Monthly Archives: December 2019

Anti-counterfeiting security technology receives accolade at Excellence in Holography Awards 2019

An advanced optical anti-counterfeiting solution for banknotes has won an award at the Excellence in Holography Awards 2019, organised by the industry trade body the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).

Germany’s Leonard Kurz’s Kinegram Colors with ‘Flux Effect’ scooped the top slot in the ‘Best Applied Security Product’ category at the awards, which were presented by the IHMA at the annual Holography Conference in Athens.

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Developed for the Singapore Bicentennial $20 commemorative currency notes issued in June , the effect’s use in the foil stripe marks the first time that a Kinegram with ‘Flux’ prominently features on a currency note as a critical security feature. In addition, the banknote marks the first time that a security foil has been applied to a fully offset-printed polymer substrate with a Steuer machine.

The Excellence in Holography Awards recognise outstanding achievement, marking success for those at the forefront of the sector who’ve developed innovative or commercially viable hologram products or techniques over the last 12 months.

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Also commended in the same category was China-based Shandong Taibao Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Products for its cigarette packaging anti-counterfeiting holographic paper, as well as France’s Surys, who’s Moov patch features as a high-level authentication feature on the new Sudanese 1,000 pound.

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Attended by hologram suppliers, manufacturers and end users from around the world, the event saw IHMA chairman Dr Paul Dunn commend the standard of entries as extremely high, with all of them adding to an industry that continues to innovate, evolve and find new markets.

Dunn commented: “This award marks an ongoing advancement in the design, development and technology of commercial holograms, which continue to find fresh and innovative ways in which to add value and heightened levels of security to products used by billions of consumers the world over.”

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AMG expands sales and technical support with appointment of Amanda Cowell

AMG Systems, the developer of wireless and hybrid communication transmission solutions, has expanded its depth of customer support by appointing Amanda Cowell as sales and technical support engineer.

Supporting AMG’s sales and technical support manager Ian Creary, Cowell’s new role will be to provide pre- and post-sales technical support. Previously a network engineer with responsibilities ranging from on-site installations to maintenance, Cowell has worked on projects in the UK as well as in Europe and the US.

“I’m really excited to be starting with AMG and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenges that are to come,” said Cowell. “My objective is to bring some fresh ideas and provide technical support for the entire AMG family.”

Creary added: “We’re delighted to welcome Amanda to the technical team at AMG Systems. Her networking qualifications, certification and experience, combined with the CCTV experience gained in her previous role, will prove invaluable in providing pre- and post-sales technical support for our internal sales team and valued customer base.”

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3M welcomed as new member at Euralarm

Euralarm has welcomed 3M as a new member. The company will join the Extinguishing Section of Euralarm whose activities cover automatic extinguishing systems using gas, water, foam, powder and aerosols, oxygen reduction systems, portable equipment and other manual means of fire-fighting as well as fire-fighting agents used in either fixed automatic systems or portable equipment.

3M will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation in front of European institutions and standardisation organisations. This includes the monitoring of legislative and standardisation issues relevant to the industry.

3M will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors from which Euralarm forms its membership. The new membership will create opportunities for both parties as it also serves to strengthen the association.

With corporate operations in 70 countries and sales in more than 190 countries, 3M has more than 90.000 employees worldwide, sells upwards of 55.000 products and holds 25.000 patents.

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3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid

The clean agent fire extinguishant of the company, namely the 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, was developed as a halon replacement and hydrofluorocarbon alternative. It’s a next generation synthetic clean agent mainly used in stationary extinguishing systems for the protection of critical assets in enclosed areas. It has a very fast extinguishing time, is electrically non-conductive and leaves no residue.

The company’s extinguishant is designed to balance concerns for human safety, performance and the environment. Upon release through a specially designed extinguishing nozzle, it vaporises immediately and distributes as a gas within seconds.

The agent has the highest margin of safety for human occupancy among clean agents, including inert gas, making it the ideal solution for occupied spaces. Due to its physical properties, the agent protects irreplaceable paper documents, electronics and other high value assets.

Insight into European markets

Companies joining Euralarm gain a unique insight into what’s happening on other European markets and the opportunities that they might offer. They not only tap into the political expertise and understanding of European Union policy, but can also make personal connections with technical and political experts and potential business partners.

Being a member of Euralarm enables companies and associations to gain expertise on standardisation. Members have their voice heard in Brussels and can support (as well as help to direct) standardisation and legislative processes.

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AMG’s media converters and Ethernet switches offer end users 90 W PoE+

Allowing devices to be deployed in locations without local power, AMG has launched a range of 90 W media converters and Ethernet switches. They’re ideal for any networking application where a device can be energised by Power over Ethernet (PoE), such as within IP CCTV, access control, lighting and industrial networks for general security and ITS/urban traffic management applications. The move means that AMG is supporting easier and quicker installations allied with lower maintenance costs.

Delivering 4 x 90 W 802.3bt PoE ports per eight-port switch, AMG’s new Managed PLUS industrial hardened switch and 90 W PoE+ compact single port media converter provide excellent application and site flexibility.

Enabling new deployment options in next generation enterprise workspace environments, the AMG 90 W solutions save on space as well, providing PoE+ and Ethernet connectivity in the same box.

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For end users, the new AMG solutions also reduce equipment and costs when compared to the deployment of traditional PoE injectors.

With 90 W PoE+ on each Ethernet port and housed in a compact chassis, the new AMG DIN rail mountable devices are the ideal choice for connecting and powering network devices (such as IP CCTV cameras and industrial controllers) over long distances using all types of fibre.

“As part of AMG’s expansion plans, we’re undergoing a significant product development drive,” explained Tom Exley, AMG’s director. “It’s great to be able to offer something different in the Ethernet space. Customers we’ve approached so far have been very excited about our 90 W PoE+ solutions. We have more exciting product developments in the pipeline for the New Year.”

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Hanwha Techwin focuses on Top 5 Video Surveillance Trends for 2020

Hanwha Techwin, the supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, has put forward its Top 5 key trend predictions for the security industry in 2020. These include Artificial Intelligence end-to-end security solutions, cyber security, cloud-based data insights, privacy protection and vertical specialised solutions.

Artificial Intelligence End-to-End Security Solutions

As Artificial Intelligence becomes more broadly adopted across industries, it’s likely to be more widely incorporated in video surveillance in the upcoming year. Edge-based Artificial Intelligence (which filters and processes data locally on a camera) will be more ubiquitous, enabling end-to-end Artificial Intelligence technology.

Today, most security cameras send the data they collect to servers to be analysed. However, with edge-based Artificial Intelligence, the data is first analysed by the camera and subsequently sent to the server. This reduces the burden of transferring and storing large amounts of data to a server, thereby increasing efficiency, saving time and reducing server costs typically required to analyse data.

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In 2020, Hanwha Techwin will introduce edge-based Artificial Intelligence cameras, as well as Artificial Intelligence-powered NVRs and VMS so as to bring to market end-to-end (camera to storage server and VMS) Artificial Intelligence security solutions.

Cyber Security

With Internet of Things (IoT) devices becoming ubiquitous, the importance of cyber security has never been more prominent that it is today. Today’s cyber attacks are more intelligent and advanced than ever before, so building cyber-resilient security systems is no longer an option, but an imperative.

Smart Cities, factories, financial institutions and retailers require scaleable video surveillance solutions which are closely interconnected with other devices and networks, making the importance of cyber security paramount.

Strong cyber security has always been Hanwha Techwin’s priority and the company has been refining its technology to suit ince the beginning. The soon-to-be released Wisenet 7, the newest version of Hanwha Techwin’s own System on Chip, has been designed with the strongest cyber security features including a secure booting function and signed firmware for both software and hardware. Validated by the UL Cyber Security Assurance Program certification, Wisenet 7 ensures that end users have access to the industry’s most advanced cyber security features.

Cloud–Based Data Insight

According to IDC, the provider of IT-focused market intelligence, there will be about 175 zettabytes of data in the world by the year 2025, with much of it stored in the cloud and Data Centres around the world. At the same time, video surveillance solutions will go far beyond functioning as a simple monitoring tool to become an indispensable aid to organisations by providing useful insights that improve business operations.

The importance of accessible cloud-based servers that can easily store and analyse the accumulated data will also increase. Going beyond being an efficient storage repository, sophisticated analytics will use cloud processing to analyse the stored data and provide practical and timely insights. 

In 2020, Hanwha Techwin will introduce cloud-based solutions beginning with the Device Health Monitoring Cloud, which will monitor and manage video surveillance devices in real-time. The company will also introduce Retail Insight Cloud which is designed to facilitate store management.

Privacy Protection

Together with cyber security, Hanwha Techwin believes that the protection of personal data should be integral to the business ethics of a video surveillance company. By its very nature, the video data that’s collected for security purposes almost always contains private information. Therefore, protecting surveillance data is imperative.

Around the world, privacy protection laws are being introduced, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the Federal Information Security Management Act in the US. The California Consumer Privacy Act is also set to come into effect in January 2020.

These laws will force the video surveillance industry to follow ‘privacy by design’ Best Practice and renew all efforts designed to protect personal data from misuse and abuse. Organisations are increasingly aware of the dangers of private data breaches and they’re becoming more discerning when choosing security products and solutions.

Hanwha Techwin provides a solution with Video Privacy Management technology and has released its Smart Cover of Privacy line-up to comply with the GDPR globally.

Vertical Specialised Solutions

Vertical markets in the security industry are increasingly requiring more specialised devices and solutions that meet unique requirements. With the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution, the presence of smart verticals will be more prominent and video surveillance companies must be ready to provide solutions for Smart Cities, factories, transportation and retail organisations.

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Soon Hong Ahn

Hanwha Techwin already provides products for these verticals and plans to expand its line-up of specialised solutions in the very near future to include asset management solutions with IoT technology.

“Advancement in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the IoT and the cloud will support new use cases in conjunction with existing devices and solutions to meet customers’ needs in various verticals, expanding the horizon of our industry,” said Hanwha Techwin’s president and CEO Soon Hong Ahn. “However, we must also be mindful of the social and ethical responsibility related to areas such as cyber security and private data protection. Sustained interest and investment in these areas must be regarded as an obligation to make sure our industry continues to thrive in the midst of rapid technological advancements.”

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Scottish Water safeguards lone workers with 250-plus SPOT Gen3 satellite devices

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc and a specialist in the field of satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, has announced that Scottish Water has deployed over 250 SPOT Gen3 satellite messengers to safeguard employees who work on their own in areas with unreliable or non-existent mobile coverage.

Hundreds of Scottish Water employees work in remote parts of the country, often on a solo basis, and manage assets including the reservoirs that supply water to over 2.54 million households and 152,000 businesses. While 49 remote-working teams are already using SPOT, Scottish Water is also offering devices to all other employees registered as lone workers. These employees now have a communications lifeline wherever they are, with small, robust SPOT Gen3 devices that communicate reliably over Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit satellite network.

Scottish Water has pre-configured the SPOT Gen3 devices with two services. If an employee has an emergency, they can press SPOT’s one-touch SOS button. There’s also a Help button for non-life-threatening situations. Pressing either button automatically transmits the end user’s precise GPS location to Scottish Water’s Internal Communications Centre (ICC). The ICC operators then either contact the Emergency Services or locate a nearby Scottish Water team who can help their colleague.

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Scottish Water chose SPOT Gen3 because of its ease of use and robustness, in addition  to the accuracy of its GPS transmissions. Before deploying SPOT earlier this year, Scottish Water relied solely on a system whereby employees registered their planned movements by phone then, if they didn’t call back by an agreed time, the issue would be escalated through their line managers.

“With winter around the corner, we expect SPOT to come into its own as an important part of our Health and Safety strategy,” said Kes Juskowiak, water operations general manager at Scottish Water. “With reliable satellite communications, we can get help to our employees whenever it’s needed and wherever they might be. SPOT is a lifeline providing reassurance to families and colleagues that each lone worker is in safe hands.”

Scottish Water procured the SPOTs through UK specialist wireless and satellite reseller Global Telesat Communications (GTC), a subsidiary of the Orbital Tracking Corp. GTC recently surpassed the milestone of selling 15,000 SPOT devices.

“With staff welfare moving up the corporate agenda, we’re seeing a significant adoption of SPOT by commercial and non-commercial organisations worldwide,” said Gary King, Globalstar’s EMEA sales manager for SPOT. “By deploying SPOT, Scottish Water is demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding its employees as they go about their work in some of the most remote parts of the UK.”

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BlackBerry Cylance outlines cyber security predictions for 2020

Josh Lemos, vice-president of research and intelligence at BlackBerry Cylance, has put forward some predictions on cyber security trends for 2020 that will impact Governments and companies across a variety of industry sectors.

(1) Uncommon attack techniques will emerge in common software

Steganography, the process of hiding files in a different format, will grow in popularity as online blogs make it possible for threat actors to grasp the technique. Recent research at BlackBerry found malicious payloads residing in WAV audio files, which have been used for decades and categorised as benign.

Businesses will begin to recalibrate how legacy software is defined and treated and effectively invest in operational security around them. Companies will look for ways in which to secure less commonly weaponised file formats, like JPEG, PNG and GIF, etc without hindering users as they navigate the modern computing platforms.

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(2) Changing network topologies challenge traditional assumptions and require new security models

Network-based threats that can compromise the availability and integrity of 5G networks will push Governments and enterprises alike to adopt cyber security strategies as they implement the 5G spectrum. As cities, towns and Government agencies continue to overhaul their networks, sophisticated attackers will begin to tap into software vulnerabilities as the expansion of bandwidth that 5G requires inevitably creates a larger attack surface.

Governments and enterprises will need to retool their network, device and application security. We will see many lean towards a zero-trust approach for identity and authorisation on a 5G network.

Threat detection and threat intelligence will need to be driven by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to keep up.

(3) 2020 will see more cyber-physical convergence

As all sectors increasingly rely on smart technology to operate and function, the gap between the cyber and the physical will officially converge. This is evident given the recent software bug in an Ohio power plant that affected hospitals, police departments, subway systems and more in both the US and Canada.

Attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices will have a domino effect and leaders will be challenged to think of unified cyber-physical security in a hybrid threat landscape.

Cyber security will begin to be built into advanced technologies by design to keep pace with the speed of IoT convergence and the vulnerabilities that come with it. 

(4) State and state-sponsored cyber groups alike are the new proxy for international relations

Cyber espionage has been going on since the introduction of the Internet, with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea seen as major players. In 2020, we will see a new set of countries using the same tactics, techniques and procedures as these superpowers operate against rivals both inside and outside of national borders.

Mobile cyber espionage will also become a more common threat vector as mobile users are a significant attack vector for organisations that allow employees to use personal devices on company networks.

We will see threat actors perform cross-platform campaigns that leverage both mobile and traditional desktop malware. Recent research discovered nation state-based mobile cyber espionage activity across ‘The Big 4’, as well as in Vietnam. There’s likely to be more attacks coming in the future. This will create more complexity for Governments and enterprises as they try to attribute these attacks, with more actors and more endpoints in play at a larger scale.

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ONVIF reflects on year’s activities and achievements at 2019 Annual Membership Meeting

ONVIF, the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, recently held its Annual Membership Meeting to provide members with an overview of important activities that have occurred in 2019 and outline bold plans for the year ahead. Attendees heard presentations on the growth of ONVIF as well as plans for new Profile development.

ONVIF chairman Per Björkdahl highlighted the forum’s achievements over the past year, in particular focusing on the market’s continued support for the Profile concept, with the number of conformant products surpassing 13,000 earlier this year.

With six Profiles to choose from and additional ones in development, ONVIF Profiles have increasingly been included in various bid and specification processes in projects around the world, making it the de facto interface in the industry.

Björkdahl also noted the continued involvement of ONVIF in the International Electrotechnical Commission’s work on international standardisation, in addition to new proposals for cloud connectivity and interoperability between multiple systems.

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Contributions recognised

In keeping with tradition, ONVIF recognised the contributions of multiple individuals from various ONVIF Committees. Steve Wolf, who served on several ONVIF Committees on behalf of Pelco, received the ONVIF Service Award, which acknowledges individuals who have provided a long-term commitment to the organisation. While serving on the Technical Committee, Wolf led the Security Working Group and was also an active participant in the Video Enhancement Working Group, contributing towards a number of improvements in how ONVIF approaches video.

Andreas Schneider of Sony received the ONVIF Distinguished Service Award, which recognises individuals who’ve made significant contributions to ONVIF over many years in multiple functions. Schneider’s long-term service to the Technical Services Committee has positioned him as a major facilitator of the ONVIF organisation, with contributions to multiple ONVIF Profiles.

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ONVIF chairman Per Björkdahl

“The overarching goal of ONVIF is to provide the market with a single interface through which every system can operate,” explained Björkdahl. “Our award winners have shown significant and long-term commitment to our organisation, in turn making this goal a reality one Profile at a time. We thank both of our recipients for their innovation, hard work and service.”

Specification development roadmap

ONVIF Technical Committee chairman Hans Busch of Bosch spoke to members about the specification development roadmap, which highlights plans for future Profile development, as well as the continued alignment to the standardisation activities within the IEC TC 79 Working Groups for video surveillance and physical access control standards. Specifically, Busch covered what specifications are being examined for future Profiles and how they complement and further enhance existing ONVIF Profiles.

As chair of the Technical Services Committee, Sony’s Schneider gave an overview of the Committee’s work on new and existing Profiles, client and device test tools, updates to the conformance process and tools and the Developers’ Plugfest.

Shi-lin Chan of Axis Communications, who serves as chair of the ONVIF Communication Committee, provided a recap of ONVIF communication efforts in 2019 and discussed the organisation’s plans for the launch of a Mandarin website later this year.

Driving interoperability

Founded in 2008, ONVIF is a leading and well-recognised industry forum driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organisation has a global member base of established camera, video management system and access control companies and, as stated, more than 13,000 Profile-conformant products.

ONVIF offers Profile S for streaming video, Profile G for recording and storage, Profile C for physical access control, Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality, Profile A for broader access control configuration and Profile T for advanced streaming.

ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions that ONVIF-conformant products can provide.

 

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AMG continues expansion drive by appointing duo of new directors

AMG, the ISO 9001:2015-approved UK manufacturer and global provider of fibre, analogue, IP/Ethernet, wireless and hybrid communication transmission solutions has announced that Tom Exley and Stephen Kummik have joined the business as company directors.

Well-known and respected security industry figures, Exley and Kummik have previously held senior management roles at video transmission manufacturing companies including GE International Fibre Systems, GE Fibre Options and ComNet.

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Tom Exley (left) and Stephen Kummik

Joining AMG to support the company’s global growth plans, Exley commented: “Joining an experienced team with a strong culture, Stephen and I are up for the challenge to help accelerate the growth of AMG. The two of us are ready and committed to the hard work that’s needed to create a great brand. We will be bringing in new product designs, processes and tools to help our customers while the company’s product portfolio and core technologies will expand in tandem with our engineering and sales teams.”

AMG’s managing director Steve Clarke commented: “With the appointment of Tom and Stephen, AMG is building a solid platform to implement its global expansion plans. We’re looking forward to continuing the drive to support our existing and new customers with a broader portfolio of high-performance transmission products coupled with first class sales and technical support services.”

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