Technology to help go with the flow | preventing card user fraud

In the post-9/11 world, access control has become ubiquitous, especially in the corporate world where thousands of people stream into and out of individual office buildings every day.

Workers equipped with access cards enter through turnstiles, actual and virtual, or gain entry into buildings through card-controlled doorways. A swipe of a card allows the cardholder access. But what is there to prevent the wrong person from using someone else’s card to gain admission to the site?

A form of identity theft, if you will, card user fraud takes place when a person who isn’t the actual cardholder enters a building under false pretenses. Security personnel may react when an unfamiliar face comes through the entryway, even if the card still works. But in a setting such as a corporate headquarters, where hundreds of people are converging on the entrance at one time, security may not be able to visually identify illegal card users. And even if they can, they want to ensure that the flow of people continues unimpeded.

Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where, through the unification of video management and access control systems, security personnel can stay on top of potential identity fraud at the point of access. Unification means that personnel can avoid operating multiple programs, having to toggle between various screens or stopping everyone to determine whose access is being denied.

Consider the example of the corporate office building. At the height of the morning rush, dozens of people may be passing through the access point each minute. Under the unified “swipe and show” technology, a security officer will see an image of each individual card user from the database as they pass through the access point, and can use that to visually compare it with what they are seeing live. If there is an anomaly, they can pull the person aside and verify their identity without stopping the flow of other entrants.

card user fraudAdditionally, policies programmed into each cardholders’ access information may trigger alerts for security personnel. For example, if someone is entering at the correct time with an active credential, the officer will see an image in the software with a green border. But if the person has broken a policy, such as trying to gain access after hours or through the wrong door, the border may appear as yellow for a minor violation that still allows them access, but needs to be addressed in person; or red, which means access is denied.

Remote access is another application for the “swipe and show” technology. The security officer in the control center sees both the image on file as well as live video as a person seeks entry at the remote location and has the ability to react quickly to allow or deny admission.

While the focus is on proper identification, the side benefits of “swipe and show” are that access continues seamlessly for those who should be allowed entry and security personnel have yet another tool for quick and easy card fraud prevention.

 

Are you using “swipe and show” security technology? If so, how has it impacted your business? Please leave me a comment below.

Video ‘must haves’ for active surveillance

In the majority of surveillance situations, the end user is going to be using video forensically or sporadically, checking on situations that have occurred and using video to determine what happened or to help make a case against a perpetrator or tuning in to a specific incident that is under way.

Active Surveillance SecurityBut for some security officers, active, live video is the critical element. Casinos are users that are constantly monitoring surveillance cameras as the action unfolds in real time. So too with high-risk assets such as babies in the maternity ward or animals in a drug-testing facility: The more valuable the asset, the more intense the surveillance.

Fortunately, IP-based security systems have made many of the processes easier for those in active surveillance situations through the addition of analytics that can alert officers to potential situations; mobile and remote views of what is unfolding; cost savings, especially for large installations; and network-based redundancy.

Where IP-based surveillance has fallen short sometimes is with latency issues for cameras and monitors and network security. When viewing an ongoing incident, it’s critical that the cameras and monitors used have as low a latency issue as possible so those handling the surveillance can make the PTZ camera follow the action. When there is an active shooter or a kidnapping in progress, security personnel can’t afford to lose track of the person they are tracking.

As companies migrate to IP-based solutions, they are also finding that LED monitors have a higher latency issue than the old CRTs. Unfortunately, CRTs are being phased out, but it’s important to know that there can be latency problems created by the monitors when switching views among PTZs.

On the plus side, there are many advantages presented by the newest video management systemsthat improve performance during active surveillance situations and these should be on the “must have” list for anyone putting together a system designed for high-volume use. One of these issituational awareness through analytics, or getting alerts when activities out of the ordinary occur, such as someone entering through an exit.

In some scenarios, such as a shopping mall, there are plenty of open spaces or doorways that allow people to enter and exit, so deploying analytics for situational awareness may not be possible. In these cases, the IP system can provide another benefit through the use of multi-view, time-synched video.

Say, for example, there is an active shooter in the mall. Through the use of time-synched video, security can bring up the various camera views that show the shooting and then help create a timeline to show what happened from there — where the shooter started from, where the event occurred, where he is now, and so on. And this video can also be pushed to officers involved in tracking the shooter so they can see what is happening in real time, rather than relying on audio transmissions to tell them where to go and what to look for.

Because video in these instances is so important for forensic purposes, being able to “vault” the video — extract it from the recording — means it is saved for future viewing and you don’t run the risk of recording over it or losing it.

All of these factors are necessary for the proper design and execution of an IP video system aimed at addressing an active surveillance environment. So as you put together plans for a system, but sure to add these to your checklist.

 

For a more in-depth look at Active Surveillance and some solutions that address the “must have” features, please watch my recorded Webinar:

Recorded Webinar - Active Surveillance Environments

 

What challenges are you having with your active surveillance? Please leave me a comment below.