Genetec: Architects of a Secure Infrastructure

Pierre Racz, CEO & Founder A closer look at the critical infrastructure landscape reveals that most organizations believe that securing the network is their top priority. As hackers become more sophisticated and insidious, protecting the critical infrastructure proves to be a great challenge for businesses. Besides, the majority of organizations lack security experts and needed resources to secure their crucial network infrastructure and data. To mitigate the risks associated with the attacks on critical infrastructure, and intellectual property, organizations today need to develop comprehensive security measures, adopt cutting-edge technologies and partner with trusted vendors who have the expertise in dealing with critical infrastructure security.

For over 15 years, Genetec, a name synonymous with security infrastructure has been instrumental in developing and implementing open-platform, IP-based security management solutions that protect that critical infrastructure of innumerable organizations from data breaches.

The genesis of Genetec has an interesting founding story. According to Pierre Racz, an industry veteran, “In the late nineties, analog security systems were most commonly used to protect and monitor physical spaces, and users had to accept their inherent limitations. But we had the intuition that the typical analog point-to-point architecture would be short-lived and set out to pioneer the first fully IP-based security system.” Keeping that in mind, Racz along with his proficient team built Genetec to strengthen their expertise in IP security to access control, video management, and automatic license plate recognition (LPR).

Established in 1997, Genetec’s journey to prominence was largely powered by pioneering the first-ever IP video management software that allowed customers to experience an unprecedented system flexibility, hardware freedom, and the benefits of integrated systems all through a powerful open-platform. Needless to say, with industry-leading innovation, Genetec today has partners on six continents to help provide safer, more secure environments for enterprise-class businesses of all sizes in over 80 countries. The company has grown leaps and bounds from creating IP video management systems to architecting the most scalable, open-architecture, unified IP physical security platforms in the world.

Initially, Genetec’s IP system could manage hundreds of cameras but now the system can scale to manage millions of cameras, all built on the foundation of open architecture, packet switching protocols (IP), and anticipating that the unification semantics would overtake naïve integration semantics.

Genetec’s product range has coalesced into one platform named Security Center around which the management of IP video surveillance, access control, and license plate recognition are arrayed. Through deep support for a wide range of industry-leading cameras, encoders, and CCTV equipment, the Omnicast system, the video surveillance system of the unified platform scales and adapts to the changing demands of customers’ security environment.

The Acronis Recovery Console allows the client to centrally monitor and manage their disaster recovery preparedness, as well as perform local backups and restores

Protecting Assets with IP Video

As part of the Security Center unified platform, the Omnicast IP video management system provides organizations of all sizes the ability to deploy a surveillance system that addresses their unique video security needs. With Omnicast, users can stay one step ahead of security breaches or theft by preprogramming alarms that alert them on any suspicious activity.

With the help of Genetec’s IP video management system, administrators can rely on the availability of live and recorded video whenever the administration team needs, and also experience uninterrupted access to the video even if there is poor connectivity to the server. With embedded failover capabilities and built-in redundancy and health monitoring mechanisms, the Omnicast system protects customer’s recordings from network failure and physical damage while giving them real-time notifications on system health and uptime.

Organizations can also optimize their bandwidth consumption and reduce costs with flexible streaming options designed with HD video in mind. Genetec’s IP video management system calculates the most efficient routes between cameras and workstations while dynamic stream selection automatically switches stream quality when needed. Intelligent stream settings can be customized for live or recorded video, and users can protect key evidence by transferring their video recordings to cloud archives for long- term retention. Furthermore, Omnicast’s IP flexibility extends to unmatched and proven system growth. With Omnicast, customers can freely scale to thousands of cameras across thousands of sites. Omnicast’s revolutionary features, including the Federation feature, allow users to centralize the management of all remote sites, and efficiently monitor all system activity from one or two central locations. Other features include mobile access, map-based navigation, and fault-proof redundancy that help customers to stay connected to the information they need, from anywhere anytime. In case the user is in a remote location, they can consider the all-in-one Streamvault 100 Series appliance for quick and easy deployment of Omnicast.

As attackers often come up with new attack techniques, organizations have to be prepared with preventive actions to stay one step ahead of the hackers. This is not limited only to infrastructure security but also applies to information security measures as a whole. To restrict physical access to highly critical or corporate sites, standardizing IP access control becomes crucial. To that end, the company offers Synergis, the IP access control system of the unified platform Security Center to manage cardholder information right alongside the video.

With every swipe of a badge, facility managers get the cardholders’ image, credentials, and actual video of the person moving through their facility. In case of access denied events, the customer can verify the video, prompt an intercom and either unlock the door or dispatch personnel.
By implementing hardware agnostic Synergis, users can also install Genetec’s intelligent master controller to freely choose from the latest ASSA ABLOY, HID or SALTO access control hardware. The Synergis system also generates reports on cardholder activity to support investigations, or active directory integration to increase efficiency and reduce errors during cardholder enrollment.

Track Vehicle Monitoring System

As a part of the critical infrastructure protection, Genetec allows organizations to manage incoming and outgoing vehicles at vulnerable sites or larger distribution terminals. With AutoVu, the automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system of the Security Center, customers can complement their security efforts by monitoring the traffic into their high-risk locations or distribution terminals. As each vehicle comes into the customer’s premises, the AutoVu Sharp ALPR cameras will scan license plates. This records a log with the license plate number, the image of the vehicle, time and date stamp and associated video in the system.

During a theft, insurance claims, or any other incidents, Genetec’s ALPR system gives users the flexibility to quickly search various criteria to find out the reason behind the incident. Customers also get a weekly report to ensure distribution operations are running smoothly. The ALPR cameras can also be installed for license plate-enabled access control to parking lots. It helps in implementing a paperless parking management system that only allows entry to whitelisted employee license plates. In case of denied entry, an administrator is immediately alerted, and can quickly verify video to resolve the issue.

On A Secure Trail

To elaborate more on their unique value proposition, Racz cites a case scenario where Genetec helped Trollmühle, a German water supply association to reduce costs and enhance public safety. Depending on the size of the plant, Trollmühle provides five to 90 cubic meters of water per hour from a depth of up to 200 meters. With the growing cyber attacks, water safety initiatives are on top priority for many federal governments. Therefore, the State Criminal Investigation Department of Rhineland-Palatinate advised all water supply associations to inspect and evaluate all safety devices and introduce security enhancements. Since then, Trollmühle has started to think about investing in a new security solution. After a thorough research on the leading security solution providers, the water supply association chose Genetec’s Security Center platform to safeguard the water supply quality and take the necessary measures to monitor the plant and deter any potential threats or contamination. Genetec’s Security Center helped Trollmühle water supply association to build consistent workflows across their system and set standardized procedures to address critical situations. All in all, this unified platform simplifies operations and helps streamline the operator’s daily tasks in ensuring the safety of Trollmühle’s water supply.

The coming days hold even brighter prospects for Genetec. With a slew of innovative solutions in the pipeline, the company compliments their technology and creates automated security processes that were not previously imagined or easy to automate. “Our desire to engineer reliable and highly available systems had led us to design for system failures that have either accidental or deliberate and malicious root causes. Software today is like an organism with a weak immune system. We do not think we can rid the environment of parasites; we just have to become more resilient to their attacks,” concludes Racz.


Quebec, Canada

Pierre Racz, CEO & Founder

Genetec develops open-platform software, hardware, and cloud-based services for the physical security and public safety industry. Its flagship product, Security Center, unifies IP-based video surveillance, access control and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) into one platform. A global innovator since 1997, Genetec serves enterprise and government organizations via an integrated network of resellers, integrators, and consultants in over 80 countries. Genetec was founded on the principle of innovation and remained at the forefront of emerging technologies that unify physical security systems