Access control cards/ tags/ fobs - Expert commentary

How are new management systems innovating the hospitality industry?
How are new management systems innovating the hospitality industry?

Technology has certainly become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives, from the retail industry, to food and beverage outlets, and even within the health and fitness industry. It’s all around us, in varying formats, making processes more efficient. It has refined some of our older approaches, and in the hospitality industry, this is certainly true. Technological advances are leading the way forward for the future of hotels, and with the sector now free from COVID-19 restrictions, venues are looking for ways to improve the guest experience with technology. A staggering recent statistic has suggested that 75 percent of activities in hospitality could one day become automated — so where exactly are we heading on this journey into the future of hotels? Join Cairn Collection, owner of The Stirling Highland, and explore a whole host of innovations that are changing the face of hotel management systems. The 21st-century check-in desk The breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry The digital age is constantly finding new ways to innovate and prove its value and worth for modern consumers, and the breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry. In the past, connotations of a check-in desk were long queues and excessive pieces of paper — from room service menus to a mini catalogue of highlights of the local area. Technological innovations such as face recognition are one of the major ways that this process is changing. Using artificial intelligence A handful of hotels have already trialled or introduced artificial intelligence (AI) into their daily running, and it looks set to become far more mainstream by 2025. From paying the bill by using biometrics to allowing hotel managers to handle data more efficiently, AI looks set to be welcomed with the potential for it to reduce costs by 13 percent. The entire hotel check-in process could become automated, making one of the most established parts of the hotel experience redundant — but staff could be freed up to engage with customers, allowing them to get into their rooms quicker in the meantime. Many venues have even gone fully paperless when it comes to checking in, choosing instead to upload the process to cloud computing systems where information can be stored and viewed by connected devices. Convenience is the key More hotels operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, NFC After having checked in to a hotel, guests will want to explore the room that they’ve booked. Doing so has never been easier, and the classic magstripe locks which were once the most commonly used method of accessing hotel rooms are being progressively phased out. More and more hotels now operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, near-field communication (NFC).  This technology allows for data transfer at up to 424 kb per second, and it is enabled when connected devices come into contact with each other. Mobile key systems Most mobile key systems require guests to download and activate a key through the hotel’s digital app, and upon arrival, they can use the activated key to unlock the door to their hotel room. Combined with online/digital check-in services, guests can use the e-key to check in early or at a time that suits them best, knowing that they don’t have to wait around to pick up a physical key. Small touches like this build a sense of brand familiarity for customers, as well as streamline their hotel experience, and this distinguishes them from competitors. Hotel management systems Hotel management systems need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue Of course, hotel management systems also need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue and technology can do a lot to enhance this. Hotels have to innovate the spaces that they are presenting to their customers and technology has become a valuable asset to help enhance customer satisfaction, as the hotel room is certainly not simply a place for rest anymore. Voice-enabled devices Voice-enabled devices are becoming common features in rooms, with popular models such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Echo providing guests with information on the local area — if you’re looking for the perfect backdrop to the business dinner you’re attending, just ask Alexa! Hotels could even record and distribute their personalised voice messaging to help reinforce the brand presence into the technology. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive A room and then some As the generational switch to millennials and Gen Z continues, the need for an experience has grown and, through a mixture of technology, hotels can cater to these revised consumer needs. From setting up messaging platforms to providing a remote control that monitors absolutely everything in the room — from atmospheric mood lighting to music streaming services and more, a hotel room can be whatever the user wants, and the experience is therefore generated by the customer. Technology doesn’t stop advancing, and there are constantly new, refined approaches to hotel management systems that have marked a stark departure from ways of the past. With guests returning after over a year of COVID-19 restrictions, competition for their business is even tougher. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive.

Why is key management so important?
Why is key management so important?

More and more business security practices are going digital. Mechanical keys are still the backbone of most corporate security plans, and it can be very expensive for companies to switch to electronic access control on a large scale. Therefore, enterprises need to choose the most suitable access control system. What is key management? Key management is the process of protecting, tracking, and scheduling mechanical keys. Why is this important? Because the key carries access to sensitive locations and assets within the organisation, when you increase the security of the key, you can enhance the security of these valuable resources. The key management system also controls the cost of using physical keys. The system reduces the overhead caused by key loss or security breaches. Some smaller companies may be able to adopt a paper-and-pencil key management protocol. Larger companies, or those who want to better understand and control keys, usually choose to use an electronic key management system. Key management systems can store and assign keys securely and increase the efficiency of organisation Why use a key management system? The key management system can become the cornerstone of your key control process. At the most basic level, key management systems can accomplish two things that paper and pen systems cannot: they store and assign keys securely, and they increase the efficiency of your organisation's use of keys through automation and analysis. What can key management systems do? 1) Improve access control By better protecting the keys, you can improve the access control to the spaces and devices unlocked by these keys. You can use your key management to simplify the process of providing temporary employees with one-time-key access. In addition, the system can record all their key access records, so that everyone's behavior can be traced. 2) Enhanced accountability traceability The software is a good key management system that can generate reports on key usage, user access requests, access exceptions, and loss. In addition, you can track and audit key usage in real-time. Combined with a comprehensive key control strategy, you will implement better accountability for key use to meet any industry or risk management compliance standards. 3) Reduce costs and prevent losses When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs for a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs, including purchasing a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost. However, the indirect cost of key loss is usually more significant. This is because employees first spend time looking for the lost key and then process the replacement request, all of which time is not spent on production work. 4) Improve workflow As we discussed, keys are often used in important workflows. The key management system allows you to better control these workflows. A passive electronic lock system, also known as a key-centric access control system, has outstanding advantages in key management. Compared with the electronic access control system, the passive electronic lock system's "passive" characteristics have reduced the update cost for many enterprises.

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.

Latest Hirsch / IDENTIVE news

Identiv’s COVID-19 response solutions support enterprises and government customers in reopening of global offices
Identiv’s COVID-19 response solutions support enterprises and government customers in reopening of global offices

Identiv, Inc. has announced its cohesive collection of COVID-19 response solutions in order to support enterprises and government customers in worldwide offices that are now reopening. Identiv’s frictionless, touchless solutions create healthier and more hygienic offices. The hands-free technology also streamlines transactions and access, temperature tracking, and contact tracing to help employees and visitors feel safe and secure. Frictionless, hands-free technology “With the threat of COVID-19 still around us, frictionless, hands-free solutions are a key part of any organisation’s efforts to make a healthier, safer environment,” said Steven Humphreys, Identiv Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Identiv’s highly secure access and identity solutions address multiple business needs to re-open and grow" Steven adds, “Identiv’s highly secure access and identity solutions address multiple needs for businesses to re-open and grow again in the new pandemic-era normal.” Quick, affordable temperature tracking “As large public venues begin to reopen, quick, affordable temperature tracking will be the first line of defense to assure visitors and employees that operators have their safety at top of mind,” added Dr. Manfred Mueller, Identiv Chief Operations Officer (COO) and General Manager, Identity. Dr. Mueller adds, “For those not yet comfortable returning to work, secure network log-in options facilitate a bridge between on-site and telecommuting teams.” Identiv’s complete portfolio of COVID-19 response solutions include: Smart, frictionless access control MobilisID uses the latest in Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow complete frictionless access, no touching required. The MobilisID App (available via Apple iOS and Android) acts as a physical credential — the user can keep their mobile device in their pocket, wave their hand near the MobilisID Reader and the door automatically unlocks. MobilisID can also integrate with ADA-compliant automatic door hardware to form a complete touchless solution. With the Freedom access control system, no reader is even required at the door. Freedom’s software-defined architecture uses the location of a user’s mobile device to determine their proximity to a door for hands-free ingress and egress. The system can also be used in parallel with conventional reader doors. Frictionless, battery-less uTrust UHF Credentials work with identification applications that require long-distance reading (i.e., more than 18 - 21 feet). Ultra high-frequency (UHF) technology is ideal for parking lot access and gate control, door entry in hospitals or gated communities, logistics, object and people tracking in emergency situations, real-time locationing, cafeteria access, and any hands-free environment, including medical or care facilities, club and resort membership, sport facilities, and universities. The credentials can be read through badge holders, handbags, pockets, and  No-touch time and attendance uTrust 3721 F multi-technology smart card reader features multiple frequency options and a keyboard emulation. Perfect for employers who use a mixture of technologies for logical access, uTrust 3721 F leverages existing 125 kHz low-frequency (LF) or 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) cards. Out-of-the-box, uTrust 3721 F can work with most time and attendance systems, letting employees simply tap a card to the reader to clock in.  Nearly hands-free transactions and access With Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, it’s easy to get near an access point without ever actually touching it. Identiv’s NFC-enabled solutions feature a catalogue of transponders compatible with NFC Forum created for secure contactless transactions and connecting electronic devices with a simple tap-and-go model. Designed for comfort and wearability, the uTrust Proximity Wristband keeps wearers from reaching for their phone or card every time they need to gain access to a parking garage, building, room, or elevator. A passive radio frequency identification (RFID) device, the no-battery credential is robust, resistant to cracking, and impervious to moisture.  Temperature tracking and contact tracing Identiv’s Body Temperature Measurement Patch is a wearable NFC-enabled transponder that supports the reopening of public spaces worldwide, including theme parks and stadiums, and helps operators keep attendees and employees comfortable, confident, and safe. The patch also supports global governments and healthcare workers that need to periodically monitor quarantined patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The new solution combines the simplicity of using NFC and the smart technology potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), making body temperature monitoring easier than ever. Identiv has partnered with Telaeris to deliver a rapidly deployable, industry-renowned, mobile access control hardware and software solution that provides security in a variety of mission-critical situations where traditional systems cannot be supported. By leveraging Telaeris’ mobile credential verification hardware, Hirsch Velocity Software-based access control systems can go beyond protecting the perimeter and empower security staff to authenticate and authorise users with photos from anywhere, at any time, with real-time server synchronisation. Telaeris handheld units with HealthCheck functionality can prompt staff to ask a series of health questions and input the taken temperature of a validated user to create a ‘health/access check’ profile upon entering which can then be repeated upon exiting. If a person enters a building and is later found to be symptomatic, Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing can pull a report of everyone who entered the same door who can then be notified to either get tested or self-quarantine. While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as the seasonal influenza. This means every office can be proactive in responding to potential outbreaks, while simultaneously providing employees with the peace of mind that there are measures in place to keep them safe.  Working from Home For some organisations, even as worldwide economies are restarting, employees continue to or are more comfortable working from home. Identiv’s smart card reader portfolio keeps work flowing while ensuring everyone’s data and health stays safe and secure. Top selections for secure network log-in while telecommuting include, uTrust Token Pro Mini Type A (smallest form factor, strong PKI, and Java Card technology, uTrust Token Pro Mini Type C (USB C and can feature user branding and applets), uTrust 2700R Contact (supports all PC operating systems and cards ICs), 0 USB (ultra-compact, CAC and PIV-approved, and available in USB C, uTrust 4701 F Dual Interface (combines contact, contactless, and NFC tech), and uTrust SmartFold SCR3500 A (USB A, ultra-compact, and CAC and PIV-approved). As the economy begins to open up and people around the world return to work, it’s critical to have solutions in place that keep employees and visitors feeling safe, comfortable, and confident.

Identiv’s Hirsch Velocity access control platform now enables contact tracing for Hirsch customers
Identiv’s Hirsch Velocity access control platform now enables contact tracing for Hirsch customers

Identiv, Inc. announced the availability of Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing. Available via download for Hirsch customers, the free feature has been launched to support worldwide office re-openings with improved health and safety management tools. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ (CDC) recommendations, contract tracing is a key strategy for preventing further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing is a means of proactively and reactively protecting visitors. If a person enters a building and is later found to be symptomatic of an illness, Velocity can pull a report of everyone who entered the same door who can then be notified to either get tested or self-quarantine. The feature is free, easy to download, and simple to implement into existing Velocity physical access control system (PACS) platforms.  Manage access control While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as seasonal influenza" “While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as seasonal influenza,” said Mark Allen, Identiv GM, Premises. “This means your office can be proactive in responding to potential outbreaks, while simultaneously providing your employees with the peace of mind that there are measures in place to keep them safe.” Hirsch Velocity Software provides the security and functionality expected from high-end systems with the ease-of-use found in entry-level packages. Velocity is an integrated platform that manages access control and security operations in thousands of different facilities, from single high secure rooms to multi-building, multi-location campuses with the most stringent security compliance. Prevent unwanted access With Velocity, users can control doors, gates, turnstiles, elevators, and other equipment, monitor employees and visitor behaviour, prevent unwanted access, maintain compliance, and provide a robust audit trail. The latest version of the software platform is designed to deliver the highest level of security, interoperability, and backwards compatibility, and it accommodates the evolution of security technology.

Identiv's Hirsch Velocity physical access control solution approved by the UK Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Identiv's Hirsch Velocity physical access control solution approved by the UK Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

Identiv, Inc. has announced that after extensive testing of its Hirsch Physical Access Control System (PACS) CPNI solution, the platform is now approved by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), the UK government authority for protective security advice to the country’s national infrastructure. CPNI-approved physical access control platform The CPNI works with partners in government, police, industry, and academia to protect the nation from threats and terrorism, only recommending physical security equipment that meets its stringent certification requirements.  “UK sites classified as critical infrastructure, where deep encryption standards are paramount, can confidently deploy the Hirsch CPNI-approved physical access control platform,” said Mark Allen, Identiv General Manager, Premises Security Solutions. Hirsch Velocity Software Hirsch products, like our innovative Scramblepad readers, protect critical government and infrastructure facilities" Mark adds, “Hirsch products, like our innovative Scramblepad readers, protect critical government and infrastructure facilities across the UK, the U.S., and other governments around the world. Our CPNI-approved Hirsch Velocity Software security management system provides a highly scalable, end-to-end physical access control solution from the door to the server cluster, ideal for mission-critical environments. He further stated, “We are proud to continue to work with the UK government’s risk-critical sites to provide the most robust, reliable, highly secure yet cost-effective access control solution.” Hirsch PACS CPNI solution The Hirsch PACS CPNI solution encompasses Identiv’s highly secure product portfolio, including Hirsch Velocity Software, Hirsch Mx-8 Controllers, and Secure Network Interface Board 3 (SNIB3). Identiv’s suite of advanced access control solutions is approved for use in some of the world’s most security-sensitive organisations, including many UK government agencies. Hirsch Velocity Software’s security management system is an integrated platform that manages access control and security operations across thousands of disparate facilities, from single highly secure rooms to multi-building, multi-location campuses, with the most stringent security compliance. Hirsch Mx-8 Controllers Users can control doors, gates, turnstiles, elevators, and other equipment, monitor employees and visitors as they move around a facility, prevent unwanted access, maintain compliance, and provide a robust audit trail. Hirsch Mx-8 Controllers provide scalable, networked communication and are also available in two or four supervised door models. The modular design and scalable architecture enable an installation to start small and grow large, from a single controller system to a larger, multi-site enterprise. The Mx Controller is fully firmware, function, and communication protocol compatible with Hirsch systems so that existing credentials, readers, and databases can be retained. SNIB3 communication device SNIB3 is a renowned communication device that provides IPv6, Gigabit Ethernet, and AES 256 bit encryption SNIB3 is a renowned communication device that provides IPv6, Gigabit Ethernet, and AES 256 bit encryption. These features are already foundational for the critical U.S. FICAM security standard. For deployments already equipped with a Hirsch solution, SNIB3 is a drop-in replacement for Identiv’s SNIB2 and SNIB communications boards. Identiv Global Services Identiv Global Services (IGS) provides a comprehensive cybersecurity-hardening service to ensure the solution is deployed to the rigorous CPNI standard. This covers securing the operating system, database, and services, including all Identiv-supplied server components and networking equipment, as well as the Velocity client workstation. To protect against the rapidly evolving threat landscape, IGS through service-level agreement (SLA) supports the customer and the solution, updating security patches and applying the latest information assurance guidelines following UK standards and best practices.

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