Micro Focus Guest Blog: Faster And Better Decisions With Real Threat Awareness

Vidsys is partnering with Micro Focus for our Intelligent GSOC at the ASIS 2017 Conference next week. As we count down to ASIS, we’re sharing this blog post from Joe Leung, Micro Focus Analytics Marketing Manager, about generating real-time, data-backed decisions in response to threats.

“If only I knew that” is probably one of the most dreaded phrases to be uttered. This is especially true in the world of security where the stakes could be unimaginably high. Decisions such as locking down a school campus, shutting down a major event, or closing an airport terminal are serious ones with significant consequences. These consequences vary as they depend upon how quickly such a decision is made, and how effective the decision is in mitigating the risk. The challenge is to get as much relevant information about the threat as quickly as possible. So how do we tackle this information trinity – comprehensiveness, relevancy, timing – in security decision making?

Comprehensiveness – Are we tapping into all the data sources available to us so a real understanding of the threat can be established? CCTV is a well-established source where a diversity (human, vehicle, scene) of images may be available for threat analysis. Are we taking full advantage of all these different types of images? What about audio sensors? Would the sounds of glass breaking, people screaming or gun shots indicate a higher level of threat? What about communications in public (protest organization in social media) or in private (threatening email messages)? Would these communications be another critical piece of the threat puzzle?

Relevancy – Find what truly matters from the noise in the face of massive volume of diverse data is daunting. While a truck parked illegally may just constitute a minor traffic infraction, if the license plate does not match the make and model of the truck, and the truck driver’s face matches a picture on a watch list, these three individual incidents collectively provides highly relevant information that may call for a security response, which could be very different from responses for the individual incidents.

Timing – In a world where every second counts, any delay may mean a rapid escalation of potential carnage and/or damage. While it is hard to argue against the need to get all the relevant data for an intelligent decision, the disparate data sources, the varying data formats and the tsunami-like data flow are overwhelming the traditional human operator centric surveillance systems. Not only does the system have to spot a real threat in real-time, it must be able to alert the appropriate parties so the responders don’t miss a beat in addressing the threat.

The partnership between Vidsys and Micro Focus (formerly Hewlett Packard Enterprise) is laser-focused on addressing ALL of the above in one joint solution so security operators don’t have to compromise on either speed or effectiveness of their actions. If you are attending ASIS 2017, please register here to attend a reservation-only briefing on the big data analytics powered Intelligent GSOC, and to meet in-person the architects behind the solution.

See the original post on the Micro Focus blog here, and if you’ll be at ASIS, make sure to sign up to come to one of our demos here.

ASIS 2017: 3 Steps to Create an Enterprise Security Risk Management Program

At ASIS, one of the key themes will be how global organizations can create an effective security risk management program. But where should they start?

Businesses today are faced with a multitude of risks due to the complexity of technologies, regulations, system vulnerabilities, security threats and more. As your company’s information flows through networks, applications, databases and servers, it must be readily available, free from tampering and confidential to those only with authorized access.

To manage this complex environment of information, installing an intelligent software platform can convert your large amounts of unorganized, unstructured data to valuable, actionable information through correlations based on time, location, duration, frequency and type. An enterprise security risk management program should have the ability to integrate to other systems and subsystems, so that the software enables users to focus on managing situations rather than managing disparate technologies.

When implementing an enterprise security program to benefit your entire organization, follow these 3 steps for a holistic approach to IT security.

1. Prepare for challenges

Vulnerabilities, risks and threats all pose potential complications and can serve as a source of danger to your company’s information assets. Weaknesses or flaws in the system can lead to a security breach and can exist not only in technologies, but in people and business processes as well, and risks, such as loss of network connectivity, can result in devastating outcomes for your business. To prepare for these challenges, list out and categorize pertinent threats, assess vulnerabilities based on potential impact to the company, and prioritize risks based on likelihood and impact.

2. Manage outside your business

An enterprise security risk management program often entails dealing with third parties like vendors and suppliers. It is crucial for businesses to select trustworthy third-party companies, as those with unsecure networks or corner-cutting practices can create vulnerability and subsequent security threats. Be sure to know what security measures these companies have set in place, list out all of the third-party companies your business deals with, and then prioritize based on information overlap and criticality.

 3. Enable security controls

Effective IT security includes non-technical controls set in place for management and operational protocols, and technical controls implemented as a safeguard incorporated into hardware, software and firmware. As CIOs begin to establish these security controls such as deciding which monitoring and filtering technologies to purchase, they must work with other parts of the company to make business decisions collaboratively as the technology will have an impact on employees and processes.

As an organization’s ecosystem of information grows increasingly complex, information security becomes a critical factor to the entire company. By implementing a strong enterprise security risk management program, your entire organization will benefit.

Want to talk with one of our in-house security experts? Come to our Intelligent Global Security Operations Center demo with Micro Focus. Learn more and sign up here.

ASIS 2017: Global Responses to Global Threats

During the ASIS conference this year, one of the panels will be focused on the importance of information sharing and collaboration among policing and intelligence community partners (federal, state, and local) to successfully combat terrorism and protect communities worldwide.

At Vidsys, we provide converged security for global organizations and major cities across the globe, and understand the importance of collaboration in protecting businesses and communities. While this panel specifically focuses on federal and state and local governments, we see an increasing need for enterprises to address global threats as well.

As companies expand regionally, nationally and globally, being prepared for global threats is crucial. See below for ways to heighten your organization’s security and create a strong base for organizational safety, efficiency and success.

Build a customized GSOC

A Global Security Operations System (GSOC) is designed to empower security personnel with a platform delivering ongoing prevention, detection, protection and mitigation of threats to a company’s virtual and physical assets. This system can uncover weak areas, respond to potential threats and address any incidents, virtually or physically, occurring within your organization. While many companies believe an advanced operations center is too expensive to actualize, organizations can lower risk, increase operational efficiency and situational awareness without a major cost increase through proper planning and technology.

Manage data

Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) provides a central operations dashboard where decision makers can see their organization’s data in an intelligent way. This technology platform assembles a common operating picture of all organizational asset data. Through tailored rules and regulations, organizations can set boundaries for what should be flagged as a risk. Warning signs for risk often begin with unusual activity virtually on an IT system. By collecting data from disparate sensors, devices, systems and subsystems, software tools are able to identify patterns that are unusual on any monitoring or sensor device

Integrate systems

Security sensors and video footage can help keep an organization physically secure, but businesses can leverage powerful technology to integrate data and receive automated, intelligent information that cuts out the risk of human error and facilitates the security process, saving an organization time and money and increasing employee safety. CSIM gathers video data and other information from access control systems, sensors, alarms, ID management, GIS and other data sources to create situational awareness and provide appropriate actions.

Whether your organization is already a global entity or you are currently expanding, consider your company’s approach to your operations, data management platform and various system structures to ensure that your organization is ready for if – or when – a global threat might strike.

If you will be at ASIS this year, sign up to attend our Intelligent Global Security Operations Center demo with Micro Focus. Learn more and sign up here.

How Smart Cities are Gaining Momentum

Abu Dhabi was recently named the #1 Safest City in the world in a list of the top 9 safest cities. Vidsys has been supporting Abu Dhabi’s Monitoring and Control Centre (MCC) to deliver an Open Architecture solution utilizing the Vidsys Converged Security & Information Management (CSIM) Platform to interconnect all public spaces as part of the Safe and Smart City objectives for Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi MCC and its stakeholders utilize Vidsys’ real-time situation management software technology for security operations.

Future cities, safe cities, smart cities – regardless of what you call them – are beginning to realize the need for more intelligent systems to better manage their populations. Cities are getting smarter through using IoT, enterprise technology, and systems like Vidsys to help them achieve “smart” status. Here are three ways that smart cities are gaining momentum.

Making the most of data

A smart city’s physical security, IT systems, transportation and social media data sources must coexist and communicate in real-time to provide successful solutions. An integrated platform such as Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) makes the integration of security sensors, IoT devices, artificial intelligence and metadata necessary for such coexistence possible. Data without meaning is useless, so making sure that data isn’t siloed – but rather is connected with other sources of data is crucial to begin building smart city solutions.

Building a public safety platform

The use of data must become fully integrated in real-time, representing a holistic picture of city operations. For example, Vidsys’ partnership with Current, powered by GE, helps cities establish an increased level of situational awareness by collecting and correlating real-time data through a smart city IoT sensor network that provides actionable intelligence. Obviously, there is a limit to how much a city can build, with only so many highways, parking lots, and driveways being possible. Transportation is one area in which smart cities can excel as a result of their digital capabilities. Constructing intelligent roads using sensors and traffic data to change basic elements, such as signal times, efficiently moves traffic in and out of smart cities.

Embracing Internet of Things technology

Everything generates data. A call to 9-1-1 is no longer the first line of information regarding an emergency – it often is first shared through social media and found through metadata. The utilization and integration of these numerous sources of data is necessary and can be more effectively utilized through connecting IoT hardware to a central hub. While many concerns are still present regarding the security of IoT, the transition to increasingly connected devices is inevitable and can provide immense value for city operations.

At Vidsys, we work with transportation, energy, utility, healthcare, and government organizations to collect, correlate, and convert considerable amounts of data into intelligent solutions, helping organizations and digitally-enabled cities become even smarter.

To learn more about our solutions for Smart Cities through a demo, click here.

 

 

 

 

3 Ways CSIM Supports Crisis Communications

When it comes to communicating during a crisis, timing is everything. The decisions an organization makes from when an incident starts to when law enforcement responds at the scene is crucial. That’s why it’s more important now than ever for organizations to lay the groundwork for an emergency plan that will enable intelligent decision-making if an incident occurs.

A key component of any emergency plan is effective communication and coordination – whether between different departments of a business or different agencies within a city or local government.

Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) provides a central operations dashboard where decision makers can see their organization’s data in an intelligent way.

CSIM can interpret data from numerous data sources and send actionable insights to key decision-makers. This empowers organizations to minimize the amount of time it takes to sort through data, determine appropriate actions and respond.

Here are three ways that CSIM technology supports crisis communications:

Managing Data – CSIM technology brings together a common operating picture of all company and organizational asset data. Based on customized rules and regulations, organizations can set perimeters for what should be flagged as a “risk”. The first warning sign is usually unusual or unexpected activity, whether physically on your organization’s campus or virtually on your IT system. By collecting data from disparate sensors, devices, systems and subsystems, software tools are able to identify patterns that are unusual on any monitoring or sensor device.

Increasing Situational Awareness – Organizations can create a safer environment through the provision of a robust access control system.  The more secure a building is, the longer it will take for an intruder to enter the premises. Building in safeguards such as fewer entry access points, gated access to different parts of a building, RFID and in some cases biometrics, are all steps that building managers and companies should consider.

It’s also important to take a look at your infrastructure – both physical and IT assets – and ensure that the data from these devices is communicating to a central hub to create a 360° picture.

Integrating Systems – CSIM pulls together the video data along with other information from access control systems, sensors, alarms, ID management, GIS, and other data sources to create a holistic sense of situational awareness and provide appropriate actions.

While security sensors and video footage alone can help secure an organization, businesses can leverage powerful technology to integrate their data and receive automated, intelligent information that eliminates the risk of human error and facilitates the security process – saving your organization money, time, and in some cases employee safety.

If you’re interested in learning more about what a CSIM system can do for your business, you can visit our Vidsys CSIM solution page here.

Streamlining Smart Transportation Systems

Transportation executives face enormous challenges today as increased traffic and an increased number of people moving to cities has led to further congestion in urban environments. The reality is, there is a limit to how much you can build. There can only be a certain number of highways or a certain number of lanes in highways, so transportation officials and engineers are faced with the task of efficiently moving people and goods in and out of municipalities, cities and jurisdictions with little ability to increase physical capacity.

After considering a number of factors that could lead to improving transportation, officials are beginning to favor the development of intelligent transportation as a solution to the task at hand. The move towards an “Internet of Things” era, as a result of the sheer amount of data that we produce on a daily basis, is inevitable. Data is being generated by the public in massive quantities. Transportation officials are beginning to take advantage of filtering through this data to collect information and draw conclusions about how they can restructure or improve current systems and infrastructures.

In order to do this, transportation systems such as metro, trains, roads and highways must integrate sensors that capture traffic data and analyze this data effectively in operation centers throughout cities. Social media data must be analyzed as well to understand what is really happening on certain roadways, exits or side streets.

Transportation officials now have the ability to mitigate the risks involved with transportation through the effective management of data. This could include identifying areas where traffic lights are not performing as well as they should, areas where STOP signs should be installed, and monitoring crosswalk safety, among many other use cases. Intelligent transportation systems can flag risks such as vehicle accidents, subway fires or street flooding, and provide solutions to these risks. All of this leads to a more streamlined and effective urban transportation ecosystem.

Gathering all available data together in a meaningful fashion is a huge advantage for transportation centers and many of them are using our software to gain this advantage. Vidsys can actually convert data to allow first responders, operation centers and supervisors to immediately know what is happening near them so that they can make quick decisions on the spot.  Developing smart transportation in cities is a huge challenge, but it is undoubtedly the direction that we see transportation departments going.

Vidsys believes that we can be a serious asset to cities during this urban transition process by providing an affordable solution that integrates with legacy systems through a browser-based platform.

Read more about our CSIM technology solutions for city transportation here.

Announcing Vidsys Enterprise 2017 Release 1.3

Vidsys has launched the latest version of Vidsys Enterprise – Release 1.3

The latest version of our Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) software platfor incorporates new tools and capabilities as well as enhances the platform’s intuitiveness for the operator.

Originally launched in June 2016, Vidsys Enterprise increased the capabilities of the Vidsys CSIM software platform in enterprise deployments through features such as the Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) and the Virtual Situation Management (VSM) dashboards. These features provide a consolidated view of Situations across multiple independent Vidsys Enterprise servers, and increase support across large organizations who needed to quickly and efficiently address multiple Situations or locations at once. The Enterprise Data Visualization component (EDV) receives and correlates data generated outside the customer’s environment to notify them of potential impact to their personnel, resources, facilities, and brand.

Release 1.3 provides additional feature performance improvements to the software that will increase efficiency and overall user experience in the platform. The Vidsys reporting engine, Enterprise Business Intelligence, has been updated with new reports to facilitate quick and simple reporting by location. Additionally, to support the fundamental security of the solution and its underlying technologies, Release 1.3 incorporates the latest version of JAVA environment (8u111).

Other new features include:

  • Health Monitoring Dashboard
  • Vidsys Video Wall for Enterprise 2017
  • Video Export Manager
  • CCTV PTZ Request & Override
  • ESRI ArcGIS Map Integration Enhancements
  • Customized Floorplan Links
  • Optimized Responders List
  • Situation Detail Pages

The Release 1.3 launch reflects a number of upgrades to improve ease of use and to better serve our customers. We’re excited to roll out this new version of Enterprise and its key new features that will greatly improve how customers can get the most from our platform.

Click here to read more about Vidsys Enterprise.

ISC West 2017 Preview: Step Inside Our Intelligent Global Operations Center With HPE

ISC West is the largest security conference in the United States that brings together over 29,000 security professionals from around the world. The 2017 Conference will focus on the collision of the digital and physical worlds, and the increasing need for industry professionals to protect their organizations from both physical and cyber threats.

Read more about this theme and the Connected Security Expo (CSE) in our last blog post.

This year, Vidsys will be partnering with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a leader in big data analytics, to create a simulated Intelligent Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) to showcase the latest in big data analytics powered physical security technologies.

We have seen the increasing pressure that many companies face to respond more quickly to threats and even mitigate risks within organizations before they happen.

Through our partnership with HPE, we are able to help companies understand how they can integrate their technology, correlate important data, and extract actionable intelligence from diverse sources –  video cameras, video analytics, sensors, biometrics and even social media – to create a stronger, and more effective security platform. An effective security platform must take into account both the digital and physical threats of today’s organizational landscape. Alone with HPE, Vidsys will give companies a chance to see how smart security and data analytics platform can make a direct and positive impact on their industry. Use cases will include public safety, campus security, critical infrastructure protection, transportation management, and many other pertinent organizational needs.

The Intelligent GSOC will be held directly off the ISC West show floor in a private suite at the Sands Expo Center, giving companies the opportunity to experience Vidsys’ Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) and Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) software and HPE’s IDOL platform firsthand.

Join us and explore how the Intelligent GSOC can make a difference in your security operations. Learn more about the Intelligent GSOC and sign up for a briefing here.

Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Cyber Security: A Key Theme at ISC West 2017

This year at ISC West, the Connected Security Expo (CSE) has been moved to the ISC West Show Floor to become an integral part of the event.

The description of the event states, “As the digital and physical worlds collide, it is increasingly important for industry professionals to protect their organizations and clients from both physical and cyber threats.”

CSE will focus on building a holistic security strategy for the connected enterprise, including looking at how physical and information security can be used together to mitigate new and emerging cyber threats in a hyper-connected world.

As a security provider, Vidsys is closely aligned with, and clearly understands the need for a comprehensive security strategy that involves all aspects of a business’ intelligence and assets.

Cyber security is a concern for all businesses, organizations and governments worldwide. From a university to a small business, a hotel chain to a Fortune 500 company, everyone is at risk when it comes to IT security threats. The convergence of IP-enabled devices that perform functions such as controlling access to buildings, light and HVAC systems, and other connected systems that are all controlled through a business IT network has created a new security threat that private and public organizations alike are struggling to address. The ripple effect of such an attack on a business network can disrupt not just its IT systems but also its physical operations.

In order to mitigate this risk, businesses are recognizing the importance of creating a single, unified platform that can roll out a rapid-response plan across multiple parts of an organization. An issue many businesses run into are silos, as many businesses have separate groups handle physical security and IT security threats. These separate groups do not communicate on a regular basis and do not have a level of familiarity with the other’s processes, so they are unable to present a unified front against IT threats.

At Vidsys, we’ve seen this shift develop over time, and have identified the key to a comprehensive security strategy. Rather than having IT security and physical security operate as two separate silos, businesses must be proactive in merging the sources of data being collected about their locations and assets, and combine that data to give them the most accurate view of their operations. Through a converged security approach this can be made possible.

The answer, therefore is to create a centralized unit – a global security operations center or “GSOC,” for short. A GSOC functions by creating a cohesive platform that collects all organizational data and presents actionable information from which all actions can take place. This facilitates the communication and coordination between the IT and physical security teams by allowing them to perform their job functions separately but operate cohesively.

Cyber attacks are a concerning threat for citizens and organizations, and as a security company we are committed to providing businesses with the best tools to identify these threats. During  ISC West many discussions will focus on handling both cyber and physical threats in an organizational environment.

To learn more about this market shift, read our blog post “The PSIM Market Evolution to CSIM”.

We will be presenting an Intelligent Global Security Operations Center demonstration with HPE during the conference. Sign up to join us for a briefing or demo of our Intelligent GSOC during ISC West here.

Vidsys CSIM Secured Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit In Lima, Peru

An event that gathers dignitaries from all over the world, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Peru was a major undertaking for the City of Lima last year. Vidsys played an integral role as our software managed situational awareness and public safety during the Summit.

Following a successful deployment in Lima for the 2015 World Bank-IMF Summit, Vidsys returned to Lima to support our partner Cosapi Data with the deployment of our Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) platform for increased video security management and situational awareness around the city. The annual APEC CEO Summit hosted dignitaries from all over the world, including former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Vidsys CSIM platform was integrated throughout the City of Lima, with hundreds of cameras monitoring the downtown area during the event. Through a centralized data center, the software combined data from disparate Video Management Systems and correlated the data to create actionable intelligence for decision makers.

CSIM is unique in that it collects, analyzes, verifies, resolves and tracks information from multiple disparate subsystems using open architecture standards. This enables authorized users to view and manage situations in real-time.

“Vidsys was excited to work with the City of Lima once again for this important, and highly visible event,” said Vidsys CEO, James I. Chong. “Our software is able to overcome the logistical challenges that often arise for cities while hosting major events, streamlining the process of integrating data from disparate systems and managing public safety. The benefits of our software extend beyond events to become an essential part of many cities’ long-term public safety, transportation and situational awareness strategies.”

Continuing to develop new Internet of Things and Smart City technologies, Vidsys helps cities make sense of big data to create smarter, safer communities. Many large-scale events and organizations around the world have utilized Vidsys’ browser-based platform, including marathons, international sporting events, global conferences and summits, key dignitary protection events and safe city initiatives.