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 Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be?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 PAC International, Ltd news

PAC introduces new versions of Access Central and EasiNet Residential to address post-lockdown access control challenges
PAC introduces new versions of Access Central and EasiNet Residential to address post-lockdown access control challenges

PAC, a supplier of innovative access control solutions, has announced new versions of its cutting-edge Access Central and EasiNet Residential software management platforms. The most comprehensive upgrades to both systems since they were initially launched, PAC has introduced a range of dynamic features that will enable commercial and residential premises to maintain high levels of occupant safety as lockdown begins to ease. ‘Access control technology has a significant role to play in helping to protect building occupants from infection, alongside its ability to configure smart and reliable strategies to help alleviate anxiety, enhance confidence and maintain regulatory compliance,’ commented Pete England, PAC’s global product manager. ‘Over the last year, we have been working hard to leverage the power of our technology. As a result, Access Central v5.3 has been designed to help limit person-to-person contact, control occupancy levels reduce surface touches, and swiftly initiates contact tracing procedures.’ Enhance security with access central Access Central acts as a central resource for keyholder records and access privileges, with the ability to set pre-configured alarms, track activities  Designed primarily for the commercial, educational, and healthcare sectors, Access Central acts as a central resource for keyholder records and access privileges, with the ability to set pre-configured alarms, track activities and maintain a full audit trail. To build on its existing capabilities, Access Central v5.3 now has additional occupancy management features including managed entrance, occupancy tracking, and global anti-passback for accurate tracing of keyholders. This will help make sure occupants adhere to designated one-way flow systems through buildings and do not overpopulate specific areas. Furthermore, a keyholder’s access privileges can be temporarily disabled if they do not read out when exiting an area. Access Central v5.3 also boasts enhanced building management and security features such as a guard tour that configures set routes around a building for security officers. Using pre-configured parameters, automated event notifications send PC pop-up notifications when occupancy limits are reached and/or exceeded restrict entry and provide a live display of the number of people in an area. This can form part of a broader health and safety policy, for example, temperature and mask checks or use of sanitisation stations, and can be used to configure a traffic light-style system, while time periods are configurable to enable one or multiple managed entrances per day. Cost-effective expansion Similar innovations are found in EasiNet Residential v5.3, which combines high-security access control with advanced keyholder configuration and management, which can be supported through PAC’s secure Residential Cloud. EasiNet Residential v5.3 enables cost-effective expansion into building management systems through the use of PAC input/output controllers to facilitate third-party equipment integration, allowing building services such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to be centrally managed. In addition, lift control means that keyholders are only assigned access to specific floors to maintain social distancing. These features can all be managed via Control Centre – PAC’s new ‘single pane of glass’ management tool for operators. Consolidating CCTV and access control functionality is more vital than ever and both Access Central v5.3 and EasiNet Residential v5.3 offer options for 3xLOGIC VIGIL integration. Cameras can be directly configured and monitored through each software solution, with access to VIGIL’s business intelligence capabilities achieved via integration with a VIGIL server. As such video verification through CCTV actions can be captured through pre-sets that, for instance, move a pan, tilt, zoom camera as an event is taking place. Smart access control PAC’s Pete England concluded, ‘As people emerge from their homes and begin to return to their workplaces, building safety and security needs to be rethought, reconfigured and adapted to meet a complex set of challenges. Access control technology must be used in smarter ways than ever before to help protect building occupants and achieving this objective is now possible thanks to Access Central v5.3 and EasiNet Residential v5.3’.  In order to help partners and customers maximise the potential of these state-of-the-art features, PAC will be hosting two webinars for the commercial and residential markets. 

3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM to demonstrate latest security innovations at IFSEC 2019
3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM to demonstrate latest security innovations at IFSEC 2019

3xLOGIC, PAC/GDX and PACOM, providers of security and access control solutions, have announced they will be exhibiting on stand IF2930 at IFSEC International 2019, which takes place on 18th-20th June at ExCeL, London. For over 15 years as one of the USA’s most respected innovators in server, cloud and artificial intelligence-based solutions, 3xLOGIC has an enviable track record in redefining what’s possible with security technology. After successfully launching into the European market earlier this year, 3xLOGIC will exhibit its diverse range of cutting-edge products as well as demonstrate their integration capabilities. Leading the way is the integration of 3xLOGIC’s NVRs and standalone cameras into PACOM’s GMS and Unison product lines. VIGIL enterprise grade VMS 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of NVRs, DVRs and PoE cameras3xLOGIC’s VIGIL enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of network video recorders (NVRs), digital video recorders (DVRs) and Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. To further enhance VIGIL’s suitability for multi-site environments, it has been integrated with the PACOM Graphical Management System (GMS). Engineered to communicate over an IP network, the PACOM GMS allows for full integration of access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance and many other security functions. 3xLOGIC’s Visix Facial Recognition camera is making its European debut at IFSEC 2019. This special purpose, low cost, dual lens 2MP device is designed for instant face detection, and the identification and notification of persons of interest. Using camera-based analytics and 3xLOGIC’s exclusive facial recognition software and mobile app, users can review images and choose which individuals to place on a watch list. Unison security management Furthermore, 3xLOGIC’s Facial Recognition camera has recently been integrated into PACOM’s Unison security management platform. An open security solution designed specifically for campus-based organisations, Unison is the solution of choice for organisations within vertical sectors such as healthcare, universities, commercial buildings, public facilities, municipalities, airports, shipping ports and data centres. The combination of Facial Recognition capabilities with Unison improves operational efficiency by quickly and accurately identifying persons of interest, and streamlining processes to use this information to meet the organisation’s security and marketing goals. TRENDS empowers the user to interpret vast amounts of disparate data more effectively and efficiently than ever before For those looking to optimise organisational efficiency, 3xLOGIC’s TRENDS cloud-based business intelligence tool incorporates exception-based reporting, video data and third-party applications into an easy to use dashboard that provides a simple visual snapshot of business operations. TRENDS empowers the user to interpret vast amounts of disparate data more effectively and efficiently than ever before, offering unrivalled levels of visibility to quickly spot issues and liabilities that can seriously impact a company’s bottom line. Bluetooth-based card reader Last, but certainly not least, visitors will have the chance to get hands on with the new PAC GDX Bluetooth-based card reader technology, which has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of companies of all sizes that want the most secure access control solution possible. Experts from the company will be available for product demonstrations and to discuss a new online training programme that has been developed to enable installers and end users to get the very best out of their PAC GDX solution. “It has been a tremendously exciting year, and we are looking forward to discussing our activities with those attending IFSEC,” commented Matt Kushner, Global President, Stanley Products and Solutions. “With a combined legacy 
of over 100 years in the security industry, 3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM lead the way in the design and manufacture of video surveillance, access control, and business intelligence solutions. By visiting Stand IF2930 and talking to our experts, visitors have a fantastic opportunity to find out how our technology can enhance security provision in a diverse range of built environments and how we can help them achieve their operational and security objectives.”

3xLOGIC, Inc. expands North American sales network with new hires
3xLOGIC, Inc. expands North American sales network with new hires

3xLOGIC, Inc., global provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that the company has added to its growing North American sales network, along with other personnel moves at its umbrella company, Stanley Products and Solutions (SPS). The company added two new RSMs to further penetrate key markets in the Pacific NW as well as the Mid-Atlantic regions and appointed a new Marketing Manager for the PACOM brand of products. 3xLOGIC adds security expert  3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest 3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest. Joel comes to the company with 14 years of security industry experience, working with companies such as Interlogix, GE Security, and Honeywell. John Saxen will support Joel as the Inside Sales Account Manager for the region. Jake Franklin takes over as RSM for the Mid-Atlantic. He joins the company from RF Technologies, a safety solutions company in healthcare where he was RSM for the Northeast. Prior to that, he worked as Critical Infrastructure Account Manager & Sales Representative at a security integration company. Jake’s passion for technology and previous security experience make him an excellent addition to 3xLOGIC’s powerful sales team. Bill Hobbs, Global VP of Sales for SPS, announced that both Joel and Jake will report to Jason Bryan, Director of Sales. PACOM expands marketing team Jennifer Joyce is the new Marketing Manager for PACOM, sister company of 3xLOGIC, as the company continues to expand efforts in the North American to market the wide range of PACOM solutions that have found success all over the world. She brings more than 25 years of marketing and design experience to the team. Her global marketing experience began with Firestone Industrial Products and Jennifer most recently spent her time in digital marketing as Marketing Director for Orbis Education. She will report to Suzi Abell, Senior Director of Global Marketing, SPS. Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management Elsewhere in the larger SPS organisation Charlie Erickson has a new title reflecting his growing responsibilities—Chief Technology Officer. He continues to oversee Product Management as his team continues to expand. Reporting directly to Charlie, Michael Poe has been promoted to Director of Product Management. He will be leading the Video, Blue, DIY, and TRENDS products lines. Rick Walker will be aligned under Poe’s leadership.  New PAC, PACOM, infinias head Also reporting to Charlie, Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management, and he will be leading the PAC, PACOM, infinias, and Sonitrol product teams. We also welcome Darren Monroe, Product Manager for infinias to Gavin’s team. Darren will work in the 3xLOGIC office in Indianapolis and Gavin works out of the PACOM Australia office. Drew Alexander continues as Sr. Director of Program Management, and he will continue to add Program Managers to his team to facilitate a growing list of product launches and business initiatives.

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