The Top 5 Genetec Solutions You Didn’t Know About

Crowds of people can be challenging to manage. Fortunately, today’s technology gives us increasingly sophisticated, efficient ways to achieve successful people management. The security industry continually seeks new solutions that make it easier, faster, economical and more effective for organizations ranging from complex retail distribution centers to smaller venues with precious occupants inside, such as hospitals, schools and daycare centers.


Genetec has made significant enhancements in the security industry introducing a broad range of advanced integrated security features that keep people safe, monitor security events and situations, aid investigations, and provide reports and legal documentation. At Prime Communications Inc., many of our customers have selected Genetec as their security system of choice, and we consistently receive positive feedback.


As technology rapidly develops we want to make sure everyone is aware of additional Genetec features they might not know about. These features make an already well-appointed security system even more effective, potentially saving extra time, money, stress and heartache. Prime helps deploy these systems and provides cloud-based services to make maintenance and operation easy and reliable.


In this article, we will share information about five Genetec add-ons that provide the additional security Genetec systems users need to take their tools to the next level. If you have questions about any of these tools, or about getting started with Genetec, please contact us.

Solution #1: Genetec Clearance™

Digital Evidence Management

With the proliferation of surveillance video from affordable security cameras, body cams and handheld devices comes a need to manage large amounts of video evidence. But what good is all this evidence if it takes too long or is too costly to share or receive it, which means it may not even get used?


Evidence can be missed due to the sheer amount of time and attention it takes to receive and review video. And with increasing amounts of evidence there is also an increased risk of evidence being mishandled—a risk exacerbated by the need to transfer files using USB drives or CDs. Mishandling can be the cause of lost court cases and criminals going free.


Genetec Clearance solves some of these problems by allowing easier, more secure transfer of evidence files—especially large files such as video footage. This capability facilitates collaboration between law enforcement agencies, security departments and the public and helps to close cases faster.


Because the program exists in the cloud, the exact same files can be accessed by all stakeholders—a great boon for organizations with multiple widespread locations. From the security department’s point of view, the ability to easily transfer files, share them, and keep them organized saves time, labor and money.


Any type of file can be uploaded using Clearance, and the faces of innocents can be redacted or unredacted. “The whole purpose of this tool is case management, and the program has many functions to aid that purpose for any organization in a customized way,” said Dustin Graybill, Senior Systems Engineer of Prime.



Solution #2: Genetec Mission Control™

Collaborative Decision Management

Mission Control Interface

In “the old days,” a security event involved verifying a situation in-person, walking to and locking every door listed on paper or in a computer, and placing separate calls to first responders, organization leaders and affected departments. This clunky process was time consuming and riddled with human error. In one fell swoop, Genetec ushered in a new era of organizational security with its new collaborative decision management tool, Mission Control.


This impressive system uses sensors, pre-loaded customized protocols, data collation, and map-style visualization to give security, facilities management, and operations professionals a stunning new level of situational intelligence. The system automates data collection and responses using Genetec security sensors, cameras and access technology.


“The capabilities of this system are broad, which means you can set up flexible responses to just about ANY situation,” states Graybill. Ultimately, he explained, by tailoring this tool to your own organizational needs you can save time, improve safety, protect goods, and allow consistent responses to incidents, among other benefits.


One of the key advantages of Mission Control may be the confidence it gives on-site responders, who have been known to make very human mistakes under stress. For responses that aren’t automated, the system can be set up to provide clear prescribed steps that are easy to follow, even under stress. Your integrator will work with you closely to set the system up and prepare your teams for any eventuality.

Solution #3: Genetec ClearID™

Physical Identity and Access Management

When people move through a commercial, education, entertainment or health care environment (or any venue with large numbers of people), it can be a challenge to ensure security and keep everyone moving efficiently and safely throughout zones or building(s). It’s time consuming to grant access, keep track of everyone, and change access when roles change.


ClearID is an easy-to-deploy cloud-based data system that is unified with Genetec’s Security Center Synergis™. The self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) tool allows your staff to quickly and easily enforce security protocols and at the same time keep people moving efficiently.


“Let’s say you’re going to come visit me at my place of work,” Graybill said. “I can provide information to you by email, so you can self-print a badge at a kiosk when you get here. The badge automatically limits areas of building you can go to. It’s all the same controls you would perform manually but without the time, hassle and potential error.”


The program is especially useful, he said, for automatically changing employee access according to role changes. If you get promoted, you automatically gain access to new areas. If you are fired, you automatically lose all access. “Imagine the time savings if you have groups of people who need bulk access changes to a new building, for example,” Graybill explained.


Solution #4: Genetec AutoVu™

Automatic License Plate Recognition

Surveillance cameras revolutionized the security industry. Now, if you steal something from a store, your image is likely going to be captured and can be used to prosecute you – IF they find you. Genetec’s AutoVu automatic license plate recognition (APLR) tool completes the loop with solid evidence that helps capture wrongdoers in many different situations.


“Everyone wants to put cameras in if people are stealing things, but if you can’t follow them out and get their license plate number, the camera image won’t tell you who they are,” Graybill explained. “But if you put one APLR camera at a chokepoint, you’ll get hard evidence rather than just an obscured image of a face.” The system provides immediate notification, and the photos include environmental context to help security personnel and law enforcement better understand and document events.


AutoVu is used by law enforcement in both stationary and mobile installations for parking enforcement and to help identify perpetrators and solve abductions, find missing persons, and close other high-priority criminal cases. Schools have considered using the system to identify child predators or sex offenders who enter campus areas.


The technology also can be used to automate access management. “At the very least, it allows you to grant access to cars without anyone having to stick their arms out in the rain to swipe an access card,” Graybill said. “In more complex applications, such as in a large distribution center, the system can be used with access control software and gates to automatically grant access to trucks with specific goods that go to predefined zones in your compound.” This saves time, money and mistakes, he said.


According to Graybill, even casinos are using APLR to identify VIP guests who pull into parking areas, so staff can have the red carpet rolled out as soon as they reach the doors.


“This is one technology that’s very much like the fictional systems you see on television shows such as NCIS,” he said. “A lot of that imagined technology isn’t real yet, but this is, and it’s as reliable as you think it should be.”

Solution #5: Genetec Plan Manager™

Map-Based Command and Control

“In addition to improving security overall, this system can reduce labor, sometimes to the point of being able to eliminate a position,”

Dustin Graybill, Senior Systems Engineer, Prime Communications, Inc. Tweet

It’s much more effective to adapt security tools to your operation than the other way around. Plan Manager is a Genetec Security Center module that can be adapted to your operation in a very visual and intuitional manner, which can save time and give security professionals a better understanding of any situation. Plan Manager brings together data, images and notifications from many parts of the system. The result is faster, better responses to keep everyone and everything more secure.


In addition, Plan Manager allows your system to capture and save situational data to aid in investigations. “You can input floorplans, maps, Google Maps images, large site plans and every component of your system into this software to more easily and more comprehensively manage the entire system,” Graybill said. A traditional monitoring system puts images and notifications into tiled squares, which can be difficult to understand and act on.


The technology is helpful not only for security events, but for day-to-day monitoring. Graybill describes a Prime customer that has a facility with 100 doors—50 on each side of the building. Plan Manager allows staff to simply look at the map, instantly see the status of all doors in one image, identify open doors, and then send someone out to close them. The system is sophisticated enough to identify false alarms.


“In addition to improving security overall, this system can reduce labor, sometimes to the point of being able to eliminate a position,” Graybill said.


Unified Technology for Improved Security

One of the best things about these five Genetec system add-ons is the ease with which they can be implemented with the help of an experienced Genetec integrator such as Prime. We not only can set up and efficiently connect the hardware and software for you in stress-free, customized deployments, we also can provide various levels of monthly cloud-based monitoring and maintenance services as needed to aid your security staff freeing them to do more important things.


For information about any of these solutions—or to get started with a basic Genetec security system—contact Prime Communications

402-289-4126 or

Healthcare Cybersecurity Best Practices: Don’t Forget About the Physical Side of Digital Security


Like many other market sectors, the healthcare world was forced into cybersecurity adjustments and advancements by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, it was suddenly not a good idea to use touchscreens and keypads to identify users and gain access. At a blinding speed in some cases, IT professionals have worked to deploy new solutions — some of which had been in process already or were being used in other industries and some were completely new.


With these technology advancements, it has become more important than ever to identify physical and digital/logical security weaknesses and be proactive about mitigating them to keep staff, patients and visitors (and their personal data) safe.


Evolving cybersecurity best practices are especially important in healthcare settings, because hospitals and other healthcare venues are technology-heavy, super-sensitive to privacy, and carry unique potential for harm when technology fails.


Jeff Broz, Prime Communications Inc. VP of Infrastructure Operations, pointed out that these concerns are particularly important in the growing world of the healthcare Internet of Things (HCIoT). “There is typically a well-established process for adding new devices to an enterprise network. The challenge is that the technology is changing so quickly, that keeping up is a daunting task for the IT security team.”

Healthcare cybersecurity: What could go wrong?

“When critical systems are compromised, not only is the data within those systems at risk, but the care team is impacted by forcing alternate workflows to ensure the quality of care and patient safety are not impacted.”

Jeff Broz, VP Infrastructure Operations, Prime Communications, Inc. Tweet

Some cybersecurity breaches are legendary in the healthcare world. For example, ransomware attacks and hacking through environmental controls. In a worst-case scenario, a nefarious actor can take down an entire network, locking users out or injecting viruses, causing gaps in patient monitoring and care.

Especially with some of the beefed-up collaboration technology being used through the pandemic to electronically replace in-person patient and family touchpoints, an increased number of potential breaches can deprive caregivers of access to vital information about their patients.

“It is pretty straightforward,” Broz said. “When critical systems are compromised, not only is the data within those systems at risk, but the care team is impacted by forcing alternate workflows to ensure the quality of care and patient safety are not impacted.”

This healthy fear of gaps in care have even led to an unhealthy avoidance of updating systems for some organizations. However, using legacy systems with only-partially-effective updates eventually results in more potential cybersecurity issues and — you guessed it — gaps in a hospital’s control over care. When word gets out about gaps in care, it can affect an institution’s ability to maintain its reputation and compete against institutions that allocate time and money to proper updates and upgrades.

Increased use of smart devices complicates cybersecurity, Broz pointed out, because they often do not include embedded security when they are acquired and implemented. This can lead to human error, from poor configuration to incomplete user protocols. It’s great to have devices such as smart pumps available to monitor distribution of pharmaceuticals, and many healthcare institutions have implemented them. However, do IT teams really understand the vulnerabilities that come along with such devices?

This matters in part because hackers are getting smarter. A number of breaches have occurred in recent years through laptops accessing environmental systems. IT and security staff now have a better understanding of how those breaches happened, but for a variety of reasons they don’t always take comprehensive steps to mitigate such possibilities in their own systems.


According to a Verizon data breach report, 59% of healthcare institution data breaches come from internal actors, whether intentional or unintentional. This often happens due to problems with un-segmented networks or missing security controls. In cases where damage is intentional, it can happen because credentials are too easy to steal, among other things.

Of course, if you oversee security or information technology in a healthcare institution, you have no doubt done your research and know all of this. If you are like many organizations, you have put cybersecurity protections in place and you are ready for the next attack. However, also like most healthcare institutions, you may have forgotten about or too-lightly addressed one particular area of cybersecurity: physical deployment and maintenance.

Broz puts in a nutshell just how critical physical security is to cybersecurity: “All of the sophisticated, deep cybersecurity protocols, software and processes you implement could be taken down in an instant if a bad actor gains access to a server closet through a door left ajar by third-party technician.”

Bones of an effective cybersecurity plan

Any institution’s cybersecurity plan includes a myriad of small security mitigations protecting the many parts of the system. However, without a well-thought-out, comprehensive structure to support full security coverage, all of those small solutions still could leave your organization vulnerable. Just as a building needs a framework to hold up the walls (the bones), a cybersecurity plan is the framework that holds up a system’s components.

An effective cybersecurity plan begins with assessment of every component in your system and every potential security breach scenario. Your assessment should include determination of physical ways bad actors could access systems (e.g., through unlocked doors), or where inadvertent actions could compromise the system (e.g., accidentally activating on/off switches). A comprehensive risk assessment should be created before any new components are purchased or programs are put in place.

The bones of your cybersecurity plan should follow emerging standards, including ever-changing best practices for encryption, data tracking, human error mitigation, awareness programs, and incentives for reporting phishing, for example. “Part of establishing digital security in a healthcare institution is knowing what the most current standards are and understanding how to follow them,” Broz advised. He said many institutions lean on third-party experts. However, if your team members are not already, they should get on the mailing lists of cybersecurity industry organizations, such as the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS), so they can receive timely updates and tips. Even with reminders from experts, Broz suggested many companies are forgetting about the physical side of digital security.

We’ve included a checklist of some of the most easily forgotten physical aspects of cybersecurity at the end of this article to help flesh out your cybersecurity plan. 

Overall, an effective cybersecurity plan must:

  • Include integrated digital and physical cybersecurity solutions pathways (“You can’t have one without the other,” Broz said.)
  • Take into account how your healthcare cybersecurity initiatives will affect profitability and other aspects of your institution, including efficiency, staffing and budgets
  • Identify unsupported legacy systems and realistically determine when the potential for ongoing vulnerabilities outweighs the costs of upgrading
  • Account for third-party devices that will be connected to your network by patients, families, employees and contractors — some exposure through third-party devices is intentional and some may be unintentional
  • Incorporate partnerships with trusted third-party service and equipment providers who know the specific business of healthcare cybersecurity
  • Prioritize to ensure that the most important, or most foundational, aspects of cybersecurity are managed first
  • Include an incident response plan, so your team knows exactly what to do when a breach happens
  • Outline built-in protocols for continual testing and updating your healthcare cybersecurity systems without any gaps in care
  • Integrate input, needs and concerns from other teams in the organization and align with high-level organizational goals and processes
  • Include detailed steps for continual training, information sharing across departments, and plan updating

Healthcare venues present unique, and oftentimes critical, potential cybersecurity issues. Most hospitals and other healthcare institutions hire experienced, educated inhouse information technology and security professionals who know how to create and carry out a plan. The key is to make sure your professional staff is given the time and resources for proper planning, implementation and management of cybersecurity — including ensuring comprehensive coverage, with no gaps, by addressing the physical side of digital security.

Physical Cybersecurity Plan Checklist

For more information about or assistance with both the digital and physical sides of your cybersecurity plan, contact Prime Communications Inc., 402-289-4126 or