23 Feb Intersec 2020 – exhibition report
More than 1,100 exhibitors from 56 countries gathered in Dubai in Janury at the region’s premier annual security event. Talking points this year were cyber security, compliance and the need for true integration. SME reports from Dubai
Intersec was officially inaugurated by Major General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, director general of Dubai Civil Defence; Major General Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi, director of the General Department of Organisations Protective Security & Emergency at Dubai Police, and major general Khalifa Ibrahim Al Sulais, CEO of the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA).
The delegation met top-level dignitaries and representatives from Dubai Police. “As the region’s premier show for commercial security, fire protection and safety, Intersec plays a crucial role in shaping the future of these industries,” said HH Sheikh Mansoor. “Protecting our people and assets is a principal responsibility for the UAE and with the Expo 2020 fast-approaching, the implementation of new best practices and technology will solidify the UAE’s position as a leader in security.”
Andreas Rex, show director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, which organises Intersec, added: “No sector is exempt from technological advancement. The emergence of automation, biometrics, artificial intelligence and machine learning is transforming the face of the security sector and helping to address growing concerns surrounding unmanned aerial, cyber and identity fraud risks. As security risks become more complex, so too must the solutions designed to combat them.”
Analytics drives so much of the capability behind video surveillance these days and there were a number of cutting-edge new applications of the technology on show. For example, CNL Software was putting the spotlight on the engine room of the security operation – the control room. Craig Menzies, general manager for the Middle East said. “The region is changing, we are seeing the digitalisation of control rooms as organisations evolve to meet today’s security challenges.
The company was joined on its stand by Cepton Technologies a developer of 3D sensing solutions, who were demonstrating correlation of LiDAR data with real time video visualization. From a technical perspective the camera will be calibrated into a common coordinate system with the LiDAR, explained Neil Huntingdon, VP Business Development at Cepton. “As a result, it will provide 3D world coordinates from the LiDAR onto a 2D video stream,” This then provides instant video confirmation of targets detected by the LiDAR network, which will reduce false positives and allow threats to be identified faster.”We have also created targeted zones for critical areas, where we can use superior algorithms without the need for additional computing hardware. This functionality also allows us target sections of video, which can be stored in high-resolution while the rest is stored in lower resolutions leading to increased efficiency and reducing the need for expensive processing and storage.”
These were just the type of capabilities that Stuart Rawling VP of market strategy for Pelco was discussing during his presentation at the Intersec Arena. “What I am seeing today is a control room revolution. There are all sorts of disparate systems coming together and starting to be integrated with each other and and as I have been walking around this show this week I’ve noticed the word convergence coming up a lot. Convergence means mean different things but in my world it means all the different IP landscapes coming together into one operating environment.
Pelco was at the show demonstrating the latest upgrades to its industry-leading Video Management System, VideoXpert. The newest update of which includes new features such as high frame rate playback, SMS notifications for alarms, recording schedules that can be triggered by any event, and new architecture that allows you to connect to the VxOpsCenter from a different network.
In a presentation he gave at the Intersec Arena he tackled many of the buzz words flying around the security industry and put them into context. “We talk a lot about the Internet of Things, yet what we sometimes forget is that the physical security industry is the original Internet of Things. When we had the first cameras and the first door controllers – whether they were over copper or whether it was over ethernet – they were the original things that were networked. We talk about artificial intelligence. But the types of things we are seeing in the industry are neither artificial not are they intelligent – its all about the data that comes from these different systems and put them together in a way that can help us make better decisions.”
Greater integration of security and other IoT devices is what is creating the foundation for the region’s smart city projects and one of the world’s largest is that taking shape just outside Cairo. Honeywell chose the exhibition to formally sign an agreement with telecommunications giant Etisalat and talk about how the two companies will be working together to create a seamless and secure communications network that will utilise over 5,000 security cameras.
This will be operated from a state-of-the-art City Operations Center (COC) that will integrate data from city management systems to efficiently support administrative functions and smart city services for citizens, as well as public and private sector entities in the new capital. The new initiative with Etisalat Misr follows in the footsteps of Honeywell’s agreement in February 2019 with the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) to deliver city-wide security and surveillance systems as part of the first phase of the project’s development.
Other companies offering solutions for city-wide surveillance included Bosch who presented its new range of smart video cameras – the IP 3000i range which come with high-end features such as on-board analytics with outdoor models with IP66 rating for harsh weather conditions. The outdoor models also have built-in infrared as standard, enabling them to capture high-quality images – even in complete darkness.
Hakan Ozyigit, regional director of Security Systems & Building Technologies, Bosch Middle East FZE said, “Business and end-user needs within building management are constantly evolving. More of our built environment needs to be able to be monitored for the safety of our people and assets, so it is important to keep high-quality camera technology affordable. The Bosch IP 3000i portfolio is an industry first for cost-effective video surveillance.”
Nedaa along with its strategic partner Esharah Etisalat Security Solutions was also talking smart city solutions. Perhaps its most fascinating ‘smart’ product was its 4G connected Smart ambulance hosting smart equipment and devices like the 360 degree camera and body cam, and advanced bio vital sensors and stethoscope enabled by Internet of Things (IoT) which assist doctors in hospitals to monitor the patients’ health closely and accurately in transit.
They were also demonstrating control room systems using Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD). The CAD system is used to record and dispatch incidents over Nedaa’s 4G network, integrated with other devices like Body Cam.
H.E. Mansoor Bu Osaiba, chief executive officer, Nedaa said: “Our participation in this year’s event highlights solutions focused on improving efficiencies and paving the way for the organisations to address current and future requirements for mobility and solutions that will allow a faster response time to emergencies; building an integrated eco-system for a more connected and smarter city.
The security of our security systems however remains the key issue bothering today’s security equipment specifiers but what are security product companies doing to alleviate these fears? Not enough according to Genetec’s Pierre Racz who was at the show. When asked whether end-users were truly aware of the vulnerabilities they faced, he answered with a resounding, No!. “People are just not aware and they have a false sense of security. There are manufacturers that ask their customers to punch holes in their firewalls so that they can see their equipment over the internet. This is a very dumb thing to do and people are actually doing it.”
“We made an audit to a site and we discovered that they were running cameras that had a vulnerable firmware and we demonstrated this to the owners. We broke into the cameras and we demonstrated how we could then from there go on to their internal systems. Two years later, they still hadn’t patched the firmware.”
He adds you should also assume from the beginning that your network is insecure and the more devices you add to the edge of the network the more contaminated it becomes. “People have a false sense of security. What you want is to have a strong identity of all the devices in your network.”
Genetec has implemented several procedures to take the guess work out of cyber security for its customers. “We’ve become a root certificate provider on the internet. What that means is that we can be the honest broker when two people want to converse. They have their crypto certificates that we sign. So, if you want to send a message, you can then go to the Genetec website to verify their identity. You can see the whole procedure to validate the authentication of our certificates. We are certified at a level two assurance, but most people are doing level zero. So, we do a lot of work to ensure cybersecurity.
We also make it hard for our customers to do the wrong thing. Built-in into the system for many years is a password strength monitor. For example, it will tell you when you install the system via red icons pop ups if you don’t change the default password of the equipment you’re connecting to. Also, if you’re running a firmware that is obsolete or insecure you also get notifications that your system is vulnerable. We take cybersecurity very seriously and we are taking many measures to make sure that our customers have to do extra work to make themselves vulnerable.”