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Thailand picking up the pieces

Thailand picking up the pieces

Editor / Provider: Steve Chin, a&s Asia | Updated: 10/17/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

At first glance, with its beautiful attractions and large populations of tourists, the Kingdom of Thailand might not seem all that bad or unstable. However, in the last year, political instability and corruption have ransacked the country and slowed economic growth to a halt. With a recent military coup and a new prime minister installed, Thailand looks to stabilize and rebuild its industries. “For the past few years, there have been lots of conflict and fighting. There has been little progress in the country. Right now though, with the military coup happening, the country has cooled down and is more stable. There are now strong indications that the Thai economy will recover,” said Suwich Chitkasemsuk, MD for Digitalcom.

A Glance Back
2013-14 have been two years of economic and political turmoil for Thailand. Stemming from the influence of Thaksin Shinawatra on Thai politics, the majority of the Thai population viewed Thaksin as highly corrupt and damaging to Thailand's democracy and economy. Coupled with the fact that political parties allied to Thaksin have won majorities in every election since 2001, the political hotbox became an issue of fierce debate and turbulence. With the aim of removing Thaksin's influence on politics and the creation of an elected “people's council” to oversee reforms, anti-government protests began in November 2013 calling for the resignation of Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of Thaksin. The protests eventually resulted in the Royal Thai Army declaring martial law throughout the nation, followed by the removal of power from Yingluck, a military coup d'état, and the establishment of a military junta. In recent events, Prayuth Chan-ocha, army chief of Thailand, has now been established as the new interim prime minister.

A BETTER OUTLOOK
Overall, the general consensus regarding the coup seems to be a positive one. Somchai Prajaksoot, MD of Digital Focus explained, “After the coup, the political situation is stable and the economic outlook is better. The security industries have still increased.” There is a definite sense of renewed, if wary, optimism that the new government will reinvigorate economic scenarios as well as the security industry, launching new projects, and creating a better, safer Thailand.

Projects Lead the Way
Key for the Thai security industry lies in government projects. Understandably, they have been few and far between. Feelings across the security market seem to be that one of the most harmful things during the periods of unrest was lack of government projects as well as broken promises. As Johnny Trivitayakhun, MD for Security Communication Center put it, “What was felt, and seriously impacted security companies were government-related projects, where payments were delayed extensively during the periods of unrest.” Pointing once again to the political factors, it's easy to Market Dynamics understand why government projects have been scarce or delayed, as the government's focus has been on quelling unrest and ensuring stability. Further complicating problems, Nuttawaj Chieobangyang, CEO for Coretech, also pointed out that many company projects in the past year have been lost, because the new government evaluates everything to a very fine degree. Every project will be under review, and if the price is too high, an auction will be held, which will shake the whole market. He further added that many companies are not very happy about this.

However, the general belief is that the new government will pursue what the previous governments have left undone. “Since the majority of the spending has to come from the government sector, in order to help drive the economy, I see no reason why there will be any negative impact. On the contrary, I believe that the current government is truly aware of how to best drive the economy, bringing peace and stability to Thailand,” said Trivitakaykhun. The transportation sector, city surveillance, and administration buildings are some government projects to keep an eye out in the future, he added. On the commercial side of things, feelings seem to be somewhat split. Another area of big impact for the security industry is that there seems to be overall more stability. According to Prajaksoot, commercial projects including banks, hotels, retail, and hospitals are still a big factor, as he cited Digital Focus' established dealer and SI network. Tanakrit Rojanasiraprapa, MD for Bacom Internetwork, also added, “Many big projects have been announced. After the coup, the commercial sector invested nearly US$1.5 billion in commercial projects including big groups of condos, department stores, and large buildings.” Trivitakaykhun echoed a similar feeling, “Commercial projects which were put on hold as a result of the coup, will eventually resume towards early next year.”

Arnon Kulawongvanich, MD for Bangkok OA, commented on a different side, explaining that he expects good movement from the private sectors. “The military government is busy trying to reshape everything, not only in the way they run the country, but the fact that they want to clean up everything. And cleaning up takes time,” he said. Because of this, it is of importance that the private, commercial sectors remain strong, being able to offer up larger scale projects. Kulawongvanich also mentioned that Bangkok OA, with 12 years of partnership with Samsung Techwin, continues to promote their solutions in car parking structures, access control, and visitor management. The company is also the exclusive partner of NUUO, working with local Thai software companies to further promote PSIM solutions.

Rollouts of 4G Postponed
The elephant in the room right now in Thailand is a question of how big of an impact the political situation has affected the Thai infrastructure. Because of delays in government projects, adoption of new technology and phase-outs of older ones have not occurred in some aspects yet. A very important factor critical to the Thai economy seems to be the adoption of LTE (4G). Originally promised a while ago, 4G technology and adoption in Thailand are still in its trial periods and are also still delayed. Trivitakakyhun also added, “4G in Thailand has yet to be officially seen, let alone reliable 3G services. Wireless communication obviously plays a drastic and important role when it comes to modern security solutions. Bureaucracy and political instability have cost Thailand dearly.” To add to this, Reuters also reported that in July, Thailand's military government postponed an auction of 4G mobile phone bandwidth for one year, potentially causing billions of dollars of lost investment and sales in a sector that accounts for a tenth of the economy. According to the same article, “Mobile network providers were banking on extra bandwidth to enable faster data communications services, creating an opportunity to increase revenue.”

Regardless of the project delay, 4G development still remains an important indicator to the country's development of network devices. “We do know that the respective bodies in the communication industry have done reviews to analyze the mobile management spectrum in 4G. Recently, there have been trials of LTE that is aimed at bringing the latest telecommunications knowledge and technological experience to the public and private sectors. We believe that this technology will be implemented in Thailand in due time,” said Nafis Jasmani, Regional Business Development Manager for South Asia Pacifc at Axis Communications.

MIGRATION OUT OF ANALOG
Tied into the issue of bandwidth, the adoption of IP-based solutions has also been impacted by the political situation. Nevertheless, with the political climate finally settling down, and the military government coming to terms with the economic scenarios, things are looking up. As William Ku, VP for the International Business Division at VIVOTEK mentioned, “At the current stage, most of the Thai users still use analog systems. The adoption of IP-based security solutions has not been totally prevalent yet. However, with increasing demand for clear and detailed footage in order to enhance security and intelligent video solutions for strengthening organization operation, the move from analog systems to IP-based security solutions is happening in the Thai security industry.” Another trend noted by Rio Mao, Sales Director of APAC at Dahua Technology is the fact that easy-to-use and affordable cost solutions will be ideal, and new functions to facilitate sales lie in value-added products in video surveillance systems. One thing worth keeping an eye out for, however, is the fact that city surveillance projects being touted by various city governments in Thailand are now aiming for IP-based solutions that are easy to integrate with existing solutions. According to Prajaksoot, “For city surveillance government projects, they now require certain specs of IP cameras. They are just now switching from analog to IP. Cameras are now very cheap,” which drives higher adoption of IP cameras.

HD-over-Coaxial a Factor
Another important factor to point out is the transition to HD-overcoaxial solutions and to IP from older analog systems. Recently, a number of Asian manufacturers, especially from Taiwan, China, and Korea, have been strongly promoting their latest HD-over-coaxial products, with very high price-effectiveness and long transmission distances. Some of the existing IP video surveillance providers have started to feel the decrease in their growth rates, because of the latest HD-over-coaxial products on the market. In the future, not just Thailand, but the entire Asian continent might start facing competition between IP and HD-over-coaxial, especially in the SMB sectors. This may result in the SMB sectors slowing down the migration to IP-based solutions.

China Grows its Market Shares
Tied directly into the surveillance markets, and hot on the heels of the video surveillance industry in Thailand, and indeed the rest of the world, is the giant that is China. In the analog video surveillance world, China is arguably number one in the world. With many large, established companies in China, they leave large footprints in the Thai industry. As Prajaksoot explained, Chinese companies are very competitive, very strong. They have also impacted the industry in more ways than one, forcing many distributors and providers across Thailand to slash prices and play catch up.

Because of the price factor as well as the notion of China's ever-improving quality, China will continue to play a very important and big role. “Cost consciousness is obviously the prime focus, from the client's point-of-view. China has a lot to serve and provide. Today, we are experiencing a level comfort when it comes to quality improvement and technological know-how, which makes Chinese manufactured products more attractive, especially when compared to other neighboring countries,” said Trivitakkayhun. Kittichai Samittwuttikul, Director for SMC Group, also brought up another factor in China, where he mentioned that price competitions with companies from Shenzhen are very high. A point elaborating on is the fact that some Shenzhen companies can even offer 720TVL cameras at the price of a 360TVL without sacrificing quality. By taking an aggressive approach to gaining the market, these companies are now putting FOB prices online and offering longer-term payment plans. In order to stay competitive, SMC Group has started to promote its own brand, establishing franchised outlet shops, as well as project design and installation shops for different projects.

HIGH HOPES FOR THE FUTURE
All-in-all, things are looking up in Thailand. Forecasters are predicting mild growth this year with stronger aspects the year after. “I believe that the Thai economy has shown signs of improvements, and growth momentum should pick up late this year. The changes that are happening will ensure both tourists and locals alike will start spending and investing,” said Trivitakakyhun. Ku also brought up the point that Thailand has been one of the founding countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and also one of the key ASEAN members. “ASEAN is a transnational organization for accelerating economic growth and regional prosperity.” One final factor lies also on the political side. Hopefully, as Prayuth Chan-ocha's government continues to settle in, stability and economic reforms will continue. The launching of better IP infrastructure and 4G will also play a big role. “Foreign investment in Thailand as a result of country reforms will also be a factor,” said Prajaksoot. Hopefully, this rings true and Thailand will again be prosperous and stable.

Hikvision adds mini IR PT camera to easy IP range

Hikvision adds mini IR PT camera to easy IP range

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 10/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision's range of Easy IP solutions is boosted with the launch of a sophisticated Infrared Pan & Tilt IP camera. The DS-2CD2Q10FD-IW 1MP Mini IR PT network camera is in compact size yet features HD720p real-time video with motorized pan and tilt. The discrete housing also incorporates a built-in microphone and speaker, an SD card slot supporting on-board storage of up to 64 GB, a 100 MB/sec Ethernet interface plus Wi-Fi connectivity.

Despite its compact size, the Mini IR PT camera offers the full flexibility and manageability of an IP surveillance solution. It provides a 0° - 355° pan range and a -20° - 90° tilt range of view. The DS-2CD2Q10FD-IW is also ideally suited to quick and easy installation, the Wi-Fi WPS capability enabling automatic configuration even for users with limited or no network knowledge. With an IR range of up to 10 metres, the new camera features 3D DNR and DWDR image enhancement technology and zone configurable backlight compensation for outstanding day/night performance in any lighting conditions.

A core component of Hikvision's Easy IP range
The DS-2CD2Q10FD-IW is the latest addition to Hikvision's Easy IP range, which brings together a complete solution of cameras, Plug & Play NVRs (network video recorders) and VMS (video management software) focused on easy installation, easy viewing and easy Wi-Fi connection. Easy IP allows users to monitor their home or business in Full HD on their PC, tablet or smartphone through a uniquely simple interface.

Installation is a simple 2-step process that's even easier than Analog - plug the camera(s) into the NVRs PoE port(s), then connect the monitor and you're ready to enjoy HD video recording instantly without IP address forwarding. Easy Viewing allows you to watch and play live video anytime and anywhere. Users just need to simply download the Hikvision EZVIZ smartphone app for free, by scanning the QR code on the back of camera through EZVIZ app, live video viewing and playback will be available over the internet remotely. It's completely configuration free and it's that easy!

Users can now choose from a full range of Easy IP cameras, including indoor and outdoor bullet and dome cameras, mini-dome cameras, cube cameras and the new DS-2CD2Q10FD-IW Mini IR Pan & Tilt camera. All share the combination of a rich feature set, including Hikvision's latest encoding algorithm for highly efficient compression that reduces the transmission and storage burden by up to 50%, and unmatched price-efficiency.

 

Unifying city-wide surveillance systems

Unifying city-wide surveillance systems

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 10/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Pervez Siddiqui, director of strategic markets, explains how cities can take a collaborative approach to improve the safety and security of their citizens.

Thousands, if not millions, of citizens rely on local and national governments to keep them safe. Protecting the public from crime, safeguarding buildings from vandalism, or simply ensuring a city is running smoothly requires multiple public sector agencies to collaborate, consult with citizens and secure buy-in from private enterprises. By combining resources and standardising public safety efforts using Genetec's unified security platform Security Center, cities can break down silos across agencies, cost effectively enhance city-wide operations, expand surveillance coverage, and improve emergency preparedness and response times.

Genetec Security Center combines Omnicast internet protocol (IP) video surveillance, Synergis IP access control and AutoVu automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems to deliver greater situational awareness to security and law enforcement personnel. It standardises common security operations from multiple systems – such as monitoring, reporting, alarm management and configuration – and makes all tasks easily accessible via a single intuitive application. Using Omnicast's IP video management system, cities can identify threats and manage hundreds or thousands of high-definition, megapixel cameras, while reducing bandwidth costs. The Synergis IP access control system enables cities to leverage existing network and hardware investments to extend security coverage to municipal and historical buildings. The solution also provides efficient workflows and greater automation, which allows users to focus on monitoring critical tasks. Meanwhile, fixed or mobile ALPR cameras can be attached to intersection lights, buildings or law enforcement vehicles to track stolen cars, wanted felons, or amber alerts around the city. In addition, cities can use Security Center to implement a phased growth plan as each new budget cycle is launched, enabling cities to start by upgrading video surveillance and unify other key systems over time. For example, the solution can be used to improve access control for enhanced security and centralised personnel management; enhance licence plate recognition, hot lists and reads systems; and develop video analytics to identify misplaced objects or trip wires, and count people. Security Center can also be used to unify evidence management systems hosted in Microsoft Azure for Government, as well as Microsoft Aware Consoles for threat, investigation and intelligence management. Furthermore, Genetec's platform can be deployed to establish a multi-stakeholder model that brings together publicly and privately funded security systems in one centrally managed, cost-effective system via the solution's Federation feature. This allows cities to extend security coverage by accessing video streams from private entities in emergencies, while retaining the autonomy of each individual system.

The Federation model also enables public organisations – such as educational institutions, utilities services and municipal buildings – to provide police departments with full control of their security systems at the click of a button. Police departments can then view cameras, lock down facilities and respond to threats in an effective, efficient and timely manner.

To protect citizens' privacy, the Federation model ensures video evidence is managed responsibly by providing both broad and granular system privileges, audit trails, customisable user access rights for cameras or files and monitoring document incident handling. Digital signatures can also be added to video to ensure authentic evidence is used in court.

What's more, Genetec's security platform helps to transform officer smartphones or wearable cameras into mobile monitoring stations, which are linked back to the central control centre via mobile apps. Meanwhile, officers on the road can also tap into the city's systems from their vehicle-based laptops to enable them to proactively assess and prepare for emergency situations and improve response times, while ensuring they remain safe. In essence, cities wanting to capitalise on their existing hardware and multiple networks can use unified security platforms to upgrade analogue technology over time. Solutions like Genetec's Security Center help cities to expand their surveillance systems to include thousands of devices with ease – potentially reaching up to 300 cameras per server – and expand with cloud camera connections, while eliminating the cost of on-site storage hardware and servers.

What Genetec's customers are saying about Security Center

Ville de Forbach
Located in France, the city of Forbach chose Security Center to protect more than 100,000 citizens from local crime. Using Omnicast, the city manages a combination of fixed and multi-lens IP cameras suited for different environmental conditions, while Synergis controls access to the command centre. Plus, the map-based interface enables police officers to easily search for and retrieve video evidence, which has helped to justify the future expansion of the system.
“The ease of use and the speed at which we can retrieve information is extremely impressive,” says Michel Fersing, the city of Forbach's municipal police chief. “Today, I can say with full confidence that every national police officer leaves our department with video evidence, within minutes. Security Center has been an instrumental addition to our city's security and we could not be more pleased with our new unified platform.”

Sanford Public Safety Complex
Security Center has also been implemented in the US city of Sanford in Florida as part of a major upgrade at a new state-of-the-art public safety complex. The system comprises more than 80 cameras managed by Omnicast and over 78 access control points controlled by Synergis. As Sanford has several municipal facilities with Genetec solutions, it also used the Federation feature to ensure it can centrally manage all systems from the complex.
“Security Center is a platform that can address all of Sanford's needs, allowing us to create a federated system that serves several types of facilities simultaneously,” says Nicholas McRay, senior project manager at the city of Sanford. “We never need to cross-reference information between discrete solutions across the city because it's all tied in. It works well for us, and it suits the widely varied needs of a municipality.”

 

AXIS helps you keep an eye from home on baby in the hospital

AXIS helps you keep an eye from home on baby in the hospital

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 10/16/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Maas Hospital in Boxmeer (NL) gives young parents the opportunity to keep an eye on their child being cared for in the incubator, over the Internet, thanks to Axis network cameras.

Solution
J&K Automatisering, a company based in Oploo (NL) and a partner of Axis, advised the Maas Hospital to opt for a user-friendly application based on Axis network cameras. This solution is practical and nurse-proof. The monitoring system is simple to operate, with few commands and little opportunity to get things wrong. The incubator unit is divided into sections, and everything in a particular section is shown on the image. The cameras are all connected to a central server, which receives the images and controls access to them.

Result
Babies in the incubator unit cannot be discharged immediately because of illness or premature birth. This solution allows the hospital to give parents the opportunity to see their baby all the same. Parents can also authorize close friends and relatives to see the baby, too. The hospital mentioned a medical reason as well: mothers in the hospital's maternity unit need to be able to see their baby via a laptop, as contact between mother and child speeds up the mother's recovery.

Professional and easy to use
Images are accessed via a single portal, a central point of access to the images taken by the cameras. This gives the system a professional feel. Using a portal also means that information can be displayed on screen as well: for instance, telling viewers that babies are taken out of their cots when the nurses are carrying out nursing or medical procedures. If parents log on while this is happening, rather than looking at an empty cot they will see a message saying “We are looking after your baby.” It's also possible that a technical fault might have occurred, or that the camera might have been switched off for some reason. If that happens, the message “No image is currently available due to a fault or because the camera has been switched off.” For unexpected events the system has an emergency button. By pressing this button the power is cut and the image will disappear.

AXIS 211 Network Camera
The Maas Hospital chose the AXIS 211 Network Camera for the “Keeping an eye on your baby at home” project. This model always produces sharp, clear pictures. A varifocal DC iris lens, with a light sensitivity range from 0.75 to 500,000 lux, ensures that images are sharp even in low light conditions - during the evening and night, for example.

Another advantage of the AXIS 211 is its ability to take power via the midspan: a box that allows the network cable to feed both images and power to the camera. This means that no separate power cable is required. The emergency button is also connected to the midspan and controls the flow of power.

Privacy and storage
An important feature of this project is its matter-offact nature. It's a service that the hospital offers to parents - nothing more and nothing less. That is another reason why images of the newborn babies are never stored. Van Zitteren told us that this was a deliberate choice: “It has to do with privacy rules. If you create video images of someone and want to keep them, you have to comply with all kinds of legal regulations on privacy. The images in the Maas Hospital are changing all the time. The frames refresh every three seconds, and each new image takes the place of the preceding one. This has an added benefit: the cameras don't take up much room in the server's memory.”

Parents can create a photograph of their baby by means of a right-click with their mouse on the moving image. The response has been positive. Van Zitteren continues, “Of course, the system isn‘t designed to replace visiting the baby, but people at home want to know that everything‘ s OK. The images give them the reassurance or confirmation that their baby is in good hands.”

Samsung Techwin security cameras secure a vital part of British film heritage

Samsung Techwin security cameras secure a vital part of British film heritage

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 10/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Situated in South West London, Twickenham Studios offers a bespoke service to all media, including film and television, and can claim to be the only London based studios that caters for both stage and post-production requirements. The very latest Samsung Techwin video surveillance technology now plays a key role in helping create a safe and secure environment for all who work on the studio site. First opened to the world of film in 1913, the studio has worked on highly successful films, such as 'The Others', 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' and 'The Iron Lady'. The Studios went into administration and in 2012 seemed destined for demolition. However, following a successful Save Twickenham Studios' campaign, the site was purchased by British businessman and property magnate Sunny Vohra, who quickly implemented a multi-million pound plan to modernise and re-equip the Studios.

The Challenge
With the need to ensure that valuable production equipment and other assets will not be an easy target to would-be thieves, Carl Childs, Head of Engineering for Twickenham Studios was tasked to source a video surveillance system that would allow the monitoring of all activity throughout the studio. “The cost implications of having to replace equipment can be significant, but equally important was the need to safeguard against any disruption to film production and to verify 100% compliance with the Studio's strict health & safety procedures.”

With the assistance of Aray Architects, a tender process resulted in video surveillance specialists Securebase being awarded the contract to install a 28 camera IP network based system.

“Having successfully installed Samsung Techwin security equipment on a number of previous occasions, we were pleased to see that Twickenham Studios had specified the company's cameras for this particular project,” said Dariush Hekmat, Director of East Finchley based Securebase. “We needed to install and commission the system within one week and so it was very helpful that all cameras and recording equipment were sourced from a manufacturer who we had confidence in, and whose products we were familiar with. This was very much a team effort. We received excellent technical support from Samsung Techwin and our ability to complete the project on time was further enhanced by Twickenham Studio's engineering department overseeing the professional installation of an IP network infrastructure before we arrived on site. With the Samsung Techwin featuring POE (Power over Ethernet), installation time was further reduced as this negated the need to install power points at each camera location.”

27 of the installed cameras, which are equipped with Samsung Techwin's Open Platform WiseNetIII DSP chipsets, are capable of capturing 2MP Full HD (1080P) images when the lighting level is as low as 0.01 Lux and have an ultra fast frame rate of 60fps which results in latency free clear images. This can be particularly beneficial in a scene with moving subjects by ensuring image edges are kept sharp and clear. 13 of these cameras are SNO-6084R weather resistant Bullet cameras, 10 are SNV-6084R vandal resistant dome cameras and 4 are SND-6084R internal dome cameras. All are day/night cameras with motorised varifocal lens and have built in IR LED illuminators to capture high quality images, even in total darkness.

An SNF-7010 360-degree 3 megapixel camera has also been installed at a specific location at the Studio where a large number of standard cameras would normally be required to monitor such a large area without any blind spots.

The images from all 28 cameras are simultaneously recorded on a Samsung Techwin SRN-1000 network video recorder which has 12 terabyte on-board storage capacity, enabling Carl and other authorised personnel, to quickly retrieve recorded video evidence of any suspicious activity.

“By investing in a future proof IP network based video surveillance system that can be expanded at any time if our requirements change, we have put in place a highly effective tool which should help us to protect our assets and maintain a welcoming, as well as safe environment, for many years to come for everyone who visits or works at the Studios,” said Carl.

Understanding “Real” PSIM

Understanding “Real” PSIM

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, a&s International | Updated: 10/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

PSIM (physical security information management) software is a rapidly growing segment in the security market. Its core strengths lie in the ability to integrate disparate systems, creating an intelligencebased situation picture and supplying operators with active policy management. As the market learns more of the benefits PSIM they have the potential to go beyond security and turn into a complete site management platform.

The world market for PSIM (physical security information management) software in 2013 was estimated at US$160.3 million by IHS Research. Despite being a small segment inside the larger security market, PSIM has enjoyed rapid growth — it is estimated to continue growing at 20% and higher growth rates until at least 2018, according to IHS. Price and also end users' level of understanding of PSIM solutions are still main barriers limiting PSIM growth. In addition, the PSIM market's long-term growth is also limited by “competing products successfully being deployed in the mid-tier, a market that has historically been out of reach for the high-end PSIM software platforms due to their prohibitive price tag,” IHS commented.

What is a "Real" PSIM?
PSIM is a software platform that collects and manages information from disparate security devices and information systems into one common situation picture. These can be traditional security sensors like video cameras, access control, intrusion detection sensors, as well as “non-conventional” systems such as networks and building management systems, cyber security hacking alerts, and even weather feeds. A true PSIM solution is vendor and hardware agnostic, giving users the ability to integrate legacy systems and the flexibility and the choice to use best-of-breed technology in the future without limitations.

Being a relative newcomer to the security sector, and displaying a fast growth rate, there is confusion regarding what constitutes a “true” PSIM solution and how it differs from other command and control systems, video management software (VMS), or other security platforms, some of them offering their own integrations between different systems.

The main benefit of PSIM lies in its integration capabilities, being able to connect with existing and planned systems without being “locked-in” to any specific vendor. Usually VMS systems or access control systems use proprietary technology. In these cases, extending a system can only be done by the same vendor. Integrating with a legacy system provided by a different vendor could prove difficult, forcing replacement of existing systems.

In addition to this unique integration capability, PSIM offers another strong differentiator: PSIM is an intelligencebased solution. Collecting and correlating information from different sources means alerts are only raised on events that are important. “A true PSIM has the ability to identify unfolding events, manage them effectively, and mitigate their risk. For commercial, critical infrastructure, and homeland security markets, PSIM provides situation management and establishes the foundation for organizations' operations,” said Jamie Wilson, Security Marketing Manager for EMEA at NICE Systems.

A third important differentiator is the ability to provide active management of events, improving operational efficiency. By using adaptive workflows, the operator knows what is happening, where it is happening, and what needs to be done. Step-by-step action plans can be created to address different situations. This is vital in both making the operators job easier, but also in ensuring the company is following corporate safety and security policies every time and complying with local rules and regulations. “Without adaptive workflows, all you have is a lot of interconnected systems and you are solely reliant upon the experience of the operator to be able to coordinate the management of the incident,” added Wilson.

Adlan Hussain, VP of Marketing at CNL Software emphasized that dynamic workflows can change based on the time of the day, the threat level, and the number and types of alarms in the system. “This is what makes a PSIM solution an intelligence-based system and not a mere check list of processes to follow,” he explained.

These benefits, combined with growing connectivity, change the way corporations work. PSIM allows for a more centralized command and control, without being tied to a specific site. “In the past the security surveillance and sensors' monitoring had to be on-site at the place of the event. Today we can disconnect between the surveillance and the site. The benefit of a PSIM system is not only in connecting different sites, but thanks to the ability to display the same information in different languages we can connect a company headquarters in Europe with a site in Africa,” explained Hagai Katz, VP of Business Development for Magal Systems. “This connectivity allows the company headquarters to quickly address issues and make sure that the initial response is the correct one. A company can extend the benefit it gets from a PSIM system beyond safety and security. Other company procedures can be incorporated into the SOP, for example, making sure a proper media response is prepared by the PR function. In that sense a PSIM system also contributes to the company's risk management.”

Who should install PSIM?
From the technical point of view, PSIM solutions are intended for easy integration. It is therefore meant for cases when there are several legacy systems that need to be integrated, when there are several control layers (e.g., local and national), and when there are many sensors, or when future integrations with additional systems are needed.

PSIM is mostly needed for critical sites with high security requirements and large sites with many systems/ sensors. It is therefore mostly relevant for national infrastructure, large corporations, government buildings, mass transportation, and city protection projects. All these already have existing legacy systems and can benefit from integration. A city, for example, can integrate video footage from public space video surveillance cameras and traffic control cameras creating a unified situation picture in the control room.

Obstacles Facing Adoption
Though the benefits of PSIM seem natural and logical, there are still many barriers to its adoption. Some are due to lack of buy-in by different stakeholders that refuse to give up control of their systems and information; some are the result of past failures.

One of the biggest challenges faced by PSIM vendors is the availability of IT savvy channel partners. “Limitations to growth are predominantly around the current education levels within end users, consultants, and integrators,” explained Hussain,” We are working hard to increase education levels within each of these groups, and have created programs to address some of these challenges.”

Growing Connectivity and Greater Industry Cooperation
“With everything today moving at light speeds towards connectivity via the network and the Internet, PSIM is also migrating and expanding towards the ‘Internet of Things' via the information management aspects of PSIM,” said James Chong, Founder and CTO of Vidsys. “The open architecture and browserbased PSIM technology is enabling the software platform to rapidly and literally connect with almost any IP-based device, application, and system using open standards and protocols such as XML, SOAP, HTTP, SMTP, and others.”

Recent updates in PSIM software functions and features include integration with mobile devices, allowing ground forces to share and receive information through smartphones and tablets. In addition, there is an industry move towards greater connectivity with other business systems such as HR systems, internal directories, visitor management systems, building automation systems, RFID, intelligent transportation, and more. These will create opportunities for other benefits to be realized from PSIMs beyond safety and security.

“I think people are realizing that PSIMs can provide a lot more than just physical security,” said Michael Mesaros, Group Product Manager at Proximex, a Tyco Security Products brand. “We're being asked by customers to integrate with all kinds of systems — elevators, building management systems, luggage conveyors, and even environmental controls in airport jet ways. There is a combination of market forces at work and PSIMs must be capable of leveraging this data for more and more systems as it becomes available.” He pointed out that Proximex has worked to make their PSIM easier to integrate with — for example, by implementing APIs based on REST (representational state transfer), a standard integration in the enterprise IT world. “Following these standards opens up a lot of avenues for customers to integrate social and web solutions.”

toward greater connectivity and easier integration. CNL has created a PSIM driver development community, which allows other development houses, product vendors, and security integrators to create drivers to connect systems to CNL's PSIM platform. This allows fast production of drivers, and allows product vendors to create their own drivers if they are not able to share their SDK or APIs. In the past five years, CNL has also been running a technological partner program.

Another initiative to foster interoperability between manufacturers and establish industry standards is the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) led by companies such as Cisco, Tyco, Hikvision, and Kastle Systems. PSIA's mission is to develop specifications for physical security technology that will enable plug-and-play interoperability across the security ecosystem. This will make the integration of different systems under a PSIM solution quicker and easier.

Integrating Predictive Capabilities
PSIMs can go beyond event management and post-event investigation. The ability to integrate with media broadcasts, open source intelligence systems, and other information analytics gives PSIM a predictive capability, as well as a strategic advantage in predicting and preparing for incidents.

Earlier this year, Vidsys and HP Autonomy announced a collaboration to develop a solution that combines VidSys' PSIM with HP's advanced information analytics platform. “Social and broadcast media play an increasingly significant role in helping anticipate and mitigate potential security incidents around the world. The nature and profile of threats are constantly changing and this new generation of adversary often leaves a different digital footprint, creating potential gaps in traditional threat detection approaches,” said Chong. “The combination of a vast array of information, including social media chatter, video surveillance footage, emails, case files, criminal records, and physical location data help identify potential threats and take actions to neutralize the danger.”

PSIM to Offer Holistic Management
The benefits of PSIM, especially its ability to incorporate non-security systems, hold within them the promise of expanding beyond physical security and delivering comprehensive information management. A good example is seaport management, explained Katz. A PSIM system can make sure that an incoming truck is cleared quickly using LPR sensors for the truck and a biometric sensor for the driver. The containers can be recorded and stored according to their final destination and video surveillance can make sure the goods are not damaged. Since everything is audited by the system, the port can accurately bill the clients according to how long the cargo was stored before it was loaded on the ship. Usages like this, according to Katz, show how “PSIM allows combining these different work flows into one single story.”

All in all, the data gathered from security systems, combined with other systems can turn a PSIM solution into a comprehensive site control platform; thus demonstrating that PSIMs are not for security alone. In the future, PSIMs will allow for a more holistic management approach, combining safety, security, and management.

Smart camera surveillance and modern incident management

Smart camera surveillance and modern incident management

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Axis | Updated: 10/13/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Perceived and actual security
We all want to feel safe and secure, it's a basic human need. It comes way before in the hierarchy of needs than esteem or self-actualisation. However, we all perceive that security differently. There are cultural and geographical differences in this perception and also a correlation to the actual level of security based on the individual's knowledge of the situation or based on the sequence of events that have occurred historically.


Surveillance is a tool that public transport transit authorities can use to both manage the present security level, in terms of reducing incidents and crime and also to address passengers' fears concerning safety and security on the transport network. Used proactively in real-time, rather than merely recording the footage, camera surveillance is one dimension for security managers to consider when building a security system.

The main goal in any incident management system is to not overreact or underestimate any incident when it occurs and to use the right resources early on to reduce the number of incidents or avoid them entirely.

An incident lifecycle
The incident lifecycle can be characterised in five or six distinct steps:
Detection → Prioritisation → Response → Re-prioritisation → Investigation → Follow-up

Detection
This is the phase where an incident happens and is discovered. Incidents can be discovered manually when for example a passenger reports the incident via phone to the security centre, or it can be done automatically through automatic video analysis by a modern network video camera system. Examples of automatic video analysis could include overcrowding on platforms or entry into a restricted area or entry onto the rail tracks.

Prioritisation
Once the incident is detected, it needs to be prioritised in terms of what the nature of it is. This information is then prioritised against all other activities that response personnel are currently occupied with. By using high quality video from network video cameras, operators can make an informed assessment in real-time of the incident from a remote location and decide on the appropriate action.

Response
When the incident is fully understood by the security operators, it can be classified to follow a protocol; a set of operating procedures that have been determined beforehand in order to defuse and minimise the situation. The security centre can continually use network video to monitor how the scene potentially escalates and develops.

Furthermore, as modern network video cameras provide crisp, clear HDTV-quality video, not only can operators recognise what is currently happening they can also clearly identify the individual(s) involved. It is vital in a real-time situation to give a clear description of a perpetrator or someone in need of help (ie. clothing, height, body shape etc.) to allow the response to be quickly co-ordinated. With older camera technologies this was not really possible in many situations, but now it is.

Re-prioritisation
Sometimes an initial response to an incident is made with vague or limited information at hand. Sequences of events that have happened shortly before detection of the incident need to be reviewed and operators have to create a picture of the situation.
Furthermore, live and recorded video from other nearby locations can be used to continue the search for people involved and help responders be in the right place. Key to any successful response is the speed of that response and here network video also plays a central role in reprioritisation of incidents.

Investigation
After an incident is dealt with, there usually follows a period of investigation where the facts are established and the sequence of actions reported to the authorities. Video evidence is key as it helps to show the actual scenario from many different angles. By using modern network cameras, the image quality is the same as the HDTV broadcasts we are accustomed to at home. Positively identifying people where there can be no doubt of who did what and when, is a vital benefit to any investigation process.

Follow-up
The final phase is the step of follow-up and learning. Here video can be used to review real incidents with staff and security partners in order for them to discuss and learn from the footage.

Proactive video use with centralised surveillance in real-time
To create a new level of security for public transport, centralised, real-time surveillance and the ability to coordinate response personnel is key to minimising the impact of incidents and increase the perception of security. Network video has a clear role to play in all phases of modern incident management. By carefully applying intelligent video where cameras analyse the video, security operators will also benefit from an additional detection mechanism to detect incidents early and thereby increasing their ability to respond to an incident successfully before it escalates out of control. 


--Contributed by Patrik Anderson, Director Business Development Transportation, Axis Communications

 

Exploration: Sensing automation

Exploration: Sensing automation

Editor / Provider: Editorial Department, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 10/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

If your house is able to think and feel, what can it do for you? Well, it could be an affordable or even a free housekeeper that can automatically take care of your family and property to make your life easy, comfort, organized and secure.

Sensors are fundamental for smart home. Smart home systems rely on a number of sensors to gain understanding of the environment to enable devices to respond accordingly. In essence, sensors communicate with each other and the smart home system to make a home intelligent. The intelligence may then be applied to various use cases, such as security, convenience, comfort, energy conservation and more. Today sensors are increasingly smart, cheap, compact and power efficient, each of which are crucial factors in pushing the market toward a truly practical and affordable smart home solution worthy of mass market adoption.

In addition, many sensors in the market today are multifunctional sensors with built in wireless connectivity. They also have a stronger focus on user experience users can easily find sensors that are cheap and easy to set up, measure multiple elements, and interact with a variety of devices through wireless communication protocols. And they last for years without a battery change.

SECURITY, COMFORT AND ENERGY SAVING
Security, comfort and energy conservation are three main motivations for homeowners to purchase smart home systems. According to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, smart home may become the second highest priority for residential modeling over the next five to ten years. According to another study by Harvard University, 73% of consumers demand energy efficiency in their remodeling projects; they achieve this through managing and coordinating lighting control and HVAC systems through automated means or via mobile devices.

Research conducted by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) indicates that smart homes of the future will feature more than 20 or even 30 connected sensors and devices. They will likely be linked via a home area network to the Internet as well as the service providers back end systems.

A smart home system that aims to make a home more secure, comfortable and energy efficient should include the following sensors:
‧ Motiondetection / PIR sensors:
Senses movement and triggers alerts. Major providers offer remote monitoring services that allow users to stream live video from their home cameras when needed.
‧ Ambient light sensors:
Lets the system know which areas have sufficient lighting. In conjunction with a motion detector, the smart home system may know that it should turn on the lights when motion is detected in a dark room.
‧ Smoke/CO detection sensors:
Alerts users of potential fire hazards. The smart home system may also know it should turn off fuel burning appliances, sound alarms, flash lights and more. ‧Temperature sensors/Thermostat:
Measures indoor or outdoor temperatures. Smart home systems can control HVAC appliances to adjust the environment to be more comfortable.
‧ Humidity sensors:
Measures humidity levels and possibly air quality. Smart home systems can control HVAC appliances to adjust the environment to be more comfortable.
‧ Water/floodsensors:
Informs users when water is spilling from a pipe or an appliance. Some systems can cut off water supplies and electricity to prevent disasters.
‧ Press/vibrationsensors:
Detects pressure and vibration. It could be attached to a window for security purposes or a washing machine to alert users when the laundry is done.

A ROSY PICTURE
The United States represents the largest market worldwide, followed by Europe. ON World s recent survey of more than 1,000 US adults forecast phenomenal growth in the coming years. Over a third believes they will have wireless sensors in their home in five years. Early adopters plan on having at least 50 sensors in their smart homes within the next five years and they want to integrate them into their WiFi/IP network,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. For all respondents, data reliability was selected as the most important feature of a smart home sensing and control system, followed by battery life, IP addressability, smartphone control and app availability.

Among all the sensor type, automated security and lighting are popular among consumers, and most homeowners opt for a smart home system because of security reasons. Families with children/elderly can especially benefit from the security that a smart home system provides. According to the survey by ON World, consumers are most likely to buy smoke detector/CO alarms followed by wireless LED light bulbs, smart thermostats and/or a smart appliance.

At the moment, wireless sensor devices are primarily used in industrial settings, residential applications are expected to grow phenomenally, mainly for automation and energy management purposes. This sector was worth $244 million in 2011 and is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2016, showing a CAGR of 35.5% between 2011 and 2016, according to BCC Research.

The expected prosperity is also exemplified by the growth of key component shipments. “Smart home sensor network chipset shipments will approach 100 million worldwide in 2015, enabling nearly $6 billion in cloud services for energy and home service providers,” Hatler said.

MULTI-PURPOSE SENSORS: YES, PLEASE!
The most common combination of sensors in a single package is smoke and heat. There are also 4-in-1 multi-purpose sensors that can detect motion, light, temperature and humidity. For example, FIBARO's Motion Sensor detects movement and vibrations and measures the current ambient temperature and light intensity. The product is capable of displaying color, which are pre-programmed but fully customizable, allowing users to see at a glance what the sensor is picking up.

In addition to making sensors more powerful and capable of gaining a deeper understanding of the surrounding environment, another benefit is that few sensors need to be installed. This can offer real savings in areas with high labor costs.

According to IHS Technology, market trends in North America and Western Europe are showing higher demand and increased usage of multi-purpose sensors. The think tank forecasts the global multi-purpose sensor market to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2013 to 2018.

INTELLIGENT SENSORS ENABLE SMARTER LIFESTYLES
Sensors gather data to help an intelligent system analyze users' habits and take actions to maximize user comfort and minimize energy consumption. Occupancy and vacancy sensors are commonly referred to as motion and light sensors, which can be applied to help save energy. Lights turn off automatically when a room is unoccupied, and turn on when motion is detected. Vacancy sensors are also used to automatically turn off lights when a room is empty. In addition to lighting, indoor temperature can also be controlled to effectively heat or cool a room depending on the number of people in it. For example, FIBARO's smart sensor offers intelligent analysis like guest counting. Once the system knows there are more people in the house, it will turn on the ventilation on to let in fresh air.

Some sensors also reach beyond comfort to improve users' wellness. Air quality monitoring startup alima, offers responsive sensors that monitor indoor air quality and sends messages to users regarding pollution levels and predictions of upcoming weather.

The sensor intelligently learns indoor environment and helps modify user habits to minimize contributions to pollution. It sends data to the cloud and pushes results and advice to connected devices, while also providing a holistic view of air quality.

COMMUNICATION STANDARD GOES IP-ADDRESSABLE
Regardless of the application of sensors, communication between different sensors is crucial. Unfortunately, multiple wireless communication standards coexist and are incompatible with each other. Many popular smart home solutions are still closed systems that adopt proprietary standards.

Closed systems and proprietary protocols contribute to the lack of interoperability between systems and devices. Although there are numerous gateways or hubs that attempt to bridge communication between devices that adopt different standards, true interoperability is unlikely to be realized through “duct tape” solutions. The majority of wireless sensor networks use proprietary protocols running on sub-GHz or 2.4GHz frequency bands. When a home is equipped with tens or hundreds of wireless sensors continuously working in the full-alert mode, a large amount of energy is consumed.

As sensors become more compact, their sizes limit them to use small batteries as their power source. The sensors must minimize energy consumption to extend their lifetime, which is unacceptable for consumer use if it is less than one year. At the same time, sensors must provide high quality monitoring 24/7, as the consequence of unreliable homecare may be life threatening, and will not be tolerated by consumers. The scenario reflects the necessity of activity-aware sensor networking, along with the integration of activity recognition algorithms. For instance, if no one is at home, the sensing and networking activity should fall back to standby mode in order to reduce energy consumption. If a user is at home, the sensing and networking needs to provide reliable and predictable monitoring.

Low-power and activity-aware sensor networks with the integration of activity recognition algorithms are on demand. The current connected home systems connect sensors with multiple low-power wireless technologies like Low Power WiFi, Thread, ULE, Z-Wave, ZigBee, and ISM Band Sub-GHz frequency bands (433, 868 and 915 MHz).

IP-addressable is the mainstream for smart home sensors. Among the standards, ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Labs, and Yale Security launched Thread in July 2014. Thread is a new IP-based wireless mesh network protocol that will enable smart home devices to carry IPv6 communications with very low power consumption and support large-scale networks for the home with more than 250 nodes. Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director of IHS Technology indicated that Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards, designed for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks. Existing popular application protocols and IoT platforms can run over Thread networks, which means millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices already on the market can run Thread with just a software enhancement.

According to Transparency Market Research, WiFi used to be the major technology employed in home energy managements systems, accounting for 25.1% of the total market in 2012. However, over the forecasted period from 2013 to 2019, ZigBee is expected to show the fastest growth and surpass WiFi to become the primary technology. This is mainly attributed to its growing demand in established markets like Europe and the U.S. on the account of its superior properties like scalability, more interference tolerant and compatibility with most HAN (Home Area Network) devices.

ConnectSense by Grid Connect is a platform for low-cost, cloud-based WiFi 802.11b/g wireless sensors that monitor changes in a user's environment and then sends alerts and notifications via phone call, email, text or tweet. Sensors are available to monitor temperature, humidity, water, motion, security and light. WiFi is the ubiquitous wireless technology found in business offices and homes. The utilization of WiFi networks lets users leverage their existing WiFi network without the need to purchase any additional hardware or gateways.

ON World's findings indicated that ZigBee and Z-Wave will have more than half of the sensor network market in 2015, but emerging technologies such as Low Power WiFi and 6LoWPAN will grow even faster. Z-Wave operates in the sub-GHz band, avoiding 2.4 GHz interference.

VIVOTEK's convenient retail solution is now on the market

VIVOTEK's convenient retail solution is now on the market

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 10/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK is pleased to announce that its Convenient Retail Solution is now available on the market. In the face of challenging economic conditions, VIVOTEK recognizes the demands of retail market customers and has responded by developing the cost-effective and user-friendly “Convenient Retail Solution”. The state-of-the-art solution comprises the ND8321, an 8-channel plug-and-play network video recorder, elegantly designed ultra-mini bullet network cameras, and ultra-mini dome network cameras. The solution is especially ideal for retail outlets like convenience stores, boutique stores, restaurants, and clothing stores.

Steve Ma, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK, remarked, “There is a rising awareness of the benefits brought by security systems, and the installation of a surveillance solution has become something of a prerequisite in this regard. However, some smaller scale retail owners might hesitate to embrace high quality surveillance solutions because of the price tag. Whenever it comes to cost, retail owners often choose the most affordable solution, compromising quality by doing so. VIVOTEK, bearing the market in mind, has now developed the Convenient Retail Solution, a quality performance system at a reasonable cost. The goal is to help our customers improve the security, efficiency, operational flow and productivity of retail staff affordably, to ensure a safer and more comfortable shopping environment for customers without having to break the bank.”

VIVOTEK's Convenient Retail Solution is again a strong demonstration of VIVOTEK's innovation in solution design and development:
* Standalone Desktop NVR ND8321: ND8321 is a compact Linux embedded 8-CH NVR, designed for any small-scale video surveillance installation. The "One Button Setup" functionality makes ND8321 simple and easy to use. Supporting Full HD HDMI local video output, video from the NVR can be viewed directly. Together with VAST CMS and ST7501 VMS, users can set up an easy-to-use IP surveillance system. In addition, ND8321 supports mobile applications and iViewer for both Android and iOS handheld devices, enabling users to monitor live video anytime, anywhere.


* Ultra-mini Bullet Network Cameras IB8156 and IB8168: Both cameras are ultra-mini bullet network cameras with an elegant design, especially suitable for indoor applications in which discreetness is of utmost importance. Featuring 1.3-Megapixel and 2-Megapixel CMOS Sensors, respectively, IB8156 and IB8168 can produce superb image quality around the clock.


* Ultra-mini Dome Network Cameras FD8168: FD8168 is an ultra-mini fixed dome network camera. Similar to IB8168, FD8168 is equipped with a 2-Megapixel CMOS sensor, ideal for indoor applications in which cameras have to blend in with interior decoration.

Awards roll in from around the world for NICE's suspect search solution

Awards roll in from around the world for NICE's suspect search solution

Editor / Provider: NICE | Updated: 10/8/2014 | Article type: Security 50

NICE Systems announced that it has received several awards for its Suspect Search Video Analytics solution, which was officially announced to the market on September 22 and showcased for the first time at ASIS International 2014.

* ASIS Accolades award – presented by ASIS International, the organization for security professionals worldwide, this award recognizes the security industry's most innovative new products, services and solutions

* Campus Safety BEST award – recognizing superlative security, law enforcement, emergency management and safety solutions for K-12 campuses, institutions of higher education and healthcare organizations

* Security Trophy for “Innovative Tool and Application” of the Year - 2014 (by Marc Dumas Conseil, France) – awarded to the company that demonstrates innovative and effective solutions for improving the performance of security teams and their clients

NICE Suspect Search is a patent-pending video analytics technology that can quickly locate and retrace the movements of a suspect, lost child, or other person of interest within a video surveillance network. Video footage from different cameras and time frames can be reviewed in just minutes, as the system automatically filters out 95 percent of irrelevant images. In addition to achieving faster response times, organizations are able to restore normal operations quicker following a breach to a sensitive area. Digitally stamped images, video, and related location information associated with each search can easily be shared with police departments and district attorneys as part of forensic investigations.

Chris Wooten, Executive Vice President, NICE Security Group
“Shortly after its launch, Suspect Search received a number of accolades from around the globe. This enthusiasm reinforces the market need for such a solution and further positions NICE as a leading innovator in the industry. Suspect Search is an important tool which allows for the practical application of video analytics in order to search for a specific person in real time.”

NICE's security solutions help organizations capture, analyze and leverage big data to anticipate, manage and mitigate security and safety risks, improve operations, and make the world a safer place. The NICE security, intelligence and cyber offerings provide valuable insights that enable enterprises and government agencies to take the best action at the right time by correlating structured and unstructured data from multiple sensors and channels, detecting irregular patterns, and recognizing trends. The solutions have been deployed to help secure a broad range of organizations and events, such as banks, utility companies, airports, seaports, city centers, transportation systems, major tourist attractions, as well as sporting events and diplomatic meetings.

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