Hanwha Techwin Europe MD reflects on GDPR, cybersecurity and 40% sales growth


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IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
September 21, 2018


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Despite having a global presence with regional and local support offices in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and across Europe, Hanwha Techwin is very much defined by its Korean heritage.

Founded as Samsung Techwin in Seoul in 1977, the company has gone on to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional video surveillance solutions and its headquarters are still in Korea.

Bob (HY) Hwang PhD, managing director of Hanwha Techwin Europe, believes the company’s Korean heritage and its core values of ‘challenge, loyalty and integrity’ – which define its ‘WE MOVE with trust’ marketing theme – have equipped the company to stand out from the crowd.

In this interview, we asked Bob (HY) Hwang PhD, to provide an update on the steps the company is taking to ensure it continues to succeed in a highly competitive market – but first we asked Bob if the ‘WE MOVE with trust’ campaign has helped sales.

IFSEC Global: Is 2018 proving to be a good year for Hanwha Techwin?

Bob (HY) Hwang PhD: Yes, I am pleased to report we are enjoying what looks to be another record-breaking year. The quantity of products shipped each month has never been higher and it is possible our success will exceed that achieved in 2017 when we saw a 40% growth in the number of products sold.

IG: Do you think the ‘WE MOVE with trust’ campaign has contributed to this success?

BH: There is no doubt that our efforts to build trust with all parties involved in the supply chain is understood and appreciated by our customers.

IG: Can you give some examples of what this means in practical terms?

BH: We continue to ensure our products are designed to combat the activities of hackers and that customers’ confidential data is kept safe.

This is just as important to the many thousands of small businesses that entrust our video surveillance solutions to protect their assets, people and property, as it is for our high security and mission critical end-user clients which include local authorities, government, military and emergency services.

Cybersecurity has been at the top of our list of priorities for some time. We believe our cameras and recorders incorporate all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised access to images and data.

“We have no ‘back door’ and have introduced sensible password protocols”

We do not have a ‘back-door’ and we have introduced sensible password protocols. We consider it essential that a secure password is set up during the initial installation process, which is why we prohibit the consecutive use of the same letter or number and we encourage the use of special characters as well as a combination of letters and numbers.

It is important not to be complacent and we are constantly monitoring and testing the latest methods of hacking using third party security agencies. When necessary, we release new firmware to counter the latest threats.

Our ‘WE MOVE with trust’ message also embraces our relationship with distribution and solution partners, our quality & service and extended 5 year Warranty support which we offer to our STEP partners as part of a package of benefits to reward their loyalty and give them a competitive edge.

In particular, we appreciate  our customers do not measure products and solutions just by their features and this is why Hanwha Techwin believes in taking responsibility for the solutions developed with our technology partners.

The good news is that our strategy of working in close partnership with specialist application developers in order to deliver new, innovative solutions which make good use of our high performance Wisenet open platform cameras, has been further justified by an award recently won by our technology partner, A.I.Tech.

A.I Tech’s video analytics technology, which is utilised by our Wisenet Biometrics and Retail solutions, was selected as the winner of the Business Intelligence category in the Benchmark Innovation Awards 2018.

The awards, which are run by Benchmark Magazine, the UK’s monthly publication which is widely regarded as the “Which” magazine for the electronic security industry, are designed to recognise and reward innovative thinking and the delivery of benefits through advanced security solutions.

IG: Can we expect to see new technology partnership announcements in the near future?

BH: In answer to your question, I should first point out that we now have a formidable range of cameras which collectively provide effective solutions for virtually any video surveillance project. The range starts with Wisenet HD+ analogue cameras which deliver Full HD images in 1080p without the need to upgrade cabling infrastructure.

These are followed by (include ‘Wisenet L’ in translated versions) Q entry level Full HD network cameras. Next comes Wisenet X cameras which are supercharged by the most powerful chipset ever incorporated into a full camera range, available in 2MP or 5MP. Finally, our premium, top of the range Wisenet P cameras deliver superb quality 4K (12MP) images.

The massive processing power of the chipsets built into our open platform Wisenet cameras means we are able to help customers achieve so much more from video surveillance systems than just capturing superb quality images.

By this I mean we can provide the cameras with pre-loaded specialist analytics applications which deliver real-world practical benefits.

We intend to sustain our efforts to seek out opportunities to introduce new, innovative solutions to complement existing Wisenet solutions developed jointly with our technology partners [see these below].

  • Wisenet Intruder Detection Solution – a single device intruder detection solution which provides maximum detection, whilst significantly reducing the impact of time consuming and costly false alarms.
  • Wisenet Intelligent Traffic Management Solution – comprehensive suite of ANPR based intelligent traffic management solutions.
  • Wisenet Automatic Incident Detection (AID) Solution – an easy to deploy and highly accurate city wide incident detection solution which is designed to be affordable for budget conscious local authorities.
  • Wisenet Retail Intelligence Solutions – includes Heatmap and People Counting cameras to enable retailers to monitor continuously updated live reports and view comparative hourly and weekly reports on footfall, store hotspots and dwell times, as well as how long customers have to queue.
  • Wisenet Transport Solution – vibration-proof Wisenet cameras and small footprint NVRs which are designed to provide a robust solution for monitoring activity on buses, trains, trucks and other forms of transport.

IG: Have you taken any action to help customers comply with GDPR?

BH: At Hanwha Techwin, we believe it is important for end-users, system integrators and manufacturers to work closely together to negate the risk of data misuse.

“We’ve placed maximum importance on providing privacy-friendly products which assist end-users to comply with GDPR”

In this respect, we have placed maximum importance on providing privacy-friendly products which assist end-users to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Although not wishing to be alarmist, a serious violation of GDPR could be subject to a fine of up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue or EUR 20 million, whichever is higher. In addition, non-compliance with GDPR violation could result in a class action or civil law suits against individuals.

With this in mind, Hanwha Techwin has published a white paper which sets out the impact on video surveillance systems of the new GDPR which came into force in May 2018.

I would encourage you to download the white paper which addresses in detail the responsibilities of those who are in control of video surveillance systems.

It also explains what steps Hanwha Techwin has taken to ensure the features and functions of its Wisenet cameras, recording devices and video management software (VMS), are able to assist operators in complying with GDPR.

Alternatively, an executive summary is available which highlights the key aspects of the White Paper.

IG: How would you summarise Hanwha Techwin’s aspirations for the future?

BH: We intend to drive forward our plans to further enhance the value of our Wisenet brand by capitalising on the expertise of our talented design and development engineering teams and the ingenuity of our technology partners.

We will be able to do this as a result of the encouragement we receive from our parent company in Korea who have supported our decision to continue to recruit sales and technical colleagues of the highest calibre to ensure our Wisenet brand is backed by unbeatable pre and post-sales support.

Most importantly, we are determined to build on our reputation for operating with integrity and for striving to excel in everything we do.

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