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Transition from analog to IP

Transition from analog to IP

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 4/28/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Observing the popularity rate of various industry sectors, IP-based surveillance installations are still falling below expectations. Most are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for more attractive incentive features to make the migration even though there are quite a few forerunners adopting digital based solutions.

Generally speaking, a typical upgrade is to move from a poor quality analogue system to a little better quality analogue system, as opposed to an upgrade of the underlying infrastructure to allow the transition to much more effective digital based system technology. In addition, majority of retail environments do not demand complex security systems to achieve monitoring in real time and their sites are not large-scale based either. Analogue systems are able to satisfy their current requirements, which explain why many places until today still have no interests to adopt digital/IP based solutions for their security needs.

Some wanted to move towards newer IP technology while still utilizing their existing analogue system though, and LILIN provides out-of-the-box deployment solutions to enable cost-effective analogue to IP migration. LILIN is unique in its ability to provide users with a complete end-to-end solution from a single manufacturer, including cameras, recorders, and software. Therefore, LILIN is capable of delivering a complete security surveillance solution and support a hybrid environment to help clients migrate to IP system over time.

Hybrid DVR provides a scalable system for future expansion of additional IP cameras and servers. Combing the best of both the analogue and digital worlds, 4-channel Hybrid DVR, NDR104, from LILIN, a leading manufacturer of IP video cameras, recording devices, and software, is a versatile video management platform. Thanks to the scalability of LILIN Hybrid DVR, you can easily integrate surveillance system and IP cameras and load analog and digital video data into the same interface to become a comprehensive hybrid solution. NDR104 comes with a rich panel of features to streamline surveillance operations and enhance management capabilities. With built on an open platform system, NDR104 allows users to easily add additional cameras and change our cameras as their project demands, and end-users required little to no training to use the Hybrid DVR device.

 

Sponsored by: 
LILIN is a global IP video manufacturer with over 30 years of experience. Throughout the years, the company has maintained its dedication to Creativity, Progress, and Excellence providing expertise in digital video with a strong focus on innovation moving forward.

 

 

 Milestone XProtect  provides Finnish schools and harbor with full-range protection

Milestone XProtect provides Finnish schools and harbor with full-range protection

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 4/22/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

“Installing Milestone XProtect has done the trick. We have reduced the cost of vandalism by approximately €50,000 (around $69,054) per year. Now we have practically no costs in regards to vandalism. What originated as a need for general security has evolved: One of the main benefits of our solution is the broad usage of it.” - Eero Polonen, Technical Manager, Kontiolahti Municipality.

The Challenge:
Before installing Milestone XProtect software, Kontiolahti Municipality was subjected to extensive vandalism at schools and in the harbor. The harbor was especially plagued by theft of boat motors and oil, littering and other destructive activities that the old security system was not equipped to handle.

 

The Solution:
Installing Milestone Partner Hallstrom designed and implemented an efficient solution with Milestone XProtect Professional and XProtect Essential to manage 200 AXIS, Sony, Vivotek and Mobotix cameras. The cameras are installed throughout the entire municipality at hospitals, sports fields, harbors and schools. Hallstrom integrated Blackbox Light Control System, which has enabled the municipality to use XProtect Smart Client and Milestone Mobile to control not only cameras, but also all public lighting systems. Hallstrom set up the users with the XProtect Smart Client Finnish language interface, which significantly eases day-to-day operations for Kontiolahti Municipality.

The Advantages:
The Milestone XProtect solution has provided Kontiolahti with increased safety and has led to a significant reduction in vandalism saving around USD69,054 a year. The municipality can easily expand their security solution to more uses with the Milestone open platform.

Large yearly savings from reduced vandalism thanks to Milestone
The Milestone surveillance solution is installed all over Kontiolahti Municipality for many purposes, including keeping the citizens of Kontiolahti safe in public: “The general opinion in the population is that security has increased after we have installed the new solution,” states Eero Polonen, Technical Manager at Kontiolahti Municipality. The estimated savings are €50,000 a year due to reduced vandalism.

“Before we installed Milestone XProtect we were experiencing a lot of vandalism at schools in our area and at the harbor, where fuel and motors from the boats were frequently being stolen. That was the reason why we decided to install a new security system: to reduce the destruction of our facilities and further increase safety for our population,” states Polonen.

“A new security system was badly needed since the previous one was both outdated and lacked user-friendliness” relates Polonen.

To find a better solution to secure the municipality, Eero Polonen teamed up with Milestone Partner through seven years, Hallstrom LTD Partnership. Hqllstrom is a Finnish expert in the fields of ICT and security, and is one of the leading suppliers of IP-based surveillance solutions in Finland. Their effective solution with Milestone XProtect Professional and XProtect Essential has significantly made a difference in helping the municipality with their problems.

“We chose Milestone XProtect because the product is reliable and stable, which is very important for us. Moreover, the Milestone solution is scalable, so it can be used in everything from small systems to very large systems. That is a big advantage,” says Polonen.

Kontiolahti gets additional benefits from using open platform software
Besides helping the municipality reduce vandalism, the video monitoring solution is also used to secure the personal safety of citizens living in elderly homes and for checking conditions at sports venues: “With Milestone Mobile we remotely check the condition of a sports field to plan maintenance, for example,” says Polonen. The solution has also proven to be beneficial during the long cold winters: “In winter the staff can remotely check how much snow falls to decide how often they have to plow ice away from roads and parking places.”

 The integration benefits of open platform
Kontiolahti Municipality sees many advantages of the Milestone open platform that makes it easy to integrate with third-party systems.

“Hallstrom has integrated XProtect with the Blackbox Light Control System. This allows us to control the lights at different locations directly from the XProtect Smart Client interface,” says Polonen. “A big plus in regards to the XProtect Smart Client is that it has been translated to Finnish. That contributes to making the clients easy to use. In general, I think the XProtect Smart Client is very intuitive and easy to manage and the fact that we can use the same client for all platforms is an extra plus.”

It was the system integrator Hallstrom who recommended Kontiolahti to go with the Milestone solution, and Hallstrom has thoroughly trained each of the users in how to use the solution. “We have received very good support from Hallstrom who has quickly responded to our questions and inquiries throughout the purchasing, installation and support process,” concludes Eero Polonen and adds that the municipality is planning on expanding the solution to cover even more institutions.

 

Fact box

 

software

XProtect Professional and XProtect Essential

clients

XProtect Smart Client and Milestone Mobile

NUmber of cameras

200

camera models

15 AXIS P1357E cameras, 20 Mobotix D14 cameras and 60 Vivotek MD7650 cameras, and a few Sony and Vivotek PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras

type of network

3G network, wireless LAN and the municipality's intranet

Central/Local management

Local, remote

Integration

Blackbox Light Control System

 

 

Synectics to showcase Synergy 3 at Counter Terror Expo 2014

Synectics to showcase Synergy 3 at Counter Terror Expo 2014

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 4/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Synectics will showcase its evolved Synergy 3 command and control platform at Counter Terror Expo 2014, the international security event at London's Olympia exhibition centre.

The latest evolution of Synectics' field-proven technology, Synergy 3 is the result of over 25 years' security industry experience and sector expertise. Simple to deploy and integrate, Synergy 3 provides a flexible, open platform to suit a range of applications across sectors including critical national infrastructure, oil and gas, and high security.

Visitors to the Synectics stand at Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be introduced to the integrated command and control system, which enables alarms and events, security and process control sub-systems, video, and data to be monitored, managed and recorded from a single unified interface. Demonstrations will be offered highlighting Synergy 3's new and enhanced functionality, including its fully customisable user interface and interactive mapping engine with GIS technology, along with the flexible, tiered software licensing options.

Synectics' COEX 2000 and 3000 camera stations, which provide surveillance for the world's most challenging oil and gas and marine applications, will also be available for demonstration.

Another highlight of Synectics' presence at Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be a presentation by David Aindow, Product and Technology Director at Synectic Systems. He will deliver a session in the Security Solutions Seminar Theatre - Intelligently Integrated Surveillance Solutions - at 11.30am on Tuesday, 29th April.

The presentation will include an insight into the part that an integrated solution can play in managing advanced security needs, risk mitigation and improved efficiency, and the future of integration.

Paul Webb, Managing Director, Synectic Systems, said: “Counter Terror Expo 2014 is a key date in the global security calendar. Synectics is proud to be taking part in an event which will help to determine the future for international security in an evolving world.

“We are looking forward to meeting customers and sharing the potential benefits that Synergy 3 can now bring to end users of every type and size – from small companies to enterprise-scale operators.

“We are certain that Synergy 3 is the ideal solution for critical national infrastructure, oil and gas, and marine environments, where risk mitigation and improved operational efficiency is essential. It is now easier than ever to deploy a command and control solution tailored to suit any surveillance or business intelligence requirement.”

Pelco IP cams integrated with March Networks Command VMS

Pelco IP cams integrated with March Networks Command VMS

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 4/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks and Pelco by Schneider Electric announced the integration of the March Networks Command video management system (VMS) with Sarix Series IP cameras, Spectra HD Dome PTZ and Sarix TI Thermal Imaging camera systems. The integration provides organizations with greater flexibility when selecting an IP video surveillance solution, and ensures faster, more cost-effective system deployment.

“We are excited by this support for our complete range of IP cameras, including our new Sarix Professional and Enhanced Ranges, by the March Networks VMS solution,” said Kristina Holmqvist, Business Development Manager EMEA at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “This integration provides the possibility for our joint customers to use our multipurpose range of cameras with March Networks' high performance solution.”

March Networks Command is a scalable, standards-based VMS designed to work seamlessly with leading security products and systems. This open approach makes it easy for customers to adopt the software solution and choose the IP edge devices that are best for their applications. Command is one of the only VMS solutions able to support complete surveillance system configuration and administration – in addition to live and archived video access – via its browser-based client interface.

Built upon the three pillars of innovative imaging science, sophisticated industrial design, and advanced processing power, Sarix delivers a crisp, clear image. With the Sarix Series, Pelco by Schneider Electric offers a complete line of IP bullet, box and dome cameras for any lighting condition, application and environment. All new Sarix cameras integrate with major third-party video management systems through the Pelco API, and other third-party software and systems through the ONVIF Profile S standard, and they work seamlessly with Pelco video management systems.

The deep Command 1.7 integration with Pelco IP cameras supports a complete list of capabilities including: audio capture; H.264, M-JPEG and MPEG4 video compression; multi-encoding; presets and tours; motion, Adaptive Motion and Directional Motion detection; and robust I/O and PTZ control.

“Working with best-in-class security manufacturers like Pelco to expand the choices available to our Command VMS customers is a priority for our company,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. “We are pleased to announce this integration and join Pelco's Partner First community.”

VIVOTEK panoramic PTZ cameras integrate with AxxonSoft VMS

VIVOTEK panoramic PTZ cameras integrate with AxxonSoft VMS

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 4/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK has announced successful integration of two of its latest security solution technologies with AxxonSoft's widely used Axxon Next video management software (VMS). The first integration move allows Axxon Next users to transparently access and control VIVOTEK's sophisticated Panoramic PTZ feature as implemented on two coordinated VIVOTEK cameras. In a further move, VIVOTEK has enabled integration of the Axxon Next interface with VIVOTEK's Smart Stream technology for optimizing video streaming from one of its award-winning cameras.

The integration with Axxon Next has enhanced the agility and scalability of VIVOTEK's Panoramic PTZ solutions. Panoramic PTZ draws on a combination of VIVOTEK megapixel fisheye camera SF8172/72V with speed dome camera SD8363E, allowing users to simultaneously monitor an area overview from a fisheye model while providing the capability for a detailed regional view from a speed dome. The fisheye camera provides 180° panoramic view or 360° surround view without blind spots. With sophisticated mechanism, the SD8363E provides fast, precise pan/tilt/zoom movement and captures details at top-notch quality. With the new advance in integration, Axxon Next users can take advantage of the VMS package's new Tag & Track feature—which allows the labeling and tracking of moving objects either selected manually or detected automatically—using VIVOTEK's box camera IP8162P for overviews and the speed dome camera SD8363E for detailed views of the tracked objects. As a result, existing Panoramic PTZ users have an additional popular VMS option that allows them to continue drawing on the powerful capabilities of VIVOTEK's technology without compromises to usability.

In addition, VIVOTEK has also completed integration of its Smart Stream technology on its IP8371E camera with the AxxonSoft VMS. VIVOTEK's Smart Stream reduces bandwidth consumption and storage requirements of video from the IP8371E camera, by using full resolution only for predefined areas in the field of view—either regions of interest, or automatically detected moving objects—while utilizing a lower baseline resolution for background areas of no interest for the surveillance application. Integration of Smart Stream with Axxon Next allows users of the VMS to gain the benefits of this advanced feature while providing simple management from the VMS's native interface.

Commenting on the company's latest moves, VIVOTEK Executive Vice President Steve Ma said: "We're delighted to build even greater integration of our Panoramic PTZ and Smart Stream technologies with AxxonSoft's terrific open-platform video management software. Existing customers of both VIVOTEK and AxxonSoft will benefit, and seamless interoperability between our cameras and Axxon Next make for an extremely appealing surveillance solution for potential new customers as well."

Genetec IP video surveillance safeguards India diamond maker

Genetec IP video surveillance safeguards India diamond maker

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 4/14/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Not many people know that 92% of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in the city of Surat, India. Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. (SRK) is the leading diamond manufacturer in the region. The company processes more than 720,000 carats of rough diamonds annually and owns the world's largest and most progressive diamond processing facility. The company also has 2 headquarter buildings in Mumbai as well as another older factory in Surat. Protecting these diamonds that range in value from thousands to millions of US dollars from internal theft or loss requires a very thorough approach to security.

During construction of their new state-of-the-art, six-story diamond plant, SRK set up a fully IP-based video surveillance system to leverage a new network and infrastructure. SRK had an analog system in the older factory and was looking for improved clarity and more powerful features to investigate missing assets and track unusual behaviours. However, after 6 months in operation, SRK realized the limitations of their choice.

“The initial IP video software SRK selected was only able to support 40-50 cameras per server. In growing the system, SRK had to decide whether they would spend a lot more money on servers or change the software to one that would provide greater network efficiency,” explained Santosh Kamble, Managing Director at NexGen Integrated Systems Pvt. Ltd., the Genetec-certified integrator for SRK.

Looking for a more cost-effective solution for long-term growth, SRK choose Genetec Security Center unified platform. SRK was also interested in Security Center's ease of use and the ability to later integrate access control and license plate recognition within their platform.

Safeguarding Million-Dollar Diamonds with Security Center
Today, Security Center has been fully deployed and its video surveillance system, Omnicast is managing over 1100 IP cameras across 3 buildings: the new factory in Surat and the 2 SRK headquarter buildings. The most vital feature in helping SRK maximise their infrastructure investments was Multicast. With this unique Security Center feature, many users can view a video feed simultaneously without overcrowding the network or overloading the servers because Multicast uses the bandwidth of each network segment only once.

According to Shreyans Dholakia, Director at SRK Export, “We were able to keep our existing infrastructure, and get over 100 cameras per server. So in terms of scalability, it was an excellent solution.”

SRK has benefitted from the user-friendly system during investigations, as its team often uses bookmarking, image exports, instant playbacks, and mobile system access from iPads. Thanks to Security Center Mobile, SRK directors can easily pull-up video from their mobile phones, within or outside of their offices.

“Our floor managers are always on the move. So when incidents happen, they are able to do a little bit of investigation from their iPad to identify issues. They will then report their findings to the factory manager. Together with security and IT, our managers take a closer look in the control room. In terms of day-to-day operations, it has become so much easier and faster to review video. We can move forward and backwards, without any delays in accessing the video,” elaborated Mr. Dholakia.

SRK's IT team has also found Security Center to be extremely reliable and very easy to maintain. “Two of IT administrators underwent Authorized Genetec training. We feel we have really mastered our system and remain in control of regular maintenance. Even without any new updates, we can easily manage and maintain our system for a few years,” said Mr. Dholakia. Tools such as Advanced Health Monitoring help the SRK team stay up to speed by automatically logging system health events and providing warnings for all basic components.

Expanding Investment in Genetec IP Security Solutions
“Since installing Genetec, we are very happy. We have established a good partnership with Genetec, and will continue growing our security system with Genetec,” advocated Mr. Dholakia while discussing plans to expand their Security Center system into the older Surat factory.

Other plans such as integrating Omnicast with access control, license plate recognition and asset tracking systems are also on their maybe-later list. “In the future, SRK will integrate Security Center with their RFID-enabled diamond tracking system to identify the real-time location of diamond packages and receive alarms if they move outside designated zones,” clarified Mr. Kamble.

In the meantime, SRK has one of India's most progressive security solutions, proving the following statement encompasses everything, even its security: “Technological superiority and high quality form the backbone of Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. (SRK).”

A Closer Look at the Infrastructure
A total of about 930 Axis Communications IP cameras including models Axis M1114, Axis M1346, Axis P5534, Axis M3204, and Axis P3346 are spread through SRK's new diamond processing plant, suggesting over 100 cameras per floor. The remaining cameras cover both buildings at the main headquarters in Mumbai, with approximately 100 cameras each. Video from all these cameras are hosted on seven servers with SAN storage which allows SRK the ability to retain video recordings for about 15 days.

 

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

Editor / Provider: IdigoVision | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

 John Semple, Head of Product Management for IndigoVision, explains the individual and collective strengths of Access Control and Video Management Software.

Both Access Control software and Video Management Software (VMS) have become vital components in modern security systems. However, many are confused as to how exactly the two should be deployed.

It is important to get this right, as the two have very different strengths and features, and deploying the wrong one as the front end could leave end users without features that could be useful, or even vital to their security system.

In this article, we will examine the strengths of both Access Control and VMS, and how the two can be used to enhance each other and provide a better all-round security system.

The Strength of Access Control
Access Control systems are designed with immediacy in mind. Whenever someone interacts with the system, by swiping an ID card for example, the system immediately informs the operator who is requesting clearance, and what they are attempting to access.

It does this by accessing an extensive database, which can include information such as names, pass codes etc.

One striking aspect of this process is how the system relies on the person in question co-operating with it; in order to be effective, it requires the subject to willingly interact with the system. Let's take, as an example, a member of staff walking up to a door to swipe their ID card; they actively wish to be identified as they know they are.

Access Control software, even with video integration, is designed for this type of installation. Video functionality is often a basic “live video” pop up, giving visual verification along with the Access Control database information.

Unfortunately, Access Control systems are ill-equipped to deal with an intruder actively seeking to bypass the system by forcing entry through a door or gate. It is also limited when dealing with intruders bypassing controlled entry points altogether by forcing entry through a window or fence. In cases such as this, basic video display in the Access Control software provides limited information beyond the initial alarm, making it difficult to establish precisely what happened and has limited pre and post-event video analysis capabilities.

The Advantages of Video Management
This is where VMS comes into its own, with its more proactive nature allowing it to detect intruders whether they choose to engage with the surveillance system or not.

This means that VMS can provide a complete visual account of events before during and after an incident, leaving operators in no doubt as to what transpired.

Indeed, the ability to review evidence from before during and after an event is one of VMS' greatest strengths. Designed with a more forensic-based approach in mind, VMS features tools, such as thumbnails and bookmarks, to allow specific clips to be marked, searched and reviewed effortlessly. The footage can then be easily exported to the appropriate authorities.

This means that VMS can quickly establish a detailed timeline of events leading up to and following the main incident, which can provide vital information in an investigation, or key evidence in a trial. IndigoVision's Control Center even water marks video, both at the point of recording and again at the point of export, to guarantee that the video is authentic and has not been tampered with.

The superior analytics the VMS supports such as motion detection are another asset, as they offer a wider variety of logics to trigger alarms. In the case of IndigoVision's Control Center there is an additional benefit in the form of Activity Controlled Frame rate, which allows cameras to function at low frame rate and only increase to full frame rate if an analytic is triggered with no impact on video quality, while greatly reducing storage.

It is also worth noting that the VMS offers far more comprehensive surveillance, for example if a building is protected by Access Control alone and a car outside is stolen, the system will be of limited help. A strong VMS however could capture the incident and provide valuable evidence to resolve the situation.

So while Access Control performs one specific function exceptionally well, VMS is able to provide the security surveillance for a variety of areas of the property to be secured, creating a more adaptable and comprehensive surveillance system. All of these features mean that VMS is highly effective in open areas, areas of high traffic where checkpoints are not feasible, or areas with multiple points of entry, such as an airport.

Integration – The Best of Both
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that Access Control and VMS providers have been working to integrate with one another.

This allows Access Control systems to employ more video functionality such as live & playback video and PTZ control & export, while VMS can monitor Access Control events such as elevator control, card tracing and advanced door monitoring.

In most cases though, it is still best to deploy Access Control and VMS side by side, as this creates a more robust and well-rounded system. If the security system has been designed around limited entry points, with Access Control entry, and the operator only requires a basic visual verification, then Access Control software may be sufficient.

However, the more advanced analytics and forensic capabilities of VMS, combined with its versatility and wider coverage, make it better suited for monitoring larger areas with numerous entry points. Therefore in these environments, VMS should be the front-end, with an integrated Access Control plugin to allow management of events and alarms.

Axis to showcase new video surveillance at Counter Terror Expo

Axis to showcase new video surveillance at Counter Terror Expo

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

As well as showcasing its latest network video innovations at the international security trade show, Axis will be joined by Digital Barriers, which specialises in advanced surveillance technologies to the international domestic security and defence markets.

Axis will be exhibiting at stand E45 at the event at the Olympia in London. At the Axis booth, visitors will get the chance to explore the benefits of network video solutions for any public infrastructure surveillance application, especially around the following areas:

* Efficient protection of people and property
* Reduced vandalism and crime
* Enhancement of the city's image
* Improved traffic monitoring.

Atul Rajput, regional director, northern Europe, Axis Communications, said: “The secret to success in the world of video surveillance is to create an environment where everyone can perform at their best while feeling safe and secure.

“Network video offers countless possibilities for infrastructure operators to integrate security, safety and production control in one system; a system that allows supervision of all processes, video surveillance, intrusion protection and access control to remote sites, several locations and, if needed, into one centrally-located control room and even on a smartphone!

“At the event, we hope to demonstrate to our guests that regardless of what other technologies are being used, the network camera should always be the starting point when planning and designing the surveillance and protection of critical infrastructure.”

Dave Oliver, director UK enterprise account sales at Digital Barriers, added: “We are very excited to be launching our SafeZone-edge embedded intrusion detection system at Counter Terror Expo. It combines performance, simplicity, resilience and affordability. It has been certified under the Home Office's i-LIDS scheme as a primary detection system for operational alert use in sterile zone monitoring applications. It provides a compelling new argument for Axis camera installers and operators to embed analytics at the edge of the network.”

Amongst others, Axis will be exhibiting the following products:
* AXIS P5414-E PTZ Dome Network Camera – Intelligent direct drive PTZ dome with HDTV 720p
* AXIS P8514 Network Camera - Eye-level covertly mounted HDTV camera
* AXIS P3384-VE Network Camera – Outdoor, vandal resistant HDTV fixed dome with outstanding video quality in demanding light conditions
* AXIS P1204 Network Camera – Miniature HDTV pinhole camera for discreet surveillance
* AXIS Q6045-S PTZ Dome Network Camera – Pressurised, stainless steel PTZ dome with HDTV 1080p

 

Verint unveils Nextiva SMC, next-generation situation management solution

Verint unveils Nextiva SMC, next-generation situation management solution

Editor / Provider: Vernit System | Updated: 4/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Verint Systems Inc. introduced Nextiva SMC, a Situation Management Center, powered by Nextiva Fusion. Based on an open, scalable and expandable platform, the SMC solution integrates with a multitude of sensors and systems to increase situation management and improve the security and safety of people, property and assets.

Nextiva SMC is a comprehensive software solution that provides capabilities for the various phases of situation management, including real-time situation awareness, efficient response and notification, investigation and debriefing, planning and compliance, and preventive intelligence. Powered by Nextiva Fusion, Verint's new platform engine that drives constant relation and location dynamics across all events and incidents, Nextiva SMC is designed for efficient object identification, information correlation, and location analytics across data and sensors from integrated subsystems. The solution can manage thousands of sensors and systems used for identity, security, life safety, CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives), building management, communications, transportation and mobility, and environmental issues. It uses a GIS-based visual database to link sensors, maps and events together to provide users with a unified and easy-to-use interface for situation management.

"Today's security organizations are faced with a variety of security and safety vulnerabilities and situations driven by the growth in urbanization and rapid socio-economic developments, as well as the surge in big data created by human-to-computer and machine-to-machine communications," explains Steve Weller, senior vice president and general manager, Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions "Nextiva SMC is designed to help organizations transition to solutions that analyze the growing streams of data being captured, and to filter through the 'noise' to get the most relevant security and operational information to make informed, immediate decisions."

With Nextiva SMC, users can integrate multiple devices and platforms to boost enterprise, security and business intelligence to achieve:

*Enhanced response time and effectiveness
Operators can view the location of all fixed and mobile sensors and targets of interest to identify incidents before they impact business operations. *Greater operator efficiency
Organizations can benefit from a unified view and workflow across their entire network of sensors and systems streamline operations and management. Operators can filter false alarms through visual and alarm verification, collaborate on incidents and build unified incident reconstruction across multiple data sources.

*Better training and compliance
Security procedures are predefined and designed to comply with operating standards. Time previously spent handling tasks can become more streamlined, and metrics and dashboards can heighten operational efficiencies.

*Lower cost of security infrastructure
By connecting to current infrastructures, organizations can minimize the need to replace existing systems and scale to future application and system integrations.

* An established, next-generation situation management platform
Additional data sources and modules can be integrated to help accommodate an organization's changing needs and evolving requirements, providing an on-going and unified approach to security intelligence.

The Verint Nextiva SMC solution is designed to help increase operational efficiency, which can be measured in more investigations per operator, incidents per operator and incidents that are prevented. The total return on investment (ROI) can also be reflected in lower incident handling time, dispatch time, and fewer false alarms. By leveraging Nextiva SMC, response time can be expedited and investigations can be simplified.

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

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

Situational awareness has become a leading consideration in the protection of critical infrastructures, particularly for sites that want to conduct higher risk management and decrease the damage caused by potential threats. According to a market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the global security market for situational awareness systems — ranging from access control; physical security information management (PSIM) software; human-machine interface (HMI); video systems; and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defense systems — is expected to generate revenue of US$168.3 billion by 2020, growing at an estimated CAGR of 10.1 percent from 2013 to 2020. Every critical site demands a different level of integration, mostly dependent on the possible challenges and threats.

Ranging from natural conditions to social demonstrations, critical infrastructures need to be prepared for whatever may jeopardize the security of their sites. Critical infrastructures often cover a vast area and contain hazardous substances, making them an even bigger challenge to protect. If a critical site is not properly secured, any attack could possibly lead to hazardous consequences. In order to be able to instantly respond to a threatening incident, the solution has to allow operators to deploy every subsystem in the site through the same centralized management platform. More importantly, the centralized management platform should be able to communicate with both new and legacy systems. To answer the unique requirements of the critical infrastructure sector, many situational awareness systems, particularly PSIM solutions, have been strongly promoted in this market.

ADOPTION OF PSIM
During the last few years, adoption of PSIM solutions has dramatically increased in the critical infrastructure sector. As an emerging segment, the PSIM market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25.8 percent from 2013 to 2019, due to the decreasing prices and increasing awareness among end users, according to Transparency Market Research. “It can be said that by pure volume, PSIM software may still be in the innovation phase of adoption, which is around 2.5 percent of all available customers; on the other hand, there are some indicators that suggest that PSIM software adopting has moved into an early adoption phase, which is around 13.5 percent of customers,” said Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

PSIM solutions are being increasingly used in government applications, such as law enforcement agencies, the military, ports, airports, transit systems, civilian agencies, and corporations with critical infrastructure assets. For instance, the city of Baltimore, U.S., has used PSIM to link assets and creat interoperability between around 50 agencies for large-scale public events. While, the new World Trade Center complex in New York City, U.S., has decided to use PSIM software as part of the ground-up solution for security and building management systems, according to Darren Chalmers-Stevens, VP of EMEA at VidSys.

PSIM: TOTAL INTEGRATION PLATFORM
PSIM solutions seem to be the answer to the demand of centralized management systems, offering efficient threat-response procedures. PSIM software provides organizations with a seamless interface, integrating security systems, building management, and on-site facilities and subsystems that enable operators to deploy every device when required. Furthermore, PSIM software is able to integrate systems — such as perimeter, intrusion/motion detection, video surveillance, access control, fire alarm, mass notification systems, audio, gas detection, radio communication, Internet, IT, and building automation — both legacy and new, making them interoperable on the same interface and workable with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Pre-Programmed Course of Responses
In addition to enhancing centralized management, PSIM software can proactively protect critical sites from potential threats and minimize damage with a series of coordinated and predetermined responses. “A PSIM solution allows organizations responsible for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) to take a proactive approach to security by implementing measures supported by resilient business processes for identifying, investigating, responding to, and recovering from a range of security threats,” stated Keith Bloodworth, CEO of CNL Software. “The pre-programmed response is done by tailoring the solution to manage the standard operating procedures as dictated by the plant or facility and by building an effective network of communications with external systems, and in an emergency, this may prevent a disaster turning into a tragedy with massive impact.” Once the system is aware of danger or an abnormal event around the site, the PSIM software will send out notifications to related individuals, and suggest a series of tailored operating procedures.

As an open software platform, PSIM software is able to integrate analog and IP-based devices and systems, aggregate information from all facilities, communicate among integrated systems, and then provide real-time alarm and event verification, as well as prioritize emergency response, which can ease labor intensive operations and increase efficiency, as Chalmers-Stevens explained. For instance, if an alarm is triggered by a sensor or motion detector somewhere on the site, corresponding live surveillance images from around the location will then be automatically presented to an operator in the security center. In the mean time, the geospatial location will be sent to the PSIM system, which then identifies the incident site on a map and responds to the threat accordingly. Since the threat-response procedures are all pre-programmed, any operator on that shift would know exactly how to deal with the problem.

REMINDERS BEFORE CHOOSING PSIM SOFTWARE FOR CIP
PSIM software is used for situation management; however, it has become harder to satisfy end users' requirements from various verticals, as this software is mostly focused on security and overlooks specific demands from different sectors. For example, “In areas subject to flooding and landslides, the cost-benefit of the pluviometer [rain gauge] integration far outweighs the value many PSIM solutions provide by integrating to the standard players in the security area,” Phillips pointed out. “The critical infrastructure customer finds it more affordable to replace one or more of the existing video systems than to wait for a PSIM provider to adapt to their environment.”

Despite the fact that PSIM software can provide critical infrastructures with a totally integrated platform, there are still some challenges that PSIM vendors have to contend with. One problem is reaching a consensus on total integration between all the departments in an organization, especially the IT and security teams. Since different departments have different security concerns, some might be nervous about sharing access to a database and servers on a centralized platform for example, according to Chalmers-Stevens.

In addition, critical infrastructure is a competitive sector in the security market, especially since required solutions and security management platforms can be provided by not only PSIM companies but many other VMS companies as well. A PSIM solution can be far above most end users' budgets — critical infrastructures usually have a higher budget for hardware, but software products are not always given the same consideration, according to Bloodworth. In order to deploy similar integration and management systems, end users must sometimes make compromises, opting for other affordable solutions and products that offer them acceptable and alike functionality.

FINAL WORDS
Even though past obstacles remain as issue, PSIM software manufacturers continue to pay attention to the education of end users in critical infrastructures every year. PSIM software, as an example here, demonstrates how important it is for critical infrastructures to improve their total security via situational awareness systems and the benefits they can get from the systems. It could be expected that, in addition to PSIM solutions, the adoption of situational awareness systems will peak significantly in the coming years.

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