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Smart route to digital CCTV

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Many organisations are upgrading to IP CCTV, but a complete and reliable system is out of reach for many due to budget constraints. This will however soon change, says ECKART ZOLLNER, Head of Business Development at the Jasco Group

There are a lot of analogue CCTV solutions out there – they account for over 60% of the current installed base – and they don’t work very well. Across industry sectors, organisations are slowly upgrading to IP solutions, especially in high risk and high value areas, but complete migration remains capital intensive and out of reach of budget-constrained organisations. That will not remain the case – within three to five years, largescale adoption of all-IP solutions is expected.

The increasing value that the advanced features of newer CCTV systems offer to the broader business is a big driver – but organisations will need to stop making short-term decisions if they want to access the long-term benefits of digital solutions.

From eyes to algorithms

We know that a pair of human eyes watching a bank of CCTV-fed screens in a control room will fail within a very short period to identify threats and anomalies – it’s not what humans are good at. And it’s a reactive strategy. Technology does a better job.

New IP and digital technologies can set virtual boundaries, use analytics to assess threats, and built-in intelligence that enables it to learn what behaviour is normal and what may constitute a breach. That same intelligence can be put to work within businesses to improve logistics, productivity and operations – for example, by alerting a retailer to add more cashiers when queues become too long.

These advances are making it hard for organisations to completely ignore new technologies.

While companies with high-level systems are making use of security platforms with integrated controls and incident management systems, companies with CCTV systems with workforce-based manual controls are augmenting their solutions with body-worn technologies as well as more advanced solutions at critical points. Integration of legacy and these newer systems is critical. So is establishing a closer relationship with external companies.

Integrating old and new

We see the requirement for the old to integrate the new where companies make use of physical security companies, such as ensuring that alerts and other inputs from their CCTV systems are integrated into the processes of these external companies, especially if these systems are capable of analysis. Alerts need to be acted on, not just logged, and this intelligence needs to be fed back into the overall system. If, for example, there is an incident every Tuesday night at 10pm, perhaps a pattern is forming – an advanced CCTV system may pick this up. Will the security company who may assign a different guard every week to the facility? The service provider may not even be aware that the incident constitutes a risk as they may not know what assets are at risk. The onus is thus on the company and the service provider to work together.

Own your data; upskill your workforce

As they upgrade to newer digital systems, the challenge for business is to ensure that the decisions they are making are not just for short term benefit. Data is going to be critical to future advances. If they are investing in digital systems, companies need to own the data and be able to access it – and it should be built into workforce and other processes, with alerts going to the right people who can act on it. That data should not belong to the service provider. Internet of Things (IoT) inputs will add value too, alerting organisation and service providers to performance issues, ensuring systems are more stable and reliable, and technology lifecycles are extended.

As companies continue to migrate to more advanced systems, they will also need to upskill supervisory functions and the security workforce – instead of watching a screen in a control room, security staff will be fulfilling higher function roles, analysing data and using outputs to enhance systems.

The long road

For companies with advanced systems, such as financial organisations, security will be a many-layered solution encompassing data centres, branches and ATMS. The value of these systems is that as they become more integrated and sophisticated deliver more predictive insights that enable proactive responses. This is where we are all headed in five short years.

There are smart ways to migrate, ensuring maximum value for the organisation. The challenge is to ensure that investments are also made with long term benefits in mind and to find ways to integrate the benefits of digital solutions with manual systems as the journey unfolds.

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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Epic Games brings a
Nite-mare to Android

Epic Games’ decision to not publish games through Google Play inadvertently opens a market to Android virus makers, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, decided to take the high road by skipping Google Play’s app distribution market and placing a third-party installer for its games on its website. While this is technically fine, it is not recommended for the average user, because allowing third-party installers on one’s smartphone opens up the possibility of non-signed and malicious software to be run on the smartphone. 

In June, malware researchers at ESET warned Android gamers that malicious fake versions of the Fortnite app had been created to steal personal information or damage smartphones. A malware researcher demonstrated how the fake applications works in the Tweet below.

While the decision to bypass Google Play was a bold move on Epic Games’ part, it has been a long time coming for app developers to move their premium apps off Google’s Play Store. The two major app distributors, Google Play and Apple’s App Store, take a 30% cut of every purchase made through their app distribution platforms. 

The App Store is currently the only way to get apps on a non-modified iOS device, which is why Epic Games had no choice for Fortnite to be in the App Store. On the other hand, Android phones can install packages downloaded through the browser, which makes the Play Store almost unnecessary for the gaming company. 

The most interesting part of this development is that Google is not the “bad guy” and Epic Games is no saviour to other game developers. Epic Games is a company with a multi-billion dollar valuation and has resources like large-scale servers to distribute and update its games, a big marketing budget to ensure everyone knows how to get its games, and server security to protect against malware. 

Resources of this scale allow the game company to turn a cold shoulder to Google’s Play Store distribution and focus on its own, in-house solution. 

That said, installing packages without the Google Play Store must be done carefully, and it is essential to do homework on where a package is downloaded. Moreover, when a package is installed outside of the Google Play Store, a security switch to block the installation of third party apps must be turned off. This switch should be turned back on immediately after the third party package is installed. 

This complex amount of steps makes it less worthwhile to install third party apps, in favour of rather waiting for them to reach the Play Store.

From a consumer perspective, ESET recommends not installing packages outside of the Google Play Store and to ignore advertisements to download the game from other sources.

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