Access control cards/ tags/ fobs - Expert commentary

Smart Offices: How is mobile ID changing the way we access the office?
Smart Offices: How is mobile ID changing the way we access the office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organisations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organisations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.

Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change
Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centres, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or flat. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organisation we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

Latest Gallagher Security (Europe) Ltd news

IDIS announces integration of its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions
IDIS announces integration of its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions

IDIS has announced powerful and affordable options for integrating video, access control, life safety and building management systems between its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions. This powerful off-the-shelf integration, from Korea’s renowned video manufacturer, gives systems integrators and end users everything that they need for complete, future-proofed site control. It enables straightforward integration of powerful security management platforms, removing cost and complexity. Gallagher Command Centre The Gallagher Command Centre access control and security management platform can be integrated with IDIS’s DirectIP range of NVRs and cameras, as well as its family of analogue DirectCX HD-TVI recorders and cameras. This allows customers to mix-and-match IP and analogue systems, including leveraging coax cabling if they need to. Users can choose between the free IDIS Center VMS, ideal for small-to-medium applications up to 1024 devices, or the fully-featured and enterprise-level IDIS Solution Suite that is both modular and scalable, allowing users to manage unlimited devices and unlimited sites, without the associated price tag. Enterprise-level integrated solutions There is growing demand for enterprise-level integrated solutions that combine the latest video and access technology, but that offer reduced upfront costs and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) long term. Customers also want greater system flexibility and adaptability, across longer lifecycles. Operationally, there are significant advantages for customers upgrading from siloed solutions. For example, seamless integration of access control with video enables instant verification of events, such as forced doors, with camera views automatically presented to system controllers. Security management system Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers" With integrated solutions, alarms from doors, cameras and other devices are pulled onto one platform, making it easier for operators to respond and reducing the likelihood of incidents being missed. The operational benefits increase as more technologies are integrated, from fire and HVAC to elevator controls, building management and wider corporate systems. “Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers, who want unparalleled control over every aspect of site security, alongside the AI intelligence advantages that come with IDIS Deep Learning Analytics,” said Mitch Parsons, Business Development Manager for Gallagher Security Europe. COVID-safe site solutions The growing toolkit of smart video capabilities now includes COVID-safe site solutions, enhanced security monitoring and review tools, and advanced business intelligence analytics that help to optimise operational efficiency. “Seamless, off-the-shelf interoperability between IDIS and Gallagher offers integrators and end-users everything they need to create complete, future-proofed security management platforms, without compromising on functionality,” said Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director for IDIS Europe. Off-the-shelf corporate security Jamie Barnfield adds, “Systems integrators can now offer customers an affordable, efficient, and off-the-shelf corporate security and safety solution that encompasses enterprise-level video, access control, life safety, visitor management, and building management.”

Gallagher’s UK CPNI CAPSS high security system achieves UK cyber security standards
Gallagher’s UK CPNI CAPSS high security system achieves UK cyber security standards

Global security manufacturer, Gallagher, is excited to release their latest certified high security solution to market. The Gallagher UK CPNI CAPSS high security system features compliances to the Cyber Assurance for Physical Security Systems (CAPSS) standard, and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) Readers and Tokens standards. This latest approval demonstrates Gallagher’s significant investment in delivering high security solutions for governments in the five eyes alliance. Cyber security requirements Passing the CAPSS evaluation provides UK critical national infrastructure sites confidence that Gallagher’s software and hardware meets the toughest cyber security requirements. The CPNI readers and tokens standards ensure physical access control readers and credentials are robust against both cyber and physical attacks. “With cyber threats growing in sophistication, cyber protection has never been more vital,” says Richard Huison, Regional Manager UK and Europe, for Gallagher. “Cyber security is an integral part of Gallagher’s physical security solutions. We’re pleased with the result from our CAPSS evaluation – it demonstrates our commitment to providing security solutions which offer the highest level of protection.” CPNI protects national security in the United Kingdom by helping reduce vulnerability to terrorism and other threats in national infrastructure. Gallagher’s range of compliant solutions can be found under the CPNI catalogue of security equipment. Gallagher’s UK CPNI CAPSS High Security System is now available.

Stark property develops Panama app with Gallagher’s access control to ensure secure environment for all
Stark property develops Panama app with Gallagher’s access control to ensure secure environment for all

Stark Property’s shared working environment sees about 150 people from 40 different companies co-working across their Panama properties. Stark Property sought to overcome the challenges of a shared working space by fostering a sense of community within the Panama buildings, streamlining processes, and ensuring a safe and secure environment for all. Panama app Stark Property worked with digital technology developers, Dynamo6, to develop the Panama app. Easy to operate, the app integrates Gallagher access control with other building functionality, including news, feeds, Wi-Fi access, and the ability to submit maintenance requests and book shared meeting rooms. Utilising Gallagher’s Mobile Connect SDK, Dynamo6 was able to incorporate the functionality of Gallagher Mobile Connect into the Panama app, offering a one-stop-shop for all things building-related. The app utilises Bluetooth® or NFC on users’ phones to gain access via Gallagher T-Series Readers Simplified access control Integrated access control creates a simple, easy access experience for app users while establishing a safe and secure working environment. Through Gallagher Command Centre, Stark Property can keep track of who is coming and going, while ensuring anyone entering the building is authorised to be there. Utilising users’ mobile phones to host access credentials means no time wasted replacing or issuing temporary cards for visitors Utilising users’ mobile phones to host access credentials means there’s no time wasted replacing lost or stolen access cards or issuing temporary cards for visitors. “People will lose an access tag, but not many people lose their phones,” says Matt Stark, Director of Stark Property. Effective communication In a co-working environment, it can be difficult to ensure important information, such as planned building maintenance or fire alarm testing, is shared with everyone in a timely manner. The Panama app mitigates this with a newsfeed on the app home screen, notifying tenants of any important information. Integrating the newsfeed with access control functionality ensures tenants stay up to date, with important information displaying prominently whenever they open the app to unlock a door. This simple but efficient method of communicating helps Stark Property adhere to their health and safety requirements by ensuring tenants are aware of any building-related issues that may arise. Efficient property management In shared working spaces, reporting building maintenance issues can be problematic, especially if there are just one or two main people from each group in contact with property managers. The Panama app offers tenants the ability to submit maintenance requests directly. By entering details of the issue, along with the capability to attach photos, requests can be reported directly to Stark Property by anyone working on site. Matt hopes this functionality will lead to Stark Property having the best-maintained buildings in town. “Often, it’s the small stuff that goes unnoticed by maintenance staff – cracks, dents, breakages. Now tenants can keep an eye out for any issues and report these to us directly. It has helped us to streamline our processes and keep on top of any issues.” Shared building resources are also managed through the app, with the ability to book meeting rooms and connect to the Wi-Fi. The future of shared spaces The app utilises cloud technology to deliver an app that can be customised to the building space and facilities Currently, the app is only in use across the Panama properties but there are plans to roll it out across other Stark Property sites in the future. “The app is still pretty new to us,” says Matt. “We’re still learning from it and looking to see what other services we can add to it, but overall it has saved us time, made lives easier, and allows us to keep progressing as a property group by delivering better, more efficient spaces.” Using cloud technologies Igor Matich, Founder and Executive Director from Dynamo6 said, “The app utilises cloud technology to deliver an app that can be customised to the building space and facilities. Everyone pretty much has a mobile phone on them." "Connecting access to mobile phones makes it easier for people to enter the building and the experience is more unique. It delivers a premium experience. Moreover, you’re more likely to remember your phone than an access card.” Igor continues, “The advantage of integrated access and the property app, particularly in a shared environment like this, is the community feel it creates. It helps foster a sense of community among tenants. We’re excited about the additional services the app brings, such as meeting room bookings, and other future developments.” Mobile Connect SDK The Mobile Connect SDK enables developers to incorporate the functionality of Gallagher Mobile Connect into a third-party app. In addition to access control, Mobile Connect includes the capability to receive push notifications on a mobile device directly from Command Centre, arm or disarm buildings, and control lighting and HVAC from the mobile device.

Related white papers

Top 5 ways to ensure visitor safety and security

Moving to mobile: A guide for businesses switching to mobile access control

Wireless Access Control eBook