TDSi Access Control Softwares(10)
Specialist Access Control provider TDSi is bringing together the benefits of its entry control products with other perimeter security and building services controls, by offering full interactive systems integration. Earlier in the year TDSi launched a module for true TCP/IP integration from its EXgarde PRO software suite to alarm specialist Texecom’s Premier range of Intruder Alarm panels. The solution allows full integration to other serial based devices such as IP CCTV, TDSi’s VUgarde NVR providing visual verification of Intruder Alarms through TDSi’s EXgarde PRO. John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi, comments “Integration with Texecom has enabled TDSi to augment EXgarde PRO into a more complete and truly integrated surveillance and security system at the TCP/IP level. The user has full control, being able to arm and disarm zones to suit the use of the building, reducing the number of false alarms triggered, and providing visual verification of alarms.” Integration provides enhanced control and offers numerous benefits, such as the ability to activate and deactivate specific panels across multiple sites, as well as individual zones of a building and the ability to monitor all Intruder Alarm events which appear in the EXgarde Pro Alarm Manager Events panel. If an alarm is activated, CCTV can be triggered to deliver both a real time image and a 15 second pre alarm condition recording to the control room. The integration also means users benefit from a single point of administration with the ability to monitor a log of the intruder alarm system and also reduce the numbers of false alarm and the problems associated with this. This add-on to EXgarde continues TDSi’s overall commitment to making systems integration easier. The other key features of the system include the ability to log events in EXgarde, view the alarm zones’ status “armed”/”part-armed”/”disarmed” in EXgarde, remote arm/disarm from access events and part-arm zones from access events. These flexible features allow users to avoid costly false alarms through arming only required zones of a building, also preventing unauthorised people from accessing certain zones. TDSi also recently announced the launch of the new Harmony Security Alliance, with even broader aims to ‘Collaborate, Innovate and Protect’ across the security product offering spectrum. TDSi is partnering with exterior detection equipment specialist GJD Manufacturing and specialist in highly efficient power supplies Elmdene International Ltd - along with Texecom, to offer installers and end users an unrivalled integrated service for all security and access control needs. The Harmony Alliance also means that the partner members will co-operate and develop on-going solutions that are designed to complement each other and work together effectively, whatever the specification of the overall system that is installed. For further details on TDSi and its range of access control solutions, please visit www.tdsi.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)1202 724 999. Installers and end users who would like more information on the Harmony Alliance, and have specific project requirements, can find further details on the new dedicated website: www.harmony-alliance.com.Add to Compare
In the past the Access Control industry was a relatively straightforward one. Vendors supplied access control systems to installers who in turn organised and fitted solutions which were primarily concerned with securing doorways and controlling the flow of people traffic to restricted parts of the premises. But like most parts of the security industry, the Access Control sector has evolved and the industry is looking to expand their offering to add more value for money than ever before. For some this would have been unthinkable even a few years ago, but now successful companies have to think outside the traditional boundaries to meet the constantly evolving expectations of the market. Integration is a word that is mentioned time and time again in relation to Access Control – and with good reason! The IP revolution has become just as central to this sector as the rest of the security and wider technology world and has shaped the expectations of customers. Far from being a novelty, any system that doesn’t integrate with other IP systems at some level is now considered unusual. The move towards integration means that mutually communicative systems are essential, with the likes of Microsoft Active Directory becoming a central hub to all kinds of company systems from security to Human Resources and Facilities Management systems. As an extension to this, there are also demands for solutions that can still incorporate older legacy systems, which in all likelihood would never have been designed with this kind of integration in mind. For example, a company that has a large installation of analogue CCTV cameras (which may well still have a high degree of their effective lifecycle remaining) is unlikely to want to tear them all out in favour of more modern IP megapixel cameras, just for the sake of having new ones. Modern integrated systems can deal with these integration issues, but it is something that installers need to be sympathetic to, offering solutions that will save their customers wasting budget and will offer tailor-made, highly relevant solutions. The modern business world is largely responsible for driving the need for integration. Security and the ability to monitor and prove it are high priorities, but so is doing it effectively on tighter budgets. Rather than seeing it as a potential stumbling block, the Access Control industry needs to see the opportunities to offer customers a sizable and crucial part of the wider security offering. Schools are a good example of the need to integrate all the security systems to protect potentially vulnerable users. Modern educational establishments usually use a dedicated Schools Information Management Systems (SIMS) which gives a single point of administration and reference. With this at the heart of the establishment, the opportunities and benefits from creating a two way communication between the SIMS and the access control systems is obvious. For an installer there may be a temptation to sell the school a simple, standalone access system (particularly when budgets are under such close scrutiny), that offers lower upfront costs with a simpler installation process - yet there is a superb opportunity to offer a hard working solution that may cost more up front, but will really make good use of existing systems, offering far bigger rewards and helping to future-proof itself for considerably longer. The concept of thinking outside the box can apply on many levels. Access Control is closely linked to security and yet an integrated system can be as much a part of the management of the wider buildings’ control systems. If a people counter system can be used to ensure perimeter security access isn’t breached, then why not use it to control heating and ventilation? Closely controlling these systems minimises the waste of resources whilst ensuring users still get the services they need. Another area that is ripe for the help of Access Control as a value-add is Health and Safety. Being able to monitor the number of people who enter a controlled area also means a close eye can be kept on occupancy. Not only can this control the access of unauthorised people, it also monitors if a lone worker is present in a potentially hazardous area for example, alerting other members of the team that there may be a risk to their safety. Linked to this, it can also be an integral part of compliance, logging when staff are present in a hospital or a prison for example, integrating directly with the employment management system to provide highly accurate and secure information. The humble MIFARE card is another industry standard that can actually offer users a great degree of flexibility and empowerment beyond its Access Control role. The secure identity information held on the card can easily be accompanied by additional authentication details which are just as safe. Businesses or organisations that require a number of different secure functions (such as a university campus for example – which may offer library, gym membership and EPOS systems for retail) can use a MIFARE card as a single confirmation token. The appeal for our customers is that it reduces cost by utilising existing system investments to provide new services, whilst being relatively simple to implement. These examples of ‘Thinking outside the box’ could just be the tip of the iceberg as new technologies are waiting to grab the market. Near Field Communications are rapidly coming into focus as a security tool, building upon the popularity of smartphones and mobile devices on which they are deployed. This is an exciting technology as it utilises a ubiquitous everyday device to offer secure and convenient authentication which as mentioned above, can have a myriad of different uses well beyond the traditional access control arena. Biometric authentication is another area that is coming on in leaps and bounds. Being able to use a fingerprint, retina scan, facial recognition, sub dermal scan or even the analysis of the circulatory system, frees users from having to carry a token and yet offers even tighter levels of security. These levels of security will make it even easier to integrate different systems and the idea of limiting the potential of access control will seem like an anarchistic relic of a bygone age.Add to Compare
Access control specialist TDSi has launched its new MIFARE Programmer, which offers users the ability to specify their own sectors and keys on their MIFARE access cards. Together with the ability to re-configure TDSi's standard sector readers to any desired code (without the need for any other parties to be involved), the MIFARE Programmer ensures confidentiality of security data and access control.To make sure it doesn't inadvertently become a weak point of security itself, TDSi's MIFARE Programmer uses a highly secure user login to protect the ability to programme user cards from unauthorised users. Having control of MIFARE security details also offers a number of other key benefits: Use pre-assigned sequential numbers - The MIFARE Programmer provides an effective method of card programming which eliminates potential duplication problems, Read and identify existing cards - users can identify existing cards and sector usage before migrating existing system cards, Log all cards issued - The MIFARE Programmer provides a history of cards which have been issued (for future reference), Multiple card number options - The user can utilise a unique number, custom number or CSN to program a sector, providing increased flexibility, Dual decode options - The MIFARE Programmer allows users to decode the new 7 byte UID using TDSi's format or NXP's format, for increased flexibility, Check which sectors are used - This built-in function allows users to check which sectors have already been used. This is ideal if you want to migrate existing MIFARE CSN cards that may be utilised for other aspects (such as cashless vending) to a more secure sector operation. TDSi's John Davies comments on the MIFARE Programmer, "For companies that need the highest levels of protection; the ability to protect your security codes across the board is a very attractive proposition. Being able to programme your own MIFARE cards and readers means you can close a potential gap in security that comes from pre-programmed systems. We believe this is a unique solution that offers real peace of mind. It has been developed from feedback we have had from installers and users, who advised that it would be highly desirable choice for both security and convenience."Add to Compare
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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.
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%.
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.
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