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Cracking down on camera hacks

Cracking down on camera hacks

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 9/17/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Recent reports on baby cam hacks raised new concerns over malicious intrusion into networked security devices. The threat is even more imminent for home and small business users who are not as well protected as their enterprise counterparts. Luckily for them, most of today's network camera manufacturers work hard to keep flaws to a minimum and equip their products with various security features.

Two recent incidents where baby cams were attacked by hackers caught the attention of vendors and users alike. One happened in Ohio just in April, when a couple was awoken late at night by strange sounds coming from the baby cam in their toddler's room, only to find that the camera had been taken control over by a hacker. A similar incident happened last year, when a Houston couple heard a man swearing through the baby cam in their infant's room and found out the Wi-Fi-connected device was hacked. In both cases, it was found that the cameras, made by the same vendor, contained security flaws that could easily be exploited.

In fact, hacking can happen to not just cameras but also practically any device on the Internet. Last year, the NAS device of a particular vendor was found to have a vulnerability potentially allowing attackers to execute arbitrary commands on the system. The vendor has since released a patch to solve this problem.

The above incidents illustrate the danger facing users of network cameras and other security devices, which may be targets for malicious intruders. That danger is even more imminent for home and SMB users who, unlike their enterprise counterparts, are not protected by firewalls or advanced perimeter defense software. What they can do to protect themselves has therefore become an urgent issue. Luckily for them, today's network camera makers work hard to minimize flaws and equip their products with various security features, which users should take advantage of to reduce the risk of these devices being hacked. “In general it is not possible to guarantee that computers and network devices do not contain flaws that may be exploited for malicious attack. However, there are measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risk considerably and eliminate the obvious flaws,” said Fred Juhlin, Senior Consultant for Solution Management at Axis Communications, whose Companion series targets home and SMB users.

Access
Unauthorized access to a system can be prevented by a simple yet effective method called password protection. Most network cameras today allow users to create their own usernames and passwords, which can be secured through various means. Zinwell, which makes power line-based home security cameras, has patented a technology that keeps passwords from being sent out to the Internet. “In that case, hackers won't be able to get passwords from the Web,” said Ben Huang, Senior Marketing Supervisor at Zinwell.

Encryption of passwords is another protection method. “The user has the option to let the system remember passwords, and if so the client protects the password with encryption,” said Juhlin.

Once a user accesses the camera, it's a good idea for the device to have multilevel access control based on the user's privilege. For example, a regular user may only view streaming video, while an administrator may access the camera's storage or control the device. In fact, most network cameras today offer this functionality. “This means users can control exactly who can see what in their system, and that their video is safe from any form of third-party manipulation,” Juhlin said.

Encryption
Many IP cams also allow encryption. The videos can be encrypted before being sent over to the network to make sure that unauthorized persons cannot view or tamper with the data. Different encryption technologies are used. One of the most commonly used is SSL/TLS, which encrypts contents with special codes that can be deciphered only by pairs of public and private keys, the latter of which are hidden in the computers of the communicating parties. As private keys can be obtained in a security breach, Bosch, whose Advantage line also targets home and SMB users, makes sure that this will never happen.

“The SSL private key of the device is stored securely on the smart card chip that is directly involved in the SSL connection setup. The private key never leaves the chip and cannot be read out even if the user has complete access to the device,” said Konrad Simon, Product Manager for IP Video at Bosch Security Systems. “This way no access is possible to the private key, even in a hostile approach someone would have achieved to read sensitive data from internal memory.”

Advanced encryption standard (AES) is a protocol that encrypts contents with 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit keys, making encoded messages harder to decipher by untrusted parties. Among camera makers that use AES is Amaryllo, another home security camera maker. It uses 256-bit encryption, at the same time ensuring that video latency is less than 0.5 seconds.

Keeping Flaws to a Minimum
Vendors who are security-minded keep exploitable flaws to a minimum. One way to achieve this is checking third-party software regularly to make sure problematic software isn‘t incorporated into their products. As an example, to implement SSL encryption, many camera makers use OpenSSL, which drew huge attention in the security world in April when it was found it contained a bug called Heartbleed. If left ignored, Heartbleed could lead to the leak of sensitive data, such as usernames and passwords. One camera maker that managed to avert this disaster was Bosch. “We do not use OpenSSL as SSL implementation on our IP cameras, encoders, and decoders. The SSL implementation in our devices is not OpenSSL, nor is it related, so Heartbleed did not affect us at all,” Simon said.

Crowdsourcing, where users in a community share their collective wisdom, is another way to identify flaws and get them fixed. “We monitor discussions in the network community to quickly identify possible vulnerabilities which may impact our products. If a vulnerability is discovered, we will provide patches, firmware, risk analysis, or recommendation to our customers,” Axis's Juhlin said.

User Awareness
While camera vendors may have included a range of security features in their devices, users should also do their part by taking advantage of these features. For example, it's often the case that users simply use the camera maker's default username and password settings, which are easily obtainable. It is also important to check for notices on firmware updates or security patches, which are normally sent via e-mail. Moreover, users may consider isolating their cameras from a local network, since hackers may attack other devices in the network through the camera.

A Two-Way Street
Keeping hackers at bay requires a commitment by both vendors and users. The vendor should build their products with the concept of “security” in mind, while users should familiarize themselves with security features included in cameras and use them whenever possible. It's only through this two-way street can security camera users achieve their primary objective — keeping safe — without being harmed in the process.

4 hotel security highlights provided by 5 leading suppliers

4 hotel security highlights provided by 5 leading suppliers

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 9/12/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hotel security deployment has become even prominent than ever as a strong growth has seen in the international tourism industry over the past decades. It is projected that in 2030, international tourist arrivals worldwide will reach the gate of 1,800 millions, compared to around 500 millions arrivals back in 1995, according to Statista.

The requirements from hospitality vertical are no longer merely focusing on traditional surveillance and access control deployments, despite it is widely recognized that blending in the surrounding decoration is the baseline for hotel security installation. In today's market, a unified solution that effectively assists hotel operation and staff management is much more popular and desirable.

In this article, asmag.com would like to show our readers some of the latest and the must-know considerations provided by several professional global suppliers in the terms of deploying hotel solution in the up-to-date market:

1. Guests' comfort and safety always come first
In the hospitality security market, guests' requirements have to be the highest consideration. Despite the fact that the most important thing for video surveillance is capturing clear monitoring pictures possibly needed, in a hotel, the foremost function of surveillance systems should be providing guests peace-in-mind feeling.


“For guests, the hotel rooms as well as the public areas of the hotel are used for their purposes and comfort. But for the hotel staff, it is seen as their workplace, which also brings a different aspect of video surveillance into mind,” according to AXIS Communications. “A video surveillance system will contribute to the guest safeguarding since it can help hotel security management to detect incidents and intrusion and act upon it as well as preventing it from happening.”

The luxury boutique hotel, La Suite West, located in London has deployed a discret surveillance system consisting of Axis network cameras that blend in with hotel decor.

2. IP gets an upper hand for its flexibility, remote monitoring, high-quality image, and cost-efficiency
Undeniably, compared to analog system, network systems is more flexible and, generally, cost-efficient when system expansion is in need. “We are definitely seeing a trend of more hotels adopting IP cameras as opposed to analog, due to the ease of integrating IP cameras with current security or control systems, and the cost saving achieved by using less cabling,” according to SONY Electronics Asia Pacific.


Not to mention the high image quality delivered by IP systems which makes it easier to spot details such as suspects' facial features. More importantly, network recording can be forwarded to related authorities conveniently as emergent incident taking place. Network systems also imply that remote monitoring via smart devices has become a real possibility.


Dahua Technology has also provided an alternative option for end user who desires for HD image resolution without immigrating from analog to IP systems. “HDCVI provides full HD and 720p image resolution based on the exsisting cabling, while it's cheaper than IP solution at the same time, so it is very natural for HDCVI to gain the favor from owners who run places with analog surveillance systems,” as Sancha Xia, Overseas Sales at Dahua Technology indicated. Earlier this year, Dahua has provided in-house HDCVI solution to 5-star hotel in Shanghai better securing the hotel and guests.

3. Extreme light and low-light condition make image unrecognizable – WDR & 3D DNR
For the end users in hotel vertical, it is inevitable to deal with surveillance under extreme light or low light condition. The entrance is one of the most important locations to watch over carefully 24/7. However, the surveillance could be challenging at the entrance and areas with varying light condition making people and incident too hard to recognize.


“Wide dynamic range (WDR) technology is a network camera feature that handles a wide range of lighting conditions in a scene…WDR enables objects to be visible in both bright and dark areas by applying various techniques,” as AXIS Communications suggests.


On the other hand, noise reduction is a necessary technique when it comes to hotel surveillance systems adoption. Under low-light or no-light condition, increased noise in the monitoring picture may lead to misjudgment, taking image noise as a true motion. “IP cameras provided by LILIN are equipped with 3D digital noise reduction (3D DNR), and, at the same time, incorporate spatial noise reduction. The entire image processed with 3D DNR technology is clear and noise-free,” according to Merit LILIN. One of the most established chained hotel in Beijing deployed LILIN's video security systems with advanced technologies such as WDR and 3D DNR to reach total situational awareness.

4. Security systems as added value for hospitality – branding and operation management
Due to the increasing terrorism incidents in the past decade, security has become a main concern for the tourists and business trip travelers as many are aware of possible security threats during trips. Therefore, a high-level and stringent security system can often drive hotel revenues and boost occupancy, as Pavel Petrov, Solution Consultant of Business Developement of EMEA at Bosch Security Systems convinced. “Therefore, more and more hotels worldwide do opt for voluntary certification procedures, marketing themselves as safe hotels. On the other hand, a major security breach can have devastating effects on hotel's brand, which is usually its most important asset.”


Moreover, security systems deployed in hotel can be further used as part of the hotel management. For example, not only biometrics access systems can be installed in guest rooms and staff offices, it can also be used for time attendance management. Surveillance monitoring, other than its security purpose, can be used as food and beverage management and staff training material in order to improve hotel services.

 

 

Full Content of Hotel Feature 2014 
                     - 8 selected case studies and 3 solutions

 

 

Industry report: Marriage of IP Video and VMS

Industry report: Marriage of IP Video and VMS

Editor / Provider: EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 9/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

By now, the news of Canon Europe acquiring Milestone Systems has made its way into every nook and cranny of the security industry. While the acquisition itself may not have come as such a surprise, the fact that Canon Europe, a small fish in the video surveillance game, was the acquirer proved to be much more of a shocker. Now, the question of what this means for other video surveillance and video management software (VMS) companies is weighing heavily on the industry's mind.

In a recent report by IHS Research, Milestone Systems was named the number one VMS company globally in terms of market share in 2013, with a year-over-year revenue growth of 32 percent. Despite being at the top, Milestone still has a market share of less than 10 percent, making the fragmentation of the VMS market quite apparent.

When the announcement came in June that the global leader in VMS was acquired by Canon Europe, many were stunned. The fact that Milestone was acquired wasn't the surprise; it was the acquirer, a relative nobody in the IP video surveillance industry that was the shocker. However, beyond the shock and surprise, the acquisition of a software company by a hardware company, regardless of brand, makes complete sense in an increasingly competitive industry.

Hardware and software: The perfect match
The convergence of IP video with the larger information technology (IT) world is no surprise. “IP video will converge with IT,” asserted Stephan Rasp, CEO of SeeTec.

“Traditional security systems are just the first step. Buzzwords like ‘Internet 4.0' and ‘Internet of Things' attempt to capture the dynamics of processing a diverse set of sensors and actors on the same IT infrastructure as management systems.” To that effect, the fact that software on its own is a non-starter should make the acquisition of a software company by a hardware company unsurprising. In the case of Canon Europe and Milestone, it was simply the names that made this otherwise natural marriage surprising.

“What Canon's acquisition of Milestone tells is basically emphasizing the importance of the synergy brought by the integration of software and hardware,” said Steve Ma, EVP of VIVOTEK. “The integration of hardware and software platforms not only can generate a powerful synergy for customers, but also can be critical to keep products and services at the forefront of innovation, with the latest cutting-edge applications to meet a variety of customers' needs. Therefore, since the company's establishment, VIVOTEK has collaborated closely with international and regional VMS programmers to seamlessly integrate camera functionalities onto different platforms.”

According to James Wang, Product Director at Dahua Technology, “the integration of hardware and software will become more common due to the development of new technology, such as cloud, big data, going mobile, etc., which speeds up the consolidation in IP video surveillance.” In particular for VMS vendors, Wang pointed out, “As the number of VMS vendors are on the rise, it is natural for the market to have a reshuffle and make the strong ones stay and become even stronger.”

Implications for small VMS vendors
So, what does this mean for smaller VMS vendors? “In general, the challenge for smaller brands is not really a consequence of the Milestone deal but the sign of a market, which turns from a growthdominated market to a more mature, competitive market,” said Rasp. “For smaller players it will be crucial to find ‘blue oceans,' which are less competitive, and not to attack the major players in their core business.” Blue oceans (untapped market space) may make survival in an increasingly competitive market possible for smaller VMS vendors that may better be able to fill niche segments and more specialized demands or markets beyond the traditional security sector, explained Rasp.

On the other hand, Keen Yao, International Marketing Director for Hikvision Digital Technology, highlighted one of the major challenges currently facing smaller, more traditional VMS companies. “The traditional VMS, their position is being replaced by hardware manufacturers,” pointed out Yao. This is all due to a changing VMS market, particularly for small-sized projects, where a VMS can be replaced with an IP camera/NVR solution. “IP cameras with an embedded standalone NVR can be provided to small projects, like 10 to 30 cameras. It's very easy for them to get this kind of solution.” Not only is it easier for smaller projects to get these solutions, it is also more cost effective.

 

New strategies for companies
With such changes occurring in the security industry, companies are thinking of ways to adjust their strategies in order to grow with the changing industry. “With the burgeoning of Chinese manufacturers and the M&As in the security industry, the competition is undoubtedly getting fiercer,” pointed out VIVOTEK's Ma. In order to sustain market competitiveness, Ma outlined three key strategies of VIVOTEK to better create added value and return on investment for customers — customizable, flexible, and reliable. Furthermore, by adding intelligent functionality to its products, companies like VIVOTEK are doing what they can to make their products standout.

Companies such as Dahua and Hikvision have taken a customized approach to VMS in order to better cater to end-user needs. In order to best accommodate certain verticals, Hivision has dedicated separate teams to seven verticals in their home market of China, which includes safe city, transport, finance, etc. Similarly, Wang from Dahua noted of his company's plan, “We will be more ‘vertical' in what we sell according to market segmentation. For example, the retail market is no way the same as others, so we will refine the solution oriented to the demands of the retailers.”

Single-product Survival
In regard to companies that specialize in one specific type of product, market consolidation and the push to provide full solutions may be driving these companies to change their strategy, but that does not mean there is no place for them in the market. “Pure software or pure hardware suppliers must have their added value,” said Yao, in regard to the future of singleproduct vendors. “The chance to survive is no problem, but if you want to develop very fast you need much more contribution and investments,” he continued.

According to Ryunosuke Kawashima, Strategic Marketing Manager for Video Security at Sony Europe, “Customer expectations are continuing to rise as more functionality becomes prevalent, and it is difficult to maintain a competitive edge by singularly selling IP cameras.” Despite this, Kawashima revealed, “a number of customer challenges remain in terms of image quality, identification, and post-incident analysis; we [Sony] believe that 4K ultra high definition will be the answer to these. As a result of this, Sony has shifted the core of its business strategy to focus on our 4K security solutions by offering a complete solution in both 4K cameras and recording software.”

Another way to deal with this challenge is with unique features, as suggested by Wang. “As for companies that focus on one specific type [of product], I think it is also a good approach as long as they are really into it and keep innovation to provide products beyond ordinary, make themselves differentiate from others on the market, which means, hard to replace,” he said. Along the same idea, Rasp opined, “Adding value through interoperability will be the way forward as the number of applications and combinations increases.” Rasp continued, “VMS are more and more becoming a part of ecosystems, containing amongst other components access control, PSIM, and intrusion detection.”

Future of consolidation
What it comes down to is market consolidation, which is unescapable; however, Niall Jenkins, Research Manager for Video Surveillance and Security Services at IHS Research, says it won't be because of the Canon-Milestone acquisition. “Canon's acquisition of Milestone is unlikely to change the market dynamics for consolidation in the short term,” said Jenkins. “A more likely driver of consolidation is the new pricing pressure exerted from Chinese vendors recently. From network cameras to HDCCTV cameras, prices have declined sharply in the last year.” This, according to Jenkins, “could result in some vendors looking to leave the market or be acquired.”

Furthermore, as the market continues to consolidate, the openness of the market is another thing that the industry may fear is in jeopardy. Rasp believes that the acquisition will influence some IP camera manufacturers to provide their own VMS. However, “A market going from open to closed would be a new phenomenon,” said Rasp. Based on this, questions about who would want such a phenomenon to occur are raised. Furthermore, would this move then require every camera vendor to supply a VMS for each of the different sizes and complexities of each installation, posited Rasp. “The ultimate decision maker is the customer. Whoever provides better value will prevail.”

EL.MO's revolutional intrusion detection systems—Villeggio and NETPLUS

EL.MO's revolutional intrusion detection systems—Villeggio and NETPLUS

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by EL.MO. | Updated: 9/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

EL.MO. SpA, the Italy-based surveillance manufacturer has brought together the best of technology applied in the safety field in two products— Villeggio and NETPLUS system.

Villeggio System
The concept of wireless intrusion detection control unit has been redesigned and revolutionized, creating a small and compact product with features and unique capabilities in modular design.

In detail, the Villeggio system uses a hardware platform with a wide range of performance to which can add installable components based on the Plug & Play principle to increase the management levels according to the customer's needs. In the fuller version, VIDOMO, Villeggio integrates several devices connected directly to the RS485 serial bus such as the RIVER concentrators, the I8 inserters, the ANIMA, TATTILO and TATTILOPLUS keypads or the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors. The Villeggio system is composed of 3 control units: VICOMPACT, VIBASIC and VIDOMO.

Applications and strength of Villeggio
Villeggio is a product that lends itself especially for domestic and commercial applications and in this direction the control unit can be integrated into other systems of building automation via KONNEX ETREIB optional interface.

The greatest potential of the Villeggio system occur mainly in the ability to manage, to control and to query remotely the control units through different communication channels (via conventional telephone line, via GSM, via TCP/IP) and through devices such as smartphone, tablet and PC. This allows, for example, to switch-on the heater, to check the activation status of the system components or to carry out programming or temporary activation and deactivation operation of certain controlled areas. The full communication potential of Villeggio is obtained through integration with the management, supervision and centralization platform of e-Connect systems.

NETPLUS
EL.MO. presents NETPLUS, the new hardwired/wireless (with RIVERRF and HALENTE concentrators) intrusion detection control units with 8 triple, double balanced/NC/fast on board inputs, expandable to 16 with split function. It is expandable up to 104 inputs with RIVER series concentrators.

NETPLUS system uses the hardware platform equipped with expansion modules based on Plug &Play principle. It is extremely modular and grows dimensionally and functionally according to the environment in which it operates. It has a RS485 serial line for the connection of the TRES01485 and TRIAL detectors, RIVER concentrators, and up to 16 control devices such as TATTILO, TATTILOPLUS and ANIMA touch screen keypad, NIRVA and MIDAS keypads, the RS485 I8 serial bus inserters, the ETRZENITH and IZENITH key point flush-mountable box and the PASSLIGHT additional system status indicator.

Applications and strength of NETPLUS
The completeness of the EL.MO. range is complementary and optimally supports the ability to NETPLUS to integrate itself with a large number of devices. NETPLUS offers superioir possibilities of management through remote devices, such us traditional telephone, mobile telephone, smartphone, tablet or PC. The applicative field of the remote management includes vocal interaction or via SMS, and involves the management of intrusion detection system and the management of other areas.

NETPLUS systems is integrated with management, centralization and supervision and supervision infrastructure of e-Connect systems. Thanks to this platform, end-user, installers, maintainers and service companies can be controlled, manage and easily communicate with their intrusion detection system through smartphone, tablet and PC from anywhere in the world via internet.

Besides, the NETPLUS interfaceability is not limited only to the modern communication media but also for building automation in civil and industrial environments based on KONNEX BUS thanks to the suitable optional module.

OPTEX perimeter solutions helps stop rural crimes in UK

OPTEX perimeter solutions helps stop rural crimes in UK

Editor / Provider: OPTEX | Updated: 8/29/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Theft from farms and the countryside has caused huge loss evry year in UK. The most commonly targeted items are tools, quad bikes and fuel. It is a crime that has affected farmers across the UK.

Antony Lindlay is an arable farmer with a 500-acre farm in north Lincolnshire, who woke up one morning to find that thieves had broken into his farm buildings and used his lorry to steal thousands of pounds worth of goods ranging from quad bikes, sprayers and power tools to lamps and tillage equipment. He needed a solution quickly, so approached Advance Security Solutions who then recommended OPTEX intrusion detection technology.

Mark Davies, Managing Director, Advance Security Solutions, says there was no time to lose, and because they have been installing OPTEX Smart Line wireless infrared beam systems on large sites across the country, he knew that this would meet the client's request:

“It is tremendous for anyone who wants security over a large area of land – peace of mind is worth a fortune and that is what an OPTEX Smart Line system gives you,” he says. “As soon as an intruder tries to break into a farm building, the OPTEX perimeter security system detects him and sends an immediate alert to the farmer.

“The OPTEX Smart Line Quad beams provide a very reliable intruder detection solution, that enables the farmer to monitor what is happening on his farm regardless of the time and wherever he is. It means that the farmer and his family can sleep peacefully at night knowing that his farm is protected.”

Additionally the system can be set up to ignore wildlife, so it is not triggered by foxes or other nocturnal animals.

FLIR thermal security cameras prevent outdoor fires

FLIR thermal security cameras prevent outdoor fires

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR | Updated: 8/25/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Every year stories about wildfires make newspaper headlines. In scorching weather countryside is left tinder-dry by a prolonged heat wave, resulting in major wildfires. Because of human negligence or malicious intent, forest wildfires result in a major cost for society, the loss of valuable forest areas, and the risk of human casualties.

 

 

Application story
In order to offer a solution for this ever returning problem, FLIR systems offers a fire detection camera system based on thermal imaging technology that is able to detect fires in an early stage and over a long range.

Thermal imaging technology for outdoor fire protection
Thermal imaging cameras for fire detection are not new. They have been used for example for indoor detection in waste plants, which often contain thousands of tons of solid waste. This waste is potentially flammable when stored, due to self-combustion, spontaneous chemical reactions between the disposals or methane gas-building. Cameras like the FLIR A130 F and FC-R Series for example detect fires based on temperature changes and actually measure the temperature. When a certain, unwanted temperature level is reached, the registered camera images can trigger an alarm.

And although a forest fire application is the origin of this system, it is also suitable for use on any outdoor fire detection environment, or indoor long range areas. It can be applied for a wide variety of installations, like industrial premises, solar fields, electrical stations, flammable outdoor deposits, nuclear plants, airports, ports and many others.

FLIR thermal cameras highly stable in tough environment
Both FLIR A310F and the FC-R-Series Security cameras have been designed in such a way that the survivability of the camera in electrically adverse environments is guaranteed. “Power sources in forest areas are generally not the most stable ones, due to the remoteness and vastness of those areas,” “Voltage dips or interruptions can cause a normal camera to break. Also, lightning strikes can be fatal for a security camera system.”

Moreover, A310F and FC-R-Series Security cameras have been engineered with propriety FLIR circuitry to provide a high degree of protection against a variety of problematic power conditions that have been shown to cause problems for typical cameras. The benefits of this added protection include: uninterrupted operation in a wide range of conditions, a high degree of protection against electrical storms and immunity to electrical noise in industrial environments.

Thermal imaging cam see the unseen in the dark
FLIR FC R Series and A-Series Fixed and Pan Tilt Series cameras can be installed almost anywhere to monitor critical equipment and other valuable assets. They will safeguard plants and measure temperature differences to assess the criticality of the situation. This allows users to see problems before they become costly failures, preventing downtime and enhancing worker safety. They can also be used for Security & Surveillance.

Although most of the thermal imaging cameras that are being used in a security & surveillance environment do not need to measure temperatures, there are some cases in which the ability to measure temperature offers advantages. Thermal imaging cameras become definitely necessary when Security & Surveillance needs to be combined with temperature monitoring of critical installations.

A typical example is substation monitoring. With a thermal imaging camera that is able to measure temperatures, users can monitor transformers and other substation equipment during daytime. And during the night, the same thermal imaging camera can be used for perimeter security.

Why not using the same cameras to do both?
Security professionals around the world have been using FLIR thermal cameras for perimeter and critical asset security for years. Facility operations and safety personnel have been using FLIR cameras to gather non-contact temperature measurements and condition monitoring data for decades.


By merging FLIR industry-leading thermal imaging cameras with thermal video analytics and non-contact temperature measurement, the FC R series, and the A310 Fixed and Pan/Tilt camera systems create a multi-role solution for perimeter intrusion detection and facility safety monitoring. With FLIR Analytics users can use security cameras to measure and display actual object temperatures and generate alarms when thresholds are exceeded, even at remotely monitored facilities.

 

 

Benefits of FC- R Series A310F and PT cameras
* Perimeter security with thermal imaging and analytics
* Equipment monitoring to anticipate unexpected failures
* Wide-area surveillance for fire detection and monitoring of critical materials
* Alarms based on actual object temperatures exceeding pre-set thresholds

 


 

Benefits of Thermal Analytics Applications
Powerful and versatile, FC- R Series and A310 cameras with FLIR Thermal Analytics protect users from loss on multiple fronts. Pole-mounted fixed cameras using FLIR Analytics provide automated alarming of intruders, while cueing pan/tilt cameras to interrogate alarms for more detailed assessment. When no intrusion alarms are present, the cameras can examine substation components for heat signatures that signify efficiency loss or impending failure and generate temperature alarms. Proactively fixing these faults saves utility companies from losing millions of dollars in revenue due to unplanned service interruptions every year. These same cameras provide intrusion alarm assessment with built-in analytics and respond to alarms generated by other third-party devices. Strategically positioned cameras send alarms when a concentrated area shows a temperature increase.

These FLIR Thermal Analytics solutions protect facilities from intrusion, fire hazards, premature equipment failure, and other factors that can lead to expensive downtime and lost revenue.

As a proven application for:
-Monitoring hazardous chemical storage facilities, bulk coal piles
-Forest Fire detection
-Substation Monitoring
-Airport Fire detection
-High value asset monitoring
-Major high density people venues/locations

Bosch to demonstrate maximize connected security in Essen

Bosch to demonstrate maximize connected security in Essen

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 8/22/2014 | Article type: Security 50

In today's interconnected world, smart businesses find ways to in-crease the intelligence and interoperability of every facet of their infrastructure. Discover in hall 3/stand 409 how Bosch gives end users intelligence at every level of your infrastructure: in the device, through the data transmission and at the point of use. So the users can turn smart connections into faster reactions.

Now let's take a look at our new products and solutions, which we are happy to present to you at our stand.

Let's begin with our latest IP camera, the DINION IP ultra 8000 MP. With the launch of its DINION IP ultra 8000 MP camera featuring latest 4K ultra HD technology, Bosch is changing the game when it comes to wide-angle yet detailed surveillance. This new camera simultaneously supports a wide-angle overview and multiple focus points on a single screen to focus on details without losing the bigger picture. Its 12 megapixel or 4K ultra HD resolution allows any given subject to be viewed in hitherto unknown detail even when zoomed-in. As a result, the DINION IP ultra 8000 MP offers the decisive clarity needed for collecting security relevant evidence for highly detailed and effective retrospective analysis. Now it is easy to keep an eye on the crowd, for example in a football stadium, and providing enough detail to identify individual persons

We have developed the MIC IP 7000 HD-family for extreme applications. These PTZ cameras combine high-quality HD image capture with an IP68/NEMA 6P certified housing, thus ensuring reliable monitoring in demanding weather, installation, and lighting conditions. This means the MIC IP 7000 HD family is particularly suitable for outdoor use. It provides IP video images of the highest quality, and is used among other things to provide security for inner cities, high-ways, and critical infrastructures.

Moving on now to Bosch's intrusion technology:
We have been continuously developing our AMAX 2100 to 4000 intrusion control panels for small to medium-sized applications since their market launch in the last year. This means that you can now conveniently program various macro functions via the panel control center. For example, an individual arming configuration can be performed via a button. An integrated audio alarm is now also available. In the event of an intrusion, the owner or the monitoring center receives a voice message from the panel and can respond immediately.

The fire detectors in Bosch's new AVENAR 4000 series deliver information that, as well as reporting a hazard, can also give clear, simple details regarding disturbance variables caused by radio masts, for example. This can significantly reduce the expenditure for the installation or maintenance of a system.

We would also like to present our cost-effective solution for audio playback in public address and voice alarm systems: The Line Isolator System (LIS) speaker.

The easy-to-install system comes without the need for expensive E30 wiring and creates redundant speaker loops for public address and voice alarm systems. LIS is certified for use in Europe in accordance with EN 54-16 and is suitable for commercial use in buildings with lots of speakers – such as office buildings and hotels.

Of course, this was just a small selection of what we would be happy to present to you live at our stand.

Kantech releases Intevo with exacqVision VMS software

Kantech releases Intevo with exacqVision VMS software

Editor / Provider: Tyco Security Products | Updated: 8/20/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Kantech, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, one of  the world's largest pure-play fire protection and security companies, announces the release of the Intevo integrated security platform which now includes the latest version of the exacqVision video management system (VMS) software.

Designed to unify access control, IP video and intrusion for small to medium-sized businesses, Intevo seamlessly integrates the Kantech EntraPass software with exacqVision VMS software into a single solution. Intevo also includes support for DSC PowerSeries and MAXSYS alarm panel integration, giving users plug-and-play capability.

“With the move to the Exacq software, Intevo brings the powerful and intuitive features of the exacqVision VMS, such as faster and more intuitive video searching capabilities, to customers as part of an easy to deploy, integrated security platform,” said Scott McNulty, Senior Product Manager, Tyco Security Products.

The exacqVision software features SpeedSearch, where video frames automatically populate on the screen upon conducting a search and advance as the timeline cursor is moved. Users can also begin an investigation while video is still downloading, providing faster access to the necessary evidence, particularly for low bandwidth connections.

Intevo is optimized for the use of American Dynamics Illustra Series HD cameras — supporting up to 32 IP cameras per system. Using the exacqVision software, Intevo supports over 2,000 models of the industry's leading IP camera including fisheye/panoramic models with client-side de-warping.

The Intevo platform is preloaded with the latest version of Kantech's EntraPass Corporate Edition security management software, which supports the EntraPass Web remote user platform and the EntraPass Go mobile application right out of the box. EntraPass allows customers to view, manage and play back video linked to access control events as well as perform everyday access control functions such as locking and unlocking doors.

Exacq hires regional sales manager for Northeast US

Exacq hires regional sales manager for Northeast US

Editor / Provider: Exacq | Updated: 8/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Exacq has announced that Jay Mele has accepted the position of Regional Sales Manager (RSM) for the Northeast US. Jay's territory includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, New York, Northern New Jersey, and New Hampshire. He will report directly to Adam Messina, Northeast Regional Sales Director.

Jay Mele brings over 10 years of sales experience supporting the Northeast security industry. Jay specializes in IP video including cameras, video management software, analytics, network infrastructure, and storage, along with product knowledge and experience with access control, intrusion, and fire detection. His background includes working within sales and business development roles for industry leading manufacturers, most recently Axis Communications. Jay has the technical aptitude to sell and support complex systems and prides himself on problem solving and customer support skills.

Thermal imaging cameras: A cost-effective solution for perimeter protection

Thermal imaging cameras: A cost-effective solution for perimeter protection

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR | Updated: 8/11/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Today, the challenge for CCTV professionals is to make sure that video footage is effective on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. Securing an area during the daytime is one thing. But what happens during the night? And in weather conditions like fog, rain and snow? What can be detected if CCTV cameras are blinded by the sun?

As CCTV systems become more advanced, the security industry will increasingly focus on CCTV installations for 24 hour surveillance, not just day-time operation. To be truly secure, a site must be protected day and night.

A number of tools are available to help detect potential intruders in the dark. Often different technologies are being combined to create a secure perimeter. Fences can be complemented with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) systems with or without active infrared illumination or old fashioned light bulbs, Radio Frequency Intruder Detection (RAFID) systems, thermal imaging cameras and/or walking patrols. Whatever solution or technology is chosen for securing an area, they all have their advantages and disadvantages and some technologies are more expensive than others. To get a full picture of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a certain solution, not only the initial purchase cost, but also the installation and maintenance costs need to be considered. Some solutions consume a lot of power and need a lot of spare parts. Environmental and energy consumption issues are high on the global agenda today. Given that $1 from every $5 spent globally is used on lighting, and much of this is spent on inefficient and unnecessary lighting, particular attention should be paid to this area. Saving energy by looking at running costs will become increasingly important. Local authorities and private industries are all looking at methods to save energy costs and lighting is one area that will receive due attention.

Quite a number of technologies are available to help detect potential intruders in the dark before they become a real hazard. Let's compare some of them:

The total cost of seeing at night

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) combined with traditional lighting
CCTV systems have been an effective tool for security and surveillance applications. However, just like the human eye, CCTV cameras do not see too much in total darkness. So in order to detect intruders at night they are often complemented with traditional lights by mains driven bulbs. Although some bulbs (fluorescent lamps, HID lamps) are more efficient than others, the operational cost remains very high. Light can only penetrate a certain distance and completely illuminating an area, so that it can be kept under surveillance of CCTV cameras, is not always possible. Powering and maintaining the lights can even be more costly.

CCTVs with traditional lamp lighting require lamp replacement every 2,000 to 4,000 hours or about every 8 months. Significant labour and material costs are associated with lamp replacement. Light pollution is a global problem caused by inefficient, intrusive and unnecessary use of artificial light. Symptoms include glare, clutter over-illumination and sky glow. Light pollution is an increasingly hot political topic given recent government legislation to control and punish light pollution. In some locations light is also considered to be too intrusive.

Furthermore, lighting essentially lays out a route of attack for intruders, creating shadows in which they can hide and access undetected.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) combined with LEDs
Compared to any bulb, LEDs provide significant savings on electrical consumption. LEDs also provide long life performance with little ongoing maintenance costs.
Infrared illumination with LEDs, sometimes also called active infrared, beams infrared radiation into the area in front of a camera. The LEDs are often placed around the lens of the camera.
LED illumination is compromised by limited range performance. Also, providing lighting for domes has long been a challenge for CCTV professionals as the lighting cannot be fitted to move with the camera.

Electrified fences
In order to keep intruders out of certain areas, fences can be constructed. To further increase security, fences can be equipped with sensors that generate an automatic alarm when someone touches the fence. Or they can be electrified, to keep intruders away.
In all cases, fences need to be complemented, for example by CCTV cameras or walking patrols in order to see what is happening around the fence.

Radio Frequency Intruder detection (RAFID)
The simplest description of RAFID is to consider a system using two specially designed cables – one transmitting a radio wave, while the other receives that wave.
Changes in the amount of signal passing between the transmitter cable and receiver cable are analyzed by a signal processor. These changes indicate that someone or something is between the two cables, which will make an alarm go off. Due to the difference in signal strength, the system can detect whether these changes are due to the presence of a human, or a small animal. Note that in a lot of cases CCTV cameras still need to be installed in order to see what is generating a real, or false, alarm.

Thermal imaging 
A new tool for seeing in total darkness, and in extreme weather conditions, is thermal imaging. Thermal imaging is the use of a thermal imaging camera to "see" thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal imaging cameras produce images of invisible infrared or "heat" radiation. Based on temperature differences between objects, thermal imaging produces a crisp image on which the smallest of details can be seen. They work both during daytime and nighttime. Thermal imaging is today widely recognized as the most effective detection solution and when used in conjunction with video analytics it is confirmed having the lowest false alarm rate and most accurate intrusion detection solution in the market.

Most FLIR Systems thermal imaging cameras contain an uncooled Vanadium Oxide detector. Not only does this produce excellent quality thermal images, since it is not containing any moving parts, it needs virtually no maintenance. Thermal imaging technology requires no additional lighting or illumination and has no regular maintenance costs. The FC series camera is now available with it's own onboard analytics, this creating a true edge detection device , both benefits of Thermal imaging and Video analytics are housed in the same camera.

Deciding which technology to use

Before making a final decision about which technology will be implemented to secure a perimeter at night, security managers should have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. This is outlined in the table below.  

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

CCTV with traditional

lighting or LED

- Good visibility during daytime

- Relatively low initial cost

- A lot of cameras need to be installed to cover a large perimeter

- Limited detection at night. Light illuminates only certain small area.

- Limited capabilities in fog, rain,

- Civil works need to be carried out to install light poles

- High power consumption

- High maintenance cost for replacing the lights: material and manpower

Electrified Fence

- Creates a physical barrier

- Allows to stop intruders

- Works during the night as well

- High installation cost

- Full civil works needed

- Power consumption

- Needs to be complemented with CCTV to see if alarm is false or not.

Light or infrared illumination needed during the night to do this.

RAFID or Sensor Cable

- Fully automated system

- Works in total darkness

- High installation cost

- Full civil works needed

- Troubleshooting and maintenance after installation

- Many unwanted alarms

- Needs to be complemented with CCTV to see if alarm is false or not.

Light or infrared illumination needed during the night to do this.

Thermal imaging

- Full awareness

- Can be used day and night

- Works in practically all weather conditions.

Can see through light fog, rain, smoke, ...

- No downtime, low maintenance

- Low power consumption

- Extremely difficult to hide from since thermal contrast is practically impossible to mask

-Excellent cueing sensor for high powered zoom PANT TILT SYSTEMS

- No physical barrier

- Potential intruders are easily spotted but not identified

Case study : lower investment for thermal imaging
As is shown in the advantages and disadvantages table on the previous page, thermal imaging cameras have many advantages for perimeter protection. To make a final decision, however, the purchase cost of the system needs to be considered. Below you'll find a comparison between the required number of units for perimeter protection systems based on CCTV cameras versus systems based on thermal imaging cameras. In this simplified example, the cost of personnel and equipment during the installation and the cost in maintenance and power bills are not included, as they might vary strongly depending on available infrastructure, local power rates and local wages. In all cases these costs will be directly proportional to the amount of equipment and on the usage of lighting. Even though the price of one single thermal imaging camera might be higher than the price of a CCTV camera, the overall investment costs for a thermal imaging camera perimeter protection system is actually lower, in this case 28% lower. The larger the perimeter, the bigger this difference will become. Since thermal imaging cameras require no lighting to function and given the fact that fewer cameras are needed with the thermal imaging perimeter protection solution, this system will also consume less electricity than the CCTV solution, making the thermal solution less expensive in its upkeep than the CCTV solution.

Assumptions:
- An industrial perimeter of 700 meters needs to be protected with the perimeter protection system.
- The perimeter needs to be secured day and night, in all weather conditions. This means that CCTV cameras are limited in terms of distance that can be covered by the infrared illuminators.

Even though the price of one single thermal imaging camera is higher than the price of a CCTV camera, in this example the total investment costs for a thermal imaging camera perimeter protection system is 38% lower.

Conclusion
Although all technologies have advantages and disadvantages a small calculation makes it clear that thermal imaging is a very good and a very cost effective solution for protecting a perimeter, especially if this perimeter, like in practically all cases, also needs to be protected during the night.
In this technical note, we have demonstrated that for thermal imaging systems, not only maintenance costs are lower (power, spare parts, etc.), but already the initial purchase cost of a thermal system is lower than a CCTV system.

Although a single thermal imaging camera is more expensive than a CCTV camera, fewer cameras need to be deployed to cover the same area. The civil works that need to be carried out are minimal. In some cases, the cameras can even be mounted on existing structures. Furthermore, since thermal imaging cameras produce a clear image in the darkest of nights, no complementary technologies like lighting or infrared illuminators need to be installed. Not only does this limit the amount of civil works that needs to be carried out, it also reduces the maintenance cost.

Thermal imaging cameras also generate fewer false alarms which is a common problem with CCTV cameras combined with Video Motion Detection or Video Content Analysis software.

 

 

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