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Going East! The Great Conversation Launches in Virginia.

The Great Conversation

After 12 years of conversations each spring in Seattle, The Great Conversation is now launching a fall forum on October 27 and 28 in Chantilly, VA.   Aronson Security Group (ASG) and Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions will be the hosts. 

Motivation to Evangelism to Extraordinary Performance


By William Plante, Director of Professional Services

I have a Sunday morning practice I have adhered to for nearly 20 years almost without fail.  I read the Sunday New York Times. From time to time I’ll read a business, technology, or similar topic that I think is interesting to share with various teammates. Recently, there was a 'Grey Matter' article by Amy Wrzesniewski and Barry Schwartz titled The Secret Effect of Motivation.

While there are many theories and perspectives about motivation, there are two elements that seem to be common among them; intrinsic or internal motives and extrinsic or instrumental ones. Understanding these motive modes are important to us as individuals, as team members, and as leaders. The article quickly summarized these important modes.

A Recap of The Great Conversation

2014 Great Conversation

Close to 350 attendees created a high energy, fast paced executive leadership program called “The Great Conversation” on March 3 & 4 in Seattle, WA.

The program kicked off with the Next Generation Security Leader forum with 87 senior risk, resilience, and security executives gathering to hear the emerging trends that impact the operational execution of their programs. One of the presentations, from Tim Rigg, CSO of Alcoa, continued at the next day’s event. Tim did a great job showing how to lead and navigate change through a highly collaborative approach with business and program leaders.

The two days are intentionally intense, high energy, and fast paced. And, according to conversations that occurred at the post event party, created the context and impetus for change.

One senior executive approached us and said (I am paraphrasing): “I get it now. I see what this is. I see what you are doing. Every one of these groups (The consultants, manufacturers, integrators, and security executives) all have their own unique perspective on our market. But, in isolation, it is an incomplete picture. Somehow The Great Conversation pulls these perspectives into a 360 degree force multiplier for the industry. In other words: a common operating picture.”

The Future Is Looking Bright for the Surveillance Market


Big data’s growth has encouraged demand for high-definition surveillance. According to a recent report from market research firm IHS, the growth of big data within the video surveillance market is leading a growing demand for high-definition (HD) video cameras.

IHS pointed out that HD cameras are peaking in popularity because of their video quality, which often exceeds that of legacy cameras. However, as the number of HD cameras surges, the amount of data created every day will potentially increase exponentially. In fact, IHS estimates the data derived from HD cameras will more than double in the next four years, reaching a staggering 859 petabytes by 2017. Not surprisingly, advanced technology will need to step in to help companies manage this mind-boggling amount of surveillance data.

Fortunately, as camera capabilities have expanded, the ability to record and store the data has evolved as well. Security video management software, integrated analytics and intelligent network video recorders will be necessary to help make sense of all the video data collected. After all, what’s the sense in amassing hours and hours of surveillance information if you can’t effectively analyze and use it?

Now, More Than Ever: The Need for Video Surveillance


It is an unfortunate truth that with each national tragedy, the value of video surveillance is more clearly understood, not only by people within the security industry, but increasingly, by the public as well. The horrific Boston Marathon bombings are a reaffirmation that advanced video surveillance systems serve a vital role in the lives of American citizens; protecting them from harm in some cases and, in others, helping to ensure that justice is brought to those who would harm us.
Following the marathon bombings on April 15, 2013 law enforcement officials worked with incredible speed to identify those responsible. Thanks, in part, to footage from local security cameras, they were able to hone in on the two suspects a few days later. During the ongoing investigation, security footage, perhaps from the suspect's college or neighborhood, may continue to play a key role in building the prosecution's case.
Of course, surveillance video is only useful if it is clearly and reliably captured and effectively stored and protected. Todays advanced camera systems use more bandwidth, and require greater storage, than ever before. Video surveillance systems have gone digital, and the resulting torrent of data is tremendous. Many users are shocked to realize that a single megapixel camera can generate a terabyte of data every day, resulting in staggering amounts of data to store and protect over time.

This is precisely the reason that storage providers like Pivot3 design technology that can effectively and reliably house such invaluable surveillance data. Pivot3 helps improve uptime for applications and storage, which is especially important for municipal security networks. After all, even one dropped frame could have increased the chances that the Boston bombing suspects went free.
It is disturbing to imagine what might have happened if that now infamous video feed of the Boston sidewalk had not been properly captured and stored. Officials may have been forced to rely solely on video and photos from the public to identify the suspects;  a proverbial needle in the haystack approach. And even so, there would be no guarantee that they could be identified in that manner. However, since the surveillance footage was safely stored at a secure, centralized location, officials were able to quickly unlock its secrets.
The events in Boston demonstrate the value of video surveillance in closing cases quickly and efficiently, and therefore reliable storage is key. Providing a robust video intelligence network and platform enables collaboration toward response and recovery creating resilient organizations and communities.
Beyond the value of technology, the Boston bombings demonstrated the value of teamwork.  Citizens in the public and private sectors can work together to bring criminals to justice. Citizens sharing critical information and providing valuable services from law enforcement to healthcare are needed more than ever. And by provisioning the tools needed to respond at the time of need, such as total surveillance solutions, we can all bring a higher level of safety and security to our world. At the end of the day, that is what we can hope for.

New Trend in Physical Security – Leveling Up!

Blog NewTrendPhysSec 1

As a manufacturer that offers a full range of physical security entrance products, Boon Edam has the ability to see changes in buying behavior across its product range. We would like to share with you a trend that we have observed in recent years in the hopes that this may spur further discussion or assist you and your clients.
Physical Security Is Increasing Across all Verticals
Since the terrorist attacks from 9/11, the demand for physical security products (turnstiles, security revolving doors and mantrap portals) has continued to grow across many verticals. There has been a continued and upward trend in the installation of turnstiles and security doors in Class A office buildings (single-owned or multiple tenant) and corporate and government offices and campuses. We have also seen increased installations in more recent years in universities, infrastructure (utilities and gas/oil facilities), data centers (more data centers are being built now worldwide) and airports (Federal support of security staffing is being reduced). Finally, with the recent active shootings that have occurred in K-12 schools, movie theatres and shopping malls, there are new verticals that are searching for solutions. So just about everywhere, owners are looking for physical security solutions.

In summary, it can be said that longstanding verticals are experiencing growth and new verticals are emerging. However, this article is not about “more”….but rather, “more of what?”
The Emerging Trend in Class A Office Buildings
In the last 3 years we’ve observed a shift in physical security installations in Class A office buildings. When you think of a Class A office building that is solely owned or multi-tenant, do you envision a lobby, with a security guard or two at a reception desk and optical turnstiles to allow access to the elevators? If your answer is “yes”, then you are describing what has been the “status quo” since the 1990’s and the emergence of optical turnstiles into the marketplace. And, it is still true today that this is the most common solution for Class A office buildings.
But, here is what we are starting to see:

  1. The level of security is increasing on the ground floor. This means higher security capabilities are being requested than what is provided by optical turnstiles.
  2. Physical security is being installed in upper levels in the building vs. only the ground floor.

Overall, we are seeing an entire high rise office building becoming far more secure than in times past, with layers of security within. To use a term from the data center industry, Class A office buildings are “hardening the core.”  Let’s take a closer look at what is happening…
What is “Level of Security?”
First of all, when we talk about the level of security we are talking about the ability to control physical passage by users into a secure area. We break this ability down into into three levels based on ability to deter crime as follows:

  1. Low – Monitoring or controlling traffic – Upon authorization, users are slowed down through a physical barrier, such as a waist high or full height turnstile or a gate. This situation requires supervision at all times because the purely physical operation of the barriers can be defeated by either jumping or piggybacking. The benefit of a low level of security is primarily controlling crowds – such as at a museum, a stadium, mass transit, etc. The role of supervision is to prevent or quickly respond to attempts to defeat the barriers.
  2. Medium – Tailgating/Piggybacking Detection – A turnstile, typically an optical turnstile, has sensors installed that will sound an alarm when tailgating occurs. This level of security allows for supervision to be at a further distance and possibly less supervisors. However, it should be clear how the supervisor would respond when tailgating occurs.  Is anyone else notified to confront the tailgater? Do cameras zoom in to the area to identify the users in the area?
  3. High – Tailgating/Piggybacking Prevention – The very design or operation of the physical security product makes tailgating or piggybacking impossible or extremely difficult. Examples of such products are security revolving doors or security mantrap portals. No supervision is needed, however cameras are often recommended for monitoring in case of trapped users or suspicious loitering activity nearby.

Thus, we have three levels of security: monitoring traffic, detecting tailgating and preventing tailgating. And, as the level of security increases, the amount of supervision decreases, which has a financial benefit if not an operational benefit. For example, you can reduce supervision staff or allocate them to other areas of need in the building.
Increasing the Level of Security in the Lobby
So, let’s take a look at what is happening in the lobby area of Class A office buildings that are solely owned or have only a single tenant. We are seeing a shift from low and medium levels of security, such as mechanical and optical turnstiles, that require supervision, to the highest level of security provided by security revolving doors, which require no supervision. Visitors to the building can be greeted and provided with a pass at the “front” of the building and proceed through the revolving door, while employees can enter other sides of the building via security revolving doors without any supervision. What’s the payoff or motivation for doing this?

  1. High crime deterrence on all sides of the building and in the lobby. Downtown locations benefit the most.
  2. No tailgating occurrences. Ability to accurately know who is in the building at all times via the access control system.
  3. Less staff needed to supervise and respond – only handle visitors.
  4. Energy savings from reduced air infiltration of revolving doors vs. swinging doors.

What are the potential downsides to be mitigated?

The Right Level of Door Security Part 3: Online Access Control


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management - EAC, ASSA ABLOY Americas
In the last of this three-part series, we'll explore the considerations for selecting online access control. Online systems are located to the far right on the security continuum and represent the highest level of security.
Online systems give you real-time communications between the device and the security management system.


Mining Big (Security) Data for Gold

TechSec 2014

Nigel Waterton, Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development for Aronson Security (ASG), has been selected to participate in an executive panel at TechSec Solutions 2014 entitled “Mining Big Security Data for Gold."
“Security Executives are waking up to the fact that the information they are generating from their people, their processes and their fragmented technology silos is underleveraged,” said Waterton. “The impact on their ability to proactively mitigate risk, make continuous improvements on their processes, and articulate the value of their programs is directly tied to their lack of an information management strategy.”

The panel will feature executives from product and service organizations that are focused on the promise of big data.
TechSec Solutions 2014, will be about creating the technology road map, a main focus of ASG’s professional services group.
The editors of Security Systems News and Security Director News collaborated with industry experts and advisors to develop TechSec into an educational program for security executives, consultants, integrators and manufacturers.
The conference takes place in Delray, Florida on January 28 and 29. ASG routinely participates in conferences around North America to support their Global Accounts and Partners.
The conference also is synergistic with The Great Conversation, a premier leadership forum that is held in the spring in Seattle and in the fall in Washington D.C. ASG provides updates on conversations they have throughout the year that is then communicated to the Great Conversation community via newsletters, web forums and The Great Conversation.
“We will not only talk about big data at this year’s Great Conversation in Seattle”, said Waterton, “we will also be educating how to identify when you need it, how to apply it and what it looks like when you are done. This will be done through presentations and demonstrations.”
For more information about The Great Conversation and the Next Generation Security Leader forum, click here.

The TCO of Surveillance


“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money. That is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do. The common law of business prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it’s well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”

John Ruskin – 19th Century Poet and Author

There is absolutely no shortage of manufacturers competing to supply video surveillance solutions. This high level of competition has fueled the drive to introduce features and functions that deliver a level of performance which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. It has also driven down prices so that businesses and organizations can now expect to achieve remarkable value from their investment in a video surveillance system.
In tough economic times however, when there is constant pressure to minimize expenditure, there is always the risk that return-on-investment (ROI) projections for a video surveillance system might reflect immediate or short term objectives, rather than the total cost of ownership over the useful life of a system.
When calculating the total cost of ownership a wide range of one off and recurring costs need to be factored in, including system design and planning, purchase price, installation, maintenance and service charges, as well as upgrade costs. When all of these are taken into consideration, what would appear to be the cheapest option may prove to be otherwise and ‘buyer’s remorse’, albeit as a delayed reaction, could occur. For example, the lowest priced camera may, on paper, perfectly match the user’s requirements and yet need replacing much earlier in what could reasonably be anticipated in the life cycle of a system, compared to a camera costing just a few dollars more.
Here are some suggestions for you to take into consideration when looking to establish an informed view as to the likely total costs of ownership of a video surveillance system:

  • Every business or organization will have different operational requirements. Every building or site will, inevitably, present a different kind of challenge. Therefore, do not rely solely on sales brochures. Ask your integrator to seek written assurance that the cameras, video recorders and other devices that you have chosen to work with, are able to match your expectations.
  • Does the manufacturer offer a free system design service? Your integrator may have the expertise to advise you on the best combination of products for your project, but the manufacturer is likely to be in the best position to advise on camera selection and compatibility issues within their company.
  • How long will the specified cameras, video recorders or other devices take to install and commission? In addition to this cost which will be passed onto you by the integrators, there is also the cost of the disruption to your business which should be taken into consideration.
  • Has the manufacturer given an estimation of the life cycle of the specified products?
    This will be particularly significant where there are moving parts such as in PTZ dome cameras.
  • How much is the product likely to cost you in maintenance charges during the period of
    its useful life?
  • Is the product upgradeable and will any upgrades be provided free of charge? The latest generation of cameras, for example, have firmware that can be upgraded when new features become available.
  • Is the product future proof, i.e. has it been designed to be compatible with legacy systems and future acquisitions with other items on the system?
  • Does the manufacturer provide license-free video management software? If not, how much will you have to pay for it?
  • Has the manufacturer integrated its cameras, DVRs or NVRs with video management software offered by the leading independent video management software development companies? This could be one of the most important questions for you to ask as it could have a major impact on the costs associated with expanding your system as and when your requirements change. While leading manufacturers such as Samsung are able to provide a single source for an end-to-end IP network based video surveillance system, you should retain the option to control and monitor equipment produced by a number of different manufacturers. VMS suppliers such as Exacq, Genetec, Milestone, and ONSSI, are able to offer ‘open’ software specifically designed to facilitate the integration of equipment and systems from different manufacturers. The functionality of the software available from the various VMS companies will not, of course, be identical. However, regardless of which platform you choose, you can expect to be able to have a high degree of control of cameras and recording devices from various manufacturers,
    as well, you should have the flexibility to integrate, for example, video analytics, access control systems and mobile devices.
  • What are the estimated energy costs of the individual components of the system? You might be unpleasantly surprised to learn how much some devices cost to run. The good news is that most of the latest IP network cameras are equipped with a low power consumption PoE (Power of Ethernet) feature.
  • Are the specified cameras able to cope with varying lighting conditions and if not, what is the cost of installing and running supplementary lighting?
  • Last but not least, and although perhaps somewhat obvious, it is crucially important to clearly define in writing what your requirements are i.e. what is it that you are trying to achieve from your investment in a video surveillance system?
    • What environmental conditions will it have to cope with?
    • Are you likely to need to expand the system in the foreseeable future?
    • If it is being installed for security purposes, are you looking just for verification that an incident is occurring or do you wish to capture evidence grade images?

An IP network based solution should always be considered and should you decide to go this route, it is of course important to involve your network manager at an early stage in order to ensure that bandwidth requirements are taken into account.

Ringing In The New Year, Learning From The Old One


By Steve Lasky, Editorial Director/Editor-in-Chief, Security Technology Executive

Last year at this time as we transitioned from 2012 into 2013, the stark reality of the Sandy Hook school shootings numbed our collective senses. As we move into 2014 and leave this year in the rearview mirror, I feel like Dr. Who (shame on those of you who don’t know the good Doctor), caught up in some sort of parallel universe -- one that my favorite science fiction author, Isaac Asimov, would both appreciate and view with foreboding.

The brilliant writer who penned the classic Foundation series and I, Robot, was once asked about the rapid pace of technology and its effect on society. He responded by saying, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

And what did Asimov view as the one constant of this frenetic technological advancement?

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