Software House® C·CURE® 9000 Security & Event Management System, developed with systems integration in mind
Software House® C·CURE® 9000 Security & Event Management System, developed with systems integration in mind

Most powerful integration platform in the industryFor the first time ever, customers will be able to intuitively manage their corporate security systems using familiar buttons and navigation panes they're used to seeing with Microsoft® Outlook and other Microsoft programs.Our new Software House C·CURE 9000® Security and Event Management System brings together the best of physical and logical security, integrating both in a way that has long been a goal of security, information technology, and building facilities professionals. C·CURE 9000 uses standard IT tools and processes that make it easy for a company to integrate within its existing network infrastructure.  In fact, industry analyst Frost and Sullivan says, "C·CURE 9000 is the first to offer a solution that truly integrates the best of IT and physical security."Why choose C•CURE 9000?DatabasesSupport for industry-leading databases, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and Oracle 10g that lets you fit C•CURE 9000 easily into your existing IT infrastructure means there are no additional database costs for customers with existing database resources. CommandProvides the standard IT tools and innovative distributed architecture that elevates the security system as an important enabler to your business' success. ControlGives a unique spin to a familiar Microsoft Windows look and user experience.CommunicationWith unsurpassed integration capabilities, C·CURE 9000 possesses one of the richest communication platforms in any industry. ConvergenceBuilt from the ground up on our innovative integration platform, C·CURE 9000 delivers convergence by bringing the best of physical and logical security together. LanguagesNow available in French, German, and Spanish and Arabic.

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ACT continue to develop & improve the ACTWin pro access control software
ACT continue to develop & improve the ACTWin pro access control software

ACTWin pro is the licensed version of the sophisticated PC application for use with the ACTpro door controllers.  With an attractive and easy to use graphical interface this software simplifies database management and the day-to-day administration of users and the access control system in general; the management is also aided by live reporting of the systems in an attractive and intuitive system tree configuration which mirrors the site. The ACTWin pro software currently manages and supports over 2,000 doors and 30,000 users.  The ACTWin software also supports up to 1,024 user groups which is a very efficient method for managing users, where each user is assigned to an individual user-group.  A number of reports are available as standard including muster, event analysis, user tracking and time and attendance reporting.  The muster report automatically generates and prints a list of all people in the building to preset printers on fire alarm activation.       The software is also capable of managing offices located in different geographical areas through the use of TCP / IP.  Controllers located in different time zones will report events to the software in their own local time.  The multi-tenant module enables large installations to be partitioned into smaller more manageable sub sites, where a local administrator or tenant only sees the locale doors, controllers and events and the regional manager may view several sites. It's possible to manage up 200 multi tenant sites.Each new release of ACTWin pro, currently at 2.6, introduces new features into the software to enhance functionality.  Some of the most recent additions have been DVR Integration, ACT Notifier and a browser based interface ACT Web. DVR Integration Video footage from a Digital Video Recorder may now be linked to events in the ACTWin pro database. When any event occurs at a door, the associated video may be retrieved from the DVR, showing what happened leading up to the event, directly from ACTWin pro. (2.5 and onwards)  ACT Notifier The ACTWin pro software can now send notification, via e-mail or SMS, to any number of authorised users on the occurrence of any event. The Security Guard could receive a text when a door is opened outside of office hours and the Finance Manager could receive an e-mail each time the cash room is accessed. It is also possible to track the movements of an individual, in real time, thorough e-mails or SMS messages. (ACTWin pro 2.6)  ACT Web browser based interface ACTWeb is a web-based interface that allows you to manage the basic functions of the access control system, including user lists, reports and enrolling users.  It provides you with 24-hour access to your access control software from internet Explorer.  ACTWeb has been developed for use in combination with the ACTWin pro PC application (2.5 or later).Input / Output Module - area fullThe ACTWin software now allows for an output to be fired on the Input / Output Module when an area is full (the system allows for up to 8 different areas). A typical use of this feature would be a car park with a "Full" sign being activated when all spaces are occupied. (ACTWin pro 2.6)ACTWin pro is a Client / Server version of the ACTWin software for multiple users.  The Lite version is available for single users and it does not carry all the features of ACTWin pro.

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Update to SAMS access control management software
Update to SAMS access control management software

SAMS, Samsung's Access Control Management software, has been updated with a number of practical and user-friendly features added. Available license-free for projects with up to 40 doors (80 readers) and 1000 users, SAMS now has a Muster Reporting feature which can configured to produce a report as to who is on site at any given time, as well as  automatically generate a list  in the event of a fire alarm activation.Also included in the latest version of SAMS is an ID badge production facility. In addition to static text and a company logo, this new feature also allows the addition of dynamic database fields. SAMS software is now fully compatible with the Samsung SRN-3250 and SRN-6450 network video recorders ensuring that high quality recorded images are always time synchronised with related access control alarm events. "This feature may not at first glance seem be very important. For many years however, users have suffered the frustration of finding that the video they have retrieved from a video recorder relates to an event that may have occurred several seconds or even minutes before or after the actual event they wished to view," said David Cawley Access Control and Home Security Products Manager for Samsung Techwin Europe Limited.Samsung's RFID and biometric technology based access control systems collectively provide a cost effective solution for any access control application from single door to large building or multi-sited projects. The range is broken down into standalone controllers, single & four door controllers, readers and software, with versions suitable for standalone or full TCP/IP or RS-485 operation. Samsung Access Control range allows it to compete for projects which have up to 128,000 doors with choice reader technologies which encompass fingerprint recognition, proximity and smart card & PIN, as well as time and attendance options. Our biometric fingerprint reader capability is particularly impressive in that it can hold up to 4,000 fingerprint templates and yet has a read time of just half a second.Whilst our standalone controllers offer the ideal solution for single door security, we also provide the option to link multiple doors together over a network.  When networked, it is possible to easily share the biometric database to other connected standalone controllers without the need for a separate computer or additional software.The challenge is to ensure users can have full control over what may be a complex system and as such be able to monitor, record and retrieve valuable data which could be needed as evidence when looking to prosecute unwanted visitors who have engaged in criminal activity.  The good news is that Samsung Access Management Software (SAMS) is able to provide detailed reports on card holder activity which can be exported in Excel or PDF form for integration with other software packages, e.g. Time & Attendance, ERP or Payroll. The professional version, SAMS "Pro" does the same, but also provides additional advanced functionality, including the support of integrated access control and video monitoring to allow an operator to view video activity related to a specific card holder. The status of readers and cameras can also be monitored on a user defined map.

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ACT launches Sitemaps in ACTWin 2.7, the latest version of the ACTpro access control software
ACT launches Sitemaps in ACTWin 2.7, the latest version of the ACTpro access control software

Access Control Technology (ACT) Ltd. has launched ACTWin 2.7 with the much anticipated ACT Sitemaps.  With ACT Sitemaps you can visually monitor events as they occur on your site. As normal door events and alarms are generated by the access control system the status is updated live on the map.  The most recent events are highlighted to make them easily identifiable to the operator. The recent events panel lists all events that have occurred.   To use Sitemaps simply import a visual layout / map of your building into the program and allocate your access control points and input / output modules to the appropriate locations via a drag and drop facility.Each door on the map may be linked to a different map which is useful when there are several different buildings on a site, the building has multiple floors or the operator does not know the building very well.Another feature of ACTWin 2.7 is break glass detection.  The break glass detection allows the customer to monitor and report when the break glass device has been activated.  It is also possible to trigger a relay on the ACT controller on break glass activation.The ACTWin software is used in conjunction with ACTpro door controllers and is available in both a free (Lite) and a licensed (pro) version.  Other features included in the software include ACT Notifier, DVR Integration, Muster Reporting and Elevator Control (some are pro only).  ACTWin software can also be integrated with third party software for increased functionality including visitor management and time and attendance.

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Hanwha Techwin America provides a standard solution for visually verifying access control activity
Hanwha Techwin America provides a standard solution for visually verifying access control activity

With end-users looking for maximum benefit from their investment in security, a major objective to the success of any video surveillance system is to seek ways in which it can interact with other security systems. A major trend we are seeing at the moment is linking CCTV with Access Control systems. The opportunity to pass video, data or alarm information between these systems has obvious operational benefits. As well as providing visual verification of anyone attempting to gain access to restricted areas, there is also an opportunity to obtain valuable management information such as time and attendance records.For end-users to have confidence in the information provided by a video surveillance system and an access control system working in harmony, it is obviously important that access control events and alarms can be reliably and consistently synchronised with the relevant video. Until now there  has not been a low cost method of doing this and for many years users have suffered the frustration of finding that the video they have retrieved from a DVR relates to an event that occurred several seconds or even minutes before or after the actual event they wished to view.  However, there is some good news for end-users who are looking to gain maximum ROI from their security systems as this technology becomes more widely available. Samsung already provides, as a standard feature, time synchronisation between its fingerprint recognition, proximity and smart card & PIN based access control systems and its SRD digital video recorder range. This can also be taken onto the network by using an encoder with a built-in SD card that records an event when access is granted or denied at the access control reader, allowing users to view video via a webpage.This easy to implement and powerful feature provides therefore installers and system integrators with an opportunity to increase revenue streams, whilst offering both new and existing clients with reliable access control data, verified by high quality video evidence.

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Access control software - Expert commentary

Integrated security systems for medium and large-sized offices
Integrated security systems for medium and large-sized offices

If you’re responsible for a medium or large-sized office, it’s more important than ever that you have access to a means of ensuring people’s safety, managing risks and fraud, and protecting property. Any security system that you employ must therefore meet the most demanding commercial requirements of today’s offices, and tomorrow’s. This means thinking beyond a basic intrusion system and specifying a comprehensive solution that integrates smart features like access control, video management and intelligent video analytics. Because only then will you have security you can trust, and detection you can depend on. Reliable entry management Access control systems have been developed that guarantee reliable entry management for indoors and outdoors Access control is becoming increasingly important for ensuring the security of office buildings, but as the modern workplace evolves you’re unlikely to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Today, it’s commonplace to control entry to individual rooms or restricted areas and cater to more flexible working hours that extend beyond 9 to 5, so a modern and reliable access control system that exceeds the limitations of standard mechanical locks is indispensable. Access control systems have been developed that guarantee reliable entry management for indoors and outdoors. They use state-of-the-art readers and controllers to restrict access to certain areas, ensuring only authorised individuals can get in. With video cameras located within close proximity you can then monitor and record any unauthorised access attempts. The system can also undertake a people-count to ensure only one person has entered using a single pass. Scalable hardware components As previously mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all system, but thanks to the scalability of the hardware components, systems can adapt to changing security requirements. For example, you can install Bosch’s Access Professional Edition (APE) software for small to medium-sized offices, then switch to the more comprehensive Access Engine (ACE) of the Building Integration System (BIS) when your security requirements grow. And, because the hardware stays the same, any adaptations are simple. APE’s ‘permanent open’ functionality allows employees and guests to enter designated areas easily and conveniently The APE software administers up to 512 readers, 10,000 cardholders and 128 cameras, making it suitable for small to medium-sized buildings. With functions like badge enrollment, entrance control monitoring and alarm management with video verification it provides a high level of security and ensures only authorised employees and visitors are able to enter certain rooms and areas. Of course, there will always be situations when, for convenience, you need certain doors to be permanently open, such as events and open days. APE’s ‘permanent open’ functionality allows employees and guests to enter designated areas easily and conveniently. Growing security needs You switch to the Bosch Building Integration System (BIS), without having to switch hardware (it stays the same, remember?). This is a software solution that manages subsystems like access control, video surveillance, fire alarm, public address or intrusion systems, all on a single platform. It is designed for offices with multiple sites and for large companies with a global presence. Bosch Building Integration System (BIS) manages subsystems like access control, video surveillance, fire alarm, public address or intrusion systems, all on a single platform The BIS Access Engine (ACE) administers up to 10,000 readers and 80 concurrent workplace clients per server, and 200,000 cardholders per AMC. An additional benefit to security officers is the ability to oversee cardholders and authorisations through the central cardholder management functionality and monitor all access events and alarms from every connected site. For consistency, multi-site cardholder information and access authorisations can be created on a central server and replicated across all connected site servers, which means the cardholder information is always up to date and available in every location. Intrusion alarm systems Bosch B Series and G Series intrusion control panels can also send personal notifications via text or email Securing all perimeter doors is vital when protecting employees, visitors and intellectual property. Doors are opened and closed countless times during business hours, and when intentionally left open, your office is vulnerable to theft, and the safety of your employees is compromised. For this reason, intrusion control panels have been developed with advanced features to ensure all perimeter doors are properly closed, even when the system is not armed. If a door remains open for a period of time (you can specify anything from one second to 60 minutes), the system can be programmed to automatically take action. For example, it can activate an audible alert at the keypad to give employees time to close the door. Then, if it is still not closed, it will send a report to a monitoring center or a text directly to the office manager, and when integrated with video it can even send an image of the incident to a mobile device. Customised intrusion systems What about people who need to access your building outside of working hours, like cleaning crews? Your intruder system allows you to customise the way it operates with a press of a button or swipe of a card. This level of control enables you to disarm specific areas, bypass points and unlock doors for cleaning crews or after-hours staff, whilst keeping server rooms, stock rooms and executive offices safe and secure. Bosch B Series and G Series intrusion control panels can also send personal notifications via text or email. You can program the panel to send you opening, closing, and other event alerts, which means you don’t have to be on-site to keep track of movements in and around your facility. Video management system A video management system will add a next level of security to your access control system Every office building has different video security requirements depending on the location, size and nature of the business. Some offices may only need basic functions such as recording and playback, whereas others may need full alarm functionalities and access to different sites. A video management system will add a next level of security to your access control system. For example, the video system can provide seamless management of digital video, audio and data across IP networks for small to large office buildings. It is fully integrated and can be scaled according to your specific requirements. The entry-level BVMS Viewer is suitable for small offices that need to access live and archived video from their recording solutions. With forensic search it enables you to access a huge recording database and scan quickly for a specific security event. For larger offices, embellished security functions for the BVMS Professional version can manage up to 2,000 cameras and offers full alarm and event management Full alarm and event management For larger offices, embellished security functions for the BVMS Professional version can manage up to 2,000 cameras and offers full alarm and event management. It’s also resilient enough to remain operative should both Management and Recording Servers fail. Large multi-national companies often need access to video surveillance systems at numerous sites, which is why BVMS Professional allows you to access live and archived video from over 10,000 sites across multiple time zones from a single BVMS server. When integrated with the BVMS Enterprise version multiple BVMS Professional systems can be connected so every office in the network can be viewed from one security center, which provides the opportunity to monitor up to 200,000 cameras, regardless of their location. Essential Video Analytics Video analytics acts as the brain of your security system, using metadata to add sense and structure to any video footage you capture If your strategy is to significantly improve levels of security, video analytics is an essential part of the plan. It acts as the brain of your security system, using metadata to add sense and structure to any video footage you capture. In effect, each video camera in your network becomes smart to the degree that it can understand and interpret what it is seeing. You simply set certain alarm rules, such as when someone approaches a perimeter fence, and video analytics alerts security personnel the moment a rule is breached. Smart analytics have been developed in two formats. Essential Video Analytics is ideal for small and medium-sized commercial buildings and can be used for advanced intrusion detection, such as loitering alarms, and identifying a person or object entering a pre-defined field. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the right footage from hours of stored video, so you can deal with potential threats the moment they happen. Essential Video Analytics also goes beyond security to help you enforce health and safety regulations such as enforcing no parking zones, detecting blocked emergency exits or ensuring no one enters or leaves a building via an emergency exit; all measures that can increase the safety of employees and visitors inside the building. Intelligent Video Analytics Intelligent Video Analytics have the unique capability of analysing video content over large distances Intelligent Video Analytics have the unique capability of analysing video content over large distances, which makes it ideally suited to more expansive office grounds or securing a perimeter fence. It can also differentiate between genuine security events and known false triggers such as snow, rain, hail and moving tree branches that can make video data far more difficult to interpret. The final piece in your security jigsaw is an intelligent camera. The latest range of Bosch ’i’ cameras have the image quality, data security measures, and bitrate reduction of <80%. And, video analytics is standard. Be prepared for what can’t be predicted. Although no-one can fully predict what kind of security-related event is around the corner, experience and expertise will help make sure you’re always fully prepared.

Five best practices for protecting video surveillance systems against cyber threats
Five best practices for protecting video surveillance systems against cyber threats

There’s no denying that cyber-crime is one of the biggest threats facing any organisation with the devastating results they can cause painfully explicit. Highly publicised cases stretching from the US government to digital giant Facebook has made tackling cyber security a necessity for all major organisations. The consequences of breaches have just become more severe, with new GDPR rules meaning any security breach, and resultant data loss, could cost your organisation a fine of up to four per cent of global revenue or up to 20 million euros. Cyber-crime potentially affects every connected network device. In the biggest cyber-crime to date, hackers stole $1 billion from banks around the world, by gaining access to security systems. It’s more important than ever for organisations to be vigilant when it comes to their cyber security strategy. To help avoid becoming the next victim, I’ve put together a five-point cyber plan to protect your video surveillance system. 1. Elimination of default passwords A small change to a memorable, complex password could have huge consequences for your business It is estimated that over 73,000 security cameras are available to view online right now due to default passwords. ‘Password’ and ‘123456’ are among the top five most popular passwords with a staggering 9,000,000 login details matching this description. Guessable passwords create an unsecure security system which can result in an easy way for hackers to gain access to your organisation’s data, making you vulnerable to a breach. A small change to a memorable, complex password could have huge consequences for your business. Removing default passwords from products and software forces individuals to think of their own to keep their data safe. If a password system is not provided by your organisation we recommend that your password uses two or more types of characters (letters, numbers, symbols) and it is changed periodically. 2. Encrypted firmware Encrypting firmware is an important part of any organisations overall security system. Firmware can leave an open door, allowing hackers to access your data. All firmware should be encrypted to reduce the possibilities of it being downloaded from the manufacturers website and deconstructed. If the firmware posted is not encrypted, there is a risk of it being analysed by persons with malicious intent, vulnerabilities being detected, and attacks being made. With i-PRO cameras and recorders, all firmware is securely encrypted to mitigate analysis There have been cases where a device is attacked by firmware vulnerabilities even if there are no problems with the user's settings, rendering it inoperable, and DDoS attacks being made on other servers via the device. With i-PRO cameras and recorders, all firmware is securely encrypted to mitigate analysis. There is also a possibility of being attracted to spoofing sites by targeted attack email and firmware being updated with a version that includes a virus, so firmware must always be downloaded from the vendor's page. It may also be advantageous to combine this with an imbedded Linux operating system which removes all unused features of the device, it can help to reduce the chances of malicious entities searching for backdoor entities and inserting codes. 3. Removing vulnerabilities within the operating systems Vulnerability is the name given for a functional behaviour of a product or online service that violates an implicit or explicit security policy. Vulnerabilities can occur for a number of reasons for example, due to an omission in logic, coding errors or a process failure. Network attacks exploit vulnerabilities in software coding that maybe unknown to you and the equipment provider. The vulnerability can be exploited by hackers before the vendor becomes aware. You should seek to minimise these issues by looking for a secure operating system which is regularly updated. Panasonic has developed Secure Communications, a platform and package to protect against video tampering, altering, spoofing and snooping As a provider of security solutions, Panasonic is taking a number of steps to ensure its consumers remain safe and secure. We have developed Secure Communications, a platform and package to protect against video tampering, altering, spoofing and snooping. We have combined with a leading provider of highly reliable certificates and technology for detecting and analysing cyber-attacks with its own in-house embedded cryptography technology, to provide a highly secure and robust protection layer for its embedded surveillance products. 4. Avoiding remote login using Telnet or FTP Telnet and FTP are a very outdated source of software which as a result means they lack built-in security measures Telnet and FTP are a very outdated source of software which as a result means they lack built-in security measures. File transfer protocol or transfer through cloud-based services means the files and passwords are not encrypted and can therefore be easily intercepted by hackers. An encrypted software removes the risk of files being sent to the wrong person or forwarded on without your knowledge. Telnet predates FTP and as a result is even less secure. Hyper Transfer Protocol Secure is a protocol to make secure communications by HTTP, and it makes HTTP communications on secure connections provided by SSL/TLS protocols. The major benefits of using this system is that HTTPS and VPN encrypt the communications path, so data after communications is decrypted and recorded. If recorded data is leaked, it will be in a state where it can be viewed. With data encryption, however, it remains secure and can even be recoded to storage. Thus, even if the hard drive or SD card is stolen or data on the cloud is leaked, data cannot be viewed. 5. Use of digital certificates Private and public keys are generated at manufacture in the factory and certificates installed at the factoryDigital certificates are intended to safely store the public key and the owner information of the private key it is paired with. It provides assurance that the accredited data from a third party is true and that the data is not falsified. It is beneficial for all data to be encrypted with digital certificates. Digital certificates are far safer when issued by a third party rather than creating a self-signed version unless you are 100 percent sure of the receiver identity. From April 2016, some models of Panasonic series iPro cameras come with preinstalled certificates to reduce the risk of interception and the hassle of having to create one. With i-PRO cameras with Secure function, private and public keys are generated at manufacture in the factory and certificates installed at the factory. As there is no way to obtain the private key from the camera externally, there is no risk of the private key being leaked. Also, certificates are signed by a trusted third party, and the private key used for signing is managed strictly by the authority. In addition, encryption has been cleverly implemented to reduce the usual overhead on the IP stream from 20% to 2%.

How to optimise mobile access control authentication with smart devices
How to optimise mobile access control authentication with smart devices

Considering how much the modern smartphone has become a common everyday tool and cultural icon, it’s hard to believe it has only been with us for a relatively short space of time. The first Apple iPhone was launched in 2007 and yet in a little over a decade the smartphone has become as essential as our keys or wallet. From its conception as a multi-faceted communications device, it has morphed into something far more integrated in our daily lives. Services such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and PayPal have seen the smartphone become a credible replacement for cash and cash cards, but equally, it is possible to replace access cards and keys as well.Smartphones can easily receive authentication credentials remotely and access can be confirmed or denied instantly The ability to accurately authenticate an individual and the applications this offers for security purposes, is something that the security industry needs to continue to embrace and further promote to our customers. Considerable advantages Most security professionals understand the potential benefits of using mobile device authentication, with flexibility being the key advantage. Smartphones can easily receive authentication credentials remotely and access can be confirmed or denied instantly. Equally, smartphones already contain many secure options to ensure they are only used by the authorised user – fingerprint and face recognition, as well as pattern authentication and PIN, being prime examples. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of awareness amongst some security operators, customers and the public of these exciting benefits. Potentially there may also be some reluctance, in certain quarters, to trusting a mobile device with physical security. A lack of trust in seemingly ‘unproven’ technology is not unusual, but the security industry needs to demonstrate reliability along with the considerable security and convenience benefits of using it. Trusted part of security network Many smart devices already securely bind the mobile device with the right person by using 2-factor authenticationMobile device security needs to earn its trust, in much the same way as any other new ground-breaking application. In fairness to the doubters, it’s not hard to imagine how much of a risk a badly protected mobile device could be to any secure network! There are two key obstacles that smartphones need to clear before they can become a trusted part of the security network though. Firstly, that they are secure enough to be trusted as part of a security network, and secondly that they can reliably identify an authorised user in a real-world environment. Many smart devices already securely bind the mobile device with the right person by using 2-factor authentication. For example, this could combine a PIN code with the fingerprint or face of the authorised individual. In areas with particularly high security, you could also implement a wall-mounted biometric reader (fingerprint, facial recognition or iris scan) to add a further level of protection and ensure there is no wrongful use of the mobile device. Security tokens or access cards are typically rigid in their programming, only allowing access to certain areas Security by location With its many and varied functions, undoubtedly one of the most useful systems on any smartphone is its GPS location tracking. It’s also a perfect tool to assist with security systems interaction.A benefit of using smart device authentication is the cost savings over operating traditional tokens Consider any secure facility – it will feature different levels of access. This can vary from a humble canteen and break-out areas, right through to secured doors around potentially dangerous or highly sensitive areas - such as plant rooms, or even a nuclear facility! Security tokens or access cards are typically rigid in their programming, only allowing access to certain areas. A smartphone, however, can be granted or denied access depending on the location of the request by the individual – GPS literally adds a level of extra intelligence to security. Personal items Using QR codes seem to be a simple but reliable identity and access control authentication option Mobile devices tend to be guarded and protected with the same concern as your money or your keys. Many of us literally carry our mobile device everywhere with us, so they are relatively unlikely to be misplaced or lost – certainly in comparison to a key card for example. Also, think about how often you use or hold your smartphone – some estimates suggest 2,600 times each day! With that level of interaction, you’ll be aware very quickly if it’s been misplaced, not least because of the inconvenience and cost to replace it. This level of personal connection makes it perfect for use with security systems. Cost savings Another obvious benefit of using smart device authentication is the cost savings over operating traditional tokens. No more plastic badges, access cards, lanyards, printers and consumables used to administer security. This is something the security industry really needs to shout about! It will come as no surprise to hear that smartphones are exceptionally common too. Figures suggest that in 2015 there were nearly 41m in use in the UK and this is predicted to rise to 54m by 2022. With the UK population being just over 65m, that is a very high percentage of people already carrying this technology. Using a resource that people already have, and which is highly secure, makes unquestionable financial as well as practical sense. GPS location tracking is a perfect tool to assist with security systems interaction Integrated technology Agreeing on common and shared open protocols has unfortunately been one of the stumbling blocks for the security industry in adapting to a predominantly smartphone authentication approach. NFC (Near Field Communications) technology in mobile phones and smart devices has failed to be the universal success it promised.Not everyone has an iPhone, but it is such an important segment of the market for customers Mobile technology trends have dictated to the systems that use it. Apple’s earlier (Pre iOS 11) decision to restrict the use of NFC to Apple Pay on its devices has had a profound effect on the implementation of NFC in other applications too. Not everyone has an iPhone, but it is such an important segment of the market that other manufacturers are wary of how customers will be able to use any new technology. We have seen a much bigger focus on using Bluetooth Low Energy technology on mobile devices instead. With providers such as HID Global, STid in France and Nedap in the Netherlands now concentrating on developing Bluetooth Low Energy readers and mobile credential applications, this seems like a highly credible alternative. Along with NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy options, there also seems to be a lot of interest in using QR codes as simple but reliable identity and access control authentication. These can easily be displayed on a screen or printed if necessary, giving great flexibility over the type of technology that is used in the future. Upgrading existing security systems There are strong arguments for many businesses to continue using MIFARE+ systems if they suit operations well We are steadily seeing the signs of smartphone authentication replacing the cards and tokens we have been familiar with. However, many consumers still want options rather than to just be railroaded down one path. A business that has invested in cards or tokens will want to use that technology investment fully. The changes will come when readers are updated – this is when security specifiers and installers need to promote the advantages of dual-technology readers, which offer options to include smartphone authentication into the mix. There is still considerable diversity amongst smart devices, the operating systems they use, and the security technology employed by each. Android, Apple iOS and Blackberry devices all vary with regards to the biometric authentication available, so security administrators may need to be flexible on the types of authentication they accept. Interestingly, card technology has also progressed at an astonishing speed too – with MIFARE+ proving to be a highly cost-effective, practical and secure system that can easily be integrated. There are strong arguments for many businesses to continue using these systems if they suit operations well. NFC (Near Field Communications) technology in mobile phones and smart devices has failed to be the universal success it promised Hybrid systems A hybrid approach may be the best answer for many security operators. This means those who choose to enjoy the benefits in terms of flexibility and convenience of smartphone authentication can do so, whilst those who are more hesitant can continue to use more traditional methods. A hybrid approach may be the best answer for many security operators Larger organisations may find that the swap over is a slower and more gradual process, whilst smaller start-up businesses may prefer to jump to a smartphone-based approach straight away. If security systems are well integrated but modular in their approach, then it becomes much simpler to evolve as time goes on. Embracing the benefits Using their app-based systems architecture, smartphones are ideally placed to evolve with security systems in the future. There are many benefits for the security industry and our customers, but we need to remember that this move will involve a culture change for many security operators and users. The security industry needs to be mindful and respectful of any anxiety, but also be positive and promote the considerable benefits mobile authentication offers.