Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

QED and EmpiricAl partnership brings Computer Vision AI to wider market

EmpiricAI has secured a major new distribution agreement with electronic security distributor QED, its first UK partner, that will see its Computer Vision AI (Artificial Intelligence) solution offered across the UK and Europe.

The announcement comes against a growing realisation that the security industry plays a crucial role not only in the protection of people and places, but also in terms of providing peace of mind for employers and employees alike in a wide variety of workplaces.

QED now becomes one of the first to market with an advanced Computer Vision AI solution. It was developed by EmpiricAI specifically for improving Health and Safety and productivity in business and industry.

Headquartered in Preston, QED is expecting strong demand for its new offer from a range of sectors including construction, manufacturing, corporate offices, retail and other customer-facing branches.

QED was initially attracted by EmpiricAI’s WorkSafe Analytics (WSA) platform because of its functionality and ease of use. WSA uses AI-powered Computer Vision technology to help businesses gain an accurate view of potential risks in the workplace. The software ensures compliance with Health and Safety guidelines.

Integrated into on-site CCTV implementations, WSA is able to carry out real-time monitoring and detection of any non-compliance of social distancing, correct PPE/mask usage and occupancy guidelines. Comprehensive analytics and reporting on compliance at room, building and site-wide levels and their trends over time enables organisations to monitor and improve the effectiveness of their Health and Safety initiatives.

Restoring employee confidence

EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision technology has been shown to restore employee confidence around safety. This is set against a backdrop of research showing that more than 60% of workers report inadequate safety in their workplace when considering all factors, not just the pandemic, which can significantly affect their productivity.

Steve Constantine, QED’s product development director, explained: “This partnership with EmpiricAI has been driven by the need to add more flexibility to our product range to support our partners working in environments where it’s important to monitor compliance with safety procedures. In addition, it also allows us to provide a timely and relevant solution to help address the Health and Safety challenges businesses are facing at the present time.”

Salman Chaudhary, CEO at EmpiricAI, responded: “Our WorkSafe Analytics will complement QED’s customer-driven solutions. We see the partnership with QED bringing the benefits of Computer Vision to a much wider market and especially for those professionals required to adhere to strict Health and Safety procedures. The combination of our advanced technology, backed up with QED’s security offer and proven customer service will make the benefits of Computer Vision much more accessible to customers.”

Technical support

QED provides a next day delivery service and 24/7 online ordering underpinned by “exceptional” customer service and technical support. The business offers advice before and following a sale, with its ethos being to earn the lifetime loyalty of customers.

A dedicated account manager from QED is assigned to all customers, supported by an experienced and knowledgeable technical team of professionals. A bespoke online customer portal is available where customers can place orders, view their order histories, download invoices, request reports and manage company account users.

*For more information on EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision AI WorkSafe Analytics visit www.qedgroup.co.uk

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Digital Security by Design programme set to prototype “step change” in computer security

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Digital Security by Design programme is working with businesses and researchers to prototype a step change that will “enhance the central hardware and software of a computer” to block the issues responsible for up to 70% of today’s security vulnerabilities. 

The growing number of data breaches and cyber attacks are exposing the widespread nature of digital vulnerabilities and it’s clear no sector of business, infrastructure or society is safe. Whether it’s delivering critical infrastructure, the processing of valuable data or the digitisation of industry, business will grow or die depending on the cyber security and resilience of computerised systems.

The Digital Security by Design programme, which is being delivered through UKRI’s Industrial Strategies Challenge Fund, is supporting a second round Demonstrator competition that will provide two or three projects with a share of up to £6 million. 

The competition is open to UK businesses to collaborate with suppliers and academics to investigate and evaluate the impact the new technologies may have on the future of digital security.

This is not just another Best Practice recommendation or a new Artificial Intelligence tool to monitor the network and endpoints. This is a change which will enhance the central hardware and software of a computer and allow future products and services to protect data and keep control of operations.

An ideal consortium will be able to represent an industry sector that requires secure system operation with safety and resilience or those that manage high-value data assets in which compromise may cause serious economic or personal harm.

Through this competition, businesses have a unique opportunity to be part of a transformational change in securing functions, products and services stretching across supply chain providers.

*Competition details can be viewed online at: https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/865/overview

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Bidvest Noonan outlines bold plans for touchless and frictionless security

Bidvest Noonan has unveiled plans to introduce “disruptive new technologies” designed to bring about the company’s vision for “truly touchless and frictionless” security.

The business has just recruited industry heavy-hitter Stephen Webb (pictured below) as its director of technology solutions. Webb boasts over 20 years’ experience in leading the development of security technology businesses here in the UK and also in North America.

Bidvest Noonan has accelerated its innovation and technology programmes in response to the pandemic. The business saw working practices change and clients grappling with a host of new problems during what has been a challenging period. The company’s security solutions team sought technology-enhanced systems to help clients keep their people safe, ensure business continuity and find new ways of achieving their longer-term objectives.

The company set its sights on leveraging Artificial Intelligence-enhanced, cloud-based and biometric-focused security systems with a view towards transforming and unifying areas such as access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance and visitor management.

Stephen Webb’s appointment to what is a newly-created senior leadership role signals the business’ commitment to advancing its security technology plans.

Commenting on this development, Eddie Ingram (managing director of Security Solutions at Bidvest Noonan) informed Security Matters: “I’m thrilled to welcome Stephen to our team. He has a proven track record for leveraging technology to deliver performance improvements and added value to clients. He will play an important role in the development of our ambitious security technology plans and I know he will be very successful at Bidvest Noonan.”

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Hanwha Techwin launches temperature detection thermal camera

The dual-purpose Wisenet TNM-3620TDY camera from Hanwha Techwin is equipped with QVGA thermal imaging and HD capabilities designed to help businesses operate safely during the COVID-19 era.

The TNM-3620TDY is a bi-spectrum, multi-channel device which incorporates a QVGA-class thermal imaging camera and a 2 MP video surveillance camera. As such, it can detect heat and measure temperature with a very high degree of accuracy, while providing visual verification of people within its field of view.

In body temperature mode, the QVGA-class thermal imaging camera is able to estimate a person’s temperature within a range of 30⁰-45°C, with +/-0.5⁰C accuracy. When supported by black body technology, the accuracy increases to +/-0.3⁰C, allowing the TNM-3620TDY to provide a strong indication that a person may have a fever.

Offering support for deep learning AI-based face detection functionality, the TNM-3620TDY can measure the temperatures of up to ten individuals in real-time at a distance of up to 3 metres, with operators able to choose to view either the captured thermal images or standard HD video images.

IEC 60601 certification

The TNM-3620TDY is compliant with a series of device technical standards for the safety and essential performance of medical electrical equipment published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

In addition, Hanwha Techwin has completed the FDA facility registration process and device registration for the TNM-3620TDY in respect of FDA 510(k) clearance which is in progress.

In normal radiometric mode and with a high degree of accuracy, the thermal imaging camera detects and measures changes in temperature within the -20⁰C to 130°C range. End users are able to set up detection zones to cover specific areas of interest within the camera’s field of view. This provides a powerful tool which generates alerts when there’s a threat of fire in recycling, waste management and landfill-type facilities where spontaneous combustion may occur. A detected change in temperature may also be a warning that machinery in factories, processing plants, cold stores or utilities is faulty.

In addition, a spot detection feature enables operators, via a web viewer, to click on any pixel within an image and obtain a measurement of the temperature of the area covered by that pixel.

WiseStream II technology

The TNM-3620TDY supports H.265, H.264 and MJPEG compression formats, as well as WiseStream II, a complementary compression technology which dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement in the image.

Bandwidth efficiency is improved by up to 75% when compared to current H.264 technology when WiseStream, which is unique to Wisenet cameras, is combined with H.265 compression.

The 2 MP video surveillance camera features a set of Intelligent Video Analytics which include directional detection, motion detection, enter/exit, virtual line, audio detection and camera tampering detection.

The TNM-3620TDY has a Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC slot which allows up to 256 GB of video or data to be stored at the edge should there be any disruption to the network. Video evidence, which potentially might have been lost, can therefore be retrieved when the network connection has been restored.

Capability to deliver

“Regretfully, some so-called ‘fever screening’ solutions devised by other manufacturers have attracted negative publicity,” said Uri Guterman, head of product and marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. “In my view, this is because they’ve been oversold in terms of what they’re capable of delivering.”

He continued: “Although we’ve often been the first to market with new product developments and technologies, in this instance we’ve taken the time to develop the TNM-3620TDY and ensure that it’s fit for purpose. We highly value the trust our customers and business partners have in our ability to provide solutions which do not compromise on performance and quality. In this respect, they can be confident that this camera will meet, if not exceed, their expectations.”

In conclusion, Guterman stated: “The TNM-3620TDY is a great addition to our suite of COVID-related solutions, which includes face mask detection, occupancy monitoring and AI deep learning-based social distance measuring applications.”

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Eagle Eye Networks appoints David Barr as enterprise sales manager for EMEA

Eagle Eye Networks, the global leader in smart cloud video security, has appointed David Barr as enterprise sales manager for Europe in order to build the enterprise market segment throughout the region.

Barr has 30 years of experience in the security industry, joining Eagle Eye Networks after 17 years with Xtralis ADPRO, which in recent times was acquired by Honeywell. 

In his new role, Barr will work with Eagle Eye Networks’ global and EMEA end users and partners to develop their strategy as the security market transitions from an on-premise recorder market to a true cloud market for video surveillance. 

“This change isn’t happening overnight, but the great thing about Eagle Eye Networks is the possibility to start with a hybrid on-premise and cloud solution where clients can immediately see the benefits of the cloud without investing in new hardware,” explained Barr.

David Barr

“Eagle Eye Networks works with more than 3,500 existing analogue or IP cameras. Even DVRs can now be directly connected to the cloud. This is a game-changer for those companies wishing to upgrade their video surveillance, migrate to the cloud for additional cyber security and better manage their operations in a multi-site environment.” 

Rishi Lodhia, managing director for the EMEA region, added: “The creation of this new role and the experience David brings to Eagle Eye Networks illustrates the company’s continued growth and commitment to support enterprise customers within the region. Enterprise customers are transitioning rapidly to the cloud due to easy API integrations and open platform capabilities.”  

This appointment follows the recent announcement of an investment in Eagle Eye Networks of $40 million from Accel such that the business can further develop its cloud solution and Artificial Intelligence capabilities globally.  

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Seagate launches SkyHawk AI 18 TB hard drive for AI-enabled and large enterprise smart video systems

Seagate Technology, the data storage and management solutions specialist, has released its 18 TB SkyHawk Artificial Intelligence (AI) drives. SkyHawk AI is badged as “the world’s first purpose-built hard drive for AI-enabled surveillance solutions” enabling quicker and smarter decisions.

The new drive supports deep learning and machine learning workload streams for Edge applications with ImagePerfectAI.

The capacity to retain more data over time is required for deep learning systems to become smarter and more accurate in their predictive analysis, while behavioural analysis requires significantly more data than traditional video capture. 

SkyHawk AI simultaneously sustains 32 AI streams alongside 64 video streams and supports multi-bay NVR and AI-enabled NVR. It offers a 550 TB/year workload rate, which is more than three times the workload rate of standard surveillance hard drives, in order to manage data deluge in complex video security system environments without sacrificing performance.

Put simply, this drive intelligently adapts between traditional video workloads and video+AI workloads.

“Seagate’s SkyHawk AI 18 TB video security system hard drive was designed for growing data demands to accommodate nodes of any size, thereby making it easy to scale from terabytes to petabytes,” explained Jeff Fochtman, senior vice-president of marketing and business at Seagate Technology. “With the SkyHawk AI 18 TB release, Seagate has presided over improvements in operational and analytical processes, providing faster access to video security footage when compared earlier versions.”

Built to meet the demands of an always-on large workload in an AI-enabled NVR system, SkyHawk AI 18 TB accommodates the recording and analysing of footage simultaneously from multiple cameras which equips customers with faster and smarter footage analysis by eliminating data latency and processing.

It includes three years of Seagate Rescue Services for additional peace of mind in the event of data loss or accident and a standard three-year limited warranty. 

*Further information is available online at www.seagate.com

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BSIA appoints Pauline Norstrom as Honorary Member of Trade Association

Pauline Norstrom has been appointed by the Board of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) as an Honorary Member of the Trade Association. Norstrom’s involvement with the BSIA stretches back over 20 years, with the dedicated security professional having served as chair of the Association from 2014-2016 as well as serving for six years as chair of the Video Surveillance Systems Section.

During her tenure as chair of the Trade Association, Norstrom championed the BSIA’s strategy, part of which was to promote the value of member services over and above price in what is a highly competitive marketplace, duly resulting in the development of the White Paper entitled ‘The (Real) Price of Security Solutions’.

As chair of the Video Surveillance Systems Section, Norstrom ensured that the BSIA was represented on the National CCTV Strategy Board and speaking for the whole industry, in turn leading to the development of BS 8495 focused on the extraction of digital evidence, the BSIA’s Privacy Masking Guide, the Chip and PIN Guide and the Code of Practice for the Design, Installation and Maintenance of Video Surveillance Systems.

PaulineNorstromBSIA2020

Pauline Norstrom

Norstrom was also a key driver behind the development of the leading research project entitled ‘The Picture Is Not Clear: How Many CCTV Surveillance Cameras in the UK?’, the most extensive study of the number of CCTV cameras in the UK in the last 20 years. This particular project positioned the BSIA in the mainstream media in the UK and globally.

In 2016, Norstrom founded Anekanta Ltd, which from 2019 has provided expertise for converging new and legacy technology, examining ethical considerations and the potential impact of the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Prior to this, Norstrom headed up the global marketing function of Dedicated Micros, followed by senior Board and leadership roles in related UK and US technology businesses.

Norstrom is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a member of the IoT Security Foundation and the Security Industry Association’s Cyber Security Advisory Board and also a member of British Mensa.

Norstrom is a regular public speaker and writer providing thought leadership and ideas to the industry and its stakeholders.

Mike Reddington, CEO at the BSIA, said: “The BSIA is delighted to appoint Pauline Norstrom as an Honorary Member of the Association. Pauline’s contribution to the industry and our Association will play an essential role in clarifying the industry’s position on facial recognition, and will go some way towards helping to explain the benefits of this technology, recommending ethical uses and building the trust of the public. We can then move forward the next iteration of research on CCTV cameras.”

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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.

HanwhaTechwinSurveillanceTrends2020

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.

SoonHongAhnHanwhaTechwin

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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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.

BlackBerryCylance2020Predictions

(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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