Stay Connected:

Get Blog Posts via E-mail

Your email:

Browse by Tag

Security Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Tyco Security Products Provides Complete Video Surveillance Solution

 

The Challenge
The new Royal Caribbean Club Casino at the Port of Spain in the Republic of Trinidad & Tabago’s city capital required a surveillance solution to easily monitor slot machines, cashiers, players and money transactions. The Casino needed a cost-effective way to utilize analog and IP video into a unified security system.

Additionally, security managers needed a way to quickly pull up video footage when they detected anomalies. Beyond monitoring the casino floor, security personnel oversee the casino entrances and parking lots.

Casino Monitors

The Solution
To meet their needs and stay within budget, Royal Caribbean Club Casino selected a complete, end-to-end Tyco Security Products video security solution. This solution created a cost-effective, seamless transition from analog to IP. Tyco Security Products’ surveillance system proved to be the most intuitive and reliable to operate. The system included:

exacqVision A-Series

Benefits
Royal Caribbean Casino was satisfied with the extreme ease of installation and use as well as the new benefits they received from their integrated security system. “The video survelliance system left a very positive impression with our Security/IT management team because of its characteristics, on-time execution and cost-effective plan,” said Alexander Calito, Royal Caribbean Club Casino Director.

Benefits of the new security solution include:

  • Combines analog and IP into one, cost-effective solution
  • Reduces investigation time on gaming table activity
  • Delivers high quality, color video images for faster identification
  • Reliable operation with no downtime or maintenance required
  • Easy for all staff members to navigate and use
  • Faster response to critical events with remote video access 24/7
  • Ensures a safe environment for visitors and staff

Learn more about Tyco Security Products solution to migrating from analog to an IP security system.

VMS on the edge: an all in one video solution

 

Given the choice between complexity and simplicity, most of us choose the easy path. If there is a way to take difficulty out of any day-to-day activity, we’re all for it.

Today’s technology is increasingly reflecting our need for a pared down, but still high-quality approach. Think about some of the appliances residing in your own home. Instead of a separate blender, food processor, ice crusher and mixer, many kitchens now have a single machine — a super blender, if you will — that handles all of these chores.

edgecamIn the security space, cameras with edge-based video recording capabilities are filling a similar niche. Especially for small businesses that don’t have the luxury of a large security staff, space to house multiple servers or the infrastructure to support multiple recording devices, opting instead for cameras with embedded VMS software and onboard video storage can prove to be a capable and affordable alternative.

Having a type of all-in-one solution makes high-tech security more accessible to users who only need a handful of IP cameras for their installation. However, these businesses — both large and small — still require a robust array of valuable features and they want them delivered in a user-friendly manner.

Just being able to record video clips to an SD card will cover the most basic security needs in an edge-based video system, but this is just a simple folder of video clips. Like the multi-featured super blender, end users are often looking for something more.

SD cardFortunately, advancements in SD cards and camera processor technology provide enough horsepower to deliver not only onboard storage but video management system capabilities. This means that beyond just recording and organizing clips, business owners or security personnel can take advantage of features such as synchronized search and retrieval of the recorded video across all or specific cameras in their system. These video management tasks can be performed on a desktop or on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones with live view or playback.

And while edge-based VMS software provides myriad benefits to smaller locations with a handful of cameras, larger organizations are also leveraging this technology. This includes the large retailer wanting a few cameras at its stores that are independent from the onsite, locally monitored surveillance network.  Or, this approach can also benefit other large enterprise installations looking for freedom from managing a central server architecture for small branch locations or remote locations in the field, where a few cameras are needed but server installation is impractical.

Small or large, end users looking to employ this technology are also benefitting from new high reliability SD cards, some of which are designed specifically for the recording of HD video. Various cameras on the market, such as our new Illustra Edge series, can also provide redundancy protection for network outages, providing a backup of the recorded video that can be retrieved and stored back to a central server.  

And with each camera having its own embedded VMS capability, businesses have the added assurance that even if one camera in the system fails, the others in their installation will continue to perform the critical video surveillance system duties.

This newest generation of edge-based video adds a higher level of value for end users who want storage and recording capabilities but without the investment of time, space and maintenance associated with traditional server set ups.

It is the perfect melding of simplicity with effective, cutting-edge technology — ice crusher not included.

To hear more about edge based video management as well as tips on how to calculate bandwidth and storage requirements and how to take advantage of other vendor supplied tools for easier installations, please register for the upcoming free webinar from SDM Magazine: “Making the Right Choices in IP Video,” at 2pm EDT on June 16, 2015, sponsored by Illustra from Tyco Security Products.
edgewebinarsdm resized 600

St. Joseph’s Health Care: The Right Technology at the Right Time

 

St. Joseph's LogoThere are thousand of moving parts in a health care organization, which operates on a 24/7/365 schedule. A medical facility such as St. Joseph’s Health Care Londonin Ontario, Canada, requires a security system that provides around-the-clock monitoring and immediate access as events unfold, day or night.

The organization also knows that it can certainly benefit from the latest advancements in security technology, but the approach to adopting new systems has to come with a sound strategic plan in mind.

When St. Joseph’s recently underwent an upgrade in its security system to include IP video, among the key areas the security team wanted to address were video clarity, latency and breadth of coverage so it could better monitor and respond to the ongoing and potential incidents taking place inside and outside of the hospital.

IP CamerasTo achieve these goals, St. Joseph’s and its integrator, Integrated Video & Surveillance, added more than 45 IP cameras to supplement the hundreds of analog ones already in place, upgraded its video platform and tapped into the power of analytics.

Aided by the improved video quality of an IP-based system, with a video platform that allows security personnel to view images in real time, without playback interruption, means officers can follow a situation as it occurs, moving seamlessly from one camera view to another and at a resolution level so they can critical information clearly.

The addition of IP cameras with improved resolution and seamless recording and playback performance also provides St. Joseph’s with the ability to address myriad issues that are at the heart of running a successful medical facility — whether it is monitoring hallways and parking lots for potential accidents or checking out who is trying to access a restricted area, such as a pharmacy or psychiatric ward.

Security Center

Deploying analytics added another level of sophisticated functionality to the security system, allowing St. Joseph’s security staff to engage in people counting or set security perimeters in specific areas that will trigger alarms in the system.

Like any organization looking to update its systems, St. Joseph’s approached the project with goals and a budget in mind. There are many new systems available for improving security these days, so it takes careful planning and a strategic partnership with an integrator to settle on those areas that will bring the most benefit. Instead of swapping out everything that was in place, like the hundreds of analog cameras, St. Joseph’s strategically deployed technology that would take it to the next level.

And the organization is now poised to continue its updates, operating from a timetable and with a program that works within the parameters it has carefully set.

To read more on St. Joseph’s Healthcare and their transition to an IP video platform, click here to download the full case study.

 

Expansion Provides Opportunity to Upgrade

 

The decision to move to an IP-based security platform can be triggered by a variety of things, but one of the driving factors can be a major renovation or expansion to a facility.

Having to make such a significant change in systems or surroundings gives an organization the opportunity to explore the latest technology and make investments in hardware and systems that will serve them well into the future.

man in front of cctvWhen Uniphar, a leader in Ireland’s healthcare and pharmacy sector, constructed a new 180,000 square foot distribution facility, it prompted the company to review its security strategy and replace its analog-based camera system with a new IP solution.

Going hand in hand with Uniphar’s need for a more up-to-date video system was also the desire to get more out of the surveillance platform from both a physical security and a logistics standpoint.

 The same cameras and NVRs that ensure the basic security of pharmaceuticals could now be deployed to record and monitor the entire ordering process — something that was important to many of Uniphar’s customers who wanted to ensure the integrity of the order fulfillment system. 

Working with its integrator, Pioneer Security, Uniphar selected a suite of Illustra cameras that included mini domes, PTZ domes, bullet cameras, IR domes and fisheyes. When completed, the new installation included more than 250 IP cameras.

Along with the cameras, Uniphar adopted the VideoEdge video management system to allow managers to monitor the order process within the warehouse from the time an order was placed and entered into the system all the way through the picking of the order.

Customers concerned about the handling of certain items, such as drugs that require temperature-controlled conditions, also can be shown how items are handled because the video management solution can easily capture and show that data — either recorded or, if customers were at the warehouse, in real time via dozens of monitors.

For Uniphar, the decision to update their system during a facility expansion showed returns far beyond just more and better cameras. The company now has the ability to review and improve its overall logistics and work with customers on addressing their needs and requirements.

And because the system is forward compatible, Uniphar can be ready for its next expansion opportunity and can easily add in cameras, recorders or monitors as required.

Click here to access the full case study and learn more about Uniphar’s deployment of the VideoEdge video management system within its distribution facility. 

Cybersecurity: Finding a strong partner for tough times

 

The numbers bear it out: Hacking is for real. Statistics show that about one in three organizations — from businesses big and small to government operations — will fall prey to some sort of information breach this year.

That is little comfort to those who are investing in network-based systems, including physical security and video surveillance. Knowing what to do if something happens and being prepared will go a long way toward making the situation as tenable as possible. 

One of the key ways to approach network security is to focus on the partners you arecybersecurityblogpic 300x working with and their overall approach to cybersecurity, rather than focusing solely on the cybersecurity readiness of an individual device such as a camera or NVR.

Any product may be tested and “proven” to be secure — until the next cyber criminal or vulnerability comes along and negates everything. Once a product’s security is breached, and the network is vulnerable, the integrator and end user do not want to be left with the task of fixing the problem on their own.

However, if the purchaser is partnered with a company that has a strong, ongoing, cybersecurity program, then problems that do arise are likely to be solved more quickly and with better outcomes.

As we said, problems are inevitable, so consider how quickly and how capable a company is to make corrections to those issues. How are they monitoring for new vulnerabilities and how do they respond? How do they alert users to new vulnerabilities?

Additionally, it is important for the company supplying the product to be involved in continuing assessment of cybersecurity while also working with others, such as third-party assessors, to make sure products are in compliance.

Integrators and end users will certainly sleep easier knowing that there is a team of people whose job it is to oversee the credibility of a product from inception to completion to deployment.

In our upcoming webinar, “Don’t Let Cybersecurity Keep You Up At Night”, we’ll take a closer look at recent security breaches and vulnerabilities, the problems this can cause for an organization and how to assess if you are making the right cybersecurity partnerships.

We hope you’ll join us on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 from 11am-12pm EST.

To sign up, please click here 

A little planning goes a long way toward achieving analytics success

 

The odd impulse purchase aside, most people go into a buying decision with a good idea of what they want from their investment.

A couple that is expecting triplets, for instance, knows they can bypass the two-seater sports car or the pickup and look in the SUV or minivan category for a vehicle that will adequately and safely serve their family.

Similarly, a company that is putting in a new video analytics system should outline what it wants it to achieve before selecting, installing and operating it. Or at least that is what best practices would dictate.

Yet, too often the opposite happens. Eager customers and their systems integrators determine the number and styles of cameras camera, ip camera, securitythey want, maybe based on the newest technology or the best deals available, without first exploring exactly what they want to achieve in terms of analytics. So the end result is a system that is inadequate for the application and one that poorly reflects on the quality of the video analytics because it couldn’t perform the necessary functions properly.

Where and how cameras are placed is critical to achieving the most effective outcome with analytics. From camera mounts to the number and type of cameras, many factors can impact the success of video analytics.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to planning. Working in conjunction with your systems integrator, or a manufacturer’s representative, take a hard look at what your expectations are for your analytics system: Are you looking to count people coming into your store, or is your goal to read license plates in a parking lot? If you want to count customers, do you also want to measure how long they look at a display? Every activity requires careful consideration regarding the type of camera used and where it is placed.

People counting is best done on a two-dimensional scale, so a camera mounted overhead works well here. If the camera were placed at eye level, and a crowd came into the store, you might not be able to see each person because some people likely would be blocked by those in front of them.

If the goal is to determine who is lingering in a particular spot, however, then a wide-angle camera is the proper choice. And if you want to do both of these things in the same space, you’ll need multiple cameras mounted appropriately.

Lighting is another key consideration when deploying analytics. If a scene goes in and out of shadows frequently, it will affect the accuracy of the information received. Trying to read license plates? Think about how headlights could play havoc with a camera if positioned incorrectly.

Before going ahead with an analytics program, it’s important to consider all of the factors that will impact video quality. From illumination to separating assets and people to dealing with obstructions and movement, all of these can make a great analytics system an ineffective one if not handled properly.

So sit down at that computer — or if you’re old school, get out that pen and paper — and list what you want your system to do. Then go through all the factors that could influence your outcome before making a final selection with the help of an integrator or supplier on cameras and mounts.

The success of your analytics system depends on it. Watch our videos below on victor and VideoEdge video intelligence and analytics.


Unification = Simplification

 

There are two things we never seem to have enough of — time and money. Thus, when the opportunity presents itself to save both, wouldn’t we jump at the chance?

The move to a unified security platform is designed to address both of those sweet spots for end users and integrators. Rather than relying on separate servers to run access control and video surveillance systems, under unification, a single server handles both operations.

You can see where the cost savings can come in. Rather than investing in dual servers, you can operate with just one. And one server also means fewer licenses, easier licensing management, improved maintenance through a single health monitoring system, reduced installation time…and the list goes on.

unification, victor, american dynamics, software houseBut investing in a security solution isn’t just about saving money. It’s also about product performance and ensuring that you get the critical information as quickly and accurately as possible.

Unification addresses that piece as well. Bringing access control and video together into one server means bypassing the middleware and extensions that typically are relied upon so one system can communicate with the other.

When time is of the essence, and when it comes to security it is, the ability to retrieve video or access data as quickly as possible is critical.

Under a unified server scenario, while video and access control are tied together, you still have the opportunity to leverage the power of integration. Information from other related peripherals such as smoke alarms, intercoms, motion detectors, building systems, etc. can still be brought into the system for monitoring.

This allows security personnel to have the best of both worlds: unified access and video AND the ability to respond to and provide better information when an event is underway through data from integrated systems.

Additionally, when conducting an investigation after an event, you’re able to reduce the number of steps you would have had to take in a two-server environment. Take for example, someone who is experiencing multiple card rejects, who tries to damage a card reader on the wall and cameras in that area capture the incident. In an unified system, the time it would have taken to match the card reader data with the video is reduced by tools available through unification. Using functions such as data visualization, security personnel can find a high number of card rejects and then go to the corresponding video more quickly than if they were still operating in a two server, two client environment.

In a word, unification comes down to simplification — fewer steps, lower costs, more results.

Learn more about how unified solutions helped Rush University Medical Center in Chicago simplify and secure its security operations in this video.

Putting video to work in new ways

 

Tyco Security ProductsA video surveillance system can be a multi-tasker, especially when deployed within a factory or production environment. From shipping and logistics, where it provides control support and documentation, to operations, where it can assist with deploying personnel, video has the ability to go well beyond its usual security and safety functions.

Companies can harness their video surveillance system to show current or potential clients how different processes work within their organization. If quality control within a distribution facility is the focus, video systems can be tapped to show the progress of an order from the time it is placed, through the automated or manual picking process and ending with the completed order. Without having to be in the room or on site, a customer can receive assurance about the integrity of the order fulfillment process just by viewing it live through the video surveillance system.

A CCTV system can also benefit the logistics operations of a manufacturer. Cameras can help dispatch personnel by determining which loading bay is empty and ready to receive a shipment for off-loading, or indicate the dock to which a truck can be sent to be loaded with product for distribution.

A manufacturershipping product to the United States, for example, needs to document the contents of each container or truck to meet the country’s anti-terrorism import measures, also known as C-TPAT. Having evidence of the packing and shipping operations on video can aid in compliance with these regulations, which ensures easier passage through U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Additionally, the camera system provides visibility regarding the movement of pallets or goods throughout different areas of the warehouse, providing an additional layer of quality control for warehousing operations.

Cameras focused on conveyor systems for security purposes can also make important information on product flow available, especially when analytics are used to count product or monitor productivity. Identifying areas where bottlenecks occur can translate into money and time savings for the company.

Surveillance cameras have even helped car dealers show off their inventory to customers when conditions aren’t ideal, such as during a snowstorm or when it is raining. The same system that can identify potential thieves is also capable of offering virtual tours to eager buyers.

By thinking about video in new ways, users can build on their investment in surveillance and achieve new levels of functionality, efficiency and cost savings.

Why not think about how video can do double duty within your operations?

Video test and verify: When spec sheets aren’t enough

 

As a nation we have become a bit obsessed with numbers. More specifically, we are fixated by those digits that translate to the concept of “bigger is better”.

 We’ve seen it over the years with vehicles, as people transitioned from sub-compacts and compacts to SUVs. Why settle for a small car when a bigger one can give you more length, more width and more seats? Of course, people often forget about the downside of “bigger”, which means higher cost and lower gas mileage.

 The same phenomena that has swept through the automobile industry has been seen in american dynamics, video security, tyco security productselectronics with people wanting higher resolution TVs, computers with more processing power and phones with better, faster connections.

In the security industry, the “bigger is better” mantra is often used in the camera arena with spec sheets touting cameras with 3, 5 and even 8 megapixels. Although the bulk of installed cameras are still in the 2 megapixel range, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the siren song of more megapixels. If 2 megapixels are good, wouldn’t 8 be better?

Although the car dealer wants dearly to sell you that more expensive, more expansive SUV, you’re not likely to make the decision without getting into the vehicle and giving it a test drive. You may find upon driving it that there are trade offs you’re not willing to make, like seeing the gas gauge move quickly into the E position.

Similarly, anyone looking to replace or add cameras to their surveillance system, or integrators looking to expand or update their product line, should test the cameras as well. Relying solely on the specifications provided on a product spec sheet is like buying the SUV by just reading the sticker on the door and never getting behind the wheel. A camera may have looked great on paper, but until you see how it works in real-life situations, it’s hard to be certain.

This is especially difficult because the industry as it stands now doesn’t have standards for specifications, so there could very well be variances among manufacturers. One company’s measurement of low-light performance or Wide Dynamic Range can be vastly different than another’s. Can you really trust the numbers?

Putting a camera through its paces will allow you to see if it is the right one for a specific situation and more importantly, if it lives up to its hype. Many high-resolution cameras offering more than 3 megapixels, are still equipped with lenses that aren’t rated above 3 megapixels. For example, when bubble covers are added over the lens what is the optical performance of the bubble material? Can it transmit the high resolution?

Just as the SUV can be viewed as a gas guzzler vs. its subcompact cousin, high-res cameras can be taxing on bandwidth and storage capacity. Sending more data through the pipeline means using more bandwidth. The tradeoff could be that your current set up can only accommodate a portion of the cameras you had used previously, and that you’ll also need to spend more on networking hardware and storage. Higher resolution cameras do have their place in the overall surveillance system, but the decision point should be determined by the camera’s location and the subject detail needed in the scene.

As much as we all want the latest and greatest, the biggest and the best, the bottom line is that when it comes to investing in new technology, numbers don’t tell the whole story. With today’s high megapixel cameras, it behooves integrators and security personnel to put them through their paces, seeing how they deliver video in different lighting conditions, various weather scenarios, etc. See how a higher resolution camera performs against a 2 or 3 megapixel camera in the same location. Is the higher resolution camera truly delivering a more effective solution and overcoming the associated tradeoffs?

Ultimately, the proof will be found in the video, not on the spec sheet. If you want to ensure that you make an informed and good decision on a product, make sure real-life testing is an integral part of your decision-making process.

Click here to view a review of the Industry's HD Static Dome Cameras  

Providing Storage Security to a Diverse Customer Base

 

Concern for security and privacy has become part of modern life, both personally and commercially. Whether it’s storage of a hospital’s sensitive medical documents, an individual’s family heirlooms, or a small business’s legal files, everyone wants to be assured that their valuables are kept as safely and securely as possible.

Storage SecurityIn turn, storage businesses are expected to meet every customer’s needs and requirements and to provide broad and specialized levels of security for their stored goods, no matter what the type. It is not uncommon for businesses in the storage industry to face challenges in providing this level of highly individualized and effective storage security, especially with many storage facilities being located in open rural areas and only protected by a chain link fence.

Due to their location, and the contents contained within, storage facilities can be an easy target for thieves. In June, two people were arrested after witnesses saw them stealing tools and a pressure washer from a storage facility in East Gadsden, Ala. Police expect the suspects to be connected to a string of storage unit break-ins in the area.

Even though Kentucky Underground Storage, Inc. is situated in a unique and discrete location, it invested in upgrading its security solution to greatly improve its security coverage and capabilities. KUSI, located near Lexington, Ky., is a family-owned business that has been in operation since the late 1970s.

The company wished to expand their surveillance coverage, and update their cameras to provide varying types of security for their customers. KUSI needed better review capabilities in order to replay surveillance video and zoom in with clarity and detail when needed. The facility also wanted the ability to zoom in and clearly capture the image of a face and/or vehicle, in order to identify and monitor visitors, and sought to improve the security of its parking lot.

To meet their multiple needs and those of their customers, KUSI and integrator, Tyco Integrated Security, chose Illustra HD cameras from Tyco Security Products. The Illustra HD cameras provide high-definition, clear video that can be accessed easily and consistently by KUSI employees.

In addition, KUSI’s system includes remote monitoring, an essential for its security staff. Remote monitoring lets the company’s staff track surveillance from anywhere, via a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. With its new system now in place, KUSI can upgrade cameras as needed, without replacing its entire security system.

Security is not just a necessity for large corporations, hospitals and schools, it is also a necessity for a variety of smaller businesses who need to provide ongoing protection of their assets and those of their customers.

Read more about KUSI's security upgrade.

 

What questions do you have about HD IP security cameras? Leave me your question in the comments section below.

 

All Posts