Access control readers - Expert commentary

Wireless technology is transforming motion detection
Wireless technology is transforming motion detection

Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localisation. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymised and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.

The growth of the mobile access card market in 2020
The growth of the mobile access card market in 2020

The emergence of smartphones using iOS and Android is rapidly changing the landscape of the IT industry around the world. Several industries, such as digital cameras, car navigation, MP3, and PNP, have been replaced by equivalent or even better performance using smartphones. Smartphones provide increasing portability by integrating the functions of various devices into a single unit which allows them to connect to platforms with network-based services and offer new services and conveniences that have never been experienced before. These changes have expanded into the access control market. Although not yet widespread, ‘Mobile access cards’ is one of the terminologies that everyone has been talking about. RF cards used for access security are being integrated into smartphones just as digital cameras and MP3s were in the past. While people might forget their access cards at home in the morning, they seldom forget their smartphones. Using smartphones for access control increases entry access reliability and convenience. Mobile/smartphone access control A key aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction As in other markets, the combination of smartphones and access cards is creating a new value that goes beyond the simple convenience of integration enhancing the ability to prevent unauthorized authentication and entrance. People sometimes lend their access cards to others, but it is far less likely they might lend their smartphone with all their financial information and personal information – to another person. This overcomes an important fundamental weakness of RF cards. Another valuable aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction. Under existing access security systems, cards must be issued in person. Since card issuance implies access rights, the recipient’s identification must be confirmed first before enabling the card and once the card has been issued, it cannot be retracted without another separate face-to-face interaction. Mobile access cards In contrast, mobile access cards are designed to transfer authority safely to the user's smartphone based on TLS. In this way, credentials can be safely managed with authenticated users without face-to-face interaction. Mobile cards can be used not only at the sites with a large number of visitors or when managing access for an unspecified number of visitors, but also at the places like shared offices, kitchens and gyms, currently used as smart access control systems in shared economy markets. The market share of mobile access cards today is low even though the capability can offer real benefits to users and markets. While the access control market itself is slow-moving, there are also practical problems that limit the adoption of new technologies like mobile access cards. Use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology While NFC could be an important technology for mobile credential that is available today on virtually all smartphones, differences in implementation and data handling processes from various vendors prevents universal deployment of a single solution to all devices currently on the market. Accordingly, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been considered as an alternative to NFC. Bluetooth is a technology that has been applied to smartphones for a long time, and its usage and interface are unified, so there are no compatibility problems. However, speed becomes the main problem. The authentication speed of BLE mobile access card products provided by major companies is slower than that of existing cards. Enhancing credential authentication speed Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers The second problem is that mobile access cards must be accompanied by a supply of compatible card readers. In order to use mobile access cards, readers need to be updated but this is not a simple task in the access control market. For 13.56 MHz smart cards (which were designed to replace 125 kHz cards), it has taken 20 years since the standard was established but only about half of all 25 kHz cards have been replaced so far. Legacy compatibility and the need for equivalent performance, even with additional benefits, will drive adoption timing for the Access Control market. While BLE technology helps resolve the compatibility problem of mobile access cards, it can identify some breakthroughs that can solve the speed problem. Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers, and new products with these improvements are now released in the market. Making use of key improvements allows Suprema's mobile access card to exhibit an authentication speed of less than 0.5 seconds providing equivalent performance to that of card-based authentication. AirFob Patch MOCA System's AirFob Patch addresses the need for technological improvements in the access control market in a direct, cost effective, and reliable way – by offering the ability to add high-performance BLE to existing card readers – enabling them to read BLE smartphone data by applying a small adhesive patch approximately the size of a coin. This innovative breakthrough applies energy harvesting technology, generating energy from the RF field emitted by the existing RF reader – then converting the data received via BLE back into RF – and delivering it to the reader. By adding the ability to use BLE on virtually any existing RF card reading device, MOCA allows greater ability for partners and end users to deploy a technologically-stable, high performance access control mobile credential solution to their employees, using devices they already own and are familiar with. Adding MOCA AirFob Patch eliminates the need to buy and install updated readers simply to take advantage of mobile credential, lowering costs and risks, and increasing employee confidence and convenience. Growth forecast of mobile access card market in 2020 In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly Several companies have entered the mobile access card market, but they have not set up a meaningful product solution stream until 2019. In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly. Reviewing new entries into the market allows identification of the latest products that provide improving solutions to compatibility and speed problems. MOCA AirFob Patch addresses development plans in process today that overcome the legacy installed base of card readers – allowing rapid creation of an environment that can make immediate use of BLE mobile access cards. Integrated mobile digital ID With proven usability and within suitable environments, mobile access cards will also begin to make inroads into other markets, not just the access control market. In the sharing economy market, which seeks access management without face-to-face interaction, the integrated mobile digital ID led by the 'DID Alliance' will serve as a technical tool that can be used in access authentication – forging increasing links between the access control and digital ID markets.

Entrance control vs access control: similarities and differences
Entrance control vs access control: similarities and differences

Entrance control and access control - of the physical kind - are common terms in the security industry which are often used interchangeably, but should they be? Having worked both sides of the fence, with previous roles at TDSi and HID and now the Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Limited, Tony Smith highlights the subtle but important differences between these two terms and the systems they refer to, outlining how they should work together to achieve optimal security. Access control is a system which provides discriminating authentication Access control provides a discriminating authentication process and comprises the software or hardware that defines the criteria for acceptance or denial Used to describe a system which performs identification of users and authentication of their credentials (deciding whether or not the bearer of those credentials is permitted admission) access control is an incredibly broad term. Access control provides a discriminating authentication process and comprises the software or hardware that defines the criteria for acceptance or denial of an individual to a restricted area. Entrance control – such as security turnstiles - takes the output of that validation and has the capability to see whether that criteria is being adhered to, either granting or denying access as appropriate. Entrance control is the hardware responsible for keeping people honest If access control verifies authorised personnel using their credentials – their face, fingerprints, PIN number, fob, key card etc – and decides whether or not they are permitted access, entrance control is the hardware which enforces that decision by making users present their credentials in the correct way, either opening to allow pedestrian access or remaining closed to bar entry and potentially raising an alarm. For example, a card reader acts as an access control device, recognising the card holder as having the correct permissions and saying ‘yes, this person can pass’. But, it’s the entrance control system – a turnstile, for example – which actually physically allows or denies access. Physical access and video surveillance Some entrance control systems don’t feature a physical barrier, however. Fastlane Optical turnstiles will not physically stop an unauthorised person from passing through, and instead alarm when someone fails to present valid credentials, alerting security staff that a breach has occurred. These kinds of turnstiles are suited to environments which just need to delineate between the public and secure side of an entrance, with less need to physically prevent unauthorised users from entering. State of the art access control integrations have been installed for award-winning complex, The Bower It’s also possible to capture video footage of any incidents, allowing security personnel to identify users failing to abide by the access control system’s rules, using It’s also possible to capture video footage of incidents, allowing security personnel to identify users failing to abide by access control system rules the footage to decide on the level of response required. The breach could have been the result of a member of staff being in a hurry and failing to show their card before passing through, in which case they can be reminded about the security protocol. Or, it could be an unidentified person who needs to be escorted from the premises. Entrance control and access control working together For optimum security, access control and entrance control should work together, with the entrance control system enhancing the use of the access control system, making it more efficient and better value for money. The two can’t effectively operate without each other. Security turnstiles, for example, require something to tell them that someone is about to enter – the access control system does this – and, the access control system needs a method of stopping people when they don’t badge in correctly. The two systems are complementary.

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Traka Automotive enters mechanical key systems market with the launch of TrakaMEC key management range
Traka Automotive enters mechanical key systems market with the launch of TrakaMEC key management range

Traka Automotive, one of UK’s renowned electronic key management solution provider for automotive dealers, has expanded its product portfolio by launching TrakaMEC, a mechanical key management range. TrakaMEC is an affordable new addition to Traka Automotive’s extensive range of solutions, designed to meet the needs of dealerships and services centres that are not yet requiring fully networked and integrated electronic key management systems. Presenting a highly secure mechanical key management solution, TrakaMEC is available in two systems; TrakaMEC Supreme as tested to rigiorous LPS1175 and EN14450 standards, and TrakaMEC Lite for a simpler and more low cost solution. Electronic key management Says Paul Smith, Director Traka Automative: “Latest statistics show nearly a third of Brits are now looking to prepare to return to regular commuting, purchasing a car to limit their exposure to other members of the public and avoid public transport where possible. Dealerships, large and small across the UK, need to be up and running as efficiently as possible to meet demands.” “TrakaMEC has been launched as a cost effective solution to help those aspiring to move to an electronic system as they grow in this new working environment. Traka Automotive is already the market-leading electronic key management solution provider amongst larger franchise and prestige dealerships brands. With the launch into mechanical, we’re making the upgrade path very easy and attractively-priced for dealerships to advance at their own pace.” Key management solution Each Supreme cabinet comes with a modern electronic Code Handle which can be programmed with nine user codes Each TrakaMEC Supreme cabinet is built with the highest quality Union ASSA ABLOY components including force resistant, anti-drill, anti-pick and anti-saw BS 5-lever mortice deadlocks for extra peace of mind and security. Additionally, each Supreme cabinet comes with a modern electronic Code Handle which can be programmed with nine different user codes to improve security. TrakaMEC Lite is a low cost and effective key management solution, designed to meet the needs of dealerships with less stringent security specification demands than TrakaMEC Supreme provides. TrakaMEC Lite cabinets are available with 50, 100 or 150 key capacity. Individual dealership requirements Paul concluded: “TrakaMEC customers can be assured at an uncertain time of getting the best of many worlds. They will receive a solution designed, made and supported by Traka; the global leader in access solutions dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security, safety and convenience. At the same time benefit from a highly cost-effective, outstanding quality mechanical product designed specifically for automotive customers that can be scalable to suit individual dealership requirements.”

Lifesafety Power launches ProWire XPRESS models with single-voltage power systems for cost-effective installation
Lifesafety Power launches ProWire XPRESS models with single-voltage power systems for cost-effective installation

ProWire Unified Power Systems, the highest level of integration between a power system and an access control solution, has expanded its family of products with the introduction of ProWire XPRESS, a new value line of single-voltage power systems featuring prewired controller terminal strips for rapid, reliable setup and in-the-field savings. ProWire XPRESS models come prewired for system power, faults, communication and tamper switch. Models are currently available for Mercury Security controllers in four-door (FPV4-E2M/T4X) or 12-door (FPV102-D8PE2M1/T12X; FPV104-D8PE2M1/T12X) configurations at 12 or 24VDC. ProWire XPRESS carries a joint Mercury/LSP UL, ULC certification and CE listing (EU). Pre-wired integrated access solutions ProWire XPRESS provides faster, more consistent installations, helping overcome manpower challenges by freeing the technician from tedious enclosure wiring to quickly move on to other tasks. The solution comes in LifeSafety Power’s spacious E2 enclosures measuring 20 inches high, 16 inches wide and 4.5 inches deep with lock and tamper switch, as well as lifetime warranty. ProWire XPRESS also provides a lower-cost opportunity for installation consistency Part of the ProWire pre-wired integrated access solutions, ProWire XPRESS also provides a lower-cost opportunity for installation consistency and standardisation by eliminating guesswork and site variability. “There’s a large sector of the security integrator market looking for an inexpensive, yet professional way to expand their access control projects,” said Matt Virga, Vice President of Sales, North America, LifeSafety Power. Intelligent networking power solutions “ProWire XPRESS checks all the boxes, with the ability to save precious time and labour costs. With the addition of ProWire XPRESS, LifeSafety Power now has a product to meet every job, vertical market and price point.” LifeSafety Power is a consummate innovator and specialist in physical security and access control, creating a new category of intelligent networking power solutions that monitor and manage system connectivity across the enterprise. Embracing technology collaboration with some of the most recognisable companies in the industry, LifeSafety Power has carved a unique niche and along the way received numerous awards for its innovation, including Security Industry Association New Product of the Year; Secure Campus Award for Networked Power; and many others. LifeSafety Power is an ASSA ABLOY company.

CLIQ® access control solution from ASSA ABLOY helps secure museums, shopping and indoor leisure sites
CLIQ® access control solution from ASSA ABLOY helps secure museums, shopping and indoor leisure sites

Places of leisure, where one spends one’s downtime, are public by design. Unlike a bank vault or power plant, they actively invite visitors. One can’t just lock them down and hope no one turns up. Equally, to ensure user and property safety, access must not be a free for all. Managing risk - separating authorised from unauthorised people and locations - is part of every site manager’s daily routine. Intelligent locking makes this workload a whole lot easier. Intelligent keys combine the powerful features of electronic access control with the convenience and familiarity of mechanical keys. In hugely diverse leisure settings across Europe, they already help managers do more with less. Everyone treasures their leisure. The right access solution can help one do it safely without putting a burden on those responsible for one’s security. We treasure our leisure. The right access solution can help us do it safely without putting a burden on those responsible for our security. Controlling access to outdoor sites and visitor attractions Obviously, for many leisure attractions, wired electronic security is not an option. Locations may be remote - far beyond the reach of mains electricity. Assets themselves may be outside. Thankfully, cabling is not essential for effective intelligent access control. Robust, battery-powered locking, backed by intuitive admin software one can access from anywhere, matches or exceeds the functionality of traditional wired access control. Padlocks built to withstand climate extremes integrate within one’s system exactly like standard interior locks. Intelligent electronic key systems are also budget friendly. Making the switch from mechanical security is not an all-or-nothing decision. The best intelligent key systems let one roll out gradually, as needs evolve and budgets allow. For example, the Llyn Brenig Reservoir and Visitor Centre in Wales attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year. Both mechanical and electromechanical locking protect a site which houses critical infrastructure and watersports facilities - with disparate security needs. Here electromechanical locking brings long-term cost savings to site owners Welsh Water, because locks no longer need to be changed when keys are lost. Permissions are simply deleted from the system software. In 2015, Twycross Zoo launched a £55 million, two-decade development plan. High on the agenda was a new intelligent key solution to replace a mechanical master-key system which was labour-intensive to administer. The new system’s flexibility has put zoo security managers in full control of their site. Only staff with the necessary authority and training can access animal enclosures. Carrying one programmable key able to open doors, windows and padlocks makes the security team’s rounds easier It’s simple for system administrators to issue time-defined user keys. These can permit vets or zookeepers access to enclosures for a specific time period outside regular hours - for example, in an emergency. When the period expires, the key no longer works and site integrity is automatically restored. Access control in the museum sector When Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” was stolen from an Oslo museum in 1994, thieves left a note which read: “Thanks for the poor security”. Securing museums - open spaces with priceless contents - presents one of security’s biggest challenges. Around 50,000 artworks are stolen every year, according to some estimates. Adding further complexity, many museums are located within historic properties. The building itself may be integral to the attraction - and come with strict heritage protections. Any new locking installation must make minimal mess. For this reason, wireless is increasingly the preferred choice. Wireless access systems based on robust, key-operated locking, rather than cards and other keyless credentials, combine a familiar technology (the metal key) with the intelligence to keep staff and collections safe. Carrying one programmable key able to open doors, cabinets, windows and padlocks makes the security team’s rounds easier. It also minimises the number of keys in circulation - with obvious security benefits. Companion software makes key tracking straightforward: one always knows who exactly is carrying credentials, can refine or amend those permissions quickly and order a full audit trail on demand. And these locks are discreet enough to maintain the property’s appearance. Museum access control in action London’s Design Museum needed access control designed to protect high-value assets and exhibits. Devices here protect a contemporary site with three galleries, a restaurant/café and an events space, with 100 permanent staff and hundreds (sometimes thousands) of daily visitors. The building has multiple door sizes and must meet British Standards compliance. Installation was easy and wire-free, because encrypted electronics inside CLIQ locks are powered by the standard batteries Electromechanical locks now control access through 56 doors, forming part of a security ecosystem which incorporates traditional mechanical locks, too. Using intuitive management software, security managers ensure every staff member accesses only the right areas. Contractors are issued with temporary programmable keys, which saves time formerly wasted escorting them around the building. The system the Design Museum chose - CLIQ® from ASSA ABLOY - also enables integration with third-party cloud-based solutions, for control via a single, central management interface. The delicate balance between protecting a precious building and guarding its contents sets a major challenge. Security and access control must be “subtle, but ever present,” according to one former moderator of the Museum Security Network. Invasive installation, showy or inappropriately designed devices and components cannot be considered. This was the checklist facing France’s Musée Maurice Denis: the museum is inside a listed 17th-century monument, so they turned to CLIQ access control technology for a solution. Drawing on extensive experience in the heritage sector, ASSA ABLOY delivered security without disrupting the building aesthetic. Installation was easy and wire-free, because encrypted electronics inside CLIQ locks are powered by the standard batteries inside every programmable key. No further power supply is needed at the door. Around 70 robust, hard-wearing cylinders and padlocks now secure doors and windows inside and outside the main building; waterproof padlocks protect CCTV camera housing on the exterior. Every employee receives access to relevant areas via a single CLIQ key, which administrators program with only the appropriate permissions. Insurance compliance is another major concern in the heritage sector. Indeed, insurers for 17th-century warship Vasa demand Sweden’s highest level of locking: Class 3. Yet the Vasamuseet’s access system must also allow 1.2 million annual visitors to move around freely, while keeping exhibits safe. To upgrade an existing mechanical system, around 700 interior door cylinders were equipped with CLIQ Remote electromechanical technology. Museum staff used to carry heavy chains with ten or more keys. Now facility managers can amend the access rights of everyone’s single CLIQ key at any time, even remotely, using the CLIQ Web Manager. It’s easy to issue contractors such as carpenters with access rights scheduled to end automatically as soon as their work is complete. Security for shopping and indoor leisure sites The electronics inside CLIQ locks are powered by the standard battery inside every key, not mains electricity According to one study completed two decades ago, one spends 87% of one’s time indoors. The number is probably higher now - and includes a huge chunk of one’s leisure time. Large retail multiplexes like Festival Place in the UK are a popular destination. Here over 170 shops, a cinema, sports centre and restaurants have an ever-changing roster of permanent staff, cleaners and out-of-hours contractors. Every person requires secure entry on demand. The public also needs open access for 18 hours every day. Yet a single lost mechanical key could become a security problem for all users and tenants. Installing 100 CLIQ electromechanical cylinders drastically cut the burden of mechanical key management. Now, cleaners and maintenance workers carry an intelligent key which unlocks specific doors for a pre-defined time period. Using simple online admin software, site managers can immediately de-authorise and reissue a lost key or amend any key’s permissions. Generating a comprehensive audit trail - who accessed which lock, and when - takes a couple of mouse clicks. CLIQ also cuts Festival Place operational costs. The electronics inside CLIQ locks are powered by the standard battery inside every key, not mains electricity. Installation was wireless, a huge saving on potentially expensive electrical work. At Festival Place and wherever one gathers to enjoy leisure - indoors or outside - CLIQ enables easy access control for all openings with just a simple, single, programmable key. To learn how you can put CLIQ® intelligent key technology to work in agile, flexible, secure public services, download a free introductory guide at https://campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/eCLIQ

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