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Access control systems & kits - Expert commentary

Illumio - securing the supply chain against cyber attacks
Illumio - securing the supply chain against cyber attacks

Trevor Dearing, the EMEA Director of Critical Infrastructure Solutions at Illumio, said “It is encouraging to see NIST releasing updated guidance acknowledging the increase in cyber-attacks targeting the supply chain and the consequent necessity to bolster the supply chain’s cyber security. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the exponential increase in attacks on the IT systems of manufacturers, logistics companies and organisations, which ultimately target the operational part of the business.” Cyber-attacks have real-world impacts Cyber-attacks that disrupt the logistics or manufacturing process can have immediate real-world impacts" He adds, “The truth is threat actors have realised they can increase efficiency and profitability, by compromising a single product, knowing it will have impact downstream on companies who use it.” Trevor Dearing continues, “Moreover, cyber-attacks that disrupt the logistics or manufacturing process can have immediate real-world impacts, further increasing the likelihood that any ransom demands will be met, as organisations flounder to get critical systems back up and running. The result is that supply chain attacks have increased with a vengeance.” Zero Trust approach to security He adds “A Zero Trust approach to security provides organisations with confidence in their supply chain security because by only allowing known and verified communication between environments, security teams can be sure that an attack on the IT systems will not affect the management or logistics processes.” Trevor Dearing concludes, “With the move to industry 4.0 and the adoption of cloud connected industrial IoT (Internet of Things), the potential impact of a ransomware attack will only continue to grow. That’s why, it is important to act now and put security measures in place that will make our infrastructure resilient to attacks – even once they’ve breached our perimeter.”

Eleven considerations for embedded system RFID readers
Eleven considerations for embedded system RFID readers

Today, RFID readers can be found in numerous devices requiring user authentication, authorisation and access control, from doors to multi-function printers to point of sale terminals to computers and more. RFID is a simple, secure and convenient access control solution for end users and original equipment manufacturers. RFID readers/writers come with a broad range of form factors, capabilities and configurations. Choosing the right RFID reader When choosing a reader to embed into a system or device, it is important to make sure it fully meets all of your design specifications. You also need to make sure it will continue to meet your needs for years to come, as device specification and end user requirements change. Here are eleven considerations – and some specific questions to ask – for product managers, embedded system engineers and solution architects, when choosing an RFID design-in module solution: Transponder Technologies Does the reader support all of the card technologies used by your customers? How much diversity exists in card technologies used by your client base? How many clients need to support multiple card technologies across their organisations? Mobile Device Access Does the reader support smartphone authentication for users wanting mobile device access? Do you anticipate your client base shifting to smartphone authentication in the future? Adding Transponder Technologies Do you anticipate needing to add new transponder technologies in coming years? Does the reader support addition of new transponder technologies after installation? Post-installation Reconfiguration How easy is it to reconfigure the reader after installation? Does the reader support contactless upgrades and configuration in installed devices? Does the reader support remote configuration? Customisation Does the reader have reconfiguration flexibility for integration? How does the reader integrate with hardware systems or back-end software? Can the communication or security protocols be customised? Does the reader have the ability to control user feedback (e.g., lights or sounds)? Hardware Communication Interface Is the communication interface for the reader compatible with the requirements of your system? How much flexibility do you have in choosing a hardware interface? Form Factor Does the reader fit into the form factor of your device? Will the size or form factor of the reader require design alternations to accommodate? Internal vs External Antenna Do you intend to develop your own external antenna with an RFID engine/module or do you need a finished product with embedded antennas? When do you choose a device that has integrated antennas over developing an external custom RF antenna? How can RFID modules without antennas be integrated? Operating Power and Consumption Requirements Does the reader meet voltage requirements for your device? How much power does the reader consume when in use? How much power does the reader consume when not active? Security Does your application require encryption capabilities? If so, does the reader have the capability to execute cryptographic algorithms? Do you require encrypted data exchange? If so, where and can the card reader support this? Does your application require MUTUAL Authentication with Secure Access Modules (SAM) and RFID Media? If so, does the reader support this? Does the card reader have communication interfaces other than Wiegand, such as RS485 or RS232? Do you require tamper detection technologies? If so, can the reader meet this requirement? Do you require the reader's configuration or firmware to be securely shared or loaded on the card reader? If so, can the reader meet this requirement? Certifications and Compliance What kinds of certifications and standards must your device meet to sell into your target markets? Does the reader meet all certification and compliance requirements?

Why people will power business security in 2022
Why people will power business security in 2022

In the era of the ‘Great Resignation’, it may seem counterintuitive to say that people will power business security in 2022. However, a convergence of challenges over the past few years has led to an undeniable trend in the security industry: With more technology comes the need for more people to monitor, analyse and leverage the data that technology produces. Always-on approach to security Since businesses were forced into lockdown two years ago, we’ve seen technology adoption accelerate at an unparalleled rate, as leaders navigate the new working world. In fact, according to survey data published in STANLEY Security’s 2022 Industry Trends Report, more than three in four businesses (78%) report rapidly adopting new technologies due to the pandemic. Cloud security technology is among the tech that has experienced high rates of adoption; 91% of businesses report that they have implemented cloud security technology – such as cloud video surveillance and cloud access control – and nearly half (48%) say that this was due to the pandemic. Importance of remote security solutions Many businesses learned that remote security solutions have become a necessity To gain greater oversight and visibility into their security operations, many businesses learned that remote security solutions have become a necessity, in order to help protect their people, property, and assets, especially when their facilities aren’t fully occupied. However, an ‘always-on’ approach to security isn’t just about implementing cloud technology, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the like. Security still remains a question of people, particularly when it comes to creating a healthier, safer, and more efficient environment for businesses. Making sense of the data With an influx of data coming from various security systems and sources, businesses have a clear opportunity to appoint an expert, in order to oversee these new technologies. Many businesses already recognise the value in doing so: 65% expect to hire a leader this year to oversee new technologies they implemented, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next five years, more than one-third of businesses (38%) expect to hire a senior leader, in order to oversee security, data and privacy. Identifying emerging training needs Such a leader would play an integral part in helping businesses to unlock the wealth of insights currently stored within their security infrastructure. For example, the data stored in security systems could inform talent management – identifying emerging training needs and ultimately, resulting in improved employee satisfaction and reduced attrition. In the retail sector, executives can extract data on footfall from CCTV and sensors In the retail sector, executives can extract data on footfall from CCTV and sensors, and directly correlate that to sales volume and value – thereby building a picture of how external factors impact revenues. This can be used to formulate predictions on consumer behaviours, promotions, and other sales activity. As we look to the future of the workplace and how organisations are using security systems to drive health, safety, and efficiencies – having an executive who is dedicated to this area will be critical in driving business growth and resilience. Doing more with less Around the world employees are quitting their jobs at a record pace, creating what has been dubbed the Great Resignation. In the United Kingdom, people are resigning at the highest rate in over a decade. In the United States of America, more than a fifth of the total workforce has left their positions, since April 2021. As businesses struggle to retain and recruit staff, they are looking for ways to overcome the labour shortage and optimise their operations, without compromising health, safety, and security. While leveraging technology and automation is certainly part of the solution, many are also turning to partners to support certain business functions, including security. Monitored security services Monitored security services, for example, allow businesses to gain 360-degree visibility into on-site operations, without hiring any new personnel. Instead, by partnering with a security provider that offers monitored security services, businesses have access to a professional team around the clock, in order to help spot potential threats, reduce risks, and increase efficiencies on-site. With monitored security, businesses can leverage the support of a whole team of security professionals With monitored security, businesses can leverage the support of a whole team of security professionals, working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of the number of facilities they operate, their occupancy levels, or hours of operation. As businesses have increasingly limited resources, including time and labour, professional monitored security services can help them do more with less. Building business resilience Ultimately, a strong business security programme is powered by people. Beyond technological progress, organisations need accountable experts to actively monitor their operations, make the call when there’s a threat, and unlock the invaluable insights stored within security systems. People, not technology alone, can build business resilience, by leveraging technologies and the data they produce, so as to create safer, healthier, and more efficient environments.

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