Gallagher Access Control Cards, Tags & Fobs(6)
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Today’s security industry technology standards create a common framework for achieving predictable performance. Systems are made more secure and easier to install, use and integrate with other devices. Standards are also intended to be living documents, open to continual refinements to benefit manufacturers, integrators and end users. An excellent example is the Open Supervised Data Protocol (OSDP), which is now the industry’s gold standard for physical access control installations. It was designed to offer a higher level of security with more flexible options than the aging defacto Weigand wiring standard. Updating OSDP-readers simultaneously One recent addition enables end users to push firmware and software updates to thousands of OSDP-enabled card readers simultaneouslyOSDP, first introduced in 2011 by the Security Industry Association (SIA), continues to evolve with significant manufacturer input. One recent addition enables end users to push firmware and/or software updates to a few or thousands of OSDP-enabled card readers simultaneously. Weigand technology requires updates to be made one at a time at each reader. Regularly changing reader encryption keys is an excellent way to enhance facility security. It’s easy using the OSDP file transfer capability and the latest DESFire EV2 credentials containing multiple encryption keys. You can transfer the next code on the card to all readers and the job is done. And there’s no need to create a new card for each user or reprogram each individual reader. AES-128 encryption ensures cybersecurity It’s time to migrate entirely away from Weigand technology. If greater security, convenience and reduced labour from the latest OSDP updates isn’t reason enough, here are a few more things to consider. The 40-year-old Weigand protocol provides no signal encryption, making it easy for hackers to capture the raw data transmitted between cards and readers. OSDP readers support AES-128 encryption while providing continuous monitoring of wires to guard against cybercriminals. Weigand reader installations require homerun cable pulls from the control panel to each peripheral device. OSDP readers can be daisy chained, providing additional savings on cabling and installation time. Weigand technology is simply too slow to work with today’s most versatile and secure card technologies. OSDP readers work with virtually all modern access control cards. The OSDP standard also works with biometric devices; Weigand does not. Meeting requirements of FICAM guidelines SIA is pushing to make the latest OSDP version a standard recognised by the ANSI, a move to enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. security businessesAlso, OSDP is becoming a must-have standard for organisations demanding the highest security levels. The standard meets requirements of the Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) guidelines that affect how the access control industry does business with the federal government. SIA is pushing to make the latest OSDP version a standard recognised by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI), a move to enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. security businesses. There’s still a large worldwide reader installation base that works solely with the Weigand protocol. Admittedly, changing them all at one time may be prohibitively expensive; however, standards should be viewed as a journey, not a destination. That’s why a measured migration is the right choice for many organisations. Begin by securing the perimeter. Replace only the outside-facing Weigand readers. As long as the walls are secured, the inside can remain a softer target until OSDP-compatible readers can be added indoors. The case for moving to OSDP as a standard is compelling. It offers our industry the opportunity to design access control software and products that provide what end users want most – greater security, flexibility and convenience.
It’s not surprising that people are nervous about the security of newer technologies, many of which are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While they offer greater efficiency and connectivity, some people still hesitate. After all, there seems to be a constant stream of news stories about multinational corporations being breached or hackers taking control of smart home devices. Both of these scenarios can feel personal. No one likes the idea of their data falling into criminal hands. And we especially don’t like the thought that someone can, even virtually, come into our private spaces. The reality, though, is that, when you choose the right technology and undertake the proper procedures, IoT devices are incredibly secure. That said, one of the spaces where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smartcards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. With this in mind, there are some myths out there about the security of ACS that need to be debunked. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter Myth #1: Mobile credentials are not secure The first myth we have to look at exists around mobile credentials. Mobile credentials allow cardholders to access secured doors and areas with their mobile devices. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter about the security of credentialed information. There is a persistent belief that Bluetooth is not secure. In particular, people seem to be concerned that using mobile credentials makes your organisation more vulnerable to skimming attacks. While focusing on the medium of communication is an important consideration when an organisation deploys a mobile credentialing system, the concerns about Bluetooth miss the mark. Bluetooth and NFC are simply channels over which information is transmitted. Believing that Bluetooth is not secure would be the same as suggesting that the internet is not secure. In both cases, the security of your communication depends on the technology, protocols, and safeguards we all have in place. So, instead of wondering about Bluetooth or NFC, users should be focused on the security of the devices themselves. Before deploying mobile credentials, ask your vendor (1) how the credential is generated, stored, and secured on the device, (2) how the device communicates with the reader, and (3) how the reader securely accesses the credential information. When you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS Myth #2: All smartcards are equally secure The question “how secure are my smartcards?” is a serious one. And the answer can depend on the generation of the cards themselves. For example, while older smartcards like MiFARE CLASSIC and HID iCLASS Classic offer better encryption than proxy cards and magstripe credentials, they have been compromised. Using these older technologies can make your organisation vulnerable. As a result, when you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS. In this way, you will be protecting your system as well as your buildings or facilities. Some traditional readers and controllers can also pose a serious risk to your organisation if they use the Wiegand protocol, which offers no security. While you can upgrade to a more secure protocol like OSDP version 2, electronic locks are a very secure alternative worth considering. It is also important to understand that not all smartcard readers are compatible with all smartcard types. When they are not compatible, the built-in security designed to keep your system safe will not match up and you will essentially forego security as your smartcard-reader will not read the credentials at all. Instead, it will simply read the non-secure portion—the Card Serial Number (CSN) —of the smartcard that is accessible to everyone. While some manufacturers suggest that this is an advantage because their readers can work with any smartcard, the truth is that they are not reading from the secure part of the card, which can put your system and premises at risk. Using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication Myth #3: Electronic locks are more vulnerable These days, there are still many who believe that electronic locks, especially wireless locks, are more vulnerable to cybercriminal activity as compared to traditional readers and controllers. The concern here is that electronic locks can allow cybercriminals to both access your network to get data and intercept commands from the gateway or nodes over the air that would allow them access to your buildings or facilities. The reality is that using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication. Additionally, because many of these locks remain operational regardless of network status, they provide real-time door monitoring. This means that many electronic locks not only prevent unauthorised access but also keep operators informed about their status at all times, even if a network goes down. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks When it comes to deploying electronic locks, it is important to remember that, like any device on your network, they must have built-in security features that will allow you to keep your information, people, and facilities safe. Be prepared to unlock future benefits Ultimately, the information in your IP-based ACS is at no greater risk than any other information being transmitted over the network. We just have to be smart about how we connect, transmit, and store our data. In the end, maintaining the status quo and refusing to move away from old technology is not a viable option. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks. The reason it is so important to debunk myths around ACS and, at the same time, get people thinking about network security in the right way is that network-based systems can offer an ever-increasing number of benefits. When we deploy new technology using industry best practices and purchase devices from trusted vendors, we put ourselves and our networks in the best possible position to take full advantage of all that our increasingly connected world has to offer.
The basic principles of access control are well established: only authorised people should have access to secure areas, only at times that can be defined in advance, and only within a system that can identify exactly who went where, and when. Traditional mechanical lock-and-key systems cannot accomplish this — at least, not without loading a huge admin burden onto security staff. But modern, electronic wireless access control has the flexibility to achieve it. What criteria determine the right sort of access control for your organisation? It makes sense to assess what is desirable against what is affordable or available in the electronic access control market today. Asking yourself these 5 questions will lead to a wise investment in the right technology: Wireless locks like Aperio work seamlessly with existing systems from over 100 different access control providersDo you want to extend your existing system, or begin from scratch? You are not stuck with locks chosen by a previous management team. Security needs change. Wireless locks like Aperio, for example, work seamlessly with existing systems from over 100 different access control providers, integrated online or offline. You will save time and money extending your current system with a technology like Aperio and users can continue with their existing credentials. Going forward, it makes sense to choose locks built using open architecture, for added flexibility and to future-proof your next investment. Who are the site users and what kind of credentials suit their needs? In many industries, access to premises is required by permanent staff and short-term contractors: your access system needs to be flexible. Different systems offer credentials stored on cards and fobs, or on programmable, battery-powered keys. For example, the new Openow app for SMARTair wireless locking converts a user’s smartphone into a virtual key. You issue and revoke user keys using the intuitive software, an efficient, flexible mobile management solution. What is the structure of the site (or sites) you protect? You will need different locks for high-traffic and low-traffic doors, indoor and outdoor use. Almost everywhere, wireless locks are much easier to install and to maintain than traditional wired magnetic locks — and more cost-effective to run. Certified wireless security locks provide extra protection for sensitive areas needing stringent standards. If you have a mobile workforce or manage dispersed sites, consider the credential management practicalities. For example, programmable keys that are easy to update with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app — like ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ Connect solution — will save your staff time and money. For outdoor access points, you will need gate locks or padlocks certified for operation in extreme conditions Do you want to secure more than just doors? Some wireless systems have locks for cabinets, machines, windows and even server racks (handy if you want an extra layer of control over co-located servers). There will be workflow advantages in monitoring these ‘non-doors’ — medicine stores, for example, or car parks or lifts — from the same admin interface as your doors. Site users will appreciate the convenience of carrying one credential for every access need. For outdoor access points, you will need gate locks or padlocks certified for operation in extreme conditions. For example, CLIQ mechatronic padlocks are currently deployed outdoors at utility sites in Scandinavia and supermarkets in East Africa. Do you need real-time capabilities? Choose an Online system and you can manage and amend access control doors at any time and from anywhere, using the admin software. You can monitor sensitive areas like medicine stores remotely and in real time, and can revoke access rights if a user credential gets lost. In an emergency, remote locking or unlocking of an entrance could be critical. Aperio wireless locks, for example, are integrated with online electronic access and real-time monitoring systems in hospitals, manufacturing plants and student halls of residence. With some systems, including SMARTair, you can combine ‘Update on Card’ and Online updating for different doors within the same installation. The CLIQ Connect app and programmable keys make real-time control over remote sites or teams possible. Wireless access control offers a compelling mix of audit compliance, easy installation, cost efficiency, and seamless integration. It makes life easier for security managers, and is deployed in premises as diverse as power plants and co-working spaces; museums and care homes; banks, schools and skyscrapers.
Two years ago, LABS opened up its new co-working facilities in Camden Market and has a number of locations centered around this iconic area of London. LABS isn’t just popping up in random locations but creating a co-working ecosystem of interconnected buildings and communities. Many companies who hire space are high tech, therefore they expect the facilities they work in to include the latest technology. The challenge LABS faced when developing a co-working environment was to offer a safe and secure working environment that is easy to use by both the clients and staff and uses the latest technology features and provides flexibility and future proofing. Gallagher Command Centre The Gallagher solution was specified for the project because of the central hub it provides The Gallagher solution was specified for the project because of the central hub it provides as well as its ability to integrate with a number of products, such as visitor management software (VMS) and CCTV. The Gallagher Channel Partner was able to offer a tailored security package that ensured LABS premises are safely monitored, guaranteeing smooth day-to-day operation. The buildings are managed by Community Managers, whose role is to understand all the companies and people who work within the LABS buildings. With this understanding the managers can bring the community together and help create beneficial relationships. Community Manager at Camden, Fran, is able to use Gallagher Command Centre for a number of tasks such as monitoring who enters the building including visitors, checking which meeting rooms are reserved, what hospitality is required etc. Bluepoint Real-Time Access Management LABS also use Bluepoint Real-Time Access Management (RAM), which integrates with the Gallagher Visitor Management system to create and modify cardholders and groups. Commands sent from the integration provide muster functionality and enables Community Managers, like Fran, full visitor and staff journey awareness. In order to attract new clients, the building runs open events and also allows people to book a tour. Guests will receive a QR code on their mobile phone so they can enter the building. Fran will receive a notification to say her guest has arrived so she can meet them and show them round. People within the building can also use the same functionality for visitors. Mobile access control Leases can be short, medium or long term and range from the occupation of offices to desks Everyone who works within a LABS building has access to an app so they can book meeting rooms seamlessly, find talent, swap skills, and engage with the community. This is the customer facing tool which links to Command Centre to ensure when someone books a room the relevant people are notified, and the system is updated. Leases can be short, medium or long term and range from the occupation of offices to desks. This means there are lots of leases starting and ending at different times making it difficult to keep track. By integrating with Command Centre access can be instantly revoked should a lease lapse, saving Community Managers time by not having to manually deny access.
New Covent Garden Market is a London icon with a history dating back to medieval days. Now the largest wholesale market in the UK, it has been feeding and flowering London every day for over 40 years. Brand New Covent Garden Market is the next evolution of the market, transforming the site into a 46,500m2 better, modern trading space during a phased build between 2015-2021. As a place of significance in a highly sought-after central London location, with hundreds of food and flower traders, suppliers and customers operating in the early hours every day, Brand New Covent Garden Market required an access control system that offered more than just granting door access. Gallagher access control solution Having successfully used a Gallagher access control solution for over 20 years in New Covent Garden Market, the decision to stay with Gallagher to meet the unique requirements of the new development was simple. New Covent Garden Market has worked with a Gallagher certified channel partner for a number of years, so facilities manager Jo Breare said they trusted their advice when deciding which access control system to go with. “The Gallagher card reader system has always worked for us,” says Jo. “With the developments in Command Centre, including the ability to customise features such as reporting, and integrating with CCTV and Nedap Transit Readers, we knew we had a system that suited our requirements. There were also fewer problems as we moved to the new site because staff and card users already understood how the system worked, causing minimum disruption.” Integration between Gallagher’s access control solution and Nedap technology has provided great benefit to the market Integration with Nedap technology Integration between Gallagher’s access control solution and Nedap technology has provided great benefit to the market. Each trader pays an annual fee to trade and enter the market. They are then given a tag so when they drive into the car park the market knows who does and doesn’t have access. Parking without a permit is very costly at £200 for 24 hours, so permits are an important part of the traders’ membership. During renewal time at the end of October each year, Gallagher Command Centre makes it easy to produce a report detailing the permit holders, which is then used as the basis for a mail merge to email renewal notifications to all traders. “Permits are one of the biggest sources of vehicle site management information and control for the market,” said Jo. He adds, “The renewal period could be a busy and stressful time, but the reporting function in Command Centre makes it quick and simple for all involved.” Groups have been created to allow access to different parking areas. Flower traders and suppliers park in their designated car park, while food traders and suppliers only have access to their designated car park. Parking lot access control Several customisations have also been created to support the unique operating environment of the market. Zone counting of underground parking spaces hired to local companies mean if an allocation is full, anyone trying to badge in from that company will not be granted access. A report on vehicle sizes to map car park sizes was also created and although this was not implemented, the data can be captured if needed in future. Traders contact the New Covent Garden Market Authority to revoke access for former employees and check if they have accessed the car park since leaving. They can also check if anyone is parking out of hours. This information can be easily pulled from Gallagher Command Centre and put into a simple report, saving time and providing value for traders. FLIR CCTV system The CCTV footage will be shown in the Command Centre workspace, keeping all security and access control in one place. When planning Brand New Covent Garden Market, the commercially-savvy organisation designed the New Covent Garden Market Authority’s office area to include office space available for rent. With a Gallagher access control solution in place, tenants will be able to easily enter their offices, manage users and grant parking access, with the peace of mind that their office is safe and secure. The next stage of the project is to connect Gallagher Command Centre with Flir CCTV, which is a well-established integration. The CCTV footage will be shown in the Command Centre workspace, keeping all security and access control in one easy to manage place. “The Gallagher system has provided us with everything we need and more,” says Jo. “It sees the most use during renewal times but on a day to day basis the system works happily in the background.”
Global access control and perimeter security solutions provider, Gallagher Security is recruiting new channel partners to distribute and install its product range – and is using a major new exhibition to step up the hunt. Signing new channel partners Gallagher Security (Europe) will devote its stand (SE163) at The Security Event from 9-11 April 2019 at The NEC Birmingham to sign up new channel partners with a compelling pitch. New general manager, Richard Huison believes Gallagher offers the security industry at least 10% more value with an enterprise-level solution that is future-proofed ahead of the business curve. Importance of Cybersecurity Gallagher is in the top five UK manufacturers of access control solutions and cites industry standards such as Open Supervised Device Protocol" He says, “For the end user, from small business to multinational, we offer resilience and the confidence that what they are putting on their network will combat the ever-growing cyber threat. For our channel partners, this translates to annual management contracts and retaining clients for longer if they lead with Gallagher.” Richard adds, “Gallagher is in the top five UK manufacturers of access control solutions and cites industry standards such as Open Supervised Device Protocol, on which Gallagher is ‘miles ahead’.” Critical national infrastructure security Countering the cyber threat has been a key plank of Huison’s strategy since stepping up to the helm at Gallagher, which is a long term CPNI-approved supplier to the Home Office and critical national infrastructure clients such as the National Grid. Gallagher Security’s focus is on keeping client businesses and their people safe and offering business continuity and efficiency to ensure core operations run smoothly. The Security Event is a free-to-attend exhibition for the commercial and residential security market with 100 of the world’s leading security brands, a programme of 40 seminars and workshops for its more than 6,000 visitors.
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