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Biometrics - Case Studies

CEM’s access control and central monitoring systems secure BT Northern Ireland
: BTNI chose an iris recognition system to integrate with AC2000 SE system
CEM’s provides customised access control for BTNI’s e-Solutions Data Centre

BT Northern Ireland, one of Europe’s leading providers of telecommunications services has been using the CEM AC2000 Standard Edition (AC2000 SE) system for access control and central monitoring of their many sites in Northern Ireland for over ten years.

System overview

More than 22 BT sites throughout Northern Ireland are controlled and monitored by the CEM AC2000 SE system using over 200 card readers including the CEM intelligent S600 card reader.

The central AC2000 SE system and front-end workstations are located in Belfast including a CEM VIPPS (Visual Image Pass Production) workstation and two CEM MIMIC (real time alarm monitoring) workstations. From here BTNI can print and issue cards and monitor alarm conditions for all their controlled sites throughout NI.

System history

In 1999 BTNI extended the AC2000 SE system to cover its new BT Riverside Tower, a landmark building located within Belfast’s prestigious Waterfront area. In the same year CEM also worked closely with BTNI to convert their entire system from Magstripe technology to proximity technology bringing BTNI into line with the rest of the UK.

“The CEM AC2000 SE system installed in Riverside Tower provides an exceptionally high level of security for the BTNI corporate headquarters in Belfast”, says Ken Wilson, BT Northern Ireland’s Building Security Manager.

“The flexibility enables the security team to programme an individual cardholder’s profile to suit specific business needs, thereby ensuring that a person only has access to an area for which they have a defined requirement. This is an excellent system with an extremely reliable and trouble free track record.”

Additional access security is provided with the AC2000 SE system by controlling access to the car parks at both Telephone-house and BT Tower and the use of turnstiles at the entrances to both buildings.

"The CEM AC2000 system has been used for almost ten years and BT are delighted with the further innovative security enhancements the Iris reading technology has provided"

Biometric technology integration

CEM has worked with BTNI over the years to ensure the system, both hardware and software, is at the forefront of technology and that the client’s strict security requirements are continually met.

The introduction of biometric technology into BTNI’s AC2000 SE is a prime example of this partnership approach. In 2001 BTNI approached CEM with a unique security request. Due to changing legislation in the telecommunications industry, BTNI needed to provide a highly secure environment for its e-Solutions Data Centre, in Telephone-house. As this area hosts IT solutions to local businesses, including internet and e-commerce, an extremely resilient system was required to protect access to this sensitive information.

After evaluating all available biometric technologies BTNI chose an iris recognition system to integrate with their AC2000 SE system.

Renowned for its flexibility, the AC2000 SE system was easily re-configured to allow integration of the iris scanning readers. Gaining access to the e-Solutions Data Centre has been made a two-stage process in which a cardholder is only permitted entry upon authorisation of their details by both the iris biometric system and the CEM AC2000 SE system.

This double layer of security has ensured that CEM has satisfied BTNI’s requirements. Ray McKeown, BT Northern Ireland’s Director of Networks adds, “The CEM AC2000 SE system has been used for almost ten years and BTNI are delighted with the further innovative security enhancements the Iris reading technology has provided, thereby maximising customer confidence in our excellent security arrangements”.

The integration of biometrics into the AC2000 SE system once again demonstrates CEM’s ability to provide a customised solution for access control.

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