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Gallagher 2 Door Kit - PoE+ for distributed one to two door access control using an Ethernet connection
Should ‘Made in China’ be seen as a negative in security systems and products? It’s an important and complex issue that merits a more detailed response than my recent comment in the Expert Panel Roundtable. For me, there are two sides of the answer to this question: Buying products that have certain negative attributes that are not in alignment with some part of a belief system or company mandate. Buying products that do not perform as advertised or do something that is unacceptable. For integrators and end users making the buying decisions, the drive to purchase products may not be based on either aspect and instead on the product that can do the best job for their business. But for others, a greater emphasis on the ethical implications of purchasing decisions drives decision-making. What is ethical consumption? Ethical consumption is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of ‘positive buying’ in that ethical products are favouredEthical consumption — often called ethical consumerism — is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of ‘positive buying’ in that ethical products are favoured, and products that are ethically questionable may be met with a ‘moral boycott’. This can be as simple as only buying organic produce or as complex as boycotting products made in a totalitarian regime that doesn't offer its citizens the same freedoms that we enjoy in the United States. Consider the goals of the Boston Tea Party or the National Consumers League (NCL), which was formed to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. Some examples of considerations behind ethical consumption include fair trade, treatment of workers, genetic modification, locally made and processed goods, union-made products and services, humane animal treatment, and in general, labour issues and manufacturing practices that take these factors into account. Increase in ethical consumption The numbers show that ethical consumption is on the rise. In a 2017 study by Unilever, 33 percent of consumers reported choosing to buy and support brands that they believe are doing social or environmental good. In the same study, 53 percent of shoppers in the United Kingdom and 78 percent in the United States said they feel better when they buy products that are ‘sustainably’ produced. There’s clear evidence that products from some Chinese companies suffer from cybersecurity vulnerabilities Though the aforementioned question that sparked this conversation centres around concerns with products made in China, there are many other countries where, for example, governments/dictators are extremely repressive to all or parts of their populations, whose products, such as oil, diamonds, minerals, etc., we happily consume. There are also a number of countries that are a threat in terms of cybersecurity. It may be naive and simplistic to single out Chinese manufacturers. Impact on physical security products Product buying decisions based on factors other than product functionality, quality and price are also starting to permeate the security marketplace. While this hasn't been a large focus area from the business-to-business consumption side, it's something that should be considered for commercial security products for a variety of reasons. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating" There’s clear evidence that products from some Chinese companies suffer from cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Last fall, 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon, were potentially compromised when it was discovered that a tiny microchip in the motherboard of servers built in China that weren't a part of the original specification. According to a Bloomberg report, “This attack was something graver than the software-based incidents the world has grown accustomed to seeing. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating, promising the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get.” This, along with many other incidents, are changing the considerations behind purchasing decisions even in the physical security industry. Given that physical security products in general have been lax on cybersecurity, this is a welcome change. Combating tech-specific threats In early January, members of the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors and ensure U.S. technological supremacy by improving interagency coordination across the U.S. government. The bill creates the Office of Critical Technologies & Security at the White House, an indication that this issue is of critical importance to a number of players across the tech sector. Members of the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors To address a significant number of concerns around ethical production, there are certifications such as ISO 26000 which provides guidance on social responsibility by addressing accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, respect for stakeholder interests, respect for rule of law, respect for international norms of behaviour and respect for human rights. While still emerging within physical security, companies that adhere to these and other standards do exist in the marketplace. Not buying products vulnerable to cyberattacks It may be counter-productive, even irresponsible, to brand all products from an entire country as unfit for purchasing. Some manufacturers’ products may be ethically questionable, or more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others; so not buying products made by those companies would make sense. The physical security industry might be playing a bit of catch up on this front, but I think we're beginning to see a shift toward this kind of responsible buying behaviour.
Users of security systems have long been willing to sacrifice certain aspects of security in favour of convenience and ease of use. The tide seems to be turning, however, with the industry at large showing significant concerns over cyber security. End user sentiments also seem to be following that trend, becoming more cautious when it comes to having their security systems connected to the internet. While it has become the norm for security systems to be accessible online, still it presents security threats that unconnected systems would not face. In 2018, we saw a notable shift from the convenience of a connected system to the less convenient, but more secure, standalone system. Consumers are willingly making the choice to trade convenience for security, and companies are responding. While cyber security concerns will continue to be a big topic of discussion, connected platforms will probably be the trend of 2019This in turn is driving an increase in more IoT-like deployments. Rather than the traditional client that is connected to a device to retrieve information, more often we are seeing more active devices, capable of reporting their presence and transmitting information on a scheduled basis, without the need for a client. Preventing security systems from outside threats This changes the dynamic of the network and alleviates many threats associated with traditional systems because there is no opportunity for outside threats to access your system since the device is transmitting information out vs requiring a connection to the outside world. With IoT deployments, when the device is active and sending messages out of the network segment, it is not vulnerable in the same way that the traditional systems are. While cyber security concerns will continue to be a big topic of discussion, connected platforms will probably be the trend of 2019. In 2018, we saw an increased acceptance in the residential market for smart home applications. While this has been an area of discussion for the past ten years, it is now gaining real traction. With artificial intelligent capabilities in tow, smart home deployments are more common than ever and the video analytics that accompany them are quite impressive. Cloud security for the commercial sector If consumers are trusting their home security systems with this, it only makes sense that they will begin trusting Google to provide security for their offices as wellIn addition to the residential market, connected platforms will likely start to impact the commercial space as well. The border between consumer and commercial user will become a little more blurred. Companies such as Google that cater primarily to home services have cloud capabilities beyond the means of many competitors, in turn giving them a favourable advantage to provide security for the cloud. If consumers are trusting their home security systems with this, it only makes sense that they will begin trusting Google to provide security for their offices as well. As far as ONVIF is concerned, we are excited to see how the market will adopt the newly released Profile T for advanced video streaming in the coming year. We are also excited to explore our relationship with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), by continuing our work on giving devices the ability to communicate upwards and proactively. It is clear that the market is open to adopting models in the quest for more efficiency without sacrificing security.
Edward Snowden’s name entered the cultural lexicon in 2013, after he leaked thousands of classified National Security Agency documents to journalists. He’s been variously called a traitor, a patriot, a revolutionary, a dissident and a whistleblower, but however you personally feel about him, there’s one way to categorise him that no one can dispute: He’s a thief. There’s no doubt about it: Snowden’s information didn’t belong to him, and the scary truth is that he is neither the first nor the last employee to attempt to smuggle secrets out of a building – and we need to learn from his success to try to prevent it from happening again. Since the dawn of the digital age, we’ve fought cyber pirates with tools like firewalls, encryption, strong passwords, antivirus software and white-hat hackers. But with so much attention on protecting against cyber risks, we sometimes forget about the other side of the coin: the risk that data will be physically removed from the building. Douglas Miorandi, director of federal programs, counter-terrorism and physical data security for Metrasens, recently discussed the major risks to physical data security with SourceSecurity.com. Q: What do you believe are the main physical threats to data? The biggest threats I have seen in the physical data security space have varied over the years, but there are four specific risks that remain the same across the board for any organisation, which are: Every organisation is at risk of having data walk out the building with that employee The Insider Threat The Outsider Threat The Seemingly Innocent Personal Item Poor or Nonexistent Screening To beginning with, every company or government agency has at least one disgruntled employee working for them, whether they know it or not, and that means every organisation is at risk of having data walk out the building with that employee. That is what security experts call the insider threat. Q: What do you think influences employees to steal data from their own organisation? People steal data from their workplaces because they see some means to an end, whether it’s to expose something embarrassing or damaging due to a personal vendetta, or because they can sell it to a competitor or the media and benefit financially – meaning they don’t even need to be disgruntled; they might just want a quick way to make a buck. Financial data, too, is attractive, both for insider trading and selling to the competition. People steal data from their workplaces because they see some means to an end, whether it’s to expose something embarrassing or damaging due to a personal vendetta, or because they can sell it to a competitor or the media and benefit financially This can happen to both private companies as well as government agencies. Take Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards for example, a Treasury Department employee who was caught in the act just last month, when she disclosed sensitive government information about figures connected to the Russia investigation to a reporter. She didn’t hack the system, she simply used a flash drive. And let’s not forget that Snowden was a contractor working for the NSA. Q: Many of us think of security threats coming from an outsider, do companies still face these type of threats? Yes. Unfortunately, organisations do not only need to worry about their own employees – companies and government agencies need to be wary of threats from outsiders. COTS devices include SD cards, external hard drives, audio recorders and even smart phones They can come in the form of the corporate spy – someone specifically hired to pose as a legitimate employee or private contractor in order to extract information – or the opportunistic thief – a contractor hired to work on a server or in sensitive areas who sees an opening and seizes it. Either one is equally damaging to sensitive data because of the physical access they have. Q: Whether it be an insider threat or an outsider threat, what are ways these individuals can steal sensitive data? There are two types of personal items that can be used to steal data: the commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) variety, and the intentionally disguised variety. This is considered risk number three – the seemingly innocent personal item. COTS devices include SD cards, external hard drives, audio recorders and even smart phones, any of which can be used to transport audio, video and computer data in and out of a building. Intentionally disguised devices are straight out of the spy novel; they could be a recording device that looks like a car key fob, or a coffee mug with a USB drive hidden in a false bottom. Intentionally disguised devices are straight out of the spy novel; they could be a recording device that looks like a car key fob, or a coffee mug with a USB drive hidden in a false bottom Q: What is the difference between COTS and disguised devices? The difference between COTS and disguised devices is that if someone gets caught with a COTS device, security will know what it is and can confiscate it. The disguised device looks like a security-approved item anyone could be carrying into the workplace, making it especially devious. Sometimes these devices don’t just function to bring information out of a building; they are used to damage a server or hard drive once it’s plugged in to a computer or the network. Some are both – a recording device that extracts data and then destroys the hard drive. Companies with airtight cyber security protocols can sometimes fall down when it comes to physically screening peopleQ: With these types of discrete items, can security personnel still catch individuals in the act? For example, through security screenings? Poor or nonexistent screening is the most substantial security threat to any organisation when it comes to sensitive data. Whether it’s an employee, an outside contractor or a device, the physical security risks are real, and everyone and everything entering and leaving a building needs to be screened. Unfortunately, screening often isn’t occurring at all, or is ineffective or inconsistent when it does occur. Even companies with airtight cyber security protocols can sometimes fall down when it comes to physically screening people and stopping them from stealing data through recording devices. Q: It’s surprising that so many organisations would neglect physical security when protecting their data. It’s a huge mistake, and the consequences can be dire. They range from loss of customer trust, exorbitant lawsuits and tanking stock prices in the private sector; and risks to national security in the public sector. Costs and resource allocation increase as well during efforts to reactively fix or mitigate the effects of physically stolen data. For both the private and public sectors, the risk for data to be physically removed from a building has never been greater. Years ago, it was much harder for the average Joe to figure out where they could sell stolen data. Now, with the Deep Web, anyone with Tor can access forums requesting specific information from competing spy agencies, with instructions on how to deliver it, greatly reducing the risk of getting caught – and increasing the likelihood people will try it. Although it’s getting easier to sell data, the good news is that all of these threats are avoidable with the right measures. Physical data security and cybersecurity must be considered the yin and yang of an airtight policy that effectively protects sensitive or confidential assets from a malicious attack Q: So how can an organisation protect against these risks? There are a number of ways – and the first one requires a change of mindset. Not long ago, the building/physical security department and the IT/cybersecurity department were considered two different entities within an organisation, with little overlap or communication. Organisations now are realising that, because of the level of risk they face from both internal and external threats, they must take a holistic approach to data security. Physical data security and cybersecurity must be considered the yin and yang of an airtight policy that effectively protects sensitive or confidential assets from a malicious attack. Q: How can companies and government agencies combine both physical data security and cybersecurity initiatives? Physical security managers can advise cybersecurity managers on ways to reinforce their protocols – perhaps by implementing the newest surveillance cameras in sensitive areas, or removing ports on servers so that external drives cannot be used. Organisations need to create an effective program and ensure it stays effective so people know it’s not worth the hassle to try In turn, the cybersecurity team can let the physical security team know that they have outside contractors coming in to work on the server, and the physical security team can escort the contractors in and stand guard as they work. Constant communication and a symbiotic relationship between the two departments are crucial to creating an effective holistic security protocol and, once you’ve got the momentum going, don’t let it slow down. Sometimes efforts start off strong and then peter out if priorities change. When guards are down, it’s an excellent time for a malicious actor to strike. Organisations need to create an effective program and ensure it stays effective so people know it’s not worth the hassle to try. It’s not just about the mentality, though. Using the right technology is just as important. Q: What type of technology can you use to protect physical data? Many problems can be avoided by simply using the right technology to detect devices that bring threats in and carry proprietary information out. Electronics such as hard drives, cell phones, smart watches, SD cards and recording devices have a magnetic signature because of the ferrous metals inside them. Using a ferromagnetic detection system (FMDS) as people enter and exit a building or restricted area means that anything down to a small microSD card triggers an alert, allowing confiscation or further action as needed. Electronics such as hard drives, cell phones, smart watches, SD cards and recording devices have a magnetic signature because of the ferrous metals inside them Q: How does FMDS work? In the most basic terms, FMDS uses passive sensors that evaluate disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field made by something magnetic moving through its detection zone. Nothing can be used to shield the threat, because FMDS doesn’t detect metallic mass; it detects the magnetic signature, down to a millionth of the earth’s magnetic field. FMDS is the most reliable method of finding small electronics items and should be part of the “trust, but verify” model Although it is a passive technology, it is more effective and reliable than using hand wands or the walk-through metal detectors typically seen in an airport, which cannot detect very small ferrous metal objects. FMDS can see through body tissue and liquids, so items cannot be concealed anywhere on a person or with their belongings. Whether or not the items are turned on doesn’t matter; FMDS doesn’t work by detecting a signal, but rather by spotting the magnetic signature that electronics contain. This is ideal, because most recording devices do not emit any signal whatsoever. In my experience, FMDS is the most reliable method of finding small electronics items (as well as other ferrous metal objects, like weapons), and should be part of the “trust, but verify” model, in which companies assume the best of their employees and anyone else entering the building, but still take necessary precautions. Q: What are the key takeaways for organisations looking to enhance data security? The toughest challenge in the security sector – whether it’s cyber or physical – is remembering that the bad guys are constantly looking for ways to slip in through the cracks, and security departments need to stay one step ahead to ward off both internal and external threats. Recognising the existing threats, putting together a holistic security strategy, and using the right technology to detect illicit devices comprises an effective three-pronged approach to protecting an organisation’s data. Organisations cannot afford to be passive about security and assume employees won’t steal data and spies won’t sneak in. Strong countermeasures are necessary because data loss can come from both inside and outside, in both private and public sectors, from places not everyone thinks of – and with technology like FMDS acting as a backup to the human element, organisations can lock down their data and keep the wolves in sheep’s clothing from getting through the door.
The Zebra P110i card printer is a replacement for manual access control card printing Daily and monthly member entry passes across 34 gym and sports facilities in Stockholm are being produced by a combination of Zebra P330i and Zebra P110i card printers as a replacement for a manual, laser printed system. The facilities are operated by the City of Stockholm which commissioned local Zebra reseller and security solutions specialist Confidence International to deploy its own Entry Event ticket admission system with integrated printer functionality. The aim was to speed up substantially the processing of some 20-30,000 daily membership cards per year across all centres.BackgroundAs in most major towns and cities across Europe, gym membership in Stockholm has boomed in line with a greater public awareness of the health issues arising from today's modern lifestyle. The City of Stockholm manages more than 30 facilities offering a full array of exercise and work-out options, classes and swimming, many of them also hosting other sporting events. Daily membership is also available which gives the holder access to both the gym and the event but administering these at reception was proving time consuming and inefficient. Each card had to be printed individually on a laser printer, manually trimmed to size and then laminated which, at busy times, proved to be very labour intensive and was not consistent with the presentation of a modern, well-run facility.SolutionConfidence International, with offices in Sweden, the UK and Ireland, has been a Zebra reseller since 1992 and has many years' experience in integrating the printers with the secure, ticket entry systems in which the company specialises. It was this complete systems integration approach, embracing supply, installation, user training and ongoing support, that persuaded the City to chose Confidence to streamline and update the entry mechanism in all Stockholm's leisure facilities."This was a significant project for us, especially in view of the numbers of Zebra printers we had to supply," said Confidence Product manager Hans-Christian Jönsson. "A more usual sale would be one or two printers per customer but 30 were required to deal with the City's requirements." Zebra's P330i access control card printer was chosen for its easy-to use and extended capabilities "To meet the demands of the specification, we recommended the P330i for its ease-of-use and extended capabilities and the more compact P110i where reception space was at a premium.""The Zebra Card Printers were chosen because they are fast, offer excellent reliability, and are able to deal with high printing volumes. Both deliver single-sided colour cards to a very high standard. It was also possible to integrate Confidence International Mifare encoding module thanks to the information provided from Zebra." Both printer types integrate with Confidence's Event Entry ticketing system, which handles the complete admission ticket process direct from the reception desk computer and uses the Zebra printers to output cards designed specifically to the individual requirements of the user."Zebra's printer technology means facilities can add the holder's photograph or embed information that gives access only to specific areas or activities, and for whatever period has been paid for," added Hans-Christian Jönsson."This means one system can cope with a wide range of ticketing situations, from database recording of when the card is used to easy renewal on expiry without the need to issue a new card." Ricardo Moreno, Zebra Card Printers' Channel Manager, Europe added, "We've worked with Confidence for many years and have developed an excellent relationship in which our printers serve as the delivery mechanism for their secure access systems.""For the City of Stockholm our printers can output whatever membership card type is required - even to the extent of having credit added so customers can use it to pay for refreshments without having to take cash into the facility." BenefitsThe whole entry process for Stockholm's city-run gym and leisure facilities has been made much faster, benefiting both customers and reception staff. Whereas one card could originally take up to five minutes to produce, the Zebra solution is delivered in little more than 30 seconds allowing staff to deal more efficiently with waiting customers and generally improving users' experience of the facility.Customers can choose and pay for whichever facilities they wish to use at the point of entry giving them greater flexibility and easier access. Staff can also produce cards to control access to restricted areas. In fact, so successful has the Stockholm project been, plans are underway to roll out the application in other major cities not only in Sweden but also in Finland and Norway.
Zebra Card Printer Solutions have provided bar coded access control for Lake County's EMA The mission of the Lake County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is to provide a comprehensive approach to managing emergencies and disasters within the county by providing clear direction in activities that enable it to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from situations that threaten the lives of Lake County, Indiana residents, their homes, and their communities. Lake County covers about 501 square miles, with a population of roughly 487,000 people. The County has 11 townships, and its largest cities are Gary (population of 102,746) and Hammond (population of 83,048).The county's Emergency Management Agency expanded its duties to include homeland security, and is now charged with responding to not only extreme natural disasters and evacuations, but terrorist-sponsored emergencies as well.In order to make sure that only authorized individuals responded to such events, the agency decided to print photo identification cards for its four employees and approximately 70 volunteers. For heightened security, the agency chose to print the cards itself, on site, so that it could add confidential security features to the cards. Lake County EMA chose the Zebra P330i, a single-sided, full-color printer, to create the bar code encoded identification cards. "In general, the cards are used to prove to a first responder that a volunteer arriving on the scene is legitimate, that he is who he says he is," reports Rick Terpstra, who coordinates communications for the homeland security agency and the Community Emergency Response Team. An encoded barcode that is read by a portable reader used on site at emergencies by the Lake County EMA ensures that only authorized individuals report to the scene of a disaster. Lake County EMA chose the Zebra P330i, a single-sided, full-color printer, to create the bar code encoded identification cards "We print on both sides of the card, with a photo, the name of the agency, the Indiana Department of Homeland security logo, and the person's name and position on the front. The back contains the barcode, the person's photo again, and a place for notes regarding the clearances permitted by thecode on the barcode," Terpstra adds.The agency uses the Zebra printer one to two times per week to print cards for new volunteers, or to replace lost or damaged cards. Terpstra and one other employee print all the cards."I have found the printer easy to use, and very reliable. I haven't had a problem with it whatsoever since we started using it about eight or nine months ago," he noted.The agency has changed its name a few times, causing Terpstra to change the cards. But he is able to quickly and easily redesign the cards with the new name. "We didn't use cards at all before this, and I am happy with our card identification program and the Zebra card printer," Terpstra declared.
A Zebra Card Printer Solutions partner will aid in increasing nuclear power plant security In response to the increased potential of terrorist attacks against key infrastructure facilities, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has raised security standards for nuclear power plants. American Barcode & RFID (AB&R) - a Zebra Card Printer Solutions partner - has created a custom ID verification application to help a major power provider meet the NRC's new security requirements, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.The U.S. nuclear energy industry is serious about safety. They erect nuclear power plants to very high safety standards, with complex safety features and redundant critical functions. For fifty years these steps have kept the possibility of a catastrophic reactor accident from becoming a reality. However, the potential to deliberately create a catastrophe makes nuclear power plants attractive targets for terrorist attack or sabotage. It is with this potential threat in mind that the NRC now requires all nuclear power plant security programs to include access authorisation or ID verification measures. These measures must control access to the plant, monitor movement within the facility, and prevent unauthorised, undesirable and unsafe intruders from penetrating areas where special nuclear material or key equipment are located. When AB&R took on the task of helping a major nuclear power facility comply with the latest NRC regulations, they quickly saw that their client's legacy. ID cards were going to be a problem. The cards lacked bar-coding, which hampered rapid ID verification. And their laminated coating was easy to peel off--an open invitation to tampering. "The specific requirements of the application along with the critical timetable for implementation complicated the solution. NRC audit constraints dictated a wireless infrastructure for real-time verification along with a credential that was essentially tamper-proof," explained Steve Beck, AB&R's Strategic Account Manager for the project. AB&R has created a custom ID verification application to help a major power provider meet the NRC's new security requirements AB&R's solution to the client's ID verification issues was to create a custom application that would provide real-time verification of ID credentials and access authorisation using wireless portable data terminals and Zebra P640i card printers. The enhanced features of the P640i enabled the issuance of highly secure ID badges that serve both as employee identification and access verification. While the current system utilises bar code technology to verify each distinctive credential, it is designed to accommodate migration to new ID cards armed with UHF RFID technology. UHF RFID credentials enhance ID verification by leveraging time and distance as factors in data recognition and retrieval.AB&R deployed the new system and trained the security staff in its use faster than anticipated, with minimal disruption of daily plant and security operations. Within a few weeks of installation, the security staff issued tamper-proof, personalised Zebra card-printed badges to the plant's entire population--some 2,500 employees, contractors, and vendors. Today, anyone seeking entry to the client's facility must first present their ID badge, printed and encoded by a Zebra Card Printer, to a security guard. Utilising a wireless portable data terminal, the guard then scans the card and receives instant confirmation of identity through the custom application developed by AB&R.Given how the new control system helps plant security quickly identify and react to potential threats, it should come as no surprise that the client passed its subsequent NRC compliance audit. The Director of Security for the facility confirmed: "Not only did AB&R successfully meet all of the audit specifications, they completed installation and training ahead of schedule. The audit went great! We are very pleased with the application they developed and the professional support they continue to provide."
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