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Posts Tagged ‘Video Management System’

Federal grant money available for nonprofit, church security enhancement

The waning months of 2019 brought news of a several attacks on churches and religious gatherings, including an attack on a Hanukkah gathering in New Jersey and an active shooter at a church in Texas.  

In the wake of these attacks and others, Congress has appropriated an increased amount of $90 million to fund grants for enhanced security programs and churches, synagogues, mosques and other nonprofit organizations. President Trump signed the bill into law at the end of January.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program expands access to funds that will enable nonprofit organizations to enhance their security systems using fencing, surveillance cameras, enhanced entry ways, windows, alarms and communications systems, staff and personnel training, and contract security guards.

Applying for a federal grant can be intimidating, but the Department of Homeland Security is hosting a series of free conference calls and webinars to help potential applicants understand more about the grants and the application process. To register, click the webinar title below:

February 20th, 2pm: Protecting Your Organization: The FY2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program and other Resources to Help Keep Your Facility Safe (No call-in, webinar audio only through the link).

February 26th, 2:30pm: Nonprofit Security Grant Program Overview, 877-446-3914.

March 5th, 2:30pm: Nonprofit Security Grant Program Overview, 877-446-3915.

March 12th, 2:30pm: Nonprofit Security Grant Program Overview, 877-446-3916.

March 19th, 2:30pm: Nonprofit Security Grant Program Overview, 877-446-3917.

March 26th, 2:30pm: Nonprofit Security Grant Program Overview, 877-446-3918.

ECT Services also offers security training and complete security system enhancement and servicing, including access control, video and gunshot detection. For a free consultation to review your organization’s current security systems and look for opportunities to enhance your capabilities, call 800 567-1180.

Axis Device Manager is on task for the future.

Remember that time hackers wiggled their way through security weaknesses in Internet-connected security cameras and unleashed the Mirai botnet, taking down major sites such as Twitter and Spotify?

The event highlighted the vulnerabilities exposed by IoT (Internet of Things) devices. The same devices that offer us incredible scalability and insight can also be used to disrupt our world when exploited by bad actors. That event and many others like it have prompted device developers to innovate and launch new platforms that step up security for connected devices.

Axis’ new Device Manager is the latest entry in the market. The new platform, which replaces Camera Management, offers users the ability to manage thousands of cameras, access control and audio devices in one place. Features include the ability to automatically assign IP addresses; install, configure, replace or upgrade devices; set restore points and factory default settings; upgrade device firmware; manage user accounts and passwords; copy configurations between thousands of devices; connect to multiple servers and systems; and deploy and renew HTTPS & IEEE 802.1x certificates.

“Being able to access and efficiently install, adapt and secure all of the devices on your network saves a tremendous amount of time and effort. AXIS Device Manager is the go-to tool for reaching all Axis devices — whatever stage of their lifecycle — and make needed adjustments,” said Ola Lennartsson, global product manager, System Management at Axis Communications in a press release.”

“In today’s fast-paced world, any device or network that is static is not only old-fashioned, it is potentially prone to cyber threats. Therefore it is important we ensure our customers can use a tool that allows them to easily, rapidly and decisively manage all of the devices on their network. AXIS Device Manager is that tool.”

Dynamic, centralized control of devices makes it easier to stay a step ahead or security threats, especially for larger installations across multiple locations.

Interested in learning more? Our team can take you through a system integration project from design to completion. Call (800) 567-1180 to arrange for a consultation.

Security cameras capture museum mayhem

Security cameras see everything, even the most cringe-worthy moments we can imagine.
There are few ideas more horrifying to a lover or art or history than the destruction of a priceless, irreplaceable object. Even worse than that is the idea that a museum visitor would damage an object on display in a museum.

And worst of all? If the act is caught on video.

In recent weeks, an art installation in Los Angeles suffered an estimated $200,000 in damage when a visitor inadvertently knocked over a pedestal while crouching down to snap a selfie. The unintentional nudge set of a domino effect, which several pedestals toppling in succession and the crowns they held tumbling to the floor. The incident was caught on security video.

Simon Burch, the artist who created the installation, waxed philosophical about the mishap. “Crowns are fragile things. They are symbols of power. Perhaps it’s ironic and meaningful that they fell,” said Birch.

Museum staff at the National Watch and Clock Museum, in Columbia, Pennsylvania were less sanguine about the loss of a priceless, one of a kind modern clock which was knocked off the wall by visitors attempting to make it move.

“This is why we beg and plead with our visitors to please refrain from touching objects in museums,” said museum staffers.

The visitors did notify staff of the mishap.

In some cases, however, museum visitors are not terribly bothered that their bad behavior might destroy something that cannot be replaced.

Two children visiting an art museum in Shanghai, China gleefully ripped the wings off an installation called “Angel is Waiting” in the Shanghai Museum of Glass. Rather than removing the children from the exhibit area – they were clearly beyond rope barriers intended to keep them away from the work, two adults accompanying the children appeared to be videoing them as they slammed the work against the wall.
Need a security system to help you keep an eye on what’s valuable to you? We can help. Call us at (800) 567-1180 to learn more.

Axis releases explosion-protected cameras

If you’ve got a need for to keep an eye on critical, sensitive areas in potentially hazardous contexts, Axis Communications may have the solution.

Axis announced earlier this week the release three new explosion-protected cameras for use in sensitive industrial areas: XF40-Q2901 Explosion-Protected Temperature Alarm Camera, XF60-Q2901 Explosion-Protected Temperature Alarm Camera, and XP40-Q1942 Explosion-Protected PT Thermal Network Camera.

“Industrial plant operators have a tremendously difficult task,” explained Martina Lundh, global product manager for thermal and explosion-protected cameras at Axis Communications, in a company press release. “They need to ensure efficiency and continuity in large-scale, critical industrial processes, while meeting all health, safety and environmental regulations, across multiple locations and, often, across huge areas. Our new cameras deliver critical real-time information, allowing for immediate incident response which can prove to be a life-saving benefit.”

The cameras allow plant operators to monitor remote, inaccessible, and sensitive areas, allowing for rapid incident response and protection of employees, machinery and critical industrial infrastructure, according to the release. The new cameras integrate with existing Supervisory control and data acquisition architectures. The cameras are based on industry standards and open protocols, and are protected in a heavy-duty enclosure.

Use cases for the fixed cameras include control and detection of temperatures of equipment and leaks in pipes, fire detection, and monitoring of equipment and perimeter protection. They can also be used to help visually inspect and verify functions and processes are running correctly, and provide remote assistance with planned maintenance.

Use cases for the pan/tilt include detection of people in restricted areas and safety of personnel in hazardous areas. XP40-Q1942 also supports electronic image stabilization, which improves video quality in situations where cameras are subject to vibrations, and Zipstream, which lowers bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image quality.

The cameras are certified world-wide and will be available starting this month. Interested in learning more? Contact our sales team at (800) 567-1180.

CCTV and Video Management Systems

If you are around the CCTV or video management system (VMS) industries at all, you have probably seen charts and graphs looking a lot like this one:

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There is no doubt that IP camera systems are quickly becoming the preferred method for monitoring and recording. That move continues to bring those responsible for IT management and Security management closer together. Larger influences of the “cloud” environment have moved the industry beyond the requirements list of high reliability, good image quality, ever increasing image resolution and longer storage times. We now must provide a means to connect and access the VMS systems from anywhere at any time. The VMS solutions have started bringing solutions to meet that demand.

This can only happen with the support of the respective IT groups responsible for providing remote network access. Often this means that when we are asked to provide these features, the first question is will your IT department restrictions allow for remote access. After that, we must look at the available camera and web technologies that make this possible.

When evaluating a VMS system you want to look for the mobile app availability and compatibility for your business and personal devices. These are typically your tablets, smart phones and laptops but are starting to include TV sets and other monitors. Make sure they support secured means of communication through some sort of encryption standard or VPN. Features such as automatic reduction of image size, resolution or quality based on connection speeds are very useful for providing a smooth experience when viewing your camera system remotely. Abilities to place limitations or restrictions on number of video feeds can help alleviate some of the more common user complaints of slow or unresponsive behavior.

Other factors greatly affect the experience of mobile or remote viewing experience. Connection speed of the viewing device and the connection speed of the security network will have a big impact. Depending on the number of cameras to be viewed remotely, upgrading those connections are worthwhile. The cameras being used and specifically the encoding used to deliver the video to your viewing device will also matter. Most new cameras will support the H.264 standard which can greatly decrease the amount of bandwidth required to view cameras versus the older compression technologies.

Before starting off on a camera system upgrade or installation asking the right questions to the right people allowing you to set expectations for performance with your users are key to long term success of your video management system.

Anthony Tatman

Security Controls Engineer