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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.

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.

Latest Allegion (UK) Ltd news

Security Industry Association launches Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education program for security professionals
Security Industry Association launches Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education program for security professionals

The Security Industry Association (SIA) and the SIA RISE Steering Committee are launching Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) – a new mentorship program for early and mid-career professionals in the security industry. The TIME program is designed to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and empowerment of underrepresented identities in the security industry by creating a well-defined pathway for learning and development. Talented security industry “SIA’s new TIME mentorship program seeks to build a security industry full of diverse perspectives, people and cultures,” said Pierre Trapanese, chair of the SIA Board of Directors. “Through the program, we look forward to creating valuable learning experiences for both mentees and mentors, giving back and helping to grow an inclusive, talented security industry.” SIA’s TIME mentorship program aims to offer meaningful developmental opportunities for participants. Key components of the TIME mentorship program include: Career development: Connecting early and mid-career professionals and students with established industry professionals to further career growth and talent development Skill enhancement: Building a sustainable community of support through collaboration, networking and skill building Recruitment: Attracting students to the security industry by providing insights on the wide array of career opportunities available Executive leadership development: Promoting leadership development opportunities that will encourage diversity within the ranks Fun networking opportunities TIME is guided by volunteers from the SIA RISE Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee – including Bobby Louissaint, technical operations solutions manager at Facebook; Erin Mann, strategy and marketing manager, multifamily at Allegion; and Eddie Reynolds, CEO of Iluminar Inc. – and with the support of SIA staff. The program will run for 12 monthly sessions and have semi-annual orientations. SIA is seeking seasoned security industry professionals to serve as mentors in the TIME program. SIA RISE is a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry. Membership in SIA RISE – which offers fun networking opportunities, career growth webinars and education tracks at ISC West and East, scholarships and the annual AcceleRISE conference – is open to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years.

SIA appoints Erin Mann and Kelsey Carnell as the new chair and vice chair to lead SIA RISE
SIA appoints Erin Mann and Kelsey Carnell as the new chair and vice chair to lead SIA RISE

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named a new chair and vice chair to lead SIA RISE, a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry. Erin Mann – strategy and marketing manager, multifamily at Allegion Canada Inc. – will serve as chair of the RISE Steering Committee, with Kelsey Carnell – regional sales manager, New England at Axis Communications – serving as vice chair. In these new roles, Mann and Carnell will help RISE deliver educational content and networking opportunities to young professional employees of SIA member companies, college students and recent graduates interested in the global security industry. Security forum scholarship Erin Mann has been with Allegion in a variety of roles of increasing responsibilities since 2016. In 2019, she moved to Toronto to work for Allegion Canada, with a focus on the multifamily market. Having a passion for people, Mann is an active member of Allegion’s Young Professionals Group, a founding member of the organisation’s innovation group Creativity Unlocked, a member of Allegion’s Network of Empowered Women and a co-chair of Allegion Canada’s engagement group. Mann is a member of the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) Board of Directors In addition to her work with RISE, Mann is a member of the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) Board of Directors. In 2018, she was awarded the SIA RISE Scholarship, and in 2020, she was honoured with the SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship. Mann is also a member of the SIA Women in Security Forum. She holds a B.A. in communications from DePauw University. Passionate young professionals “Joining the RISE committee in 2018 provided me with the most incredible community of dynamic, fun, engaging and passionate young professionals. RISE gave me a deeper understanding of the impact early-career individuals can have in our organisations and industry. I could not be more excited or grateful for the opportunity to lead the RISE group as chair for the next year, alongside Kelsey Carnell as vice chair,” said Mann. “Our committee is a team of dedicated and empowered individuals, and I am looking forward to the work that is ahead as we continue to collaborate with other groups, work towards more empowered and inclusive work spaces and build a network of excited leaders within the security industry.” Applications of IP video Carnell works with a dedicated inside sales account manager and field sales engineer In her role at Axis Communications, Carnell works with a dedicated inside sales account manager, field sales engineer and over 300 partners in the Western Massachusetts and Connecticut region, striving to share with integrators, distributors, consultants and end users the benefits and applications of IP video and Axis solutions. In 2018, she was selected as a recipient of the SIA RISE Scholarship. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University and completed the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) course at Florida Atlantic University in 2019. Amazing young professionals “I am so excited and very honoured to have been selected as vice chair of the RISE committee this year, working alongside some amazing young professionals. RISE has been such a rewarding, fulfilling and inspiring group to be a part of for the last few years,” said Carnell. “This team works so hard to make a difference, push the envelope and drive some positive and necessary change within the industry. We work to uncover new initiatives and offer scholarships, educational modules, networking events and more. I am so excited to see what this group continues to accomplish and look forward to making a difference in the coming years!” Fun networking opportunities SIA RISE is an essential resource to help young security industry professionals access high-quality education" “SIA RISE is an essential resource to help young security industry professionals access high-quality education and training, make valuable connections and take their careers to the next level, and RISE’s offerings would not be possible without the support of talented volunteers like Erin Mann and Kelsey Carnell and our outgoing SIA RISE chair, Matt Feenan,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “We thank Matt for his dedicated leadership of RISE over the last two years and congratulate Erin and Kelsey on their new roles, and we look forward to partnering with them to help propel the security industry’s future growth.” SIA RISE – which offers fun networking opportunities, career growth webinars and education tracks at ISC West and East, scholarships and the annual AcceleRISE conference – is open to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years.

LEAF Identity Consortium enables interoperability with encrypted smart cards
LEAF Identity Consortium enables interoperability with encrypted smart cards

Can a smart card be used securely for multiple applications (and among multiple manufacturers )? End users are demanding such interoperability, and they also want openness to switching out components of their access control systems in the future without being “locked in” to one vendor. Those are the goals of the LEAF Identity consortium, a collection of companies that share and support end user-owned encryption keys stored securely in smart cards with MIFARE DESFire EV2 chips and are used to authenticate access control credentials and read the data required to access multiple applications secured by multiple vendor devices. Smart card systems - more secure Almost everyone in the industry now knows that low-frequency (125 kHz) “prox” cards are not secure; in fact, low-cost cloning equipment is readily and inexpensively available. As the industry transitions to encrypted cards, challenges of interoperability persist. Keeping smart card systems more secure are AES 128 encryption keys encoded onto the card chips. Information is exchanged via radio frequency (RF) in a challenge-response interaction when a card is presented to a reader. The most recent LEAF EV2/EV3 cards allow up to 16 devices to be individually accessed using 16 unique keys, respectively that are stored in the smart cards (and among a variety of manufacturers). LEAF Identity Consortium enables interoperability with encrypted Smart Cards LEAF Memory Model specifies a standard EV2 (EV1 backward compatible) smart card data format and application access protocols that ensure each manufacturer’s devices can interface with a card chip in the same way. Specifically, each card has a “common data structure” based on the LEAF Memory Model, which means that the location of information is arranged on a card chip in a predictable and consistent manner. Each end-user application (for door readers, secure printing, vending, etc.) stored in the card is secured with their own cryptographic key. Member companies adhere to that structure in order to be interoperable with a single credential. There are no license fees or intellectual property rights involved. Keysets The approach involves a LEAF Custom Cryptographic Keyset (LEAF Cc Keysets) owned by the end-user. “When we present these concepts to integrators, they realize that, first, they need to get their clients to pay attention to the risks around proximity cards and to migrate to encrypted card technology,” says Laurie Aaron, Executive Vice President, WaveLynx Technologies Corp. “Then we explain the benefits of customer-owned keys and of the LEAF data structure. Then integrators can differentiate themselves by selling the value of the end-user staying in control and having unlimited interoperability.” WaveLynx Access control manufacturer WaveLynx is implementing the LEAF concept, which is the brainchild of CEO Hugo Wendling, who saw the advantages of leveraging the ability of an EV2 chip card to authenticate access to multiple applications by multiple manufacturer’s devices. WaveLynx set up the specification, maintains the website, and is involved when a manufacturer wants to become LEAF Enabled. They provide a key management service (for life) to end-users based on LEAF capabilities. End-users “own” the keys and can submit a request to WaveLynx to have us securely share them with any other manufacturer. Sharing a key involves two key custodians from WaveLynx Technologies and the Vendor who is receiving the customer’s keys, each of whom only has access to half of the encrypted key in order to keep it secure.  Keys are shared via a “key ceremony”. Combining capabilities The LEAF consortium provides a way for manufacturers to work together to provide an ecosystem of devices that are compatible with a single encrypted smart card without the need to embed proprietary reader modules in their devices or license another manufacturer’s technology, thereby making it possible for them to increase their market share. Working together, independent manufacturers can assemble a group of devices to compete more effectively with larger manufacturers. In effect, they combine their capabilities in order to offer the end-user viable options and to compete. LEAF Consortium partners include Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, Brivo, Eline by DIRAK, Linxens, RFIDeas, and Telaeris. Biometric partners include Idemia and IrisID. Biometric devices may either store their biometric on the card or on a central database and access it through the badge number. The LEAF standard continues to evolve. Although the standard does not currently offer mobile credentials, a common mobile credential standard is currently being discussed and designed by the Consortium.  

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