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 Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be?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 IDTECK Co., Ltd. news

Nedap’s uPASS Reach readers give hands-free elevator access at VNPT headquarters
Nedap’s uPASS Reach readers give hands-free elevator access at VNPT headquarters

Nedap’s uPASS Reach long-range UHF readers in combination with IDTECK elevator384 access control system were installed To optimise the monitoring and management of all vehicles and people access points at the company’s headquarters, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication group (VNPT) recently upgraded the building’s entire access control and surveillance system. Nedap’s uPASS Reach readers were selected to facilitate hands-free access and elevator management. Located in central Hanoi (Vietnam), VNPT is one of the largest companies of the country. With 1,000 employees working at the HQ, manageable vehicle and people access control systems are needed to guarantee a convenient and secure flow of people. The entire project included access control readers for automatic vehicle identification at the building’s parking facilities, elevator management and hands-free door access. Elevator management In order to control the 6 passenger elevators in the building’s 27 floors, Nedap partner Techpro successfully installed Nedap’s uPASS Reach long-range UHF readers in combination with the elevator384 access control system of IDTECK (Korea). Only people with an authorised access credential can operate elevators with call buttons. All exit doors at the stairs are also equipped with Nedap's uPASS readers for tracking purposes. With this solution, VNPT ensures convenient and secure hands-free elevator access to all of its authorised employees and registered visitors. Nedap’s uPASS Reach offers long-range identification up to 5 meters [16 ft] using the latest UHF technology. Based on battery-free, passive technology, the uPASS Reach reader is a cost effective and enduring solution for hands-free building and parking access. Convenient building access By using Combi cards featured with UHF and Mifare technology, VNPT facilitates a one card solution for employees and visitors, allowing them authorised access to the 184 doors and elevators throughout the entire premises. Employees and visitors benefit from using a single access credential throughout the facility, from the car park to their office door, making it a cost efficient identification solution. Excellent results Techpro Co. Ltd. Director, Mr. Do Duc Hau, is pleased with the excellent results of the system. “The system has been working well since its completion in 2013. The system helps the company and visitors to enjoy a well-managed elevator system, and provide people tracking and time attendance. With 1000 employees and visitors in the buildings 27 floors, before the installation, the elevator system was always busy and it took a long time to call an elevator. Additionally, it was hard to manage the working time of the employees. With the new systems this is not an issue anymore. As one of biggest telecom providers in Vietnam, with hundreds of daily visitors it was often a burden to manage visitors in and out for VNPT’s security department. The new installation helps to conveniently grant access to authorized visitors to the right floor and the right department. Visitor information can now also be stored and provide support for management purposes”.

IDTECK FINGER007 prevents 'Buddy-Punching' through its time and attendance system at Saudi Aramco
IDTECK FINGER007 prevents 'Buddy-Punching' through its time and attendance system at Saudi Aramco

 IDTECK's FINGER007, professional T&A Software has been integrated to manage precise time and attendance dataArabian American Oil Company also known as Saudi Aramco is government-owned national oil company of Saudi Arabia. It is the largest oil corporation in the world with the largest crude oil reserves and production. Running over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, the company produces over 3.4 billion (540,000,000 m³) barrels of crude oil annually.In order to manage the large group of employees in their branch offices all over Saudi Arabia, the HR department of the Saudi Aramco headquarter office needed to retool its time and attendance system to reduce the payroll costs as well as the effectiveness in management. This included a prevention method for unauthorised overtime and card misuse. There were many cases of "buddy punching", which refers to the act of clocking in for other employees who might be late or absent. In addition, the time and attendance system had to integrate with their existing payroll and HR management system to apply payroll rules that are consistent and fair to every employee.IDTECK's distributor in Saudi Arabia region, Aflak Electronics Industries Co., has introduced FINGER007 access controller integration with T&A Software for precise time and attendance of their employees.IDTECK's intelligent standalone fingerprint access controller, FINGER007, delivers top of the line time & attendance and access control applications in a single device. High user efficiency is guaranteed as various identification modes; fingerprint, proximity card and PIN (Personal Identification Number) are supported. Arabian American Oil Company also known as Saudi Aramco is government-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia Best of all, fingerprint identification eradicates any possibilities of proxy attendance, which has known to be the weak point of proximity card T&A devices as the employees can generate false T&A data by using someone else's card to record clocking in and out time.Working alongside with IDTECK's FINGER007, professional T&A Software has been integrated to manage precise time and attendance data. IDTECK's Software Development Kit has been utilised to create one of a kind T&A software, which reflects user's request and regional characteristics. The T&A Software collects T&A data from FINGER007 for further processing and analysis to generate meaningful attendance reports. The software allows users to run multiple shifts and various work schedules without any manual calculations. Processing time, which used to take hours with conventional time clock T&A system, has reduced to just few simple clicks of a button.After the successful implementation of the new time and attendance system, the HR department of Saudi Aramco has been able to realise numerous benefits and satisfaction on their investment. The HR department of Saudi Aramco was pleased with how the time and attendance system reduced their payroll process. They no longer had to calculate employee time and input data in to the payroll system manually. Employees also achieved an immediate benefit by eliminating the need for employees to carry around RF cards or remember password numbers. Using only their fingerprint, employees can identify themselves more quickly and precisely.

IDTECK chosen to update the access management at the TOBB University
IDTECK chosen to update the access management at the TOBB University

 IDTECK access control system has ensured safety at TOBB Economics and Technology UniversityTOBB Economics and Technology University, located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, is one of the largest technical institute in its region. School's new dormitory building is a signature space that supports the academics and personal growth of residents, provides a place where programmes and events are hosted, and most importantly, provides a home-away-from-home for 1,500 students. The student dormitory complex is consisted of 4 block buildings, which are respectively 18 stories high.Staying the dormitory provides a lot of benefits to the students. It offers convenient access to classes and campus events and most importantly, it provides much needed security to the students that are living away from home for their first time. Nevertheless, Dormitory buildings go through constant exposure to students, faculty, staffs and in some cases, unwanted solicitors and intruders. It is the responsibility of the university to present safe atmosphere where students could study and socialise with one another as well as privacy during their own hours. This is promoted as better describing a living and learning community that is part of the larger academic institution.As the school officials requested, all the entry doors of the dormitory buildings are remained locked all times to prevent the entry of the unauthorised personnel. 118 units of SR10 SMART Card readers were installed on every entry doors and students are allowed access if they present their access card to the reader. 34 units of iTDC-SR access control panels, which are capable of controlling up to 4 doors, are deployed to control the readers. ELEVATOR384 verifies the user and activates the buttons for the floors the student is permitted In addition, properly securing the elevator systems has helped eliminate the risk of the misfortunate events from taking place. With the SR10 SMART Card reader installed right below the floor button of the elevator, students must present his or her access card to the reader and the elevator system, ELEVATOR384, verifies the user and activates the buttons for the floors the student is permitted to. Accessible floors can be set for each card holder (student) by the system administrator and they were able to monitor all the floors. Elevator control played a large role in establishing a comprehensive Access Control System.A key part of this project was that the students didn't have to replace their existing student identification card with a new card equipped with access card capability as the access control system as well as the elevator control system was compatible with SMART Card (MiFARE).On this large project, IDTECK's Turkish distributor, Optimum Guvenlik, was able to beat out other access control suppliers due to the great performance of the IDTECK product. Their recent project at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey was a great success and it has left a great impression for Optimum Guvenlik and IDTECK products. Students and dormitory personnel were fairly satisfied with the IDTECK access control system as it ensured safety and provided better environment to live and work.

Related white papers

Four areas to consider in frictionless access control

Physical access control in higher education

A brief history of access control credentials