to withstand strong glares and shocks. Mobile DVRs for public buses are heavier at 3 to 5 kilograms (7 to 11 pounds) and IP66-rate, more rugged than most other fleet types. Bus DVRs are usually equipped with eight to 16 alarm inputs and four alarm outputs. Infotainment or media output can be added, predetermined and updated according to user preferences.

Increasingly, driver behavior monitoring is specified; for instance, driver fatigue levels can be monitored, speed limits can be set for predefined routes, and management or authorities can be alerted via SMS or email and access live footage. This enhances overall safety and response time.

Recent cases also show the application and integration of biometrics, for parents to be notified of their children's whereabouts.

Freight Trucks
Freight trucks can be targets of crime because these vehicles transit goods of commercial value. Hence, monitoring systems have been extended from depots to vehicles on the move to enhance fleet and goods protection. As with all commercial vehicles, the main purpose of onboard monitoring is to prevent crime, enhance driver safety and fleet management. GPS and vehicular conditions (such as speeds and tire pressures) are a must, for management to fully grasp and react to safety and efficiency issues. Another important feature is three-way communications, among drivers and the central dispatch.

Industrial Tankers
Tankers used to transport gasoline, concrete, diesel and industrial chemicals are unique, in safety requirements and their risks as targets of theft or terrorist attacks. Hence, the main purpose of onboard monitoring systems on industrial tankers is to ensure protocol is followed, enhance driver and public safety, and provide driving records or event evidence.

As with other commercial vehicles, GPS coordinates and automatic alerts for management and authorities are crucial, as any deviation, accident or attack could have disastrous consequences. Mobile DVRs and cameras for this application are usually IP54-rated.

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