After LEGIC licencing agreement, US-based RF IDeas presented new products at ASIS
After LEGIC licencing agreement, US-based RF IDeas presented new products at ASIS

LEGIC Identsystems Ltd, the worldwide developer and manufacturer of secure, contactless smart card technologies for personal identification applications, has announced it has partnered with United States based RF IDeas, Inc.  The leading provider of reader solutions for personal identification and access control will develop and manufacture cost efficient USB, RS-232 and Ethernet readers for a variety of access control applications for existing LEGIC customers.RF IDeas develops and manufactures contactless reader solutions that significantly expand functionality of building access cards to hundreds of further applications.  The applications include employee identification, computer and LAN access solutions, time/attendance, enrolment and more, all using existing contactless smart cards."What makes our partnership so exciting is the flexibility that RF IDeas brings to existing LEGIC's customers," stated Dr Otto Eggimann, Vice President Sales & Business Development of LEGIC.  "LEGIC's backward compatibility provides legacy customers the same ability as brand new customers to use their corporate credential for PC login from a proven leader.  RF IDeas' innovative and easy to use offering further enhances the LEGIC's application range especially for customers seeking to combine physical and logical access on the same credential.  We are very happy to welcome RF IDeas as a strong new partner in our expanding North American Partner network."RF IDeas will be producing readers for LEGIC's contactless smart card technology.  The RF IDeas reader AIR ID Enroll is a USB port based external reader of contactless smart cards for computer login access control.  It eliminates the need for manual entry and provides error-free identification.  AIR ID is compatible with LEGIC's 13.56 MHz contactless smart card technology and allows users to apply their building access card or other LEGIC identification and security tags/devices throughout the workplace."Adding LEGIC support to our AIR ID product line was effortless and the partnership allows us to address the current increase in demand in addition to expanding our reach into new markets," commented Rick Landuyt, CEO and President for RF IDeas, Inc.  "Including LEGIC based solutions in our offerings was an important advancement of our AIR ID product line."

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LEGIC sets standards for contactless smart card market
LEGIC sets standards for contactless smart card market

LEGIC Identsystems Ltd, the leading supplier of contactless smart card technologies for personal identification applications, has in 2007 set the standards for the contactless identification market through several product releases.  To name a few like the card-in-card solutions for third party Smart Cards and NFC phones, the Configurator-Soft- and Hardware CSW / CHW-2000, the ATC128-MV210 crypto transponder chip and also through the expansion of its LEGIC advant product line to battery powered applications.Explore contactless and secure multi-applications with the LEGIC all-in-one area on third party smart cardsLEGIC card-in-card solutions combine smart card micro-controllers with physical access and related multi-applications on one single smart card chip.  The core element is the LEGIC all-in-one area which is a multi-application space that behaves like all other LEGIC advant crypto transponders.  The LEGIC all-in-one area runs on contactless smart card micro-controllers provided by third parties.  Smart card micro-controllers are commonly used for applications including logical access to PC and networks (PKI), mobile phones, banking and public transport. LEGIC card-in-card extends these with physical access and related multi-applications leading to true all-in-one multi-application credentials.The LEGIC advant Configurator Hardware CHW-2000 is a universal desktop reader to initialise, write and read LEGIC credentialsThe robust desktop reader CHW-2000 is suitable especially to initialise and analyse LEGIC credentials.  Its design is optimised to hold various credential shapes like cards, keys and fobs, wristbands and watches, as well as mobile phones.  The CHW-2000 can be operated with the LEGIC Configurator Software CSW-2000, the LEGIC Development Kit Software DKS-2000 or alternative software available from a LEGIC partner.  The integrated LEGIC advant reader module can be easily upgraded through the USB interface.  Thus, new features are quickly available.The Configurator Software CSW-2000 is a helpful tool to configure and analyse applications on LEGIC credentialsWith the CSW-2000 segments can be defined and credentials can be initialised (e.g. as Master-Token or as user credential).  The configuration required for a project can be easily administrated.  The graphical user interface enables a quick analysis of credentials as well as the configuration of LEGIC advant reader modules.  The CSW-2000 can be operated together with the Configurator Hardware CHW-2000, the Development Kit DK-2000 or a LEGIC advant based reader from a LEGIC partner.New cost-effective LEGIC advant transponder chipThe ATC128-MV210 crypto transponder chip meets the need for a secure low-memory and cost-effective transponder in the 13.56 MHz area.  With a user memory of 128bytes - enough to typically house 3 applications - the new transponder is designed for basic access control and leisure applications such as event ticketing and leisure passes.  The ATC128-MV is a full member of the LEGIC advant product family and has the same high security and functionality level like all other LEGIC advant transponders. The ATC128-MV210 crypto transponder chip is fully compatible with the ISO 15693 standard.How to reduce maintenance costs significantly for off-line door locks with unique low-power functionBy expanding the reader chip functionality of its LEGIC advant product line to battery-powered applications, LEGIC now offers a cost-effective alternative for stand-alone contactless physical access.  Using a new and unique "low power" feature enables energy-efficient contactless door lock solutions.  Until now, such stand-alone solutions (which repetitively power-down and wake-up the lock/card reader, thus saving energy) required the installation of expensive and bulky mechanical switches or infrared sensors as an energy-saving alternative to the wired "always on" readers.  Beyond saving energy, this contactless solution is cost-effective (the simplified circuit reduces development and production costs) and can greatly extend battery life, under certain circumstances up to 200 times and thus reduce maintenance and servicing. LEGIC advant is LEGIC's most advanced product line for state-of-the art high security and multi-applications including access control, personal identification, biometrics, IT access compliant with ISO 15693, ISO 14443 and LEGIC RF standards.

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Access control readers - Expert commentary

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

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

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

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

Insider threats are on the rise – even in the virtual workplace
Insider threats are on the rise – even in the virtual workplace

More than a year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic began, countless workers are still doing their jobs remotely rather than from their offices. While there are many positives to working from home, there can also be some negatives at play like nefarious actors taking advantage of the tools and connections that employees use in work from home environments. Insider threats, a security risk that comes from within the organisation, are posing a major security problem for businesses. This is partially due to the widespread use of social media, encrypted communication platforms, and other tools. Now more than ever insider threats need to be identified, thwarted, and prevented. Social distancing policies When social distancing policies and mandates began keeping people apart, many turned to social media to stay connected. While social networking tools have provided a positive outlet and a way for people to feel more connected, these platforms have also become a hotspot for insider targeting because they provide a way to propagate disinformation and target individuals likely to be receptive to it. The ideal mark for an insider threat is someone who is active on social media Even more so, they have provided a means to develop relationships with organisational insiders and socialise with them. The ideal mark for an insider threat is someone who is active on social media, has sufficient access to sensitive information, lacks supervision in their day-to-day work, and works remotely. As the relationship develops, through the process of grooming, an employee can become more likely to disregard company policies and commitments. Disregarding company policies One reason insiders might act against their own organisation involves monetary gain. The pressures of the pandemic have led to record levels of unemployment and financial strain for millions of Americans. Financial issues can include struggling to pay for childcare, supporting family obligations, paying rent and more. Those who find themselves in a financial bind might not just act against their own company but could also more easily fall victim to a threat. Another reason that insiders act is that they may be disgruntled. Insiders may hold a grudge because they were passed over for promotion, were given an unsatisfactory performance rating, or they may be facing termination. While just one of these factors may not be a trigger to involve the company’s security team, any combination of these factors along with a change in the employee’s demeanour or behaviour should serve as a red flag to pay closer attention to the situation. Potentially malicious insiders Sending confidential information to an unsecured location in the cloud exposes the organisation to risk Another challenge employers face directly relates to the somewhat limited supervision of employees who work remotely. In this situation, identifying potentially malicious insiders is more difficult, largely because face-to-face interactions are limited. When the pandemic began, many companies shifted their primary areas of focus to keeping the business viable, which is understandable. However, with this shift of focus, less attention may have been paid to security issues. The proactive company will have ensured their employees are aware of the following: Steps they should take to ensure their devices -- both company-issued and personal -- are secured at all times. Sending confidential information to an unsecured location in the cloud exposes the organisation to risk. Breaking security policies to simplify tasks is prohibited. Ensuring their devices are updated with the latest security patches. A failure in any of these areas can produce an environment ripe for malicious insider activity. Cyber security teams This multidisciplinary group can lead the initiatives that are paramount to keeping the company secure The insider threat is an organisational threat and so it is most effectively addressed from a holistic perspective. Stakeholders from different parts of the organisation need to be at the table to understand and address such threats. An effective team includes personnel from the legal, human resources, communications, and physical and cyber security teams. This multidisciplinary group can lead the initiatives that are paramount to keeping the company and its employees secure. Conduct a risk assessment of the company’s security processes or a threat assessment to the company’s people or assets. No organisation is without some level of vulnerability, so identify the most critical assets, information, and systems; identify those who have access to these critical assets; and build controls around them to provide extra security. Delivering refresher training Build a training program to help employees and management identify concerning behaviours. Educate staff about insider threat indicators and provide instructions for how to report concerns. Require employees to complete training and deliver refresher training and updates throughout the year. Training on this matter is not a one-and-done situation. Ensure there is an impartial and confidential process in place for employees to report possible insider threats. Employees need to trust that if they report concerns about behaviours or actions on the part of a fellow employee, their information will be handled discreetly and if warranted, acted upon. Write a communications strategy clearly defining the process for relaying insider threat incidents. An effective plan lays out what information and when this information should be shared with specific individuals and to the broader community, who has authority to communicate sensitive information, and how the information should be disseminated. Remote working challenges Establish a check-in process for managers and their direct reports to enable a means for employees to share concerns and for managers to identify challenges or opportunities to assist employees working in the virtual environment. Make an EAP (employee assistance program) readily available to employees. Ensure they understand how to access their EAP and assure them that contacting the EAP will not have a negative impact on their career or growth potential. Providing venues for employees to share their concerns and talk with trained staff can greatly help organisations navigate insider threats and general remote working challenges. Security risk environment The virtual workplace has created a serious security risk environment for companies in which employees who would not normally engage in insider threats become more vulnerable to them. Through new technologies and possibly due to new financial hardships, those looking to harm an organisation are out there, searching for opportunities to strike. It is leadership’s responsibility to take proactive action to ensure their employees are aware of the possibility of insider threats, the seriousness with which management views them, and the resources available should someone fall victim. It is everyone’s responsibility to remain vigilant.

Latest LEGIC Identsystems Ltd news

ELATEC to introduce the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at ISC West 2020
ELATEC to introduce the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at ISC West 2020

From buildings to vehicle fleets and enterprise networks to perimeter gates, having access control to let the right people in—while keeping everyone else out—is a security necessity. ELATEC, a global specialist in radio frequency identification (RFID) readers enabling user authentication for these and other access control applications, will introduce its latest new product the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at the ISC West Conference and Exhibition, to be held March 17-20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Physical access control applications The Palon is a powerful, multi-function reader optimised for physical access control applications. Unlike traditional RFID readers, Palon’s unique capabilities include: Flexible architecture and a robust, open API to support custom applications and unique functionality Supports encryption for security applications Quick and easy updating to support emerging market requirements, and done so either remotely or via a contactless configuration card Reads and writes all major transponder technologies globally—60+, including HID Global, LEGIC and NXP, and NFC and BLE mobile device technologies for use with smartphones. Highly customisable panel mount Palon’s compact OEM PCB module is designed for integration into third-party products and devices. And its attractive, highly customisable panel mount is ideal for use in PAC panels, elevators, parking systems, EV chargers, kiosks and more. To see Palon and ELATEC’s suite of offerings, visit ELATEC booth #23006. Visitors can also see Palon in the new product showcase at ISC West.

LEGIC Orbit upgraded with new security feature that restricts configuration data to specific reader ICs
LEGIC Orbit upgraded with new security feature that restricts configuration data to specific reader ICs

Correct configuration of readers in the field forms the basis of secure ID solutions. In the latest version of LEGIC Orbit, the option to restrict configuration data to specific reader ICs is a very powerful new feature. Versatile Configuration Packages LEGIC Orbit offers the possibility to transmit cryptographic keys and other configuration data from the management system securely to readers in the field. This works via so-called Versatile Configuration Packages (VCP), which are generated in a Hardware Security Module (HSM) and distributed to readers in the field via user’s smartphones or management system. With this new feature, you can now restrict the validity of each VCP to specific reader devices based on their chipID which uniquely identifies every LEGIC reader IC. This feature provides additional protection against abuse of configuration data and can help prevent configuration errors. Transmitting cryptographic keys For example, a cryptographic key for a specific building is generated in the secure LEGIC Orbit environment. Subsequent distribution of this key via VCP can now be restricted to readers installed only in that building. This feature makes it impossible to wrongly configure readers not belonging to that building.

LEGIC SM-6300 reader ICs upgraded with improvements to the OS50 firmware
LEGIC SM-6300 reader ICs upgraded with improvements to the OS50 firmware

With the OS50 firmware upgrade, several new features have been implemented to make the SM-6300 faster and even more powerful. New filter options in the search for Bluetooth devices enable the selection of specific devices, energy consumption is significantly reduced. Additionally, the generation of authorisation media for the LEGIC Master-Token-System-Control (MTSC) solution and the creation of LEGIC prime and advant segments on LEGIC smartcards are possible with the new SM-6300init. LEGIC Master-Token-System-Control solution The SEARCH command for LEGIC reader ICs offers an easy and efficient way to communicate with different devices. When using the Bluetooth Low Energy transparent mode of the SM-6300, there is a growing demand for a filtering capability to precisely select a device, as more and more Bluetooth devices are around. With the new OS50, there are now more filter options available, allowing the reader to specifically find Bluetooth Low Energy devices that advertise certain data. In previous firmware versions the SEARCH command executed sequentially for every technology which cost valuable time in the search for the various ID media and slowed down the opening process noticeably. With the new upgrade, the search for Bluetooth Low Energy devices can be started and continued in the background while simultaneously searching for RFID media. SM-6300 reader ICs One of the strengths of the SM-6300 reader ICs is their design for use in battery-powered readers One of the strengths of the SM-6300 reader ICs is their design for use in battery-powered readers or other infrastructure components. Energy consumption is therefore essential and determines whether a solution is successful or not. If a reader design consumes less energy, the battery lasts longer, and maintenance costs are reduced. LEGIC has already introduced optimizations for energy consumption with enhancements to the sleep mode in September 2019. Since then, a reader can be woken up not just by inductive Wake Up, but also capacitive, with a timer or via GPIO. With the latest OS50 firmware upgrade, the SM-6300 is now also considerably more power-efficient when the IC is active. The improvements not only lead to a further reduction in energy consumption, but also significantly reduce the peaks in current consumption, which opens up new design possibilities. Generate authorisation media To allow MTSC users to generate authorisation media themselves, LEGIC reader ICs offer corresponding commands to create an authorisation medium from a Master-Token blank. Until now, the generation of authorisation media as well as the initialisation of advant and prime applications on LEGIC smartcards could only be done with the SM-4500. With the new SM-6300init, these commands are now also supported by the 6000 series. This means that all applications can now be covered with just one design based on the SM-6300init.

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