29 April 2011


ONVIF, the organization looking to standardize IP-based physical security products showed the standard is growing quickly among vendors at a demonstration in Las Vegas.

ONVIF held a public demonstration of IP-based device interoperability with more than two dozen network video terminal (NVTs) and network video clients (NVC) gathered together in a ballroom at the Sands Convention Center during the ISC West 2011 trade show. According to Jonas Andersson, chairman of ONVIF’s steering committee and director of business development and global sales at Axis Communications, “We wanted to show that it’s working,” he said in an interview during the event. ONVIF is the leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products. Anderson said there are currently more than 700 products available in the market that conform to the ONVIF specification. “As of the end of March, there are more than 700 and we’ve been adding almost 100 per month” in the last few months, said Andersson.

ONVIF membership has grown to more than 280 companies, according to the organization. The recently-expanded specification now includes video storage, analytics and a pending addition of physical access control, with the release of the ONVIF Core Specification 2.0 to encompass video storage, display devices, video analytics and other areas, ONVIF said it is getting closer to its goal of providing a global open network interface standard for physical security equipment. The expansion of the scope to include physical access control systems is slated for release in 2011, it said.

The event was ONVIF’s fourth interoperability showcase and continues the group’s tradition of providing an open forum during major security industry events to foster communication with companies actively involved in the development and implementation of the ONVIF specification and provide education about standards, it said.  Companies taking part in the demonstration include network video firms such as CNB Technology, Hikvision, Bosch Security Systems, GVI Security, LG Electronics, Siemens, Axis Communications, Sony and several others. “The rapid adoption rate of the ONVIF specification in the security industry has proved that ONVIF is becoming the de facto standard in the market,” said Andersson. “End users, integrators and consultants are beginning to embrace the ONVIF specification as a critical tool in the design of today’s network video surveillance systems.”

One of the demonstration participants, thermal imaging systems maker FLIR, demonstrated it could connect its systems with a number of NVCs in the demonstration room. A FLIR spokesman said the process of conforming to the ONVIF standards allows the company to validate the interoperability of its products more quickly, resulting in faster incorporation by systems integrators.

22 April 2011

Data Center Best Practices for Integrated Physical Security

Just finished a White-paper  titled  "Data Center Best Practices for Integrated Physical Security Technology Solutions and SAS 70 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7) Compliance" It’s time to get physical—as in physically protecting a data center and all of its assets.  The need for ironclad virtual security measures, such as managed firewalls, is well known. Yet physical security is often placed on the back
burner, largely forgotten about until an unauthorized party manages to break into or sneak onto a site and steals or vandalizes systems. Read more below...

20 April 2011

Protect Your Home and Family as well as Your Department from Physical Security Threats

As a contracted provider of Physical Security Solutions for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under contract FAC64, I wanted to answer physical security questions you may have on your mind. I specialize in helping departments that don't have a specialized security manager’s on staff. I do this by assisting non-security professionals create and operate effective protection programs that allow safeguards to be managed without having a dedicated physical security professional.  Today’s security technologies offer fantastic tools to deter a variety of threats.

I recently had a conversation with Security Professionals within the Commonwealth.  In that conversation I became aware that security technologies, policies and procedures are primarily focused on facilities and not on the personal residences of our elected and appointed officials.  I was asking these questions because I was aware of protection policies that were addressed back in 2007 at the federal level, originally concerning the Federal Judiciary.  I have some ideas that you may want to consider since the January 8th 2011 event in Tucson, AZ brought to the forefront the clear and present danger a person with no concern for themselves or others can cause. 

I am available to individually meet and discuss your individual concerns, in the mean time I would suggest some policies and procedures that you may want to consider.  I have included the following checklist to introduce some reasonable ideas and enhancements to improve basic safety:

·         A professional physical security review of key person’s home including their home security alarm system (if available).
·         The alarm should be monitored (or installed) and a clear escalation process for a State Police and Local Law Enforcement enhanced priority response, such as: “crime in progress.” with follow-up.
·         Make sure all keys and codes are protected and not available to non-family members.  (There are other options to provide limited access to vendors, cleaning services, etc.)
·         Do not put key person’s name or title outside their residence or in their mailbox.
·         Do not put key person’s home address on any public records or public accessible records. (Consider holding title to real and other property in trust.)
·         Change key person’s mailing address to key person’s work address and use a post office box or business-address telephone number on their personal checks.
·         Apply for confidentiality on driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations owned or leased by key person, spouse, and children from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) thru the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) administered by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
·         Make sure their telephone number is unpublished and unlisted.
·         Do not give out identifying information such as home address or telephone number unless absolutely necessary or required for governmental purposes.
·         Ensure that key person’s home address and telephone numbers are not listed on Web sites other than those secured by government agencies.

These are just a few ideas; threats to public officials can come in many different forms: in writing, by telephone, verbally through an informant or a third party, or through suspicious activity.  Threats and inappropriate communications can be anything that harasses or makes ominous or unsettling overtures of an improper nature and can include inappropriate pictures drawings or trespassing.  Any received threats should always be reported immediately, even if they appear minor or inconsequential.  Law enforcement should determine whether a threat is credible and warrants investigation.

Please call my direct line at (508) 453-2731 if I can be of service to you and help you improve your personal security.  I appreciate and look forward to the opportunity to meet and work with you, as I continue to provide value and serve the unique needs of public-sector clients, continuing our track record of strong service, safety and support. 

About American Alarm and Communications, Inc., 

AACI is in a unique position to improve personal protection of key individuals as a Massachusetts based Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listed, and federally recognized 24-hour Security Command Center and Central Station.   Every day we manage a full range of security, communication and escalation procedures specifically designed for our key customers.  We are an independent, family-run business with three offices throughout Massachusetts.  Our founders, three engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, have worked to bring the benefits of new technology and solutions to our customers. Though we have grown over the years, our mission has remained the same: to provide the best possible security technology and customer service to protect homes and businesses across Massachusetts. www.americanalarm.com

11 April 2011

Avigilon announced the introduction of Avigilon Control Center Mobile (ACC Mobile)

Last week at ISC WEST Avigilon, the performance and value leader in high definition (HD) and megapixel video surveillance systems, today announced the introduction of Avigilon Control Center Mobile (ACC Mobile), a new application that enables security professionals to connect to the Avigilon Control Center Network Video Management Software (NVMS) platform over any IP wireless network with Apple devices including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Commercially available in June 2011, ACC Mobile enables operators to remotely view live and recorded surveillance video to improve response times to incidents from any location.

“With increasingly demanding security requirements, security personnel are regularly called to the field to respond to incidents and require remote access to their systems outside of regular business hours to review or verify incidents,” said Rick Ramsay, product manager at Avigilon. “By providing remote access to HD surveillance video, ACC Mobile gives security professionals the tools they need to efficiently secure the entire site, expediting response times and ensuring investigative success.”

Extending the award-winning High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology of Avigilon Control Center, ACC Mobile is designed to efficiently support HD and megapixel images and detail up to 16 MP. Leveraging the Avigilon Control Center gateway web service, ACC Mobile can be easily connected to an unlimited number of servers and cameras, expanding access to video surveillance data for greater coverage and remote monitoring.

Avigilon Control Center 4.8 Network Video Management Software

The latest version of the award-winning enterprise-class NVMS platform, Avigilon Control Center 4.8 captures, transmits, manages, stores, archives, plays back, and exports HD video while efficiently handling bandwidth and storage. New features include an extended HD Point-of-Sale transaction engine for easier display and management of transaction data; audio output functionality to facilitate two-way audio for enhanced security; a gateway web service to enable remote connection; and expanded third-party camera and access control integrations for greater interoperability and a more unified approach to security.

About Avigilon

Avigilon designs, manufactures, and markets award-winning HD surveillance systems. The performance and value leader, Avigilon’s solutions protect and monitor thousands of customer sites in more than 60 countries around the world. Avigilon Control Center, the world’s first open HD Network Video Management Software platform, and megapixel cameras deliver full situational awareness and actionable image detail. Campuses, transportation systems, healthcare providers, public venues, infrastructure, and manufacturing sites with security, safety validation, and compliance requirements all benefit from reduced investigation time and more successful investigations by immediately producing indisputable video evidence. Avigilon earned Frost & Sullivan’s HD Surveillance Company of the Year award in 2009, the Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation in 2010, and was ranked among the top five fastest growing technology companies in Canada in the 2010 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 ranking. For further information, please visit www.avigilon.com.

06 April 2011

Ocularis V2.0 by OnSSI

Ocularis allows you to centrally manage all the components of your physical security information system, including:
  • Access control
  • Fire alarms
  • Video analytics
  • Radiation detection
  • Loss prevention systems
  • Point of sale
  • Elevator systems
  • Building management
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air-Conditioning system
  • Facility automation

Ocularis is designed to work best in multi-site, multi-server environments and it offers a number of key tools that improve how security issues are handled. See this 2.0 video/demo.

Recently OnSSI, announced integration of their highly acclaimed Ocularis software platform with video analytics functionality provided by Mate Intelligent Video, a MangoDSP company.

The Mate intelligent video system can provide alarms in Ocularis related to various modes of detection. This includes directional motion such as a boundary crossing or virtual path crossing detection; a static object like a stopped vehicle or object left behind; or an object removed, which helps to prevent vehicle theft, stock shrinkage or to protect a valuable object. The system can also combine multiple video analytics events using rules dependency to trigger an alarm and to minimize false alarms; for example, at the entrance of an office building, Path Detection followed by Loitering would trigger an alarm only when the loitering is done by a person coming from outside and would filter out the people from the building who go outside. Mate has also developed a number of advanced and proprietary video surveillance technologies such as behavior tracking, people and car counting and tailgating detection.

"Integration of the Mate video analytics product expands the functionality of Ocularis and provides customers an additional choice of video analytics systems to work with Ocularis," said Gadi Piran, President and Chief Technology Officer, OnSSI. "Video analytics work hand-in-hand with Ocularis to control the amount of information an operator has to deal with and to involve operator response only in situations that require his or her attention. Combined with Ocularis, Mate video analytics can prioritize alarms requiring response, improve system functionality, make systems more efficient and enable real-time reaction to incidents."

Complementing Mate’s intelligent video capabilities are features of Ocularis such as instant investigation during live monitoring, open platform support for hundreds of camera models, centralized user rights management and map navigation with active camera previews. Advanced video investigation tools, including the Time Slicer and Kinetic Motion Timeline, are also included in Ocularis, which is scalable for an unlimited number of cameras and servers at multiple sites with single-camera incremental licensing, and is bundled with unlimited installs of Ocularis Client software.

Mate Intelligent Video filters video information to display events of interest and automates video surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ability to react in real time boosts proactive surveillance and improves security operations. Other applications include perimeter security, monitoring cash register lines or airport check-in queues and sending an alarm when a large crowd of people gathers.

"Mate intelligent video enhances the benefits of video management software such as Ocularis by monitoring and automating the video content an operator sees," said Daniel Peled, EVP Sales, Mango DSP, Inc. "Ocularis is a user-friendly system that provides operators with helpful tools to manage even large numbers of camera feeds, and Mate video analytics works to make those video systems even more efficient and effective."  GOTO www.ONSSI.com for more information.

New Intelligent Risk Mitigation Security Solutions

Cisco announced a series of safety and security product innovations powered by A Medianet architecture to help cities, enterprises, small businesses and partners transform the way they protect people, property and critical infrastructure. Today's announcement introduces enhancements to several Cisco services designed to help customers transition to IP-based safety and security systems. These include:
  • Updates to the Cisco Physical Access Manager, Cisco's application for managing integrated security operations on an IP network. It integrates hardware such as door readers, locks and biometric devices on campus environments and office buildings, providing a platform for integration with other IT systems.
  • Enhancements to the Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS), Cisco's complete IP-based dispatch and incident response solution.
  • A Network Readiness Assessment service for IP Video Surveillance that will help Cisco channel partners to evaluate and plan their customers' network capabilities to support standard and high-definition video surveillance solutions.

The integrated safety and security solution not only offers video surveillance capabilities but also takes advantage of integration with A Medianet network-based services to support end-to-end video quality while automating many aspects of configuration and deployment.

Cisco Physical Access Manager 1.3

Cisco Physical Access Manager now delivers enhanced local survivability for network-based access control by helping to ensure that if a system fails, access identity and operations still function effectively. For example, an improved fault tolerant anti-passback feature works even in the event of a network outage to help ensure that premises maintain a high degree of security under uncertain conditions.

The solution allows plug-and-play A Medianet-enabled cameras to be used as motion-detection sensors. This enables customers to consolidate alarm management procedures, thereby lowering the cost of security operations.

Government and enterprise customers can reduce the fraudulent duplication of access cards and identity credentials through support for new federal identity standards such as FIPS-201 and HSPD-12.
For global customers, the Cisco Physical Access Manager 1.3 desktop client provides the ability to display menus and other text in multiple languages.

Cisco IP Interoperability and Communications System (IPICS)

Cisco IPICS is a complete IP-based dispatch and incidence-response solution enabling rapid, reliable communication using whatever desktop or mobile device is at hand to provide public safety personnel with continuous, real-time communication as well as streaming video.

Cisco demonstrated solutions on IPICS mobile platforms, including Android, with future support planned for the Cisco CiusTM tablet. IPICS now includes expanded operating system support for Windows 7, as well as for iOS 4 devices, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

The latest generation of routers, including the Cisco Integrated Services Router G2 and router media service gateway, are now supported, as well as all types of radios and future mobile and broadband networks, including narrowband and 4G / Long-Term Evolution (LTE).

Cisco also today announced the Cisco IPICS Video Dispatch Starter Kit, a turn-key package that contains all the hardware and software necessary to transform the Cisco Video Surveillance system into a collaboration solution enabling dynamic real-time two-way video sharing between the operations center and mobile users.

IP Video Surveillance Network Readiness Assessment Service

Prior to video deployments, Cisco is helping customers remediate any network design or capacity issues by making training, knowledge and tools available today to Cisco Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) Partners to analyze, inventory and assess customer networks.

The goal in assessing the network is to ensure the quality of experience of the video surveillance deployment to meet the safety, security and loss-prevention needs of the business and organization.

Cisco IP Service Level Agreement Suite - Video Operation

To help customers simulate planned video traffic loads, Cisco also introduced Video Operation as part of its Cisco IP Service Level Agreement suite. This Cisco IOS Software feature for the Cisco Catalyst 3000 Series Switches enables video surveillance, Cisco TelePresence or IPTV traffic to be simulated using profiles prior to full deployment and to troubleshoot video performance in existing networks.

Supporting Quotes

Bill Stuntz, vice president and general manager, Physical Security business unit, Cisco, said: "The combination of new security threats, regulatory compliance mandates, and the need to protect critical assets has driven the demand for a more efficient use of physical security technologies powered by next-generation services. The introduction of new solutions and network assessments will enable our customers to meet changing safety and security needs while improving flexibility and reliability."

Debbie White, manager of Landside Operations, Auckland Airport, said: "Auckland is the largest airport in New Zealand, serving 13 million passengers annually, so safety and security are paramount to our operations. Working with Cisco enabled us to provide the extra level of functionality, flexibility and efficiency required to support changing infrastructure and traveler needs as we continue to grow."

Rocco DelMonaco Jr., vice president for University Safety, Georgetown University, said: "The Cisco physical security solution deployed at Georgetown University has exceeded the requirements and challenges of helping to protect and secure a campus with nearly 15,000 students and thousands of faculty and staff."

André Bourget, chief security officer, canton Vaud, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, said: "Working with Cisco, canton Vaud has evolved its IT and networking infrastructure to provide superior service and protection to all of its constituents, including the police, the department of Justice and open-desk services to citizens. The open, scalable solution helps to enable a high level of integrity, security and efficiency and provides opportunities for expansion in the future to meet the control, access and video protection needs of the canton's 2,000 government buildings."

Keske Toyofuku, chief information officerforFirst Wind, said: "Operating wind farms in remote locations makes ensuring safety and security a challenging problem. To help First Wind efficiently manage these risks, we turned to Cisco to provide a comprehensive and fully integrated system. Prior to installing our Cisco complete video surveillance and physical access control system, video and access control were not fully integrated and difficult to manage. With the deployment of Cisco Video Surveillance Operations Manager as well as Cisco Physical Access Manager for our wind farm facilities, we have both simplified and improved access control and video surveillance."

Jeff Woodward, senior manager, Panduit Global Environmental Health and Safety, said: "By centralizing security operations from our Unified Operations Center, we should achieve an annual estimated saving of $653,000 and a 1.5-year payback period while enabling our security personnel to monitor and control video surveillance cameras and building access controls for all global offices over a WAN."

Panduit collaborated with Cisco, N2N Secure, and IPVision on a connected building design for its new World Headquarters building which combines security and network operations functions in a single Unified Operations Center. The project integrates state-of-the-art security systems, incorporating video surveillance, physical access controls, analytics software, and interoperable communications.

Supporting Resources:

Auckland International Airport Enhances Safety, Communications, Response: http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/videos/auckland_020209.html

Joel King's ISC West Panel Discussion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qkckNkzcQ8

To learn more, visit Cisco Physical Security: www.cisco.com/go/physec

Cisco Video Surveillance Solution for Small Businesses: www.cisco.com/go/SmallBusiness

01 April 2011


Now you can install reliable and economical monitoring solution that allows you to monitor video on just about anything you like.  American Alarm’s iSee Video system enables you to view live video feed of your home or business from any web-enabled computer or smart phone.

Use iSee Video to:

  • See who’s at your door in your driveway or around your yard.
  • Monitor for intruders and help solve burglaries.
  • Monitor nannies, babysitters and caregivers.
  • Receive notifications when children get home and view video to see who might be with them.
  • Monitor pet’s behavior.
  • Check in on second homes.
  • Monitor house or pool cleaning services.
  • Monitor second homes or vacation homes.
  • Monitor your small business and employees.
  • Enable friends and relatives to view the video feed on special occasions remotely.
  • And much, much more.

Alerts are sent automatically to your e-mail or phone, video clips will show you what just happened so you can decide if you need to view live or take additional action.  We can also integrate to your security system to minimize false alarms. View openings and closings, temperature changes, deliveries, etc.  Optional recording up to 30 days of continuous video playback of up  to 6 cameras or devices. ISee Video has remote Pan Tilt capabilities.

System Costs:
  • ISee Wi-Fi Video, Starter Kit: $450
  • Monthly Server Charge: $9

Physical Security Talking Points and Fraud

When discussing physical security, there are several important talking points to consider. Here are some key points to include: Risk Assessm...