Monthly Archives: November 2015

Shard owners ramp up security in wake of Greenpeace protest

Specialist CCTV with intruder detection systems has installed at the tallest building in the European Union after Greenpeace protesters climbed to the summit.

Six activists, all of them women, scaled the iconic Shard in London and unfurled a flag with ‘Save the Arctic’ emblazoned upon it to protest against plans to drill in the Arctic by the oil company Shell.

The Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, inaugurated the 95-storey building on 6 July 2012 in a ceremony attended by HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York.

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The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the View from the Shard viewing platform on 1 February 2013.

Following the Greenpeace stunt, the management company for the owner Sellar Property Group and the State of Qatar decided to enhance the on-site security system with the latest state-of-the-art CCTV.

They appointed installer Unique Security, and together evaluated leading products on the market. Zaun’s EyeLynx SharpView was selected on the basis of performance, quality and its focus on reliability.

Its rapid deployment system, Pharos, was installed together with wireless PIRs from Luminite to further secure the perimeter and the main escalators to London Bridge Station.

EyeLynx provided a back-up SharpView NVR for critical cameras in time for a Royal visit from Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Phillip.

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This unit worked seamlessly with the installed Pharos cameras using SharpView VMS and demonstrated to the management team how the security could be drastically improved by recording in High Definition quality and retaining video for at least 30 days for all the building’s CCTV cameras.

The complete CCTV system was subsequently changed over to SharpView in January 2014, with over 200 cameras recording to ten SharpView Corporate NVRs incorporating over 200 Tb of storage, while four SharpView Manager Workstations allow the security team to manage and control the entire security system on desktop monitors and a 16 ft video wall in the Control Room.

Security for gas distribution network

One of the UK’s largest gas distributors has specified prison-style double skin steel mesh and special fence toppings to secure its gas distribution network across the north of England.

The business has turned to the Zaun Group and, specifically, its HiSec DualSkin and Flexible Steel Topping (FST) products.

The distributor delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses and around 6.7 million individuals in the North East, northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire through a vast network of 37,000 km of gas pipes – enough to stretch from Leeds to Sydney, Australia and back again, in fact.

ZaunGasNetwork

During periods of peak demand, the network transports four times as much energy as the electricity networks to large cities such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Leeds, York, Hull and Bradford and beautiful rural areas including North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Zaun’s HiSec DualSkin has been specifically designed for sites that need a more secure solution and features two layers of the traditional HiSec 358 welded mesh with 76.2 mm x 12.7 mm open mesh sections.

These double-skin 358 panels are welded together with the secondary panel turned 90 degrees to make a very tight 12.7 mm x 12.7 mm mesh configuration which is difficult to cut and almost impossible to climb.

The tiny apertures eliminate foot and finger holds for people trying to climb the fence or gain access to the site, prevent objects being passed through and are highly resistant against the use of hand or power cutting tools.

HiSec DualSkin conforms to BS 1722 Part 14 Category 4 and has been extensively used in prisons and by the Ministry of Defence to protect high security assets.

The FST topping system that tops the fence is fully-tested for use in UK high security prisons. At the heart of FST is a steel mesh arch, curved back over the top of a steel fence and fixed to a flexible steel bracket that’s designed to move when people try to climb it.

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Vista launches new E-Series range with latest Sony Starvis technology

Vista has announced the release of its new range of 3 Megapixel cameras which use Sony Starvis technology, in turn bringing to the fore increased image quality and a “careful balance” between price and performance for security managers.

These new cameras also take advantage of Sony’s Starvis back-illuminated pixel technology to produce highly detailed images in low light situations. The sensitivity performance has been extended from the visible light range to include near infrared range to support images at night, which is often essential for surveillance camera use.

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Key features include the following:
• 3 Megapixel resolution giving greater detail and image quality without compromising on price
• Remote set-up lenses making the security installer’s job to gain crystal clear focus much simpler
• Alarms and audio allows easy integration of the cameras with remotely monitored systems
• SD card slots allow edge recording as a back-up to end users’ NVRs
• IR illumination guarantees “excellent performance” day and night

Vista product manager Bob Forehand stated: “This new range from Vista is an evolution of our popular E-Series, but brings significantly more functionality, image performance and low light capability at the same competitive price. The new Sony Starvis technology is an excellent addition to the range, producing high quality detail in 3 Megapixel resolution for end users.”

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Bullet-style outdoor network thermal camera unveiled by Axis Communications

Axis Communications has just introduced an affordable bullet-style outdoor network thermal camera with powerful performance for analytics via the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP).

The Axis Q1941-E offers “outstanding” high contrast thermal images. It’s the first thermal camera that supports both Electronic Image Stabilisation, which helps reduce the effect of vibrations, and Axis’ Zipstream (which lowers bandwidth and storage requirements).

This affordable, bullet-style IP camera is designed for 24/7 detection in challenging conditions. The camera is outdoor-ready ‘out of the box’ and said to be ideal for perimeter protection of those facilities where early detection of an intrusion attempt is critical.

AxisQ1932ECamera

“We know that thermal cameras are not only reliable for round-the-clock detection,” explained Erik Frännlid, Axis Communications’ director of product management. “They’re are also useful for verification, helping to distinguish between a nuisance and a real alarm. This new addition to our Q19 Series supports a powerful processor which is highly capable of running video analytics via the ACAP. By boosting our Q19 Series, we believe that customers will be able to find a tailored surveillance solution that works in all conditions.”

The Q1941-E offers 384 x 288 thermal resolution and “outstanding” image contrast that yields reliable detection and quick verification.

Thanks to a selection of five different lens alternatives (7 mm, 13 mm, 19 mm, 35 mm and 60 mm) that optimise detection performance, customers can be sure the camera will meet their requirements.

In addition, the following capabilities are offered:

  • The camera can easily be integrated with other existing IP security equipment and with third party applications
  • Electronic Image Stabilisation provides smooth live viewing when the camera is mounted in unstable places where vibration can be perceived as an issue
  • Thanks to Axis’ bespoke Zipstream technology, areas with no motion are filtered out – the camera focuses only on the parts of the image that are moving, in turn significantly reducing the bandwidth and storage required

The Q1941-E thermal network camera is planned to be available in Q4 2015 through Axis’ regular distribution channels.

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Nedap serves as co-founder of Open Security Standard Association

Nedap has recently co-founded the Open Security Standard (OSS) Association which is concentrated on developing open security standards and also includes European industry leaders ACS, Assa Abloy, Datasec, Deister, dorma+kaba group, primion, Uhlmann & Zacher and Zugang GmbH among its contingent members. 

The OSS’ initial focus is to develop a standard for offline locks called the OSS Standard Offline. It’s an open interoperability standard for ‘Data on Card’ offline access control systems.

The purpose of the Standard Offline is to ensure that end user customers can seamlessly combine the online and offline components of their own choice within one integrated access control solution.

NedapOpenSecurityStandardsAssociation

There are many different offline electronic locks available on the market. Offline locks are not connected by a cable to an access control system, but work autonomously powered on a battery. Access rights are read from a compatible card, written by an access control system such as Nedap’s own AEOS which instructs a lock to be unlocked or locked accordingly.

Until recently, each offline lock and access control manufacturer adopted its own approach towards reading and writing cards. With the OSS Standard Offline, locks from different manufacturers read and interpret the access rights from a card in a uniformed way.

Customers installing offline locks into access control systems with OSS Standard Offline compatibility are guaranteed interoperability.

Assa Abloy, Nedap and Zugang GmbH were formerly members of the SOAA e.g (also a standard for offline locks). They joined forces within the Open Security Standard Association to achieve what deem to be “a more powerful and professional” co-operation.

The OSS Standard Offline is completely compatible with the SOAA Standard.

*Visit http://www.oss-association.com for further information

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IS cyber attack on the UK “could cripple all forms of communication and infrastructure” warns Bitdefender

Following the news that the British Government is set to double UK cyber crime funding to combat the IS threat, Catalin Cosoi (chief security strategist at Bitdefender) offers an insight into what an Islamic State-orchestrated cyber attack might look like and where defences must be improved.

“A cyber attack from Islamic State could have devastating consequences for British businesses and infrastructure.

“As organisations continue to deploy innovate technologies to increase productivity, the number of attack surfaces is increasing and leaving businesses exposed.

“A possible worst case scenario is the crippling of all communication and critical infrastructures, ranging from mobile phones to water supplies, electricity and gas. This could be co-ordinated alongside a physical tactical assault, as disrupting any form of communication or Internet-connected technology could be used as a serious tactical advantage on the ground.

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“It’s conceivable that, although IS might not have the necessary technical skills, it could potentially outsource these types of attack to parties that do. After all, the black market is now riddled with such services, all waiting for the right buyer.

“Adding £1.9 billion per annum to the budget for fighting cyber crime is a step in the right direction, but this needs to be supported with an extensive review of critical infrastructure.

“There have been several incidents where industrial SCADA systems have been found plugged directly into the Internet and accessible by anyone. If this situation doesn’t change, we’re leaving the door open for any organised attacker including IS.”

Security threat countermeasures

Catalin Cosoi’s work is helping to set the agenda for the development of new security threat countermeasures.

Over the last 11 years, Cosoi has acquired a thorough understanding of key areas of technology such as cloud computing, outbreak detection, proactive phishing detection and mobile threats.

Bitdefender is a global security technology company that delivers solutions in more than 100 countries through a network of value-added alliances, distributors and reseller partners.

Since 2001, Bitdefender has consistently produced award-winning business and consumer security technology, and is a leading security provider in virtualisation and cloud technologies.

*More information is available at: http://www.bitdefender.com/

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